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The weeks are going by so quickly! Here it is another weekend, once again time for that deep, deep cleaning necessitated by the grimy environment of polluted air and water. Its so ironic that I see such a deep need for nature expressed through the placement of potted flowers and trees in front of every home and parks everywhere, yet rivers and streams are the color of mixed cement and smell like septic tanks. Ah, the cost of developing an economy!

I took a while to process last weekend’s events, and never took a moment to mention them here. I was scheduled to give a presentation for Pingtung County at my school on international teaching and Carolyn (Kansas) and Rosezina (Michigan) were kind enough to come and provide support. I looked forward to outlining education in the US and particularly discussing the role of media centers. Here, school libraries only contain books.

No technology and no staff.

Teachers staff the library when they bring their class and there is no librarian or media specialist to promote literacy, select books or provide instruction on research, finding information or developing presentations. Computers are only in the computer lab and computer skills are taught in isolation.

So, I wrote a nice little presentation and developed a Powerpoint with some nice photos to add a few visuals to spice up my talking. (Vernon sent about 30 current photos from AHS and I was able to create a very nice Powerpoint!) I was pleasantly surprised when the Taiwanese teachers on the program mentioned the public and school libraries they visited on their tours of Australia and Singapore respectively, providing a nice opening to what I was able to report. They were quite impressed by the libraries they saw and the important services they provided to schools. I hope I am able to provide more information on this important topic and maybe, maybe influence even the slightest of changes.

After the program, we went looking for a new Caves bookstore. These are stores that exist in Taiwan mainly to provide books for English language instruction. We walked a little further than we expected (which was fine because we found a great new restaurant!) but eventually found the bookshop which couldn’t be more than a month old. Can you imagine the heaven I was in to smell the newness and the books??!!! They don’t necessarily have the newest of selections, but when you consider I’m in little Pingtung where I never expected to find a single book to purchase in English, you have to realize what a wonderful place this is! They really do have a large selection of children’s books, many of which I hope to purchase to enhance my teaching. And there are many paperbacks for adult reading as well!

All that having been said, I think my download of “Men in Trees” is about done and it’s time to scoot!! Yes, I have to find random websites all over the web to ‘watch television’. The network sites only work inside the US!! I find that one of the little things I miss (and it’s really only little stupid stuff that I really miss!) is the regimentation provided by nightly television shows.

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In August, 2007 I will be leaving Indianapolis with my daughter, Kristen, to live and work in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This will be my fiftieth year on this planet and my first year living in another country. This blog will let you join us on the adventure!
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Taipei

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