Thursday, May 31, 2012


Frank Warren: Half a million secrets #TED :

Video Summary:

"Secrets can take many forms -- they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful." Frank Warren, the founder of, shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards. He posits that, "Secrets can remind us of the countless human dramas, of frailty and heroism playing out silently in the lives of people all around us.”

Frank Warren is the creator of the PostSecret Project, a blog full of secrets anonymously shared via postcard.


Based on this material, I created a lesson plan for today's class. I wrote on the board the following words:


I asked the students to look for the definitions of the words above (both in Chinese and English), and I asked them to share with the whole class what they have found. I used this opportunity to add a few comments, throw questions that would make them think or guess what the discussion theme was about.
I asked them if they have secrets that they have been keeping to themselves. Secrets that they find difficult to share with their family and friends. These questions made my students smile and laugh. I told them that I also have my share of own pandora's box- now this made them chuckle and probably curious, as well.

Once the topic, SECRETS, was revealed. I showed/played a short video, and asked them to watch and listen carefully. See the web link to the video above.

The content of the video was meaningful as all of us, including our students, have secrets. And like what Frank said on the video, these secrets can be shocking, silly, and soulful.

I played the video the second time, and this time I paused on every secret that Frank shared. We looked at our own reactions, and we asked ourselves if we could do something that is totally out of the ordinary- sharing our secrets anonymously. And we did!

The secrets shared were not only about the mischievous things we did in the past (or intending to do), but they were also about things that students think fancy but never shared anyone.

Sharing our secrets- anonymously in  class!

Since this was a big class (50 students), I felt it was safe to do this activity. I would think twice if it was a small class.

I distributed stick-it-note pads  in class, and I asked students to get one pad and write on it THEIR secret. They were asked not to write their names or any clue that would give out their identity. As soon as they were finished writing, I asked them to fold it. I walked around carrying a small pouch where they drop their written secrets. At this stage, the students were excited and obviously, they were having fun. Before I read out their secrets, I dropped my own little secret in the bag, too.

As I read our secrets aloud, everyone was saying ,'oh', 'aha!', or simply asking, 'who on earth would that be?'. This is what I think made the activity fun.

In a nutshell, I believe that this was a successful activity- one where everybody had a blast, including myself!


sample of students' anonymous secrets will be published on this blog soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TAIWAN, bar none

A place where we are bound with one another from the day we're born
Independence, though it's hard, still not far
With our own unbeatable faith and devoted action of our love.
A country which sets the bar high, above par
    it will never tear us apart. A
nation like Taiwan will never be knocked down even when the end of the world comes.

Roey Yeh


This is the place I live and breathe
With beautiful spirits, beautiful mountains, and gorgeous sea.
I've traveled around and set foot in various countries,
but no place can substitute this tiny island, I guarantee.


Our Nation's Strength

What makes a nation's pillars high
and foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
the enemies that round its crowd?
Brave men who work while others sleep,
who dare while others fly?
They build a nation's pillars deep
and lift them to the sky.

Hebe Liu

Proud of Taiwan

Let me tell you about Taiwan
Where the weather is fine
and the people are nice.
We passed the hard times with persevering mind.
The cultural conflicts made us kind.
Even though the world leaves problems for us to strive,
we still look at this place with pride.

Viola Wang


"Ilaformosa" should not be the only thing that we have to remember
but the inner beauty of this land,
our culture,
our people,
our country,
our name--

Anew Lin

Time to Voice Up

Taiwan always welcomes foreigners
Though we are often discriminated by international organizations
We are able to say something
But we have no right to say everything
This is not fair
We want a revolutionary change
It's time to voice up
It's time for a change
The time is now for Taiwan to be heard


The Land of Sunshine

Once upon a time,
there is a land full of shine
Settled on the pacific line,
though it's small and hardly in sight,
its people lit the fire to make it bright.
They believe one day things can be all put right,
Though shadows and rain often come without a sign,
Its flowing hope will never dry.

Pauline Chen
Theme: Taiwan, Land of sunshine

Friday, May 25, 2012


Patriots of the day are dangerous people
For they will act on their dreams and make them real
Their wills
Are sharpened knives that kill.

Jason Lin

Patriotism for Taiwan

Thanks to the class today
Aiden gave Anew a chance to say
I appreciate the patience and persistence, they pay
Working hard on making Taiwan say 'Hey!'
Although there are difficulties on the way, we'll
Never give up 'cause we can do it one day.

Note: Vertically, the first letter of each word reads 'Taiwan'

I ❤ Taiwan

I ❤ Taiwan I learn English, but I love Taiwanese
I get along with foreigners, but I love Taiwanese
I listen to English songs, but I love singing in Taiwanese
 I love everything in Taiwan
 Because I am Taiwanese!

 Diana Lei 2012.5.25
11:48 am

We are proud of who we are

We stand on the land we are proud of
We sing the national anthem we are proud of
We wave the flag we are proud of
Being Taiwanese is what we are most proud of
You strike us
You disparage us
 We will insist on what we are proud of

 Alice Cheng
Note: You= China

Our Formosa

Taiwan is a magical and incredible land
The spectacular natural scenery makes it a wonderland
With the Creator's hands which made Taiwan an attractive land
 For those of us who live in this diverse place, shall cherish this pleasure
for it is our home,
our very own
Formosa island.

 Jenny Hung

 Theme: Patriotism


I have a sister
She is much bigger
 I am afraid of her
 But she wants us to live together
 She said we can be closer
But I don't buy that
 See what happens
 She's got weapons!

 Tiana (on China-Taiwan relationship)

Stat Results of 5-25 in-class task

Here are the result of yesterday's in-class activity.
 16 students did the vocabulary (definition and sentences)
30 wrote poems (out of the 30, 6 did both the poem and vocabulary)

 Impressive results :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Discussing and Writing about Taiwan's WHO membership

Today's discussion is about Taiwan's call for full membership in the World Health Organization (WHO). This discussion was inspired by the news article published on China Post. see
The in-class discussion stirred strong feelings among my students. Anew, a male student, was given the opportunity to share his personal experiences and sentiments about the underlying issue that goes beyond simply being a member of the WHO. As an officer of AISEC, he pointed out how this dilemma affects all of Taiwan's young citizens. The in-class discussion became more interesting and more meaningful than what I hoped it would be. Riding on the patriotic feeling that was looming in the air, I thought of giving the students the opportunity to choose a writing task: they could either 1) do the vocabulary worksheet, or 2) write a poem about their country, their sentiments about its political presence in the world, which is often threatened by China and its one-China policy. Soon to be posted here are the works of my students. We'll see if something creative will come out of today's in-class activity. Aiden


Estranged from their family,
they are mentally homeless.
Abandoned, they are spiritually homeless.
Because they are self-righteous.
Because they are presumptuous.

Jason Wu

Turning Point

Though life is a tough journey,
challenge is also unavoidable.
Always be well prepared then be capable,
the turning point will be the opportunity.

Everyone has been through a heartbroken time in life.
This can be the turnaround and the opportunity
for us to manipulate a better future and visualize our dream.
Even though the condition is worse,
we should be positive and never give up our original purpose.
All we have to do is believe, persist and practice.
Our goals will guide out daily actions as we take steps to get ourselves there.
Practice makes everything come true.
Put it into practice,
hold on to your belief and you will get what you want.

Candy Lin


Heart, hard as a rock,
cold as the floor I'm lying on.
I feel the world is shut.
Yet, I choose to get up,
choose to stand up from where I fell down.
I feel the future is bright.

The world I thought was cold and hopeless,
is full of love and care.
The strangers' hands pulled me up from despair.
The goal that I had
took me to success
step by step, so now, I am here.

Julia Chen

The Way to Success

Insisting on what you're looking for in life.
Taking action to turn over a new leaf.
Believing in your might and conviction.
Appreciating people who have helped you always.
Eventually, all the effort you've done
will become the most delicious fruit of success.

Jenny Hung
Being brave to face the dark,
Facing who you really are.
Keep the faith of what you want,
You will have a chance to start.

May 11, 2012


Dreaming in a tranquil night,
I make wishes to the stars.
Hoping the moon bring some light,
And show me the way which I should start.

Mandy Yu


I close my eyes,
silence my mind,
let my heart decide.
Do I really want the time to pass by?
What have I reached so far in this four-year college life?
Open my eyes,
I think I see the light.

Roey Yeh

The rusted ship in storms, though shattered
Fears no threat from Ocean of Hazard.
Angels guide her.
To Dream Land, she sails forward.

Jason Lin
Love is blind
Happiness is difficult to find
You will see what makes people cry
Love is full of terrible lies
How can we survive?
We need to open our eyes.



When meeting frustration,
Don't just stop and roar
Instead we have to fight and go.
One day we will reach our goal.

Dora Song


Everything could be changed in the world,
But changing the world is hard  to make.
If  you want a better life,
Why don't you change yourself?

Larry Ma

Open Another Window

When God closed my life's door,
I found I lost my hope,
But God gave me another window,
Led me to achieve my ideal goal.

Sarah Lee


Life won't be just the way you hope,
full of joy and comfort on the road.
Whenever there's a hole.
Put some dust and make it full.
Accepting its pain and sore,
Make it no tortures of our own,
since we can't get another soul, after all,
why don't we enjoy more?

Pauline Chen
Life is difficult,
You may fall.
But no one can help you
if you don't have any goal.

Angela Tsay


Everyone gets setback in lifetime
If the road is so easy ahead, life would be meaningless.
People get frustration sometimes
But altogether it can make one
a better person next time.

No matter how many things you have lost in your life
The dream is always what you can hold on tight
So never forget your own goal
Do not think too much, just go.

Lisa Chiu
May 11
10:50 am


Oh, I come and hear the news.
I am now free to choose.
There is no more abuse.
Past are the loathsome blues.
Freedom, I will speak my view.
Freedom, my life to pursue.

Hebe Liu
Life can be mean.
Sometimes even the future can't be seen.
When surroundings become dim
The hope in your mind would start to sing.
A song that gives you a good dream.
In the melody, there's a hint.
There will be more opportunities to seize.

 Viola Wang

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rio's letter to the Editor was published on China Post's website. Here's a snapshot of his work:
Here's the link to the website: Here's a snapshot of my conversation with Rio on Twitter.

Roe's Letter to the Editor

Roe's letter to the Editor was published on China Post's website. Here is a snapshot of her work:
Here's the link to China Post's website: Below is a snapshot of my conversation with Roey on Twitter! See how happy she was...