Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Rambling Reflections

"'He was so poised out there, especially here at the stadium,' Rodriguez said. 'It was a nice lift, and hopefully it can bring some energy here for a while.'
Torre said it was the best start by a rookie for the Yankees since he took over as manager in 1996."

Tainan native Wang Jian Ming turned in a quality start, as the whole world knows by now. This is exciting stuff for people who love both Taiwan and baseball (which covers a lot of people, let me tell you). My fourth grade student, Chris Lin, came in with a large poster of Wang from The Apple Daily. As soon as I saw it, I wanted one. My first impulse, needless to say, was to push him to the floor and take his, 'cause I'm bigger than him, but the latest pedagogical studies frown on that teaching methodology and I always try to stay up to date. So after class I went to seven- eleven (or "seven", as it's known here, for the same general reason that the eustachian tube is referred to as the e-tube by Taiwan ENTs). Strange to say, it turns out you can't get Apple Daily at convenience stores after about two or three in the afternoon. The clerks said it's that way every day. All the other papers are there on the shelves and have remainders at the end of the day, but with Apple, if you don't get it in the morning, you ain't getting it, brutha. I don't know anything about it, but they obviously have a completely different marketing strategy from the other papers. I'm told all the other papers are cheaper to have delivered to your house than to buy in the store, but Apple is cheaper in the store. It's this thick doorstop of a paper, filled with an enormous quantity of some of the best fiction being written on the island, and at ten dollars, it's two thirds the price of the English-language papers. They know how to sell papers, though.

Digressing... The above-mentioned Chris is one of two students in a "group class" I teach six hours a week. We have named the class "The Flying Donkeys." I have decided, after protracted and anguished deliberation, to post the Flying Donkeys Class Song. The lyrics were a collaboration between myself and Chris Lin. The melody is something dredged from deep in my sub-conscious - maybe the Carolina Fight Song - I'm not sure. It goes something like this:

Flying Donkeys you are so good
Crazy but brave
Go Go Go Go
On your journey
Not one is a slave

huzza! huzza! huzza! huzza! huzza!

Onward and upward
Long-eared heroes
Into the clouds of white
Flying Donkeys speak good English
And they never bite!
(repeat first verse)

There it is. Sung every day, at the top of the class, at my students' insistence. They will go far.