Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It has been forever

well i realize that it has been a long time since i last posted but under the benevolent pressuring of a certain someone (no names) i have decided to give you a bit of an update of my life.

i am still liking teaching. i have gotten a hang of the curriculum and teaching method etc. i think i am pretty good at it, i think. i am frustrating with some things and working on Saturdays is getting to me. thankfully we have had a few typhoon days to give us some days off. We have had about 4 typhoons this summer although most have been lame. The last one was pretty intense and i was in Taipei which was hit even harder than the town i live in.

i have managed to get the occassional dj gig and have a big one set for halloween with a prime time slot, which i am quite excited about. i have felt pretty isolated musically however and am eager to return to the miliu of people talking intelligently about music.

on that note i am planning a big trip to australia in january for the rainbow serpent festival, which i am totally stoked about. this is a world class festival with some awesome headliners. i missed all the summer festivals in canada and am eager to make up for it.

another big news is that i have lost about 20 pounds since coming here. i have continued to work out every day, cardio and weights, and am quite proud of my self discipline around it. it has taken a lot of effort an time and commitment but the results are coming along well.

i have made lots of friends here but i am definitely missing my tribe back home and look forward to my return in less than 5 months now. i have some exciting adventures before then, but they pale in comparison to the adventures that await upon my return.

ok i'm out...hope this satisfies some folks.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

So it never stops raining. For the last two days it has rained non stop. Although the previous week it was mostly sunny and humid, the week before that was like 5 straight days of HEAVY rains. I guess that is the price of living in a tropical country.

Otherwise things are going well. My kindergarten class is graduating soon and they have to do this performance for class which is quite intense. They have pretty much memorized their lines. They will look quite adorable in all their costumes. I will have pictures for sure.

I got my second DJ gig yesterday and it went very well. It is always a slog introducing a new style of music to a consuming audience that is accustomed to mainstream hip hop so giving them some more pounding prog and electro is a challenge, but i filled up the dance floor at points. Hope to get a few more of these gigs.

Other than that life is going smoothly. Just want to send a quick message to the legions of you who regularly peek into my blogging world...hehehe...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finally...an update

Well it has been a while and there is lots to tell.

I am not quite settled in Taiwan. I have been here 3 months now, have gotten a good hand of the teaching, am a strong scooter driver and have a very productive daily routine going.

Kindergarten continues to be quite enjoyable. We are currently preparing graduation performances. It is actually quite intense. The kids have to do two plays (one English and one Chinese) plus a series of speeches. I can't imagine having to do all that when I was so young.

The higher levels are also becoming easier. I still occasionally struggle explaining some grammar patterns but i am figuring it out. I have to work Saturday mornings now, which sucks, but I am getting used to it.

I am also working out everyday between Kindergarten and my evening classes. I do cardio for 45 minutes and then 20 minutes of weights. I am noticing some improvements but this is a long term project. The belly is fighting change.

Oh and I went to Hong Kong last week. It was a great time. I met up with friend Morgan, who was on transit to Indonesia. We walked around the city, took the train up the peak, saw a giant buddha, and went to some really good museums. Here are some pics:


I am planning to also go to Australia in January but I am considering other adventures as well.

It also looks like I have a new position at Ryerson when I return as Events Coordinator. I am quite excited. It means I get to coordinate the orientation events as well as the programming of the students' union throughout the year. It's new but definitely more in line with my recent interests in event promotions.

I also have finished the Logic Studio tutorial and I think I am going to slowly work on putting together some electronic music. I have found the music scene a bit lacking and really missing DJing. I figure making my own music may help with this.

Anyways, that is all for now. I'll try to update this blog more often.

Peace Out.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lots To Tell

OK It has been a long time so I will give a bit of an update.

Teaching is going really well. I am especially enjoying kindergarten. The kids are eager to learn and just adorable. We play games for three hours, all focused on learning English vocabulary and sentence patterns. They are really really bright too. We just had a major spelling test and they all did super well. I feel like I played a pretty big part in their noticeable improvement in the last few weeks. I have seriously begun thinking of going to Teacher's College and to focus on younger kids. We'll see how things work out. Here are some pics from a water fight day they had on Thursday...very cute!!!


In terms of Taiwan, I have explored some more. Today was a national holiday so a few of the teachers went up to the nearby mountains, which are beautiful. We rode up in our scooters and swam under the waterfalls. There wasn't much water as rain season hasn't started yet but otherwise it was pretty fun.

Although I have generally really enjoyed my time here, I will say that I am not a huge fan of the food. It's all too greasy, too meaty, and some of it just disgusting. I realize there is a cultural bias on my party, but really is rice and congealed pigs blood appetizing? Or stinky tofu? (which smells like manure btw)...I have found a few good places but am making an effort to eat more fruit and cereal and improve my diet. On that note I have also started working out everyday. I go right after kindy and bike and lift weights. I have done this before but lets hope my commitment is a little more consistent now.

OK signing out

Friday, March 14, 2008

Still Alive

OK it has been a while. so much to say not sure where to start.

Teaching is going quite well. HESS is pretty professional, the people are friendly and helpful and I am getting better everyday. Most of the students are pretty awesome, although I have the occasional rowdy class. In general I have been very impressed with the proficiency of these students in English. Especially the kindergarten kids!!! I go to Taipei next week to get my new passport and to do a one month follow up training.

Kaohsiung and Taiwan has been quite the experience. 7-11's on every corner (not exaggerating), red lights seem to be an optional traffic directive, the pollution is pretty shitty, but on the bright side the weather is awesome and we have monkey's living near here. I am going hiking with some friends to see them on Sunday.

I am trying my best to keep in touch with friends back home, staying up to date with new music and working on music production stuff here. Anyways, gotta hit the bed as I have teaching in the morning. All the best.

PS my phone number is 0915498384

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Big Update

well it has been a few days and lots has changed. we finally got out of taipei and arrived in kaohsiung on thursday. it's a pretty sweet place, very chill, palm trees, friendly people...etc...the air quality sucks but otherwise it is better than Taipei IMHO.

we have been going non stop since arriving. i met up with my old friend emily, who has been teaching for HESS for 3 and a half years. We have been observing classes for the last couple of days, and I am anxious to just teach. Also found a place to live in, a huge apartment that i will be sharing with an Australian fellow. I have my own private bathroom and balcony. It is pretty sweet :) I will spending a good chunk of today unpacking and making the space mine. we get internet on tuesday so i may not be really available before then.

i am quite liking things here...lots of odditys...scooters everywhere (i am getting my own soon), awesome dumpling food stands, busy night markets, and even a mountain called monkey mountain!!! Lots more to describe but it slips my mind right now.

The music scene seems to be lacking but i just got a dj gig in april which made me quite happy. i need to discuss the intricacies of techno so people please talk to me!!!

ok all the best to my friends. pictures to be posted soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Over A Hump...

Well just had a super intense demo today, which we all spent hours and hours working on into the weeee hours of the night. Mine went pretty well, but I am anxious to get into the class room and starting picking up all the practical skills you can only really get from real teaching. HESS has a very set out curriculum, which is nice as it will make lesson planning very straight forward but comes with a lot more preparation.

OK on other news Taiwan is quite an odd place to say the least. There is a 7-11 like every second block (I'm not exaggerating!!!). Food is so cheap and for the most part tastey but there is lots of odd foods, often with fishy tastes that aren't suppose to be there. The people are super friendly though, and I think this will make life much easier.

I am off to Kaohsiung on Thursday to meet my head teacher, go to my school and meet other teachers. It is only 1.5 hours by super train from Taipei, so it should be a quick zip down there. I will have a roomate, and we are going to look for places to live. Rent is pretty cheap too. I will be working a lot, which is good in terms of money for my loan payments, but will limit my ability to pick up a language class. We'll see when there.

OK off for beers with fellow teachers!!!