My First Experience of the Southern Hemisphere

My First Experience of the Southern Hemisphere


Felicia Chen

In the summer vacation when I was eighteen years old, I went to Australia with my family for about twelve days. On this trip we went to three cities: Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. This trip was full of my first experiences: close contact with wild animals, riding on a helicopter, and the first-hand experience of local culture.

It is hard to get close to wild animals in Taiwan, but in Australia it is commonplace. Traveling in Australia is a journey of collecting wild animals. Our first stop was Long-Pine Park. The leading role of this park is koalas. In Australia, there are two places where we can hold a koala and this is the bigger place. The second stop was Paradise Country. It is a leisure farm full of animals like kangaroos, koalas, sheep, alpacas and so on. The third stop was Mt. Dandenong, where we could feed parrots. The last stop was Fairy Penguinparade, where I had the most amazing experience that I have ever had.

The helicopter tour enabled us to have a bird's eye view of Australia. On the fourth day in Brisbane, we went to Sea World. Sea World is like an amusement park. But it provides customers a special experience to enjoy the scenery by riding on a helicopter. My family and I had decided to take the adventure. We felt excited and thrilled flying in the sky, having a bird's eye view of magnificent Gold Coast. It was definitely my most daunting attempt ever.

Wherever I travel, the first-hand experience of local culture is the primary goal of my trip. I think by taking the public transportation, we can easily understand the local culture. Another way to observe local lifestyle is by having the local food and drinks. On this trip, I tried a special food–kangaroo meat, also called australus. I did not like the taste of it and I also knew that local people did not eat that, either. The number of kangaroo in Australia is so big, even larger than that of chickens there. I think that this was another difference between Australia and Taiwan.

This was my first experience of traveling to the Southern Hemisphere. I brought lots of memories back to Taiwan. On this trip I realized a lot of local culture and got new knowledge. Compared to other nations, Australia is the country I like the most and I hope I can go back there soon.

Living at Home or Living on Campus

posted Dec 27, 2018, 5:46 AM by I Say You Say

Living at Home or Living on Campus


Bryan Yang

     While every student is entering college or university, he or she can decide to live on campus or live at home. It is always a difficult choice for the freshman. And both options have advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, here are the contrasts between living at home and on campus to demonstrate the latter is a better choice.

     The first advantage of living on campus rather than living at home is it's easier to do time management. Students who live on campus don't need extra time to commute and they have high accessibility to school facilities. They can get access to the library, the cafeteria, classes and other departments without commuting from their home. Also, students can have more time for sleeping. Nowadays, college students often lack sleeping. Therefore, if students can go to school on foot, they would have more time for sleeping.

     In addition, students who live on campus have a better social life than those living at home. Students have spent three years in high school. They have studied enough back there. It is not just about studying in university. There are some kinds of Fraternities and Sororities in school. So, if we live on campus, we can join the social clubs to make new friends more easily. Life is fun. After graduation, we will realize that the quantity of contacts in our cell phone is better than the number of As we got in school. 

     Moreover, living on campus can help students become more independent. This is the first time for most students to live on their own. They have to take care of themselves without mummy's help. They have to learn to do the laundry and learn how to cook with a limit budget. This is a great opportunity to let students grow up. Also, they will learn to treasure the time spent with their family.

     It is a personal choice for students to choose living on campus or living at home. But we only attend college once. Why don't we step out of the comfort zone and force ourselves to grow? In my opinion, it is a great opportunity for us to gain many experiences and friends if we live on the campus.  

Teenage Drug Abuse

posted Dec 27, 2018, 5:25 AM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 27, 2018, 5:34 AM ]

Teenage Drug Abuse


Bryan Yang

     Teenager drug abusing is not a new issue in this society. Obviously, drug abuse is not healthy, but why does the problem of teenage drug abuse keeps coming up? And who should take the responsibilities for this serious issue? It should be the responsibilities of the government, schools and parents to teach teenagers to stay away from drugs.

     Teenagers lack the knowledge to stay away from drugs. Therefore, teenager drug abuse is very common. Schools should take part of the responsibilities for the problem. Most schools focus more on academics. They usually neglect to teach students to stay away from drugs. Curiosity, peer pressure, stress and emotional struggles often happen in teenagers and at school. They are the main reasons why teenagers try to take drugs.

     Also, the government should take part of the responsibilities. They do not control the substances well. Some substances can only be available for medication. For instance, Methadone is a substance used as a heroin substitute or narcotic painkiller. However, some teenagers use it illegally and become addicted to it.

     Furthermore, parents also need to be responsible for the problem. Parent’s jobs are educating their children at home. They should not focus only on academic education, but also moral education. Parents should guide their children in the right way. However, nowadays many parents tend to pay too much attention on their job and don’t have time to stay with their children. They think that giving children money is the way to solve every problem, which makes children use their money to buy drugs, trying to find self-confidence from peer relation.

     I am not saying that teenagers themselves do not need to take any responsibilities. Some researchers found out that teenagers take drugs because of peer pressure. For example, my nephew was arrested because of selling and consuming drugs. He said that he took drugs due to peer pressure from some bad friends. And after he became addicted to drugs, his friends coerced him into selling drugs. People should choose their friends wisely. There are multiple reasons that cause teenage drug abusing. It is hard to solve this problem at once.

Essential Qualities of a Good City Mayor

posted Dec 27, 2018, 5:18 AM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 27, 2018, 5:28 AM ]

Essential Qualities of a Good City Mayor

Miranda Chen

     It is just about seven days left for the election of the city mayors and county magistrates in Taiwan. There are so many advertising cars and billboards of candidates on the road, and what the cars are broadcasting are about candidates’ political ideas and what they are going to do to improve the city. Through these propaganda activities, people can easily know their standpoints and see which candidate has the essential qualities of a good mayor. Here are some qualities a good mayor should be equipped with.

     First, the candidate should have a concrete plan about the future. It is really important to have a good plan of how to improve the city and make the city better. I believe that every citizen may like to have a better environment about where they live. For example, the mayor can build an exercising center for citizens to work out, a park or an activity center for old people to chat with others. The candidate should have a plan of what they can really do, but not what they can’t approach to do. And I think that Taoyuan’s city mayor, Wen-tsan Cheng really makes it. He continues the construction of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis and the development of Asia Silicon Valley which are the most important plans for the city.

     Second, the candidate should have international view. It is the 21th century now, and in this era it is important that a mayor should know about the news around the world. The mayor can hold some international activities or contests that can attract foreigners to come to visit the city and can let the world see the city. I am sure that it is a good way to benefit the shops and sightseeing spots in the city, and the world can see how great the city is. The city mayor that I associate with is Taichung’s mayor Chia-lung Lin. He held the Taichung World Flora Exposition, which is really successful and popular.

     Third, the candidate should be loyal, trustful and responsible. It is the most necessary quality a candidate should have. The mayors must really do what they say and are responsible to citizens. I think mayor Wen-je Ko is the best person that conforms to this quality because during his term of office, he has many achievements in his official career. For example, he released the monthly ticket of mass transportation with which citizens just need NT$ 1280 and they can take buses, MRTs for limitless times or ride ubikes with some discount. On the other hand, he decided to tear down the approach road of Zhongxiao Bridge which made Cheng-En Gate (Beimen) become a new and popular tourist attraction.

     Having good and effective political ideas and executive ability are the most important qualities to a city mayor. I think that a good mayor should be positive and is eager to make progress that can make the city and Taiwan better. Another major characteristic is that he or she must be trustworthy, which means, every mayor should really do what he/she said of the future plan. I believe that the above are the essential traits a competent mayor should be equipped with.       

Essential Qualities of a Good Mayor

posted Dec 27, 2018, 5:12 AM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 27, 2018, 5:30 AM ]

Essential Qualities of a Good Mayor

Jerry Chou

     Election of the city mayors and country magistrates is coming up and I see and hear lots of stuff about the candidates on television, telephone, and on the streets. The candidates are all trying to convince us to vote for them. What makes me want to vote for them depends on whether they are honest, and persistent on their ideas, as well as their communicative skill.

     Honesty is one of the most important qualities because this is what makes me think if this mayor is trustworthy or not. A mayor should not make any excuses and should apologize immediately if he or she has made a mistake. I think mayor Wen-je Ko has this quality, because he apologized for saying “People on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are all of one family” on the Universiade that was held in Taiwan in 2017. The reason he said that was because he wanted to relieve the tension between Taiwan and China, but apparently some Taiwanese weren’t very happy about that.

     Persistency on their ideas is also another important element because if the mayor is not persistent, then things may go horribly wrong. Take Mayor Ko as an example. He doesn’t give in under pressure and sticks with whatever decision he has made. He decided to cancel the policy of giving seniors a cash gift by the municipal government.  The reason he did this was to improve financial problems of Taipei City. He also isn’t affected by whether his supporters will drop down or not, and he will stick with what he has decided.

     Communicative skill is the most crucial trait that a mayor should have because what the mayor says may determine how many people are willing to support them. Mayor Ko speaks very straight forward and that’s why he had many youngster supporters in the beginning. The reason to that is the way he speaks is totally different from other politicians and candidates who may speak in a bureaucratic tone, in order not to offend anyone.

     The qualities mentioned above are all important because if a mayor doesn’t have any of these qualities how are we going to improve the city we are living in? So we should think thoroughly before we decide to cast our vote.

Essential Qualities of a City Mayor

posted Dec 27, 2018, 4:54 AM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 27, 2018, 5:43 AM ]

Essential Qualities of a City Mayor


Shelly Chen

     Through the election on November 17, we have chosen a city mayor who can represent us to get more benefits. What are some characteristics 
of a good head of a city? I think a city mayor must have the essential qualities such as being efficient to carry out his or her politics, adhering 
to the correct thing, admitting his or her faults, and taking his or her voters to heart.
     First of all, being efficient to carry out their politics is not a piece of cake. A good mayor should not propose the politics and not comply 
with them. That is, the politics must be realized to benefit citizens. I think the Taipei mayor, Ko Wen-je, is a good example of a good city 
mayor. Mayor Ko had great political achievements and proposed a wide variety of political ideas that he took actions to carry out. For 
example, Zhong-xiao Bridge was torn down in only six days. In the past, Zhong-xiao Bridge caused traffic jams and blocked the view of the 
monument Beimen. With his decisiveness, Mayor Ko has reconstructed the skyline of Taipei. Another successful example is Taipei Circle. 
Taipei Circle was a building with glass curtains before and the previous Taipei government put the building in mothballs. In order to make 
a better environment of Taipei City, Mayor Ko tore the building down and added the works of art to rebuild Taipei Circle. Now, Taipei Circle
 is the one of artistic Taipei buildings and becomes a green plaza.
     Secondly, a good city mayor must adhere to the correct thing and admit his or her faults. If a mayor works in the correct way, he or she 
should not be influenced by the public or social media. He or she should insist on doing the right thing. Take Mayor Ko as an instance. He
 insists on rebuilding Zhong-xiao Bridge and Taipei Circle. No matter how difficult the tasks would be, he still believes that he can make a
 better Taipei City than before. On the other hand, a good city mayor should admit his or her faults, if there is any. Even if Mayor Ko is a role 
model, he still makes mistakes. Once, he showed his ambitions on a TV show. However, he gave an inappropriate talk by saying “People on 
both sides of the Taiwan Straits are all of one family.” In this sensitive period, he was immediately called into question by the public. After 
the TV show, he ran the press conference to apologize for his talk and explained he didn’t mean what he said; it’s just a slip of tongue. 
Although a politician’s admitting his mistakes is not a difficult thing, Mayor Ko has rarely made a serious mistake. 
     Most importantly, a good city mayor must take his or her voters and citizens to heart and mind the urgent needs of them. A good city 
mayor not only works efficiently but also responds to the public opinions. For example, Mayor Ko, who truly knows the demands of his 
citizens, is diligent in his work. He always goes out early and comes back at dusk and works overtime. Owing to comprehending the 
demands of his citizens, he reconstructed lots of aged and impractical buildings such as Zhong-xiao Bridge and Taipei Circle. In addition, 
he also increases the amount of Elderly Card. The government put 480 dollars per month inside these cards, which can be used in 
transportation and sightseeing. This subsidy is more useful than the previous 1500 dollars. Mayor Ko realizes by putting himself into the 
lives of his citizens, he could know what they really need.
     In sum, to be a good city mayor is not easy, and so he or she should possess the essential qualities. They are working efficiently, adhering 
to the correct thing, admitting his or her mistakes, and understanding his or her citizens. Of course, the essential qualities are not sufficient, 
but I think those factors are the most important.

The Healthy Way of Losing Weight

posted Dec 7, 2018, 9:59 PM by I Say You Say

The Healthy Way of Losing Weight

Karly Lu

     It is not easy to lose weight, but you can try to control your calorie intake throughout your life and do exercise to lose weight. We know many ways to lose weight, but the best way to lose weight is to do it in the healthy way. There are some methods with which we can lose weight in the healthy way.

     First, burning calories and controlling what we eat is the best way to control our calorie intake. According to research, each person should drink 2000ml of water every day. It can let our body have enough water. Also, drinking water will let us feel less hungry and eating a bowl of cereal with a glass of milk or some fruit will boost our energy. We don’t need to eat too many foods to satisfy our appetite; these healthy diets can not only let us feel full but also make us eat in a healthy way.

     Second, living in a healthy lifestyle can not only help us lose weight but also let us develop this good habit and become healthier. We should do exercise every day to let our body stay in a good situation. Research shows that people should exercise regularly and the best time of the day to do exercise is in the morning right after the breakfast. If we have this exercise routine, then we can live a healthy life. Having a regular living habit is the basic way to live healthily. Our body needs enough rest after working the whole day. Having an enough rest can let our body have sufficient energy to face the challenge for the next day. Do not eat midnight snack. If you are really hungry before sleep, you can do some exercise to shift your attention of hunger and then you can not only lose weight but also develop a healthy lifestyle.

     The last is to keep a positive mindset to live a happy life. Face the problem with an optimistic attitude. If you are committed to becoming healthier, then losing weight will be an added bonus. With a good mentality you can have a good lifestyle. If you believe that you can successfully lose your weight, you are not far from the road to success.

     There are many different kinds of methods to lose weight. We can learn many ways to do it from the Internet, but the most important thing is whether you adopt a healthy way to lose weight or not. If you live in a healthy lifestyle, you can lose your weight at the same time. 

Ways to Ease Inequality of Women

posted Dec 7, 2018, 9:54 PM by I Say You Say

Ways to Ease Inequality of Women


Olivia Han

     With the development of society, some issues gradually come into the public’s view. For example, unequal treatments of women recently have been noticed in several areas. As we all know, the Nobel Peace Prize of 2018 was awarded to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege who fought against violence towards women. In my opinion, it’s necessary to figure out the internal causes behind the issues toward women and how to change the bad situation.

     First, in my view, attitudes toward women are biased in many countries. It actually was inherited from the old era when only men could hunt, fight and so on. So that kind of stereotypes cannot be changed easily. However, there are plenty of women who can work even in the higher level of business and society. For example, the number of elected female leaders around the world is rising. Women are making big progress recently.

     Second, I doubt that education dose not develop as fast as the society does. Even people in some developed areas still have immature thoughts toward women, even in education. For instance, there is a documentary named Japan's Secret Shame, produced by BBC, the theme of which is a Japanese girl who fights for her rights by accusing a renowned journalist who raped her in 2015. Actually, statistics indicate that many events like this occurred around the world. But now, women are brave enough to speak out. It is a good beginning for equality and a healthy trend for education.

     Third, from my point of view, protections of women are incomplete. No matter how a society develops, danger to women still exists. In order to protect women from harm, some assessments are necessary. For example, a lot of incidents happened because of an application named DIDI for taxi business in China. Some drivers are not suitable for their positions, which led to horrible results. After that, DIDI began to reconstruct their system and rectify the assessment of the policy and the drivers. Though what happened has happened, prevention is still indispensable.

     In conclusion, because of stereotypes, immature educations and incomplete protections for women, unequal issues happen all the time. But they are not unchangeable. On one side, women are fighting for their equal rights in career and life. On the other side, the world is pursuing a better environment for women and giving more attention to equality. The situation is not perfect but it is changing to become better.

Television Advertising Directed towards Young Children Should Not Be Allowed

posted Dec 7, 2018, 9:45 PM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 7, 2018, 9:48 PM ]

Television Advertising Directed towards Young Children Should Not Be Allowed


Miranda Chen

     There are so many creative and different types of television advertising in this era. From a few seconds to five minutes in length, from detergent, jewelry, pill to political activities, all kinds of products in our daily life can be publicized by TV commercials. It is a good way for the company to sell its commodities, because people can easily remember them due to constant broadcasting of familiar lyrics, songs or slogans. But the problem is if a corporation arranges its commercial in a wrong timing, type and content, it may cause some problems. For example, an unsuitable advertising for children may affect children’s concept and development in the future. So in my opinion, television advertising directed towards young children should not be allowed.

     First, TV commercials towards children will cause parents trouble and unnecessary expenses. Parents nowadays are becoming more and more doting, inclined to buy whatever their children ask them to. And TV commercials tend to make products more appealing than they really are or exaggerate their functions, and the children aged two to five lack the ability to identify the reliability of the commercials. So if children see something they are interested in, they may tell their parents to buy it, which increases the parents’ economic burden.    

     Second, with so many attractive commercials, children will be attracted to TV and end up spending too much time on it. It is widely acknowledged that too much exposure to TV will do more harm than good on children’s mental development and vision. On the other hand, children should be encouraged to do more reading, which has been proved scientifically to be able to foster children’s intelligence development and stimulate their imagination.

     Third, children will be misled by some of the stereotypes projected in the advertisements. One of them would be gender stereotypes. For instance, in most TV commercials, nurses are played by girls and cops are played by boys, which may influence their values and interaction with people. Also a study shows that it may lead to serious neglect of the complexity and diversity of people and individuals, because if people who have stereotypes towards something, they may have fixed impression of that thing and they may not open-mindedly accept other ideas or concepts.

     As a result, children should not be exposed to too much TV advertising. And because currently Taiwan does not have a commercial norm about children’s program time, there may be too many temptations on TV. And since we can’t assure what TV broadcasts, it is difficult to prevent children from seeing some inadequate commercials that may have negative effect on their development of cognition and character.   

Priority Seats

posted Dec 7, 2018, 9:33 PM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 7, 2018, 9:48 PM ]

Priority Seats

Amy Tseng

     Priority seats are designed for those in need in public transportations to allow them to ride the public transport comfortably. They can be found on various public transportations, such as the train, buses and the M.R.T. They are marked another color from that of normal seats. Priority seats are originally aimed to set up for helping people in need to have a seat on transportation; however, they also cause some issues.

     There are several advantages of priority seats. First, priority seats offer seats to people in need. In Asia, it is hard to ask others who have seats to yield theirs to another. Second, priority seats are usually set up near the doors. Therefore, priority seats can help people in need to get a seat immediately, and they don't have to spend much time looking for a seat.

     However, the sign of priority seats causes several issues. There are elderly people, pregnant women, the infirm and baby-holding passengers on it. It makes people have a stereotype that these seats are just for those people. It seems that other people are not allowed to sit on them. It is not true. For example, a woman about two or three months pregnant does not look much different from other women. She may need the seat, but no one knows. Another issue is that although the transportation is so crowded that there is very little elbow room, people tend to stand instead of taking the priority seat. Therefore, some people propose that priority seats should be abolished.

Now, people began to notice this problem and they found that abolishing priority seats can't solve these problems and they figure out some ways to deal with the bias and problems of priority seats. The first thing we should do is to ease off the sick thought. If people still hold this thought and reserve the seats for vulnerable groups, it will cause more serious problem in the future. Thus, the government starts to promote that priority seats are for people in need instead of for certain people. For example, the government post posters on transportation. The poster shows a man sitting on the priority seat and holding his belly and the caption is “Maybe he has the need, but you just can't see it.”

     When I was in senior high school, a teacher asked us what the priority seat meant. We all said that it has a different color from that of other chairs and the teacher said no. He said that every chair is a priority seat. No one can ask you to yield your seat, even though he is the president of the R.O.C. If you yield your seat, it means that you have virtue and empathy. Additionally, priority seats are not designated for certain people. There is no regulation about who can sit on them. We should never judge anyone who sits on it. I hope that people in the world can have these correct concepts about priority seats.

Memories of the School on an Island in the Caribbean

posted Nov 7, 2018, 8:24 PM by I Say You Say   [ updated Dec 7, 2018, 9:47 PM ]

Memories of the School on an Island in the Caribbean


Jerry Chou

     When I first arrived on the island called St. Kitts, I knew only a few English words, so I could barely speak in full sentences. St. Kitts is a country that Taiwan has diplomatic relations with. The school I went to was called Ross University Preparatory School. The people who study at the university usually bring their whole family there. So, it’s a school for the parents’ children that study at the university and some other people who can afford the tuition. In the first school year I could barely talk to anyone, but with the help of the teachers and classmates I was able to start communicating with others. I learned English both inside and outside the class, such as an ESL course that a teacher had set up for me and my sister, activities that were held in the school each year, and the piano and sports lessons that my dad had me and my sister do, and these experiences are all precious to me.

     In the first year the school didn’t really have an ESL (English as second language) teacher; therefore, I only learned how to interact with my classmates during the break time, but in the second year an ESL teacher finally came to work at our school, and that’s when my sister and I started to learn English properly. The teacher taught us by playing board games such as Boggle, a game where you have English alphabets on the dices and you try to spell out the words you already know. This was how I started to learn a lot of my vocabulary.

     The activities that the school holds every year were also another way in which I learned my English. The indoor activities that I had done included a teacher who taught language and art classes told our class to perform a small play while some of the students read out the poem. We also learned some holiday-themed dances; for example, on Halloween we danced to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was a lot of fun to learn the dance moves. The outdoor activities were the field trips that the school took us to, which were visiting the fruit plantations and going on a catamaran trip to see the great scenery around the island. A catamaran is a decent size boat that can carry 50 to 60 passengers at the same time.

     The afterschool lessons were important for me because what I had learned at a young age would be memorable and useful for me. The piano lesson that my sister and I took was a pretty nice experience to have because it was the first instrument that I knew how to play, and it also gave me a chance to perform on my graduation day. The sports lesson that I took were enjoyable too. I learned how to play tennis for two years and it’s an exhausting sport because we had to move our hands and legs at the same time. As for the diving lessons I was scared before I started learning because it seemed like a dangerous sport to learn, but it’s a fun sport once I got a hang of it. The under-water scenery was incredible. For instance, I got to see all kinds of seaweed and colorful creatures.

     The memories of both the process of learning English and the activities I had done will always be the best experience and fantastic to recall. I really miss the activities that I have done in St. Kitts because some of them can’t be done in Taiwan, and I would like to go back to the island one day to relive my fun experience there.

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