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目前日期文章:201004 (20)

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What has become of this world?  Now we are punishing people for being good Samaritans?  Two Sprint workers were fired last week for chasing down a shoplifter who stole items from an Apple store in Denver's Cherry Creek Mall.  They were approached by the Mall’s security guard, out of breath and distraught, to help him capture the shoplifter.  These two Sprint workers would never realize that the outcome of being good Samaritans is getting fired.  Where is the morality here?  So we are now punishing people for doing a good deed.  The company’s rationale is the safety of the employees.  But the real reason was to rid off any liability that the company may face in the event that a lawsuit is brought by injured employees and shoplifters.  In Texas, a shoplifter is suing Wal-Mart for his injury inflicted by its workers during the pursuit.  There were other cases where the shoplifters or their families were suing Wal-Mart for the death and injury from the pursuit by its workers.  These may be extreme cases that pushed the retail companies to incorporate in their employee handbooks the rules of pursuing shoplifters and its consequences.  Still I feel somehow distraught at where this is leading to and how the world will turn out, more indifferent people, more cold-heartedness.

  

So, are we supposed to watch someone bleeding to death when we went by a murder scene, pretending nothing has happened?  Are we supposed to watch a rape carrying on and walk away quickly without notifying the police or giving a helping hand within our ability or at least scaring the rapists away?  Are we supposed to breed the crimes for doing nothing?       

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Finally, the baby coral cat shark has hatched.  I was starting to get worried that there might be complication and that it might die since there used to be two eggs and one died a few days after arriving at the school.  The kids would be heartbreaking if that was the case.  I am glad that my worry is unnecessary.    

 

Without the program in our son’s classroom, I would never know what a coral cat shark or a horseshoe crab is.  It is a learning experience not only for my son but also for me.  I am learning alongside my son as well.  Though, I did not physically see how the baby coral cat shark chewed its way out of its eggshell, the excitement of waiting a new life to come to this world is inexpressible.  The anticipation of a new life is pure ecstasy.  This is such a great experience for the kids.  We were notified on Saturday morning that the baby shark had hatched.  My son was so anxious to go to school this morning and was really thrilled to see the newborn baby coral shark.

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This is what I learned about the usage of “Pardon”.  I learnt both British and American English though I might have forgotten a lot of the British English I learnt.

I used the word “pardon” a lot when I was young.  Maybe I did have a hearing problem back then.  I usually said “pardon” whenever I had trouble hearing clearly or understanding what the other person was saying.  

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Tabloid

A tabloid is a small newspaper with stories often exaggerated.

 

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I have finally managed to find time to write about this.  I am sorry for the delay of this article.  This is my reflection on an incident that occurred at another forum a month ago.    

 

It is a sad phenomenon that humility is hardly valued and found in current society, either in the East or in the West.  Even when you do see humility, it is often faked humility that you see.  How can it be true modesty when camouflaged with meretricious sincerity?    

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1.  Spontaneous response

臨場反應

Spontaneity = The quality or state of being spontaneous

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“Couldn’t care less” or “Could care less”?

 

The correct usage is “Couldn’t care less”.  It means there is nothing more that I could care. I don’t care at all so it is impossible for me to care any less.

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小巫見大巫, 相形見絀 (ㄔㄨˋ)

「相形見絀」指相互比較之下,一方顯得比不上

Pale in comparison

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Text messaging – A poem written by Elisa English on 4/16/10

 

Tap, tap, tap,

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Why text messaging?

 

Why do people send text messages instead of making a phone call?  It is hard for me to understand.  Is it because of low self-esteem?  Is it because you fear the intimacy of the talk?  Is it because it is easier to send indiscreet messages?  Are you afraid of revealing your true feeling?  Is it not worthy of your time to talk?  Do you simply lack the ability to make oral communication?  Or is it because you just simply lose the ability to talk?   

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A Ghost Sound or a Coyote’s Howl -  - A poem written by Elisa English on 4/16/10

 

A thunderous sound

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Here is a poem I wrote dedicated to my son for his frustration to get us attending the Fiesta.  To get some background of this poem, please read the article "A Fiesta".   We try not to hurt his feeling but sometimes it is inevitable.  Life is tough. 

 

Life is Tough - A poem written by Elisa English on 4/14/10

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My son asked if I would be attending the Fiesta next Monday.  On the last day of the Spanish after school program, the teacher would usually throw a Fiesta.  I told him that I was unable to because I had already taken too many days off for the spring vacation and too many flexible days working from home after the vacation.  He was extremely sad and burst into tears.  He complained that I had never attended his Fiesta since he was a kindergartener. 

 

What can I say?  We tried to attend as many school activities as we can between my husband and me.  It is tough to be working parents in the US.  You are penalized by the governments for getting married and to have a family.  Just look at the tax treatment and you will understand what I mean.  In addition, you are expected to attend several school events during work hours.  It is extremely challenging for the working parents to get away from work to attend so many school social activities.  It is not that we do not want to participate in our kids’ school activities, but that the time commitment of those activities is too overwhelming.  I know that it is priceless watching our kids growing up and to be there in their lives.  We have tried our best but we do have to work too.  The US school systems seem to promote one income family.  You will be surprised to see how many families have only one bread earner.  This situation exists way before the economic tsunami started.  When I look around my neighborhood, about 75% of the families have a stay-home mom or dad  

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Spring is definitely here.  Everyday seems a gorgeous day to me with temperature ranging from lower 40s to upper 60s degrees Fahrenheit (roughly between 4 degrees and 20 degrees Celsius).  You cannot ask for more than that.  Every morning, I am woken up by birds’ singing.  I thought that they were nightingale birds but they were robins instead.  Both birds look very similar and sing the melody like music to our ears.  However, nightingale birds live in Europe in the summer and Africa in the winter.  Seeing birds flying around our house is really a magnificent view.  I have seen blue jays, orioles, cardinals, robins, sparrows and some birds I cannot even identify.  Cardinals are my favorite.  I like their bright red colors.  My husband likes them for their connection to the baseball team he likes the most.  He has lived in St. Louis too long not to love the team.  

 

We are so lucky to have found this sanctuary.  It is such a tranquilizing place to live in, surrounded by the wonder of the nature.  We have watched from our windows a little fox turning into a teenage fox, turtles planting their roots at our backyard, tree frogs jumping near our pond and even into our great room, woodpeckers pecking at our house siding, owls turning their head 360 degrees resting on the tree, raccoons fighting with the dogs, chipmunks, squirrels woodchucks and moles digging holes on our lawn, mother deer playing with baby deer, ducks and geese families fighting on the pond for territory, and male pheasants extending their colorful feathers competing for female attention.  It is just like a zoo out there right in front of our eyes.  Not to mention all kinds of insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas and etc.  The nature’s symphony is playing right at our backyard. 

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My son’s class has a Shark program (this year only) where Underwater Adventures Aquarium supplies them with everything they need to hatch a baby shark egg.  They were pretty lucky to get into that program because it is offered to only a selected few schools throughout the United States.  They were ecstatic to get two shark eggs but one died about two months ago.  In addition to the shark, there is also a starfish and a horseshoe crab.  The starfish is nicknamed Patrick.  The kids didn’t name the crab.  Oops, when I first heard the name, I thought that it was a crab.  In reality, it is a hard-shelled invertebrate living in warm, shallow coastal waters on the sea floor.  Its shell seems to be too big and heavy for its body and it keeps turning topsy turvy and constantly struggling to flip itself back up.  Watching it swim is extremely interesting as, for the majority of the time, it swims upside down.  I wouldn’t have known anything about the horseshoe crabs if not for the school program. 

 

Our teacher has alerted us that the baby shark will be hatching any minute.  You might have remembered an article I wrote earlier about “Perfect Sense”.  (Link to the article: http://elisaenglish.pixnet.net/blog/post/2946913)  My son was picked to participate in the Independent Investigation program in High Potential Enrichment Room, a program designed for high potential students.  He picked Shark as his research subject, so the Shark program in his classroom turns out to be a perfect complement to his research.  He has recently completed his research and presented his finding to his class.  It is too bad that we weren’t invited to listen to his speech.    

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I am always struggling to find time for myself.  There are so many things to do, yet so little time.  Hence, reading blogs is the last thing on my mind.  If I find time to read blogs, I would always try to read blogs related to Taiwan.  Though I have been away from Taiwan for a long time, I still find Taiwan irresistible.  In addition, all my families except my brother live in Taiwan. 

  

Some of you might have known that I have a very strong political preference.  I only talk about it at my personal blog where I have set restrictions on who can comment on my articles.  The main reason is to prevent unwelcome messages and to get into pointless debates since I am neither a polished diplomat nor a savvy politician.  I usually try to forewarn my readers of any article I wrote that may contain my political bitching.  This way, everyone is happy.  You choose what you would like to read and I choose what I like to write.  That is the freedom of speech, the freedom of press so long as belittling, direct personal attack, or point-blank insinuation is not involved.  What we don’t want to see is the proliferation of Nazis and the condoning of Nazi-like behaviors.  If you have read my book review of “The Book Thief”, you would know what I meant.         

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We are back from our ski vacation to Avon, Colorado.  The reason that we decided to go to Avon was an invitation from The Westin.  Both my husband and I are in the Starwood preferred guest program.  I got an invitation to book a $449 vacation package that includes 5 days’ and 4 nights’ accommodations at The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas in Avon, Colorado and a $75 resort certificate with no string attached.  It was a deal hard to pass.  The regular nightly rate is $411 during spring break.  By the way, this is not the first time that we have accepted the invitation from the Starwood program.  We had stayed at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale and the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas in Orlando.  The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale is excellent.  I will write about that when I have time.  I would not recommend Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas in Orlando.  We were extremely disappointed at the quality of the Sheraton villa in Orlando.  The villas are old and outdated.  I would say that you probably won’t go wrong staying at The Westin.  However, with Sheraton hotels, you do have to do more research.  The quality of the Sheraton hotels varies.  The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa at Kaanapali Beach is great.  We stayed at a honeymoon suite there with an oceanfront view.          

 

The invitation offered a one bedroom villa at The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas in Avon, Colorado.  The room has a full size kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, traditional oven, coffee maker, dish washer and all the necessary china, cutlery, utensils, tableware and dinnerware.  There is also a stackable washer and dryer.  It has a dining area and a living room with a queen size sofa bed, an HDTV (most of the TV programs are HD), fireplace and a walkout balcony from the living room and the bedroom.  The bedroom has a safe and another HDTV.  One feature we really like is the ample closets throughout the room.  In addition, it has complimentary wireless high internet service.  There is one bathroom accessible from either the bedroom or the hallway.  It has a toilet, a shower room, a whirlpool bathtub, and double sink vanities.  It is spacious.  I love soaking in the hot tub.  It is so relaxing.  I did it twice a day while I was there. 

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I will be out on vacation for a week.  I will respond to your request/question when I am back end of next week.  This is not an April Fool's joke.  When I have time, I may write about my ski trip.  See you!      

4/1/10


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My traveling experience as a young single female – Part II:  New York City

 

This is part II of the series – My traveling experience as a young single female.  It talks about my first traveling experience to New York City, New York. 

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My traveling experience as a young single female – Part I:  Los Angeles

 

Someone has asked about traveling as a young single female to LA and New York, which prompted me to start writing a series on my traveling experience as a young single female.  This is part I of the series.  It talks about my first traveling experience to Los Angeles, California.  This wasn’t the first time that I travelled alone.  I like traveling.  I will seize any traveling opportunity if I can.  I will talk about the other traveling experience later. 

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