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目前分類:心情雜記 (124)

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I have been thinking constantly about how I can retire early, or how I can spend less time working and more time with my kids.  Initially, I thought maybe I can be a Chinese teacher teaching American kids Chinese.  Our elementary school offers Chinese immersion class and the school is very close to our house.  Since my son is going to Kindergarten this year, I thought maybe this would be a good opportunity to spend more time with him.  As I dug deeper into this, I found out that we have to substantially cut back on our spending and change our life style if I become a teacher.  I don’t think that I am ready for that yet.  Another option that I thought of is to become a freelance translator, keeping my current job but working as a freelancer during the weekend.  That doesn’t seem to be a good option either because I can hardly find time to answer some Yahoo questions, let alone doing it as a career.  I also thought of buying a foreclosure house, then rent it and wait for a couple of years to sell it when the house appreciates.  That also requires a lot of time to manage.  Lately, my colleague brought up another idea, stating that her neighbor earned quite a lot of money from some sponsors, writing articles in his blog.  I thought that maybe this is a workable plan.  I just have to come up with an idea of what I want to write in my blog that will attract people to visit.  Maybe, I can start translating some books and posting them on my blog, compiling some grammar rules, or writing some articles.  Maybe, I should just do it and not think too much.

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I cannot recall for how long that I have stopped dreaming about exams.  That’s a good sign.  Looking back into my life, I had gone through numerous entrance exams such as entrance exam from elementary school to junior high school, from junior high school to senior high school, and from senior high school to college, as well as TOEFL, GMAT, GRE, and certification for CFA and PMP, not to mention the numerous prep exams for these major exams.


Was it a good thing or a bad thing?  I cannot tell.  However, one thing I do know is that it cannot prepare you to become a creative and innovative person, to be socially likeable, to be charming and having the charisma, to be politically correct, to differentiate right from wrong, to withstand hardship and frustration, and the list goes on.  I like the American Education System, in that it promotes creativity and independence.  It allows you to think on your own.  If you truly want to get a college degree, it does not set up a barrier of entry. However, it does set up an exit barrier, so you truly learn what was taught in school.  This way, you will encounter fewer obstacles as you are armed with knowledge, rather than a fake degree only.  It prepares you for the big world outside of school, as degree is really nothing if you cannot show to your employers what you are truly made up of.

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We are going on vacation soon.  This will be our 2nd vacation this year.  We were in Taiwan for our first Chinese New Year this February after 18 years of stay in the US .  This time, we are going to Legoland and  Orange County again.  I cannot recall how many times we have been there.  I believe that we have been to  Orange County at least once a year.  I like the ocean and I like staying in New Port Beach / Laguna Beach for our summer and winter vacation.  It is a good place for the kids too as they like to play with sands.  In addition, they get to see the cute puppies in the pet store at Fashion Island .  When you have kids, your travel has to tailor around your kids.  I cannot recall how many times I went to Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum and National Zoo in DC.  I remembered that I went to Phoenix Zoo everyday for a week while we were in Phoenix in addition to Science Museum .  It seems like that we were either in museums, zoos or beaches every time we traveled.


If you like to travel, better do it before you have kids.  Otherwise, you will have to go wherever your kids go.  It is a different kind of fun with kids though.  I like both of them dearly.  By the way, while we were in Taiwan , we went to 溪頭 and Sun-Moon-Lake and stayed at 涵碧樓, it was fun.  Our kids did enjoy them as they like running around.  You cannot believe how often our kids ask if we are going to stay in the hotel today.  I think too much traveling does have its flaw.

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It is almost summer.  Everyday seems a gorgeous day to me with temperature ranging from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  You cannot ask for more than that.  Every morning, I am woken up by birds’ singing.  I am thinking they might be nightingales.  Seeing birds flying around my house is really a magnificent view.  I have seen blue jays, orioles, cardinals, sparrows and some birds I cannot identify.  Cardinals are my favorite.  I like their bright red colors.  My husband likes them for their relation to the baseball team he likes the most.   I have so much to thank for to be able to find 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, 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.


You might wonder where I live.  It is not a remote area, a countryside or a farm area.  Our house is about 5 minutes drive away from several clinics, a supermarket, a Target store, a fast food restaurant, Walgreens, and various stores.  Our house is located right next to a nature-preserved park and our backyard extends into the park.  Yet, it is secluded enough that people from the park cannot access to our house.  It is wonderful and educational for our kids to grow up in this environment to learn all the nature around them.  My son has seen a mother turtle laying eggs just right at the front yard of his daycare center.      

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