Not Yet The End

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

Hello everybody! Welcome back to my blog! My name is Jackie, and this post covers my ninth week of studying abroad in Taipei, Taiwan.

All cards on the table right now, I’m writing this blog post at work because I’m really nervous and need a small break right now. The Brown Bag series that myself and the other CET interns are presenting is in 2 days, and we’re all super nervous. And we talked about how silly it was that we were nervous because it was just us talking about our personal college journey. But also, EducationUSA Brown Bags are super popular and Tracie told us that around 200 people signed up. We made our PowerPoint presentation (which looks amazing, by the way) a few days ago, and right now we’re working on a rough script so we know what points to hit. Tracie has been really encouraging, and I’ve been moderating the past Brown Bag events so I know that students are always engaged and kind. Despite this, the other interns and I are still so nervous.

Setting this hiccup, the last few days have been really fun. I went with some friends to Taipei Sports Center and went ice skating. Despite going to a school in Maine, I still don’t know how to skate. It went as well as you can imagine. (Please imagine it going very poorly.) But it was a fun time. Yesterday, I was able to see Ella again! We visited a restaurant in the Eslite Mall. Quick side note: the mall was insane. My best comparison is Target, but it’s a poor one. Although they have some big brands, most of the vendors are small artists or creators. The mall rotates through different local vendors each month, according to Ella, and they sell clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, perfumes, knickknacks, and hundreds of other things. And one whole floor is a dedicated bookstore, which was so fun to explore with Ella. We went to the Eslite Mall in Zhongshan District, so there were even more stores and restaurants nearby that we visited.

Over lunch, Ella and I talked about our families and how the dynamics have changed since we’ve been attending college. It was a really intimate conversation, and it was nice to hear Ella share similar sentiments about being the oldest daughter and how our college experience affects our family. I also mentioned my jeans mission, and Ella was the biggest help. So yes, I was finally able to buy a pair of jeans that fit me! It was a very big win for me, so thank you Ella!

On another day, I was also able to attend a Fubon Guardians baseball game! I can’t say that I’m a large fan of baseball, but I was really excited to see sports culture in East Asia. And it was really different from your usual American sports game. When each player went to bat, they had a special song that the cheerleaders would perform a specific dance to. Each player! And the fans knew all of the songs and dances, and would stand up to perform with the cheerleaders. There was even a section of the game where the children in the arena were able to stand up front and lead the dances. It was a new way to cheer for a team for me, and I really enjoyed it. My friends and I got up and learned the dances and even got on the Megatron screen! Although the Guardians lost the game, I am happy to say that I am now a dedicated fan, and I hope they do well this season.

My Chinese classes are still ongoing, but I’m feeling much more settled and confident in my skills compared to the beginning of the summer. That’s not to say the class is getting easier, my 老师 does not play around with homework or our tests. But these days, I feel more excited than nervous when it’s time to give a presentation (报告). And I always try my best to use Chinese when I’m outside my apartment. I’m really proud of my growth in Chinese, and it’s encouraging to hear my 老师, or even my professors at Colby, mention it.

Anyways, my apologies for the shorter blog post. I actually have to face my fears and get ready for this presentation. My next post will be my final written blog, so get ready for some tears. I guess I’m not ready to leave Taiwan.