As a student, I was always polite and respectful to my teachers. I conformed to the school authority and the expectations of others’. I worked hard, but I also struggled to keep up with others. It was not easy to keep my free spirit high in that environment. I was always helpful and energetic at school. I had my group of good friends and certainly didn’t fall into any “wrong crowds”. Seriously, I might have terrible memories of how I struggled to fit in academically in my class, but overall, I did all right at school. I just had my doubts and questions about the education. At that age, we could not do anything about it!
I think I was frustrated with the learning environment and the educational framework that confined students in such a pressured environment to the point that I simply wanted to escape. The education structure did not allow us to learn interesting topics, nor to be inspired to learn in a positive setting. If I did not have high enough grades in academics, I was not considered as a good student. That was so wrong! Now I always try my best to relate my personal experiences to make learning fun. If I do not have fun teaching a lesson, that means my students are not having fun learning it from me either. Learning should be fun and we should have fun learning! (Ha.ha.ha, too many “funs" and too much fun! Having fun is the key.)
I had my most memorable experiences with the marching band in junior high, which fostered my passion for instrumental music. I had a great opportunity to learn different musical instruments and to expose myself in a music appreciation environment. I played a trumpet in the school marching band. Our band performed at so many events and formal occasions. I sang and conducted in a few choir performances. I was also involved in many other extra curricular activities. I entered countless speech competitions and poetry recitals, and won many as well. Another important thing was that I entered the world of English songs and started to develop my love for learning a new language during my junior high years. (See Post Note 2)
One thing about my learning a language is that I am pretty good at “imitating” (or pronouncing) sounds. My university professor gave me 96% for my Spanish Conversation Level 1. (If I am not mistaken, I skipped quite a few Spanish classes. Maybe that's why I don't remember much of my Espanol.) I remember people used to think that I was probably raised in a family from Beijing because my pronunciation of Chinese Mandarin was so perfect. Whenever people make comments like that, I would usually show off my “imitating talent” again to prove to them that I can speak perfect Taiwanese-style Mandarin as well. (Hahahahaha) Well, maybe 500 hundred years ago my ancestors did come from somewhere in southern Mainland China, but my gene pools were pretty much developed from the country side of southern Taiwan, the City of Chia Yi.