- Aug 25 Sat 2007 10:40
- Aug 23 Thu 2007 08:24
- Aug 19 Sun 2007 04:57
- Aug 16 Thu 2007 02:47
- Aug 15 Wed 2007 12:22
One day, we planned to visit a friend who lived in the next town. I had never been to this friend’s house. F.Y. was supposed to be the driver to take both of us there. It took us forever to get there because she took a long route around the city instead of the highway. She was terrified to drive on the highway you see. I told her that I would sit beside her to coach her on the way back. There was no way that I would let her take the city roads again. So, she had to take the highway for the first time in Canada. Well, we did get home safely, but she was completely soaked with sweat when we arrived! After that day, FY was not afraid of getting onto the highway anymore.
One day, I was telling F.Y. about the RRSP that I invested for my retirement pension. She suddenly asked me if I could take a look at a few letters she received. Those letters were sent by the company where she invested her money in order to immigrate to Canada. She then started telling me her immigration experience. I was in awe.
F.Y., like many investment immigrants, went to those investment seminars for immigration in Taiwan. Those seminars usually are set up by Taiwanese immigration consulting companies along with investment funds companies from Canada. In order to have her children educated in Canada, she decided to take the easiest route for her, to invest money in Canadian funds and apply for investment immigration. According to the regulation then, she had to invest certain amount of Canadian dollars. I am not sure how much exactly the amount should be invested to qualify for investment immigration to Canada, but I do know that she purchased 250,000 Canadian dollars worth of funds alone from this particular company from Saskatoon, Canada.
I looked at the letters sent to her from the company in Saskatoon. The address on the letterhead was only a mailbox address, which was alarming to me. A reputable company would not be based on a mailbox address. I tried to call the company, but it was only an answering machine, another alarming sign. I asked F.Y. whether she had received an annual statement from this company every year or not. Apparently, the company did send out the annual statement to F.Y., one of many shareholders, and a letter to inform her about their loss in a few bad investments. Their share prices have been in decline, and the company has been in deep financial trouble.
- Aug 11 Sat 2007 06:09
My friend FY called me this morning to ask me if I know a particular person at the board office. Then the conversation lead to if I could make a phone call for her instead to enquire about the registration for some international visa students. Sometimes, FY thinks that I am a wonder woman who knows everybody and have all the contacts to get information. Well, I don’t! But, I do have thick skin and I am not afraid of asking questions around.
I am actually a very quiet person who enjoys observing others rather than blabbering all the time. One thing I’ve learned in North America is that you can not be shy away from asking questions though. “You snooze, you lose.” At school, I always encourage my students to ask questions for clarification and to be able to speak publicly in front of the crowds. Public speaking and attentive listening are two very important parts of oral language skills as far as I am concerned.
I remember when I was at junior high school, I was always assigned to represent the schools to participate in formal speech or poetry reading competitions. I might have shown some interest in the beginning of my Grade Six class for poetry reciting, but I was not good at it at all. Then I got better after all the opportunities I had been given throughout the years. In fact, the schools always sent the same students because there were not enough people who showed interest or were brave enough to attend public speaking competitions. My family used to joke about what to do with the awards I won, not enough to wallpaper the wall, but too many to hang up on the wall. Hahaha. So, since my Grade Six class, I had been trained not to be afraid of standing on the stage and facing the crowds, but to speak loud and clear in front of the large group of people.
Later on when I went to Fu Jen Catholic U, I was in love with performance arts. I directed an English school play and was involved in a few performances myself. The experiences were added to my public speaking skills, so I became a natural when I had to speak on the radio, in front of the students or with clients for business dealings. I am not afraid to ask questions, either. I am actually a very quiet person but certainly not shy.
Now I often apply my performing skills to deliver instructions to the little ones in my class. It is sometimes funny to listen to the students’ comment about me. Some students at school think that I am very funny, but they are also afraid of me because I am very strict. I am not a clown and certainly do not portray myself as one to entertain my students in class; however, I have to be able to deliver my instructions to my students in a very effective, efficient and exciting manners so that my students are able to direct their attention to me for a prolonged period of time. They have to be willing to listen to me and understand me clearly. This is the skill that we absolutely have to encompass as a teacher. The truth is that public speaking is absolutely vital nowadays. We need it for every day work life, but most schools seem to ignore the importance of this particular skill development.