My First Stained Glass Panel

Co Co and Po Po Time

I have always wanted to do something for children who are going through family hardships. I believe that it is (or should be) everyone’s mission to reach out to others whenever they can. When I first started teaching in Taiwan, it was great to make money as an English teacher but it did not mean that I should forget our social conscience. As a student who could not afford to go to any cram school, I often thought about those children whose families could not send their kids to study English before junior high school. If I could make it, I should try my best to help others.

The year I got my first job teaching English at Fu Jen, I also started teaching at two other different language centers in Tien Mu and Shih Lin in Taipei. Parents were in a rush to send their children to the centers to learn English then. Adults paid big bucks to study in the evening to advance their language skills. Immigration boom just started to be on the rise which also helped the booming of the language centers business at that time. It was a great time to teach English and earn a decent income. We did have foreign teachers working at the centers, but the domestic teachers were greatly in demand.

While I was having a great time enjoying working full time at three different places, I got a phone call from a friend TL one day to ask me if I would like to help her plan a radio program called Fu Di Tien Tien Chuan. TL was a school friend of mine who actually hired me to work at Fu Jen’s Continuing Education Department. She was invited by a friend SY to design a segment for a children’s daily radio program.

I first met SY through the student association because both of TL and SY were senior students and very active members in the student union. SY was working for King Car Educational Foundation as a program coordinator. She was helping Director Sun to carry out the plan for the radio program. King Car was just starting out a new concept to help promote educational leisure and healthy recreational activates in Taiwan. Through SY’s connection, I had been volunteering for the foundation as the first escort teacher for their piloting educational tours to North America.

King Car wanted to have a children radio program that reflects the children’s interest as well as their needs. Fu Di Tien Tien Chuan was the joint effort between King Car and Youth (Young Lion) Radio Corp. They wanted to have a small segment of this radio program designated to teach English to children, which was becoming a trend for many children. When TL called me one day to discuss about the concept of teaching English on the air, I immediately jumped on this idea. You’ve got to be kidding me. Of course, I would love to teach English to children on the air. Imagine how many children who could not afford to pay for English lessons could now turn on the radio to learn. I accepted the invitation immediately! So, Co Co and Po Po Time was born.

Co Co and Po Po Time was a fifteen minute segment of an hour long daily radio program titled Fu Di Tien Tien Chuan. The program was broadcasted through Youth Radio Station in Shih Lin and sponsored by King Car Educational Foundation. The broadcaster for this program was Liu Ming Juan, a young radio broadcaster with a lovely voice at the Youth Radio Corp, who later became a good friend of mine.

TL and I were in charge of designing the content and the lessons for Co Co and Po Po Time. Along with SY, we became the fixed characters of this radio program and broadcasted on the air as fictional characters Co Co, Po Po and Yueh Jie Jie. I was the little boy character in the show, stage named “Co Co” because I could make voice like a funny little boy. (Hahaha… I did have some young female fans out there years ago.) TL, SY and I used to go to the radio station on the weekends to record all the lessons for a week or two because it was not easy to get all three busy girls together to record the daily show.

It was a big learning curve for me to work at the radio station. We were not professional broadcasters. We were only volunteers who signed on to plan, design and teach during a ten/fifteen minute segment of the show. However, we learned to operate the machines on our own because we could only work on the weekend when the station was quiet and no one was around. We had to learn how the logistic of a radio program worked and how they operated at the station. I was blessed to work with so many good friends. TL was a great friend who took care of me a lot in my career. SY was the reason that I got involved in King Car and volunteered for them. Min Juen did not carry any arrogant disposition as many famous broadcasters would usually do. I got to know her and her family very well at a personal level. I really miss these great people!

Co Co and Po Po Time was a very small radio program but it was a highlight of my life. I realized that with the right network connection and right people, I could accomplish many things that I did not even dream of. Who would have thought that I actually got involved in a radio program and even became a broadcaster myself? I had the freedom to design my own lessons, broadcast in a way that I wanted (I didn’t just goof around on the air.) and deliver the lessons to audience free of charge! I did not know the intended audience but we did know that all kinds of children were listening to us out there. I remember we used to get mails from as far as Fu Jien Province in Mainland China. (Note)

After three years of involvement in this radio program, I left for Canada. TL and SY continued to carry the show for a while. Shortly after I left, Ming Juen told me that the radio was nominated for Golden Bell award in the category of children radio programs. That was great news to my ears. A couple of years after I left, she also sent me some of the taped programs that I did. I still have them packed somewhere in the boxes. That would be a part of my memories forever, my Co Co and Po Po Time!

Note: Now you know where I learned to make funny announcement on the air. It all started from the show. I had plenty of time to practice on the air from those three years with Co Co and Po Po Time.
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My Corner for Education

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  • 火星人
  • i can only do wash the window before the chinese new year.

    yesterday is a teacher, tomorrow is a master.
  • Julia1492
  • When you finish washing yours, would you like to come do mine? It would be a long way to fly here though?
  • 火星人
  • DHL me the tickets. i will show up.
  • impalpable
  • XD

    knock knock!! Are you home yet?
  • Julia1492
  • To 火星人:
    I decided to replace the windows instead. It's faster that way.

    To impalpable:
    I am HOME! Hehehe... I actually have another burrow at Wretch. When this home is locked, I just go back to my other home.
  • 農曆新年又來到

  • Dear shuimou,
    Thanks for the greetings! You guys are probably very busy by now getting ready for Chinese New Year. I wish all three of you a very happy time together!

    Julia1492 於 2008/02/01 12:33 回覆

  • Julia1492
  • To Aniter:
    I am sorry that I accidentally deleted your message. I don't post a lot of photos is because of my job. I have to be discrete about posting photos. Plus, I am too busy to do fancy tricks for blogging. Sorry, you just have to read!