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2016 Mar News
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Awards for Extraordinary Instructors

In early March, five experts have been honored for their extraordinary contributions to teaching at Chinese Culture University: At the "Center for Common Subjects and General Education", these teachers have successfully applied their specific methods of instruction. Among other, these include interdisciplinary study and aim at strengthening students‘ motivation, for improving their future career options and competing powers.

One of the decorated experts is Associate Professor Mark-D. Barnes of the Department for Land Resources (College of Agriculture). Professor Barnes has worked in Taiwan for 30 years, and he always teaches in English, encouraging students to train their language skills.

Associate Professor Shun-Sheng SHI (施順生) of the Department for Chinese Literature teaches Classical Literature in most vivid and spirited ways. He offers students to understand the subject from different points of views, in order to achieve a broad understanding of the art. Comprehending the writing, pronounciation and meaning of the traditional Chinese characters, and indulging whole-heartedly into reading – from Prof. Shi’s perspective, these skills and motivation help stimulating all scholarly abilities, as well as arousing fondness for traditional works.

Professor Pei-Jun CHEN (陳佩君), Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, trains her students in rhetoric and logic discourse, and freedom of expression. Students highly welcome her approach, such as the "Tuesday Round Table Discussion". Here, participants are provided with a topic for discussion, and a file for preparing and writing down their arguments. Students will organize in groups for working on their topics, and afterwards, they will present a brief speech on stage, sharing their opinions with their fellows. This method not only deepens the young people‘s understanding of their shared points of discussion, but also strengthens their abilities of speaking to audiences and actively participating in controversial debates.

Associate Professor Yu-Fei LIU (劉語霏) from the "Center für Pedagogic Education" takes the role model of the "decent teacher": She is always willing to give support to whoever needs it, be it difficulties related to studying, mental blocks, or other. She is concerned with the research and improvement of teaching methods, and she is herself very creative in developing new materials. In Professor Liu’s opinion, "General Education" means the starting point to true study: It provides the first steps and a foundation, and therefore prepares the students for the next steps to follow.

In summary: The overall aim of the "Center for Common Subjects and General Education" is to provide students with more comprehensive and interdisciplinary aspects of common knowledge and skills, adding to the specific contents of study that they are receiving at their respective departments of choice, and stimulating the students‘ individual and self-reliant capabilities.

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Traffic in Taiwan

For an average European or American participant of traffic, walking along a highly frequented road in Taiwan for the fist time may come in as a shock and you might be releaved not to be sitting behind the wheel of a car and having to make your way through traffic yourself. Taiwanese driving styles seem to be far from the disciplined, rather defensive way of driving in a Western country.

In 2014, a total of 1819 people have lost their lives in fatal accidents in Taiwanese traffic, according to official statistics by Statista. Regarding the population of 23.5 million people, an equivalent of about 7.74 in 100,000 people died in traffic - the dark figure might be higher. And if a majority of accidents wouldn’t be happening at lower speeds in the cities, this number surely would be even greater.

What is it that makes traffic this dangerous? Setting aside the relatively small geographic area of the big cities, the enormously high number of individual means of transportation is a factor - apparently every single Taiwanese owns a motor scooter and appreciates how convenient these machines are in the crowded streets. Add a few handfuls of cars (the bigger, the better - the driver’s ego seems to take the back seat) and buses, and the result is chaotic.

Most mentionable concerning their driving style are surely the scooterists. Every time the traffic lights turn red (conveniently there are displays in the lights counting down the seconds), many of them squeeze through the gaps between the cars all the way to the very front, where they have their own waiting spot. You may find one or two cyclists holding on to the handlebar between all the motorized vehicles and the second the lights turn green, the drag race is on and a crowd of loudly rattling scooters thrusts forward, followed by a clear minority of car drivers trying to concentrate on staying cool and calm between the scooters weaving around their cars. A sight that leaves Western foreigners with an open mouth at first.

Also highly frequented is the large network of public transportation that will take you to any spot of the town conveniently and without having to transfer a lot. The usually short waiting periods are due to a rather pragmatic driving style of the bus drivers, who will take you to your destination rather quickly than comfortably, but therefore it only costs a minimum of the price of a bus ride in Europe. An additional way of transportation is the metro networks in the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung, as well as a growing network to Taoyuan International Airport and in Taichung.

Buses and trains are hence the cheapest and safest way of metropolitan transport. After watching and studying traffic for a while, you might feel safe enough to have a go on a scooter or behind the wheel of a car yourself in one of the smaller cities. Provided you can come up with all the necessary documents, a sufficient amount of driving experience and a little bravery.

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Winter Holidays in the Dormitory

I didn`t get to spend my winter holidays at home in Germany. Actually I didn`t really feel like it either, as I love living in the PCCU dormitory for a number of reasons. So I spent my holidays on the campus. In Da Ya. Alone. My five roommates went home. The German to Germany, the Japanese to Japan and the Taiwanese went to her family in Taiwan. The outcome of this was my first problem: Loneliness. Longed for at the beginning, as five roommates are noisier and more tiring than none, living all by myself turned out to be very lonely soon, having no one lovingly snoring besides my head at nighttime and no one who smashes her mirror on the floor at six in the morning.

Having no roommates raised another big problem: Cold. Taiwan experienced the hardest winter in years. With one day of snow. Yippiiieh. The Taiwanese were happy, the Germans wailed. Chilling iciness in the dorm room, as it has no heater installed. The frostiness took its toll. Covered up warmly under three blankets, it was bearable. Not comfortable, but bearable. Leaving the cozy bed as rare as possible was the motto. Ergo: laptop, a bottle of water, chinese book, snacks and German girl into the bed, reduce outside meals to one per day, and persevere the day, until taking a hot shower at six in the evening, as soon as hot water was available.

Daily highlight: Hot water. Water. Oh yes, water. Under the motto “You´ll appreciate what you have when you lose it“, Da Ya was cut off water eventually. No water for showering, not for washing hands, not for using the toilet. Without any announcement. That already occured from time to time during the past semester. Announced. Through the big loudspeaker in the dorm. In Chinese. Well, this time without anouncement then. From morning until six pm. That was manageable, as the buildings around also provide toilets. At least I got some fresh air and some water on my head by walking through the hibernal Taiwanese rain every few hours. For about three days in succession. But after these three days, there was no water any more, not even in the evening, for about two days in succession.

That was not manageable anymore: The dormitory closes at 11:30 pm for the whole night during semester holidays, so - pilgrimage to the toilet was no longer possible. The German girl however doesn´t hit bed before three in the morning. Time shift, skyping with friends and family in Germany - the problem is obvious. Yet, necessity is the mother of invention. There were only some foreigners living on the 10th floor during holidays. Thanks to water left over in the flushing tanks, the toilets on the unoccupied floors were usable. Every toilet one time. With almost 15 toilets per floor, the toilet problem was solved like that. Showering was possible at a friends place. Heureka! Nevertheless, I gave up my drink-at-least-two-liters-per-day-New Year´s resolution. Maybe next year then.

New daily highlight: The warm meal. At least once per day I went out to eat. Together with another German, sadly a guy, hence living living in Da Lun. Out of the dorm, through the taifun-like, very stormy, very wet und very cold Yangmingshan-weather all the way to the village. To our most loved noodles shop A, which eventually closed during holidays. Off to our second most loved noodles shop B then. B hit holidays shortly after A. Never mind, we were flexible. Off to C-Z. Dinner in 7-11 or Family Mart at a pinch. Then, shocking news: Everything closed. Without exception. After Chinese New Year foraging close to the campus was without success. So we had our meals close to a bus stop, a 15 minute walk off the campus. Despite taifun-like, very stormy, very wet und very cold Yangmingshan-weather that broke any resistance in all kinds of umbrellas. RIP my faithful friends!

In the end, however, the situation ameliorated. My roommates are back, the cold is not extrem anymore, water is 24/7 available and food supply is widely assured. Good weather and sunshine are still to come but that´s okay. Life here on the campus became as awesome as it was during the past semester again. Being very well integrated by the Taiwanese students, every day provides its highlights for us. It´s a good thing to live on the campus, for real. Only during winter holidays, it´s not.

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04
Students’ Dormitory Disaster Evacuation Drill Announcement
Drill Purpose:

To improve and strengthen students’ emergency response when facing emergency accidents, such as earthquakes and fire accidents without lighting in the dorm, students can be familiar with the nearest escape routes.

Participants:

All students live in Da Ya Hall, Da Chin Hall, Da Lun Hall, Da Zhuang Hall and Da Zhi Hall.

Date & Time:

18:30 PM, March, 17th, 2016 [Thursday]

Organizers:

Military Education Office and Office of Student Affairs (Guidance Divison)

Co-organizer:

The 20th Autonomy committee of student dormitory

Time table:
Time Contents
18:00-18:25 When dormitory assistants start broadcasting in the first time, please stay in your room and wait for the leaders to do the head count.
18:30 When the alarm starts, turn the lights off and follow the directions. All students have to move to the designated place.
(People who live in Da Zhi Hall should stay between Da Dian and Da Zhong Halls)
(People who live in Da Lun Hall should stay in front of Da Xiao Hall)
(People who live in Da Zhuang Hall should stay in front of Da En Hall)
(People who live in Da Ya Hall should stay between Da En Hall and Da Dian Hall)
(People who live in Da Chin Hall should stay on Changchun St)
18:30-19:20 Please squat down after arriving the designated place, and the staff will do the second head count. Each dormitory can be dismissed after completing doing the roll call, but the self-defense firefighters of each dormitory have to stay to implement the training task in the specific classroom in Da En Hall .
Da Lun Hall → 307 Da Ya Hall → 103 Da Zhong Hall & Da Zhi Hall → 102
18:50 The alarm will be turned-off and the lights will be turned-on.
19:30-20:30 The self-defense firefighters of each dormitory implement the training task.
20:30 All activities into the end, if someone who is late on the first and second roll call, please find the staff and tell them what your name is.
Applying for a day off:
  • People who need to have a day off, please go to the dormitory assistant’s office, and sign the application form to request for leaving. Min-Chan Lee is the advisor for this drill.
  • For those whose day off has been approved, you must hand your day off sheet to your dormitory assistant’s office. Students who attend the make up class with their own day off sheet, your point will not be deleted.
Precautions:

If anyone who wants to ask for the day off, needs to process the application three days before(before March 14th). After finishing it, you will lose 1 point. If you don’t finish it, you will lose 3 points. When you lose 5 points in a semester (including 5 points), you will have to leave the dormitory. Please be aware!

If the weather condition is bad, we will announce the backup plan, please keep an eye on it.