Summer has begun. The busy season for those of us in the cram school business is here. In addition to every academic subject under the sun, the art, music and sports schools and camps are jammed with kids whose parents have very high expectations. Shane opens in the morning now, instead of mid-afternoon, and I stay in that classroom until 9 or 10 pm. I kind of like it, really. We’ve opened a bunch of new classes, too, most of them reading classes, but a few private one-on-ones. I am now tutoring a teenage girl on how to take the speaking and writing portions of the GEPT exam, which is an English proficiency exam unique to Taiwan. It’s a big, scary, important test which many, many people want to pass. It helps them with things like getting accepted to good high schools and universities, and getting good jobs. Taiwan is very internationally focused, and taking the GEPT is a good career move for a lot of people. So Katie and I have been dissecting things like the rhythms of speech, syllabic stresses, and making unimportant words flow together. I’m not sure how exciting she thinks it is, but I think it’s actually pretty interesting to teach.
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
- Robert Louis Stevenson