The faculty and staff went on a field trip to Sun Link Sea (more on that in another post but the short story is… forest that felt like home). We ran across a coin-operated machine that Dan and I had seen once before. The faculty started asking about the “temple machine” (really more of a fortune-telling machine). Push in a coin and the figure turns, enters the temple, gets a scroll, and drops it in the slot. Here’s Dan getting an interpretation of his fortune that included some things Charlene was too embarrassed to translate for him.
Halloween is not celebrated much in Taiwan, despite the best efforts of the local chain stores. but Halloween is a big deal at our American school.
The students had some great costumes but I liked the teacher costumes the best. I kept it simple myself.
My two favorite costumes were Abi’s Grim Grader… (a last minute improvisation)
And Tim’s long lost twin brother. He set this up three weeks ago with a series of Facebook posts and then didn’t break character all day on Halloween. It was remarkably uncomfortable chatting with Tim’s stuffy brother. We were relieved to get Tim back.
In honor of the occasion 5th graders made dirt cups and the high school students made severed finger cookies.
Hope your Halloween went well!
Today was a big day. Art, writing, and cooking converged to honor 5th grade achievements. Rod had the kids creating portraits in art class. He thought they turned out so well that (inspired by his own life as a working artist) he wanted an art show of their work. Of course the art show needed an opening party. And of course the opening party needed refreshments. And of course (my favorite part) we needed artists’ statements about their work.
Here are the artists attempting to avoid being photographed with their own work.
And here are the goodies that 5th grade cooking has been working on over the past two weeks.
Excellent work, 5th graders!
Two classes and two clubs chew through large quantities of raw ingredients in a week. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had in cooking class is keeping the kitchen stocked. The high school seems to inhale bacon and the 5th grade just scarfed a large jar of peanut butter. To complicate matters, my recipes are almost all American ones, using butter, milk, and cheese on a scale unusual here. I’m trying very hard to keep my school shopping to once a week.
Imagine my delight at finding a restaurant supply store not too far from our apartment. Giant jars of peanut butter! Big slabs of chocolate! Italian and French and Mexican ingredients! Dill pickles!
It made me very happy. We might need to go back tonight.
It’s the season for pomelos - like giant grapefruit, only not as juicy. I’m really developing a taste for these. This beauty is from Carol and Simo’s backyard.
The recent barbecue is not the only extra-curricular activity the school kitchen has seen. Earth science has found a real affinity for the kitchen. The sedimentary cookies (with oatmeal, raisins, and chocolate chunks) worked well but the igneous fudge was only a success from a science lesson standpoint. The fudge never did solidify. That lava is still flowing.
The junior girls figured out early that homemade brownies and lemon blueberry muffins could earn some tidy cash at bake sales. They’ve had two baking sessions already. The middle school reduced their manufacturing costs and maximized profits with their pancake sale. The seniors better get moving soon to capture a food sales niche.
Earlier this week the Spanish class had a quesadilla and homemade salsa lesson.
Some of the leftovers found their way to the rest of the school. There may be an after school quesadilla sale soon.
It’s mid-autumn festival and time to barbeque with family and friends.
The students put on their annual school barbeque last night. At AST we have students who are used to running the show. They start in middle school with running meetings and making all announcements at weekly assemblies. By the time they get to high school they organize complicated events with ease.
I was chaperoning the kitchen activity for the barbeque. All I really needed to do was answer questions about where to find the pots and pans. The students prepped mountains of vegetables, cooked a Taiwanese barbeque, and cleaned up beautifully. (except for some spills in the new oven which I want to take care of - anyone have good oven cleaning suggestions?)
Some of the food was unfamiliar to me like these mushrooms and a cross between a gourd, melon, and cucumber.
Baby corn is almost all husks and corn silk, doesn’t really seem worth the effort.
The outer layer of the bamboo (?) is peeled and you eat the tender inner bit.
No one could quite agree on what these cakes were made of….maybe very mild fish? But everyone agreed they were tasty and well worth eating.
Lots and lots of volunteers in the kitchen. For some reason the tiny bright pink bunny apron is most popular with the biggest guys. They run to be the first to get to it. Seriously. Every class.
The barbecue also included a volleyball tournament in the (air conditioned!) gym and a movie for those who were feeling less energetic. By the time the late bus left at 7:30 that night the high school students were playing very informal volleyball (some of the players switched sides as needed and there was always a helping hand for a serve that wasn’t going to make it over the net), others were playing basketball, and the sixth graders were taking notes on how they were going to be the big kids one day.
*the school slogan is “Excited about learning, and happy to be here” but one of the posters for the barbeque had this version