Mid-Semester

Today I met Roland De Vries, a theologian from the Presbyterian College in Montreal who is teaching an intensive course at my seminary. We visited 101 and Da’an park and I had fun hearing about his work. However, I also admit to being a little envious that his semester is over. Another friend in the UK also said his semester is over. But in Taiwan… oh Taiwan… we still have about five or six weeks left in our long seventeen week semester. The semester just seems to last forever.

That said, I’ve had some good experiences lately. I met the two students from my DMin class at the Methodist Seminary downtown last week. One had had heart problems and is trying to slow down church work. The other is an international student from Malaysia who plans to finish her degree in the coming semester. I attended a conference on Buddhist-Christian studies at Fu-Jen Catholic University, which was just fascinating. My MDiv thesis student has submitted his thesis and it looks pretty good. We talked about the Taiping in my MDiv elective yesterday, and tomorrow’s class is also one I enjoy. This week we’re doing part of an intensive testing system for prospective students. Here teachers write exams which are given to students, then graded, then there’s an oral exam, and at some point we’ll set a cut off to determine incoming students. Two book reviews are on the docket and there’s a chance to serve as an external examiner also. I’m hoping to be through all of these projects by the time we finish in mid-June.

We’re also narrowing in on a school for the twins. We think that they’ll get into the school next door, but we are also feeling comfortable with several other options. We went to an open house for a new school start organized by foreigners. I was excited about the possibility and hoped it might be something like a parents’ cooperative or a foreigner-run bilingual school, but instead I think it’s a boutique school aimed at affluent downtown Taiwanese parents who don’t have foreigner passports (to go to international schools here, you have to be on a foreign passport). The tuition is crazy–over a million NT/year (>$35,000). Still, it was a helpful reminder that what we have is pretty good and that we’re lucky to be in a place with excellent options. Sam is really enjoying his classes a lot and the twins have made good strides on their bopomofo and their ABCs.

We’re also working on summer plans. We’ll be in Atlanta in July and split the rest of our time between family in Cincinnati and Birmingham, and I’ll also get to do a quick visit to NJ. The end is near…

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