Birthday/Work/Other Stuff

October 4, 2006

Yesterday was my birthday.  When my co-workers wished me Happy Birthday, many of them referred to it as my “first birthday in Taiwan”, leading me to ponder the likelihood that I will have more than one.

Anyway, I didn’t do much since I am once again down with a bad cold.  In fact, after Kindergarten this morning I gave up and took a sick day for my afternoon and evening classes so I could rest. 

Luckily I just have to make it through tomorrow and then I have Friday off for Moon Festival.  I don’t actually know what people do for Moon Festival besides eat moon cakes (a tradition in which I have been enthusiastically partaking), but I intend to celebrate by sleeping in, cleaning my apartment a bit, and seeing what I can manage to cook in my newly purchased toaster oven.

My other recent investment is a gym membership.  There’s a nice gym not far from where I live and several of my co-workers go there regularly.  I was a little intimidated by the prospect of figuring out how to sign up, but yesterday I decided to go for it.  I walked in and asked the lady at the front desk in Chinese if I could take a look at the gym upstairs.  She said yes, and that she’d call someone to show me around.  So I went upstairs and was met by another woman.  Then there was this terribly awkward moment when we all realized that I don’t actually speak Chinese and they went searching around for someone with decent English.  It all got sorted out in the end though.

I’ve never really explained exactly what my job is like, so here’s a brief summary:

On weekday mornings I teach kindergarten.  I have the same class every day, so I already know their personalities and abilities and all their little quirks so well.  I teach the youngest level of kindergarten, meaning my kids are three.  Until I came here, my contact with three year olds had basically ended when I turned four, and I was pretty skeptical about the whole thing.  As it turns out, I like kindy more every day.  The kids can be crazy, but they’re all sweet.  Also, I find it very rewarding when they actually learn what I’m trying to teach them because I know that this is their first experience with English.  Soon I will forget that my name isn’t “Teacha Kado!”

After Kindy I have anywhere between 1 and 7 hours of free time before I teach at the language school.  The kids in my afternoon, evening, and Saturday classes range from 8 year olds with basically no English to Junior High kids writing English essays (although I think I’m getting rid of that class soon).   I find these classes much more difficult and less rewarding than kindy.  I don’t know the kids because I only see them once a week, and most of them don’t want to be there.  I’m getting to the point where most of my classes go alright, but there are still a few I dread each week.

I could probably ramble on about the ups and downs of my job for pages and pages, but I’ll spare you.  Thanks to everyone who sent a birthday e-mail or comment my way!


  1. Happy Birthday, Kaitlin! It’s so nice that they’ve scheduled a Moon Festival in your honor. Hope you’re well soon, so you can enjoy it!

  2. Happy Birthday Teacha Kado! 🙂 I’m another one of your mom’s loop friends. I’ve been reading your blog and have to say I’m very impressed. Such an adventure! Love the pictures of your apartment – very nice. I look forward to more of your posts.

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