The Principal of Liugui Elementary Worked in the Distant Region Schools for Forty-Five Years, Had Slept with Nothing More than a Straw Mat for a Whole Year in the Classrooms

This just showed, the dedication of school officials here, from the Newspapers, translated…

The principal of Liugui Elementary School worked as a classroom instructor for forty-five years, and turned to work as principal for Liugui and Taoyuan, these two distant region schools, the first school was located in Tengji, Taoyuan, back then, there was NO busses, he’d had to walk for five hours uphill to work, he’d stayed in that school for sixteen years before he came back down slopes.  Long-Chuang Huang qualified for the retiring age at the end of this month, he said, he will keep working in the disaster prevention centers, to give all he can, that he wasn’t going to leave his educational post that easily.

Huang was born under the fires of Kinmen, graduated from Teacher’s College back in 1972, was sent to the tallest and farthest Baoshan Elementary’s Tengji Branch to teach, back then, the mountain regions of Tengji was still under construction, there were NO busses, he’d needed to walk, or hitch a ride from the forestry cargo trucks.

“With the steep slopes on one side, a sharp drop on the other, it’d, left a deep impression on me”, Huang told, that back then, it would take him a total of five whole hours, to walk into the Liugui city district, that if he’d hitched a ride from the trucks, it would save him half the time, but, heading downhill was what scared him, the passengers needed to hold on to the wood, to steady themselves, and there were incidence where the natives were crushed to death by the logs; and, being trapped in the mountains by typhoons for months on end became norm, and, the letters he wrote to his families took one whole month to get to them, and vice versa.

六龜國小校長黃龍泉將畢生歲月貢獻在偏鄉學校,手上拿的「多功能防災頭套」是他所發明...the phto of the man, with the disaster prevention device he’d invented, photo courtesy of UDN.com…

Back when he’d started teaching, not only was the traffic quite inconvenient, there weren’t any dormitories for the school instructors, Huang had taken a straw mat, and just camped out in the classroom floors for an entire month, it wasn’t until he got transferred back to the Baoshan Elementary School’s main campus, did his career of camping out on the floor end.  Three, four decades ago, there were a lot of school teachers from the cities who couldn’t adapt to this way of life, but Huang stayed on teaching for sixteen years totally, he’d started teaching closer to the cities back in 1987 at Liugui Elementary School.

As he’d started working as a school principal, Huang had worked in schools in Taoyuan’s Zhangshan, Jienshan, as well as Liugui, and part-timed as the elementary school principal for Baoshan Elementary, and, he’d had a total of twenty-four years spent in Baoshan Elementary.  In his teaching career, he’d worked as the principal of Liugui Elementary twice, the second time he’d returned, was because of how nobody wanted to return back to the school after the Morakot Typhoons that nobody wanted to go to the distant region of Liugui to work.

Because his mother is elderly, three years ago, Huang wanted to retire, back then, the city government had twice attempted to have him stay on, even the close by school’s officials came to ask him to work a bit longer.  Huang said, that there’s a high transferring rate for the instructors teaching in the distant region schools, that children in these areas should have their fair chance at a good education too, that only when the newcomers hold on to this belief, will they last long enough there, that after he retires, he’d intended to work as a committee member of the disaster preventions unit set up by the Department of Education.

This, would be how dedicated this man is to what he does, he’d started out as a school instructor in a place that needed his services the most, and became a principal, worked in the distant region schools, and weathered through a lot of dangers going to and from work, but that still didn’t ruin his passion about offering the services he was offering to the locals.  And that, is the dedications of school officials we all want to have, in the schools all around, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

The Story Capsule

from the writer of this article, taken off of UDN.com…圖/阮光民

Saving the inspirations for later, when you’re, mature enough, not throwing anything away, because it can be used again, how someone becomes inspired to create, translated…

Actually, All Those Old Buildings Have This Ability, to Not Say a Thing…with the Present and the Past, Coexisting in the Same Space & Time, and the Past is Able to, Have Conversations with the Distant Futures.

The Train Station that Stayed Still in 2007

Toward these broken, misshaped stories, I’d, swallowed them all down like those cold medicine capsules, down into my throat, like how those passages in the mountains swallowed the trains whole too.

That, is how those box trains were, with a group of people, wrapped inside, standing or sitting until it’s their stops.  As the train pulled into the station, people get on, people get off, some with stories that they carried, some were, taking their stories elsewhere.  Every capsule served its purpose, all the trains contained, many stories.

With the tourism blooming in Neiwan, Hsinchu, the local governments kickstarted the plans to make the routes, built up those comic-book railroads, with the comics summer camps too, and there were comic drawing contests, with Neiwan as the subject matter too.  In the summer of 2012, I’d gone there, to get the inspirations for my art, and for the very first time, I alighted the Neiwan Routes.

The route had the originally mountain surrounding sights, the orange-yellow colored trains passing to and from Zhuzhong, Ronghwa, Zhudong, Henshang, Jiuzantou, Hexing, Fugui, and Neiwan stations with the stations about two kilometers apart from each other.  All the stations are, silent, other than the holidays and weekends, there were, no visitors, the wooden tracks were covered with a layer of dust, like the piano which hadn’t been played in a long time.  Some of these nine stations were already listed as a C class station, without the attendants, with the numbered passengers, it’s hard to imagine, how this was, once, a major tourist attraction.

My favorite station was the Jiuzantou station, those older steel mills still stood tall, and I can imagine how when it was still working, how the smokes rose out, that scene resembled that in the Miyazaki animated feature fills like Nausicaa.  Even now, as it rained, or in the winters when there was fog, that scene was still playing on.

From the ticket booths, the station like an island, surrounded by the oceans, the trains looked like they were, trekking across the seas, and, the passengers who got off needed to walk down the steps, after the train got to the shores, to walked on the cement steps, to get to the other side, and there was only a sign that stated, “One hundred people in and out at our highest”, with the second highest number of cargoes across all of Taiwan.

Other than these storylines my mind has, the reason why I loved this station was that as time keeps on moving forward, but these building seemed to have halted by time.  Stopped, in the year 2007, with the present, and the past, together as one, the past can hold conversations with the futures from far, far away.  Actually, there’s this, silently telling story natures of these old buildings.

The Same Wind Doesn’t Blow Twice

Staying at the B&B in Neiwan, if you’re driving, then, you’d needed to, take the longer way, but if you walked, you can turn left at the Guanji Temples, passed through the tracks, followed that hill upward, and you’d bump into that wooden lamppost, passing through that passage covered with trees, then, you’d, arrived at the bed and breakfast.  But, the owner of the B&B discourages the visitors to go this way when it rained, he worried, that the visitors couldn’t steady themselves, and turn the passageway into a water slide.  This B&B is located in a higher place, you can look down and see the former streets, and in the evenings, you’d get a great view of the lights down below, after the rains, you can see the mistiness across the mountains………luckily, I was able to experience all of these in my time here.  The B&B is run by this younger couple, with an elder in the home, if the guests had ordered supper or barbecue, everybody in the family works together in the kitchen, I’d sat across the bar, looking, and every scene that happened can be used as an inspiration in my art.

I sat in the trains, watching the scenes flash by, summer, the nature used the most relaxing colors: the blues, the whites, the greens, I’m thinking, for the sake of maintaining balance with the heat of the weather.  Hmmmmmm!  I should tell you a story of summer then, and this story will, hopefully, connect all the stations together.  I took out my pad, listed all the names of the stations, and assigned the characters to get on at certain stations, the points they met up.  I’m used to drawing stories where the characters enter from some place, and this sort of a multiple location arrangement is stressing my brains out, gladly, the Neiwan Lines are quite simple.  The process of coming up with a story line was like swallowing a huge pill, the moment the storylines connected was like the pill that’s stuck in my throat, finally gotten, washed down by that gulp of water, and, if it got stuck too long, then, it’d, blocked up my windpipe, and I would’ve, died.

Finally, I’d finished, “The Marriage Dress Brought by the Summer Breeze”, and won an award for it.  In this comic, I’d selected the seasons for the names of my two characters, and so, I’d thought about how the three other seasons in Neiwan would be like?  Well, maybe, I should, do it, for ALL four seasons. But back then, I was still doing my “Heaven Diner” columns, so I was limited with my ability and time, so I can only save the scenes into my mind, as a rough draft, then, slowly, allowing everything to come into being.

In a seminar, someone asked, if I thought of a storyline, and as I drew later, found that it didn’t connect, would I, discard it?  I’d answered him, that in the past, I had, discarded, but I’d felt regrettable, and after that first time, I’d, kept everything.  As an inspiration comes into mind, it’s like a breeze blowing through, it won’t happen again, that we needed to, jot it down.  If we weren’t able to use that inspiration at the moment, it’s because we were capable enough, to make a story out of it, to develop it.

In 2017, I had the chance to sort through those pipelines inside my mind from 2012, gladly, the time capsule was still unscathed.  And as I’d held that conversation now with the past, now, I am, more apt, to make the scenes I thought up more connected, and so, came the “Railroad Sonatas”.

And, I’d used “maybe”, because perhaps, in a few more years, I may be even more capable, of developing the story line better.

Creation is like the trains, passing through, a station at a time.

So, this, is how you were, inspired, and on your trip, some of the things you felt moved by you didn’t get to use it right away, but, you’d, saved it, and, as you become more mature, things fall into place, and, those items you’d saved in your portfolio or memories, became ideas you can, extend on.

The Three of Them

like this???  Not my photograph…

The encounters of one’s daily life, and the sudden changes, then, everything returned back to the way it was, that, is how life is…translated…

At the end of the hiking trail I frequent a lot, there was this, flat wooden platform, and, the riverside below that was my personal private sight.  But, it wasn’t because of the scenes that were, breathtaking, but the three of them that’s made my heart move.

The three of them almost show up at the exact same time by the river, a middle-aged, chubby man, with hairs all white pushing along that wheelchair that made the squeaky noises.  On the wheelchair, there sat an elderly woman, the middle-aged man’s mother.  And, there was an add-on basket, with an aged dog, packing up the basket.

As they got to their spot, the elderly woman got off of her wheelchair, and practiced walking, but the aged dog refused to come out of the baskets.  At which time, the middle aged man would pull out a small ball from his pockets, throw it away, then, the senior dog would run off happily to fetch it back.  Sometimes, the aged dog would get too into it, run overhead, and thrilled the turtles that are getting some sun, it’d made the elderly woman laugh, and it’d, made me laugh too, I’d felt, that this improvisational performance from the three of them was, the purest, the most heart-warming scene.

looking after our own loved ones, not my silhouette

That day, there was that squeaky noise that came from below again, but, there was only the elderly woman there, and not the old dog.

A few days later, the squeaky noise from the wheelchair was gone, only the middle aged man strolling by the riverside.  What had happened?   An assortment of bad thoughts passed through my mind, without the old dog, chasing the ball, the elderly in her wheelchair, this riverside became, very lonely now.

A few more days later, there was only the rushing sound of the water, none of them showed.  As I was about to leave, the squeaky sound from the wheelchair came again.  I’d looked down below, the elderly woman and the dog were still there on the wheelchairs.  The elderly was a bit thinner now, but in good spirits, the elderly dog’s coat was shaved off, with the Victorian collar for the post-surgery measures, as it ran, it looked like a giant moving lamp, thrilled the turtles, back into the waters, the elderly laughed again, as did I.

So long as, they’re all all right, so long as, they’re, all okay, it’s a good thing, that I saw the three of them together again that day.

Once again, in this, it’s the people in the scenes that’s made the scene a good place to visit, because people and animals are what brings life into a picturesque place, and, without these two individuals and their dog, something seemed missing, but, everything turned out okay…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning with Her, Back to the Beginning

Whenever the two of you felt the issues coming up, this, was the place you two would go to, to sort things out, to remember what exactly, that made you two, stayed together from before, to remember the love the two of you fought hard for, translated…

The first time we’d visited that restaurant, it was an accidental passing by it with my female friend whom I’d felt extremely attracted to, the two of us were, immediately, attracted by the place’s ocean views——it was the stories that the oceans had to tell.  When we visited there in the summertime, it was, filled with life; when we visited in the winters, it felt like it was, burdened with the thoughts.

like this???  Not my photograph…

And, swiftly, a decade rolled past, we’d gone from friends, to lovers, and became, married.  The two of us, had weathered through, the arguments, the breakups, the unsettlement we’d felt toward our, collective futures, but, we’d never forgotten, to seek out that sense of serenity, no matter how busy life became.

My wife once stated, “Every time we’d come here, it’d reminded me of how hard we fought, to stay together, despite what the outside world said to us.”

I’d felt the same way too.  Back then, we were, so courageous, believed, that we could, face ANY troubles that came our ways, like how those waves that, never quit, crawling back onto the shores were.

cherishing the memories we’d already made…not my photograph…

So, every time you’d revisited this particular spot, it served as a reminder of how hard you’d, worked, and fought hard, to stay together, and this place had, turned into that stable source of strength you were looking for, when your lives got too tough, and that, became enough, for the two of you, to keep working hard in your marriage together.

An Unforgettable Overseas Trip Together, on Family Vacation

Traveling with young children, this may prove, to be challenging, let’s see how this couple managed it, translated…

These couple of years, the two of us kept planning a trip abroad, but we’d not known what to do with the children, and so, we’d decided, to take along our two three-year-old young daughters on our vacations, to Singapore.

a vacation with the whole family, young children and all, photo from online…

Dragging along two young children on an airplane, that was something we’d never, done before, and, there were a lot of voices advising us against it from before we set out.  The grandparents started first, “Why are you taking them abroad they’re so very young still?  What happens if they start crying, or fall ill?”, and my in-law chimed in too, “If you want to travel abroad, go with a tour group, it’ll make your lives easier!”, and even as we tried to explain, “We’d considered how the children may get fussy or ill, that, was why we’d selected to go to Singapore, for the good flowing traffic and the well-established medical facilities!”

“The self-help trips give us more freedom, we can adjust our itinerary to our kids’ needs.”, and the relatives, friends, families still didn’t believe we could manage this, and yet, the four of us, two adults, two children, set out, for Singapore, as planned.

Although our friends, relatives, and families have doubts, I’m still more than grateful, for their inputs, making us plan the trip even more thoroughly.  This trip was, so smooth, that was out of my expectations, all of us had a leisurely and a fun trip.  We’d toured the well-known sights in Singapore, and the most unforgettable was the tour by the river, we rode the subways to the wharf, and selected to set out as the sun sets, and we’d, entered into the night, filled with neon lights, looking at the glowing lights.  Our daughters became so intrigued by the sights, it’d made me feel this unspeakable sense of wonder, and I’d felt glad, that I wasn’t swayed, by our families and loved ones’ opinions of traveling with my young children, otherwise, I would’ve never had the opportunities, to experience this wonder.

As the trip ended and we’d returned home, the two of us felt more confident about the future; after all, we were successful, in taking our two three-year-old children abroad on a self-help trip, what else can’t we tackle, right?

So, this, is your family’s big step out into the world, and, because you were successful, in taking your two YOUNG kids abroad, without much troubles, that, would make you more than likely to, plan another trip for you and your family the next time, wouldn’t it???

Missing the Afternoon Rain…

Can’t believe I’m actually saying this: I’m actually, missing the afternoon rain, as the weather’s getting hotter and hotter, I’m finding it hard, to keep my body cooled down, and, oh, how I prayed for that, afternoon rain that would pour down on the roof of this house from awhile ago, so long as it doesn’t rain for the entire afternoon, just right before I get off work, for half to an hour’s time, and that, would suffice…

Missing the afternoon rain, because of the heat.  It’s getting hotter and hotter in the afternoons, and, being indoors, in this air-conditioned (yeah right!!!) place doesn’t do SQUAT in helping my body to adjust to the high-heat outside, and, eventually, I will, be heading outside, and then, I shall be, overwhelmed, by this attack of heated weather, making it harder, for my body to cope!

like this,  and so long as it only lasted for a botu half an hour before getting off work…not my animation…

If only…if only, the rain can, come down in amounts that are enough, to cool the weather off a bit, and then, dry back up again, leaving behind some small amounts of moisture in the air, that, would be grand, but, it doesn’t work that way, because when it rained, it usually comes down, super hard, like needles, falling from the skies, attempting to, penetrate through those plastic or tarp umbrellas, attacking the people hiding underneath it.

That, is how the weather is, and how we humans are: when it gets too hot, we missed the colder weather, and longed for a little bit of rain, and, when it rained down hard (b/c it does!!!), we’d longed, for the sunnier days, and, there’s just, no middle grounds here………

like this, not my photograph… 

 

 

 

 

Escaping from the City, a Poem

Giving off that illusory feel of you’re actually, escaping out of something, translated…

Holding the right side of the railings, moving toward gravity

Leaving the left passages to people with things on their minds

That last train about to leave the city

The pillow started to float around

like that!  Not my photo…

Softened, like the dreams’ wheels rolling

The grasses, the trees, grow in the opposite directions in dreams

The leaves outside the windows competed and shrank

Into that single, pure, droplet of water.

The train spend into the depth of the railing

We are, the chosen creatures

With our tired faces

Sharing the same confusions

Needed desperately, to flip open to the answers

To help us explain all the riddling injuries

The quiet one sitting close by like the bookmark

The side profile resembled the beautiful still-life

With the perfect shade

We’d held on separate ends of the discussions

Like a high-wire, severing the times into

Many pieces over and over

Casting it outside the windows repeatedly

Like we’re, feeding

running around in circles going nowhere 的圖片結果like what this cat is doing, footage found online…

——-—that furry mouth in the beasts that came alive at night

The night was vast like the back of some beast

I rode the trains

Through the fogs, the stars, the thundering rain—

Holding tightly to the handrail,

Buckling myself back up

Simply, to escape, this town that’s been

Tortured

So, this, is a case where someone tried to escape from her/his surrounding environment, but, you’re just running around, in this circle, because the trains’ tracks are set, and, it just, looped around, and around, and around, and, it may seem like you’re, making your escape to elsewhere, but you’re, actually, N-O-T!!!