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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Torri Cafe - Restaurant Review

Victor Peng

Our lives are busier and busier, and we demand more and more from our entertainment. This week, I would like to introduce you to my favorite night view café, Torri Café. Torri Café is located on top of Da-Du Mountain, between Hung-Kuang University and Providence University. Torri Café is quiet and relaxing; moreover, it is a good place to enjoy the night view of Taichung City. It is open from 17:00 to 02:00 every night except Monday.

All photos by the author
Torri Café has a simple and classical decoration inside. The café is a wooden building hand-made by the owners out of recycled materials. Everything in Torri Café is wooden; even the menus are made from pieces of board. At Torri Café , they play 1980s music, creating a very nostalgic and comfortable atmosphere. However, the best thing about Torri Café is the wonderful night view. I often order a cup of tea to enjoy the night view and throw my troubles away. If you’d like a light meal, Torri Café provides hotpots and desserts.


Torri Café is unique, and that’s why it is my favorite place to relax. It is a secret place with a beautiful view.  It might be a bit far from Feng-Chia University, but, on the other hand, it is also far from the noise. If taking a break in a quiet spot with a wonderful night view is also your favorite way to relax, you will definitely enjoy Torri Café. 


A One-day Trip to Tainan!

Christina Hung & Claire Yu
 
Winter vacation is time to be away from school and have fun with your friends, so it is time for us students to make the plans for our winter vacation. Most of us will plan to go to Taipei or Kenting, but maybe you can try someplace different this time. If you have only one day, and you want to visit someplace new, you can try a one-day trip to Tainan – it’s close, convenient, and well worth a visit. Mention Tainan and people immediately think of two things – old buildings and delicious snacks. On this one-day tour of Tainan, you will have time to visit famous sites (including one historic monument) and to try the local delicacies, too!

When you arrive in Tainan, meet your friends at Tainan Train Station. After your long trip, you will probably be hungry. Take a ten-minute walk to South Park, across from SHIN KONG MITSUKOSHI and Focus Department stores. South Park is totally different from other local parks. At South Park, instead of slides and seesaws, you will see many clothing stores and many vendors selling food. There is also an activity square, and if you are lucky, you will see celebrities holding activities there. After strolling around South Park and satisfying your hunger, you can set out for Fort Provintia.

All photos by the authors

Fort Provintia was built in 1653 by the Dutch, during their colonization of Taiwan. When you go into Fort Provintia, you will first see nine huge bixi (stone turtles carrying stone tablets on their backs), and beside the nine bixi, a fish pond. There is a bridge over the fish pond, so you can go across the bridge to the backyard. In the backyard, you will see two towers. Both of these towers are Chinese style, and they are built on the top of the old fort. After strolling around Fort Provintia, you will want to try some of the local snacks sold nearby. At the fort’s front gate, you will see many food vendors such as Dong-Gua Tea, Dusiaoyue Danzih Noodles, and Fish Thick Soup. These are all very famous snacks in Tainan, so you shouldn’t miss any of them. After spending the afternoon at Fort Provintia, set out for Garden Night Market.

Garden Night Market is the biggest and the most famous night market in Tainan. It is open only on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, so be sure to plan your trip for one of those three days! Unlike at Feng Chia Night Market, at Garden Night Market, the vendors are gathered in a big parking lot. That makes this night market more crowded, but it also makes it more fun! Like at Feng Chia Night Market, the vendors at Garden Night Market sell both clothing and food. The most famous snacks here are fried chicken steak and A-Mei guava; you shouldn’t miss either of these special treats. Spend a lot of time at Garden Night Market, and your one-day Tainan adventure will end the way it began – with lots of delicious food!


With so many historic monuments and delicious snacks, it is no wonder that Tainan has earned the nicknames, “Ancient Capital” and “Food Paradise.” If you are ready for an experience in historical culture or are just hungry for some new and exciting food, a one-day visit to Tainan is the perfect adventure for your winter vacation.

Soft Skills for Success

Jody Tu and Anna Chung

Recently, when walking by the Jong-Chin Building about 12 o’clock, you might have been attracted by activities promoting the “FCU Soft Skills Representative Competition.” This competition, hosted by the FCU Center for Student Advising and Learning, is to choose six students to be “FCU Soft Skills Representatives,” but just what are “soft skills”?

Compared with hard skills, also called specialized skills, soft skills are more critical to achievement. What are the six soft skills? Basically, there are two kinds of soft skills, skills involving interpersonal intelligence and skills involving personal intelligence.
 
Winners are 吳其芳、謝宛容、張維驛、謝沛凌、徐佩瑄、粘家榆.
 Photo from http://learningportfolio.fcu.edu.tw/index.aspx

Interacting with people is not that easy. In order to have good relationships, it’s necessary to develop your interpersonal intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence requires communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. First, you need communication skills to understand fully people’s ideas, to express your own thoughts freely and clearly, and to reach an agreement with others quickly. Then when you’re working with other people, you need to identify the team’s main goal, respect your teammates’ different viewpoints, and accomplish your mission efficiently; these are teamwork skills. Finally, problem solving skills include identifying the problem clearly, facing the problem positively and solving the problem quickly.

The second kind of soft skills involves personal intelligence. Personal intelligence includes innovation, self-management, and lifelong learning skills. Innovation skills give you the ability to recognize opportunities, to have the courage to try new things and to break your old pattern of thinking. Self-management skills help you to manage your time appropriately, create a clear plan for your future, and be responsible for what you do. Once you set a goal, don’t stop! Finally, lifelong learning, the most important of the six soft skills, gives you the courage to pursue personal growth and personal development by setting new goals after the old ones have been reached.

These six soft skills are not only practical but also helpful for everyone. No matter who you are or where you are on your life path, these six soft skills will help you to adapt to new environments and will improve your relationships with your coworkers. Now that you know what “soft skills” are, you can get started developing your own soft skills and preparing for next year’s competition!

A Lovely Festival - Christmas

Jeffery Chen and Mary Hsu
 
Christmas is coming. How will you celebrate this year? There are several ways to celebrate this special festival. Of course, you will want to get together with friends and family that you haven’t seen for a long time. Also, you can pick special Christmas gifts for others or for yourself. Christmas is an opportunity to satisfy your desire for shopping. While you are out shopping, you will notice that there are lots of places, like department stores or malls where you can take pictures with the Christmas decorations.
  
Getting together with family and friends at the end of this year is meaningful. You can have a reunion at home with a Christmas meal like pizza, roast chicken and pie or cake with ice cream for dessert.  You can also reserve a table at your favorite restaurant for your celebration. If you would like your Christmas to be more exciting, you can consider joining your friends at a Christmas party or even hosting your own. This is a really good activity.
   
       Choosing Christmas gifts for friends and family is the best way to give them your blessings. The gifts you chose are meaningful to your friends or family. If you would like to give them unique gifts, you can make presents by yourself like Christmas cards, scarves, or home-made cookies. Giving presents fills this festival with happiness. Also, in the days to come, when your friends see the presents you gave them, they will recall warm memories of you. Finally, whether you go shopping or make gifts and cards by yourself, don’t pass up this opportunity to reward yourself, too. Give a gift to yourself – you deserve it!
      
Recently, the atmosphere of Christmas is everywhere. All the city sparkles with decorations and lights. When you are out shopping or on your way to meet up with old friends, don’t forget to take photos as you walk on the streets. These will be fantastic memories.

Smart Phones - Not Such a Smart Idea

Ray Yeh
 
Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone; lots of students even have two! It seems we can’t live without our cell phones anymore! Now there is a cell phone revolution – smart cell phones – and everyone wants one. However, I think there are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t buy one!
  
         Let’s talk about price. It is expensive to buy a smart cell phone. Then you have to pay the bill every month. If you also apply for surfing the Internet, then you will have to pay even more. Although it might be your parents who are paying, you really should be careful about how much money you spend. 
      
Second, there are a lot of features make the smart cell phone attractive. For example, with your smart phone, you can take photos, surf the Internet, watch films, and listen to music.  Also, smart phones have touch screens; you don’t have to press buttons anymore, just touch the screen. But do you really need all of these things?  There is heavy competition between APPLE and HTC, and they are both upgrading their cell phones as quickly as possible to get you to buy their product.  However, they are thinking only of your money, not really your need.  You have to think about whether these features are useful to you.
 
  What you want is to NOT equal to what you need. Compare your cell phone with a smart cell phone.  While it is plain that you can do more things with the smart cell phone, you don’t really need extra functions at all. Moreover, if you buy something you don’t want, you will use it. Once you use it, it will hurt you because using those special functions will cost you more and more money. Also, you will start to spend a lot of time playing with your new smart cell phone, and it will distract you from studying. Therefore, you will fail tests more easily.
           
        As a student, it is hard to afford a smart cell phone and to pay the monthly bill. It is important to buy only things that you really need. New smart cell phones have a lot of functions that you don’t need but that you will use just because they are there – and this will cost you time and money. If you buy something just because you want it and not because you need it, you will end up paying more than you think.


Healthy Body and Mind at FCU School Clubs

Victor Chen

Do you think you are a good student just because you know your textbooks well? Since elementary school, we have been taught that books are the main way to gain the knowledge. In reality, books are not enough; there are still lots of things we can learn in this world. The question is to know how. School clubs are the most convenient way to broaden your experience while you are here at FCU. I personally believe that there are two important things in life – physical health and emotional health. Here at FCU, there are two school clubs that will help you maintain both of these kinds of health. The Aikido club can give you have a strong, healthy body, and the mountaineering club can broaden your feeling by connecting you to nature.
 
          Aikido is a martial art, which always sounds cool to us.  However, it is a lot more. Learning Aikido might make your dream of being a Hollywood superstar come true. The important concept of Aikido is you have to be passive, not active. That is, you have to wait for your opponent rather than attacking. If you wait, your enemy will not be ready for you, which gives you an advantage. In contrast, if you are aggressive and active, so is your enemy. You won’t get any advantage. The philosophy of Aikido is to be as relaxed as you are in everyday life.  
   
The most obvious benefit of the mountaineering club is that you can see magnificent scenery that you can’t see in the city. Close your eyes and imagine you are standing on a mountaintop in summer. White clouds are drifting by and the glorious sunshine is in your eyes. A comfortable breeze is whispering over every inch of your skin. Even though it is just an image in your brain, you must feel wonderful. I think that is because human beings are basically animals. We feel comfortable with nature easily. When we are surrounding by mountains, we perceive how tiny we really are. Then we will start to be grateful. Very often we take everything to be granted. Being in the mountains helps us to see ourselves and the world more clearly.
  
Joining the Aikido club and the mountaineering club will broaden your experience and teach you how to think differently and bring more feeling to your life. And you won’t find that in a textbook.
   

Fun with the FCU Symphonic Band

Marian Li
As a college student, of course you like music. And if you love music, you go to musical activities every semester. Moreover, if you really love music, you are probably a member of a musical club. But if you are really and truly CRAZY about music, you will want to do all of these things, and if that is the case, the only thing you can do is join The FCU Symphonic Band!
Photos by FCU Symphonic Band
The FCU Symphonic Band is a paradise for anyone who loves music because members all learn a wind instrument, and the faculty advisor for this club sets different goals for students to reach every semester. Therefore, members each join a different section, such as woodwind instrument, brass instrument or percussion, and work hard to reach their goal. By practicing twice a week, members become skillful wind instrument musicians.
Because FCU Symphonic Band members all work hard to achieve their goals, they want to perform in front of an audience to show their achievement for the semester. This semester, the faculty advisor set the goal of “harmony,” so all members will perform “Sea of Wisdom,” a popular movie theme song that requires perfect harmony. To demonstrate how much they have learned, the FCU Symphonic Band will perform this piece in a public concert at the end of the semester!
Participating in the FCU Symphonic Band is not all practice. Members also go out and have fun. The club holds a field trip every semester; this is a good opportunity for all club members to have fun and relax. In addition, there are long-term field trips which last for five days during both winter and summer vacations. While these activities are definitely fun, for club members, the most important thing is still musical training. During the five-day field trips, members train together to improve their skills and enhance team spirit.
Do you love music? Do you still not know what to do for fun? The answer is extremely simple: “Just participate in The FCU Symphonic Band!” Oh … and even if you decide not to become a member, remember to come hear the FCU Symphonic Band perform “Sea of Wisdom” on Saturday, December seventeenth at the FCU Student Activity Center. 

Southeast Asian Food - Restaurant Review

Lisa Huang

        Never traveled to Southeast Asia? Wondering what kind of food they eat there? There is a great place here in Taichung where you can experience Southeast Asian cuisine. Southeast Asian Food, located at Dadun 12th street (one block away from Dadun Carrefour), has been open for 8 years.
All photos by the author
        The first time you walk into Southeast Asian Food, you might think it is no different from other local restaurants. The restaurant doesn’t have much decoration; it doesn’t look like anything special. However, as the saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  Although this restaurant is not like those theme restaurant, which have lots of decorations, what makes the restaurant special is the people who work here.

         Most of the workers come from Vietnam, and you can tell they love their work by the happiness you see in their faces. Although you might not understand what they are talking about when they are working, you can sense their happiness in the language which is used world-widesmiling. Another thing that makes this restaurant special is that Southeast Asian Food is super clean; you don’t need to worry that cockroaches will eat your food!

        What can you eat at Southeast Asian Food? You have lots of choices, not only of foods but also drinks. There are two kinds of food that you can try at this restaurantThai food and Vietnamese food. There are many dishes on the menu, but you can’t order a set meal. If you want to try a number of different dishes at one time, go to Southeast Asian Food with your friends and share. Drinks are not included with the dishes, but you can order green tea, beer, soda, or coconut juice from their drinks menu.


 
        My latest visit to Southeast Asian Food, I ordered Green Curry Beef Bean Noodles. The bean noodles were fried with some vegetables, beef, and green curry. Before I began to eat, the dish smelled a bit sour. When I began to eat, however, I was surprised by how spicy it was since it didn’t look spicy. From their drinks menu, I ordered a bottle of green tea and drank it while I was eating. The more I ate, the better the dish tasted. I think I quickly became addicted to the spicy and sour taste of the dish.
   
Also worth noting is the service at Southeast Asian Food. You won’t need to spend lots of time waiting for your meal; moreover, the boss is a friendly person, and he is always at the restaurant helping the workers.
   
        Southeast Asian Food is a wonderful place to experience the cuisine of Southeast Asia without leaving the country. Although it doesn’t look like a high-class restaurant, the food here is awesome. I’m sure you won’t want to miss it!