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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What is the Porco Theater? - A Restaurant Review

Annie Ju

This October, I started a special project: coffee dream traveling. I planned to go to a different coffee shop to perform music each weekend. Because of this project, I have been to more coffee shops, and now I would like to introduce my favorite coffee shop to you: Porco Theater.

All photos by the author

Porco Theater is located in Taichung near Citizen’s Park.  Porco Theater is small, but its design is bright and warm. It is big enough to hold only about five tables, so there aren’t that many seats. There is also a bar where people can sit and see how the coffee is made. The owner has an old record player and a large collection of LPs, and you can request your favorite kind of music. The coffee shop is as warm and comfortable as your home. The first time I went to Porco Theater, I asked the boss why he gave his coffee shop such an interesting name.  He told me that he loved the movie Porco Rosso by Miyazaki Hayao, and he especially liked the leading actor. He said that he thinks that everyone is the “leading actor” because they come to the coffee shop for different reasons.

There are four sections to the Porco menu: beverages, meals, desserts, and coffees. Of course, the coffee is the most important part. Honestly, I didn’t like to drink coffee before because I thought it tasted bitter.  However, on my first visit, I chose the Litchi Honey Coffee. The coffee was really tasty and milky; the flavor was full of Litchi, honey and milk. Because it had such a strong flavor, I thought it was really smooth and totally suited to my taste.

In recent years, a restaurant’s service has become more and more important, and Porco Theater’s boss gave me excellent service.  He spent a long time to introduce the menu to me, and he didn’t force me to order coffee. Not only that; he was really talkative! He answered all of my questions patiently. The most important thing is that the owner does not care how long his guests stay; they can even spend the whole day! He only wants them to enjoy their experience at Porco Theater.

Since I started my project, I have been to about 10 coffee shops. Every coffee shop has its specialty. In my opinion, the service and the decoration are the most interesting for me. If you have the same taste as mine, I would really recommend Porco Theater.  Everyone has to go there at least once.

"The Devil Wears Prada" - Movie Review

Athena Chen & Joanna Chiu

After our midterm exam, we decided to relax by seeing a movie. Our friends told us that The Devil Wears Prada is a wonderful movie. After seeing the movie, we discovered that it was not just funny, but had depth. No wonder our friends liked it.

Image (c) Twentieth Century Fox (

The Devil Wears Prada is about Andrea Sachs (Andy), who had just finished university and wanted to be a writer for a famous magazine. She applied for a job at the top fashion magazine, “Runway,” and got the job! Unfortunately, she has a lot of trouble with her boss, Miranda. Because Andy and Miranda have very different personalities, they don’t get along very well.
In the beginning of the movie, Andy dressed and acted like she had no idea about how to be a modern, fashionable girl. For example, she had an onion bagel just before her interview for her job.  Moreover, after she got the job, she wore her “grandmother skirt,” and her “size six" dresses to work. Her style seemed kind of dark, and her make-up was not professional. When Nigel, Miranda’s top fashion editor, told Andy that she needed to be more passionate about her job, she started to change. Andy became more confident than before, and everything seemed to go more smoothly.  She gained Miranda’s trust and attended an important party. However, even though she was successful at her job, her life was still not perfect. She was paying so much attention to her job that she lost her friends – and her boyfriend! After Miranda told Andy that she was more like her, Andy began to think about whether this kind of life was making her happy. At the end of the movie, Andy changed again.

To represent the energy pulsing through a great city (the movie took place in New York), music using a lot of guitar and percussion is used throughout the movie. String instruments, like the piano, are also used to reflect how relaxed Andy felt when she finally “found herself.” Now, whenever I hear that music, that scene comes to mind.

At the beginning of the movie, Andy was a normal person who didn’t care about the details in her life; Miranda thought that her job was her entire life. As the movie continues, however, Andy realizes that she doesn't need to change her appearance; she needs to change her mind.  Miranda, on the other hand, discovers that work is not the most important thing in life – that there must be something that makes life worth living.

Check it out! Google Maps Icons at Feng-Chia University

Celeste Jheng

Every day when you are at school, you are sure to see that large Google Maps icon in front of the library.  Actually, there are two Google Maps icons on campus.  You can see the other one on the lawn near the recreation building.  We see these installation art pieces every day; however, does anybody know what they really are and why they are there? To find the answer to these questions, I visited the Feng Chia University Public Relations (PR) Office.

All photos by the author

When I got to the PR Office, I was told to talk to Miss You, who is one of the office’s designers. She told me that they made these Google Maps icons as part of the graduation celebration last semester.  The graduation slogan was,  “Check in at FCU.” As everybody knows, “check-in” is a Facebook function that lets users upload their snapshots to “check in” with their friends and let them know where they are and what they are doing.

 After the PR Office had decided to make these icons, they had to think about where to place them.  They took pictures from many angles at many spots around campus such as the Ren-yan Building, the sport center, the lawn near the recreation building, and the library.  They decided that the sport center was too crowded to add a piece of installation art.  However, they wanted to put an icon at a place where it could be seen on the way to the sport center (the graduation ceremony was held at the sport center).  Therefore, they decided to put an icon on the lawn near the recreation building.  In addition, they put another icon in front of the library. 

Because these two places could emphasis the special features of FCU, they were chosen as the locations for these pieces of installation art.  In the future, these icons will not be only for graduating students to take photos of; they will also attract other students and visitors from off campus. By taking pictures of the icons and uploading them on their Facebook pages or personal blogs, students and visitors can save their special FCU memories and share FCU with others.

While everyone recognizes the Google Maps icon, using it as installation art might seem a little strange.  After talking with the designer, however, I now understand why they wanted to make these installation art pieces, and why they wanted to place them in these special locations.  If you want to know even more about these icons, you can search the Internet for news about Feng-Chia University.  And the next time you pass by one of these pieces of installation art, be sure to take a picture and keep it as a memory.

Love Fried Rice

Sandy Chang & Cathy Huang

Ah-Po Fried Rice is a small shop which sells fried rice and noodles near Feng Chia University. Although Ah-Po Fried Rice seems too small to notice, most of the students in Feng Chia University know about it. We often visit Ah-Po Fried Rice, so we decided to write down the story behind the small shop.

All photos by the authors
Ah-Po is the owner of Ah-Po Fried Rice; she is 73 years old. Ah-Po is very optimistic and friendly and always wears a smile on her face. She does all the work in the shop, including cooking, waiting on tables, and washing the plates. Why does she need to work? She is so old that she should have retired a long time ago. Ah-Po’s son’s business failed, and he owed the bank lots of money. He couldn’t even afford to take care of himself and his family. Although Ah-Po was very disappointed in her son's business failure, she still decided to help her son and take care of his family. This is the reason why Ah-Po opened the shop.

Ah-Po Fried Rice is located on Xi’an Street, near the Feng Chia University gym. It is a small shop and has few seats. It looks like the dining room in someone’s homesmall, but neat and clean. We often order the chicken fried rice because it’s delicious. The most important thing is that the fried rice and noodles Ah Po makes are filled with Ah-Po’s LOVE.

As Ah-Po Fried Rice became more famous, more people visited it. Now, we can read about Ah-Po Fried Rice not only in the newspapers but also on the Internet. Last year, the Knight bicycle team from Hsinchu bought 50 fried rice boxed lunches from Ah-Po Fried Rice and delivered them to old people who live alone. By doing this, they helped both Ah-Po and the old people. In addition, students often come and help Ah-Po and don’t ask to be paid. To those students, Ah-Po is their grandmother, and they love to help her.

The food at Ah-Po Fried Rice is both cheap and delicious. However, there is another, more important, reason why Ah-Po Fried Rice is so popular. The most important reason why so many people visit the shop is the touching story behind it – and the woman whose love gives her dishes their special flavor.


Ah-Po Fried Rice

267 Xi'an Street, Taichung
Hours: 7:00 – 22:00

Learning is Interaction

Serena Chen

On October 26 and 27, I went to an academic conference at National Chengchi University in Taipei.  The main topic was Interaction Analysis.  There were scholars from many different countries, and English was the common language at this conference.  The scholars at this conference were all interested in the interaction between teachers and students and were learning about the situation in Taiwan by watching videos recorded in Taiwan classes. 

View detailsThis was my first opportunity to try and understand teaching and learning from the teacher’s point of view.  During the conference, I learned a lot about seeing things from the teachers' perspectives because most of the scholars were also teachers.  When they talked about traditional learning interaction in Taiwan classes, they said that many teachers stand in front of their class and use microphones.  The students in the class are expected to learn what the teachers have taught them.  However, the scholars were not satisfied with this traditional interaction, which goes in just one direction – from teacher to students.  They wanted a new learning interaction, where teachers and students could interact with each other and exchange ideas.  If this kind of interaction could take place, the students could learn not only the information their teacher gives them, but also how to communicate, work as a team, and solve problems.  In this way, the students could develop the skills needed by the labor market.

I could tell that the scholars had made an effort to find a new model for learning interaction.  They are trying very hard to improve their teaching, and I was really moved.  As an elementary school English teaching assistant, I learned a lot at this conference that will improve my teaching.  The conference helped me to understand more about learning interaction in my classrooms.

Adult education seriesAs a college student, I have to reflect about whether I should change how I act in my classes here at FCU.  Should I be more active in my classes? Why should I change?  Should I work as hard as the teachers have? Should I do even more on my learning than my teachers have done on their teaching?  I think the answer might be simple.  Only when learners desperately want to learn from their teachers will their teachers fully impart their knowledge to their students.  No matter where we are or what we are doing in the future, we should be aware of our attitude on learning. Learning is not one way – from teachers to students.  Learning is cooperation between teachers and learners; learning is interaction.

Basketball Is the Sport We Love

Stanley Hsu & Boting Chen

    Everyone knows that exercise is good for us. However, there are many different kinds of exercise; how do choose the best one for you? The sport we love best is basketball. We find basketball attractive and challenging because it is exciting and requires cooperation and strategy. 

As an old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Basketball players have to train rigorously before showing off their amazing skills in front of the audience on a basketball court. Everyone knows that the most fundamental and indispensable part of training is physical strength and endurance. This could be gained from running, lifting weights, or swimming regularly. Moreover, basketball is not just about physical ability. Basketball expertise is also important. Skillful dribbling, consolidated defense, and aggressive scoring are the heart and soul of basketball. If basketball players can’t keep running till the last moment or if they lack basketball expertise, they could lose the game.

In addition to physical strength and special skills, strategy and teamwork are indispensable on the basketball court. Stanley and Boting, for example, have to cooperate with each other on the basketball court by passing the ball and setting screens in an effort to score the last point and secure the victory before the final buzzer sounds. If they don’t have teamwork and intelligence, they could lose the game and regret it for the rest of their lives.

Why do basketball players work so hard on increasing their strength and endurance, learning new strategies, and improving their teamwork? Well, how could they win without those qualities? Every basketball player plays to win, and every team wants to stand on the stage as champions and hear the applause of their fans.

Basketball teaches us a lot.  In the learning process, we grow stronger, focus on our goal, and work hard to make our dreams come true.  Therefore, we highly recommend the sport of basketball because it not only allows you to stay healthy but also teaches you a philosophy of life