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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Feng Chia University Counseling Center

Anson Wang & Kane Chang

Feng Chia University is concerned not only about students’ academic performance but also about student’ emotional health.  Today, we will introduce an important and special FCU unit – the FCU Counseling Center.  This center offers a variety of aptitude tests and relaxation equipment that can help students deal with the stress of their busy lives.  Recently, we visited the Counseling Center to see just what it was like.  It was both interesting and relaxing!

 First, the Counseling Center offers students a number of aptitude tests and counseling services – the very first step to understand ourselves.  At the Counseling Center, there are more than 20 kinds of test for you to try.  These tests will help students understand themselves better in many areas, including love, interpersonal relationships, and career interests. Most of these tests take between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. After you give your test to the Center staff, the counselor will give you some feedback and talk with you about your personality. However, some tests cannot be analyzed right away, so you might have to come back again in a week or so to talk to the counselor.  
All photos by the authors

Next, after you receive the outcome of the test, you can use the Center’s relaxation equipment to refresh yourself and get your head back together.  The first one we tried was the α wave projector.  To use this machine, you have to lie down on a chair; it’s pretty comfortable, and the counselor will give you blanket and pillow so you can take a nice nap (just kidding; don’t fall asleep!). Then the counselor will place a small screen in front of your eyes turn on the projector. Looking at the twinkling red lights that you see will help brain release α waves.  The lights will change to white lights if you relax your mind, indicating more α waves.  It’s quite fun and really comfortable! 

If you often feel nervous, you might want to try HeartMath®.  This software offers three levels of simple games that will train you how to control your mind.  You play these games with a heart-rate and breath detector attached to your earlobe.  You look at a picture on the screen, and try to adjust your breathing and thoughts to make it “colorful.”  It sounds weird, but it is actually pretty cool! As you change to a higher level, the detector becomes more sensitive and the testing time gets longer.  Therefore, it really is a challenge for you keep your mind calm and your breath steady.

When you have finished with your tests and relaxed with the Center’s equipment, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about quality of the Center’s service.  Don’t hesitate to be honest and give them some good feedback; remember, they are there to help you!

Finally, we think we are lucky that we can attend such a great school.  There are still many resources here on the FCU campus that we are not aware of because we don’t use them in regular daily school life.  We hope that our article has helped you discover one more of these useful FCU resources; now, it’s your turn to go out and find another!  Leave a "Comment" response to this article letting everyone know what you have found! 


Make Your Own Burger at “Offer Maker” – A Restaurant Review

 Shadow Chen & Lesly Liu

There are many restaurants around Feng Chia University that offer a variety of food such as Chinese food, Japanese food, and Korean food. However, there is only one restaurant where customers design their own meal!  At this restaurant, Offer Maker, you can design your own hamburger and their chef will cook it just the way you like it. We recently visited Offer Maker and discovered that it is as fun as it is delicious!

All photos by the authors
Although it was a little dark inside when we entered the restaurant, we saw the decoration was done in classical American style. BonJovi's song, "It's my life" was playing on the stereo and there were many photos and posters on the walls.  The atmosphere was really unique! Although they have both indoor and outdoor seating, there still isn’t much space for many customers.

After we got to our seats, the server gave us menus. The design of the Offer Maker menu is really special; it is made of craft paper and looks hand drawn. We could see from the menu that there were many ingredients we could choose from in making our hamburgers, including seafood, meat, cheese and special sauces. While we were waiting for our orders to arrive, we noticed another special thing about Offer Maker – they provide poker cards and board games that you can play while you are waiting for your order! We discovered that we didn’t really have to wait that long for our meals to arrive.

First, we had a salad made of fresh vegetables with salad dressing. The salad was good, but I felt the sauce was a little bit sour for me. Then the waitress brings us bowls of corn soup. The soup was smooth and rich and was served in a beautiful bowl, which made it even more delicious.

After we had finished the soup, our main courses arrived. Our burgers were surrounded by lettuce, French fries, and a special sauce for the fries. Everything was served on very colorful on their plates.  We ordered burgers with a variety of ingredients such as bread with peanut butter, slices of tomato, black olives, cheese, and one big beef patty. It tasted really joyful! We could feel all the flavors mixing together and exploding in our mouths. However, the special sauce did not impress me because it was too sour for me. I guess you can tell that I don’t really care for sour foods, but Lesly thought the salad dressing and the special sauce were just right!

With our burgers, we had soft drinks from the Offer Maker free beverage bar. Finally, for dessert, we had pudding. The pudding was very soft and not too sweet.

The waitress who served us was a girl with long beautiful hair and a sweet smile. From our first step into the restaurant, she was very polite and always made us feel comfortable. Although Offer Maker is a small restaurant, it offers many dishes and even more choices of ingredients you can use to make your burger on your own. We really enjoyed our meal in this cute restaurant. The food is delicious and the service is also excellent. We heartily recommend you give Offer Maker a try!

Offer Maker

(Next to One City Inn)
Tuesday – Sunday: Lunch: 11:00 – 14:30; Dinner: 17:00 – 21:30
Special Friday, Saturday Hours: Lunch: 11:00 – 14:30; Dinner 17:00 – 23:00

Closed Monday

"Amal" – A Movie Review

Vera Chiu & Cindy Tsai

Last Friday, when I was in Feng Chia University’s library’s multi-media section, I found a movie named Amal. In Taiwan, Amal was translated into Poor With Nothing Left but Money(窮得只剩下錢). My first thought was of a man who had nothing except money. However, after watching movie, I discovered I was wrong.  Because the movie was so interesting, I introduced Amal to Cindy and we watched it again together. 

Poster courtesy
        Amal, the main character, was a tuk-tuk taxi driver. He drove all day and all night in New Delhi. Once, an old man asked Amal to take him somewhere. However, along the way, he changed his mind again and again and also complained about the fare. However, Amal didn’t complain because he was a professional driver who should respect his passenger.

Another time, Amal helped a little girl who was knocked down by a car. He took care of her every day and even sold his tuk-tuk to pay her medical expenses. From these two situations, we can see that Amal was a selfless and kind person. Amal’s personality was such a very rare and unique treasure that it touched the old man who had been so much trouble. Years later, the old man died, leaving a letter for Amal which would change Amal’s life.

Amal is more than a touching story.  While we were watching the movie, we learned about social issues in India. First, there is a wide gap between rich and poor. Some people live in mansions, but others sleep on the street. Second, not everyone has the right to education. If your status is not high, you can’t go to school no matter how smart you are. These unfair situations shocked us deeply.

Amal is different from other, more exciting movies; it is about things that you will want to think deeply about after you watch it. Amal made us think about what it means to be wealthy. Money is not the most important value in life. If you care too much about money, you will miss other, more important, things like having a dream, being happy, and loving the people around you. This kind of wealth cannot be measured by money. That’s why we believe that being rich is not about how much money you have, but how happy you are. And we learned all of this from the story of Amal, a poor tuk-tuk driver we met through the foreign film collection at Feng Chia University.

The next time you are looking for something different and interesting to do in your free time, you might want to pay a visit to the FCU library’s video collection; like us, you might find a treasure buried there.

A Two-Day Trip to Keelung

Amy Chen & Claire Hsu

This summer vacation, Claire and I were bored, so we planned a two-day trip. We heard from our friend that Keelung was a good place to visit because there are a lot of beautiful scenery and delicious snacks there. Therefore, we decided to go to Keelung to make our summer vacation more interesting.

After we got Keelung at about 14:00, we went to Shimen (Stone) Arch (石門海蝕天然紀念物) first. This is an arch that nature made in a big rock. This arch was enormous! It was big enough for people to climb through. We were amazed by the power of Mother Nature to create such a marvelous and magnificent wonder.
All photos by the authors

Later, we went to Shimen Wedding Plaza (石門婚紗廣場). There we could see the sea. The scenery was beautiful and peaceful. We felt relaxed. There were two couples taking wedding photos there; it was very romantic. We could even feel their happiness.

In the evening, we went to the beach. We played a lot and had a lot of fun. We made sand castles and played in the water with some foreign kids we had met there. After we were exhausted and the color of the sky had become darker, we lit some sparklers. We sat on the beach holding the sparklers in our hands and chatting together. We were very happy.

For dinner, we had some snacks at the Keelung Temple Gate (基隆廟口). The first snack we had was a slush (泡泡冰). There were many flavors, including lemon, milk, strawberry, and peanut. Claire chose the lemon flavor. I could tell it was very sour from her serious frown. We also had Three Brothers Douhua (三兄弟豆花). It was delicious! The douhua was very soft and tender, and the tapioca pearls were springy. What was really special about the douhua was that there was a little bit of lemon juice added in it. Hence, it tasted sweet and a bit sour. We loved it very much! It was wonderful!

Finally, we had Taco Yaki. However, we were a bit disappointed because it was too expensive even though the portion was really big – it cost us NT$ 120, and there were 20 tako yakis per portion! The quantity frightened us, and it took us a lot of time to finish it. After we had finished it, we both felt very uncomfortable. Therefore, you might want to think twice before you buy this snack!

On the second day, we took a bus to JiouFen. We went to Auntie Ah Kam Taro Balls (阿柑姨芋圓) first. Their Taro Ball Ice is their best selling item; you get a lot of really tender, sweet, cool taro balls in this dessert. It helped us cool down on this hot summer day. The seating at Auntie Ah Kam Taro Balls offered great views, too! We saw majestic mountain scenery and beautiful sea scenery. There were also boats floating on the sea. It was beautiful!

       Then we went to JiouFen Secret Base (九份秘密基地). Tickets cost only NT$ 20 for 2 people. There we could try on various costumes. We tried on the traditional Chinese costumes, and Claire said I looked like a lady from long ago. We also tried on princess dresses. The dresses were elegant and gorgeous. Both of us looked classy, so we took a lot of photos. JiouFen Secret Base was an awesome place. We really liked it here.

    We had a good time during our two days in Keelung. It made our summer vacation fantastic and wonderful. We have decided to go there again someday, but we plan to go for more than two days because Keelung is a really great place to travel. If you don’t have much time and can spend only one day in Keelung, we suggest that you go to Keelung Temple Gate (基隆廟口) and JiouFen; otherwise, you will regret it. If you can stay for two days, you can follow our itinerary. We hope you will have as good a time as we did!

R&B Curry - A Restaurant Review

Kevin Yang & Louis Lin

Curry’s charm is powerful, and, every so often, we are hit by curry fever. When the fever hit a week ago, we decided to have lunch at R&B Curry. R&B Curry is located in a narrow alley near school, so it’s convenient.  It’s also not expensive, so it was “just our style.”

When we first walk into the restaurant, we felt how cool it was compared to the heat outside. Also, the warm lighting made the atmosphere feel comfortable. While we were standing at the door, we looked down and saw a lovely dog, A-Sa. This is the owner’s dog, and while customers are eating, A-Sa will sit beside you and look up at you, hoping that you will feed it.
All photos by the authors

All of the food on the menu looked delicious, and it was hard for us to choose. The specialty of the restaurant is curry, so, of course, the menu included traditional yellow and red curries. R&B also serve unusual curries like black curry and white curry. The most special curry served here is their miso curry.

Finally, we decided to order the Red Curry Fish. The fish was very fresh and tender, and the curry was similar to the red curry they serve at Thai restaurants. The two went very well together. The servers at R&B Curry were very attentive, and customers can ask for extra rice and black tea free. The prices at R&B are quite reasonable, with the average meal costing about NT$80. This is a great price for students and makes it a good place to bring friends or family.

We enjoyed our meal at R&B Curry, and look forward to tasting all the flavors of curry on their menu. We are sure to come back the next time “curry fever” strikes, and are sure you will like it, too.

R&B Curry

No. 5, Wen-Hua Road, Lane 155, Hsitun District, Taichung

Hours: 11:00 – 21:00 

My Favorite Bag Store-KiKi Bag

Jelly Lee

A bag is a tool that people use to carry things in, but for girls, bags show their taste, too.  I have found a terrific fashionable bag store not far from school that you MUST visit - KiKi Bag. 
All photos by the author
KiKi Bag is located on Wu Tai Street in the Feng Chia night market area. It is really easy to find; you can see it when you first step into this small street because at KiKi Bag, they hang or put all their bags on wooden cabinets outside their store. These colorful, good-looking bags are all neatly lined up one behind another so you can see them at a glance and you won’t have to spend too much time before finding the bag just right for you. However, you will want to spend more time because all of KiKi Bag’s bags are so pretty! The cute sales clerks will greet you with a big smile and happily introduce the bags to you. They will even help you try every bag until you find the one you like.

Although there are bag stores everywhere, I usually buy bags from KiKi Bag because their bags are beautiful and their prices are reasonable. As a matter of fact, my friends always guess that my bags were more expensive than they really were. Bag styles are similar at almost any bag store you go to, but the quality of leather is really different. The leather chosen by KiKi bag looks good, and you can feel that it is soft and strong. You know you will be able to use your KiKi bag for a lot longer. KiKi Bag provides bag repair services, too. They will be able to repair or replace the metal accessories on your bags such as the hooks, buckles, and zippers.

KiKi Bag has a shop near Feng Chia, but, if you are busy, you can shop on their Facebook club page and ask KiKi to send the bags to you. You can also add KiKi as your Facebook or Line friend, so that you can learn about their latest sales any time, any place.

I have already bought five bags from KiKi Bag, and I like their bags so much that I have shared KiKi with my friends. Now, I’m sharing KiKi with you; so, go by and take a look! You will love this store as much as I do!

KiKi Bag

73 Feng Chia Road, Hsitun District, Taichung


"Man of Steel" – A Movie Review

Andy Wang & Jeffrey Chang

Superman comics were first introduced in America in 1938, and, in 1978, the first Superman movie was released. Over the next 35 years, film production companies made quite a few Superman movies, and this year, Warner Brothers has released the latest in the Superman series, Man of Steel. However, Man of Steel is different from the Superman movies that came before it; it is surprising in many ways. 

Posters courtesy WarnerBros

       Superman (played by Henry Cavill) was born on the planet Krypton. When Krypton was about to die because of exhausted natural resources, official corruption, and bad social policy, his father, Jor-El ( play by Russell Crowe), sent his only son to a planet far from home – Earth. He was secretly raised on Earth by Jonathan Kent (played by Kevin Costner) and his wife. They gave Superman the Earth name, “Clark.” Ever since Clark was a boy, he knew he was different from other children. Sometimes he felt confused about why he was so different. Jonathan taught Clark to control himself and not to expose his power to others; he believed that one day the world will need him. Until that day, Clark had to wait patiently because Jonathan had told him that people are afraid of things they don’t understand and would fear him because he was from another planet.

Zack Snyder, the director of this film, made quite a few changes in making this film. If you have ever seen a Superman movie or comic, you will remember how powerful, extraordinary, and righteous Superman is.  Past Superman movies were shot in bright light and vibrant colors that led the audience to believe that Superman stood for righteousness and justice. However, in Man of Steel, Superman was nobody for 33 years. He grew up in the everyday grey world that we all live in, and the colors of the movie show this. Even Superman’s costume has changed. In old Superman movies, Superman’s outfit is bright red, blue, and yellow – colors that mean strength, courage, and energy. In Man of Steel, the colors have become darker, looking more like armor with a cloak. The biggest change in Superman’s outfit is the “S” logo on his chest; it is now not “S” for Super, but merely his father’s family crest, the symbol of Clark’s ancestors on Krypton. His father wanted Clark to remember who he was and where he had come from.  However, Clark, Superman, has trouble understanding himself – and being understood by others.

When General Zod ( play by Michael Shannon), an old friend of Superman’s real father, Jor-El, came to the Earth looking for a secret document that Jor-El had hidden with his son when he sent him to the Earth, Superman sided with the humans and fought the aliens. However, while the US military attacked the aliens, they attacked Superman, too! It was just like Clark’s Earth father, Jonathan, said it would be; humans attack what they don’t understand. Even when Superman promised he would not harm humans, they still suspected him. This is how life really is.

Man of Steel is not just a fantasy hero movie, but a movie with a lot of depth and hidden meanings. This film talks about political issues, environmental issues, racial issues, and free will – the power to decide for ourselves who we are. When people see this move, they are forced to think about what they would do if they were in Clark’s, Jonathan’s, or Jor-El’s situation. We highly recommend this movie. It is not just a good time; it has gone beyond entertainment to something more.

Pumpkin House: A Restaurant Review

Coco Hsiao

The Art Greenway, in the National Art Museum neighborhood here in Taichung, is a great place to spend a day off.  There is a lot of art to look at and lots of cafés where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea.  Sometimes, however, a light snack is just not enough.  When your stomach tells you it needs a real meal, you might want to try one of my favorite arts neighborhood restaurants, Pumpkin House.

All photos by the author
  Everything at Pumpkin House is permeated with western country style. The outside of the restaurant is done in red brick to give it a nostalgic feeling.  After you go inside, you’ll be surprised at the many kinds of cute pumpkin decorations that fill this small space such as dolls, toys, and paintings. Their tables and chairs are made from wood, and the Pumpkin House staff has also has put some pillows or Teddy bears on the chairs to make them more comfortable.

In Pumpkin House, not only are the decorations great, but the ambiance is also wonderful. The brisk background music and bright natural light that passes through the whole restaurant create a simple living atmosphere where you can enjoy some quite alone time or chat quietly with friends.

The Pumpkin House serves set meals, a la carte dishes, and afternoon desserts. All set meals include salad, soup, entree, dessert, and drink. The menu includes steak meals, potato meals, and cheese gratin meals. The average price is around NT$290 to NT$490.

During my most recent visit, I ordered the pumpkin with smoked chicken, bacon, and cheese gratin set meal. I did not have to wait too long before a pleasant server with a big smile brought me my meal. The first dishes were a fresh vegetable salad and a bowl of tomato soup. There were four kinds of vegetables in the salad (corn, red & white carrots, and cucumbers), and the salad was served with Pumpkin House’s special salad dressing. The salad was fresh and crunchy, and I love that texture of food. The tomato soup tasted a little sour and a little sweet because of the many kinds of vegetables inside. 

The main dish included a piece of garlic bread, some smoked chicken, and a generous helping of cheese baked on the top of the rice. Inside the gratin were some potato cubes and sweet pumpkin pieces. The fragrance of the sweet pumpkin and rosemary smelled great. The main course was very filling. It was a bit salty for my taste, but still very tasty. If you order a gratin set meal, be careful to eat slowly because the filling is really hot. After my meals, I tried their special desert, a slice of cool pumpkin pie. The pie tasted soft and not too sweet – just like a custard tart.  It is very appropriate for young ladies who don’t want to get fat, too.  I highly recommend it!

I really enjoyed my lunch at this country style restaurant. I came away full at a reasonable price. However, I love Pumpkin House for not only for their delicious food at prices even a student can afford, but also for the easy feeling that their décor gives me – just like being in a foreign country. If you want to experience foreign countrified ambience, Pumpkin House is really worth a visit.

To get to Pumpkin House, you can take the No. 5 bus to the National Art Museum and cross Wuquan W. Road to the Greenway. Walk along the Greenway for around 10 minutes and you’ll see Pumpkin House on your right. Before you visit Pumpkin House, I suggest that you make a reservation to avoid the lunch hour crowd between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Also, remember that Halloween is coming soon, and this autumn festival just might be the perfect time for an unforgettable Pumpkin House dinner!
Pumpkin House

108 Wuquan 4th.Street, Xitun District, Taichung
Hours: 11:00-15:30 ; 17:00-22:20
Phone: 04-2372-8456