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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Preparing for the Graduate School Entrance Exam

Terry Lee

At each stage of our lives, we all have to make some crucial decisions for our future. In my junior year here at Feng Chia University, I decided to prepare for graduate school. The field which I chose was civil engineering.

Because my college major is finance, I faced lots of trouble initially. For example, I had forgotten how to solve some basic physics problems. Therefore, I made a crazy decision; I gave up all my department courses in my junior year and took courses only in civil engineering. Fortunately, I had already passed all of my department courses, so I would have enough credits to graduate.
 
All photos by the author
Hence, I could put all my energy to my study of civil engineering and didn’t have to worry about how well I did. When my junior year ended, I started to study at the library for at least 9 hours each day with only a half-hour nap in the afternoon. In addition, I replaced my “smart” cell phone with an old-fashioned “dumb” phone so that I wouldn’t be tempted to play with it all the time; I wanted to concentrate on my studies.

Whenever things were not going well, I always tried to stay positive, and not give up. I told myself that I was good enough to be accepted by the top schools in the country, and that belief helped me succeed.


Now that I have conquered this huge challenge, I realize that I have become more mature. I am not the lazy guy who always used to complain about how hard things were or how tired I was. I have learned how to endure pressure and resist temptation.

The most important thing is that I really appreciate the people who helped me along the way. I thank all of you!

Find A Place To Live!

Jason Yang

Freshmen here at Feng Chia University (FCU) are required to live in a university dormitory unless their homes are in Taichung. As you might have read in a previous FCU English Online article, each of the 4 dormitories has special characteristics that make it different from the others. However, when they become sophomores, FCU students often need to rent a place of their own so that newcomers can have rooms in the dorm. Let’s look at the pros & cons of renting outside FCU and the things that you might considered as you search for your new “digs.” Get your things packed and get ready to move!

Screen shot by author (http://www.591.com.tw)
For most students at FCU, it is quite common to rent an apartment with good friends or a suite by yourself. While dorm life does have some benefits like safety and convenience, it also has its drawbacks, such as sharing a bathroom with roommates and having to return before a deadline at night. On the other hand, some think renting outside campus is a chance to be independent, and in my opinion it really does give you more freedom. Renting a place on your own gives you the opportunity to deal with your daily life without assistance from parents and school. However, you have to remember that everything that needs to be done has to be done by you, and that the rent is a bit higher than in the dorm.

If this is your first time renting a place, there are a few things you should be clear about. First, you have to decide to live with roommates or not, depending on how much privacy you need. This directly determines whether you rent a multiple-room apartment or small studio. Beside these two options, there are bedsits (sharing bathrooms), suites (with personal bathrooms), single-room apartments, and three-floor houses near campus. Prices for these options can vary from three thousands to ten thousands NT dollars a month. Therefore, it is also important to know your budget. After your budget and the number of roommates are certain, you should be clear where to start your search. Other factors you should consider are location (how far from school) and neighborhood facilities like convenience stores and recreation facilities.

After understanding your requirements, there are a couple ways to find your ideal place. One way is to literally walk down the street and watch for advertisements/signs attached to building walls, doors, or even windows. House owners used to put their “For Rent” signs in eye-catching positions. This may sounds kind of time consuming, but you can personally check out the neighborhood in a more detailed way. There are also some websites (like the one pictured above) that provide user-friendly platforms for landlords and renters. Most of the websites charge their fees to the landlords, so you don’t have to worry about paying an extra cost. These websites usually require that the owners post the price, location, indoors facilities, basic rules, and pictures of their rentals, so you can get a general idea about the place and then contact the owners for further details. Moreover, there is a school office here on campus that publishes rental information regularly on their bulletin board. Since these rentals have been inspected by school personnel, students can obtain the info quickly and safely. Finally, asking your classmates about places they have been living in another quick start.


Renting your own place can be enjoyable. You will not only become more independent and responsible, but you will also get to choose your ideal living environment. After all, why not have a better choice if you are able to? Just make sure the place you choose is both clean and safe. 

A Dance Review: Nine Songs of Cloud Gate

Coco Hsiao

   Cloud Gate is a dance theatre famous for using modern dance to express the core values of Chinese culture. One of their classic dramas, Nine Songs, is an eye-filling performance in which the audience can experience the vitality of ancient Chinese literature. It is an amazing creation that you won’t be able to take your eyes off!

  Nine Songs originated in “Chu Ci,” which is an ancient book of poems by Qu Yuan. These poems were not only carols for ceremonies but also a way for witches to communicate with the gods. This drama is also like Greek mythology; the gods are just a part of our everyday lives, and they have the same emotions, behaviors, and desires as we humans. By resurrecting ancient Chinese gods and goddesses, the dancers remind us that we can’t cut off this relationship with the natural world, which has existed since antiquity.  Our ancestors especially revered nature and used their imagination to create an original religion which personalized every phenomenon. Nine Songs shows us that our relationship with nature is still important for us today.

   “東君太一” was the god of the sun. He wore a golden mask with rays and looked at everything disdainfully. He didn’t care about others because he represented the primitive universe and the beginning of a new day. When a witch dances passionately in the greeting ceremony, the sun god descends to earth and spreads new life. 東君太一is the essence of life and also shows how difficult it was for our ancestors to survive in such a harsh environment.  

   There is a woman in a long white muslin gown, dancing in the middle of a stream, waiting for the one she loved. She is “湘夫人,” the goddess of the river. Although she always feels alone when she looks at her reflection in the water, she still looks forward to the day when she can meet her lover. “湘夫人”shows how young girls live in their own fantasy love world, and how they may lose themselves in their imagination and be unable to face the  challenges of the real world. In this part of the performance, the dancers remind us that we will change our fate if we walk out of the frame of the spirit.

   The god of the cloud and rain, “雲中君,” appears as a crazy, fearless teenager. He loves being as free as a cloud to enjoy the feeling of speed and to travel around the whole sky. “The cloud god” is my favorite character because we have the same dream – I also wish I had a pair of wings and could flying off and leave my worries behind.  

   Nine Songs combines eastern and western features to express different impressions of the gods. For example, the drama uses Javanese palace music (gongs and drums) to describe the reserved image of湘夫人. The most special part of the stage decoration is the lotus pond, with a bright full moon in the background. The lotus is a very old East Asian religious symbol that stands for life, beauty and recovery; the moon frees us from the bonds of time since it has been with us from the beginning of human history. Both of these symbols are bridges to connect the past and the present.

In Nine Songs, everything returns to its original form to remind people that becoming a god is a wonderful goal for human beings to chase and also that gods often affect our daily lives. If you’re interested in the theme, I recommend that you go to the theatre and feel the mysterious atmosphere of this magnificent spectacle. Maybe you will discover a god whose personality is as same as yours!  


Night at the Museum – A Movie Review

Jacob Hung & Amy Chen

Night at the Museum is an American movie starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams. It is an interesting story about a night watchman in a museum where all the exhibits come to life at night. This movie was both funny and exciting because it is a fantasy adventure comedy. Hence, if you are bored or in a bad mood, watching this movie will add some excitement and joy to your life!


 In Night at the Museum, there are two main characters. Larry (Ben Stiller) is a divorced father. Because he is unemployed, his son thinks he is a “loser.” To change his son’s thinking, Larry decides to apply for a job as a night watchman at the local museum. However, he finds that this museum is not normal at all because all the exhibits come to life at night. As he gets to know the “people” in the exhibits better, he starts to help solve the discord between some of them. Also, while he is a watchman, he finds that there is another big secret in the museum. The other main character, former President Franklin (Robin Williams), is an exhibit in the museum. Although he is just a waxen statue, he is really significant in the movie because when Larry feels frustrated, Franklin encourages him to stand up again and tells him that he is not a loser but a hero. With Franklin’s inspiration, Larry pulls himself together to overcome the severe crisis which the museum encounters and rescues the museum.


In order to save the museum from chaos, Larry has to solve the problems related to all the museum exhibits. For instance, a capuchin monkey in one exhibit stole Larry's museum keys and tore up his instruction manual. In this case, Larry tricked the monkey with a set of toy keys. At the end of the movie, the museum atmosphere is no longer so tense, but is full of rejoicing and cheers. The song that we hear when Larry and all the exhibits celebrate together is so energetic and cheerful that it always comes to me as I recall the movie. The song is “September,” a classic funk hit of the 70’s, sung by a band called Earth, Wind and Fire.


Night at the Museum is a movie that combines fantasy, adventure, and comedy. On top of that, it is a story about a father trying to keep his promise to his son and encouraging his son not to give up on his dreams. In other words, Larry proves himself as a great man and a successful father. If you are interested in adventure, unusual events, and sweet family stories, Night at the Museum is an excellent choice – and you can see it for free by borrowing it from the Feng Chia University library!

Lattea – A Restaurant Review

Jane Kao & Lily Lai

One afternoon, we were walking in the Feng Chia University area, and we passed by a restaurant named Lattea. We thought this name was very interesting, so we went in. What we found was a really comfortable place that had good food at a reasonable price – perfect for students like us!
All photos by the authors
 When we entered the restaurant, we saw it was pretty large inside. The lighting was a little dim, and they were playing America pop music, Avril Lavigne. We took a menu and found a table for four. All the tables and chairs at Lattea are white; we felt it was simple, but neat and clean.
   
Lattea sells mostly tea, and most of their tea is cold. They also sell food, but mostly fried food such as French fries, chicken nuggets, and fried cheese balls; however, they also sell dumplings and instant noodles.


We ordered two cups of tea and a meal. One drink was Bare tea with panna cotta on top. The tea was purple, and the panna cotta was white; the tea had a sour berry flavor, and the panna cotta was slightly salty. Together, the drink was a bit sweet. It cost NT$55. 


       Our other drink was hot milk tea with Bailey’s Irish cream; we call it milk tea, and it cost NT$75. The milk tasted heavy and smooth. Although the milk tea had liquor added, Bailey’s Irish cream, the taste of the liquor was very light. We think this is a good choice for people who are light drinkers. 


     To go with our drinks, we ordered a dish called “Small Party,” which included French fries, chicken nuggets and fried cheese balls; it cost NT$100. We think the fried cheese balls were best. The outside was crispy and the inside was sticky cheese and soft potato. By the way, the chicken nuggets were spicy, and this Small Party meal came with two sauces, ketchup and wasabi. We thought our meal and our teas were not bad, and the atmosphere at Lattea was very good. However, the most important was the service; we felt that the waiters were polite and our order came pretty fast, so we didn’t have to wait too long.

 This restaurant is very suitable for chatting with friends and drinking a cup of tea. Lattea is a nice shop for students because it is very close to school, and the prices (NT$50-100) are moderate. What is especially nice for students is that at Lattea they don't have a table time limit, so you can sit and chat as long as you like. Lattea is definitely a restaurant you will want to visit.

LATTEA

14 Wenhua Road, Lane 19, Taichung (Close to MOS burger)
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 13:00~1:00
 Friday and Saturday 13:00~2:00
Phone: (04)24521448 
  


"KANO" – A Movie Review

Momo Lin & Anny Cheng

Baseball is a popular sport in Taiwan. Baseball originated in American and then spread to Japan. In 1895, Japan colonized Taiwan and baseball also came to Taiwan. In 1928, one baseball team, the KANO team, would become part of Taiwanese history. There are many movies about baseball in Taiwan, but this movie is different. It is KANO, a true story of events that took place during the Japanese occupation. The movie describes how a Taiwanese baseball team went from a winless team to the team representing Taiwan in the Japanese baseball championship.


Poster coutesy KANO official website http://www.realguts.com.tw


KANO is about a baseball team of Japanese, Taiwanese and Taiwan aboriginal players. The coach took advantage of his players’ natural talent and, through rigorous training, led them to victory. “Do you know how to grow a big, sweet papaya?” This question from the team’s coach became a slogan for the team. It means that when people face stress, they will work harder and their efforts will bear the fruits of success.

In the movie, there are Taiwanese, Japanese and Taiwan aboriginal actors. Most of the main actors had never acted before, but their acting attracted us very much and inspired us, too.
Photo courtesy Chiayi National University

The KANO theme song is sung in Japanese and Chinese by Taiwanese by the team’s players, showing how the different talents of different people can be combined in a beautiful harmony, just like how combining their individual strengths led the team to success.  The soundtrack really compliments the movie very well and increases the audience’s emotions as viewers laugh, cry, and cheer together. The story of KANO was told through flashbacks. The movie begins in 1944 with an old Japanese soldier and baseball fan telling the story of how, when he was a young soldier in Taiwan, he had gone to Chiayi to see the KANO baseball team.

“If you are afraid of losing, you have to find a way to win.” This was the slogan from this movie. No one wants to be a loser, so we have to work hard and never give up. The story of KANO takes place during the Japanese occupation, a time when the people of Taiwan had tragic lives. In KANO, the teenage baseball players show us how we should not mind what we have to face but do our best. If we do our best, then we will win.


Skip to Interview

Iaroviz Tsao

Over the past three weeks, I have visited three universities for graduate school interviews. I applied to National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, and National Cheng Kung University, and visited them in that order. Because I had never done this kind of interview before, I spent lots of time and skipped many courses so that I could look for information on how to prepare. Although I don’t know the results of my interviews yet, just going through the interview was a valuable experience.
      
My first interview was with the Master of Business Administration program at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei. There were two parts to the interview, and each part lasted only 5 minutes. During the first part, I was interviewed by two professors and in the second part by three professors. Most of their questions that they asked were about the resume which I had written in advance and brought with me to the interview. 

Illustrations by the author



The questions in the first part were:
l   Could you tell us a little about yourself? (Self introduction)
l   Why do you study so much English?
l   Have you read any books recently?
l   Have you taken any courses related to Econometrics?
l   What score do you think you would get if you retook the TOEIC?



The questions asked in the second part were:
l   Could you tell us a little about yourself? (Self introduction)
l   What topic do you want to research in the future?
l   Could you briefly talk about what are you doing in Toastmasters (a public speaking club that I belong to)?
l   What is your biggest weakness?
l   What did you learn from your department?
l   Could you recommend the most delicious food that could represent Taiwan?
l   Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Surprisingly, I was not nervous at all for this first interview experience. I kept my voice solid and clear, even though there were some questions that I didn’t answer completely. To be honest, I didn’t do a very good job in my debut. Therefore, I strengthened some of my weakness before my second school interview.

My second interview was with the Department of Science Management at National Chiao Tung University. Again, there were two parts to the interview, and each part would last about 5 minutes. I was interviewed by three professors first, and then by two professors later. These professors also asked questions related to my resume as well as questions about the courses I had taken here at Feng Chia University. I also gave a German self-introduction hoping it would impress the interview panel. This time I felt nervous because this was the closest I had ever come to studying at one of the best schools in Taiwan. Though I don’t know the outcome of the interview, I feel I did better than in the first interview.

       
The questions the panel asked in the first part were:
l   Could you tell us a little about yourself? (Self introduction)
l   In just a few words, sum up the most important thing you have learned from your college life.
l   What field do you want to study?
l   What’s the relationship between your major and our department?
l   Why are you learning German, and how long have you been learning the language?


The second part questions were:
l   Could you tell us a little about yourself? (Self introduction)
l   Why do you learn German?
l   Could you answer some accounting problems for us?
l   Could you tell me what you learned in quantitative financial analysis?
l   Could you tell us which statistics problem impressed you most?



My last interview was with National Cheng Kung University’s (NCKU) Department of Management and Business Administration. Unlike the previous two interviews, there was only one part and three professors in the interview. Also, it didn’t last only 5 minutes. Most of the professor’s questions were from the resume that I had brought with me. Sadly, I had assumed that there would be only two professors, so I took only one resume with me. Embarrassed by the situation, I blurted out everything I could remember to express how much I would like to get into their program. Actually, I felt a bit ambivalent about NCKU because it is in my hometown and I never really considered it a top school. In the end, I directed the interview topics toward topics I was good at, and disarmed the embarrassing situation.


I remember that they asked me:
l   What additional information can you give us about yourself?
l   Which field do you want to study?
l   Do we have this field?
l   Is our department good at this area of study?
l   Why do you learn German?
l   How many years have you learned German?
l   Do you have any experience being a leader?

The more interviews I did, the more confident I grew. From this experience, I learned how to think and respond quickly to difficult questions. Each person has only a few minutes with the interview panel and, in that short period of time, you can quickly become either your own best friend or your own worst enemy. If you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to promote yourself, chances will not only pass you by, but it will seem that they are hiding from you. I worked hard before my interviews and prepared well. Although the result have not been announced yet, I feel the interview experience itself was a valuable one that will help me in the future, wherever I end up and whatever I end up doing.  



  

Shei-Er Hot Pot – A Restaurant Review

Luye Tu & Vivian Chang

There are many famous spicy Hot Pot restaurants in Taichung, and, if you don’t like to eat spicy food, well, there are many OTHER Hot Pot restaurants in town! Our favorite, Shei-Er Hot Pot, recently opened a new branch near Feng Chia University, and every time we pass the store, our mouths start to water. Last week, we finally found the time to go in, and we were not disappointed!

Shei-Er Hot Pot belongs to Wowprime Group. However, unlike most of Wowprime’s restaurants, Shei-Er Hot Pot’s is affordable for students. Although the price is lower than at other Wowprime restaurants, the service is just as good. When you enter the restaurant, every waiter will say hello to you and politely show you to your seat. During your meal, the waiters will take your requests and always keep your table clean. The most important thing is that even though we experienced such high quality services we didn’t need to pay an extra service charge! The interior of Shei-Er Hot Pot is brightly lighted, and when you walk into the restaurant, will feel very relaxed and immediately be in a better mood. You will also feel good about the food they serve at Shei-Er because at Shei-Er Hot Pot, there is a big window to the kitchen that you can look through and watch your dinner being prepared. You don’t have to worry at all about the quality of the food.  

When you order your hot pot at Shei-Er, you first choose which soup you want to use in the pot. One is made with fried onions, and the other is simple broth. Every order includes a vegetable platter, a slice of lemon, and some grated daikon radish, and you can choose either noodles, rice, or udon noodles to go with your hot pot. At Shei-Er, they have a large selection of meat and seafood entrées; there over ten you can choose from such as pork, chicken, lamb, duck, squid, and beef. In many Hot Pot restaurants you only can choose one meat or seafood, and sometimes it’s really hard to decide.  At Shei-Er, however, you can create your own combination of meats! For example you can choose beef and chicken or squid and pork. The lemon and grated daikon radish that comes with your hot pot goes great with the meat, too; it can help ease the greasy feeling of eating too much meat.

The next time you are looking for a new restaurant to try, don’t hesitate to pick Shei-Er Hot Pot. Like at other Wowprime Group restaurants, the food and service are really high quality. Secondly, the prices are reasonable. In short, if you want to enjoy great food in a comfortable environment on a limited budget, choosing Shei-Er Hot Pot is the smart thing to do.

Shei-Er Hot Pot

Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:30-23:00
312 Henan Road, Section 2, Taichung
Phone: 04-24522889


The Fifth Haunted House of Feng Chia — The Hatred of the House

Kane Chang

This is my third year in Feng Chia University, and, because I need to study overseas this year, this is also my last semester in Feng Chia. Therefore, I recently decided to do something that I have always been curious about but didn’t have enough courage to do before – experience the Feng Chia Haunted House.
 
All photos by the author


This year, Feng Chia Haunted House was held in 育樂 building from March 21 to March 23. The Fifth Feng Chia Hunting House was sponsored by ten departments, including Accounting, Public Finance, Communication Engineering, Marketing, International trade, Finance, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering and System Management, Foreign Languages, and Chemical Engineering. Although there were so many departments working on the Haunted House, it was still a tough mission for them. According to Shadow, one of Haunted House staff from Chemical Engineering, “We spent about three months on this activity, and each day that the Haunted House was open, more than one hundred people were working together for 12 hours without rest. It might seem easy to host a haunted house, but it’s not.” Shadow also told me why Feng Chia Haunted House was held in March instead of on Halloween or during Chinese ghost month. She said, “it’s kind of a tradition. We have always held Feng Chia Haunted House in March beginning from the first Haunted House.” And why has it become a tradition? I. She said, “As far as I know, when the original Haunted House proposal was submitted to the school, the育樂building was available only in March. Therefore, it became a tradition from that time.”


After experience the Haunted House of Feng Chia University, I must say this Haunted House is the best haunted house I have ever been to. However, there is one serious defect in this activity; I needed to wait in line for about three hours before I could get in! This situation forced a lot of people to leave the line and do something else while they were waiting. Fortunately, the location of Feng Chia University is great, so they could go shopping and forget that they were still waiting for the haunted house. Visitors could leave their cell phone number with one of the student workers and be notified when it was time to go in.


Once inside the haunted house, visitors need to collect eight missing photos. When the photos have been collected, the hatred of the girl ghost will disappear. When you focus on where the picture is, the girl will cry or yell suddenly. In addition, other ghosts will appear from nowhere to scare you, so you cannot relax even for a second. Once you start to relax, a ghost will be standing right behind you!

Finally, I must say I really recommend the Feng Chia Haunted House; it’s cheap, and you will be surprised at how frightening it is! Next March, if you think your life is too boring, Feng Chia Haunted House is a good chance to experience something exciting. And don’t forget; buy your ticket in advance and save 60 dollars! 


GoodDay – A Restaurant Review


 Sophie Chu & Mavis Wu

GoodDay restaurant is a well-known chain restaurant that sells American and Mexican food. Now, there are seven branches in Taiwan. Their foreign food style is really special, and it is a favorite among university students. In April of last year, GoodDay started to satisfy students' curiosity and appetites at their new location in the Feng Chia University area. 

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were impressed by the big, smiling, cute Mexican gingerbread boy statue outside. It's seemed to welcome us to enjoy their wonderful food. After we went inside, we saw that there were lots of people on first floor, and the waitress lead us to the basement.
  
All photos by the authors
 After the waitress introduced some of their special dishes, we ordered a "Cat King” sandwich and a "Cheese Landslide” pizza. While we were waiting for our orders to arrive, we took a look around the restaurant. There were lots of American style posters on the wall, and some other interesting items here and there around the room, including an old European typewriter. The style of the furniture was simple, bright, and clean.



After about fifteen minutes, the waitress served our orders. The "Cat King” sandwich was totally different from other sandwiches we had had. The top layer was peanut butter with cheese and fresh sliced banana, the middle layer was bacon and boiled egg, and the bottom layer was strawberry jam with fresh cream. It is really delicious! The "Cheese Landslide” pizza was covered with three kinds of cheese: if you are a cheese lover, you will surely be satisfied!


We had a good time at GoodDay. The dishes were unique and tasty. They were filling but also inexpensive. Both of us were really full! Another thing that students will appreciate is that GoodDay doesn’t limit your meal time. Customers are free to relax and chat after they finish their meal. I am happy to introduce GoodDay to my friends and all FCU English Online readers.

GoodDay

206 Fuxing Road, Xitun District, Taichung
Hour: 11:00 – 22:00
Phone: (04)2452-7562