This was written sometime in early 1989.

My Travel and Schooling Experience at Taiwan

I remember dusk -- the solemn, dejected days which only persisted for four weeks. I do not understand why I only remembered the desolate moments. Indubitably, there must have been moments of vivaciousness.

I remember Taiwan, though the memory of my school is blurry. For the most part, those school days were cloudy, unclear, and ill defined in my memory. I was also homesick, for it was the first time I was away from my family. This whole experience took place one summer, at a tender age of thirteen.

I remember my dormitory -- small and crowded. Six of us shared the same chamber. We children, of course, could care less who our roommates were. But as time progressed, unity played an important role in our relationships. I remember our head teacher. We called him Chiao Kuan (guardian in Chinese). Though I did not have any trouble with him, my fellow classmates did. Taiwanese teachers are given authority to `discipline' their pupils. The teachers are allowed to spank and hit their recalcitrant students. There were a couple of students in our group who were manhandled for answering back. This disturbed me, for my friends were being hurt, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I remember the difficult mornings. We were required to wake up at six o'clock everyday after only six hours of rest, which was insufficient for young children. We were also out of touch with the world around us -- no television, no newspapers, no telephones, and no news. We did things the same way every single day, awaiting for the last day of the fourth week, just like a prisoner.

The years have taken me worlds away from that time and that place, from the dejected days of my life, and from my childish complaints and thoughts. I have not heard from my teachers at Taiwan, and years have passed since I last communicated with my classmates. Yet, there are times when I remember those grim moments of my life. Though it was a difficult experience, I left Taiwan ending a chapter of my life, realizing something: the road of life is bumpy; yet, in going through this bumpy road, we gain a strong sense of accomplishment. This sense of accomplishment is the fuel of life.