August 25th, 2016 | Ensure you are energized

Last can of moms Ensure.
It looked like a Transformer. Really!
Anli. My artistic student.
Tainan government’s English initiative for kids.

Scattered Clouds, 36°C


Thursday. 10:43 am.

Woke up this morning feeling extremely hungry. I wasn’t able to eat any solid food last night because of the oral surgery. And I still can’t eat anything today. I need to allow the gums to heal. So I was in a bit of a dilemma. What could I eat?

Going back and forth from the refrigerator to the pantry I finally saw a can of “Ensure” in the refrigerator. I remember my own mother (who I’ll refer to as Mum) telling me that Ensure is the nutritional drink that cancer patients and other patients have during a hospital stay to make sure they get the proper nutrition, if they can’t eat properly. My mom had been a registered nurse for over 30 years before she retired so I’m pretty sure she knew what she was talking about.

I used to see Mom and in her last months of her battle with cancer sitting by her bedside drinking this product. I had always wondered what it tasted like. I had hoped it was okay. Mom needed something that was nice in her life. So I thought if it was good enough for Mom it’s good enough for me. And it looked like it was her favorite flavor, strawberry. So I poured the contents into a mug and drank it slowly so as not to annoy my jaw.

To my surprise this drink was extremely delicious! It was just like drinking a strawberry milkshake. That made me smile because now I knew at least mom had experienced some good things in the last few days of her life. Thank you Mom for leaving me this one can before you left, I really appreciate it.

12 p.m. Energized again I got ready for work. I have three classes today.

2:40 p.m. My first class is a summer class. It is a group of mixed-age elementary school students. During this summer class they are learning Elementary children’s song. The Tainan city government is making it compulsory to learn English as a second language. Actually it would be 3rd in the languages they learn. 1st is Mandarin, 2nd is Taiwanese, also called Hokklo (spoken at home mostly in southern Taiwan) and 3rd would be English followed close by Japanese. Many of the elderly still speak some Japanese, with Taiwan being a former part of Japan.

4:00 p.m.My second class is with a private student Anli. Her father is the dentist that I went to yesterday. Anli is very artistic and loves drawing. So I try to incorporate that into her English education. For example I could ask her to draw rooms of a house with furniture. And then question her about the items she drew. She usually gives me some interesting answers.

5:00 p.m. My third class is some after school care preschool children. They are I might say, a very wild and energized bunch. They’re the ones that can test out your skills as a teacher and person.

The young ones have very short attention spans and just like to run, jump and play. But of course they are children so what else should you expect. I teach them using a variety of short educational games. That keeps them quite happy. Occasionally they will have issues with each other and you have to sort out their problems with some caring and diplomacy. Good training for those seeking a career in the United Nations. Ha!

6:30 p.m. Time to head off home. Need to refill the scooter now. A full tank, around 6 litres, which will last about a week. Costs around $145 NT ($4.50 USD) to fill the tank.

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