CTBC International Academy students have resumed classes after their long winter break. How did the students keep themselves entertained for the five weeks away from studies? Bill reported that he went to Australia, specifically Sydney and Melbourne. Amazingly, he said he found the trip boring. Emma, on the other hand, explained that her trip to Japan was “perfect”. When asked why, she said that she just loves Japan. Howard had a completely different break as he had to attend English classes for the whole five weeks. Not exactly relaxing, but surely his English ability benefited. Other students spent time with family and friends, caught up on sleep, and relaxed with books, TV, and video games.
The spring semester has begun, and warmer temperatures have replaced the relatively cool winter weather. What will the spring term look like? First of all, the students have a field trip coming in the middle of the month, with an excursion to Taijiang National Park. After that, three sports days are planned but with dates not set yet. It’s likely that they will be scheduled to occur in April, May, and June. These sports days will consist of one outdoor day, one indoor day, and one kayaking event. News about other activities is not available yet.
Large, Mysterious Crates on Campus
Those walking around the campus before break would certainly have noticed dozens of large crates set down in neat rows in several places. Now that the spring semester has begun, the crates are starting to be opened and the contents being put to use. What is inside? Solar panels.
CTBC, in cooperation with Taichung-based solar panel producer Zhongyang Technology Co., is installing the panels on the parking area, gymnasium, and the main college building. According to CTBC International Academy (CIA) principal Chinche Cheng, the panels are part of an effort to make the campus more “sustainable and green” and “socially responsible”.
This use of renewable, clean energy is a most welcome sight for those living in southern Taiwan. Poor air quality, especially during the winter months, has been in the news and on the minds of residents who have had to deal with air frequently in the “red” or “dangerous” level on the air quality index. The burning of gasoline and diesel in cars, trucks, and buses, the burning of coal in power plants, and north winds carrying pollution from across the Taiwan Strait combine to keep most of southern Taiwan in smog over the cooler months, when people should be able to venture outside to enjoy the comfortable weather. However, the harmful haze often makes it inadvisable to exercise outdoors. Even more concerning is the damage the poor air may be causing to babies and young children. The harnessing of the power of the limitless sun is definitely a step in the right direction at CTBC. One hopes other schools, companies, and governments will take notice and also undertake the use of clean, renewable energy. With solar, wind, tidal, wave, and geothermal to choose from, there really is no excuse to continue the use of fossil fuels.
New Chef at CIA
Students and teachers at CIA welcomed a new chef on Monday, March 5th during lunch. His name is Andrew, and he proudly explained the preparation techniques of his first CIA lunch. On the menu were breaded pork cutlets with curry sauce, chicken and vegetables in sauce, steamed green vegetables, tofu with onions, sushi quality rice grown in Taitung, and a clear chicken soup. The food looked and tasted delicious, with no excess of oil as can sometimes be found in buffet style offerings.
Andrew explained that he used a French cooking technique with the pork cutlets, sealing them in plastic bags and putting them in a water bath for several hours. This method of cooking keeps the meat tender and juicy and preserves its natural taste. A light fry finished them and produced a crisp, non-greasy product. The chicken soup featured a whole chicken simmered slowly to produce a rich, flavourful broth. The vegetables were steamed without oil producing a clean, natural, and healthy dish.
Parents, students, and teachers alike had not enjoyed the food during the fall semester, with parents especially vocal. If the chef’s first meal was any indication, the concerns of eaters have been answered, and meals at CIA promise to be happy and delicious affairs.
Large crates in rows around the campus
Andrew, CIA’s new chef
Andrew’s first lunch dishes