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一片金秋 – 一封來自蔣海瓊的電郵

Posted by Tommy Lu on December 2, 2008

以下是她的電郵全文,一位罹患漸凍人症以她無力的手所寫的一篇文章及拍攝的秋景照片。貼本文的目的是有感於一個罹患罕見疾病的人在肉體疼痛關節僵硬的情況下依然對人生及她週遭的人事物有著樂觀的見解,怎不讓我這有健康身體,景況比她好,卻常唉聲嘆氣的人自形慚愧?為尊重原作者,我將全部原文張貼如下:

  十一月初,幾場秋雨過後。一位朋友知道我愛欣賞換了秋裝的紅葉,提議帶我出去逛逛。他駕著我的小白車,一路向山間開去。秋陽下的樹林,舖張著不同層次的紅、黃、綠。有的葉子已經落在地上,有的在空中飛舞,有的在樹梢上泛著金光。
我取出相機,想捕捉這一片亮麗的金秋。沒想到,我的病情已經從雙腿影響到上肢,雙手竟然無法負荷換了長鏡頭的相機。朋友耐心的說,我幫你扶著鏡頭吧!於是,每一次看到一個令人驚嘆的美景,朋友就停下車來,等我在座位上取好角度,他已經從駕駛座下來,走到車門邊幫我穩定相機。
我ㄧ面欣賞大自然的美,一面心裡想:為什麼我不在健康的時候,多出來走走?為什麼等困在車上不能爬山以後才...?為什麼...?為什麼...?我立刻制止自己負面的思想,不要因為追悔過去,而又錯失了眼前的美景。再說,我雖然困在輪椅上,還能出遊,不是該感恩嗎?於是,我的心緒隨著小白車攀爬在蜿蜒的山林間,獻上一個又一個感恩的祈禱。
2007年年初, 我發現右腳無力,走路困難。經過十個月的檢查,醫生診斷我得了漸凍人症。這兩年來,我從右腳帶著護踝、配著支架,到拄拐杖、助行器(walker)、使用電動輪椅。現在,又出現雙臂無力,甚至有吞嚥和說話困難的情形。在這樣急速發展的病情之下,我還能獻上感恩嗎?是的:

* 我感謝女兒、女婿的貼心愛護
* 我感謝有最好的醫療團隊照顧我
* 我感謝有幾十個家庭輪流為我提供飲食
* 我感謝上帝為我預備了一間一層樓的房子,居住較為安全
* 我感謝搬家期間有幾十個人幫忙打包、搬運、油漆、開箱、整理...
* 我感謝上帝仍然賜給我教書、講道的機會
* 我感謝溪水旁關懷單親家庭協會在美國和台灣兩地都如常舉行成長營、專題講座...等活動
* 我感謝在病中仍能透過電腦Skype向北美、台灣的學員教學
* 我感謝上帝賜給我好的胃口和甜美的睡眠
* 我感謝上帝賜給我正面積極的態度面對每一天的挑戰
* 我感謝海內外朋友的關心、支持、和代禱
* 我感謝.....

  當我開始數算上帝的恩典時,發現自己是那麼富足。剎那間,我的心隨著金色的陽光,在不同顏色的葉片間飛舞。我不再尋找完美的葉子,而是欣賞那被蟲咬過、被雨打傷的葉片。葉面上的斑斑點點是生命掙扎的痕跡,而不完美的五角楓葉仍在秋風下展露誘人的風姿,彷彿在向天地宣告,也好像在對罹患絕症的我說:「我不服輸,我不放棄,我要在陽光下展現生命的美。」仰起頭,我的視線穿過金黃、豔紅、深綠的樹梢,迎向藍天白雲,心中默默回應:「是啊!好好活著就是美!」
親愛的朋友,請為北美賓州十二月五日至七日的溪水旁單親成長營禱告,願神賜下好的天氣,願聖靈透過講員的信息改變參與者的生命。也請為我明年一、二月份回台灣領會的行程禱告。感謝神,一位曾經擔任助理護士和宣教士的朋友安媚爾女士(Imelda Fadullo Andricks) 將全程照顧我。

再一次謝謝您的關愛,請繼續支持溪水旁在北美、台灣兩地的事工。謝謝。

願賜恩惠的主,時時與你同在。

Ps. 歡迎上網 http://albums.phanfare.com/PaulineChiang 點一下Fall Leaves 一片金秋,再點一下 Start slideshow,就可以看到我拍的秋葉,音樂也很美,曲名就是「秋葉」(Autumn Leaves)。ㄧ定要上去看,怡情養性喲!

Love in Christ,

蔣 海 瓊
Pauline Chiang, D. Min.
President, By Streams of Water, Inc.
理事長, 溪水旁關懷單親家庭協會

他要像一棵樹栽在溪水旁、按時候結果子、葉子也不枯乾.凡他所作的、盡都順利。詩篇一:3
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in
season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. (Psalm 1:3)

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對中文學校的發展與期許

Posted by Tommy Lu on December 1, 2008

 

早在三十年前,就有中文學校的出現,當時不論是社會資源、硬體設施、教材教具、師資培訓、學生人數、學校規模、政府(臺灣)補助、校際交流、人力財力物力都比不上今天,靠著當時一些前輩們的披荊斬棘,默默耕耘,好不容易開創了基石,也讓我們後來的享受了果實。這些年來,有心人士亦不斷的加入,對中文學校的延續,有卓越的貢獻,也讓美國的社會對中文教育,多少有了一些瞭解。寫本文的目的,不是在歌功頌德,也絕非自我陶醉,是在知恩感恩之餘,忖度如何就現有基礎再向前邁步。

 

一、自籌財源

把錢放在頭一個來談,好像有些市儈,但是任誰都清楚,有錢好辦事,任誰都明白,天下沒有白吃的午餐。只可惜中國人至今對籌募款項不是沒興趣就是沒經驗,對捐款不是對捐獻對象沒信心,就是覺得只出不進,心裏不安心,看見自己辛苦的血汗錢白白給了別人,想起來就痛心。其實對象是自己應該相當熟悉的中文學校,錢也是花在自己的子女身上,即使是用在給老師進修,也是給自己的子女(或以後別人的子女)請好老師,應當寬心放心。

 

其次,辦活動、出版教材、義賣等也是籌募經費的好方法,但我覺得都不如向企業募款來得多;但是對贊助的企業要尊重及給予一些考量。舉個例子,當年公平保險公司贊助了各區各州乃至全美的中華文化常識問答比賽多年,但是當他們的經記人請求到學校舉行投資講座時,部份學校不歡迎或完全不支持,以致參加人數寥寥可數,加上平時不相往來,只是在活動前申請經費,所以一旦負責人轉任,贊助隨即停止,不但增加後續活動經費的困難,更讓其他企業望之卻步。向企業或個人募款已成了專業,傳統式靠關係、套交情的方式一旦任何一方不在其位,這條路就斷了線,關於籌款,實有賴我們集思廣益。

 

二、走入社區

中文學校發展至今,只有極少數的學校與社區服務結合,把中文教育成為社區教育的一環。就我個人所知,光為了教學內容、教學方向、教學活動、提昇學習興趣、找老師、找校務行政人員、支援或主辦地區活動,就已經筋疲力盡,還要面對經費不足的困擾,自己白天還要上班養家活口,那有多餘時間和精力開辦社區中文教學服務?多年來我們就一直在這個圈圈中打轉,開展不出,德裔或法裔人口絕不比華裔人口,但是德語及法語一直是各高中的外語選修課程之一,除了紐約、加州等地區外,甚少聽說有中國人競選學區委員或家長會長甚至參加教育公聽會,固然部份原因是中國人對於上述活動沒有專長,但是與主流社會保持接觸、和社區領袖交換意見、甚至共同主辦活動,卻是未來爭取支持的基礎。過去幾年的重要活動如中國新年、中國節、文化夏令營、海華文藝季等都沒有什麼主流人士的參與,總是淪為自己辦活動自己參加的階層。要想使中文教育得到主流社會的重視,進而成為正規學制的一部份,就必須與社區結合,不僅是教中文,還要教文化,目的不僅是推廣中華文化,更重要的是縮短文化差距,增進了解,避免不必要的誤解及歧視。如此吃牛肉的不必對吃狗肉的大加撻伐,愛清蒸龍蝦的不必指責愛吃醉蝦的。

 

三、教材研發

教材教具一直是中文學校的困擾,一方面我們不斷的聽到對現有教材各式各樣的批評,一方面又一直無法整合專家人材編撰教材,另一方面又無法說服家長購買,限於經費,又無法每個學生一份。一套教材的問市,除了老師的專精知識,還需要編輯、翻譯、美工、校對、考証、打字排版、印刷、發行等等的工作,若再加上多媒體的製作、網路網頁、錄音錄影、輔助教材、教學檢討、測驗評量、師資培訓、市場調查,絕非一人甚至數人能力可及,我們不是沒有這方面的專家與人材,但是我們無法要求一份高水準的教材而不考慮應有的報酬,這又牽涉了經費問題。

 

有好的教材,有主流社會的認同,接著便是師資認証。越來越多的知名學府在開辦師資認証課程,但迄今為止,好像都沒有一套認証標準,個人認為應集合專家,認真發展一套(一套就好)認証標準,向幾個主流機構如美國中小學教師協會、大學理事會去推行,這說來容易,做起來可是要花費精神、時間、和經費的,我們去那裏找這群人呢?

 

四、學生背景

近些年來一個值得注意的現象是來自臺灣的移民多集中在東西兩面岸的大城市,以往的中文學校,年級越小,學生越多,但是隨著臺灣新移民人數在部分州的減少,有許多學校小班的學生人數開始年年遞減,加上注音拼音的爭議,使得所謂的傳統中文學校有式微的跡象,如何使這些學校順利轉型成社區中文學校,例如中文成人班,收養家庭中文班,乃至於中華文化班(烹飪、書法、國畫、國樂、棋藝等等)已越行重要,然而這方面的師資、教材、培訓、經驗、經費、推廣計劃皆是不足,如何說服地方政府協助乃為當務之急。

 

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Why track B students have to pay for their text books?

Posted by Tommy Lu on September 17, 2008

Few parents have raised the question regarding text book fee for track B students. Here are the answer:

On the registration forms, there is a message stating the textbooks are not included in the tuition. 
 
Our students start using textbooks from Grade 1 and up.  In PreK and K classes, there is no textbook and teacher will use their own teaching materials.
 
From this semester, Kindergarten students will start using books as well.
For B track students, the books are more expensive than A track students because we can receive free textbooks for A track students from Taiwanese government.
 
For B track students, we have tried different publishing houses before.  Mainly the textbooks are determined by the teachers and the administration.  We choose books based upon the content and usefullness for our students.  The price is also an issue.  In the past, we have selected the American publishing houses to purchase our B track textbooks. 
 
They actually cost more than the new books that we are using now.
I am enclosing what I found on the website below this message for your reference .
 
When we decided to switch to this textbook, we also hoped to lower down the cost for B track parents.  The entire set of new textbooks come with the textbook, work book A and B, EPen disk and Cd.  The entire set costs $24 while last year’s book everyday Chinese cost $24.5 for textbook alone.
 
As for the field trip, it is a voluntary field trip.  You can choose not to participate.  Last year’s field trip was free because it was a free event sponsored by Delaware Art Museum.  This field trip to Longwood Garden is not a free event.

Far East Chinese for Youth : Simplified Character Level 1
by S.C. Wang, Weiling Wu
March 2004, Paperback
List Price: $24.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Traditional Character Level 3
by Weiling Wu
June 2003, Paperback
List Price: $24.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Traditional Character Level 3
by Weiling Wu
June 2003, Paperback
List Price: $7.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Traditional Character Level 3
by Weiling Wu
June 2003, Paperback
List Price: $9.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Level 3, Character Book
by Weiling Wu
June 2003, Paperback
List Price: $9.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Level 3, Simplified Character
by Weiling Wu
June 2003, Paperback
List Price: $24.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Level 3, CD for text
by Weiling Wu (Editor)
January 2003, CD-ROM
List Price: $12.00
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Workbook Level 3 CD
by Weiling Wu (Editor)
January 2003, Hardcover
List Price: $15.00
 
 Far East Chinese for Youth : Traditional Character Level 3
by Weiling Wu
June 2002, Paperback
List Price: $24.95
 
Far East Chinese For Youth : Level 2 (Simplified Character)
by Weiling Wu, Hai-lan Tsai, Qing Yang
June 2002, Paperback
List Price: $24.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Traditional Character Level 3
by Weiling Wu
June 1999, Paperback
List Price: $16.50
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Level 3
by Weiling Wu
January 1999, Paperback
List Price: $7.95
 
Far East Chinese for Youth : Traditional Character Level 3
by Weiling Wu, Hai-lan Tsai
January 1999, Paperback
List Price: $9.95
 
Chinese for Youth : Character Book
by Weiling Wu
June 1998, Paperback
List Price: $16.95
 
Chinese for Youth
by Weiling Wu
June 1997, Paperback
List Price: $12.95
 
 Chinese for Youth : Level 1
by Weiling Wu
June 1997, Paperback
List Price: $24.95

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Chinese School bulletin board

Posted by Tommy Lu on June 17, 2008

Our bulletin board is used to provide a space for each class to demonstrate students’ learning and promote Chinese language and culture education. Needlessly to say, it needs constant update. In the past, CACC has critized our bulletin board not able to “up keep” its content as well as appearance. It does not look good for Chinese school.  We have way more classes than the spaces allowed. Any idea on how to improve this area?

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The Curriculum

Posted by Tommy Lu on April 14, 2008

I think the main challenges of Chinese School of Delawre are three parts:

The first part is that there are very few learning activities between the two Sundays. Students come to Sunday and study for 2.5 hours and unless they are self starters or their parents are conscientious about the learning, other students engaged very little learning activities between two Sundays. This is what I called sporadic or “discrete” learning. There has be a way to help our students in their learning between weekends and enhance their skills.

I am a strong believer that a good education comes from three areas: school, family, and the community. Only these three work together than a well balanced education can be provided.

The second challenge is the vertical alignment. Vertical alignment menas the curriculum is continuous. In another words, a teacher receiving his/her fourth grade students, for example, can expect what students have been learning when they were 3rd grade. At this time, our school’s vertical alignment is not perfect. Teachers in each garde level have great freedom and flexiblility in deciding what to cover and how much should be covered. Our new curriculum hopefully can address this issue so students can have a continuous learning. The challenge from the school, though, is that there are times school has to combine classes due to low enrollment. The students affected by this merge are not doubt having some difficulties. This is something the community members of this blog can help to address and propose solutions.

The third challenge is that Chinese School of Delaware no longer has “heritage students” as majority. Heritage students refer to those students who have the opportunity in practicing their Chinese in speaking, listening, some reading and writing at home. We have more and more “non-heritage students” enrolled in our school and most of these students’ parents do not have the advantage to teach them or provide any learning experience. One possible solution for this challenge is to use audio/video or podcasting to provide additional learning activities. This is something worth to discuss and propose solutions.

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General information

Posted by Tommy Lu on April 14, 2008

Hello, everyone:

Welcome to the Chinese School of Delaware blog site. This site is designed to have teachers, school administrators, parents, school board members, even students as well as all people interested in the curriculum design for the Chinese School of Delaware. It is our hope that through this “community of practice,” all participants can benefit by sharing their ideas/suggestions/solutions for our school. Through this collaborative effort, we hope that we can have a curriculum that best suit for our students in all grade levels in both tracks.

You will see this site is divided into several categories. Please visit the categoriy(ies) you are interested in and provide your input. Both English and Chinese (in either traditional or simplifed) are welcome.

Should you find any problems in using this site, please send an e-mail to me or post your comment in the feedback category.

Thank you for your participation and hope you enjoy contributions.

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