Before I start to fill you in on all my Krakow goings-on, I want to do one post on the last day of the first semester.
On the last day of the semester, I attended my first all-school assembly. Every student and teacher gathered in the gym/auditorium on the top floor of the school. Here, the principal gave out awards to various groups for their accomplishments throughout the semester. And many groups performed.
An aboriginal song and dance group; they won an award at a citywide competition. These are a handful of the aboriginal students at Fu Xing, most of whom are on the school's baseball team. The baseball players are pretty much the "coolest" kids in school, so you can understand why they're a little less enthusiastic to perform in costume at an all-school assembly:
Also, a group of Tae kwon do students:
Along with these groups were my Reader's Theater and Storytelling teams, a little flute ensemble, and some extracurricular groups I didn't even know existed.
The last (and longest) part of the assembly was one of the greatest things I've ever witnessed in any school, anywhere. A Taiwanese (language) teacher at the school was retiring. The principal and directors all said something about him. And then, one by one, class by class, every student in the school lined up to give him a card they had made and shake his hand (or hug him, or, as the last class chose to do, pick him up and carry him across the stage). There was, of course, sappy music playing in the background the whole time.
(you can see the retiree, center-stage, in blue.)
And thus ended my first semester at Fu Xing. After almost a month has gone by since the last day (19 January), it seems like kind of a dream now. What exactly did I do? Did anything even happen? It's a good thing I took pictures. But I'm determined to work even harder this semester, and truly make the most of my time left in Taiwan.