"Morris Area High School sophomore Mary Hu claimed first place in the state Poetry Out Loud recitation competition on Monday.
Hu’s success, however, stems more from being able to feel the poems rather than just recite them.
“Last year, I had problems with that and I said this year that I really
should work on that,” said Hu, who will be among 51 competitors from all the states and Washington D.C. at nationals next month. “There were some poems that are really pretty poems, but I don’t really feel the meaning on the poem.”
The Minnesota State Arts Board judges certainly understood that Hu felt them this year, selecting Hu for the top prize in the Poetry Out Loud: 2008 Minnesota State Competition at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.
Hu was among 12 finalists who competed at the state level. Students first had to win at the school level, and then at the regional level.
Another Morris Area student, Annika Kildegaard, placed second at the Minnesota Poetry Out Loud competition last year.
The Minnesota Poetry Out Loud champion, Hu receives a membership at The Loft Literary Center, a $200 cash award, and an all expense paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship April 28-29.
The Morris Area school district receives a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.
At the national level, $50,000 in scholarships and school prizes will be awarded, including a $20,000 scholarship for the winner.
Hu read “Mrs. Krikorian,” by Sharon Olds, “Bilingual/Bilingue,” by Rhina P. Espaillat, and “Hap,” by Thomas Hardy.
“I picked the ones that I understood and had a message about my own life,” Hu said. “I can do them better if they mean something to my own life.”
Dave Johnson, Morris Area English and Drama teacher, said Hu chose poems that allowed her to connect to a strong message and be expressive. That wasn’t the case with other competitors.
“You could see the kids who really connected with a poem and those who didn’t,” Johnson said.
Stage freight also wasn’t a problem for Hu.
“It takes a while to get used,” she said. “I don’t love being in front of people, but if I’m prepared then I’m OK with it.”
Johnson said Morris Area students have grasped the Poetry Out Loud concept, which explains why the school has done well at the state level in the two years it’s participated in the three-year-old program.
About 350 kids in the school participated in the program, and he noted that Hu placed second at the school-level competition before winning at the regional and state levels.
“If a kid here has talent, there’s a good chance they’ll get in there (state),” Johnson said. “There’s still not that many schools statewide that are taking part. We have a lot of other kids around here who did well, too.”
Hu said she is excited about meeting many competitors from around the country at the national competition. At the state contest, she said she had more fun back stage, bonding with the other competitors, than she did during her recitations.
“I’m going to like listening to the other poems,” she said. “They’ll be from different states, with different accents. It’ll be so cool to see how other people do their poems.”
And, being a sophomore this year, will want to enjoy the newness of her circumstances before the pressure mounts next year.
“It didn’t occur to me,” Johnson said with a smile, “that we’ve got a title to defend next year.”"
"Taiwan was inhabited by aborigines of Malayan descent when Chinese from the areas now designated as Fukien and Kwangtung began settling it in the 7th century, becoming the majority. The Portuguese explored the area in 1590, naming it �the Beautiful� (Formosa). In 1624 the Dutch set up forts in the south, the Spanish in the north. The Dutch forced out the Spanish in 1641 and controlled the island until 1661, when Chinese general Koxinga took it over and established an independent kingdom. The Manchus seized the island in 1683 and held it until 1895, when it passed to Japan after the first Sino-Japanese War. Japan developed and exploited Formosa. It was the target of heavy American bombing during World War II, and at the close of the war the island was restored to China."
Taiwan Missions 2006
"Missions in Taiwan in 2006 to Yung He, Taipei, and Dong Yin Island from my church RHCCC. Song by David Crowder Band - O Praise Him"
"The cross walk in Taiwan was mainly in the area around the airport which is about 30 miles from Taipei.
My wife, Denise and I carried the cross from the airport through Tayuan and other towns in that area.
This is one of only a few nations that I seem to have lost the photos of the crosswalk! I am very sad about this. However, I have included my diary entry.
Many people came up to talk. Most of them were tourists. We prayed with some to receive Jesus as Savior.
We had a wonderful time with the people in Taiwan.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt
"golden angels group of 2008 performing in taiwan at the jhongli seventhday adventist church on may 17th 2008"
Lead me on
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA (ANS) -- He was a polarizing figure who inspired respectful admiration or disgust and derision. He led the Republic of China during World War II, but after a bloody civil war with the communists his government was forced to retreat to Taiwan in 1949. The story of his spiritual journey reflects his turbulent life, which was often filled with contradictions.
Chiang Kai-shek was born to Chiang Shu-an, a salt merchant. His mother, Wang Tsai-yu, was a devout Buddhist who sought to inculcate the tenets and practices of her faith in her son from infancy.
As a child, he was known for his tendency to assume command of others, expecting obedience. The death of his father when he was very young forced his mother to work hard to support her son. As he watched her dealing with unscrupulous people, an intense rage started to burn in him, and he began to see himself as part of an exploited people.
He reacted to these perceived injustices by turning in upon his own resources, spending a great deal of time alone, surrounded by mountains and streams and meditating upon his own future course.
At the age of fifteen, he married nineteen-year old Mao Fu-mei, who was functionally illiterate. The couple seems to have been close for the first two months of their marriage, but Chiang’s mother rebuked him for uxoriousness. In response, Fumei dutifully distanced herself and the two drifted apart.
As a young man, Chiang was known as a promiscuous womanizer, despite being married and having a son. His first marriage fell apart as his wife, who did not shareChina’s passion for politics and revolution, complained of his frequent absences. He often beat her, and at least once dragged her by her hair down a flight of stairs. Finally, the two settled upon a relatively amicable divorce, though his wife grieved deeply. Chiang Ching-kuo was their only son.
After their divorce, Chiang was reported to have several concubines, one of whom, Zhang Ah Feng, “Jennie,” he reportedly married in 1921. At that time he contracted a form of venereal disease.
After graduation from a military academy in Japan, where he met Sun Yat-sen, Chiang become an enthusiastic supporter of the Chinese nationalist revolution, and joined the Tongmenghui (Sun’s organization).
Return to China
Chiang returned to China to participate in the Xinhai Revolution, which overthew the Qing Dynasty. He eventually became a trusted associate of Sun, who appointed him founding commandant of the Whampoa Military Academy in 1918, when Chiang also joined the Nationalist Party (KMT). He succeeded Sun in 1925 as leader of the KMT upon Sun’s early death.
In 1926-1927 he unified much of the country, defeating warlords and breaking with the Communist Party, whose members he purged from the KMT.
In his personal life, Chiang fell in love with Soong Meiling, the daughter of wealthy businessman and former missionary Charlie Soong. There seems to have been a political deal worked out through the mediation of Meiling’s sister Ailing, wedding the Soong family wealth and connections to Chiang’s military and political assets.
When Chiang sought to marry Meiling, the strong Christian identity of the Soongs meant that their daughter could not be joined to a non-believer. Meiling’s mother asked Chiang whether he would become a Christian. He replied that he would not change his religion to marry Meiling, but he would read the Bible and pray for God to show him what he should do.
"A Christian bookstore owner in Taiwan shares a convicting testimony about his life. He was a former drug addict and gang member that hears the gospel at a church teatment center for drug addics and becomes a Christian. More parts of the story will be avalible as soon as I can get the chance to upload them. Mandarin/Taiwanese audio w/ Chinese and English Subtitles."
"Taipei is a pulsating metropolis in the north of the South Asian island state of Taiwan, a land of gods, spirits and temples. With around three million inhabitants it is the largest city in Ilha Formosa, a beautiful island that is located a hundred and thirty kilometres from the Chinese mainland. .."
An outstanding landmark is enough to transform a city, e.g. the Empire State Building in New York City, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the new Jinmao Mansion in Shanghai. In the 21st century, Taipei needs a more expansive stage for a more brilliant performance. 101 stories above ground and 5 stories below, the 508-meter-tall Taipei Project 101 is an engineering feat that�s expected to bring Taipei to the world."
(Discovery Channel) TAIPEI 101 (1/5)
Taipei 101, Taiwan. Tallest Building in world lift/ elevator, from youtube.com "Taipei 101, Taiwan. Tallest Building in world lift/ elevator." Taipei 101- C. Y. Lee & Partners-Great Buildings Online "..The new world's tallest building. Said to have world's largest tuned mass damper...
Taipei 101 Commentary
"Taipei 101, the world's tallest building, will be officially inaugurated in Taipei, Taiwan, on Dec. 31. The 1,666-foot skyscraper tops the previous record holder, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, by 183 feet.
"Designing the 101-story building in the earthquake- and typhoon-prone region presented quite a challenge. Engineers had to account for the fact that the tower stands about 650 feet from a major fault line, and that it will face winds of 100 mph.
"Still, Taipei 101 won't hold the title of world's tallest skyscraper for long. Buildings in Shanghai and Dubai are expected to surpass it, as will the Freedom Tower in New York -- on the World Trade Center site..."
� National Public Radio Wikipedia "..The name of the tower reflects its location in Taipei's international business district (101 mailing code) as well as its floor count. (See also "Symbolism" below.) The number is pronounced in English simply as One Oh One and in Mandarin and other local languages by the equivalent...
Taipei 101, like all spire structures, participates in the symbolism of the axis mundi: a world center where earth and sky meet and the four compass directions join.
The height of 101 floors commemorates the renewal of time: the new century that arrived as the tower was built (100+1) and all the new years that follow (January 1 = 1-01). It symbolizes high ideals by going one better on 100, a traditional number of perfection. It represents the spot where the tower stands: 101 is the postal code of Taipei's international business district. The number also evokes the binary numeral system used in digital technology.
The main tower features a series of eight segments of eight floors each. In Chinese-speaking cultures the number eight is associated with abundance, prosperity and good fortune. In cultures that observe a seven-day week the number eight symbolizes a renewal of time (7+1). In digital technology the number eight is associated with the byte, the basic unit of information.
The repeated segments simultaneously recall the rhythms of an Asian pagoda (a tower linking earth and sky, also evoked in the Petronas Towers), a stalk of bamboo (an icon of learning and growth), and a stack of ancient Chinese ingots or money boxes (a symbol of abundance). The four discs mounted on each face of the building where the pedestal meets the tower represent coins. The emblem placed over entrances shows three gold coins of ancient design with central holes shaped to imply the Arabic numerals 1-0-1.
Curled ruyi figures appear throughout the structure as a design motif. The ruyi, is an ancient symbol associated with heavenly clouds. It connotes healing, protection and fulfilment. It appears in celebrations of the attainment of new career heights. Each ruyi ornament on the exterior of the Taipei 101 tower stands at least 8 m (26 ft) tall. The sweeping curved roof of the adjoining mall culminates in a colossal ruyi that shades pedestrians. Though the shape of each ruyi at Taipei 101 is traditional, its metallic interpretation is plainly modern.
At night the bright yellow gleam from its pinnacle casts Taipei 101 in the role of a candle or torch upholding the ideals of liberty and welcome. From 6:00 to 10:00 each evening the tower's lights display one of seven colours in the spectrum. The colours coincide with the days of the week:..