View from within the grounds of the Morrison Christian Academy in Taichung, a private high school for international students with high academic standards.
"Spell the word 'Duck'." This is what my younger son was asked by a teacher when he went for an interview at the Taipei branch of the Morrison schools in Taiwan. At that time he was 9 years old, and to a large extent because he was part of a family that was well-integrated into the Chinese community and had only attended Chinese schools, it was extremely difficult for him to answer this kind of question. So, despite the fact that he had been christened with the name "Morrison" at birth and held an overseas passport and his parents upheld everything that the school stood for, going there to further his education was not an option.
Now fast-forward through eight years in Hawai'i where he graduated from a Hawaiian elementary school, and attended a cooperative school before doing home school and also learned to skateboard, today Morrison gets to go to this campus in Taichung to take an AP (advanced placement) examination, as he wraps up his high-school education, having only a few "bits and pieces" to finish off after this in a few other subjects before he completely finishes around the end of this month.
While in Hawaii in some of the earlier years there was some "educational drift" in that life was very laid back and studying was definitely not cool, Morrison worked relatively hard his last two years in Hawaii and as a result got pretty decent grades. During the last year in Taiwan, during which we have moved house and he has had to adjust to two new environments in terms of making friends, he has worked really hard and very responsibly. While I cannot predict what the outcome of the exam will be, he has certainly put in a lot of effort, and I believe a bright future will await him. As a younger child in Hawai'i, the cooperative school he attended for a few years attributed the character trait of "determination" to him, and while his older brother has tended to be more laid back (but equally gifted in his own right), when Morrison wants to do something he is really determined to accomplish it, and is very disciplined in going about it. So I wish him all the best. I have not helped him with his schooling nearly as much as I should, but at least now I know he can now succeed without my assistance.
No swimming today as I am away from home. I am just realizing how nice it is living in Kaohsiung. Life there is simple and I can get on with the things I need and want to do.