Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Oh, to be 75 again..."

If this ain't precious....

...then I don't know what is.

Today Taiping Elementary School held it's 89th Anniversary Celebration (or "Birthday Party," as the principal called it) which, at its core, meant that I had to work on a Saturday, but in the best way possible.

Seriously, why are they so cute?

If it seems like I'm enamored with Asian children in matching outfits, that's because I am. Each grade had a different costume theme. The costumes became increasingly bland as the students got older (Kindergarten students wore sparkly, rainbow outfits; 3rd graders wore bright yellow do-rags on their heads; 6th graders made paper crowns.) Obviously, I mostly took photos of the Kindergarten and First grade students.

Are they supposed to be birds? Native Americans? Mardi Gras revelers? Does it even matter?

Of course, the only thing I love more than Asian children in matching costumes is Asian children in matching costumes while dancing in unison. Pictured below are the kindergarteners doing a dance about being healthy and loving exercise. It reminded me of a Barbie aerobics video, but of course, much cuter. (The least adorable performance: belly-dancing 5th and 6th grade girls).

Like school-wide events in the US, the birthday celebration also included races of the three-legged, potato sack, and Teacher Vicky vs. Her Fulbright Adviser vs. Her Principal variety. There were also some relay races I'd never seen before. One race involved two children running together inside a hula hoop, kicking over some bottles, hula-hooping a few times, picking up the bottles, and giving the hoop to the next pair.

And I've definitely never seen these before in my life:

Apparently they're arm-powered and will only move in zig-zags, making even the very short distance of 6 feet take what feels like a lifetime. (Not recommended as a spectator sport)

One thing I didn't expect was for the event to trigger old memories. As a kid, I remember getting dragged to Taiwanese Association events, enjoying the first hour, and then fidgeting in my chair for another two hours while the Taiwanese Association board conducted what felt like the world's longest raffle. (Of note: the only thing my family ever won was a set of locker shelves that were way too wide for any of the lockers I had in my school days--and none of us had a locker at the time). Now I see that the Columbus Taiwanese Association is undeserving of this superlative--apparently all Taiwanese events include a raffle, and all of these raffles are long.

Playing the waiting game

Of course, there is always a reason to stay: THE ULTIMATE PRIZE! THE NEVER-ENDING DREAM!

One dean, the Dean of Discipline no less, was so excited when I pulled his name that he did a jig and almost cried. Imagine this: the man you're most afraid of seeing in the office, a very serious man, is jumping up and down in excitement. I think (I hope) he's giving the bike to his son.

***Bonus Photos*****

An imagined conversation between Dr. Phil and me as we enjoy massages after losing to Principal Tsai in the running race:

DP: I was impressed. The Principal had a huge head start and you caught up.
VC: Second place is first loser.

Can you see my official staff t-shirt? It has a koala and the word "Cute" on it. How very elementary school!

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