May 16, 2007

Affection (Word of the day, 2007/5/16)

1. feeling or emotion: She has a great affection for her families.
2. influence: The affection of global warming on earth are self-evident.
3. disease: The boy is suffering from an affection of the ear.
4. attribute: The figure, weight, etc., are affections of bodies

Affective(adjective): affective disorder

Affect (verb): The amount of rain affects the growth of crops.
She was deeply affected by his love.
His lung had become affected.

Affection is the expression of care. It symbolizes security, protection, comfort and approval -- vital ingredients in any relationship. When one spouse is affectionate toward the other, the following messages are sent:

You are important to me. I will care for you and protect you.
I'm concerned about the problems you face and will be there for you when you need me.
There are some ways to communicate affection effectively.

A simple hug can say those things. And there are many other ways to show our affection:

A greeting card or an "I love you" note; a bouquet of flowers; holding hands; walks after dinner; back rubs; phone calls; and conversations with thoughtful and loving expressions. All of these can effectively communicate affection.

Affection is, for many, the essential cement of a relationship. Without it, many feel totally alienated. With it, they become emotionally bonded. If you feel terrific when your spouse is affectionate, and you feel terrible when there is not enough of it, you have the emotional need for affection.

A public display of affection (sometimes abbreviated PDA) is the. For example, Holding hands & Kissing cheek in public are commonly defined as public displays of affection.

For Example: Could you mention some behavior or actions to express your affection for your mother during the mother's day?

May 13, 2007

Toastmasters Club C7 Speech

“Destiny of Stray Animals”

Rebecca Chou 2006/11/01
Sometimes I am wondering why a little kitten can grow up like this as my fatty cat. She was a stray cat before who was been dumped after her birth. My sister picked her up and because of her pregnancy, she gave it to me four years ago. After having a cat as pet, I found the biggest advantage is meeting handsome veterinarians when your pet is sick. However, the hardest part is also this because there is no medical insurance for pets, the cost will be double or triple. Meanwhile, no one likes the medicine and neither does your pet. Forcing them to take medicines is a mission impossible.

My cat is lucky because she has a sweet home. But from the recent news, the cat abuse case, we can imagine how awful an owner can be to a little animal. After knowing the destiny of stray animals, the worst is staying in the public shelters. Based on our Animal Protection Law, any animal is kept there for over seven days without adoption will go to heaven including your lost pet without chips! The truth is the road to heaven is suffering. The process of euthanasia is under table and far beyond of humanity. Under only 1% adoption rate of Taipei Public Shelter, the highest one in Taiwan, there will be more than 20 animals killed everyday.

Because of high labor cost and other expenses, stray animals there have no shelters at all but only a concentration camp such as Jewish people had during the Second World War. Although we cannot save them all, at least we have to know the real situation and need to keep in mind “the four No”.

1. No more stray animals.
This includes lost animals and dumped ones. For previous ones, we may need to inject chips inside of their bodies so that we could find them easily once they get lost. Since we are the owner and we have the responsibility to take care of them forever. Do not throw them away when they are old or sick. If you cannot keep them, there are many private shelters for them besides of leaving them alone on the streets.

2. No more mass destruction.
Based on statistics, killing a stray dog will cost NT$ 4800 which is almost two times of birth control. As mentioned before, over 7 days without adoption, stray animals will be killed according to the law but the problem is still on the street. The best solution is birth control instead of catch-and-kill.

3. No more superficial numbers.
Adoption of stray animals in Taiwan is less than 1% and all of them will die after seven days of cruel treatment. We may believe that some of them will find adopters; however, the truth is the adopters are the original owners. Those lost animals in public shelters will get back home easily because their owners will look for them. But their dirty and negative looking, they can hardly find adopters.

4. No more public shelters.
Sending stray animals to public shelters means sending them to hell. The private shelters will try to take care every animal until the last minute of their lives and they do not have to worry about anything there. If there is stray animal around your neighborhood, you have the choice to find a better place for them.

I know the stray animal problem cannot be solved within a short period but if we all have clear ideas of their possible destinies, we can save them from tortures and unfair treatment.
Tsoying Toastmasters Club C6 Speech

You Are Always on My Mind

Rebecca Chou 2006/10/04
This person is a great director. I have seen almost all him movies. He won lots of international awards, such as, Golden Lion or Oscar. This year he was the Oscar Best Director winner. And the movie brought him such honor is also popular. It describes the love between two young cowboys and their emotional struggle for the forbidden relationship. The most impressive thing he wants to say is that true love remains forever and it goes beyond genders, races, wealth or other things.

Ang Lee, an ordinary person, grew up in a traditional family. His father was a principal of Tainan senior high school. His manners and educational expectations once made this director very depressed because he did not get good grades in school. He liked to watch movies and write his own stories. He found movie is the one always on his mind.

After graduating from the university, he chose to study in the U.S. However, he worked at home before becoming successful and famous. He took the job as a househusband and cooked for his families for over six years. He did not give up his dreams. After his first film in Taiwan, he became noticed and got more opportunities.

His works of 飲食男女,推手and喜宴impressed the whole world. So the Hollywood, the major source of US movie industry invited him to join a new team. He started to make English films. Being an Asian working in a western country is not easy. It is easy for us to understand the cultural difference, communication and other difficulties. Nevertheless, he did it. “Sense and Sensibility”, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hawk” and “Brokenback Mountain” bring him to the world fame step by step.

Especially Brokenback Mountain gives him the Oscar Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. He said there is a brokenback mountain hidden in everyone’s heart. It could be a person or anything else. Honestly I am still trying to find out my own brokenback mountain and I hope all of us can find it no matter how far or how hard we have to try. You may think it is only a gay movie, but never forget only true love can really touch people and can be always on our mind.

Ang Lee had done it and is still doing for it. How about us? Anyone or anything is on your mind right now? Don’t forget to fight for it because it is worthy and you can never imagine what you will gain from it.
Tsoying Toastmasters Club C4 Speech

My Secret Garden: Gmail box

Rebecca Chou
Have you ever been in some chaos, feeling exhausted, depressed or empty before? More and more working and other kinds of pressures, the phenomena of suicide and credit card debt happening everyday, negative news from the media including increased pricing, high unemployment rate and other political arguments or other incidents ever make you feel tired of your life, your job, your family or anyone even anything else because you want to find a real quite place, somewhere you can take rest, clear your mind or even not to think any problems or troubles at all? A secret garden is what you need.

My secret garden is a place where I can say anything I want to a stranger who is my secret friend on the Internet. I met him in a chatting room of Spanish studying website. At first I just hope to find someone to practice my Spanish or I will probably forget how to say it since I do not have any chance to use it after graduation. I apply a new email address in google and all our emails are kept in records because the gmail box has a huge capacity and you do not have to delete a single email.

The reason why I chose him to be my pen pal is because of age and gender. We are almost at the same age and I think I could understand more about different opinions from a male friend. I am sure that we do not have any generation gap but only cultural difference. In the beginning I did not expect that I would know such a nice person. As you know, only dinosaurs will make friends through Internet no matter under which purpose. However, I think I am lucky because he is a very considerate and mature dinosaur.

Calling him a dinosaur is unfair because I have no idea of his looking. I told him that it will be better that we do not know each other’s faces because when one day I go to Madrid, I will not be afraid that someone on the street will call my name. He agreed therefore I told him that he is a friend of mine without faces. You can imagine that what you will tell your friends is what I have told him. Surprisingly, he gave me lots of good suggestions.

For example, when I told him that I am not interested in working in my current company, he suggested me to take notes everyday to find out the good points of this company or of my job. Then I found I could be happier staying in the same office after adopting his idea. We also discussed about marriage and other things and he impressed me a lot because of his sincere attitude toward my question.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. Although he is not around me, every time I feel bad I will tell him. I also told him some secrets, which have never been told to others even my families. Sometimes I take time to write to him in my office especially when there is not too much work to do that day and I found it is a very good way to kill my time. Because he is someone who can listen to my complaints or strange ideas about everything and others will never know them.

Have you found your own secret garden where you can be relaxed and comfortable, where someone is there for you, where someone will listen to you and give you suggestions or comforts? After working a whole day, after your lows, I hope you all can find this place. It will make you feel full of strength and confidence again. Are you tired of current status? Try to find your secret garden and you will never know how much it will help you.
Toastmasters C3 Speech

“Skype: The Whole World Can Talk for Free”

August 16, 2006 Rebecca Chou

We are suffering the most depression period in Taiwan, gaining the same salary but everything gets more and more expensive. We have to pay more for bills of gasoline, water, telecommunication, electricity and gas and pay more for grocery, clothing and other items. But what we earn is not what we get. Our working hours are longer and we have more jobs than before but we did not get more in our bank account. Therefore, some people start to think how to save money. For example, stop driving to work, flushing toilet with used water, turning off the lights after leaving the room or using Skype instead of telephone.

The Internet phone, Skype, is now popular all over the world. It offers free communication for Skype users and once you have a Skype account, you can enjoy chatting with anyone for as long as you want without paying a cent. You can even talk to foreigners for practicing your language ability because once you are on line and open to chat, they can probably find your name and call you for starting conversations easily. Even long-distance romance can be maintained well through Skype. Adding a webcam, you can see each other clearily. Moreover, you can make domestic and international calls through Skype or call to mobile phones under cheaper rates.

Skype is a little piece of software that lets you talk over the Internet to anyone in the world for free. It is founded in 2003, Luxembourg and is available in 27 languages. Until 2006, there are already 100 million Skype users. The following characteristics may attract your interests to in the Skype familiy.

S: Service of Communication
As mentioned before, for Skype users, any conversations through Skype are free and you can talk whatever and whenever you want without any cost. It still has functions to SkypeIn and SkypeOut. SkypeIn means you can have your own phone number for your friends to call you and you can just answer them through Skype. SkypeOut can let you make calls to traditional landlines or mobiles, that is, you can dial an ordinary phone or mobile phone when needed. The fare rate of these two is cheaper than ordinary phone.

Moreover, the communication can be made among five people at the same time. You can invite the other four to your phone call conversation and you will have chance to tell all of them in one time not separately. Even some firms will use it to make conference call to save money. And the quality of the communication is clear and stable as you are in the conference room.

K: Key-in Message
You can send any instant message to other Skype users just like msn. You can invite any person in your Skype contact list in the same chatting room to share the same message, files or photos.

Y: Young Generation Users
Most users of Skype belong to young generations, which is between 15 to 35 years old. Of course there are elder users but young people are the major ones because they are more accessible to use computers in general.

P: Practicing Language
Since Skype is available for the whole globe, you can set your status as open to chat and people on the line who are looking for a chat will call you by chance. Then you can definitely have chance to practice your language ability. I had one experience before. Some day a guy from Turkey would like to chat with me but at that time I was not in the mood of talking so I didn’t talk to him. However, I had a Spanish pen pal and he also has a Skype account. I hope someday I can have time to talk to him. Because of the time difference, I have to stay up late.

E: Easy to Use
As you can see on the screen, the operation of Skype is easy and simple. You have a main contact list and pressing green or red button to start conversation or to end it. For SkypeIn or SkypeOut, there is a real dial and with simple clicks and microphones, conversations can be started.

You may now wonder how to try it. First, you can find PC Home’s website at and download the software of Skype. Then you have to set up your own account by filling your personal data. Once it is available, you can key-in your account name and password to start it. Every time you turn on your computer, you will be online automatically.

In my company, we have to use Skype everyday because our factory is in the Mainland China. As a sales secretary, we need to confirm the delivery of shipment and everything with our factory to inform our clients so Skype becomes our major source of telecommunication. Believe it or not, our company has saved a lot because of this. Surely you can also benefit from this if you are one of the users!

As a deputy EVP of Tsoying Toastmaster Club, I am curious to know how much we can save from using Skype or msn. If you are also interested, please forward me your Skype or msn account so I can send you agendas through them directly or keep us in touch for free!
Toastmasters C2 Speech

“Spanish—Something You Need to Know”

Rebecca Chou 07/19/06

Can you imagine that some day our national song will be sung in Hakka or Taiwanese? According to the news report, the national song of the U.S., Star-Spangled Banner, is going to have Spanish version. Although it still has a long way to go, this tendency comes up for reasons. Based on the estimated U.S. population, the Latinos who have origins of Latin America including Mexico to Central and Southern America are going to be the majority in 2050.

We all know that the majority is Anglo Americans and the second largest group is African Americans. However, in the twenty-first century, the Latinos are more important than before because it is the first time they become the largest minority group. Today, I’d like to suggest you to take your chance to learn Spanish because it is possible to be an official language in the U.S. Besides that, due to the below facts, Spanish is something you need to know.

Fact I: Geographic Dimension
There are over thirty countries speaking Spanish, that is, almost one fifth of the world using the same language. Most of them are in America; however, some are in Europe and Australia. The most surprising one is the United States because more and more Latin Americans moved out of their homeland and go to a better place for living. So far there is approximately one forth of them in the U.S. as so-called the “Latinos”. Observers and Experts think it is possible that they will make this country becoming Spanish-speaking in the future.

Fact II: Population Growth
The Latino population growth is far beyond you can image. Recent years the average birth rate is less than 1.2 children in the world. Most countries are worried of aging population and the only growing area is in Africa, Latin America and some Asian countries. Due to the human movement, more than forty million Latinos, which is almost one time of Taiwan population and becomes the largest minority in 2000. This is the first time that Africans Americans are no longer has the same influence as before. Experts even predict that in 2050 the Latinos will be the majority and the Anglo Americans will be minority. If we can live longer, we can definitely have chance to see a Spanish U.S.A.

For instance, right now in New Mexico state, the 53% of the whole population is Latinos and according to the statistics, over half million of Latinos are gathered in 13 states. They are from right to left New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and California.

Fact III: Economic Potential
The economic power of Latinos is obvious from the advertising, media channels and remittance amount. No matter the outdoor or press and TV advertisements all have Spanish to attract the Latinos because of their strong buying power. The remittance amount to their homeland is also amazing. Based on the research, scholars found that several Latin American countries depend on this money for survival because it is the prime source of foreign currency. Even the current U.S. President Washington Bush would take actions to limit this money flow out once but failed because nothing can stop it.

The Latinos also build up a new atmosphere. Since 1976 every year in mid September, they will celebrate “Hispanic Heritage Month” because five Latin American countries became independent in this month, for example, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. They will show their traditions of dances, songs and other cultural ceremonies in the U.S. society. We all heard of words like tango, salsa, samba, bossa nova very often and some would like to learn these kinds of dances in their spare time.

The upcoming Spanish singers and media channels provide us a better answer of this Latin trend. You can watch Latin Grammy Award and several Spanish channels, such as, Telemundo and Vision, the top two national TV channels. The audience rating is even higher than CNN or Discovery. Right now the Latin American soap operas “telenovelas”, novels on TV, are the hottest programs for the Latinos. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and so on make more money from selling their albums. If you have not noticed this, you had better catch up with it now.

Learning Spanish will never be too late. My university professor had told us her trip in New York and because she could speak Spanish, the waitress in the restaurant gave her better service and more food. After showing your language ability to the Latinos, you will find how it works for reducing the gaps between each other. Want to learn it? Try to attend courses immediately or you will miss it, a whole new Spanish America!

May 3, 2007

Grant (World of the day, 2007/5/3)


Money given esp. by the state for a particular purpose, e.g. to a university or to support a student during his/her studies:

She finds it difficult to live on her grant.

You can get a grant to improve your house.


1. to give esp. what is wanted or requested:

The boys were granted an extra day's holiday.

They granted him permission to go.

The minister granted journalists an interview.

2. to admit to {the truth of (something)}:

I grant you that the mayor isn't very popular at the moment, but I think he will win the next election.

3. granted yes (but):

"We've been very successful this year."

"Granted. But can we do it again next year?"

4. take something/someone for granted:

a. to accept a fact, action, etc., without question:

I took it for granted that you would want to see the play, so I bought you a ticket.

b. to to treat something or someone with no attention or thought; not realize the truth value of:

He's so busy with his job that he takes his family for granted.

Some times we take people's kindness for granted.