Thornton loved the foods and the shopping.
Cammie Traylor was fascinated at how well people communicated even when many families used more than one language. Because of Japan’s occupation of Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, Traylor says, most older Taiwanese generations speak Japanese. While in the same house, most younger generations speak Chinese. Still, others speak the more complex Taiwanese.
As a student teacher, Hauser was impressed by the stark difference between self-discipline in Taiwan schools compared to American schools. Taiwan students rise early for school, attend classes, then attend a secondary school program in the afternoons or early evenings, followed by some extracurricular activity, followed by intense homework session often lasting past midnight.
In the classroom, students are deferential to their teachers. Students are charged with cleaning their own classrooms. Lunch is served to each room where students take their meals at their desks then clean up after themselves.
Lewis Cureton says he has been inspired by the Taiwanese discipline. Since returning, he says he has pushed himself to regular stints of five hours straight studying, all in one sitting.
Yet, through the hospitality of their hosts, the best lesson learned may have been that people of good will are the same no matter race or location. They make the world a better place.