The Student News Site of Taipei American School




The end of a “two-year” adventure


“It was going to be a two-year adventure.”
Now, 36 years after he first left the States, Mr. Magill is still on his adventure.
For most of his adult life, Mr Magill has travelled and taught in international schools. He’s lived in Malaysia (ISKL), Germany (International School of Düsseldorf), Indonesia (JIS) and lastly, here in  Taiwan (TAS). “It was the smartest thing I ever did in my life. It’s been a good life,” says Mr Magill, recalling his move from Iowa to Malaysia in 1978.
Prior to coming to TAS, Mr Magill spent 22 years in Indonesia, where he taught at JIS. “I loved the diversity of the school. 60 nationalities. I would sit in a classroom at my history class in Jarkata and I would have 16 kids, 12 different countries,” he recalls.
Laughter is part and parcel of being in Mr Magill’s class. “My favorite class? Well, during class (ISKL) one day, some students came up and we started talking about the sounds animals make in different languages. We had like 10 nationalities and we laughed so hard about the sounds made. Another time in class, I used some American idiom like ‘don’t let the cat out of the bag’ or something, and they all looked at me. ‘What are you talking about?’ And then the kids from the other countries were using their idioms, but translating them directly in English and it was absolutely hilarious.”
At age 66, Mr Magill is resigning (“No, I’m not retiring, I’m resigning”) to return to the states where he has a house near Lake Tahoe. Thus he concludes his “two-year adventure around the world”. However, he leaves TAS with one question: “Why are there  no air bands in air band? I went to air band my first year here, and there were no air bands. And there weren’t the next year or the next year or the next year. I’ve never seen an air band in air band!”
When Mr Magill taught at JIS he viewed TAS very differently. We were the competition from way up north. “It used to be our rival,” he says. After six years at TAS and much laughter, he now views TAS very differently. Today, Mr Magill proudly describes TAS as “one of my schools.”

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