11 February 2015

A week in Taipei

Hong Kong SAR, China—How many keynoters with the surname Watson can you have at one international conference? Apparently, the answer is two. The 700 participants at the 18th East Asian Forum of Nursing Scholars (EAFONS) at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei were greatly amused that both keynote speakers had the same surname.

I was sharing the platform with Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, distinguished professor and dean emerita, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing; Living Legend, American Academy of Nursing (2013); and founder/director, Watson Caring Science Institute. More than 20 years had passed since I first met Watson, when she gave a lecture at the University of Edinburgh. Since then, our contact has been by correspondence. She was one of my reviewers during my time as editor-in-chief of Journal of Clinical Nursing, and she oversaw my contributions to both editions of her book Assessing and Measuring Caring in Nursing and Health Science. I neither pretend to understand nor agree with everything Watson says about nursing and caring, but she is a captivating public speaker and fantastic company.

She shared my consternation that we had to endure a three-hour gala conference dinner without a glass of wine, but we had an excellent dinner the next evening—with Taiwan beer—at the world-famous Ding Tai Fung restaurant, at the base of Taipei 101. This was my second Ding Tai Fung experience, as my PhD student Yeh Tzu-Pei and Ting-Ting, another PhD student from National Taipei University, took me to the original Ding Tai Fung restaurant upon my arrival in Taipei.

During my five days in Taiwan, I gave four presentations: a keynote and plenary at EAFONS, a lecture to research students at National Taiwan University Hospital, and a speech to the annual general meeting of STTI’s Lambda Beta Chapter-at-Large, at the invitation of Pei-Shan Tsai, PhD, professor and associate dean of Taipei Medical University College of Nursing. I attended EAFONS at the invitation of Lian Hua-Huang, PhD, professor and former dean of nursing at National Taiwan University, and she was a generous and attentive host.

Never give this man a microphone. Yours Truly at the
plenary session with Taiwanese colleagues.

 I must have had hundreds of photographs taken. This is the habit in the Far East and South East Asia, to get your picture taken with a “celebrity,” and, apparently, I’m a celebrity! I have picked up dozens more followers on my Facebook page, and the photographic evidence is there to see.

Yours Truly surrounded by fans.
That's orange juice I'm drinking.
Apart from the rain, the weather in Taipei was perfect for running, and I managed a total of 12 miles round the campus of National Taiwan University, where I was staying for the week. On Sunday, after a morning visit to Holy Family Church and lunch at Cha for Tea, I went to the airport to meet two old friends from Hualien who work at the nursing college and university run by the Tzu-Chi Buddhist Foundation. Upon boarding the plane for Hong Kong, I reflected on the terrible air crash that had occurred in the city that week. Not every flight ends with an arrival at the destination.

Podcasting continues, and people seem to be listening to them. Mrs. Watson prefers the shorter ones, she tells me.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Comments are moderated. Those that promote products or services will not be posted.

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