Saturday, January 7, 2012

As told by...Ray Hou?

Hey guys! So I'm in college now and it's a blast! It's also lots of stressful days and sleepless nights but overall I'd say I'm loving it! Anyhow, this post will be a guest entry by the phenomenal Ray Hou. Enjoy!

September 15, 2011

Hi everyone! Anna said that if I wrote something she’d put it up on her blog. I’m a bit too lazy to actually blog for myself—in fact, I told Anna I’d write something sometime in June. Oops.

So who am I? I’m Ray! I’m still stuck in high school, though since Anna hasn’t really posted since she’s gone to college I suppose this blog is technically still a senior blog. I’m a huge science geek, though I suppose anyone who finds calculus entertaining is probably a bit of a math geek too.

Over the last summer, I participated in a volunteer teaching program in Taiwan called AID Summer. Out of all the summer programs I had wanted to attend, it was actually lower down on my list; I had unsuccessfully applied for several science-oriented programs. That’s not to say it wasn’t completely and utterly awesome.

…Maybe not completely awesome. The first week was rather boring. It was essentially an orientation week for the teachers-to-be, except they insisted on teaching us in English…when none of our teachers could actually speak English. Quite frankly they could’ve taught it in Chinese and it would’ve been more efficient. Then again, all the useful material they taught us could’ve been condensed into 30 minutes. Anyhow, it was a good opportunity to make friends and just chill.

The two weeks teaching were pretty intense. Each day we’d have to prepare lesson plans and material for class—not as easy as it sounds. Realize that we were trying to teach English literally from ABC’s, except they were already in at least 3rd grade. Singing your ABC’s might be fun for kindergarteners, but these kids are a bit too old for that. On the other hand, they don’t have the patience to straight up learn it lecture style either, and that’s boring anyways. The kids were predictably rowdy—summer is still summer in Taiwan—but they grow on you. I had 20 in my class, which took the ones who knew the most English, so we were able to read some Dr. Seuss and stuff. The teachers at the school had all the students mob us on our last day; cute, but they nearly buried me. I had a good time messing around with my group whenever we had off-time; mostly spent playing Contact.

One of the things that bothered me was the reporters though. I always got picked because I was one of two people who had fluent speaking Chinese, but you feel like a tool doing it; you can’t really bash on the program, even though its management could use some improvement. Oh well, part of the job.

Anyhow it was exhausting, but pretty fun. Met a lot of Asians in the program (as if I didn’t know enough already) who I’ll be keeping in touch with; they’re all really funny, and there are plenty of sketchy/hilarious stories to go around.

Oh, and school (still) sucks >.<