Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Service Learning Week 10 = Individual

Time is dwindling down and there is little time left for us to complete our project. The other day we bought new paint, blue and red, in order to paint clouds and stars around the column to represent the name "Sao Mai = Morning Star." We thought this idea would have been a great one except when we realized that the colors we choose were the color of the American flag...

Looking at it this way, we were almost disgusted with the idea to continue painting. Here we are, these American Vietnamese kids going into Sao Mai with all these thoughts in our head and preconceived ideas of how improve, better, and help the institute of Sao Mai by volunteering there. And now we're going to come in and paint your playground the color of the American flag?! We did not want the people of Sao Mai to think of us in this way or look at the playground and see some kind of message like that in it. It's crazy how much one individual has that kind of power and one idea or misunderstanding or over look can possibly result into something more.

So here we are, with half done blue clouds and one giant read star along random columns, not knowing what to do with the paint some more and not knowing how to fix it. Going back into the classroom to volunteer, it got me thinking about whether or not our project would have been better served if it was somehow related to the classroom now. Being outside of the classroom and coming back in, I see a different way the teachers and students behave now. In my classroom, the newest teacher has been given more responsibilities now, however the control that she has over the children is still lacking. It's like the children know she's a noOb and so they don't pay attention or respect her as much as the other teachers, or it could be the fact that she still doesn't know how to handle them alone. Anyways, when a single person enters the classroom, one individual, it disrupts the whole program of the class. If it's a volunteer like myself, the children would be more incline to play with the new comer instead of listening to the teachers. If a new teacher comes in, then the children are around someone they are not use to and so they have to adjust and become familiar with that new individual. One extra individual in the class can change the behaviors of the others.

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