Friday, 04/25/08, 3-4:30P.M. :
Today is my first day going to the Minnesota Internship Charter School for this volunteer service. I have spent some time figuring the route to the school. My volunteer manager- Amy is a very kind lady. It was raining whole the afternoon, she gave me a glass of hot water, and then we had discussed how the volunteer service works and the location of each classroom in the charter school. Most of the students in this school are from Ethiopia and Somalia. I had read the cultural and geographic background of them in order to get along with the students here. As an ESL classroom tutor, I am helping them with reading and writing assignments. I was nervous since I am not an English fluent speaker either, however, I found out their assignments were very basic. I helped few students with their English grammar assignments and fix some punctuation errors in their essay. This is my first time tutoring with African kids. I have always though about going to Africa to build them a house such as hospital or school as a volunteer. This tutoring job is a good start to get to know them, I am looking forward to continue this service. As the first day, I think I did pretty well to help with their homework.
Monday, 04/28/08, 2:30-5:00 P.M.
It is raining again today…It took me for a while to get to the charter school. I was really wet when I got there since it was raining heavily outside. I had a chat with Amy in her office with some rose tea. I found that Amy is a tea-fan, too. I promised her that I will bring some Chinese tea next time for her. I first helped Mr. Hassan in his Algebra class. Then he asked me if I can go helping another pre-calculus class since their teacher is absent today. The probability problems have struggled me at the beginning.. it has been for a while since my sophomore year in high school when I took pre-calculus class. But I have figured out all the questions from them at last..(I called my friends to figure out the answer…) I went to the homework center to help them with their English assignments after the pre-calculus class finished. I have helped few students with their biography papers. I found out most of their goal are going back to Somalia for education, or building a school and hospital. I had chats with few students there about their culture, society and the situation today. I have felt I am very lucky that my parents have offered me this opportunity studying abroad in a college at the U.S. I realized I did not only learn how to offer as a tribute but also treasure everything I have now, such as a well family and living in a peaceful country.
Tuesday, 04/29/08. 3:00-5:00P.M.
I brought some Chinese Wu-Long tea to Amy. I hope she likes it. I was working with a student who is doing her college application essay today. I gave some suggestions and also fixed some grammar mistakes for her. In her paper, her future goal is continue her study in college and doing the volunteer as a tutor like me. In this paper, she also needed to explain why she thinks the education is important. After we talked about her family and social background in Somalia, I pointed out few things that might be helpful with her topic. From this service, I could learn many things from their country and culture, such as the conflicts, hunger and chaos there. I always saw these painful disaster from the movie or news, I felt more impressive from these students’ mouths.
Friday, 05/02/08, 2:30-5:00 P.M.
Mr. Hassan had a sore throat today, so I helped him teaching on the broad. It was my first time teaching in front of so many students. I was really nervous because I was afraid they might not be able to understand my English…Fortunately, it was really easy, I just explain the formula and the graphing. Most of the students in the class were really kind and innocent. I met some new friends here, too. I also learned some basic Somalic vocabularies. They have asked me so many questions about Taiwan, I think I will bring some Taiwanese snacks for them since they have never tried any Asian snacks before.
Tuesday, 05/06/08, 3:30-5:00P.M.
Today is my last day doing the volunteer service for this semester. I am very glad that Amy loves the Chinese Wu-Long tea I gave her. Also, the kids in algebra class also enjoyed the snacks I brought for them. I have learned a lot within those two weeks. I learned how to help others, many things from the student’s cultural background and recognizing myself. I have learned the civil war, conflicts between warlords and the geography in Somalia. It is a very valuable opportunity working here as a tutor. It has a great start for my future goal, which is going to Africa to build them a house. I believe I will continue this volunteer service next semester, too.