Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Godzilla!!!


As another exciting day began at The Valencia Gardens Computer Lab we were hit by a sudden surge of traffic. Around 9:30 small amounts of chinese seniors began to trickle into the lab.

Thanks to Mun being able to speak Chinese, he was able to help the seniors in the mist of their confusion as they began to bombard him with questions. Since Valencia Gardens is so "incredibly" organized we had no idea about the class until the day before when two elder chinese men showed up to the lab looking for a computer class. The supposed class to be taught was an introductory computer course in Chinese for seniors who wanted to learn how to use a computer.

Around 10:25 the lab was at full capicity with still no teacher in sight. Mun spoke to several seniors trying to explain them what was going on. Finally at 10:30 two younger chinese girls showed up with another man who was from the organization JobCorps treasure island. We found out that job corps had provided two younger chinese girls to help faciltate the class. However, both girls were completely unaware that they would be teaching a class in front 20. The girls had no cirriculm and were quite shy and taken off guard.

As the hour progressed the confusion seemed to grow with the room filled with a bunch of chinese only speaking seniors wondering when the instruction was going to begin. They sat clueless at their computers as Martin from VG tried to coordinate with Jobcorps guy, myself and Mun to help get a cirriculum up so a class could be taught.

Eventually Mun took action and began to start running the class himself after asking little assistance from myself except to help set up a projector which eventually wasn't used. He gathered the seniors around one computer and showed them the basics on the computer. Realizing that I was pretty much useless since I don't speak Chinese I did the only thing I could do..film the whole thing. After filming Mun's instruction I dissapeared into the CTN office only to return a half hour later to see that Mun had everyone crusing the internet.

What can we learn about today's lesson? Well having good communication skills is always helpful..Mun and I both looked at eachother amongst all the confusion and both agreed we were never going to have one of our classes look like what was going on at the moment..In all, it was quite a site to see and maybe a bit entertaining because we weren't to blame and it wasn't our class. I thnk I can say I certainly took a lot away from this experience.

At the same time it was shameful for the seniors who were expecting a full on lesson and received only a bunch of chaos. There many different things that went wrong, poor plannning/communicaiton efforts from both organizaitons both the hosting org and the visting org. Also,I felt sorry for the poor girls who were supposed to be teaching the class and had no idea that they would be speaking in front a large group let alone teaching an entire course. For the future: always have a cirriculum ready in hand if you are going to be teaching a course.

The credit here goes to Mun who now I'm pretty sure all of the seniors believe him to be there teacher. We were able to gather a few resources and basic cirriculum to help out the two girls with for next time but it might take them a class our two to have a lesson planned and the cofidence to begin teaching. Another day at VG and the excitement continues!

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