Hello there! It’sa me, Timo. In this week’s adventure series, it’s mostly administrative matters; we have work starting to rile up and the one moment I’ll never forget in ALP. (Plays intro music, JK no intro music ): )
So, we’ve finally reached the second-ish week of ALP, the previous week has been enjoyable – climbing mountains and heading out for cultural experiences, not forgetting to appreciate the capricious weather of hot and cold, hot and cold. (Appreciate the cold days, die and complain on hot days like a true-blue Singaporean) However, after having a leisure week, the purpose of coming to ALP has slowly start to seep in, which is to have fun work with Zhejiang local students. After our series of buddy days (you could see my buddy day post here), the group of 13th May students arrived, and we immediately had our opening ceremony the next day. Introduced by the different heads of faculty that runs this programme, we were given a brief overview of what to expect, and how we should seize this opportunity and not resort to regrets and self-pity. It was great to see how down to earth and honest the professors are with regards to the programme. They mentioned the use of tao bao, our thought-out plans to head outside of Hangzhou and essentially to have a relaxed trip throughout the ALP programme, and of course juggle it with our works’ demand. Really liking how the prospect of ALP is shaping up.
Through the week we had meetings with our various themes’ grouping. We had seen our workspaces, and later met up with our theme professors and TAs to introduce ourselves and our purpose in joining this specific theme. We had outings with them to learn more about the student life in Zhejiang University at a nearby Mexican restaurant. We later had classes that the TAs recommend us to join, and all the classes recommended were either classes in Chinese with Chinese slides or in Chinese but with English slides. So, either way the Chinese was inescapable, and the struggle I will face in those lessons will be very real. We had attended one lesson the following week but that’ll be covered next week.
I forgot to mention something very important that happened on the previous week that changed who I am relative to this trip. It was a Friday, our very first Friday of the trip, that Friday that I’ll never forget. Our ALP group have small groups participating in different themes, and of course in each group there ought to be a leader. I was one of them, but everything changed after attending the meeting on Friday. (Cue echoing, change… change… change…)
On that day, we were happily introducing ourselves and each of our themes. We were briefed on all the usual meeting stuff, the workshops we had to attend, the important places we have to take note of. Soon enough, the professor in charge was looking to appoint someone. Someone to be the leader of leaders. We all fell silent. Soon enough, we started throwing multiple sabotages across the group, and in the end the professor in charge was looking around. Right after the room fell silent again. She said “Okay. Hmm… Timothy how about you be the leader.” I was stunned. I started to hesitate. After much hesitation and denials, I just gave in to fate, and I was appointed as the leader of leaders. Yay! I hesitated at first, as firstly my Chinese is bad, secondly, I lack confidence when it comes to leading, thirdly my Chinese is bad. The professor was nice enough to let me take up the position, even after telling them my Chinese was a 1/10, as they would try their best to communicate with me. But I took on the challenge, as I’ve always been hard on myself whenever I tried to lead, as I have always been too considerable and self-conscious towards what other people demand out of me. The other challenging problem was my competency to learn and adopt another language. I’ve always struggled very badly in learning languages. It took me from year 5 – 6 of SOTA to get a hang of the English language. I really look forward to trying to take up this role, I just find that it is a little more relaxed as it isn’t really that heavily enforced for me to take care of everyone, and it’s more of passing down information from the professors to the group. After that it is just, I’ll try my best!
So during the later part of the week, I just decided to head off for Shanghai with a bunch of people! 🙂 And here is the link to the next episode of adventures in China! Thanks for reading this post!