This week was a rather different experience as compared to the previous 2 weeks because lessons are becoming more frequent and I fell ill, probably because of the lack of acclimatization to the weather here. Still, I had a couple of memorable experiences.
At the start of the week, we traveled down to Hushu Special School and we had two sessions of activities with them. This school focuses on helping intellectually disabled children with learning and going about their daily activities. What was interesting is that other than regular classes that they hold, the school teaches them how to tend the shops within the school and order food for themselves, regardless of their age. Since I used to help out a little at YCS and disabled-oriented organisations, I think it is very different from the ways these children are being taught as compared to Singapore. In Singapore, it seems that these organisations treat these group of people with more caution and safety and it seemingly thickens the net that separates them from the rest of society. We organised a cooking/origami session for the first and a frisbee session for the second one. Even though the time spent with them was a little short, it still warms my heart to be able to play and serve these children.
Since this is a Design program, we have to take a mandatory course in ZJU to experience the type of lessons the local students here take. This course aims to combine origami and design to allow us to design the behavior and movements of an origami through different folding methods. The lessons are pretty interesting but the course is mainly taught in Chinese, which makes it a little difficult for me to pick up on all the learning objectives. However, I am pretty proud of some of the origami that we have made so far.
Lastly, I didn’t have the strength or the time to do travelling this week but I managed to cycle around the whole university campus at the end of the week. Many of the students and staff here call this a park instead of a university and I can see why. The scenery here is astounding, with a lake running through the entire university. Children and families come to the university to spend their quality time playing and relaxing. I don’t think Singapore has the luxury of such nature to make a school as beautiful as this.
All in all, this week was a relatively quiet week and it was really enjoyable just staying around the campus. I think this week was as close as how a local ZJU student or staff would have normally and I am glad that I managed to enjoy these few days despite my illness.