Sornvara Kho-Udom<br />Senior Seminar P2<br />Mr. Clover<br />Senior Seminar Presentation Script<br /><ul><li>Can you please introduce yourself and what you are going to be talking about?
Hi, I’m Sornvara Kho-Udom, and in this presentation I will be talking about my recent GCW trip to China, the ways of learning, what impact this experience had on me, and what I learnt about myself. So let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m Thai, and I’m17 years old. I’ve lived in Thailand all my life, and this is my 11th year at ISB. My future plan is to study business administration/marketing at Boston University.
What are the four ways of knowing? Which ways will you be using?
The four ways of knowing can be separated into four categories, which include: reason, perception, emotion, and language. It allows us to look at what makes up our mental map, how we “know” what we claim to “know”, and how it affects our understanding of the world and things around us. I will be using perception, emotion, and language, as these concepts have affects me the most during my experience in China.
Can you talk about your example so we get an idea of what you have experienced?
I will be talking about the trip that I have chosen to attend for GCW, in February, during my last year here at ISB. This year I chose to go to China, which is a community-service based trip at the Bifengxia Panda Base, with a group of around 20 students and two teachers. We spent most of our time in two main cities: Chengdu and Ya’an. The two cities were very different, and they allowed us to see two contrasting styles of life. Chengdu was a very big, urban city with a huge population and was always busy; on the other hand, Ya’an had a more rural setting, and was more peaceful and quiet.
I chose this experience because I thought that I learnt so much, in a variety of areas, in such a little time. It allowed to me to learn more about new cultures, my peers, and about myself. Personally, I enjoy learning about new cultures and experiencing new things. Also, not only did we get to do community service, I also got to go touring, sight-seeing, shopping, which are leisure activities that I enjoy. Furthermore, I was challenged, whether it is just communication, or adapting to a new culture, or something that was different.
I am going to start with language. The most obvious answer is of course, language difference. Most of the Chinese people I had encountered could not speak English very well, as much as I could speak Chinese. I had very limited amount of Chinese vocabulary that I knew, so communication was definitely a problem. I could not communicate what I wanted to say clearly all the time, because there was a language barrier. There was not a time when I could say a sentence in English, and someone would entirely understand what I meant. It was hard even when I was trying to do everyday tasks, such as shopping, ordering food, or finding the way around. Furthermore, I had rely on and be very dependent on our tour guides. They were few of the people who could translate for us. However, this experience did not have just the negative impacts. In reflecting on it, the experience allowed me to use lateral thinking (and ‘think outside the box’). I had to find alternative ways to communicate. I would like to give a specific example during this trip. During one of the dinners, the tour guide had ordered food for us: one chicken dish, two pork dishes, and one vegetable dishes. We only had gotten two dishes, one chicken and one pork dish. We waited for an hour, hoping for the other two dishes to come, but they never came. First we tried to communicate verbally, but since that did not work, we also tried to use gestures and movements, and draw pictures. We were able to go beyond our knowledge filters, which trap us into a particular of looking and things and close our minds, and not have self –realizing expectations. This experience made me realize that knowing more and more languages is definitely a plus. Not only do you learn more, but also you can communicate and share experiences with people from other cultures. Furthermore,
I learnt that what I communicate through my own language might not be as clear for a person from another culture (for example the word ‘เกรงใจ’). From this, I want to describe the relation to perception.