I gave a lecture about being an individualist in a collectivist society at Zunyi Medical College in Zunyi (a city famous for being the place where a series of communist revolutionary meetings were held before Mao Zedong led his troops to defeat the Guomingdang). The students were interested to learn what kinds of things made me uncomfortable in China, especially when I explained which American values contributed to that discomfort.
The following is my reflection - sent to Peace Corps as per their request.
Part 3: Site Exchange Report
Note: This form should be completed by the Volunteer who agreed to participate in the exchange and submitted to the respective Program Manager within five days of completion of the site exchange trip. Electronic submissions are highly encouraged. Copies of any relevant outputs such as lesson plans should be attached. Photos are welcomed. Thank you!
Volunteer’s Name: Dustin D. Ooley
1. What organization and/or people did you visit?
Zunyi Medical College (students of Andrew Park and Kari Jefferson)
2. What were the positive aspects of your site exchange trip?
Open dialogue regarding the difficulties of an individualist in a collectivist society. Students learned how western teachers have individual differences, even if they share the same culture, helping them to better understand which characteristics of their foreign teachers are cultural and which are personal.
The chance to better understand student perspectives based on the kind of questions they asked. Students interested in various aspects of my experience had an opportunity to learn more. The next day several students ate lunch with Andrew and me, giving them another chance to ask questions.
I did not fall off the stage.
3. Lessons Learned/Recommendations for other Volunteers?
Don’t forget to have a camera.
Plan everything – even the little things.
Speak some Chinese – they love it.