One of the goals of the Northwest Community College Initiative Program (NWCCI) is to get our students involved in the local community and give them opportunities to share their own cultures. Mursidin Amiruddin, a tourism and hospitality student from Indonesia studying at Whatcom Community College, presented together with several other program participants on a hero from his country.
Standing in front of the class is never an easy thing. In the middle of October, I tested my ability to give presentations at Shuksan Middle School in Bellingham. The strong support from my advisor and fellow grantees didn’t make my nerves go away. I was thinking that giving a presentation in your second language will never be smooth as you wish.
I arrived at the school along with my fellow grant students from Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Costa Rica and Indonesia. We were surprise when we passed the school canteen that the students waved at us and welcomed us in the nicest way, with smiles. I feel like a sudden celebrity.
The school was highly decorated, cleaned and equipped with the latest electronic equipment such as computers, an LCD touchscreen board and much more. The presentation that we were going to give was about our heroes in our countries. It was for an 8th grade history class. I was the first one to give the presentation, and I presented about the founding father of Indonesia, Soekarno. The students were very excited and communicative, which wiped away my nervousness. We started to mingle and they were not as I expected 8 graders to be, there were no “annoying or dumb” questions. Instead they really wanted to learn something.
After I finished my presentation, it was my friend’s turn, and surprisingly the students also changed. It was another 8 grade class. In Indonesia students do not move around from one classroom to another, it is rather the teacher who moves around.
The whole presentation lasted from 12 to 3:30pm. After the presentation the teacher and the assistant principle told us they were very happy to have us and the kids loved it.
Another great experience in the U.S.