For anyone who has contacted me in the last month or so, my responses have been pretty much the same.
You; “How are you”
Me; “Busy, busy and more busy”.
Okay, I am sorry about that, but cool things have been going on my friends, well for me at least I think they are cool.
June was my last month of teaching grade 5. As the students prepared to begin their summer break, I was extremely excited to finally be finishing work every night at a decent hour. However, that quickly changed. I realized with all this free time, I finally had time to do something I’ve been wanting to do since I stepped foot into Asia. Basketball camp. So over the last 2 months, I have been organizing, planning and running youth camps here in Taiwan. Yesterday, we just finished up our last session of a two week camp program for students grade 1-5. It was a lot of fun, and such a unique experience actually getting kids in Asia out of the classroom and on to the basketball court. This group of kids came from an elementary school, that is the same school as some of the kids I coach on the weekends (Comeback Season).
I am also in the process of getting an after school basketball camp up and running for the kids at my own school. This has been a long process, that has been successful for the most part. For those who don’t really understand this side of the world, let me try to explain it. A typical day for an adolescent over here; Chinese school 7am-4pm, English class 4:30-7pm, Chinese study hall 7pm until Mom or Dad picks them up (some kids literally stay at school until 9 or 10pm). Throw into the mix piano lessons, violin lessons, English and Chinese tutors, and Saturday morning classes. The typical life of a child over here is no joke. Eastern cultures have a very high respect for education, and believe that education is one of, if not the most, important aspects of life. So, the challenge with starting any type of sports program here is getting the parents involved and onboard. Parents see the time that kids are playing sports outside or after school, as valuable time that could be spent in the library. For anyone reading this who has played sports before, this concept is so hard to accept. Anyone who has ever been involved in sports, knows the amount of knowledge, lessons and values it can bring to ones life. It teaches qualities that expand well beyond just how to throw a pass, or score a goal. So the key to getting parents involved here, is to show, explain and teach them that there is more to sports then just scoring points, and there is more to a child’s life then just sitting in a desk, and taking tests.
I am really happy to say, that my presentation to my boss, superiors, students and school parents went quite smoothly and that I will be running a camp this August! I really am passionate about getting kids out of the classroom, and getting active. Playing sports is second nature to me, and it was something I learned at such a young age thanks to my parents. I truly believe it has helped mold me into the person I am today. I am glad that I have a group of parents here who believe in my skills as a basketball player, as well as a teacher, and trust that I will help instill some of the lessons and skills I have learned onto their children. More importantly, I am excited to get these kids out of school, and out on a basketball court where they can have fun, make new friends, be healthy, grow and develop not only as basketball players but as kids too. It is going to be such a great experience for all involved!
So… that my friends is why I have been super busy lately. In other news, we had a typhoon 2 weeks ago and had off school for one day. Weirdest “snow day” ever. Every thing was fine in Taipei, hardly any damage was done, so it was nice to just relax and Netflix for an entire day (Shoutout to Mike Molloy for the Netflix access). Other than that, I am just living the dream one day at a time. It feels weird not being home for summertime. I miss everyone so much, and I hope that things are going well back at home!