2008年9月18日

記AsiaSIG


“Do something! Get involved!”

兩年前,迎新宿營的助教如此勉勵我們,他說很多大事都是在同學彼此激盪之中完成的,所以我們在課業之餘,一定要積極參與活動。短短四個字,在我心裡激起了很多漣漪。我想到離開台灣之前,我想像著在美國的生活,那時候期許自己一定要積極主動,要把過往被動學習的態度通通丟掉。

迎新宿營完,正式踏進耶魯校園,文化衝擊才剛開始,馬上又被數不清的課堂和講座淹沒。耶魯的演講、座談、電影多到數不清,其中很多都由學生自發舉辦。我們系上的社團(SIG, Student Interest Group)就扮演這樣的平台,興趣相投的人聚在一起,平常邀請人來演講、編刊物、放電影、當然還有逸樂活動聯絡成員感情。某個週五,我去了社團博覽會,有以學科為主軸的社團,有拉丁美洲社團,有非洲社團,就是沒有亞洲人的身影。

以前的我可能就嘟囔幾句,說什麼學院都不重視我們亞洲學生之類的廢言,不過這次…我創了一個社。

我從來不是一個領導人,雖說在附中時因為書法社要倒了,所以作了社長(過了幾年還是倒了),大學加入人人都必須當社長的小說賞析社,服兵役時還當了軍官,照理說應該要有很多領導經驗,但其實那些都是放在履歷上好看而已,我還是喜歡在人群裡當個應聲蟲。

創社這件小事,以我被動二十幾年的個性當背景就成了一件大事。當時的我,用破破的英文寫了一封長信號召其他亞洲同學,為了此事我跟系上教授討論,還第一次用英文主持小討論會,沒有經驗的我好緊張阿。身為發起人,我理所當然的成了社長,印度同學波娃熱情支持,於是我們兩人成了最佳搭檔。

因為找不到人交棒,這一任就是兩年,很多人的熱情被繁忙課業澆熄,到頭來只剩兩三人辦活動兼打雜。經營這AsiaSIG不是一件容易的事,亞洲本身就廣泛到很難定義,各成員之間興趣天南地北,對美國人來說語言文化是障礙,真正有興趣的人不多。我們沒有作什麼了不起的大事,放了五六部電影,幾場演講,兩次實習經驗談,一次印度紋身(Mehendi)活動,應該算是及格成績。

這學期初我還在擔憂社團香火,沒想到今年新生反應熱烈,前天期初社大,三個學妹接下社團,開心地討論起一年計畫,把棒子交出去了,像是完成了一件事,我在這個學院裡也留下了足跡,的確got involved,沒有讓自己失望。

直到現在,我還是為當時的自己感到小小的驕傲。對強者來說,這根本是芝麻綠豆小事,那卻是我脫胎換骨的初心。

回到家中,翻到信箱最後一頁,點開兩年前那封題為”Need Your Asian Power!”的email,好巧,竟然是同一天耶。那時候寫email要花好長時間,英文好差,寫信極囉唆,謝謝大家這麼捧場阿。

--
日期: Sat, 16 Sep 2006 03:34:34 -0400

寄件人: chung-en.liu@yale.edu
主旨: Need Your Asian Power!

Dear all,

First of all, please take a look at the mailing list above. Did you notice anything special? If you do, congratulations, you have a great "Asian" sense, and you are exactly the kind of people we are looking for!

I went to the TGIF event in Bowers today, and there was the SIG (Student Interest Group) expo. There was groups related to some special interests like outdoor activities or sustainable food, others target on specific issues such as climate or development, still others focus on regional studies which are Africa and Latin America. I was kinda disappointed that there was not a "Asian Interest Group." Since Asian students are the largest international community in FES, I cannot find any reason that we do not have any SIG relates to the greatest continent in the world. After talking to some of you, I think it will be a great idea to organize our own SIG group!

I spoke to some SIG leaders today, and they suggested that we can work informally this semester, and join as a formal SIG in next spring, then we will have some fund to deal with from SAC. This is going to be a great opportunity to know the different cultures and environmental issues around Asia or exchange ideas of Asian issues with our other fellow students. In addition, this will be our contribution to the whole FES community.

So I need help from you all. Whether you are likely to join or not, please give me some suggestion. If you guys really like this idea, please spread this thing out, I would like to see there are more diversity in the group, not merely we Asian students. I will send the message to more people next week, including the Asian students in second-year and other people who interested in Asia, and I will post the message on Sageboy finally. As to the group activities, we don't have to be very academic-oriented, if you guys like more laid-back style, we can have some film series as the Latin group does this year. Anyway, I hope we will have a meeting to discuss how do we shape and design our group soon.

Just as Chisato said to me today, "Establishing a new group is a bit of work, but we have to let everyone know that we Asians are also in FES!" Let us make this thing come true together! Please let me know if you have any idea or further questions.


Cheers!

Best,

John Liu

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