Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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    Laney ESL students thrive in S.F. story telling event

    APASS ESL students and staffOn a blustery late-March day in San Francisco, ESL students from Laney College journeyed to San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park to celebrate “World Storytelling Day.” Storytellers and artists took to the stage united in the belief that stories matter.

    Laney’s entire class of ESL students in the APASS (Asian and Pacific American Student Success) Program made the trip and many presented their essays out loud, sharing significant events that took place in their lives. 
    Sein Sein Myint reading her storyAPASS ESL instructor Amy Loewen coordinated the event with the park’s Community Outreach staff Carlo Arreglo. ESL instructor Christine Behrsin Margerum also participated by bringing a student to share her moving story.

    APASS director Tomoko Roudebush praised everyone’s efforts: “The writings were very inspiring and powerful. The students worked very hard and we are very proud of them!”

    The following are verbatim written reactions from students reflecting on their storytelling experience at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park:

    “In my opinion, the field trip of World Storytelling Day was fantastic. Actually, I was nervous in the first beginning because I was afraid of being laughed in public speaking not fluent English. Before the storytelling, the workers in the historic park gave us heartful welcome, and one of them shared her own story being an immigrant. I believed that I would become a strong person like her one day. When I was called to speak, I was proud to present my food ritual, and this special memory stayed with me forever.”
    -Xianghua Wu

    Htoo Paw reading her story“At World Storytelling Day, I’m so proud of myself that I had a chance to read my story. At first, I thought there would not be a lot of audience, but while I got there, I felt very excited and I didn’t felt nervous at all. While I was reading the story in front of others, I got to see very beautiful weather and the view. Also, it was very windy. I was freezing and couldn’t face the audience. I had to hold my paper really tight because the wind was strong.”
    -Htoo Paw

    “My experience about World Storytelling Day on last Friday was amazing…One thing that I learn was even though our writing is not perfect, the true story that we have is very interesting to share with others. The place was nice, seeing a gigantic boat was amazing.”
    -Tha Par
    Tai Truong reading his story“World Storytelling Day was a really fun and interesting event…the story and the introduction of the host about the national parks helped me open my mind…At first, I was really nervous and scared…However, I tried to control myself and used more eye contact to express my story to everybody. Also, when other students presented about their stories, I could learn from them to improve myself.”
    -Tai Truong

    “I really liked the World Storytelling Day…I love the park, especially feeling the cold air. I think the park was a little small but it’s beautiful…and I learned that national parks are for everyone.”
    -Clay Mu

    “I had a really good time at World Storytelling Day. I loved the environment because I felt the ocean and the wind blew from everywhere, and it was so romantic…Before I went to the park, I thought that nobody wasn’t take care of the park and it would look so old. However, after I saw that, I realized that people with big heart care about the park. That’s why some places in the world were still pleasant.”
    -Geneve Tuem
    Lian Pau reading his story 
    “The setting was very nice, with the sea, the ships, the city next to it, and the group of people who support me makes my fear go away…I couldn’t believe I could speak out loud in English in front of people who speak better English than me. The more I read the more I got comfortable and I eventually did my story. I would like to try again if I have a chance.”
    -Lian Pau

    “I saw how confidence my classmates were. I’m so excited seeing them in front of audience. They show me how to be brave …. I’m impress by the boat and how they built it. Everythings is perfectly set. It was extremely cold with the wind but fun to take picture and shouted around with my classmates. I also learned that people who work in national parks are so nice and warm to the visitors.”
    -Vicky Kim

    Karen Wu reading her story“I felt inspired after watching my classmates read. I really felt energized and excited. So I may try to read next time.”
    -Yili Huang

    “I wasn’t planning to read because I was scared of the crowds…Amy convinced me to read in front of everyone. I was not as scared as before. I felt proud of myself to step outside of my comfort zone” 
    -Candice Li

    Terhas Tekle reading her storyEveryone has a story to tell and it was incredible to see students find their voices. To be able to do this at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park was a reminder that parks are as much about people, culture, and stories and they are about nature. Everyone’s stories matter and come fall, Laney’s ESL students will be ready to share more of them.

    About the Contributor
    Wen Li
    Wen Li, Staff Writer
    Wen W. Li a returning student at Laney College. He was born in China and grew up in Oakland, California. He speaks three languages: Cantonese, Japanese, and English. His favorite sport is real football (soccer), and he also loves most Japanese foods and J-pop culture. Li is currently a reporter for Laney Tower, and he is always passionate about writing and reading. Although he is interested in education and social issues right now, he also wants to report about digital entertainment and scientific study. Li always has a high interest in child development, health psychology, and clinical psychology because he wants to know how the environment can influence one’s personality. His dream is to work for scientific journal publications or work as an international correspondent that travels around the world.
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