Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Pastoral Group - I am Taking a Chinese Speaking Group!
This year, something rather "strange" happened to me in the seminary. In view of the surge in the number of students in the Chinese department, I have been asked to take a pastoral group comprising students from the Chinese department. I was a little bit apprehensive as my command of Chinese is terribly poor (for those interested in some history of my poor command of Chinese, please click here for a previous post). I could not even hold a decent conversation in Chinese, what more in taking a pastoral group comprising 100% Chinese speaking students.
As such, I asked that I be given bilingual students from the Chinese department - those who have a fairly good command of English, to be in my pastoral group. After some adjustments, I have the privilege of being allocated with a group of 9 students from the Chinese department.
After taking stock of how previous years of pastoral groups had been organised, I try to do something different this year. Instead of meeting as a group every Wednesday morning, I have made it a point to meet with all the students individually as well. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for me to get to know these students from the Chinese department better, going beyond just knowing their names, as I don't teach them (except for Perng Shyang, whose thesis I supervise). So what we will do is that once a month, we will have breakfast together. The other 2 weeks in a month, we will meet as a group for discussion or some form of group activities. As for the other remaining week, I will meet with one student individually so that we could get to know each other better.
Hopefully, this arrangement will help me get to know the students better, and also serve as a better platform to provide pastoral care for them. I also hope that this will make the pastoral group a more meaningful one. How this will eventually work out, only time will tell.