CAS REFLECTION 2015-16: GINSaigon 2016


GINSAIGON ’16: Collaborate to Innovate


  1. What is the project or experience that you are reflecting on?
    • This year’s 3-day SSIS GINSaigon conference, co-hosted with AIS and CIS.
  2. Describe what happened or what you experienced.
    • Through GIN, the after-school club, I got a position on the planning committee as a GANG Coordinator. I worked with students from our school, CIS, and AIS to put together the groups for the conference. Beginning from November, we met every Sunday morning or afternoon at cafes, SSIS, or CIS. We worked with the other groups on the committee to coordinate activities and scheduling during the conference. After Winter Break ended, we held separate meetings with just our own committee to sort conference participants into groups, write emails to them or the other GANG leaders, and schedule (and hold) weekly sessions that would be convenient both location and time wise.
  3. What was the most rewarding thing about the experience?
    • I really liked meeting so many new people. In the four total years I’ve been with the conference (since 2012), I have met many new friends, planners and participants alike. Since the conference ranges the entire Saigon’s international schools, I get to meet a lot of people who I normally wouldn’t even know. I’ve kept a lot of these friends since then, and it’s really rewarding to be friends with someone from a different school for so long.
  4. What skills did you further develop?
    • I definitely developed formal language and organization skills. Being a coordinator and not just one of the individual GANG leaders, I had to email all the other GANG leaders, or the participants, or teachers. I had to speak in a more sophisticated, formal manner so that people would take what I was saying seriously. I also had to be very concise with my emails, learn how to detail and format my emails so they wouldn’t be too long yet still get the important points across, and make sure people didn’t get bored and then just ignore my email. I had to make sure my email was seen.
  5. How did you collaborate with others during this activity?
    • I collaborated with a few underclassmen and upperclassmen from CIS and AIS, from our committee (GANG Coordinators) and others (Registration (the most) School Liaisons, Public Relations, Head, Design+Advertisement, etc.) to make sure everything was coordinated. We definitely worked with Registration to sort participants by their global issue choice, and balance out each group. We also worked with Logistics to schedule each GANG session during the conference, and where GANG leaders had to go with their groups.
  6. Did you face any challenges?  How did you overcome them?
    • While planning, we had a couple GANG leaders pull out of their positions because of family issues or other reasons. We had to find substitutes or switch up each leader pair so that each pair could be as strong as possible. During the conference, as a sort of ‘observer’, I noticed participants being uneager and bored, perhaps even to the point of being disrespectful, during the sessions. I alerted a few teachers and then we worked to develop a subtle ‘surveillance’ system to see if the students’ behavior would improve. I felt very quite mature working on nearly the very same level as teachers from other schools, other cities, even.
  7. What areas / things of interest would you like to develop more?
    • I think next year I would like to join the School Liaisons committee. I would like to continue to use my communication skills and improve my organization skills, especially if I had group members I worked well with. I have learned this year that working with the right people really positively changes the outcome.
  8. If you were to do this again, would you do anything differently – why?
    • I would actually express my ideas more, I think. Although I did contribute ideas that were accepted, I held back a bit because I felt that some of my other ideas would be rejected, maybe even because I was just younger than the people in charge. I could have contributed more during the serious discussions where we reached a rather serious obstacle that required discussion with a teacher.
  9. Did you learn something new or reach any goals? Explain.
    • I definitely learned a lot about communication. I learned how to be more specific with my ideas, convince people that my idea should be used, and learned a bit on how to deal with uncooperative people.


  • Where did you go to do service?
    • At facilities in CIS and SSIS, and cafes.
  • Describe what you did at your service experience.
    • I worked with people from CIS and AIS to plan the GANG groups for this year’s GINSaigon conference held at SSIS. We helped to assemble GANG leader candidates, then assemble conference participants into groups. We also worked on the schedule to plan GANG sessions within the conference.
  • What were the different ways you helped out? Explain.
    • I helped plan GANG leader meeting sessions, train GANG leaders, schedule GANG sessions during the conference, and deal with problems that arose involving GANG during the conference itself.
  • Tell us more about  your interactions with the people you worked with.
    • I interacted with many different people. In the beginning, it was mainly high-school students and a few teachers. We were planning the basis of the conference. After Winter Break, when the separate GANG training sessions began, I worked with my fellow GANG Coordinators, but also forty (or so) other students from the three schools we were hosting with. We ‘trained’ them, essentially, to be good GANG leaders and assert their leadership. We played Icebreaker games as examples for them to do with their groups, we encouraged them to do research on their assigned global issue. During the conference, I interacted with a lot of teachers from the participating schools, like on the first day during registration, or when problems involving student behavior arose during the conference. And, of course, I interacted quite a bit, on varying levels, with the about-700 students participating.
  • Did you come to any new understandings because of your service experience? This can be about the people you worked with, or the situation or things you have been thinking about.
    • I learned how different interacting with different people on different levels was. Although I wasn’t terribly formal and too-polite when interacting with teachers face-to-face, I learned how to talk to them so that I would be taken seriously and on a closer level with them. Speaking to participants who needed help, I also needed to be authoritative and make them think that I knew exactly what to say, yet at the same time relaxed and exactly like myself. Although I wasn’t exactly ‘manipulating’ people through speaking with them differently, the way I presented myself affected what came through when they listened to me.

ᎩᙓᗩᖇᕊᗢᗝḰ ᖇᙓℱᒪᗴᑕ☂ᓮᗢﬡ

Ka Roi Ngo, Kun Bae, and William Craig on the SSIS soccer field after a game against SIS, on January 7th, 2014. Photographed by Cherry Lee










Star 1 – I am really good at …meeting deadlines and designing spreads.
Star 2 – I am proud of …my WWW8 spread, I think my use of the background and that ‘polaroid strip’ was quite creative.
Wish – I would like to focus/improve on… time usage, because …even though I always meet deadlines, I tend to wander around and help a lot of people and then linger during class.


I chose this photo as one of the best photos I took this year, because the lighting is really good, and all my subjects are clear. usually, people say that it isn’t that good to put the subjects in the middle, and they should be on the of the lines of three, but because now they’re in the center, it actually works.

Ħøẘ †◎ ℉øґ℮➸Åґღ ℙα$$

This is a volleyball tutorial about how to forearm passing. The one in a dark-blue shirt is Natalie, the light-blue shirt is Thi, and the one in black is ME, Cherry! 🙂

When we were given this assignment, I was just like: YEY! TUTORIAL! FILMING!
But then I also found out we didn’t have much time, just two classes. That’s not a lot of time, is it? Turned out, we finished in time with no rush or panicking. yey.

My partner’s were also really co-operative and effective, we stayed on task very well. 🙂

Steffi and Cherry: ℱᗢᗝᖙ

When I am hungry my stomach rumbles.Pink sweets :)

I walked to the pantry to get some food.

Then, on the shelf I saw a pretty box,

in which contained a couple of pink sweets.

I reached up and took it down to consume.

I picked it out, unwrapped it, and ate it.

The taste of the sweets was quite delicious.

I could not help but take more, more, and more!

Then I felt uncomfortably queasy.

I sat down on the floor and clutched my tummy.

My insides churned haltingly, my throat burned.

I think the sweets expired, which is not good

Maybe I should take a break from that prune,

take a nap, hoping the pain might pass soon.

Partner: Steffi Chang

Editors: Emily Schultz & Thi Nguyen

Letter To Amari- Middle Passage


Dear Amari,

I am currently reading your accounts of what is happening to you, and I really must say: how repulsive. I cannot believe those foreigners that you treated with such hospitality simply turned on you and seized your village so violently. Gosh, I sound rather dramatic, don’t I? When your mother and brother were taken from you, you only had Besa left. But they took him too, allowing you the pain of watching him grow thin and abused. Don’t you wonder about his fate?

Don’t worry, you are still very much worthy of his admiration. Though the slave traders stripped you of your dignity, you still have your personality, which he fell in love with. You were set to engage, anyways, why let the lack of modesty stop you?

These milk-skinned men are Western men from America, or the New World. They are trying to gather many Africans like you and use you as slaves, because you and your kind have some sort of immunity with Old World diseases. In a way, yes, they are using you. You will be sold like meat at the market, to one of the terrible white men, and he will abuse you and take away things from you. If you don’t submit he will punish you like he would an animal.

From Africa, they will take you to the New World by passing through the Middle Passage. The Middle Passage is sort of the ‘route’ they use to trade merchandise and slaves from Africa to America and other places. It goes all the way from New England to different points in West Africa, then the Caribbean Islands, then back to New England. You will be traded like property but not an actual person, and on that route they also trade spices, silk, and cocoa beans. You’re just more cargo for them. When they stop a slave from suiciding, they don’t actually care about the slave’s well-being. They just don’t want to lose merchandise and then gain less money. I see that you have a friend by your side, Afi. Trust her, but you will get separated from her, too. People in your life leave all the time, you will probably get used to that since you will be a slave soon.

From, Cherry