Sunday, December 31, 2017

Getting ready for 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, thousands upon thousand of people crowd the streets, shopping malls, posh restaurants, and the water front waiting for the fireworks.  Millions upon millions of dollars are being spent.  

In the mean time, we have a team of students running a hack-a-thon in our laboratories. They are building big push buttons for the elderlies in nursing homes, to help them play computer games designed to help them retain their mobility.  As the population age, more and more of us are sent to live in nursing homes when we cannot take care of ourselves.  Over there many of us just sit all day, lacking the motivation and the care-takers to help them remain active.  One of our service-learning teams is designing computer games that encourage them to remain active.  Most of the computer games these days, however, employ gadgets that are just too intricate for the elderly.  Hence we are designing large push buttons that are more suitable for them.  Our students are using the last weekend before the New Year to do a marathon workshop to build these buttons.  

Another team is making final preparations for the trip to Myanmar, which will take place right after the New Year.  They will spend a little more than one week there, installing solar panels for a village without electricity.  They will be working with a team of students from Dagon University.  Our students have already gone through a semester’s worth of lectures, workshops, and practices.  At the final afternoon, I encouraged them to mentally prepare themselves to meet, learn to understand and work with people of a different language and culture - to be more competent as a global citizen.  

At the same time, I am getting ready to go to Indonesia to set up another project.  I am proud of our team and the students.  

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