From Our Scholar Blogs:

My incredibly rewarding summer at Lafayette College – by Aidy Ung

I never thought spending summer break at school could be this beneficial, fun and productive. During the first two weeks of my summer break, I worked as a student farmer at Lafayette College’s LaFarm. I enjoyed the lovely early morning drive to the farm and starting the day by watering plants and removing weeds. ​​​​My job involved laying compost on the soil, planting, mulching and watering.
I learned other planting techniques including using hoops and net, coating the plants with clay to prevent pests and laying black plastic bags to retain the moisture and heat in the soil for planting tomatoes. A farmer’s job is not simple; it demands a lot of physical effort, skill and persistence. However, I found it very relaxing and fun. It’s also educational. I learned how to use many tools such as wheel hoes, hand hoes and, my favorite tools, twine string and blue pipe for bean planting.
So far, the most fascinating experience of my summer is working with children. I earned a job as a summer learning instructor at Paxinosa Elementary School with the help of Professor Kney, Director of the Center of Community Engagement, who introduced me to the program and my beloved mentors. I teach first and second graders at the science lab about insects and transportation. 
The children are very excited to observe and learn about insects that we present including  Madagascar hissing cockroaches, caterpillars, crickets and ladybugs. They love spending time at the science lab where they study these little creatures’ life cycles and body parts and use microscopes to take a closer look at them. Many of my students claim that holding the cockroaches is their favorite activity!
 
Despite the challenges I face, like preparing creative activities that are both fun and educational for my students, when I realize how much the kids enjoy coming to school to learn in the science lab it means so much to me. As their teacher, I enjoy having the opportunity to make a positive impact in their lives. I treasure every moment I am with them and the genuine relationship that we share. This summer job is a perfect match for me because I’ve always been interested in working with kids and it has strengthened my desire to work with low-income Cambodian children in the future.

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I’m having a wonderful time spending my summer on campus. Besides my jobs, I’m taking swimming classes and some fun online courses. I also enjoy reading books and spending time with Lafayette faculty members, staff and my SHE-CAN sister, Phalkun Out. Phalkun and I usually meet up at the pool, but one of my favorite memories was when a Lafayette research librarian invited us to go blueberry and strawberry picking.

This summer is treating me very well. It’s full of joy, learning and new experiences. I’m very grateful for everyone surrounding me because they are incredible company and help me grow as a person. I cannot wait to see what else this summer has in store.