This Saturday was OFT had the pleasure of hosting a workshop at the 2017 Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association – East Coast Conference (ITASA ECC.) It was a milestone hit; an achievement unlocked. Since the founding of OFT, being able to hold a standalone workshop at ITASA had been Jenny and my dream. I had been to ITASA during my time at Rutgers TASA, and it was an amazing venue for Taiwanese American groups of different colleges to meet, and bond with each other while learning more about Taiwan.
Charles, one of our older team members, hosted the 2006 ITASA ECC at NYU as well. “Back then it was more about learning different aspects of Taiwan,” He would tell me as I told him about my personal experiences.
Learning different aspects of Taiwan. That was the idea OFT was founded on. This weekend, we brought a workshop on the basics of the trilateral relationship between US, Taiwan and China. Scheduled at the same time as two other amazing workshops (both focused on the Taiwanese identity, one through film and the other through writing), our workshop seemed a bit dry. As my team and I stood in the room waiting for the workshop time to start, I started worrying about how many people would show up. My worry turned to nervousness as students started coming in. It was the largest crowd we’ve had so far.
The workshop ended. Students started coming up to ask more. My favorite comment was actually from our workshop assistant, “This is the second time I’ve heard this powerpoint and I’m still learning now things.” Before our workshop was officially placed on the program, we did the workshop for the conference team as well. This comment was great because it meant we were constantly improving our message and it also showed that with each listen about Taiwan’s history, new things can be discovered.
This was our first ITASA appearance. It will not be our last.
Thank you 2017 ITASA ECC team for hosting us and allowing us to share not just information about Taiwan, but also our experience of exploring Taiwan beyond bubbletea and nightmarkets.
Learn more about ITASA here: