Storytelling | A Vigorous Boy Who Plays

In our storytelling expertise class, we learn how to write a meaningful profile of our friends. My partner was Panharoth, a football player and sports enthusiast. I interviewed him to get him open up about his life, childhood and family,  his passion with football and future goals. Storytelling is not just about telling the stories that we heard, but it is about how can we get deep stories from the people we are writing about. I learned how to use interviewing techniques that can help me, as a writer, connect to Panharoth and get all of his stories for the profile I am writing for him. After getting the stories, I worked on the profile by crafting it into a powerful flow that the reader can easily understand and take away from. Here is the final profile of Panharoth: 

The Vigorous Boy Who Plays Hard

October 2019

“Sports is about making Friendship, not Enemy”

Sopanharoth said, with a wide smile, radiating joy and passion when talking about one of his main inspirations in life. 

On a September morning, Panharoth excitedly shared his experiences and stories about sports, from his childhood until now. As I sat down and began to talk about his experience in sports, enthusiasm and energy from him already proved his great passion for sports and connecting with new people. A sudden rush of energy ran through me seeing him so excited. As I asked him a few questions, his stories began to unfold.

Childhood and the Spark for Sport

We began to talk about his childhood. Panharoth looked up to the ceiling, mind wandering into the good old memories, trying to recall all the childish stories. 

Panharoth did not change much from his childhood. His love for football and outdoor activities arose then, even if he did not notice it, and it only grows with him as he gets older. 

Before sports brought him to his current journey, Panharoth was a little boy who liked to play with toys everyday with his younger brother. As a kid with many friends, he also liked to spend his time outside, sometimes playing games, or at other times, sports. But he said sport wasn’t what he really liked back then, because he was tired and most times were devoted to lessons in school and also from his home-schooling with his mom. He further recalled the adventures he had as a child, with his friends and family, revealing his biggest fear as a child which is spiritual ghost. We shared a grin as he continued the juvenile story of his.  “You know back then, it was so silly. I was really really scared of ghosts.” –all while laughing, I continued jokingly, “are you still afraid now?” “No, no, no,” He replied with a smile. 

Talking about inspiration in his childhood, his mom plays a really big role in his life, inspiring him to be curious as a child and always keep learning. He also got the love of football from his Grandfather, who is a person who has always liked sports like him, too. 

The earliest time he remembered playing football was at his fourth grade in PE class. “It was my very first time, and I got really excited. I met a lot of cool people, made friends, and it inspired me to just continue.” Besides PE, his favorite class back then was Engineering, because he really liked building things, from all types of toys and legos. Panharoth is also very good at math, then and now. “I was also good at math, so I guess it is another one of my favorite class, too.”

Competitions

“Sometimes, you play for the sake of fun times. But sometimes, you need to play for the championship, too. But with Respect, of course”

This is the wisdom of Panharoth when it comes to competitions. Competition is an important part of a footballer’s life, and Panharoth said excitedly that it is really enjoyable and fun to actually play for his passions. 

To prepare for a competition, Panharoth always discusses with his team to come up with smart strategies. His tip to prepare is to sleep well to prepare for the energetic morning. “Just do it!” he said full of power. 

On the morning of the competitions, there were always a mixture of feelings, nervous, afraid, excited. “However, when I am on the field, I just feel the power and I got all excited” Panharoth talked with a smile. 

The Truest Spirits of Football and Sports

During a competition, the key to true championship is strong teamwork and flexibility. “If you see your friend struggle, go and help them. Guide them to the right position.” 

He recalled a time when he got a cramp, and his friend and his competing players hurried to help him up. “When we got injuries, the two competing teams always help each other out.” Isn’t that the truest spirit of football? 

I was curious about how he got so confident during competitions. Panharoth told me “the confidence comes from the love of football”

 Looking Back on the Road

His most memorable competition was at Phnom Penh Crown. Although his team lost by 0, it was his friendliest competition ever. “They were really good at playing football, but they were really kind, too.”  He recalled the opponent team’s kindness with fondness. 

Life Changed. Thanks to Sports. 

For Panharoth, life without sports is not complete, just like a singer without his voice and a drawer without his sights. 

In the future, he wants to have a career which he is not sure of yet, and an ideal life with his family and sports. 

Without football, he wouldn’t have met new people in his life, and wouldn’t be this happy. So thanks to sports, his life changed. 

Leading a skill-building ASE

Being a leader, survival in the lack of resources, communication, collaboration and working as a team, respect, sharing and listening. These are the qualities that change agents ought to be able to display under different circumstances. In order to practice and learn more about these skills and qualities, I and another junior student (Kimhor) led an ASE (After_School_Extensions)  called IDY (I_Dare_You) that involves other 8 students. The ASE main goal is to help students to be able to express their own skills through different challenges and missions. For example, in the second week of the ASE, we arranged a bike trip to the neighboring community with all of the participants. The participants have to complete a mission where they need to go and ask the villagers for drinks due to their lack of money. Because most of them are dehydrated and tired from the long bike ride, they worked as a team and tried their best to communicate with the villagers with respect to get these drinks. They tried many different strategies including offering to help with chores, entertain the villagers by singing, dancing with them, etc.

Participants doing Chores for Drinks
Participants help villagers with their daily work

Throughout the course of this ASE, they continued doing these types of missions, interview and listen to different people, interact with each other through fun games and challenges. The final project that we want the participants to finish is creating a journal or memoir that reflects the whole ASE where they can also put in the stories of different people they interviewed. Overall, leading this ASE is a success and I am looking forward to be seeing these qualities grow even the course is finished. 

An amazing team photo

TEDx ISPP, 2017

 

TEDx is a wonderful opportunity for me to start chasing my dream which is make positive changes to the world. At this event, I talked about “Protecting Cambodian Elephants”. There, I mentioned about the advantages of elephants in ecosystems, Cambodian Culture, Buddhism and how their populations have dwindled over the period of modern development. I tried my best to convince all of the audience to start helping to save those rare elephants by many ways. The first solution that they can use to save elephants is stop riding those elephants for entertainment. According to my research, there were several elephants that died in Vietnam because tourists rode on them for fun. In fact, there are many tourists that are riding these huge animals in Angkor Wat. The second way to help saving elephants is stop deforestation and plant more trees to create bigger habitats for elephants. The final solution is acting from your heart instead of for profits. If all of you love elephants, you must start to practice the past solutions and share the knowledge and understanding out to the world  I was very satisfied of this opportunity because it gives me a chance to express my love of wild animals and my concept of preserving those endangered animals especially elephants. I wanted to make a community of support to preserve those rare animals and wildlife by spreading . Delivering a public and long talk is not an easy thing to do but it is worth the change of positive mindsets and lessons that needs to be shared. For viewing the video of my TEDx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZxOUsLkGw

 

Writing Through Poem

In the first week of the third year,  there is a writing workshop that gives student a chance to write creative poems and stories. This workshop has inspired many students around the globe in Literacy field focusing on writing. Here is a poem I wrote: 

Angely Rose                                                                       Teacher: Camilla & Michael

Date: 8/21/2018                                                                Writing Through

                                         A Risky Life, For A Daughter

She had faced a thousand thorns

a thousand rains

a thousand storms

 

In her life, there’s no such joy

there’s no freedom

she can enjoy

 

Dark moments are always there

Accompanied, with tears and fear

 

Everyday, there’s no sunshine

there’s no beauty

her life is blind

 

Time passed by, hopes vanished

dreams are gone

and finished

 

But who knows, what luck can bring

what fate can do.

to make her sing

 

After nights, the sun rises

earth’s turning

but left a gift

Continue reading “Writing Through Poem”