On November 5, 12, 19 and 24, 2021, Ma Man Kei and Lo Pak Sam College (MLC) held a series of tea gatherings known as  “4 in 1 Mental Massage Mentorship in MLC”. This series is a mentorship project organized by MLC in conjunction with the “knowledge integration” learning platform and the “four in one” whole-person education concept of the University of Macau. In this activity, MLC invited professors (MLC’s College Fellows) from various disciplines to meet with freshmen. These gatherings brought students and teachers together in a relaxing and joyful way. They are of great importance especially to this year’s freshmen whose very first classes at the university were conducted on line. It was only until early November when the pandemic was under control that face-to-face lectures were resumed. MLC took this opportunity to hold teacher-student gatherings to give freshmen an opportunity to meet with their teachers in person. Students were very excited to meet their  respected teachers. Such meetings instantly wiped out depression and anxiety caused by the pandemic.

MLC invited College Fellows from FAH, FHS, FLL, FST and FSS to participate in the 4 in 1 Mental Massage Mentorship.  Each professor met with 5-6 assigned students and engaged in discussions regarding the following issues: how to study joyfully, how to overcome language barriers, how to face the exam pressure, and how to relieve chronic depression. Professors shared their own learning experiences and provided much positive reinforcement to the students.

Joyful Communication:  Each gathering comprise a theme. The theme of the first meeting revolved around “joyful communication”. It was held in an experimental manner. MLC invited Prof. Katrine Wong from FAH, Prof. Christine Lim from FBA, as well as seniors and former students. With seniors actively leading discussions for freshmen, bringing up topics of their interest, the gathering successfully produced a cozy atmosphere for all participants.

Learning While Fighting Pandemic: The second gathering invited six FHS professors, including Prof. Wang San Ming, Prof. Zhang Xuanjun, Prof. Xie Ruiyu, Prof. Lee Tsz On, Prof. Cheang Wai San, and Prof. Chen Xiaojia to share with more than 20 students on  “Learning while Fighting Pandemic”. Students  pointed out the pressure involved in on-line education. With health science knowledge,  professors taught students ways to  reduce stress in fighting against the pandemic. Professors taught students a lot of medical knowledge that are useful in their everyday life. Many non-FHS students claim that the gathering was an eye-opener.

How to Get the Most Out of Lectures:  During the third meeting, MLC invited two professors from the Faculty of Law: Prof. João Moreira and Prof. Kan Yut Ching; two professors from the Department of English: Prof. Matthew Wallace and Prof. Cecilia Zhao, and two professors from the Department of Chinese: Prof. Chen Zhong and Prof. Tang Chon Chit. The theme focused on ways to overcome language barriers. Students asked many questions.  Professors suggested that students to seek interest in learning, ways to improve power of concentration, and mentioned the importance of note-taking.

Free to Ask:  The fourth meeting is also the last mental massage of the semester. MLC invited four FST professors, including Prof. Li Zongjin, Prof. Gong Zhiguo, Prof. Quach Wai-Meng, and Prof. Sun Guoxing; two FSS Communication professors: Prof. Zhao Xinshu and Prof. Lee Tien Tsung. Participants engaged in casual conversations and students asked questions at will. A student from the communication major asked if she should apply for graduate studies or work after graduation. Professors showed great care to the future of students and answered every question in detail.

All in all, the series of “4 in 1: Mental Massage Mentorship” tea gathering achieved its best results. Many students communicated closely with their professors for the first time. Students were moved by professors’ friendly attitude, and instantly boosted their interest in learning. Among them, a teacher wrote a life principle to encourage students: “Find true love and enthusiasm through practice and experimentation”. Professors reminded students that “bravely facing challenges” is a necessary condition for learning a new language. A professor shared his experience as a poor student and reminding students “to be grateful for what they have today”.

The students are fascinated by this knowledge-based mental massage. Such activity is joyful and relaxing and through communication, enhances learning. Many students were asking MLC for the upcoming  schedule of the “4 in 1 Mental Massage Mentorship”. MLC will continue to invite College Fellows from various faculties to meet with students in the coming semester to share the spirit of learning and the joy of living!