Interview with Charles "Chuck" Miley, July 27, 2021
Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project
Interview SummaryChuck Miley served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the education sector in East Malaysia from 1967-1970. Miley’s group trained outside Hilo, Hawaii to support Malaysia’s New English Primary Syllabus (NEPSA) teacher training program. He also received Malay language training in Hawaii and indigenous language dialect training in-country. Miley was assigned to Saratok, East Malaysia, a multicultural town of Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and indigenous Iban residents. He traveled to each teacher’s village by bus and then walked into the village along jungle paths. His path-finding skills earned him the name of “pandai,” a talented person. He helped teachers create low-budget visual aids from local materials like coconuts. He also mentored teachers; some were admitted to East Malaysia’s Teacher Training College. His most memorable cross-cultural learning came from resolving conflicts through communication rather than confrontation. After Peace Corps, Miley translated these cross-cultural lessons by teaching in a troubled school district in Franklin Township, New Jersey. He still teaches art and is a practicing artist. Miley mentors students, one of whom became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal, and he maintains close connections with East Malaysia.
Interview KeywordMalaysia (Country of service) East Malaysia (Country of service) 1967-1970 (Date of service) Peace Corps Volunteer Job: Education Hilo (Hawaii) Sarawak (Malaysia) Saratok (Malaysia) Kuching (Malaysia) Malay (Language) Pandai (Clever or skillful) Tuan (Honorific title for a male) Puan (Honorific title for a female) New English Primary Syllabus (NEPSA) Dayak (Indigenous people) Malay (Ethnic group) Tamil (People of southern India) Longhouses Towkay (Chinese shopkeepers) Kampong (Malay villages) Bazaars Peace Corps directors Iban (Indigenous people)
Interview LC SubjectPeace Corps (U.S.) Peace Corps (U.S.)--Malaysia Malaysia Peace Corps (U.S.)--East Malaysia East Malaysia Acculturation Communication and culture Culture Culture shock Intercultural communication Interpersonal communication and culture Interpersonal relations Interpersonal relations and culture Language and culture Language and languages Lifestyles Manners and customs Voluntarism Volunteers Teachers Teaching
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Miley, Charles Interview by Kathleen Beckman. 27 Jul. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Miley, C. (2021, July 27). Interview by K. Beckman. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Miley, Charles, interview by Kathleen Beckman. July 27, 2021, Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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