Monday, October 31, 2011

Midterm Reflection

I haven't been here for very long, but I can honestly say that I'm not the same person I was when I first set foot on campus. Going away to college has forced me to live independently in every aspect. And not just having to cook for myself or having to learn how to get around the city on my own, but I've noticed my professors expect more of me. While they teach a lot in class, there is a lot I have to teach myself on my own. But even deeper than that, it has changed me as a person. I feel like this school is making me the best version of myself. Or at least, it is inspiring me to do so. I'm becoming more out-going, more involved, more aware, and more educated. I fall more and more in love with this school everyday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reading Rosa Lee

This took me a while to write. But I'm almost unsure how to feel about Rosa Lee. This woman's story seems all too familiar. Rosa Lee lived in a life of poverty and because of this she resorted to drugs and stealing. She and her children were caught in a cycle. I think what hit me the hardest was the involvement of drugs. Rosa practically ran a drug business in her household. She would use her children and even her grandchildren to sell drugs so that she wouldn't get caught. This was how she got money. It wasn't long before Rosa Lee got caught up in the drugs herself. And not only herself, but her daughter, Patty. Patty began to exhibit destructive behavior. And I find it so difficult to read. I try not to make too much of a connection. But it reminds me of how, just a few months ago, I lost my aunt to a drug overdose. This stuff happens everyday. Sometimes this book makes me so angry. But in reality, how can they help it? This is how they were taught. There was no other way.  

Now, Miss A and I didn't talk too much about her life outside of the CFL. And she does seem like a clean and "well-to-do" person. So it's hard to relate her to such an extreme case. But she is without a job and she cannot read. So she does have her own struggles.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 1

     I would not use the word "excited" to describe the way I was feeling waiting for the service learning van. I had four classes nonstop that day and I'd been entirely drained. Typical Monday. So I waited there. Even with my training, I still wasn't sure I was ready. But instead of focusing on being nervous, I focused on my pathetic excuse for a meal (A nature valley snack bar) and tried to savor it because it was the only thing I'd be eating for the next three and a half hours. 

     On the ride there, the nervousness really sunk it. I was not ready for this. I looked around at everyone else. Were they as nervous as me? Everyone was nicely dressed (maybe not dressed up but still a lot more presentable and then there was me in my jeans and oversized hoodie. I felt out of place. I also managed to forget my CFL packet, the only thing I needed for this day.
    We walked in and all of the learners were already seated and ready to go. I looked around and tried to guess who mine would be. But I'd find that out shortly anyway. I made sure to keep a smile on my face. And I said a hello to the ladies I passed as I found a seat. I was shaking. Mark began his introduction speech and announced who we would be matched up with.
    This was when I met my learner, Miss A. She was a quiet woman (or maybe she was nervous too) and she wore the most gorgeous african robe. She told me she was born in Africa and she moved here due to the war in her country. When she came with her family to America, she never enrolled in school. She hasn't been in a classroom since she was 10. I thought that was really interesting, but also really sad. This made me really want to help her. She seemed very interested in learning as much as she could. That day we started with spelling, reading, and we even started typing. 
    I'm still not sure if service is for me but I'm going to try my very best. Hopefully, as we get to know each other better, Miss A and I will become good friends. I feel this is an experience we will both learn from.