Sunday, October 30, 2011

Midterm Reflection

This summer before coming to St. Joe's, I was very nervous about college. I was going back and forth with the decision about where to go to school, and I was scared that I picked the wrong college. One of my sister's friends who is a sophomore gave me some of the best advice, since she had just gone through her freshman year. She told me that I am not going to be the only person at school who is nervous, and everyone is starting out in a new place. Now after being in school for almost 3 months the nerves have melted away. I am so happy with my decision to come to St. Joe's and I cannot see myself at any other school.

Thinking back to this time last year I see have young I really was. Everything that monopolized my life last year seems so unimportant now. I was so caught up in petty high school drama and gossip that it ruled my life. I went to an all girls high school, so drama was always present. I am so glad that I was able to break free of dumb high school drama and be off on my own. Since coming to college I have become more responsible and independent. I don't go running to my mom or dad when I have a problem. Instead I think about how I can resolve the issue on my own.

I wish I could go back to my senior self and tell her not to worry about useless things. That drama won't be running my life when I go to college. I would also tell myself to enjoy the time with my friends and family because you'll miss them to death in college.

Since coming to college not much has changed with my habits, interest, or outlooks. However, some of my priorities have changed. The biggest one is concerning my schoolwork. I think about my schoolwork all the time. I used to procrastinate all of my work in high school, but now I do it right when I get it so I have more time to sleep. I love college and hope the rest of the semester is as good as it has been so far.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rosa Lee

When I picked up the book last week to read for Thursday, I had no idea what it was about. I was about to read the back of the book, when I decided that I wanted to be surprised. After reading the first few pages I sure was surprised. I was so shocked by the story of Rosa Lee that started to unfold. It was also very shocking to see that Rosa Lee was so open with her life. I would think that someone who has been addicted to heroin almost their whole life would be scared to tell their story, in fear of getting in trouble. I was also shocked to read about the different places that these events were taking place. I live in a very small suburban town in Maryland that is 25 minutes from D.C. I go to D.C. all the time and to read about this areas in this way only confirmed my suspicions that I had about them. It is also sad to see that these events are happening so close to the capitol, yet not much was done about it.

Two quotes really stood out to me in the reading. The first one is, "'Mama if you don't give me a hit,' she said, 'then I'm going to go out of here and trick." And the other one is related to this, "Fifteen years would pass before Patty would go as long as two months without drugs." I was so shocked that Patty would threaten her mother like that. I know from experience that it wouldn't work if I tried that on my mother, but I also had a very different childhood. At the time Patty was only fifteen and she had already started her battle with addiction. I just couldn't believe that a mother could willingly give one of her children a very addicted drug. I had a completely different childhood then Rosa Lee and her children. I was not exposed to drugs until high school and it was not even the hard-core kind like cocaine and heroin. I had heard "horror stories", but none of these compare to Rosa Lee's. It is also sad the think about how Rosa Lee had to live with the fact that she played an prominent role in her own daughter's addiction that lasted for the majority of her life.

I think that this quote can relate to service in a couple of ways. First of all some of the learners could have been dropped out of school because they had some sort of addiction, but that isn't the only way it can be related. Parents are a child's first role model. I know that when I was younger all I wanted to be when I grew up was just like my mom, and I'm sure that is true for most people. Patty's role model was unlike most of ours. Her role model was a drug addict, so all Patty knew about an adult life was drugs. It was only natural for her to get roped into the same life as her mom. I'm sure that many of the learners had role models similar to Patty. Not in the sense that they were necessarily addicted to drugs, but who were not fully present. Due to the fact that their parents were not fully present, then they were struggling in school they had no one to fight for them. It is truly sad that the learners, as well as Patty, never had role models who were there for them. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have a mom that was so fully dedicated to my siblings and me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My First Day of Service

When we were driving in the van to service last Monday, I had a very sick feeling in my stomach. I was very nervous about meeting my learner and tutoring him or her. When we were walking in the feeling didn't go away. After sitting down and listening to Mark Edmunds talk to us the feeling started to go away, but it fully went away when I met my learner.
I sat down and we went over her goals. She was so sweet and so grateful that I was there to help her. She told me that she wants to learn how to read, learn, and do math better. We started out by going over the sight words and she did very well. Next I gave her a little spelling test on the words in the phonics workbook and she did very well on this as well. I was so nervous that I would get a learner who didn't know how to read at all and I would have to teach her the basics. I was thankful that she knew how read and write. We then went over her math skills and she knows how to do basic math like adding and subtracting. Then we moved onto multiplying and dividing and that got difficult because she didn't know how to do long division and I sorta forgot how to do it as well. So I got to brush up on my math skills as well as helping her.
When the night ended my learner asked me for a lot of homework. It was a little weird because I have always hated homework, but my learner really wanted some. So I gave her a lot of homework because we won't meet again until the 24th and I felt really bad, but she assured me it was fine. I am really glad that I got the opportunity to take this class because I got to meet my learner and I am really glad I get the opportunity to help her!