Thursday, September 27, 2012

great week at school

This week at school has been 
  • exhausting
  • inspiring
  • hilarious
  • motivating 
  • ridiculous and
  • productive
to name a few.  

Tuesdays I'm in the office, so things are usually a lot calmer.  This Tuesday was no exception. There was a huge conference that Bill Clinton and Mitt Romney were both at (the Clinton Global Initiative) and City Year got a MAJOR endorsement and shoutout from both Mitt Romney (who gave a bunch of money to CY through Bain and Co.) and Bill Clinton, who started AmeriCorps based on what he saw in City Year.  So freaking cool!!  Watch the video here and check out how huge this is for City Year!



Wednesday I was back at school and had some really inspiring moments with students, which is always good and usually needed.  Here's what happened.

 During my first block on A days, there are two students who can usually find a way to get out of doing anything.  Ray (who I've mentioned before), has recently been on top of his game and he and I have started forming some sort of respectful relationship, which I'm so excited about. The second student, Bobby, is a lot more trouble.  He lives in a group home and I don't think there has ever been a lot of structure in his life.  He usually comes late to class and then sits at his desk doing nothing for about twenty minutes before he needs to go to the bathroom. When he leaves for the bathroom, he wanders the hall for about 20 minutes doing nothing before coming back. Today was different.  Bobby showed up late (as usual), but he was followed by one of the security ladies.  She dropped him off and told him to come find her after class was over.  He sat down at his desk, got out his book and worked the entire period! It was actually incredible. I felt like I should take a picture or something. After the block was over, I saw him being escorted to his next class by the same security lady.  She came up to me afterwards and I told her how great he was in class. She just smiled and said something like "well some of them just need a little bit of extra love and attention," so maybe all Bobby needs is an escort to class. We'll see....

The second was during 4th block with a student named Tyrique.  Tyrique is super difficult at times and Mr. Robinson (my teacher) thinks he may have some sort of mental issue. Apparently, yesterday he was a huge distraction in class and Adrienne spent all class trying to get him to sit and do his work. Today, Mr. Robinson was just like "sarah, can you sit with Tyrique and help him?" so I sat with Tyrique the entire block.  At first, he was really resistant.  He kept saying that he didn't feel good and that his hand hurt from writing. I told him he should just write with his left hand since his right hand was hurting, so he did, which was really funny. It was so messy it was practically illegible, but at least he was writing.  He stopped after writing a few notes and went back to being really resistant.  The class had moved on to answering questions out of the book, so I told him that if he wrote the answer to one question, I would write the answer to the next (he had to tell me exactly what to write, though) and we would alternate.  He wasn't very happy, but he did it.  Eventually he got tired of writing with his left hand and switched to his right hand. Before I knew it, he was just doing the work by himself.  It was really cool to see him go from completely to resistant to unhappy, but still doing the work.  

Today wasn't as inspiring, but the kids were really funny.  A student told another City Year they though I was always high because I'm always so happy. I don't know if that's a compliment or not, but oh well.  Then, we're studying the Caribbean in World Geography and Mr. Robinson played Bob Marley's "One love"  He asked for the meaning behind the song and one kid (Tyrique, the one I worked with the entire class last time) wrote "The world would be more peaceful if you legalized marijuana."


I'll end with a quote from a student yesterday, because I feel like it is the epitome of my week.   We were talking about China in World History and Mr. Robinson was referencing some movie (I forget which one).  He asked if anyone had seen the movie and this one girl yells out "Oooohhh yeah, my daddy got that on bootleg."  

This is my life. I know I'm making a difference.  Do you?