We’ve got about a week left and I can’t really believe it. May 1 seemed so far off when I first committed myself to it but because it’s approaching, I thought I’d take a moment to share ways I’ve been able to finish off the year strong with my students.
Bringing as much Enthusiasm to my Final Days as I did to my First
Depending on the type of person you are it may seem easy to lose the pep you started the year with, routines have become dry, student attendance is waning and even the school’s staff seems to be kind of underwhelmed by all that’s going on. The way I was able to combat this is by introducing new elements into my classes. I started making time for choral reading in one of my small groups and in the other one I made time to work on life skills – something I feel like any and all high school students can benefit from. I wanted my students to walk away from this year with something that would forever be relevant to them.
The service year is winding down and as I think back over the last 8 months I can’t help but to realize how much my attitude about life has completely transformed. I came into City Year with no major aspirations, it wasn’t that I was lazy but I wanted to let my year define itself and in my mind I had no understanding about why I’d been called here. I got my degree in journalism; I liked reading and traveling. How did that tie in to CY? I had no idea but I was open to finding out. Read more…
Mornings in New Orleans are arguably the most beautiful times of day. Especially early mornings, the ones we are familiar with, are even more spectacular. If you ever want to truly feel what it’s like to be a solitary one, a mere individual, then ride your bike through New Orleans at six am, preferably passing by a cemetery. First thing to consider is how tired your body probably is. If you’ve been responsible you have gone to bed before nine but many times this will not be the case. You will have had to shower, eat, and plan lessons for the next day, a feat that usually cannot be accomplished in under ninety minutes. After quickly downing a cup of coffee, banana in backpack, your body will perform the motions of unlocking your bike and fastening your helmet. Your bottom will find the seat and from there, it’s go time. As your knees begin to turn you feel the shift in your body and mind as life begins to seep throughout your frame. You are always surprised by the number of people that are awake with you so early in the morning. One man sits every day on a bench across the street reading the same giant book, mug of coffee in hand and eyes intently focused on the pages. In your mind you’ve named him Derek and silently wish him good morning every day as you knock the kickstand up and take off onto the sidewalk. The dawn air is cool but refreshing and steadily pulls you from your sleepiness as your legs determinedly pump. You are fully awake now, you have no choice, your body is in motion and is determined to reach it’s final destination. Read more…
In celebration of Pi Day (3.14) here is a list of books that feature laughs, smiles, and most importantly PIE!!!
1. Enemy Pie
Enemy Pie tells the story of a young boy, the narrator, who is upset at Jeremy Ross, who has just moved into town. He has named him Enemy Number One! Fortunately the narrator’s Dad has a way to get rid of enemies! The only negative is that the narrator must spend the entire day with his “enemy”. Students and adults alike will enjoy this book about turning enemies into friends and how you should never judge a book by its cover. Read more…
It was Valentine’s Day and while some woke up with the intention of rocking the shirt that they always get compliments on or the red dress that their boyfriend loves so much, both me and the rest of my City Year team were pumped not to wear red for Valentine’s Day but to wear our red City Year jackets for the NBA Cares Service Day!
We were scheduled to have over 300 volunteers and I was thrilled. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have so many people at the site where I serve, along with your casual NBA players. I was on the greeters team and got to see the madness play out as volunteers went from fervently working to snapping selfies, no shame, they’re the reason we were able to do so many positive things! Read more…
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of serving in my first Martin Luther King Service day by City Year. It is customary to serve others on days like Christmas or Thanksgiving, but after being a part of City Year’s biggest service project of the year, this might be added to my annual service projects.
This year our service project was at Arthur Ashe Charter School, which is also a school that City Year serves . During our service day I had the privilege of working with the City Year Alumni Team. It was such an amazing experience to work with people still so passionate about City Year. Of course, everyone I know is passionate about City Year; an extensive City Year team and teachers who need our support are constantly surrounding me.
The Alumni that I met had graduated between 2-7 years ago. They did not serve in New Orleans but they came to show their support for our great cause. They all had new and different jobs, came from different backgrounds, and served in different places. We all had one thing in common; City Year. City Year inspired our dedication to serve and I know when I become an alumni that I will serve my community as a City Year alumni.
My roommate introduced me to this book, about a Nigerian woman who’d moved to America for a better life and through reminiscing actually decides to go back home to Nigeria, a little over winter break and I still haven’t finished reading. But through my roommate’s introduction of this work to me I realized just how small the literary world can be. The author of the book was also the woman speaking on feminism in Beyonce’s self-titled album. It was so interesting to read her work and then hear the voice behind it in a whole new light. It was also cool to already know who the woman was. Pay attention to the authors whose works you read, they may pop up in what you thought to be the most unlikely places, like hanging out with King Bey.
Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.com