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Speed Dating with City Year

October 4, 2011

By Luke Hoar de Galvan, Proud Recruitment and Operations Manager for City Year New Orleans

On September 26th, I had the pleasure of sitting in on the ReNew Accelerated High School Team’s “Speed Dating” event, which was an opportunity to both appreciate the faculty at ReNew for their hard work as well as a chance to just get corps members and teachers talking.

The one hour event was broken into two parts, dinner and “speed dates”.  For the first thirty minutes, Corps members nourished themselves and the staff of ReNew with a variety of donated foods that ranged from fried chicken (from O’Henry’s) to muscadine grapes (donated by a teacher and my new favorite local food).  I am a firm believer that co-workers spending time together over food will always  be a healthy activity.  I was not proven wrong.

After eating, the Corps members stationed themselves at  tables around the cafeteria accompanied by some significant personal items (maps, chapbooks, etc.) to encourage conversation.  The ReNew staff (fauxtinis in hand) rotated to each table and spent a few minutes engaging in rapid fire conversation.  I sat in on as many conversations as I could and while all seemed interesting, here are my top two:

The most amusing “date” involved one teacher telling the rich history of her daughter and NSYNC.  This daughter and her friends had camped out in the winter for 24 hours in order to purchase tickets to an NSYNC meet and greet, won the outfit that JC Chasez wore on his Rolling Stone Magazine cover shoot, and later used the pants from that suit to entice Carson Daly to bring them off the street and on to Total Request Live.

On a different “date”, a first year Teach for America teacher talked about what motivated him towards this profession with a female teacher who wished to study Engineering in the 60s but was pressured into teaching due to her gender.  Hearing these two tales back to back made me reflect on how different the image of teacher is today versus decades past.

The hour flew by and I was left wishing that these conversations could have been longer.  Fortunately, for the inspiring individuals at ReNew Accelerated High School, the year is just beginning.


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