Monday, December 5, 2011

Service this Semester

Service this semester has been a wonderful expecience. At first I was not really sure what to expect and I did not have a learner for more than two weeks until recently and could not be happier. It feels great to know that I helped someone else learn and helped them to feel better about themselves.
I started off this semester wondering if service learning really would be the right thing for me. I was nervous the first few times I went to service because I have no experience tutoring others in the past so it was something completely new to me. The first few weeks were rough. I had a new learner every week for the most part or Scott from CFL would call me and say I would not have to come because my learner is no longer part of the program and that he would be sure to assign me with a more serious student next time.
It was not until a few weeks ago when I was matched with my current learner now, Delores. She is a student who is also in a night class Scott teachers at the CFL. She is at the intermediate level and so far we have been mostly working on word problems and basic algebra problems. She is already a fairly good writer and reader so for the most part we have just focused on math related problems. We also spend a lot of time working on fraction and percentage problems because she tends to struggle with them even though I have seen her improve over the last few weeks. It is a great feeling to see your learner improve because it makes you feel like the time we are spending is productive and that we are making progress. Delores is also a very nice lady who usually brings in a snack for all my other classmates to enjoy as service is winding down.
Service has been a great experience so far this year and it is something that I would recommend to any freshmen next year. I look forward to service next semester and know that Delores and I would continue to make progress everytime we meet.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blog post #7: "The Object"

If I had to choose an object from service, I would choose the clock. There is one located on the back wall of the room we tutor our learners. I chose this object because the time is always on my mind and I structure my lesson around it. For example, every half-hour I like to do something different so both me and the learner do not get bored. Honestly I look at it sometimes to see how much time is left but the more I look at it, the slower it moves so I find it best to check as little as possible.
To me the clock represents time which does not mean a whole lot to me other than how much time my learner and I have spent on a particular subject or how much time is left at service. I suppose it means a similar thing to my learner but I am not exactly sure because I get a new learner pretty much every week and will be getting a new one this monday so we will see. I know they check the clock at least periodically as well because last time my learner asked if it was almost over and I pointed at the clock and we still had another hour. I must have not done that great of a job because she seamed in a little of a hurry to get out of there and also now she cannot come mondays anymore. It is alright though, because I enjoyed the time I have had so far and hopefully will be able to continue to help people.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Midterm Reflection

For the most part I think I am the same person I was before college. However the biggest difference for me is that I work much harder now than I did last year at this time. I have a higher priority on my grades now than I ever had before.
In high school I was never the hardest worker to be honest. I procrastinated all of the time. I almost never did homework outside of school, instead I usually did it in math class. Overall I do not think my high school did a good job in preparing me for college. Nobody ever called me out on my bad habits except for my parents but I did not take their advice seriously. After all, I was getting by with As, Bs, and Cs so what was the point to do anything differently?
After I arrived at college, I soon found out that my old high school habits would not fly in college. I really started out not so well but I slowly have been pulling up my grades. I have started to get the hang of things lately and now take my work more serious than ever.
My interests have been all pretty much the same thus far in college as they were last time. I still love sports and chillin' with my friends and I do not think that will ever change. I am glad college has made me a harder worker in school and hopefully my positive recent trends will continue to get better and better throughout my college career.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rosa Lee Pages 172-248 Response

I thought this was a very informative book. Many of the habits that Rosa Lee and Patty had in the beginning of the story still were reoccuring in this section. I was always aware of the families like Rosa Lee's but I never knew what day to day life was like for families like hers. At times the book made me depressed because Rosa Lee and her family showed no signs of hope at times but I did enjoy the way the book ended, however.
One thing that really stood out to me was how Rosa Lee began prostituting Patty. The author brought the subject up multiple times but it took years for Rosa Lee to actually talk about it with him. It just hard for me to imagine how a mother could do that to her daughter. For her to introduce Patty to drugs it one thing but for some reason I find that prostituting her own daughter even more disturbing. Rosa Lee also brought home men and would sleep with them in the same bed Patty slept in at such a young age.
At the end of the book Rosa Lee seams more of a changed person. Bobby came home at the end and the book goes on to say he died of AIDS a few days later at the house. Patty was also arrested for murder. These two event were really a wake up call to Rosa Lee. She has been taking care of her new great-grandson and the book ends by Rosa Lee taking care of her great-grandson the right way. At Bobby's funeral she talks about how she did not do a good job raising her kids and that she was truly sorry. This is the first time I think she truly was sorry and a turning point in her life.
The quote that stood out to me was "But then, Rosa Lee is not the same women when we first met". I like this quote becasue the author also was able to recognize a change and Rosa Lee.

Monday, October 10, 2011

First Experience

I had a very unique forst experience at the learning center for our first real service learning experience. I was similar to what I expected in some ways but different in others. Overall I had a very positive learning experience and it felt really good to help out others.
When we first arrived we sat down at individual tables and a few learners were already there. Mark went over things that we learned in training as more learners arrived. All of the learners there were women. Mark started to call out the tutors names and assign each of us with a learner. I was assigned a man that was not there and he did not show up either! Mark said to work on school work and said he was sorry that my learner was not there. I had mixed emotions because I was so nervous going in and now I found out that I was not going to have a learner this week. I really just wanted to have one like everyone else to get the experience of tutoring under my belt so I did not have to get all nervous again next week.
At around 5:30 I started to get bored playing computer games when a younger lady walked in. Mark called me over and I started working with this girl. She was really nice but kind of shy so I just made small talk with her for the first few minutes or so. She is from Africa and lived for a while down south but has been living in Philadelphia for a few years. She has a younger brother who plays football in middle school. I told her how I used to play football but do not anymore and she wondered why I stopped because she knows that football players make so much money. I said I was never that good and she and I both laughed.
My learner then went over what goals she had. She wants to get her GED and was very close to graduating high school but never could pass math. She said math was the main thing she wanted to improve on. We started doing basic reading skills and she already was a pretty good reader. I just had to help her with a few words she stumbled on. We mainly focused on math this week thought because that is what she really wanted to get better at. We did times tables 2-4 and she struggled with some of it but I gave her hints of ways to remember the problems and she was able to recognize her mistakes when we went over the problems. We also worked on some basic division and worked on adding numbers. I had to help a lot with division and almost had to reteach it to myself. She was very good at addition however, so we moved on to adding decimals which she also did well. We touched on subtraction, fractions, and percentages which we will do more of next time. I gave her some homework problems, around thirty or so, for her to work on for next week.
The hardest part of the lesson was that she was unsure of what she wanted to do so I had to make up math problems to do and pretty much run the lesson. I gave her some ideas of things to bring in if she would like to work on next week. I think each week will get easier and easier and it is really a great thing we are doing. I felt feeling really tired but felt good because I know we were helping people out. We were not going to have another lesson for the next few weeks because the center is closed for Columbus Day and we have fall break next week but I an really looking forward to next time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Imagining Service

I am honestly a little nevrous to go to service for the first time tomorrow. The reason I am nervous is because I really do not know what to expect. I am not familiar with the area of the city where the site is but i imagine it to have a very "city like" feel. Although I am nervous, I am excited for tomorrow because I know it will be the start of a great lifelong opportunity.
When we get to the site I expect it to be a nice place. I anticipate it being sort of quiet inside. I think this because I figure people might be studying or learning from tutors inside or maybe some sort of class going on. The building itself I think will be on the smaller side just because it is in the middle of a large city. I imagine the environment sounding like a class room with small descussion groups going on. I think once we arrive at the site I wont ne nearly as nervous. It is just a matter of me personally not knowing what to expect.
I am nervous of tomorrow because the surroundings will be something that I am not used to but after a sort bit of time there I am sure I will grow to love it. I will be one of the best experiences of my life because I enjoy helping people and can't wait to get started!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I took a photo of the campus from a view of looking out of my window. I decided to do this because I live on the 5th fllor of LaFarge and the view from my window overlooks the campus. I also wanted to take a picture from my room because my room is my new home! I am used to looking out my window and seeing a backyard and neighbors. Instead i see my new home here on hawk hill.
I like this photo because it sort of shows what is going on all over campus too. You can see a construction crane in the background! It is nice though because past all of the construction you can see the bell tower which I think is the most beautiful part of campus.
You can also see some of the lovely trees on this campus. One of the reasons why i like this campus so much is because it is in the city but still gives a suburban feel with all of the trees and nature. I feel that this photo captures this really well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SJU: 12 First Impressions

When I first moved into SJU ot was like entering an entire new world knowing that this is where I would be living. The longest I have been away from my family before was only a week and this is the place where I would be spending weeks or even months at a time living with all new people. As one can imagine I had many first impressions when I moved onto campus!

- I was going to have a lot of free time
- The class sizes were similar to the sizes of my high school classes
- My dorm room was smaller than my room at home
- I am going to have much more responsibility
- Most people seamed to be friendly and helpful
- The campus is very hilly
- The cafeteria food is good
- I am definitely going to put on the freshman 15
- There are many clubs and organizations to get involved in
- You have to take your own notes in classes
- There is a lot of construction going on all over campus
- During the day it is very busy all over campus