Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Sophomores - You Gotta Love Them

" Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress. When you're pissed off at someone and you're angry at them, you just haven't given them enough time. Just give them a little more time and they almost always will impress you."
Randy Pausch
The ideals of service to the poor and social justice are core to the principles of Lasallian education. This week, we celebrate our Founder by completing service thoughout the community.  Each day one of the classes takes a day away from the classroom and lives out the motto of "Enter to Learn. Leave to Serve." to provide service to the poor at various points around Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.
I chose to do my service today with the Sophomore class. This is a class that has built a little bit of a reputation as being very spirited and lacking focus.  I was hoping to gain a better insight into this group of students, and as the quote above from Randy Pausch states, "Just give them a little more time and they almost always will impress you."  I was truly amazed by the group of students with whom I spent the day. 
We spent the day at Project Angel Food in Hollywood.   Project Angel Food's mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers and staff cook and deliver free and nutritious meals prepared with love throughout Los Angeles,
acting out of a sense of urgency because hunger and illness do not wait. Project Angel Food volunteers and staff deliver more than 14,000 meals every week to people in need.    http://www.angelfood.org/
 The ten sophomores that I spent the day with, were a joy to watch as they worked through a day of chopping vegetables, cooking hamburger patties, preparing hamburger accompaniments, roasting potatoes, packaging meal trays, washing down service tables and all the while never complaining and maintaining wonderful smiles the entire day. 

As Randy Pausch suggests, sometimes you just need to give these adolescents the time that they need to demonstrate what they are capable of.  Sometimes as educators we need to step back and gain a perspective of these young adults outside of the realm of our classroom to truly appreciate them for who they are and what they can become.  
  An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

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