I lied. I said I wasn't going to upload another post until next Friday, but I really really REALLY want to share about my last day of work at Linwood and the thoughts that ran through my head yesterday after working.
Throughout the year, I had my little moments of happiness as a teacher's assistant when students would walk up to me to ask questions instead of congregating around the teacher when she already has her hands full. I feel like I earned the students' trust and respect when they listen to my instructions and occasionally tell me about their lives outside of school. I feel appreciated and grateful when the students run up to hug me or thank me for helping them; it seems like they know that I care deeply about their success as a student.
To be honest, I thought Linwood would just be a place that I help students, nothing less, nothing more. I headed into the year labelling Linwood as a workplace that I just go to every week. It wasn't until the last day that I realized my true emotional attachment to the students, to the teachers, and to the school.
I have been in these students' shoes before. It's difficult to succeed at a school when it seems that everyone labels the school as "bad" or it doesn't "meet standards." It's worse when students this young believe that they can never succeed at school. At this young age, the odds are already stacked against them.
I walked into Linwood wanting to help the students. I didn't walk into Linwood with a savior mentality in hopes of changing the entire school for the better and feeling good about myself. It's more than that; I want the students to learn for their sake. My maternal instinct told me that I would be happy when I witness moments where my students are proud of their achievements. Although I left Linwood with a month and half left in their school year, I can already see the progress that students made since the beginning of the year, in academics and in personality. Sure, getting better at reading and writing is great, but I also witness the students' increased confidence.
There's always a possibility of the students forgetting me, but I'm satisfied just knowing that my efforts made at least a small difference in their lives.
Thank you Linwood for an amazing year. I will truly miss everyone!
15 days until Atlanta
8 days until end of exams
1 Chichester Psalms concert
1 10-page paper down
2 more 10-page papers to go
and 1 more 5-page paper to go
We had one of our two Spring concerts two Saturdays ago! I'm on the fourth(?) row on the far right. Our second Spring concert is this Sunday afternoon :)
On another note, I am excited to announce that I will be even more involved in the Macalester community next academic year. Aside from just being in Chorale and the Bonner program (and just being a member of other orgs), I will be a member of the Conduct Board and a member of the Classroom and Learning Facilities Advisory Committee. I will also be co-leading the Bonner Pre-Orientation for the incoming class of first-years in August.
That is it for now! Off to write more of my essays. For my next post (after finals- May 6th), I will share with you three of the four papers I wrote and reflect on my first year at Macalester.
As of Monday, Apr 18, 2016, I have 10 days of classes left, 5 days of work at the school, 4 papers to write, 2 oral presentations (this week), and 27 days until I fly back to Atlanta.
The facilitators of this program are among my favorite people at Macalester. One of the facilitators, Daymond (who works at the Alumni Office- also an alum himself), hinted at a possibility of his treating ice cream to those who walk back to campus with him. Needless to say, I ate a ton of ice cream the past 7 days. Cue picture below:
On another note, the weather in Saint Paul has been super warm. I know I mentioned warm weather in my last post, but due to atmospheric pressure (thanks, Weather Channel), Saint Paul experienced sunny 80 degree weather the past few days. I even had the chance to wear shorts outside for the first time in months! One thing's for sure, the temperatures are not going to drop below 30 until next winter!
Academically, I'm still holding myself together. I'm being hit with three research papers (each one being 10 pages) for finals, so that has been super stressful for me. It's the hardest in the planning/researching stages, you can never accurately estimate the amount of time needed to finish! I managed to extend the deadline for one paper (thank goodness!) so that I get the weekend to finish and perfect it. I know that I can finish the year strong as long as I progress forward steadily and stop wasting time. While some procrastination and breaks are good, too much will result in my lack of sleep.
One thing that's surprising is that I'm always tired. Despite the college student myths, I actually manage to sleep an average of 7.5 to 8.5 hours each night (way more than what I hear others get- I function best when I get 8+ hours). However, I think I consistently feel drained due to my brain being on overdrive constantly. Recently, I have been trying to change my diet slightly so that I feel more energized- drinking more green tea, eating more fruits, and sleeping at more regular hours. Hopefully, it'll help me feel a bit better.
Anyway, it is midnight in Saint Paul now; off to bed! Let's face tomorrow with renewed energy!
Ever since I came back on campus, my life haven't been very interesting. Schoolwork. Papers. Working at Linwood. ... ...
This week is also known as APA (Asian Pacific Awareness) Week, so there have been many festivities. To promote the APA Variety show tonight (Saturday), several (like 20-30) students staged a flashmob in Cafe Mac, our dining hall, past Thursday night (same night as room draw). We danced to Kpop and Bollywood songs. Here's our performance (I'm in the center):
In other news, weather has been getting a wee bit warmer. The average now is in the high 40s and the sun finally came out! Being a Southerner, I took the sun for granted a little too much; I can't explain how happy and joyous I feel when I wake up to the sun shining in the morning! The long dreary Minnesotan winters has made me more appreciative of the clear, blue skies.
1.5 months until I'm finished with my first year at Macalester!
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. I clean when I'm stressed. I blog for fun.
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