Saturday, September 21, 2013

Those who can, teach.

The coolest thing happened the other day in the lab that I teach.  One of my students was two hours late (this is not meant to be sarcastic, but I have to tell you this so you understand the rest of the story).  Because she was so late, her lab partner began the lab without her.  He was a bit nervous about having been cast off on his own, but as the TA, I tried to help him as best as I could. 

Unfortunately, my co-TA had come down with strep throat and at the last minute, she couldn't come to lab.  I, too, had been cast off on my own.

The professor was around for some of the lab period, and there are only ten students all together, but I learned a variation on Murphy's Law that day: all of the students will have questions at the same time.

My co-TA is an undergrad who has taken this particular course before, so I have been especially grateful for her experience.  In some ways, I was no different from my student who was temporarily without a partner.

An hour and a half into the lab period, that student got my attention.  We worked through another point of confusion with the experiment, and he said to me, smiling, "I really learned a lot today."  

What was equally awesome was the care he took with his lab partner when she finally arrived.  Newly an expert at this particular activity, he began explaining to her some of what he had done.  While I would never wish for my students to be late to lab, this was the best possible outcome.  It reminded me of a line I heard once:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

Peace and all good,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I suggest this is the best part of your life...

I have been hanging out in this corner of cyberspace for far too long without making a peep, and the longer I stay silent, the easier it is to stay silent.

I moved back to New York in the middle of July after a wonderfully fruitful year with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia.  My time as a volunteer, both in Philadelphia and in Camden, continues to inform my worldview as I transition into this next chapter.

During my short vacation, I was able to go to Chicago, where I spent several days at a conference, Catholics on Call.  About 45 twenty-something Catholic young adults gathered from all over the US (and even one person was from Canada!).  It was a phenomenal way to process all that has been on my heart these past two years.  There were several presentations, but for me the most fruitful part was hearing the stories of other young adults, just like me.

Soon after Catholics on Call, I moved out to Rochester, where I have begun school at U of R.  I love being back in school.  It's a ton of work, for sure, especially as I ramp up my math skills.  I have made some truly silly mistakes as I slowly un-bury all the things that I used to know, but it is fun, and I love that I get to be doing it.

I live with seven others: four Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester and three volunteers.  Two of the sisters are nurses by training, and one of the volunteers just graduated in Biology.  It's fabulous.

Looking back through my journals from my senior year of college, I was reminded of all the support that I had as I prepared to head off into a next step that was so far removed from all that I had done.   As grateful as I hope that I was then, I am even more grateful now for that support.  To be back in school, for me, is more than just a continuation of an idea that grew and grew throughout my college years.  It is the way that I feel I can honor all that I experienced in my two years of service.

I'll leave you with the song that's been in my head of late...

Peace and all good,