Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!
This post comes to you on a Sunday afternoon. I finally have enough free time to crunch the keys a little and post a small reflection on the Network. Hope all is well with all of my friends. Hope all gets better in time as you continue on whatever you are doing. (That's vague I know, but if I am specific, then someone might feel like I am not writing this blog to them). To be more specific, I guess, I hope your Monday morning finds you rested up and ready to tackle a brand new week of learning, loving, listening, paying bills, stressing out, and loving. (Notice I tried to sandwich the not-so-good stuff in between the stuff we look forward to).
Ok, so this reflection has to do with my internship at a community center near the Loyola University Chicago campus, the university I attend. I tutor children at Centro Romer as part of my community service requirement at St. Joe's College Seminary as well as part of an internship program in collaboration with the English Department. I keep a journal (or try to keep a journal) for the program to help fulfill the internship credit I will receive for completing a year of tutoring with Centro Romero. Background done...onto the reflection...
I feel as if my relationships with the children are growing. Last week, I was able to help one student, Angel, finish most of his math assignment. He seemed to be strong at times in some of the concepts, but at other times I was surprised that he didn’t know a particular concept. For instance, he still has trouble with adding negative numbers together. To his credit, he seemed to grasp it more as we went on in the assignment. The old adage practice makes perfect could apply in that particular situation.
I received an e-mail about a week ago from my site supervisor at Centro. Azalea is a recent graduate from DePaul University who has been at Centro Romero for over three years I believe. Actually, she started first as a volunteer during her undergraduate studies, and then accepted a paid position on the Centro staff. As the assistant of the tutoring program, she deals primarily with the middle school students (ages 11 – 14 approx). Azalea was the person I first contacted when I was interested in doing volunteer work at Centro Romero. She was very welcoming and strong spirited, and, after seeing the way she interacted with the kids during my very first volunteer session, I could tell her heart was in the right place. She loved working with the students at Centro Romero and she still does. Witnessing her helped solidify for myself I was in the right place.
But all things must pass (I mean this in the most positive of ways). Azalea has accepted a job offer that will allow her to continue school and will allow her, in time, to achieve her goal of obtaining a doctorate. Good for her, I say! I sent her an e-mail telling her that I was grateful for what she did to help me start my internship at Centro Romero and wished her luck in any future endeavors. It is neat to watch as other people’s journeys unfold. Azalea seems to be moving from one good to another as she pursues dreams and looks forward to continuing to solve some of the problems that plague our society. She is interested in doing research in Psychology that focuses on Community and Social Psychology. It seems like a practical approach to the field of psychology, an area that will allow her to positively impact the community at large, as well as individuals struggling within those communities. I pray that she continues to glow as she works towards becoming Dr. Azalea. She is an example of a person who has touched my life in a small but meaningful way. Her dedication to the children at Centro Romero is a model for all of us who desire to love the people we find along our path in this life.
peace and blessings friends,
your friend bob.