Saturday, April 14, 2012

Frustrations at Service

          My overall experience at service was a good one. I like to think I gained some character through the times I spent there tutoring my two different learners. I must admit though, at times, I found myself frustrated with the program and saw it as a more of a stress than an opportunity to help others.

          I was confused as to the reason why we were asked to come into service when our learner wasn't going to show, or for that matter, why we couldn't leave service early if they never came. Spending all that time sitting there, most of the time doing nothing, can get really boring. I experienced several instances where my learners never called into service ahead of time to tell Mark or Scott that they weren't going to make it; so I would go to service with no work to do for myself because I would be under the impression that they would be there. That brings up another point, I think there definitely could have been better communication between Saint Joe's and the CFL. I found it hard to get into contact with Mark and Scott when I wasn't able to make it into service and it was a confusing process as to whom I should've been contacting when I wasn't going to make it. I think there should be better collaboration between Saint Joe's and the CFL for next years program to give the tutors a better understanding of what is to be expected from both organizations.

          I also must complain about the length of each session at the CFL. Three hours is just too long. I found that during many sessions with my learners they were tired and uninterested in the work we were doing. I felt like we were just going through the motions from 6:30 on and I was just pushing the work on the learner. Focusing on just math and reading for three hours straight can tire anyone out, especially me after having 3 hour and a half classes before I went to the CFL. I think that two hours would suffice for next years program. I think tutors and learners would find that manageable and long enough to keep them both interested in teaching and learning.

          I don't know if I can say I would take another service course again. I found it very time consuming and, as I said, a bit stressful. The workload really starts to pile on at the end of the semesters and having service every Wednesday from 4 to 7:45 makes it a lot more stressful to complete other assignments. I may reconsider if the time for these programs were shortened.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What am I called to do?

          I feel that my day has yet to come where I can say I really know what I've been 'called to do' here on earth. I think that everyone has been put here to do something meaningful and everyone has some duty that they must fulfill in their time on earth. My belief tells me that there is some higher power out there and I like to think that that higher being has some plan in store for me. It's comforting at times to be able to think that I'm here to do something important and gives me the strength at times to push on with whatever I'm doing, especially when times are tough. I like to think that someday my role will be beneficial to society and that I can help whomever with the gifts or talents I received from god.
          I think that graduating from St. Joseph's will be a good start to my journey of finding what I've been called to do. I think this university has great educational and spiritual values that will benefit me in the real world. I think that this school will give me a start in dealing with new situations where I can practice harboring my skills and give me more ability to find that 'calling'.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Semester at Service

          I took some time over break to reflect on the past couple months with my learner. I have been very proud of all the accomplishments my learner and I have made together. I have been looking forward to this next semester of service with my learner and expect that we will make similar progress to what we made last. Her reading and math skills improved dramatically since we first started. She has no problem completing complex fractions, percents, long division etc. When we first started looking at these complex math questions, she pretended to know nothing about the problem and wanted me to take her through each step. But as we worked through these problems she began to remember how to do everything and is able to complete most problems on her own. Wednesday, she needed a quick reminder of how to do a few fraction problems but she quickly remembered how to do them and didn't need any assistance. It has been very gratifying to see her succeed over the last couple months and I expect even more successes in the coming semester.
          I think I have been lucky to have the same learner for the last two semesters. She has a lot of dedication to her education and shows interest in learning new things. It makes my job a whole lot easier when my tutor actually wants to learn. We have grown close to each other and we have a good understanding of one other. I have a good sense of how she goes about her work now and I have learned the best ways to teach her new material through our time we've had together. I could see how it would be very difficult to adapt to a new learner every month or semester as some of the other tutors have had to do. I hope that my learner remains with the CFL for the next couple weeks and we continue our success in the next semester.