Dec 14, 2015
This week was the first week of November and it brought
change! Not only did Bill and I work on Math today but we also worked on
English! On today’s math agenda is every little kids “favorite” subject,
rounding. However it was a very useful skill for Bill to master because in his
problem sets it was rounding money. We talked about the differences in rounding
to the nearest hundred, ten, and cent. The next part of our session was really
successful. I got to teach Bill the difference between and adjective and adverb
and how to change adjectives to adverbs in sentences. Needless to say Bill now
knows the difference between loud and loudly and how to use them in a sentence!
The big impact of today’s session however was that Bill shared that his mother,
Ellen, had recently had surgery. Not only this, but she works in Servo, which
is the cafeteria on campus. I was surprised to hear this because it connected
my life on campus with my life volunteering out in town. I happen to know Ellen
and had noticed that she had not been in Servo lately. I plan on making her a
get well card and hearing about her progress next Thursday.
Posted at 10:47 pm by KBudney
Last Sunday was my last day working at the soup kitchen! I was sad that I would not be returning this semester but I will be sure to volunteer there next semester in my free time! I had the pleasure of working with all new people whom I had never met before, one of which was the owner of A&A boutique in town. We served cuban shepherds pie and green beans which was very good and ironically fitting to the time of year. I worked in the actual kitchen for the first time–I usually serve the people in the eating area. It was a nice change, however I had very little interaction with the people which I am glad I had all year because the experience is very different in that you do not speak to anyone who is not also a volunteer. I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to work hands on with people who are hungry and in need.
Posted at 10:45 pm by AnnorabethM
Dec 10, 2015
For the past three weeks I have been working with Rachel instead of Bill. We have made lots of progress with her preparation for the English portion of the GED. She is very good at Math but English is her weakest subject. This is because she has a difficult time interpreting the readings and their purpose. It does not help that most of the readings are historical documents that are already hard to read. Two weeks ago she opened up to me about her life. She is living with her boyfriend and they have two children. Her boyfriend has an additional son that lives with it's mother. She just recently learned that she is pregnant with her third child. Her goal now is to finish the GED book preparation and pass the exam before the baby comes this summer. When I asked her why she was pursuing her GED she said she really wanted to get a good job to help support her family and hopefully get a car. Rachel and I made a study plan for her that she will hopefully follow. If she does stick to the plan she will be able to obtain her GED before her baby is born. Volunteering these past three months at SCCAP Work Ready has been a positive impact on my first semester here at Gettysburg. I looked forward to each Thursday morning I tutored and am thinking about returning next semester.
Posted at 10:48 pm by KBudney
Dec 9, 2015
Today I worked at the soup kitchen as an emergency replacement for one of the weekday volunteers.It was a very different experience in that people were less interested in enjoying each others presence and spending time at the kitchen. The workers were still just as friendly however more geared towards the goal of finishing the meal and cleaning up, whereas Sundays always felt very laid back. I found this experience important because it shows the different perspectives both sides have on weekday versus weekend. Nothing noteworthy happened in and of itself at the kitchen although this made a big impression on me personally. I really view this experience as a comparison to my overnight shelter experience where being on the receiving end of the meal was extremely eye opening and a little bit sad. I am glad to have been able to take the time out to make his important discovery!
Posted at 10:25 pm by AnnorabethM
This week was the last week of El Centro due to finals being next week. The session went relatively normally, although all of the students seemed to be more energetic than normal. The atmosphere felt like it often did on the last day of school for me. There was a lot of talking, intermingling, and taking pictures. When everyone was finished with their homework, we all played a game on the computer together, which we never do. But, I think it reflects the energy I'm talking about. At first, Eduardo's energy level didn't match those of the other kids. We were struggling to do his homework, and he complained of being tired. After a little while, he decided to eat a snack because he thought he "just needed sugar" and it actually seemed to do the trick. I am glad hat my El Centro experience ended on such a happy note. Going to El Centro every Monday has become a routine at this point, and it's hard to imagine not going anymore. I hope that I am able to participate in it next semester! Maybe I could even work with Eduardo again.
Posted at 03:56 pm by Rachel Herman
Nov 30, 2015
I feel as if I learned a lot more during my trip with DCO than when I went to the park when we went to DC as a class. I felt as if the DCO trip was much more engaging, and I got to learn a lot more about the homeless and their everyday struggles, especially when it gets colder outside.
I found myself getting a bit cold, ready to complain that I couldn't feel my fingers, when I looked all around me and realized that this is the living conditions of so many people, and that I take my living space for granted. I was essentially stepping into the homes of these people when I asked them if they needed any clothes, which was a very eye-opening thing to do.
Posted at 10:44 pm by WynterTremlett
Even though I met with Eduardo before Thanksgiving break, I felt like I hadn't seen him in forever. We did a lot of talking this session, again. We talked for so long that we didn't have time to play games at the end, but we did complete all his homework, and we struggled through ten minutes of reading. While we were talking, I learned something new about Eduardo. He told me that there were 12 people in his house; 5 from his family and another 7 from "Diana's family." I'm not sure who Diana is, but he did not act like they were extended family members, but they may have well been. In Spanish class, we have talked a lot about the role of family in hispanic families and how it is not uncommon to live with extended families, even if you are not sure how you are related to them. Our professor once explained that when she was a case worker for hispanic families, she came across this often and when she would ask the members of the household how they were related, they would just say that they were family. The fact that they were family was more important than the details. Eduardo's situation may be a reflection of his culture, but it also may be a reflection of his financial situation and may be explained by factors discussed in our class. There is no way to be sure.
Posted at 03:45 pm by Rachel Herman
Yesterday, I and group of 8 people went to DC for DC Outfitters. After our class trip to D.C., DCO was one of my favourites activities so I decided to contact Marli. Later I found out that when we passed out the clothes, we were supposed to keep the bags for the next trips from Gettysburg. But when our class were there, a lot of people asked for the bags and we gave them away. I realized that even the bags are a problem to homeless people. They need to have one that is big enough to carry everything but is supposed to be light for them to carry around easily and does not hurt their backs. Yesterday was a windy chilly day in D.C. Many people gathered in only the park that we visited to hope for any warmth from people around and the light. At first I wanted to do both DCO and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. But the trip of Habitat for Humanity only let four people to participate in, so I was very sad not being able to sign up. Back to DC, I got to meet Steve again, whom I talked to when we went to the DC trip. He is still Steve that cares about government and law and study and tells us these things all over again. Then we came to a man near Steve called Dave. He was a big guy lying on the grass hugging his dog. He explained to us how much he loved he dog, like he could trust no one else but only his dog. The dog was homeless too when he started to adopt him. Both seemed very hungry and cold so we gave Dave a blanket. As soon as he received it, he put it on his dog right away. And another group was there to pass the sandwiches and the drinks out to the people at the park too. Dave gave it right away to his boy!
Posted at 07:34 am by Hoa Anh
Nov 28, 2015
Gettysburg CARES overnight part 2
We then came to the First Baptist Church, which I feel was quite far away. After 15 minutes getting there, people decided to go to sleep right away. I stayed up until 3.30 am to do homework and because I was not used to have no one I know around me, I was a little bit scared to fall asleep right away.
I kinda know what they have to go through now that I saw them being pretty protective while they slept, although most of them knew each other already. And the women snored loudly and a lot. I felt sorry because I remembered my dad telling me that if someone snores really loudly that means that person had a long hard day and he or she was super tired.
However, when I finally fell asleep for a little bit, they decided to wake up an hour early: at 5.45. We got ready in like 5 minutes and then sat there for almost an hour before the buses came.
They were very friendly chatting with me, telling me when they got into homelessness and told me to study hard because I wouldn't want to fall into these kinds of circumstances with little knowledge. And I told them I definitely am and always will.
Posted at 08:47 am by Hoa Anh
Nov 27, 2015
This week we only had tutoring on Monday, so I only worked with one girl. I didn't catch her name, but she was in pre-calc and I was impressed with how much she understood. She didn't do great on a test and she wanted to go over a few of the problems, which we worked through together. After that, she had a few questions on some of the homework problems that they had done previously and she didn't understand, so I helped her to understand and we did some practice problems to make sure that she really understood all of the concepts. I had never worked with her before, but I had a good time and I hope that we work together again soon. It was a positive experience.
Posted at 01:20 pm by Emma Katz