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Last week I went to the graduation of one of the high school students I'd been tutoring. The high school she was at has a history of low performance, which probably contributed to the huge joy and sense of celebration in the air for this ceremony. Everybody was really, really rooting for these kids; each one represents a huge victory for everyone--the kids themselves, the families, the teachers, the whole community.

That sense of community spirit! The very young mayor of the city was there, and when he got up to speak, a girl sitting in front of me--maybe eleven or twelve years old--said to her older relative with pride, "Do you see him? He's our mayor." I have never lived in a place where a little kid would be that enthusiastic for a local politician.

Afterward, I had to walk a few blocks to get to where I had parked, and on my way back I couldn't stop smiling. A guy coming the other direction said to me, "God bless you sister," as we passed, and I did feel blessed.

This entry was originally posted at http://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/852973.html. Comments are welcome at either location.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 6th, 2017 10:10 pm (UTC)
That's so sweet!
Jun. 7th, 2017 03:03 am (UTC)
It was a really feel-good event--and the encounter afterward was, too.
Jun. 6th, 2017 11:43 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful, wonderful day!
Jun. 7th, 2017 03:03 am (UTC)
Jun. 7th, 2017 12:28 pm (UTC)
A very young mayor indeed!
Jun. 10th, 2017 11:48 am (UTC)
And really inspiring; he grew up in poverty, was the first in his family to go to college, etc.
Jun. 9th, 2017 11:26 pm (UTC)
Good for you to have persevered to get the tutoring gig in the first place. As much as volunteers are needed, it can take effort just to get someone to let you work.
Jun. 10th, 2017 11:58 am (UTC)
It was hard--harder than the jail. I felt at times like I was pushing myself on the place, I think, perversely, because they were so overtaxed. My primary contact, a young teacher the age of the tall one, was busy finding *her* way and trying to address the needs of two different populations (adult learners and high schoolers), plus, the program had rolling admissions, and that makes it hard to maintain coherent instruction. Once I was working with just the two girls, it was easier--but then I was faced with the enormity of what I was trying to do: one meeting for an hour a week was *not* going to make a lot of difference in their English comprehension, grammar, or writing. But that experience, combined with what I do in the jail, does make me feel that there's value in just getting people to put thoughts on paper, no matter how basic. The very act of doing that makes that task less daunting (practice and all), and getting over fear of something is a big step in getting better at it.

I had a great meeting with the teacher last week to talk about next year. I admire her so much, and I'm glad to keep on being a part of it. Our conversation talked on so many things, and meanwhile students and other teachers were dropping in to talk with her too--it was good. She told me there's a group of people who sit in front of city hall each day, rain, snow, or sunshine, to pray for the city! I couldn't find a news mention of this to back it up--and did find instead mention of people praying in front of city hall because they don't want a particular church closed, so possibly she's wrong--but if she's right, it just makes my heart swell. People love this city so much and really want it to succeed/get better.

Edited at 2017-06-10 11:58 am (UTC)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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