Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nerds are people too



Originally uploaded by DG N.

I started my volunteering gig today, helping young kids through the Union League Boys and Girls Club. The Cult, as you and I have come to affectionately term it, owns several properties across Chicago, that offer after-school care activities for local school kids. The idea is that the Clubhouse offers the kids a place to come, primarily to do their homework, but also to do arts & crafts, sports classes, and generally just to just muck about in safety after a day cooped up in classes. A cool concept and I am pleased to be part of it.

So tonight I met a Cult representative and we travelled out together to meet the organisers of the Clubhouse that I will be visiting every Tuesday night for the forseeable future. My job will be to supervise "Power Hour", the 60-minute window where I'm supposed to focus the kids on doing their homework. At any one time, I will be supervising 20+ kids aged between 8 and 16. I was joking at work today that I will be fine, just as long as no one asks me any questions about American History. Or Geography. Or Politics. Or Science.

I only spoke to two of the kids today, adorable little girls about 8 years old, and both of them gazed at me open-mouthed, as if I was from another planet. Then they collapsed into a fit of giggles that did not subside until I left the room. Not an altogether unusual reaction by any means, but it made me smile nonetheless. This is going to be a very "interesting" volunteering experience.

The organisers assure me the kids will warm to me. Even more when they get comfortable enough to ask me questions about Australia. My secret mission is to have them all speaking Aussie slang by the end of the year. Or maybe I'll be a bit of a covert Australian Tourism representative and get the kids interested in Aussie animals and plants - I can see papier machied eucalypts and egg carton koalas hanging up all over the art studio already.

And there is an upside for me too, you know. I'll be working in a largely Hispanic neighbourhood. Do I hear "Free Spanish Lessons"?! Muy bien, senorita!

5 comments:

glamah16 said...

Great! Now youll be a expert in ordering tequila .Youll going to have so much fun with those little ones.

Jammin' Jemma said...

Gab, didn't you do a papier mache thing of Ayres Rock? You start with a toilet roll and then build it up using papier mache. After that, paint it brown.

Better yet, have them do cross stitch of a snake...you were really good at that in Year 9 Art - oh hang on, mum helped you and you failed.

Mum helped me with a Year 10 English essay once and I got 5 out of 20. The 5 was for the conclusion which I wrote....

I'm seeing a pattern here and it's not with you Gab......

**mwahaha**

Gab said...

I do recall that Mum did my Year 8 assignment on the Ancient Egyptian numbering system - and she got an A+

Of course the embroidered snake positively sucked, and that was how Mum and I gracefully exited high school art. Can't believe the only way I passed art that year was my A- in art history. Phew to that.

kilabyte said...

Add to the list of things they can't ask you about .... map reading ... orienteering ....

lexie said...

uhh... in wisconsin we loving refer to a 'power hour' as a drinking game where you can get slammed in about half of that time...