Submitted by Richard Kassissieh on Tue, 06/21/2011 - 12:10pm
Today was the best day so far, at least for me. Three things really touched my heart today. First, was when a group of students worked at the Baylor Teen Center and helped a play groupn with Math. Fiona planned Math like activities with the center and today they were put into action. I worked with two boys today who were 11 years old. They were really sweet boys with huge happy smiles on their faces. I reveiwed counting numbers, addition and subtraction with huge numbers and had them write out specific problems. The boys knew a lot and I was so impressed how immersed they were in the Math. I felt that they were really interested in what I was trying to teach them and wanted to learn. High fives were thrown in there too when they got so many problems right! The girl I woked with as well was so fast with her multipilication tables. I quizzed and was like “3 x 7” and she would respond “21!” The reason this part of today really touched me was because one of the reasons that I came on this trip was because I wanted to impact a child’s life, and to be a friend to someone who needs them.
Before lunch today, a group of teens from the center started braiding my hair. This was a really special moment because I felt so immersed in the culture with these girls surrounding me and just braiding my hair. I felt like I was taken in their hands and just under their wing. It was fun to have the girls braiding my hair in different sized braids all over my head!
I had another experience today that really impacted me. Today I had the opportunity to tutor 2 boys. One in Science and the other in reading. Natalie and I started with the boy who needed help in Science. At first it was difficult because we were confused in what he needed help on and what exactly he knew, however as time passed we became really friendly with him. Natalie and I began reviewing his notes and he showed us specific chapters in his text book that he was confused about. We read over the chapters and had him write down and draw pictures on the dry erase board. By the end of his session the three of us were cracking up about certain topics and I really saw him open up. It was like he was a different person in a way because he became so so friendly with us. I loved seeing that. He just had to become familiar with us and understand that we were there to help him in any way we can Next, I had the opportunity to tutor a boy in reading. I had him read small paragrpahs in a book and I followed each word with my finger. When he struggled saying a word, I had him write down the word in his journal and I pronounced the word and he then repeated the word. We did this a few times for each word. At the end of his session, we read the list and pronounced each word just to make sure he understood how to say the word. It was really nice knowing that I helped this little boy read. The woman at the center said he was behind for his age, and now I know I helped him in some way.
Lastly, I finally met Todd Wright! I have been coordinating with him about pen pal letters from Catlin to Gumare and now I have matched a face to him! We talked about what we are doing in Gumare in the coming days and that we will be actually meeting our pen pals! It is so cool to see my project come together and I am so impressed that just by email this entire pen pal project has worked! Hopefully it continues in the future!