This week I started work at the Columbia Association’s Teen Center. I can say right off the bat that going there was a completely different experience. The pace was a lot slower than at Super Book Deals, where I always had something to do at all times. I walked into the Teen Center and was greeted by a large amount of teenagers.
I was so scared-- I literally had NOTHING in common with these children. The first thought to run through my mind was Whoa, I’m not a babysitter. Give me work to do and I’ll do it, but It’s a waste of time to sit around and do nothing.
The next day I went in and there still wasn’t as much work for me to do there, but I actually had a purpose to interact with these teenagers this time. I had to make them an event calendar and they needed to tell me what they wanted on it. I still feel like I spent 3 hours doing something that could have taken me 20 minutes, but that’s besides the point.
Lesson # 8, uncomfortable situations = learning environments
I had to talk to the kids and decided that I was going to try and bridge the culture gap by asking questions about what they liked to do and where they would like to go. Then I started finding out there is a wide need for math homework assistance. I started to help with math homework and while they were learning from me I was learning from them.
I still feel like the environment is a much slower pace than Super Book Deals, which I don’t necessarily like because I’m a very fast paced worker, but sometimes if you stop and smell the roses you will learn something in a place you weren’t looking.