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March 13, 2012

Scary, Signs, Middle School

by carrollministry

Dear Gentle Readers,

First…bear with me.  I realize this is long, but it’s my moment!  We’re Rochester.  A place that, to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about coming to.  In the past, the Rochester Headlights groups always come back seeming so together and whoo, the sisters are so awesome and crazy, and just sounded all so intense, and just made me a little nervous…for whatever reason.  ALSO…I have a brother in middle school who is completely weird and nuts…  So I had no idea what to expect.  I might have been a little scared even!

And of course, now that I’m here, I’m having a wonderful time, learning lots, loving my service site, and even having a blast with the sisters…who of course say that they’re not the crazy ones…those ones moved out awhile back…wink wink.  =)  Anyways, this week, I’m at Nativity Prep:  a middle school, grades 5-8, with only 44 students!

So yes…to be honest, the middle school age kinda scares me a little bit.  It’s a weird growing-up age and just overall kinda awkward.  Not to mention the fact that the kids that go to this school are all at or below the poverty line and are have sometimes very unstable home lives.  They’re definitely little hard to relate to sometimes.  Within the first couple days, Janessa and I had already fallen in love with fifth grade…most of them are just so cute and little…and maybe just a little less jaded.  But we have also been informed that we are “inspirations”. 

The kids’ school day starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.  Following that, they go straight into a required after-school homework time!  And THEN, they go into “Enrichment”, a time for extracurricular sports, art, music, magic tricks, cooking, and any other fun, learning activities that the staff comes up with.  No child actually goes home until around 5:30 p.m.!  Monday evening, we were helping with Enrichment for the sixth grade girls, which consisted of painting small flower pots for a donor gala later this spring.  Two of them informed Janessa and I that we were their “inspirations”.  Who actually knows what that meant, but to me, it meant that I got to touch their lives in a special way, even if it was just for a few minutes.  

Before I sign off, I’d like to say a word about these “crazy” sisters.  =)  They are all absolutely incredible.  I’m learning so much from them, from recycling anything and everything to meals at exactly 6 p.m.  From their mad skills at the game Signs to their daily witness as women of God in everything that they do.  Last night, our evening prayer was a bit of a lesson on Catholic social teaching, and I couldn’t believe how much we covered and how much I took away!  

So tomorrow I will go to my last day of scary middle school and have to say goodbye to all of my little reading buddies, lunch buddies, language arts buddies, and tutoring buddies, but I’ll be walking away knowing how much I’ve  learned from THEM and how I only hope that they learned maybe something from me.  

I hope all is well on the homefronts of all of our readers and fellow bloggers and Headlighters in Cincinnati and Kansas City.

Love you all!


Read more from Rochester, NY

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