Kansas City, Part 2
Kirsten here for Kansas City, part 2. Up until now, I’ve become more and more excited…first, to participate in an epic trip with some really awesome people, then to see how things have changed since the last time I was here, two years ago. So far, the trip has definitely been a blast.
This being my fourth Headlights spring break trip, on the way to Guardian Angels school this morning, I caught myself thinking…yeah…I’ve seen it all (or at least a lot)…I’m a seasoned vet. But of course, we walked in the door, and about five minutes later I was proven wrong. A very special treat, I get to serve in the classroom of my dear friend Matea—or Miss daRosa. When it was time to go to class, we walked upstairs from the gym and found our sixteen students silently lined up waiting outside the open door. NEVER in my life have I seen a class do that. And I was especially not expecting it out of an inner city group of students. Basically that “shut me up” for the rest of the day.
This week, the students are doing some standardized testing, so my tasks have been laid out pretty simply: a bit of grading, a bulletin board or two, watching kids try to pass notes, sharpening pencils, and simply watching as class “happens”. Matea is a great teacher, and her students definitely know her expectations. However, that doesn’t necessarily keep them from testing the boundaries.
A very interesting part of my day was what they call “recess”. To me, it’s more of a loose interpretation of the word. Guardian Angels is a consolidation school, fed into from several churches in the area. It doesn’t however, have a playground for its students. So what happens is before lunch, the students line up silently and “peacefully” to go play in the large parking lot with only a few cars parked around the edges. They close the gates to the lot in order to better deter cars from entering. Today I watched them run a few laps, play soccer, play tag, chit-chat with friends, then walk a couple cool-down laps before heading inside for lunch. I’ve vowed that tomorrow, I’m going to try to get a rousing game of cat-and-mouse going!!!
I feel like I shouldn’t leave this post without mentioning our evening activities! Not only was there an incredible taco dinner with the Xavier community and a visitying prayer group, but there was also kitchen dancing/laughing during dessert and dinner. After evening prayer which included reflections on our day and what we planned to “bring” tomorrow, we got to go to the gym of Resurrection school next door! After a quick shoot-around, we began a VERY competitive game of basketball, followed by several games of Bump aka Lightning aka Knockout (whichever you prefer…)—the first of which I won, by the way!
Overall, we really are having a blast. As I type this before going to bed, we have almost half our group over in the chapel of the cathedral that is across the street, some are hanging out before going to bed, and others are getting in much-needed showers after our activity time. I can’t wait for work tomorrow! Thank you for keeping up with the Headlights groups via this blog; it means a lot to me (and to many others) that you care about us enough to read our silly inside jokes and reflections on our experiences.
Have a great rest of your week; love you all!