Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mt.Washington Pediatric Hospital

Throughout my freshmen year at Loyola, I volunteered at Mt.Washington Pediatric Hospital. During my time at the hospital I met many interesting kids. From the crazy energetic boy to the calm intellectual shy girl in the corner, each and every one of them taught me to cherish the devalued, in this case, my childhood. Growing up in such a fast paste world makes you forget that your childhood doesn’t last forever. All of the children are struggling through health problems, but they do not let that interfere with their childhood, they live their lives without a care in the world, and for that I admire all of the children at Mt. Washington.

Volunteering at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital allowed me to balance my childhood and adulthood. When I play and help with the children, I reminisce on my past. I remember the easy going lifestyle and having no care in the world. However now I am faced with responsibilities of an adult. Volunteering adds to the conflict of me growing up, I understand that I am not a child more and life is more serious and I soon will be in the ‘real world’. Volunteering has shined a light on the unity of my past and present. Just like in Whale Rider, my two worlds are starting to unite.

However, I still hold on to the easygoing lifestyle of my childhood, and volunteering allowed me to balance the two conflicting sides together and let me come to realization, that I am an adult. Volunteering and interacting with children lets me to feel one with my own childhood, keeping a sense of oneness with the past and present. It also allows me to “Let it be done.” Like in Whale Rider, my two worlds are binding and uniting, the old (my childhood) and the new (my adulthood).

As a college student there still is a child in me that I do not want to let go, so in a sense I am at the stage of recognition, like Koro Apriana when he finds out that Kahu retrieved the stone from the water, I don’t want to accept the fact that I am growing up, but when playing with the kids I realize it is their turn to have a childhood. I “Let it be done” and allow myself to accept the fact of my transitioning into adulthood while I watch the children value their childhood.

This year I again am going to volunteer at Mt. Washington, and I am going to watch the children grow and mature as our fast world turns them into adults. I hope they learn to value what they have, because as seen in Whale Rider, that what is forgotten or devalued comes full circle and can interfere in what their destiny holds. My goal this year at Mt. Washington is to cherish my past and show the children to cherish their present, and in doing so I hope to learn to value my own present and past as a whole.

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