Wednesday, October 24, 2007

St. Ambrose: education

Last week, when waiting for the kids of St. Ambrose to jump into the pool, I noticed a boy from last year, Jordan, sitting in the corner in his school clothes. His bathing suit was right next to him along with a pile of books and papers. So I walked over to him to find out that he wasn’t allowed to swim because he didn’t do his assignments prior to swim lessons. So I stayed with him while he finished up his homework, and as soon as he was finished the swim lessons were over, I told him next time he needs to get his homework done on time. The look on Jordan’s face will always stay with me; he was upset, not only with his teachers, but with himself.

A week passed, and it was six o’clock on Tuesday night, and the St. Ambrose kids ran off the bus. Jordan was the first one to the doors of the FAC, he ran up to me to show me that he already had his bathing suit on and ready to swim because he had done all of his homework right after school.

Jordan’s excitement to learn how to swim allowed me to see his appreciation for learning. I am thrilled to see that his love for education can now continue in the classroom.

Jordan’s ambition for swim lessons, allowed me to understand firsthand, teaching the person as a whole. I feel that the Jesuit tradition follows me where ever I go, especially when working with children and in this case, Jordan. When talking to Jordan it allowed me to see my effect on a person’s life, and teach him the importance of education as a whole. He shows an immense amount of spirit and heart towards his education, and just like in the Jesuit tradition I feel that this will follow him and spread to his peers. He is a bright child with great potential, he just needs to be pushed and believed in. I am happy to be a part of Jordan's life because I feel that I am the push he needs, and I believe he can do what ever he puts his mind to.

The kids of St. Ambrose, allowed me to see that education goes both ways, being the ‘teacher’ in this scenario brought light to my understanding of the inner city children, and the potential they have. Giving swim lessons to the children of St. Ambrose is not only to assist the kids with their inability to float and function in the water, yet survive the aspects of life. Jordan has not only improved in swimming he has also gained better study habits and maturity.

Jordan has come to realization, almost as if he read “Did I Miss Anything?”, and decided that he doesn’t want to be like cliche in th poem anymore. He now knows that he needs to get his act together and start doing the work assigned, and take part in his studies. Jordan has already matured and you can tell that he is now taking the right path of caring about his education and having pride and ambition towards learning inside and outside the classroom.

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