Monday, December 3, 2007

Hispanic Apostolate

Very early every Saturday morning I wake up around 8am. I struggle to tear the sheets away from my body and wake up for the day. I hop in the shower and meet a group of volunteers at around 9:15am. We speed down the highway and end at Broadway street. From 10am until 12pm I volunteer at Hispanic Apostolate. It is a division of Catholic Charities. I along with a few other Loyola students teach English to adult Hispanic men and women. However, anyone struggling with English can attend and get help. The center also offers free legal help as well as health services. The center really is an asset to the community, and the people who utilize the facility really are dependent on it. Students can attend classes as they please, you never know who is going to be there. They may come everyday of the week for a month and then not come back for several months. Most have built going to classes into their daily or weekly routine.
Volunteers arrive and wait for the students to be placed in their learning level. There are beginners, moderate and advanced learning levels. Some volunteers get different students every week. This past Saturday as the volunteers were waiting around to get students the volunteer coordinator called me first and said that I had a request. One of the students who I usually work with had requested me to be his teacher. Daniel, a middle aged man had requested me again to work with him. This made me feel so good because it means that I am in some way making an impact on his life. It makes me feel like I am not just waking up on Saturday as a requirement for my Spanish class but I am making a difference beyond Loyola. Two other students joined us and we worked on pronunciation, past and present differentiation. We read looked things up in the dictionary etc. It was a great class and I don't even speak Spanish well at all. The experience just further solidified my realization that I should be a teacher. I am so busy all the time, but for some reason I enjoy going to teach. The Jesuit ideal teaches that we should bring our whole self to everything we do. Although I never feel like waking up early on the one day I don't have to I do. Not only that, but I also am able to function well enough that student request me to teach them. When something is your vocation, you don't have to make as much as an effort than if you really didn't like it as much. I am able to bring my whole self to teaching no matter how tired I am. I feel so blessed.

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