Wednesday, February 17, 2010

universal travel

            Throughout the semester we have been discussing different types of humor.  Today’s readings were slightly different in such that they weren’t actually funny.  My favorite reading from the selections was by far the Millman article, “Last Places”.  The article had a way of describing a feeling and a passion that people are lucky to feel.

            Because of the snow and staff development days I have only been to Guilford to help with the It’s Academic team one time; I am, however, completing an internship at Cristo Rey.  My first few weeks at Cristo Rey I was assigned the task of editing letters that the students wrote to local businesses in order to thank them for donating scholarships to them. 

            To be perfectly honest the job was extremely tedious.  For eight hours I would sit at a computer and read letter after letter but this task was also really refreshing and humbling.  It was so nice to see how grateful the kids were for an opportunity so many children take for granted… the chance to attend a good school with teachers who care about them and the resources they need to succeed. 

            When reading the Millman article these lines immediately stood out to me (and evidently, they stood out to Alex as well!), “Travel is the realm of the improbable adventure, the quick fix, the ship passing in the night. It entitles you to meet interesting people whom you otherwise would never meet even if you laid traps or advertised for them.” (Millman, 5).  Travel is often loosely defined as going somewhere else, usually it is associated with a decent distance actually being covered; in reality, travel is so much more, it is truly a loaded word. 

            The students at Cristo Rey have made a huge journey and their letters absolutely prove it.  I have read so many things about unpleasant schools the students attended in the past and the struggles they encountered and how nice it is to finally have people they can look up to who help them and want them to succeed.  Not only have they come a long way, but they have also formed bonds with the teachers and counselors that they will never forget. 

            The students at Cristo Rey are remarkable.  They understand how fortunate they are not only for the opportunity to attend a great high school, but also to have encountered such wonderful teachers and classmates that share similar passions.  Almost every letter I read mentioned that they are so grateful to the donors for giving them an opportunity that they wouldn’t have without their help and that because of the money they donated they will have a chance to attend college.  A majority of the letters touched on the fact that it is so nice for the students to be in an environment where people care about them and the students care about one another as well as succeeding. 

            Millman’s article seemed to fit perfectly with the life and opportunities of the students at CRJ.  The idea of forming relationships and meeting inspirational people is universal, as is the idea that an experience can change someone forever, which is clearly the case for the students.    

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