Halfway!

First off, thanks to all my awesome housemates for the great birthday, you guys are the best! 🙂 Maura’s cake was amazing, Yaou’s arts and crafts were beautiful, Chandra was the perfect co-birthday buddy, and Mo made sure the evening didn’t get too boring. In his own special way.

Secondly, Chandra and I are coming up on our 1,000th meal as Campus Kitchen interns as well as our 1,000th pound of donated food! I can’t believe we’ve already been able to process and distribute that much food, and it really makes it feel like we’ve been able to make a difference. I know that in my last blog post I was complaining about I felt we weren’t making as big of a difference as we could, but finding those numbers while trolling our spreadsheets really helped me get some perspective. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to keep trying to expand the kitchen’s reach and capacity, but it was good to see that we have been able to do a lot. Chandra and I have been struggling with obtaining enough protein to meet the needs of all our recipients, but I think we’re making some progress on that too. Perhaps most exciting on the Kitchen Front though, is that our new kitchen is supposed to be ready to move into starting on Monday! It looks great with new floors and paint thanks to Steve, the man in charge of maintenance at SCCAP. I am so excited to move in because having our own space will mean Chandra and I can work in the kitchen whenever we want, not just after 2pm, we’ll be able to store more food, accommodate more volunteers, and just have much more freedom and control over everything the kitchen does. I’m just sad that we won’t be able to spend much time in the new facility before our internship is over.

At LIU I still kind of feel like I’m struggling to find my niche within the organization. I think that because I missed the first week of classes for the middle school kids’ trip to DC and because the class itself has been in flux thanks to the funding issues, I never really got a chance to settle in and establish what my role would be. I think part of the problem is that I’m not very assertive, but at the same time I feel weird about having to demand that people recognize that I’m around to help. I’m hoping that if I just keep showing up with my handouts and worksheets, and keep trying to help as much as possible things will settle into place more. I do love going to the classes and working with the students, and I actually kind of like making grammar and vocab worksheets (coolest hobby ever, right?) so it’s not that I’m not enjoying my LIU placement, it’s more that I’m just uncertain about what my role should be. I’ve especially liked the themed classes that we’ve been doing lately because I think it’s great that we are able to teach general grammar as well as functional English that is highly applicable to the students’ everyday lives. Recently we’ve been working on words and phrases that one would use when making/going to a doctor’s appointment. This included how to talk to the receptionist on the phone, how to describe symptoms, general anatomy, and filling out forms at the doctor’s office. Because we’ve been focusing on such functional things it’s made it even sadder to think that the class may not have funding past this summer. It serves such an important purpose and such an under-served population that I really hope there’s a way it can keep going.

And sorry if anything in this post seems outdated… I’ve not been very good about starting and finishing my blog post in the same day. Or even the same week in this case. But I’m looking forward to another week of Heston and a little frightened that there’s only four weeks left!

Melanie

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