Thursday, December 1, 2016

San Mateo Adult School Citizenship Classes (TIFFANY -- 7/7, 7/12, 7/14, 7/19, 7/21)

Tiffany Tam
7/7, 7/12, 7/14, 7/19, 7/21: 12:30 to 3:30 pm
San Mateo Adult School
Beatrice Dee

Recap: Over the last 5 sessions, every individual I have worked with has made a marked improvement in the 100 questions. On the interview she understood the definitions of terms more which I was really glad to see. We spent some time figuring out the difference between oath and allegiance. With the help of google translate, she understood more of the questions and I think she learned faster. 

I'm often exhausted after these sessions and this time was no different. I think it's because I care about their progress. Like any other person, I like instant gratification and progress. Unfortunately, I do not see that often in seniors. However when I do see improvement I am glad I made an impact on their learning and it makes all the energy I put into this worth it. 

I feel like adult education is something that really matters. It's encouraging to see that no one in this class is giving up. They show up every class and learn. Even though it gets repetitive and they are frustrated as well they are determined to pass this test and become a citizen. Prior to this point, I've never thought how lucky I am to be a US citizen by birth. 

I feel my compassion has grown and I am now able to form connections with people I normally would not have even talked to. This community is also a very strong and vibrant one. The classroom I work in has a convivial and friendly atmosphere.

San Mateo Adult School Citizenship Classes (TIFFANY -- 6/28, 6/30, 7/5)

Tiffany Tam
6/28, 6/30, 7/5: 12:30 to 3:30 pm
San Mateo Adult School
Beatrice Dee

I helped teach citizenship classes at the San Mateo Adult School the summer before my junior year.

My preconceptions were that the people there would have a good foundation of being able to speak English. However that was not the case. By my second visit, I was using citizenship to teach them English. Trying to make them understand what they were writing or saying was key. It forced me to realize adult education is not just a privilege, but a necessity for seniors. I could feel from them that coming to the adult school at least twice a week allowed them to feel a sense of community and achievement — something they were not able to feel otherwise. 

Coming into this, I did not realize how much individualized teaching/tutoring I would be doing. I thought I would be more of an assistant and help the real teacher with whatever they needed me to do. However, that was not the case — I was assigned to work with 2-3 individuals at a time. This really challenged me to take on a leadership stance in a place I was very unfamiliar in. I believe my emotional reactions resembled that of a teacher’s. For me, it was awe-inspiring that people over 60 years old were still trying to learn and achieve something. 

I believe I had an impact through my service. Throughout my first three visits, I primarily worked with the same 2 people. Both of them were from Peru and in their 70s. It was amazing to see how my work impacted their performance and it made me feel satisfied to see I was making a difference in my community. By the end of my first three visits, they had improved in writing, reading, conversation and the 100 questions (oral). 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

St Anthony's Padua Dining Room (JULISSA)

Julissa Torres
St Anthony's Padua Dining Room
Bob, Mimi, Lupe
3500 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 365-9664

I was pretty aware of the type of people who I was going to be serving because I myself used to go to the dining hall with my grandmother to get food when I was younger. However, this did not change the fact that I was extremely nervous before I went. I was scared that I was not going to be helpful enough or that I would be told I was doing things wrong. The next day when I arrived I was proved completely wrong. I was welcomed with open arms and the first thing someone asked me when I walked in was if I wanted to chop vegetables.I was impacted a lot more than I thought I would be through the work I did. On the first day I mainly only worked in the kitchen and not serving food. I knew that what I was doing was helpful to the cooks, but I didn’t see the true value of my work until I worked in the service line. When I was passing out bread, which was at the beginning of the line, I got to see everyone’s face who walked in. Among these people were adults, teenagers, children and “abuelitas”. As soon as I saw a little kid, it immediately hit me how important the work I was doing. In fact, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I almost cried because it it reminded me so much about my own childhood and how much I loved coming with my own abuelita. After the day was over I felt very good about myself. I was felt like the work I did really helped the people in the communities. I cut so many tubs full of vegetables and fruit. And I got to see the people who I served which was great too. They were all very appreciative and I loved seeing the smiles on their faces.