Five: Residents or Friends? Both.
This week started with going whale watching. First of all, I thought whale watching was this one-hour ordeal where you hopped on a boat, drove out a little bit, saw some whales, and then went back – plot twist, it’s not. I was played. Okay, not really- but sort of. Our whale watching trip was about five hours long, we went down to the Boston Harbor pier, where we got on a relatively large boat, drove for about an hour and a half out into the ocean, spent about thirty minutes “looking” for whales, then drove the hour and a half back. It wasn’t a bad gig. I didn’t really see any whales, and it was really windy- but it was a good time. Oh, did I forget to mention that we took about 100 students with us? Have you ever had to take 100 students on public, underground transportation and then walk them three miles in the heart of a big city? If not, I challenge you to, it’s pretty humbling, stressful, but also fun – getting to witness their excitement, especially for those experiencing the ocean for the first time.
This week was pretty timid- well the beginning of the week was. On Monday, I had the day off, which was nice. Because of that my friends and I went back into Boston. This time we went shopping, grabbed some lunch, and went to the Prudential Center and the Boston Skywalk. This takes you to one of the highest points in Boston where you can view the entire city. Unfortunately, it all happened so fast that I didn’t grab any pictures, but I’ll be back there with some students in a few weeks, I’ll be sure to post some pictures then.
On Tuesday, I had a floor activity with all of my residents. Since they’re pretty young teenagers, I wanted to do something that would help them with their development. They get a lot of homework here and they spend a lot of time in class- because of that I wanted to teach them something about themselves. So I gave them the true colors leadership test. It’s pretty basic, but a large majority of them had never heard of it before. For those of you who don’t know what it is, you answer a simple questionnaire and it calculates your true color in relation to leadership, work, relationships, etc. it’s pretty fascinating stuff, and a lot of them were surprised by the color they got. After that, I split them up into their designated color group, in their group they played trivia against the other groups. I did this for a few reasons, first, they’re real competitive teenage boys, you know they like to challenge each other and this was a good healthy way to do it. I also did it because although they were able to identify their true color, this gave them the opportunity to put it into action with others like themselves. After the event we debriefed what it was like to work with others who work the same and students provided feedback on how the students in their groups showcased the skills throughout the trivia. I was skeptical, but it all worked out well! Thanks to Liz for helping me come up with a cohesive plan! I’ve already planned my next session activity- and I’m pretty excited!
Wednesday I connected with my residents. We went to breakfast, lunch, and dinner together at the dining hall. I know I keep saying how talented they are, but after every discussion they just amaze me more and more. They come from so many different backgrounds, demographics, and regions from all over the world. With high aspiring dreams of creating start-up companies to reforming the current political system, these students will find a way to do it. They never cease to amaze me when they tell me what they’ve done for the day, what they learned that day, and how they’re going to apply what they learned to their life plans. I think this is a really gratifying way to identify that student affairs is my future profession. Here’s why: although I may not agree with everything that goes on with the administration, professional staff, and more, at the end of the day my job is to care for the student. Ensuring that they are having a positive experience. I challenge them every day to utilize what they’ve learned and they come back and challenge me to find something new I’ve learned at this internship. They may be young, but they’re amazingly smart. Working with the students truly is the best part of the job, and that’s what’s been most gratifying for me.
Thursday got wild. Real wild. Fourth of July really happens here. Which makes sense in one of the most historical cities. The beginning of the day was chill, everyone just hung out in the sun since we all had the day off. It was pretty relaxing. Finally, at night, we walked over 400 students to the Boston Pops and Fireworks show, from Cambridge, which is about two miles each way. It’s not a bad walk at all, but with 400 students, it’s a little intimidating. Once we got there, the students were allowed to do whatever they pleased, as long as they made it back by curfew. Let me tell ya, I have never seen so many people at a time, in one place, for a fireworks show. You could feel the energy there for the Fourth of July. All the fireworks were to be shot off on the Charles River and we went right to the bridge of the river, so we had a pretty good view. Side note: Queen Latifah was there performing, so that was pretty interesting and cool to be there for. I have NEVER been to such an intense firework show, it’s 26 minutes of straight fireworks, with no breaks. It was wild to see over 500,000 people enjoy this show, but it was amazing to be a part of it, one of the many experiences I’ve had here that I’ll truly cherish.
Friday finally came and that meant it was time for my students to move out so that new students could move in on Sunday :(( some of them were big sad. And honestly, so was I. They’re good people, and I know that they’ll all go far, being able to mentor and chat with the future generation has been rewarding and exciting. It’s taught me a lot about myself as well. For those of you who don’t know, my secret life goal is to give a TED Talk, and these students tell me daily about new ideas that I should speak on. They don’t only encourage me, but they help me grow as well. I’m excited to receive new students on Sunday, but until then, I’m going to Rhode Island for some much needed fun with some friends I’ve made here.