This is the final blog post, but there are 4 more weeks of STAR, so this can’t really be my goodbye post; more of a check-in post and my thoughts on my final weeks to come.
There’s so much that has happened since my last post! The students have finished learning the curriculum and now they’ve been working on their final project. A week ago, the students had to present for others during our fieldtrip and it did not go well. They were scared, quiet, and unsure of themselves. After that we had a serious sit down and I had to give written warnings to some students. We are now one student short, but the difference in those who have stayed is tremendous.
Watching their skit this morning, I watched two teen boys act out an LGBTQ relationship about financial abuse. Two boys who were very quiet at the beginning of STAR and are now outspoken and consistently raise their hands. Who had said they felt uncomfortable, but pushed themselves anyway. In a place where we are surrounded by the same old ideas from socialization, it can be hard to break away or to respect differences. But the students try and they’re not afraid to ask questions and to accept new ideas. I’m proud to see them answer one another and feel comfortable in the space.
That is not to say that they are now super PC and knowledgeable about the world. For every two steps forward we can take a step back. The process is slow and we have to be patient. I wish I could write it all out, but I can’t. The students have taught me that everyone will take new ideas and knowledge in at their own pace and if they choose to accept it, they will do it in a way that can mesh with their current life. No one is flipping their worlds around, but the weaving is just as meaningful.
Time for thank you: Thank you to my coworkers Vashti, Robin, Dajah, and Stephanie for always checking in on me and showing me appreciation. I feel included and grateful to be working at LSH. Thank you to those students who have recently stepped up, to those who take the knowledge beyond STAR, and for respecting one another. Thank you all other Civic House internship peeps for your work and all your commentary at our meetings. I really enjoy having the space to learn and debrief.
I don’t like goodbyes and lately we’ve been releasing the kids without a check-out question. It’s easier that way to just leave, but sometimes I feel like that check-out question is needed to really end the day. Because this is not the end, just like the STAR days as of recently, there will be no check-out question. This isn’t goodbye, yet. I’ve enjoyed writing these, but I’m glad to be done!