Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Edgewood College Visit: Day Two

Today marked the second day of the Edgewood College visit. After a welcome and introduction from El Da’Sheon Nix and Dan Bassill, the day began with laughter-filled ice-breakers.

The graduate students prepared a series of lessons for the Cabrini Connections students in which we discussed what makes an individual “successful,” learned about role models from Chicago, and talked through our own future goals. The Cabrini Connections students worked one-on-one with the graduate students and I enjoyed watching (and admittedly, eavesdropping a bit) on some of these conversations as people shared their stories and ambitions. I was impressed by the willingness of the students to open up and discuss their goals, challenges, and strengths with candor and sincerity. Likewise, it was exciting to watch how intently they listened to the graduate students while they discussed their paths toward college and careers.

After these lessons, it was time to hit the city once again! Paired with the same group of students as yesterday (Dr. Tom reminded us that our goal is to build relationships), we eagerly set out. Although we had several delays including a bus detour and an open bridge, everyone remained patient and in good humor.

We arrived at the Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoyed briefly walking through exhibits. The students reacted to the artwork very open-mindedly. I enjoyed talking with Crystal and Alisha about what stood out to them while looking at several abstract sculptures and what they would have titled these sculptures were they the artist.

Soon, we headed to Navy Pier! It was a perfect day to enjoy Chicago’s most popular tourist destination, and our first stop was the famous, gigantic Ferris Wheel! After a relaxing ride (I was relieved that it didn’t go too fast…some of the students were disappointed…), we got some lunch and ice-cream cones and hurried back to the buses to finish off a fun and busy day.

Again, I felt so privileged to be part of today’s activities, and I enjoyed watching as Cabrini Connections students increasingly gravitated toward individual Edgewood students. And I have to say, it feels so satisfying to begin forming new friendships myself. Thanks to the Edgewood students for their hard work, Dr. Tom for all the planning, the Cabrini Connections students for their enthusiasm, and the weather for cooperating admirably. I am looking forward to our last day tomorrow!

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