August 4th, 2014 marked the start of senior year, as well as my start in the IA. I walked into class kind of hiding behind Karen, as I was extremely excited as well as extremely nervous about starting new. Fast forward four months to December, we are sitting around the table talking about our Culture Book, and the only thing I’m thinking is “I can’t believe I’m part of this group, everyone needs to experience a group as cool as this one sometime in their life.” Never before had I been surrounded by a group of 13 completely different people and had such a strong connection with all of them. It’s because of them that I gained so much in just a few short months.
I vividly remember the first blog I wrote after we had started school back in August and I was sitting at the desk stumped. I turned to Karen and asked her, "What the heck are we supposed to write about?" since I had absolutely no clue. She answered back by saying "Anything. Reflect on the week. Something that stood out. Corey never tells us exactly what to write about." From that moment on, I knew that this was going to be one of my greatest challenges in the IA. Students in the IA are autonomous learners. Why? Because we take control over our learning and do it how we know is best. Being in the IA, I have enforced what I know about my learning habits: learning the theories but focusing on the experience and actually applying what I know. Not just learning on paper. In a way, being an autonomous learner is a way to live our life for ourselves rather than for what others want us to do. Autonomy is one of the biggest things that encapsulates what the IA experience is. We are able to explore things that we normally wouldn't do and have the chance to work on our own projects with little or no guidance at all. Without the IA, I would have never had the time to explore songwriting and deepen my passion for music, I wouldn't have had the chance to pursue my interest for interior design, and I definitely wouldn't have had the chance to start my own business.
Ever since we are little, we are taught to work with others and be kind to each other. However, as soon as we get to middle and high school, we're suddenly turned against each other, and start competing against one another, trying to become top in our class. From one moment to the next, collaboration turns into competition. But I definitely can't say it's the same in the IA. Collaboration is what makes us succeed. And as for competition? I wouldn't really call it that. It’s more along the lines of "striving to be as good as the person who is better than me." DD is my perfect example for both of these. Whenever I was stumped with my blogs and had no idea how to make it fun, I would wander into DD’s blog and look over her posts. Why? Because when she writes, she has that spark that I want to have. And when it comes to collaboration, DD is the first person that asks for feedback and help with the work she is doing, whether it’s for her writing or for making the AWESOME posts for the BlendZ Facebook page. Without teamwork, the IA would not be what it is today, and the culture would definitely not be the same.
Last of all, the IA has taught me the importance of trust. I hate to play this card again, but most of you know that I did a year of the IB and then the IA. From switching over, I can surely say that trust is one of the building blocks of the IA. When Corey invited me to join the IA at the end of junior year, he first wanted to know if everyone was okay with that decision. Everyone could have easily said that they didn't want me to join, but instead took a chance on me, trusting that I would add to the culture and not hinder it from getting better. We all depend on each other to get our work done, whether it's something that's for the well-being of the whole class, or a blog post that holds us accountable and adds value to the culture. I guess there is something to be said for trust, since it comes up a couple of times in our core values.
Just like everything else in the IA, these three aspects are intertwined. Having trust between the cohort, mentor and the student, allows the student to have autonomy over how and what he or she wants to learn. Having trust between students, leads to better collaboration. As we gain more and more trust between students, we are more confident when we have the feedback sessions and need to challenge one another. As we learn to collaborate better, we become more autonomous as we decide how we want to handle changes, and projects. Without trust, autonomy, and collaboration, the IA would be not be what it is today. And without the IA, I would not realize the importance of trust, autonomy, and collaboration when it comes to working in teams.
I can definitely say that this past year has been the most rewarding in my high school career. I am extremely grateful for the chance I got to work with this group, and the only thing I can say is that everyone needs to be a part of a group as cool as this one sometime in their life.
What a WEEK!
This week has been one FULL of lessons. Yes, I already knew but they had never become engraved in my brain until now. For one, I had never valued the importance of TEAMWORK so much as these past five days, and I definitely realized how HARD it can be when someone doesn't carry their own WEIGHT and it falls on everyone else's shoulders. Yes, some people do need LEADERS, the ones who stand in front of them and GUIDE them forward. But they don't need guidance every step of the way. They don't need to be told what to do for the rest of their lives. However, there are the ones who can't see for themselves; the ones who can't see what tasks need to be accomplished or what can be worked on. These are the ones who need BOSSES, who need help every step of the way. Almost all of us are, at some point in our lives, those people, the ones who need a boss and need to be told what to do. But as we go on, we become the ones who need a leader, and then eventually the ones who LEAD.
Who do I want to be?
This week has also been one of learning how to properly BALANCE your time between work and play. Unlike most of the IA students, I'm still working on my internship and I'm taking IB exams, as well as working on the IA final project. However TRIFLING it may seem for me to mention, I've also been HOOKED on Game of Thrones for the past couple of months. This week has been one of the most overwhelming I've had in the past school year and maybe the one where I've gotten the least amount of sleep because I've been JUGGLING my time. I have a tendency to leave stuff to the last minute, to procrastinate. A sort of "WHY DO NOW WHAT I CAN DO LATER" mentality, but that always leaves me with an OMINOUS feeling hanging over my head, not allowing me to enjoy my leisure to the fullest. I always remember my brother's second grade teacher telling him to do what he doesn't want to do first, in order to enjoy the rest of his day doing whatever he wants to do. In my case, doing the stuff I find most important, first. But how do I PRIORITIZE when each each one has an equal--different, of course--importance. Kind of. My internship is important because I've been given the chance to work for an NGO that, although they do need the help, never accept interns. IB exams are equally as important because they might count as college course credit--although classes I will potentially be taking look a lot more interesting. Lastly, the IA review. My teammates are trusting that I will complete all my work that has been assigned to me, actually, that I have chosen to do. See what I mean? They all have about the same importance but have DIFFERENT purposes.
Who do I want to be?
Sometimes we have to SACRIFICE play for success. As I mentioned before, and as unhealthy as it might seem, I have become sort of addicted with Game of Thrones. As hard as it was, I had to ABSTAIN from watching a single episode all week long. Yes, this might seem TRIVIAL to some, but it was a huge deal for me because I'm the type of person that has to do something completely different for an hour in order to get back on track. I can't just work, work, work. This past week, it was certainly IMPOSSIBLE for me to watch Game of Thrones, but it was not the end of the world. By the end of the week, I knew I could afford to watch an episode or two and keep on working. Yes, we have to balance our time between WORK and PLAY, but sometimes we have to sacrifice play for success.
Who do I want to be?
I've talked about a lot of things right now, but essentially I'm trying to think about what type of person I want to be now and in the future. Do I want to be the FOLLOWER, the BOSS or the LEADER? Do I want to be the person that can BALANCE their time between WORK and PLAY or the one who leaves everything to the last minute? Do I want to be the person that knows when play has to be SACRIFICED for SUCCESS and knows when to REWARD themselves with play? Sometimes we need to be the follower. Sometimes we need to be the BOSS. Sometimes we need to be the LEADERS I assure you, being the leader is the hardest, but is definitely the most REWARDING Try, try, try with all your might to find the leader in you to GUIDE your crew. BE the person that can balance their time between work and play and BE that person that knows when to postpone play for success.
Now I ask you, who do YOU want to be?
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself"
This past weekend, I was off at Paracas with my family. Like always, it was just my mom, my dad and I; no extra help. We all had to lend a hand for cooking and cleaning up. We had just finished dinner on Friday night, and we were sitting at the table. My dad suddenly told me to get up, pick up the dishes, wash them as well as serve him a glass of water. All in a span of 30 seconds. Apparently I rolled my eyes pretty harshly at him and he laughed at me while saying "I'm just trying to make you take a little initiative".
These 10 little words stuck with me ever since.
Taking initiative has always been something hard for me to do. I get obvious tasks done, but going that extra step has never been in my nature. In all honesty, and without trying to sound spoiled, I pin-point this on my upbringing and on the fact that I always had someone to look after me, whether it was my mom or a nanny or a maid. However, being a part of the IA has really pushed me to try to take more initiative in my day-to-day.
In the IA, I'm constantly surrounded by people that are going the extra mile for the good of everyone and they make me want to strive for more. However, I don't see beyond the obvious and it takes me longer to figure out something to do. I also have the mentality that the more stuff I find for myself to do, the less efficient I become, simply because I feel like I'm digging for more work rather than just doing what's on the surface. This may or may not be true. And as a lazy person, I'm always trying to make my tasks as efficient as possible.
Those 10 little words were still haunting me and I didn't know what else to do apart from washing the dishes.
As the lazy person I am, I'm always trying to find excuses to not move, to be stagnant. Staying in bed for 5 more minutes. Sitting at the dinner table, waiting for someone else to take the initiative to was the dishes. However, after this past weekend I'm scared of what my future has in store for me. If I don't take initiative to complete a task as simple as washing the dishes, who knows what my future kitchen will look like. If I don't take initiative to clean my room and have everything in order, who knows what my future room, or even house will look like.
Taking initiative is something that we have to do in our daily life. It's something that if we're not used doing it from the start, it's going to be next to impossible to figure out when we're older. What I've come to realize as I try to take more initiative, is to just stop and look around you for a minute, just see what everyone else is doing. By seeing this, you get a chance to see what is not being done and do them yourself
Those 10 little words were hanging over my head all weekend long, but as I finished my breakfast this morning and started to wash the dirty dishes, I found myself deliberately looking for more dirty dishes I could add to my pile. It might not seem like a huge task or a huge change, but small changes lead to constant changes.
Even if we might not realize it, we're constantly changing through life. Ever since we are little, we're constantly being asked what we aspire to, what we want to be when we grow up. One day we want to be an astronaut, the next a famous singer, and the day after that a doctor. This goes on to high school, but now there's a difference: we have to choose what it will be.
I remember when we were the excited but scared sophomores that were choosing courses for the next TWO YEARS OF OUR LIVES. At that point in my academic life, I was dying to become a doctor, more specifically a surgeon. Deep down, I knew I wanted to take the IA rather than the IB, but after talking to one of my then role-models that was studying psychology, I decided to do the IB and take courses that I knew I would need for med school, regardless of it being around SIX YEARS AWAY.
The start of second semester junior year came along and I knew I had made a terrible decision. I felt that I had become a robot: wake up, go to school, sit in a class, go back home, study, sleep, repeat. But I was a robot that was suffering from loss of energy and motivation who's engine was about to sputter and die. However, the end of junior year marked one of the biggest changes of my life to date: the switch to the IA.
This change made me realize that the choices I want to make in life, for the most part, should be based on me at that moment, what motivates me and what I truly want. I didn't need to take HL psych, bio and chem in order to become a doctor. I could take any route I wanted to in order to get to my goal. There was nothing set in stone. However, my dream changed too and it's one of the many changes that will happen in my life.
Many people I know are going off to college knowing what they want to study, and most of them have known for the longest time. However, I also know many people who have no idea what they want to do. For them it's kind of like jumping into the unknown. They might say they're interested in something and are going to try to pursue it in college. When college comes around, they end up changing and changing, getting to a point where they don't even know what they're aiming for anymore. It suddenly hits them that they have to declare a major, and they just declare what they're studying at that moment, probably without ever feeling extremely passionate about it.
However, there is no set course to follow in life. There are no rules saying that the courses you have to study in high school need to be linked to what you want to study. There is not set rule that you can't take a gap year or that you HAVE to stick to what you applied to college for. There isn't even a rule that says you have to go to college.
I was reading DD's blog from last week and I say Corey's comment that was asking if college was more important than experience. This immediately made me think of my brother Pepe who was enrolled in Hampshire College but decided to take the semester off. However, the short time that he was in college, what he most valued and enjoyed was working in the blacksmith shop and creating pieces for his car. This is what I consider experience over everything else. He now plans on taking a car drawing course for a month in Italy and then a composite materials course in Rhode Island, which makes him employable once it finishes. He didn't use to have a plan, now he has one for about 8 months and I haven't seen him much happier than this before. Pepe is my prime example of taking the unconventional route to get to his final destination.
In the end, we should have a plan, we should have a goal, a dream, job but we're constantly changing. Nothing is set in stone and we can take any route we want in order to get to our final destination. We should have an idea of what we want to aspire to be, but who's to say that that will never change.
It's my favorite time in the semester again! Feedback sessions.
For me, these sessions are probably one of the hardest things we do in the IA, regardless, they are one of my favorites. Why? Because I get to step back and think about how each and every one in the IA is doing, what they excel at, but most importantly what they can improve on. And I also love to hear what everybody has to say about everybody else!
This semester, I've been very happy with the feedback that I've been given. Let me start with English.
I'm always surprised when we talk about my writing, because I have never considered myself a strong writer. Apart from enjoying writing research papers, I never really liked writing, let alone thought I was a strong writer. However, every feedback session, I've been told that I am, that I have few grammar errors and that I have a clear voice. Apart from that, my writing is fluid and strong as well as impacting. One other point that I didn't think was my strength was using strong vocab and finding the right time to add new vocab. Regardless, this was something that I thought I needed to improve on.
Last December, we had to present our POL's and I'm extremely surprised and pleased as to how that went. I have always been one to suffer from stage-fright when I was not being backed up by any sort of music or being accompanied by other people. This time I was pleasantly surprised that I was excited rather than nervous before going on stage and I presented poised and composed, something that I didn't know I could do.
One thing I do know, and which was pointed out to me, is that I am an engaged and very fast reader.
Regardless of my strengths, we all have weaknesses and mine are recurring. One, that I have to play with my writing and not make it so squared. All my life I have enjoyed writing research papers but not really stories or anything of the sort. This is where I believe my squareness comes from. Second of all, when I talk, I happen to have a really strong voice which can sometimes offend people, so I have to tone it down and soften it up when I talk. These two are points that I was told last semester as well. Even though I have been working on them, they are the two things that I consider the hardest and I've been constantly trying to improve.
When it comes to business, I feel like I've improved a lot compared to last semester. I made the decision to join Karen for Habla Roosevelt rather than staying on working on the food truck/cart because I knew that my time would be more valuably spent there. This was a huge change in responsibility for me because I knew that there were a lot more things to get done, and a lot more people that were going to be affected if something with the program didn't work out.
I've taken more initiative and I've put myself in charge of more tasks but at the same time, I started to lose my sense of responsibility and I was letting slide some of my tasks, meaning that I wasn't staying on top of them like I should have. Don't get me wrong, I would complete them, but at the last minute, something that I should not be doing.
However, one of my points of improvement for English--having a very strong voice when I talk--is one of my strong points for business. Regarding English, this was seen as something that I have to tone down, but for the business aspect of life, it is concrete and useful. Also, something I value greatly in the IA is the amount of teamwork that goes on and this semester I've had a lot of that because I was working so closely with Karen. One last point, is that I feel that I've grown immensely this semester because I had to interact so much more with experts than I had before. We had to have meetings with different admin at school as well as interview teachers for the Habla Roosevelt positions, things I had never done before. However, they're pretty useful skills to have for life.
Media has made me learn something about myself of extreme importance--although now that I come to this realization, it seems kind of obvious.
When I'm really interested in something or I feel very proud of something that I'm doing or get very excited about it, I will share my work as much as possible. The reason why I started to become more active on Twitter is because I was on it a lot more to share pictures of my donuts. This time I spend on Twitter is not only spent sharing my own work, but also retweeting classmates work and things I find interesting. It's definitely a habit that I want to develop because it's a great way to showcase beautiful work and showcase ourselves.
These feedback sessions have made me come to some realizations. One, seeing as English was my strongest point last semester, I didn't work as hard as I should have in order to improve what I needed to from last semester. Two, I've taken more initiative for certain tasks and left some behind. Three, when I'm extremely proud or excited about something--Glazed--I'm a lot more like to start tweeting out my things and using media to sell my products.
Most importantly of all, sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves and what we're doing, that we don't take the time to zoom in and analyze ourselves and we don't zoom out and let people constructively criticize us.
These opportunities are not meant to bring us down, but to help us grow.
One of the things I most vividly remember from the National Student Leadership Conference (NSCL) I attended in Washington DC. a couple of years ago, was something that Dr. Marfuggi said: visionaries are people who turn their dreams into reality. From that moment on, it never left my head and I became determined to become a visionary.
While sitting in class last Tuesday discussing about how we would present our final thesis project, Designing our Life, we were torn between presenting our final plan to an audience of our classmates and families, just our classmates, or not presenting at all. However, although we didn't come to a final decision, we did come to an agreement that sharing your dreams helps you accomplish your goals because you start to be held accountable for them.
As soon as this was said, I thought of Glazed. I had always wanted to start a baking business but never knew what niche I wanted to be in. I was always interested in cupcakes but that wasn't a new market. Then there was gluten free food, but that market was going to be way harder to break because it's not as desirable. After stumbling upon a Buzzfeed article on the deliciousness of donuts, I immediately knew I wanted to sell donuts. There was no way of not doing it.
My point is, that I've come to some difficulties which have hindered my ability to sell: not finding a vanilla recipe that I feel is good enough or not finding satisfactory boxes to package my products in or taking the magic of Facebook for granted and thinking that my page would have a lot more likes or my closest friend believing that it would not work out and constantly try to change my mind about it.
Regardless of those struggles and setbacks, I had already spread the word. I had sent out my Facebook page to my friends and shared pictures on Instragam. There was no turning back now. I wasn't holding myself accountable as much as other people were. Now, I've gotten to a point where my classmates are constantly asking me when I'm going to start selling and as soon as I do, they'll place their order. There really is no turning back.
For our final thesis, we knew that if we presented, we were a lot more likely to follow our plan and accomplish our goals but somehow this project felt a lot more personal and not just another POL or TedTalk.
NSCL was a conference in leadership in Health and Public Medicine and at that point in my life, I had my heart set on becoming a surgeon. That August I started the IB and had chosen courses based on what I wanted to study rather than what I really wanted to do. After my worst year in school, I realized that medicine was not the right track for me at that moment. A year later, as I was looking for different schools to apply to, I came across a major that really interested me: international studies. My brain got to work and I knew that this was what I wanted to do, and as I was looking for internships, I thought that focusing on health was what I was most interested on. So I came around full circle.
Sometimes we lose sight of our goals as we get caught up in the moment and we get knocked down struggle after struggle. Or it might just be that we have too many dreams, becoming overwhelmed by them, we lose perspective and end up not being able to realize any of them. Sometimes it's necessary to change paths and directions for a short while, accomplish other things or find other goals, and you never know, it might take you back to your original starting point because sometimes, we are meant to come around full circle.
SAAC is known as being a competition, and when people hear you're going to one, they say their goodbyes with "good luck". True, the vast majority of SAAC events are competitions between various schools in South America, but this particular one is different. Just in case you don't know what SAAC is, it's an acronym for South American Activities Conference, and reunites schools from Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Brasil, Uruguay, and of course Peru. Usually, SAAC revolves around a sport such as basketball, soccer, volleyball or swimming. However, this one is different.
I present SAAC Fine Arts.
This is the one SAAC event, where instead of competing against each other, we work together to create music, drama plays or art. After weeks, or even months, of rehearsing songs, polishing plays, and perfecting art pieces, six schools come together to put different pieces together. In my past experiences, and regarding the choir ONLY, we had been very unprepared. Rehearsals were a lot more tedious, where each part from each song was revised separately multiple times in the attempt of getting it perfect at the concert. However, this time there was a more professional feeling in the air (although the overall feeling in Chile last year was a lot nicer, but that's not very relevant).
At the first rehearsal, we went over the songs so smoothly, that I was starting to feel like the songs were so much easier than previous years. But this is a lie! We were singing songs in Quechua, and a Zimbabwen anti-drinking song from the Shona people. Everything was done with no lyrics and most included intricate clapping or snapping rhythm sections--and believe me, it's hard to clap and sing and dance, as well as trying to remember the lyrics of a song in Shona dialect.
What I love about singing in the SAAC choir, is the opportunity to practice in our home countries and come together to put a full on concert in just 3 days. Every time I come back from one of the festivals, I feel like I strengthen my weaknesses, and work on my strengths, especially now because we don't have a functioning choir at school. This lack of choir, did make me realize that I was losing my ability to sight-read music, match pitch as well as harmonize, all things I consider my strengths, and I was none other than distraught. However, I felt that this year I was surrounded by great people, who are even greater musicians, and was in good hands that could help out whenever I was stuck.
As my fourth year of participation began, I still felt that buzz for meeting new people I had felt waaaay back when I was a freshman, and am I glad I did. This year, I made a bigger effort to talk to people I had met the previous years and made sure that I had a way of keeping in touch with them, unlike previous years where I only kept to my Roosevelt crew.
But, the most important thing I got out of this years festival is that music is like a machine, and each part has to be well oiled in order for the machine to work properly. As we had all previously rehearsed the songs in our home countries way before the festival, when the time for SAAC came around, we just had to put the pieces together and fine-tune the machine.
I dream of donuts, the IA dreams of smoothies and Jiro dreams of sushi. We all dream of food, in very similar but also very different ways.
Just a quick recap, Jiro Ono is the owner of Sukiyashabi Jiro, the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo, and probably in the world. Although his restaurant has won 3 Michelin stars, he does not conform. Jiro literally dreams of sushi. He dreams of new things, as well as classic dishes, and how to improve them. Jiro is probably the most hard-working person I have ever heard of. As I said before, he doesn't conform, and it's all for the best.
Jiro was kicked out of his house when he was in 1st grade and had to survive on his own, because there was no going back home. But this made him what he is today. As the world's best sushi chef, he is always trying to improve; he's at what everyone considers the top, but he knows he can still climb even higher.
As I start Glazed, my donut company, I'm constantly trying out new recipes. I want to have three recipes before I start selling, but after trying so many, I have only finalized one. Why is this? Everyone who has tried the other recipes have loved them, but I can't find myself putting them on my menu because they're not good enough. If they're not good enough for me, then they're not good enough to sell.
I like to think that just like Jiro, I don't conform.
As soon as the documentary was playing, I could find parallels between Jiro and BlendZ. For one, Jiro has everything systematized to the T, where everything runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. That's where we're trying to be. We're trying to implement systems to our company so we can pass it down to the next owners being as efficient as possible. Just like Jiro passing the restaurant to his oldest son.
Jiro was constantly saying "always try to elevate your craft" and, whether this is sushi, food, school or work, that's what we should always want to achieve. We should always want to improve, for yourself and for the people around you.
March 6th, Karen and I made a decision which ended with bad consequences. We messed up, and when we went to own up to it, we were greeted with "you can't make decisions based on assumptions." At that moment of extreme guilt I agreed, but there was something about that phrase that wouldn't go away; those seven words kept nagging at me, stuck at the back of my head. I had agreed with them in the moment, but I started to question them later that day.
Was that RIGHT? Can I really NOT make decisions based on assumptions?
It did not feel correct.
I started to reflect back on the the year in the IA and things that we had done based mostly on assumptions. Our business pitches, one of our first assignments, were based almost 100% on assumptions. According to Pedro, people would gladly welcome an on-campus importing store; DD believed that fro-yo would be an awesome asset to the campus; Babi and Stangl believed that smoothies would hit the spot. These were ideas created based on assumptions from talking with a couple of friends and hearing their opinions on what our school needed. Although a couple of people were not the whole school and not the complete target audience, they were good enough to assume that smoothies were what we wanted. Low and behold, BlendZ was born, and it has become very successful.
Recently, I also made the decision to start my own donut business: Glazed Donut Co. This was a decision made because I don't like the donuts that Dunkin Donuts sells and supposed I wasn't the only one. Before I even had finalized recipes and figured out prices, I was already excitingly posting pictures on Instagram and Facebook of my donuts, gaging the reactions and excitement from my peers aka my target audience. Since the reactions were positive and excitement high, I created a Facebook page. In just a day and a half, I had reached almost 100 likes (I honestly wasn't expecting this). Again, this was based on the assumption that there were people like me that didn't like Dunking Donuts and would gladly welcome am alternative to them.
But let's go back to when Karen and I messed up.
We explained our situation and agreed to present the following Friday what we had skipped out on the previous one.
This time, we were greeted with an excited 9th grade class and not the mocking jeers that the juniors had received us with, a positive start to our brief presentation. We switched up our speech and I tried to make it more exciting. This time it was a reminder that Habla Roosevelt was starting the day after, we needed volunteers who wanted to spend six Saturday mornings of the semester teaching English and that it was going to be fun, rewarding and a learning experience, celebrated with fun activities on the last day of classes.
This time, there was more interest and the atmosphere felt more positive and alert. As soon as one hand came up wanting a paper with more information, so did several more. In the end, yes, we messed up and skipped on something that we shouldn't have, giving off the wrong kind of energy and vibe that we wanted Habla Roosevelt to have. But in the end, it wasn't all negative.
Making decisions based on assumptions can have both its positive and negative reactions, but when executed perfectly, there is no reason as to why those choices have to end negatively.
We're taking some stuff for granted this semester.
A week before starting school, the Habla Roosevelt team had a meeting in which we scheduled dates as to when we were going to start and how everything was going to work out. We planned everything as if we already had volunteers and more than one teacher that would be working but that was not the case. We were also working around the fact that we though getting volunteers would be as easy as 1, 2, 3 and everything would fall into place. But that wasn't the case.
We expected that recruiting volunteers would be easy and we would have plenty of students interested in joining us. But recruiting is hard, especially during summer when most all students are going to the beach and don't want to sacrifice their precious weekend to come to school. I talked in front of middle school and high school and in front of individual homerooms last week, as well as to individual students, but haven't been able to get past four interested people. In all honesty, it kind of feels like me talking to them has been in vain.
I feel that we are trying to hurry up Habla Roosevelt because we are so excited for it to happen and we want to start it ASAP. Our plan is to start March 14th, but it feels like we're starting without having a very good foundation: volunteers. At this point, there is absolutely no turning back because we've already made a promise to others, but we're going against the clock. Sometimes assumptions can be good and harmless, but sometimes, like this time, they are not so good and turn things frustrating.
As a pilot program, we definitely want to make sure that everything goes accordingly and without any problems, and we especially don't want to let the Habla Roosevelt students down, but by hurrying things up there is a chance that that might occur. We don't have many volunteers, but they were supposed to be the driving force behind the program. In an attempt to make Habla Roosevelt happen, we have sacrificed perfection and hurried things up.
It makes me wonder, are we hurrying things up too much?