CSL #8 November 11, 2009
I would like to say that I am the kind of person who truly cares about everyone and their feelings. Living in the city I had never seen so many homeless people in my life. A lot of people find them to be scary, or they cross the street just to avoid walking past them. I find it amusing watching people and how they react to homeless people. Last year walking to work I made friends with a homeless guy named Archie. He was unlike the stereotypical homeless man. He doesn’t do drugs and he is extremely religious. He believes that what happens to him is what God wants for him. I really enjoyed talking to Archie and even though he would kind of hit on me, it was in a respectful way and not in a creepy way. He would always try to scrape together as much change as possible and come into the sub shop where I worked and get a #3 totally tuna with sauce, then he would get a lemonade and he was happy as a clam. Thanking all of us and chatting away, sometimes you couldn’t understand what he was saying but he had such a big smile on his face that it really didn’t matter because he was really happy. It was because of Archie that when I heard that I could volunteer at the Uptown Men’s Homeless Shelter, I knew that was the place I had to go to. I was warned on several occasions that I shouldn’t go there. My boyfriend thought it was a horrible idea just because he didn’t like the idea of me going there alone. My parents were supportive but didn’t want me going alone. Luckily my first day I met Glenn who is a big black guy who also goes to Johnson & Wales and he offered to walk back with me. Having a big black guy walking with a little white girl was amusing to me. None of the guys on the street tried to “holler at me”; instead they would say what’s up to Glenn like he was super cool cause he was with me. A bunch of the homeless men would ask me if he was my boyfriend and I was like, no only a friend but I have a boyfriend so sorry. This experience started off with me watching pasta boil in water. The first day everyone seemed to crowd around me to make sure I was doing everything right, this was funny to me, how could I possible mess up boiling pasta. I don’t know if it was just that they were trying to make sure I was doing it right or that they were just trying to be around me so that I would talk to them. The second option seems more like the reason. Everyone working in there kept coming up to me because I was the only girl in the kitchen and they loved the fact that I was going to a culinary school. The first day of service I really got to see how the homeless men were, I had to go out into the cafeteria area and bring them more to drink. One man asked me to fill up his cup a little bit, so I did and that started a chain reaction of people asking me to keep filling up their cups. When I walked back into the kitchen for another bottle the guys in there told me not to pour cups for them, tell them that “I am not a waitress and that they can pour themselves”. Well that sounded mean to me but I decided to go with it and I got a bunch of laughs. They all found it hilarious and kept repeating it to each other and laughing hysterically. So it was from that point on that I knew that they could take some jokes. This made the experience at the Uptown Homeless Shelter amazing. Every day that I was there I would eat the lunch that I prepared for the day; this really helped me to see what these homeless men were getting to experience. It also made it easier on me because that was a free meal for me too. The first day there wasn’t much food but it seemed as time went on that more and more places began donating food. Harris Teeter started offering desserts to the shelter and that was really exciting because I got to have cheesecake! Which is one of my weaknesses. I knew that if I was this excited about having desserts that the homeless men must have been really excited also. Not all times were fun and games though, there were times when random men would come into the kitchen and start fights with other guys. I felt very protective of the guys I knew from the kitchen and I didn’t like having these other guys come in here and start fights. Most of them ended quickly thank goodness, just bickers about who knows what. As I continued to come back the jobs I was given got more and more advanced. One day I actually got to fry up all the fish that was getting served to the homeless men. I knew that day that this place trusted me and I really liked that feeling.
Overall I feel as though this was a great opportunity for me to partake in. I really enjoyed everything that I got to do and I never dreaded a single day of this community service. In fact I even volunteered to continue to go as many times as I possibly can. From this experience I have learned a lot about myself. I have the ability to make people happy. I have the ability to make people feel good, making and serving lunch to a bunch of homeless men has been one of the best volunteer opportunities I have ever experienced. They are all so appreciative of what I am doing, I hear thank you about 1000 times a day when I am there. It is really funny sometimes because they try to compete for my attention by trying to be the last person to say thank you to me. I have also learned a lot about my community. I have learned that Charlotte is full of homeless people, people who want to help them, and people who want to just ignore them. Homeless people are still people, they have still lived there life and no one knows what they have been through in their life to make them get to the point that they are at. I learned that head person of Charlotte doesn’t like dealing with the issue of Homelessness and that he would rather ignore it than address the issue. There are multiple reasons why he wouldn’t want to address this issue, one maybe because it would bring in more homeless people who are seeking help. Then that makes me think about all cities, and what they are doing to help homeless people.
I have contributed a lot to my community service site. Every day I brought with me a-good personality. I have made a lot of people happy. I have been thanked a lot by everyone and told that they would love for me to keep coming back. It seemed as though everyone loved having me around.
I haven’t really had any values, opinions, or beliefs that have changed from this experience. I have always had an opened mind about other people. I think one thing may be that not all homeless people have always been homeless. I didn’t realize how many actually graduated from college but then had a rough patch in their life that brought them to being homeless.
I learned that people who may be homeless weren’t always destined to fail; a lot use to have a family, use to have a life, graduated from college, and had a career. Seems really scary how this can happen. I believe that others should have a more open mind like I do, not all homeless people are bad, not all are going to spend what u give them on drugs and other things, and they are very appreciative. I feel like I had a great impact on the homeless shelter. I cracked jokes with a bunch of different men every day. They also learned how much I love hot sauce when they saw me dipping everything into hot sauce, even spicy chips. I made a lot of friends too. Everyone at the homeless shelter really enjoyed having me there; they didn’t want my community service to end. I think the major impact I had on the community is making people who don’t normally get any attention happy. I met another homeless man who chills on a bench at a bus stop near where I live. He always tells me and my roommate how pretty we are and uses different pick-up lines on us every day. One day I cracked a joke on him and he was not expecting that and it made him feel really good, I gave him a good laugh. I say hi to him every day and it’s good because he doesn’t try to follow me around or anything, he is very respectful even though I get hit on by all the homeless men I meet. I have gotten use to it though.
CSL 7 November 3, 2009
So I have finished volunteering at the homeless shelter. I have thoroughly enjoyed working there and hanging out with all the people that go there and work in the kitchen with me. I was supposed to be going in today and helping out even though my hours were done but because of a car accident I’m not going to be able to work or do anything for a little while. I really want to continue volunteering at the shelter; I won’t be able to when i start back up with labs because I’ll be in class or working when I am able to go help out.
All the people there really appreciate my help and I feel bad having to leave them because I know they really like seeing me come in every Tuesday. They always ask me when the next time I am coming in and always give me free bus ride passes so I can make it home safe when my friend Glenn has to leave early.
The homeless shelter has really been a great experience for me, I really like going here. My other volunteer opportunity was nowhere near as fun as this one. At the other place i volunteer i really don’t feel appreciated for my help. They do thank me for coming everyday but it just doesn’t really seem very genuine. Mainly because everyone at the uptown shelter smiles, waves, thanks me like 1000 times for what I do. I feel like a celebrity every time I go there which really makes me feel appreciated like what I am doing really matters.
I am really glad that my English teacher required us to do volunteering. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get all my time in and I would fail my class. Then I realized that this has actually been a lot of fun and that I want to continue volunteering at the homeless shelter.
CSL 6 October 28, 2009
Today was the last day of my volunteering at the Uptown Mens Homeless Shelter. I definitely am going to continue volunteering there as much as possible because i really enjoy it. It seems like the shelter has been getting more and more help from other organizations donating food to them. The have been getting a lot of desserts and sweets from Harris Teeter, food that is actually good too. The first day it seemed like they didn’t get that much food and we had to do small portions. Today i was able to give people heaping portions and even more when they got to come up for seconds. I was thanked about a thousand times by the homeless men about the food and how much they enjoyed it. Even as i was leaving they were all so thankful for having me come in and serve them.
This volunteer opportunity has been a blast and i really love it. I haven’t had a very good experience at the other volunteer site that i have been going to. The other place is called Friendship Trays and i cook food for elderly people. This organization donates food on occasion to the shelter and i had to let the executive chef know about some of the unsafe practices going on at Friendship Trays. I loved how concerned he was about the health and safety of the homeless men. The fact that he cared about giving them the best meal he could possibly give them for free and making sure that the food will not get anyone there sick means that he really cares about what he is doing at the shelter. I am planning on emailing the lady in charge of the volunteer services at the shelter and seeing if i can keep volunteering as long as possible at the shelter, i have become attached and really like seeing the familiar faces of the people there. I also love feeling like i did a good service for them.
CSL #5 October 25, 2009
I am really enjoying working at the homeless shelter in uptown. Everyone is super friendly and they all know my name. Slowly but surely they are trusting me more and allowing me to do more and more important jobs. Last time I got to be in charge of frying up all the fish for the main dishes for lunch. I really enjoy working on the line and serving all the homeless men. I feel extremely appreciated every time I go to the homeless shelter because they all say thanks you and tell me how much they love that I cook for them. Last time I went into the shelter my friend Glenn who walks home with me had to leave early, everyone at the shelter kept asking me if I would be okay to walk home by myself and some other guys gave me a free bus pass so that I could ride the bus home and be safe. I also had a bunch of homeless men ask me if they could walk me back but I said I would be alright. I really like working at the homeless shelter and I think I’m going to continue to do it for as long as possible. It sucks though because as soon as I get into labs I won’t be able to volunteer there in the kitchen. The executive chef that works in the kitchen realized that this next time is going to be my last time coming in and volunteering. He keeps joking around saying that I actually have 10 more visits left because he wants me to keep coming in. Everyone at the shelter tries to be my friend and they always high five me and do cool hand shakes. This experience has been one that I have thoroughly enjoyed thus far.
reading journal entry (#8) Aunt Ida Pieces a Quilt by Melvin Dixion October 17, 2009
This article brought me back to elementary school when we use to talk about quilt making to keep memories. Reading the background information for this article, it kind of made me sad because this poem was about a man who got aids and died in the hospital. The poem starts off saying, “They brought me some of his clothes. The hospital gown,” immediately I knew that the man who these clothes belonged to had just died. I have never had to deal with a close relative dying, but I have had friends and I know how these people must feel. Ida the speaker is an avid quilt maker so she decides to take all of what reminds her of him, like his clothes and other items, and make them into a quilt for Junie, who is the man that died. She discusses her old memories of Junie and how he was pretty crazy but religiously went to church every Sunday and would sing his heart out in front of everyone there. Everyone really loved and cared about him. I thought it was great that Ida decided to make a quilt for him with all the memories for him. People talked about putting it up in the church as a memorial type thing but Ida strongly believed that quilts needed to be used not just hung up somewhere.
I don’t know anyone who makes a lot of quilts or sews, but I really like making scrap books, and collages for different things. I really like keeping memories so that you can look back on them later on in life. This story/poem has actually inspired me to make something out of old clothes or scrap pieces of things so that I can remember things too. Instead of a quilt I may try making a purse or something really useful.
The author of this paper wrote about Sex Education in schools. From reading this article I am definitely convinced that abstinence only sex education is not the best education for children and teenagers. I already strongly agreed with this topic before I read it however the author did a good job backing up their thoughts with good supporting evidence. I belief that the sources that the author used provided a credible background so the facts definitely seem possible. The sources that the author uses really builds on their ethos and makes the reader not question any of the facts and statistics. The author believes that abstinence only sex education is not the best education; this is clearly stated in his/her paper. I believe that the author backs up his or her claim with good solid facts, information and sources. Her sources are believable one reason because they use a source from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). I wouldn’t question any information that that organization has. The author does say that abstinence should be taught in school; however other information needs to be provided from the parents. Nothing really in this paper seemed convincing, maybe because I have a slight bias in agreeing on this topic. Overall I believe that the author stated his or her claim, and supported it with good evidence. This article pertained to ethos, pathos, and logos when it tied in the supporting details. I definitely support this author’s claim; it is true that young teens shouldn’t have to learn about sex from reality shows and dramas. A lot of parents are uncomfortable with this topic so schools should be teaching this, especially if they already teach some sex education. Why not make the kids fully informed? Wouldn’t this make for a lot less accidents from children and teens when it comes to having sex?