This is the reason for my long absence. 273 AmeriCorps Volunteers completed their 10 months of full-time service three weeks ago with City Year Los Angeles. 288 fresh idealists will arrive in a month and therefore the last two months of my life has be dedicated to preparation in the form of training content design and revision, logistics, and carrolling busy people to get the answers I need to keep moving forward. I am currently in the process of orchestrating how to ensure 30 of our staff members are prepared to facilitate daily for two weeks.
I am at the point where I work until I decide to get into bed, it is midnight and feel that it should be eight so that I could have four more hours before it be midnight. I need to be on a planet that revolves on it’s axis 10 times slower. It’s my new wish, sorry world peace move on over, expediency has taken priority.
The birthplace of all my content design has been from the idea of active citizenship to build greater democracy- the premise of City Year. Truman, upon leaving his presidency said, “I’m not leaving the highest office in the land. I am assuming the highest office, that of a citizen.” Which of course, resonates with me. I believe the individual is most powerful in their daily decisions. So, I get to support idealist young adults who make the remarkable decision to give 10 months of their lives to serve in under resourced schools and I help them make connections. Connections of social justice to education, of daily work over time to impact, and to their recollections of influential people in their lives that they didn’t know were influential at the time to who they are now to the students they work with. I help them remember to take a step back when a kid is manipulating them or hurting their feelings to the see the kid’s behavior as a result of their experience with people not them specifically- trust me my friend, the kid does not know you well enough to hate you in that way, that is what the kid has learned to do to survive.
So, I take idealistic people with a heart of service and ask them to be amazing for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 10 months. It is only fair that I work long hours for them for a few months. I did just eat a bagel with pizza sauce, which tells you I am tired or lazy or hate grocery shopping- really it’s all three.