January 24th, 2017: Relationships

Day 2 in the Classrooms at DLSBS, read more here...
 3:00PM My Day with the Fourth Grade
The fourth grade is a challenging task for a teacher, even more so for two immersion students without any teaching experience. We go through the typical elementary school day, with Reading, Math, Science, and PE. It is our job to assist the kids, not give them answers. It’s my job to challenge the kids, so that they can grow as students and good young people. I have come to learn that since many of the kids in the 4th grade lacked formal prior education, they had a very basic reading level. This caused Jake and I to help the students with basic reading tasks, such as reading a chapter book to them or helping them to spell basic words. However, the kids themselves could not be more accepting of Jake and I. Since the kids live in such a difficult environment outside of the halls of DLSBS (things like substance abuse, high mortality rates in their families, etc) they do not receive a lot of positive attention at home. For some of them, school is the only bright part about their day. Some of my students go home to tragic home situations like families that have been plagued by abuse and death. It’s really amazing to me that these kids still show up to school in the morning at all, much less come in with a good attitude and want to learn. I have learned so much from the kids, and I have only been in the classroom for two days. I am excited to finish my week with the fourth grade ~ Cole
6:00PM Glacier National Park
Our snow-shoe hike through Glacier National Park was amazing.  It was honestly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  It is one of those places that made me feel nothing but pure awe.  The beauty of this place made me forget about the small, stupid things back home that give me stress. It made me realize that just going to nature is really all I need to clear my mind.  One reason why I wanted to come on this trip was to strengthen my faith life.  I feel that recently it has suffered.  After today, I realize God’s presence in nature.  Sure it is clear to see God’s presence in beautiful snow-covered mountains, but after today I have realized that God is present in simple things I see every day back home like trees. A new change in myself that I noticed today is that while we were hiking, I didn’t quickly reach for my phone to document everything I saw.  Don’t worry mom, I still took pictures, but I could have cared less.  I just honestly don’t care if other people know what I’m doing so long as I am getting a lot out of my own experiences. – Stephen
9:00PM Strength of Purpose
Our discussions every night are very fulfilling and interesting, and I find that I learn something new and interesting about every person at the table before each night has ended. Last night’s discussion was especially fruitful because between our first day as immersion assistants at DLSBS and a few… blunders by almost everyone present (including my unfortunate episode that confused an industrial fridge and a freezer), there was plenty to talk about. Basically, I put all our lunches into the freezer at school instead of the fridge and only realized the error when we went to get our frozen sandwiches!.  Our focus words for the discussion were Spirit and Prayer, and one of our questions to think about and discuss was “How can you improve your prayer life?”. One of the conclusions that I came to was that prayer becomes far more intense, meaningful, and passionate if you find new causes or people to pray for and incorporate them into your thoughts and prayers. After further conversation, we refined this idea to that of intentionality or purposefulness, an idea that is useful in all areas of life. Many things that I saw and experienced yesterday, including our discussions with the LaSallian Volunteers and everyone working at the school, taught me that some of the most crucial and successful causes are led by people who are intentional about their work, people who are driven to devote countless hours of their time to causes that they care about. The staff of DLSBS is so caring and intentional about everything that they do at the school, and, to me, that intentionality and passion for their work is why they are increasingly successful against such overpowering and seemingly hopeless problems. ~ Andrew