Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Edgewood College Visit Day 2

It is the end of Day 2 of Edgewood's College visit and I think we are all exhausted (but in a good way) at this point. The first thing we did was listen to a college admissions counselor on what it takes to get into college. What was really great was that the college admissions counselor who came from Edgewood was African-American and grew up on the south side of Chicago. She kept emphasizing that there were lots of scholarships out there for kids in their situation and there is absolutely no excuse when it comes to paying for college. I really hoped the kids were listening (it was early still) because I think she will be a great resource for them.
This morning, we also did several activities at Cabrini Connections, including an activity about obstacles where we blindfolded the kids and they had to guide themselves along a rope and where obstacles were placed in front of them. The point was to show the kids that even though they had obstacles placed in front of them, they could never let go of the rope. The kids understood the activity pretty quickly but did not seem to be as involved as they were in the next activity.
The next activity we did was a combination of charades and pictionary where two students who were on different teams picked a job out of a hat and either had to act out the job or draw it. Once the kids guessed what the job was, the Edgewood people would read a description of what you need in order to qualify for the job. The most interesting part was when the job of police officer came up and the kids listed skills necessary for the job as being: aggression, willingness to kill, etc. The Edgewood College people emphasized that there are good cops and bad cops and that a good cop is not aggressive and does not kill unless he or she absolutely has to. I found this to be especially interesting because I felt it really demonstrated how the police force are viewed in these kids' communities as something negative while they really should be viewed as a positive force there to protect them, rather than hurting them.
After lunch, we boarded a bus to Navy Pier. I think the kids had a good time on the Ferris Wheel, although I wish our visit there could have been longer. After Navy Pier, we walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art, where we got free admission. I was a little disappointed in the Edgewood College people loudly commenting on how "weird" the art was, because I think the kids were finding it interesting and besides, it's good for them to be exposed to new things like modern art. The main exhibit was on contemporary art in Mexico and I think a lot of topics explored in the art were really meaningful to the kids, especially certain works that were influenced by the issue of gang violence. Again, I wished we had stayed longer because I think these kids need, and deserve to have as much exposure to these kinds of things as possible.
Like yesterday, today was very successful and I truly feel that our students at Cabrini Connections are lucky to have people like those from Edgewood College come and open up new worlds to them.

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