Let’s Start at the Very Beginning: Uniting, so that We Can Unite

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~“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ~Margaret Mead

(Picture: from left to right, top row: Marie Salguero, Amanda Manley, Angela Palumbo, Gabby Scanga, Nathan Errett, Rob Vasinko, Lauren Miller.  Bottom row: Erica Gearhart, Breanna Wong, Greta Carroll, Matt Henderson, Hallie Geary, Alex Christoff.  Absent from picture is Kalie Mills)

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The 14 of us sat in silence, glancing around at each other, waiting.  Who would make the first move?  Who would make a suggestion for our Senior Seminar service project?  With a group of such diverse people, the dilemma of what to select was very real. 

I enrolled in Senior Seminar grudgingly.  All I knew about the class was from what the course description told me and what upper classman had whispered.  The course description told me that the class is, “A capstone seminar which provides students an opportunity to examine personal values in relationship to society. Students reflect on their discipline, pursuit of knowledge, and personal life philosophy.”  I couldn’t help but groan.  It sounded like one of those classes that you drag yourself to and write the papers for, just to get them done.  One of those required classes that I have to cram into my already hectic schedule.  The main question on my mind was, “Will this class be worth it?  Or will I spend the whole semester lamenting the loss of the class on the contemporary novel, I really wanted to take?”

Now, as I looked askance at my fellow classmates, I crossed my fingers and silently pleaded, “No one suggest anything ridiculous.”  As a class we need to do a service project, I wanted the service project to be something meaningful, yet not one out there in la-la land.  The choice of the class project is what would make or break the class.  If we picked something I didn’t like, I could kiss any chance of enjoyment of the class goodbye. 

So, the discussion began.  Suggestions were made.  I listened…and sometimes added my two cents.  I heard ideas that really inspired me and I heard some that didn’t so much.  Our list of ideas included: a day of silence, talking to seniors about their lives and making a website, an art scholarship for local youth, rounding up and spaying local cats, and an “Extreme Makeover” Greensburg edition.  By the end of class, it looked like we would be doing the Extreme Makeover project.

While at first this seemed like a great idea, after a little reflection, I soon found myself rewriting “The Night Before Christmas” with my own words…and they were not cheerful words.  I repeated to myself, “Twas the night before Senior Seminar, when disrupting my reading, visions of lawsuits and litigation danced through my head.”  I could just see it: I’m painting a wall when the unsteady ladder trembles and falls.  Blue paint speckles the piano behind me.  Meanwhile, Angela struggling with some electric cords gives a gasp, as she accidently puts the red and blue wires together and the power goes out. Lauren, in the bathroom, is fighting with the plumbing, when with a bang the pipe comes lose and water sprays everywhere.  The cheery old woman when we first came, turns into a fire breathing dragon as she sees her house fall to pieces as we “fix it.”

As the next morning dawned and I trudged to class, discussion began in earnest.  And what I saw happen, shocked and amazed me.  The class, as a whole, was willing to have honest discussions, make concessions, and take risks.  The class knew what they wanted.  We wanted to reach out to individuals in need, and help them increase in unity and awareness. 

As other classmates and I expressed our concerns, the idea slowly began to morph.  No longer was the little old lady snarling flames at me, she was smiling and appreciative.  We finally had came up with a unified idea—an idea we could all share in (including me!)  We decided we would come into someone’s life, form a relationship, blog about it, and help them as needed.

We determined that we wanted this “someone,” to be senior citizens.  We felt that there is a disconnection between college students and seniors (and the community as a whole).  We want to try to break this impasse, while doing what we can to help these seniors in whatever way possible.

We concurred that we wanted to partner with some other organization such as Westmoreland County Community Action or Meals on Wheels in order to have the most rapport with and make contact with the seniors. 

As we work towards getting the preliminary components of our project in order, we keep our criteria for the project in mind:
    -We will all work on the project together.
    - We will have impact on others that won’t end when we leave Seton Hill.
    - Our project will reflect our core values.
    - We will inspire, rather than just serve others.

These criteria are summarized well in our motto: Helping Hands Make Happy Hearts!  And we aim to do exactly that!


2 Comments

Looks like you've gotten off to a great start, with a narrative and photo that shows unity and dedication.

I love it! And I definitely would have ruined the plumbing, hahaha. :) The blog is looking great! The photo is really nice too.

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This page contains a single entry by GretaCarroll published on March 1, 2010 4:10 PM.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race is the next entry in this blog.

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