I want to spend my last journal really reflecting on my CSL experience. I intend to volunteer next semester, Monday- Thursday. I mentioned some things in journal #9 that I have noticed through my CSL time, but I would like to go even more into depth. I developed deeper relationships with so many of the children during my CSL time. I know all their names now. Like Dr. Erchull said, the children do get attached and they expect you to be there. I never experienced that until this past Monday. I couldn’t go to Homework Club because I had my mentor meeting, but I did go to boys group. One of the girls yelled at me as she was leaving Homework Club. She said, “You weren’t here. And I was waiting for you. And you didn’t come.” When I went inside and told the supervisor I was sorry I didn’t make it, she said it was okay and told me she had a hard time with the same girl who yelled at me because she refused to do her homework because she was waiting for me. It was the first time in my life I had ever really considered how planning my day and not letting others know affected others. I’m not use to that.
I think this experience helped me because it’s helping me mature more as an adult. Now I try to make a conscious effort to think about other people in my life too and how my absence may upset them. I didn’t realize that even though I was helping others, that the people I wasn’t helping were affected too.
I also have a greater appreciation for the children, as well as my own life. I believe I have mentioned this already, but I really do value my life more now and notice that my circumstances are not the same as other people. I love that Heritage Park is a community. It’s extremely interdependent and I love being part of a community. I am, by no means, in the group, but I do think I would like to do more communal things because of my CSL experience. As I said, I am going back. Overall, I had an amazing, sometimes challenging, experience with Heritage Park this semester.