April 2018

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NL #28: Do the best you can in the time you have

NL #28: Today was fun. I sat in a room with a couple of other adults, and we figured out how to provide college scholarships to a bunch of graduating seniors. Ann and I created a scholarship, "The World Citizen Scholarship," to which lots of folks who attended our wedding contributed. We are able to give four Muslim girls, each a refugee from Somalia, half of their first semester tuition at community college. As a group, the three of us in this room were also able to be creative so that we could distribute funds from other scholarships to help support another eight students going to college. Very exciting.

Yesterday I worked in the school's computer lab with about twelve students, mostly students who have immigrated to the US from other countries, to help them complete the application. Each of those students hopes to attend college, many to begin in a community college and then transfer to a four-year university. In some cases, college is also their parents' dream of a new life for their children. In others, girls struggle between a US concept that college and career can be for them and their parents' culture, which values girls who stay home to care for the younger children.

I don't get to work directly with students a lot now. I work more with their teachers, and I love that, too, but yesterday I experienced again the frenzy of working with teenagers when they don't understand something that they want to understand. Some slid out from under the radar, dodging me and avoiding facing what they did not understand, while others moved increasingly into my personal space to insist on the help they needed.

I wish I could send all of those students, those who didn't show up, those who avoided me and those who pressed for help, to college. If I had more money, that's what I'd do. Maybe you have more money, and you could do that. For now I'm remembering the mantra of the late Paul Raymond, a founder of Ann's school with whom I shared a room in the intensive care unit after my brain surgery: "Do the best you can in the time you have." It's a good mantra.


1 comment:

  1. That is a good mantra for sure. And good work with the scholarships, Mary. Interesting to note the different approaches of the students to things unknown/not understood. I think I do both of those things, too, depending on mood.


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