5th week into DukeEngage, 2nd week into Eureka!. Things started to settle now. I have gotten use to the 6:30 wake up and the hour long commute. Don’t get me wrong; I still don’t like it. But the routine has become a part of me now. If I were asked to do this for another 8 weeks, I wouldn’t be grudging as much as I started.
I’m so surprised how close you can get with the girls. The first few days, they won’t even try to interact with you, especially the younger ones. Give them a few more days, they will open themselves up to you at such a fast speed. They will start with telling you about the ups and downs of the day to the ups and downs of their life. Some may just confess their love to K-pop band; others may confess the hardship they would have to go through in their normal life. During training we were told that some of the girls do go through a lot of hard times, but hearing that in real life to real girls really hits me hard. I lose my words and my head goes blank. I’m not sure what I can say to them to help or is there even anything that I can say that will help. I have lived such a different life from the girls that anything I say might just sound alien. I try to show empathy, but will that show to be superficial?
This week, I classroom managed one of the classes for College Bound. Once in a while, the main facilitator will shift the attention to me to explain my college application process and college life at Duke. The class has a mixture of girls who has a set goals for college, girls who are starting to learn about college, and girls who haven’t thought of college yet. If the class has planted some thoughts and knowledge of college the the girls’ heads, that is a success (these girls are still in middle school, so really, this is pretty early for them). After our last class, one of the girls came up to me and asked, “Lisa, is Duke really a great college?” I chuckled a little, since I asked the same exact question when I was applying to Duke. Is Duke really a great college? I only knew the answer to it once I started attending Duke. I hope the girls will also go see college for themselves