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This week consisted of preparation and more preparation of our own lesson plans, as well as the curriculum from Girl’s Inc. We gathered materials for CSI week, which I am most excited for. We planned the whole scene and I think the girls will certainly enjoy attempting to solve the mystery. We also bought all our supplies for our own lesson plans, and my partner and I developed a model of our lung which is a great activity for the students to learn more about the respiratory system. I am anxious and excited to teach the girls, and I hope that they can gain a lot from this experience as I am.

Yesterday was our college panel, where we talked with all the girls about our college experience and it made me reflect on my time here at Duke. I am entering my junior year, and most of my friends have already decided which field they are pursuing or what career they want to go into. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to still be unsure, but I hope that going into junior year I will have a clearer mind and a better preparation of what is next to come. As they asked me questions about dorm life and the college application process, I remember the struggle I went through applying for college. I tried to impart important advice that would be beneficial to them, and it made me proud when they thanked me for my suggestions. I think that this is a great opportunity for them to start thinking about college because I did not have panels or discussions like this. I had set my sights on attending the best UC, and did not care too much about other schools. Some of the girls, though, are ready to leave California and go out-of-state for university, which is an amazing choice and are already considering the majors that they offer. One of the girls has their mind set on a prestigious university outside California, which I think is great. Though I never had the thought of going to an out-of-state college, I think that my experience at Duke has been very rewarding and enriching. I have met great people and the campus offers exceptional opportunities for research and engage, much like this program itself. Being across the country has given me independence and I cherish this freedom dearly, learning to make responsible decisions for myself especially.

One of the goals I have for myself here is to check off a few things of my bucket list here in Southern California. I think that learning more about the history of the place that we are in is a better way to understand the culture and the people here. Thus, I am very excited to visit the Mission San Juan Capistrano tomorrow as I know that missionaries have played a large influence on immigrants here in California.