ME:First Assignment

From: Mercedes Monaco
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Date: 04 Oct 1996
Time: 20:39:56


I became interested in this course when I learned of the opportunity to work with kids at Barrios Unidos. I am very interested in agencys/organizations that serve th community. My dream all along has been to serve my community. As I near graduation, I've been questioning what that really means. What does it mean to serve a community? How can I do that? How can Psychology be a part of that? How can I prepare myself? This class will hopefully either directly or indirectly help me to answer those questions. This practicum seems wonderful because children will be benefitting while we learn. I'm interested in this simultaneous learning process. Education is often though of as a one way learning process. Actually I believe that education is more successful when bothe the student AND the tutor/teacher/helper look at the experience as a learning process. I am very excited that we will be working with Barrios Unidos in particular. I like their goals and purpose. They are a wonderful example of an organization reaching out to a specific community successfully. The Chicano/Latino community is treated very poorly in this area (most areas I suppose). Its good to see something positive being given to the community. I was concerned before going for our first day with the kids that I do not speak Spanish. I was afraid that I would have difficulty helping the kids, and just speaking with them. But, despite the fact that I have only taken one quarter of Spanish, I felt like it went good. The kids, even the really little ones, have done a much better job learning English than I have learning Spanish. This of course, bring up a lot of issues that will be interesting to look at in the course. The idea of how language plays into learning; how cultural differences may hinder the helper/tutor/teacher (in all settings: with us and at their schools). There are so many ways we can go in looking at our experience in this practicum. I'm excited.