Earlier this month I decided to volunteer with a local literacy organization and I am finally, finally getting around to the actual volunteering. My first day on the “job” was working a field trip that came to the center for a Slam Poetry workshop.
I’m not a poet (and I don’t know it! Wow. My poetry is deep.)…
…and while some would say we all have a poets soul (I don’t know who would say this but let’s just go with it), I don’t necessarily agree. I’m no good with stanzas and pentameter and have no idea how to get other people to do it.
I wanted to get started though, and this was the only opportunity I had to finally get myself going, so I jumped in. I couldn’t help thinking that these poor kids are getting a faulty aide.
As I scoured my closet for something to wear, I had flashbacks to starting 6th grade. I changed outfits multiple times, not wanting to try to hard with these city kids or volunteers. This was too dressy, that was too casual. This made me look like I was trying to be too “urban”. Goodness gracious.
Having finally settled on something, I made my way downtown and then had to deal with the butterflies (that luckily are beginning to be less fluttery) of meeting new people. That of course went fine. The kids showed up and we got to work.
I actually found that I knew what I was doing somewhat. Or, at least, I had an idea of how to spark their own creative juices. It was pretty refreshing to realize that I do have a base of knowledge in something and am still good with kids. By the end all of the kids I was working with had written a poem and many that were nervous to volunteer at the beginning were raising their hands high. While I would never take complete credit for that, I like to think I had some small part through my encouragement.
But most importantly, and what will keep me going back for more, is how much fun it was. The kids were funny and smart and I’m always so awed to see them overcome a fear they have or a trepidation they may be experiencing. It never fails to inspire me to quit being so guarded and just try something new. I forgot how much I love working with them.