19 January 2011

turn back the clock

This day started out on a low note because something relatively terrible happened. My iPod is broken. At least I thought it was. So I was really mad and depressed because I use my iPod everyday. But this morning I went to a party for National French Honors Society and that turned things around. The cool thing was that there was a big drink station with a chocolate fountain and a coffee guy who made cool drinks. He was actually the dad of some girl who graduated from our school a few years ago and right now she is on a plane going to study abroad for a year in France!
The nice man made me an amazing hot chocoloate with 2 giant squirts of chocolate from the fountain and it was amazing! And then we had a gift exchange (because this was supposed to be before Christmas), whre I was hoping I wouldn't get something dumb. My mom bought a $15 iTunes card for it, and I was hoping to get something good. And luckily I got an iTnes gift card - but not my own! I'm so glad someone else did something really nice. My friend, on the other hand, got a piggy bank. Some other kid got a box of jelly beans. Whoop-dee-doo. I was lucky. So after that, I volunteered to work at the elective fair tonight since they needed volnteers. It's for "rising freshmen", as they say, so that they can learn about the cool non-required classes to take in high school. We had to go anyway, since my sister will soon enter the fishbowl of high school. So I decided to volunteer so I could get credit since I failed to complete all the points for the last semester.
So after a day of madness at school, I went to visit my favorite teacher ever, from last year. I went with my friend, and we ended up talking for so long that I missed the bus and had to sit outside in the cold to wait for my mommy to come.
SO that night I had to volunteer for the fair. When I got to school, I found the French booth and I saw my friends there so they could get points too. It actually turned out to be pretty fun. We talked to parents and students about French, we talked about high school (a topic I know all too well), and we got to exert our powers as upperclassmen. That does a number to your self esteem.
And the whole time, while I was still somewhat resentful about taking French again this year, I realized how great my French "career" in high school has been. We recounted stories of times in French 2 and 3 honors, and all the fun and not so fun things we did. We became like a community.
And we got to help other people out as they figure out the ropes of high school. It was fun to be a leader, a mentor, for these little soon-to-be-middle-school-grads and to see how happy the parent were to find out information about the program. I talked to one mom for almost twenty minutes about classes and schedules. And I knew she really appreicated it. One mom even commenetd that our booth was so informative and eloqent (well, I added the eloquent part). I was helping real people who were at a somewhat difficult stage in life - the first year of high school. I mean, I wasn't building wells in Africa, but I was helping people who needed advice. That feels good.
And I wasn't really doing it to get points, or a checkmark on the list of thigns to do. Because that isn't what community service is about, and I don't like that this is what it has become.
It doesn't have to be that way. If you live life in a carefree and compassionate way, you won't need a service log to remind you that you have done good. Remember when people would help other people looking for nothing in return? Let's turn back the clock and bring back that same attitude.

*I apologize for misspellings, the spell check is not working and I can't catch all my typos. Sorry!*

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