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Archive for August, 2008

Well, I have been considering writing a review of Dancing in the Park, and event I attended in Chicago with my friend last week.  Although I have to say it was impressive, and a lot of work for everyone involved in the production, matters of a more personal nature have come to my attention.

On Monday I rode my bike to school (an activity I enjoy as well as the added benefits of exercise and gas savings) only to find that the tire had gone completely flat.  I called my sister and she came with a bike pump, but I am fairly sure the tire was (and is) beyond a simple repair.  We then attempted to push the bike into the trunk several different ways and after about 20 minutes of struggling finally managed to get it wedged into the back seat.  

However, we were by no means the masters of this feat.  A faculty member or fellow student (I am not sure which) offered to help us put the bike in the car, and then proceeded to make sure it happened.  Without her willingly given help, we would not have been able to fit the bike in.  

While this kind of incident (my bike flattening out) does not happen that often, an even rarer event occurred yesterday.  I locked the keys to the car in the trunk.  I had been compulsively checking all day to make sure I had my keys in hand before shutting the door, and the one time I simply made the assumption, I did not have them.

I followed the regular drill: call home, call dad, call sister.  Nothing worked, and on top of that my cell phone was telling me I needed more mintues.  I did have my wallet and house keys, but was a good 40 minutes away from home.  After attempting to trick the lock open with some other keys, I finally placed my head on the trunk in resignation when a voice called from behind “Are you ok?”.  A woman (who I found out was an RN) volunteered to help me find a police officer, and then volunteered to drive me home.  

While it is probably generally not the best idea to get into a stranger’s car, I really did not have any other option at that point (except maybe walking).  While we have been talking in my Multicultural Education class about the problems and benefits of making assumptions about people, I think this was definitely a time when my ability to judge another person came in handy.  I was able to correctly assume within a few seconds of talking with her that she had genuine concern and was a type of person I could trust.

With that said, my real point is the amazing kindness these two women showed me.  They saw that I had a need and without asking for anything in return they simply gave.  I am tired of feeling like a damsel in distress, but I think a great lesson can be leaned both about the compassion we should show to others and about the compassion God shows towards us.  Having received we need to give.  It is all too easy to pass up a person struggling (and there are situations where personal safety should come first) but I think acts of service, large or small, show both love for God and love for people.  Kindness within our circle of family and friends is expected (or it should be) but to give time and effort to a stranger is something special.  Volunteer organizations allow people to do this in structured ways, but God gives us opportunities to do this every day.  For the past two days I happened to be the receiver of service, but I hope that when an opportunity arises for me to give service, I will step up to the challenge and give of myself without asking for anything in return.

Laura R.

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Argentina Wrap Up

Well, I realize that I have perhaps left some of my readers in suspense about the success of my schooling in Argentina.  I did have many amazing experiences, but overall my purpose was to receive a satisfactory score on my CLEP Spanish Exam.  

I went to Triton College three days after arriving home, and took the exam.  It was a great success!  I scored 72 out of 80.  If I had not already received credits for Spanish, I would have had a total of 15 credits from this CLEP score.  As it was, I managed to get another 8 added on which created a total of 16 credits.  

I have decided to pursue a Spanish minor and take a middle school endorsement class, which means I will be able to teach Spanish to middle-schoolers.  I think this is a good fit for me.  I only need to take one more Spanish class, and then a class about teaching foreign languages.  

I am also in a Cultural Anthropology class this semester, which I think my time in another culture will help me out with.  

So, that is the end of my Argentina portion of this blog.

I hope to continue by describing other events in my life and by giving my opinion on the practice of Organization (and maybe a few other things).

Laura R.

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