Link: Project Cicero
In early March, Friends Seminary hosted book drives to be sent to Cicero. I spearheaded the sorting of these books during my frees for a week and a half and if I remember correctly I sorted 40 boxes with a total of 2000 books. A good amount of people commented on how they always saw me working on the boxes when they passed by, which would’ve gotten annoying if I didn’t enjoy the sorting. After the books were sorted in the boxes, they were sent to Hotel Pennsylvania for further sorting. We headed over on Friday March 8th and Sunday March 10th to Hotel Pennsylvania and sorted books from the many, many boxes into more detailed sections than the sections I had to sort by (eg. Chapter books were a section which would’ve been in my Fiction section).
My legs were pretty tired by the end of these sessions after standing for hours on end, but I didn’t mind. Doing Project Cicero didn’t cause a euphoria of emotion, but it was pleasant to do along with the knowledge that teachers would need me to do this job well; getting to see the teachers picking up books also felt nice. I’m probably going to continue to volunteer at Project Cicero… at least as long as I don’t have to sort any more of those Minecraft guide books.
Hey it’s Nic and in US History 11 we organized a tour for children in the GO Project. I say we because it was SUPPOSED to be a group project, but uhh….. yeah. I researched Social Activism in the area of Greenwich village and planned out a tour starting at Cooper Union. Looking from the map, it looks like it took like five minutes to make, but in reality it took me searching through ~30 articles and 2 databases to get everything I needed, most of which I had to discard for swiftness in the tour. I got to the GO project on a Saturday along with the other tour guides, kids were assigned into our groups, and soon we headed out. Unfortunately, the tour did not go over as well as I had hoped: the girls stayed in the back listening to music with the other two tour guides while the boys were with me in the far front, and they were… well we can just leave it at disrespectable can’t we :). I can’t blame them, I wouldn’t care about a tour based on Social Activism, but I wished they at least ignored me instead of harassing me. Honestly, the GOproject kids, at least the ones I were with, were horrible menaces and I would never give a tour for them again. I left halfway through after being screamed at the boys, being asked constantly off-topic questions while I’m speaking, fighting/screaming at one another, and poking my chest while saying “fatty fat fat”. So yeah, not a great experience. I’m sure that the circumstances just had me either getting the worse kids, them being really moody, or something, as I would hate to generalize all GO project kids based on those, but man, if you’re going to do the GO project, you must be as a castle.
Here’s the map of the tour:
On March Sixth, I went on over with several people from Friends Seminary to Hotel Pennsylvania near the Flatiron District to participate in Project Cicero in order to sort used books from massive piles into differing categories to supply libraries in Public Schools, homeless shelters and other unappreciated areas. I felt a connection to this service event because I enjoy reading a good book every now and then, but when I was younger and in another school, which was public, our library would have essentially no books aside from Encyclopedias and a few other books that were either boring, or for earlier readers. So with this event, hopefully I was able to help better a few teacher’s libraries, and help to encourage young people to read fascinating books. I found that looking through the thousands of books and placing them in their respective cardboard boxes was relaxing, and if I was ever confused on a book’s categorization, several veterans of the organization were eager to help. While I cannot directly see the benefit of Project Cicero’s distribution of books to Public School teachers, I have confidence that somewhere, my efforts helped to make a difference for the better, while in other events I did not feel as though I was making a difference in my community. I also enjoyed being surrounded by fellow classmates, and I hope that Friends Seminary will organize more of these groups that travel to a service event, as this group event felt much more rewarding than other out-of-school service events. I will most definitely be attending next year’s Project Cicero event, and will encourage classmates to join in as well.
Reflection of YPI Project
Our group researched the social issue of educating the homeless and impoverished teenagers of New York City. We worked with the Door, a non-profit that seeks to educate, shelter and provide medical and psychological care for the many homeless and poor teenagers of New York City. My attitude towards the educating the social issue at the start of the project was I did not think that social issue was a problem to New York. My family is middle class and we live in a middle class neighborhood, thus I have had no prior knowledge of the vast amounts of teenagers who are homeless and did not finish their education. However, after the site visit to the Door I realized how many teenagers require help with the many things I take for granted, such as a roof over my head.
The project was not easy, even with five people working on it at once: the presentation had to be engaging and require the audience to have some thought over the weight of the issue. While educating the homeless is important, I thought after seeing the Gems presentation that our’s simply wasn’t as important as theirs, which mentally affected how I approached the project. However, the most difficult part of the YPI project was the attempt to stop thinking of the assignment as a grade, but as helping the non-profit and educating others of our social issue. The fear of failing the project outweighed the reward of teaching others about a social issue and a non-profit that can help with that issue. Combined with every other challenge accompanied with the project, the YPI project was difficult and effortful.