In my politics class, which is taught by Stefan Stawnychy, we have heavily focused on this year’s election. We have discussed various issues and each candidate’s take on them. When one chooses a candidate, they most likely have to agree with some of their stances on certain issues. In order to see the stances each candidate has on an issue, it is much better to see them side by side. One can see which stance they agree with better if they are put next to each other. Thus my politics class decided to do a project where we would present each candidate’s stance on the issues side-by-side. My partner, Kofi Hope-Gund, and I worked on the issues: the wall and LGTBQ rights. Through doing this I got to dive deep into both candidate’s campaigns and the way they presented their issues. I got to see some faults in both campaigns, as well as some good things. One very interesting thing that I found was that Trump does not list his stances on LGBTQ rights on his website. This is very concerning because this is a very important issue in our country and he does not even bother to address it. Hilary goes in to great detail on her stances on the issue. Overall, this project was very enriching for my knowledge of each of the campaigns and it led me to become much more engaged in the election.
I spent all of August in Hawaii and during that time I was teaching young kids how to play basketball. I taught them the basics of the game, I also trained them mentally and physically. I ran the basketball camp in my gated community, there was a lot of responsibility on my back this summer. I was left with 3 or 4 kids for 2 hours 3 times a week for a month. It was incredibly challenging to keep 7-10 year olds focused and engaged in my teaching. I tried new ways to make the kids not get bored every day, some methods worked some did not. The method that worked the best was to make the kids laugh and to not do fundamental drills for long. My patience was also being constantly tested by the kids, at the beginning my patience was bad but by the end it was amazing.
I got attached to some of the kids and I felt sad when they left. I honestly did have favorite kids and I treated them better than other kids. I will definitely try and not do this next summer because the kids who were not the favorites got upset occasionally. A lot of parents did not care about the basketball, they cared more about getting their kids off their hands for two hours. This annoyed me because my services are to teach basketball and train kids, not babysitting. Some of the kids had never touched a basketball before, which made it hard for me to do group drills because everyone was at such different skill levels. But, overall I had a wonderful time and it was an amazing experience.
In the month of August, I helped out with a kids day camp in Hawaii. The organization is called Kukio, it is a gated community, but it offers many day camps for kids. My friend and I were in charge of the basketball section, so twice a week we had a two hour session with about 12 kids ranging from 6-12 years old. During this time we helped the kids work on their mechanics and made sure they had the proper basketball fundamentals. As well as this, we taught them about good sportsmanship. We also had to take care of the kids, which was incredibly hard. The kids we taught were not very well behaved, but it helped me develop my patience. Through experiencing teaching a group of kids for the first time, it made me understand how hard it is to be a good teacher. This gave me a lot of sympathy for teachers who have to deal with a large group of young kids who find it hard to listen. I also developed a good connection to some of the kids that I taught, they listened to my teaching, and thoroughly enjoyed the camp. When the children listened and had fun, it created a great environment. But when they were misbehaving and not paying any attention to me, it created a pretty bad environment. Overall, I had a great time teaching these kids, and I learned a lot from them. Hopefully next time I go out and teach basketball I will be better and all the kids will listen to me.
For my social issue I chose child abuse, I visited the Jane Barker child Advocacy Center. The Center is located in Brooklyn, it is quite hidden, and hard to find. My attitude towards child abuse changed in several ways. One way it changed was towards my sensitivity of child abuse. By doing research it made me realize the negative magnitude of child abuse, and the ways it impacts New York City. This motivated me to work harder for the children, and how the Advocacy Center can improve. Before researching child abuse I did not think of it as such a burden on the community ; now I realize the importance of helping end child abuse.
There are many ways I will try and stay engaged in the social issue of child abuse. One way I will stay engaged is through occasionly checking on the child advocacy center’s progress. I will try and visit the center again in the near future. If I donate to any charity through the money I earn I will definitely donate to the child advocacy center. I am also trying to persuade my dad to donate money to the center as well as other places. My mother was abused as a child, and as well as researching this project ; child abuse holds a special place in my heart.