Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Volunteering Episode III: Revenge of the Brits (?)

January 27, 2011 · No Comments

Ok, so the Star Wars jokes as titles are getting stale quickly, and making less sense. I going to need to come up with a new idea in the near future.

As you may have realized, it was significantly colder outside than it has been in previous days. The temperature made the beginning of today’s walk to the Centre a little less fun than normal. Luckily, amazingly, Duane, the club’s leader, was stopped at an intersection at the same time I was walking up to it, cutting my journey in half. So I made it there a little early. This allowed me a chance to warm up and get a cup of coffee, of which my consumption has gone down dramatically from last semester. I also got talking to the son of one of the helpers, who must around eight, about the Lego Indiana Jones video game. For those of you that even only vague-ly know me, you will know that I was legitimately invested in this conversation about both the Lego video games series(ranging from Harry Potter to Star Wars) and the Indiana Jones trilogy (the fourth one doesn’t exist) It is comforting to know that those pop culture milestones I grew up with, and were around well before me, are still attracting the attention of the next generation in a different country.

Image obtained from http://indianajones.lego.com/en-US/videogame/default.aspx

Tonight’s club was much like last week’s club. We played dodgeball for the first half and the new game described last week for the last half hour. Once again, not much conversation to be had. Also once again, I do not think any of the kids were particularly interested in conversation. A small group of them had brought along Post It Notes at the beginning to write “Kick Me” on them and put them on people’s backs. I think they even realized how lame this was about a minute in, so it didn’t cause any real problem. All in all, it was an average night.

One thing that did catch my attention this week was when one kid initially refused to play anything. He was told that he could leave if he wanted to, and in typical 11/12-year-old fashion he went “I will leave then,” took a step in the one direction, and then changed his mind and joined the game. There was not much to this moment, but it did get me thinking, much along the same lines as last week . The kid COULD leave anytime he wants, as he is not there as a result of anyone making him be there, and if he were not there he would simply be playing in the town without anyone seemingly knowing where he was. It brings to mind how potentially little structure is in some of their lives, that they at the age of 11 could go wherever they pleased on a Thursday night.  It also makes you realize the sense of community this one-hour-a-week club brings to them. Had he left, all of his friends would have still been at the club playing dodgeball. This fact is probably what prevented him from leaving. While this is way more thought than he gave it, its interesting to think that, in some way, he chose to be part of the community rather than play the game he wanted.

Volunteered on 27/01/2011

From 18:00-20:00

2 Hours: Total of 6 Hours

New Hope Christian Centre

Supervisor: Duane Elkins

Categories: 2010 Andrew
Tagged: , ,

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