Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Easter Time at the Cathedral!

May 8th, 2011 · No Comments

For the last portion of my volunteer hours I decided to have a change of scenery and volunteer down at the Norwich Cathedral for the Easter festivities. Again my volunteer hours included small children. This was my first time actually visiting the inside of the Cathedral. To my surprise the Cathedral’s interior  appeared to be much more enormous than its  exterior. But just like every Cathedral I have visited in England there were dead people and monuments where ever you looked and stepped. I guess some things don’t change. For the volunteer services I was assigned the arts and crafts table. I predict they knew of my quality background with the Brownies. The arts and crafts table consisted of making Easter Baskets for the egg hunt, Easter Card making, coloring, Jesus fortuneteller making, Easter word searches. Luckily both days I had help from Jess and Sheila one of the nicest older persons I’ve met in Norwich . Together the three of us were able to handle the multitude of families that came our way.

The days were long from 10 am to 2pm. However, unlike the Brownie pact the Cathedral seemed a lot more organized in their event coordination, especially when taking into consideration the amount of people that arrived. In addition, unlike my Brownie pack there was a lot more diversity in the people who visited. The truth is the Brownie pack costs money, which many working class families can’t afford making the pack itself very one dimensional. At the Cathedral in contrast I saw people of different economic backgrounds, races, and nationalities. It was refreshing in a sense to meet different people while simultaneously be scrutinized for my accent and complexion.

In my short time in the cathedral I also made a best friend of four, named Charlotte. She called me her best-friend because I told her the basket she made was the best even better than my own. My life is complete I have a best friend!

After coming home and reflecting on my experience in both the Brownies and the Cathedral I have convinced myself that a career with children is not for me. I have the highest respect for the adults who have the patience to work with children day in-and- out. I also have accepted that not joining the scouts back at home was possibly the best thing for me. And I have resolved that if I ever have kids not to make them participate in such things. Instead I think I will make them join football or Karate, something normal. The experience I have had in both locations and the things I have learned were completely unexpected but very valuable.

Supervisor: Julia Corbett

Volunteer Hrs on April 12th: 4hrs

Volunteer Hrs on April 13th: 4 hrs

Total Volunteer Hrs to date: 22hrs

Tags: 2010 Jamie

Easter with Strangers

May 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

My first day at the Cathedral (not in my official capacity of greeter), involved working with local children during an open day full of Easter activities.  I started by helping groups of kids make Easter baskets that they would later use to collect chocolate eggs in the herb garden.  I really enjoyed the experience for two reasons.  First, I love kids.  They crack me up and these were no exception.  Second, I love Easter.  This is the first year I have not celebrated Easter with either my family or friends.  At home we typically make a big to do about it – we go to church in the mornings, dye Easter eggs in the days leading up to Easter Sunday, and have what can only be described as epic Easter Baskets.   At Dickinson I get two Easters.  I celebrate one with my close friends (this typically involves eggs, baskets, and a home made brunch) and with the family I nanny for (Isabel, the little girl I watch, starts celebrating Easter weeks in advance with daily egg hunts).  I was a little disappointed to know that this year I would probably go to mass on my own and then come back to UEA.  Thus, being at the Cathedral and celebrating it with a multitude of very excited children absolutely made my day.

A few days before my morning at the Cathedral, Juliet Corbett had emailed me and asked if I minded doing something separate from my Dickinson colleagues.  She asked if I would work at the Garden of Gethsemane station where I would give a short speech to the children and then help them make clay models of what made them feel afraid.  The speech I gave discussed how Jesus must have felt alone and afraid in the Garden of Gethsemane when the disciples fell asleep the night he was arrested.  I was then supposed to ask the kids to tell me what made them feel afraid.  I had forgotten how original young children could be and I got answers ranging from spiders and school bullies to sausages.  What is scary about a sausage is beyond me, but it definitely made me smile.  By the time I closed up my station, even though it was not quite Easter and I was with total strangers, I felt like I had been party of a family celebration.

After everything was tidied up all of the volunteers for the day met with Juliet to talk about what we felt went well and what we thought could use improvement.  While I did not have any suggestions (I felt like the day had gone smoothly and that the kids seemed really happy), the open forum truly made me feel like part of the Cathedral community.  Even though there was a range of people we all had this common ground: we were there because we enjoyed the Cathedral community and spending time with children.

Date: 13 April 2011

Time: 10am-3pm

Hours: 5 / Total: 5

Supervisor:  Juliet Corbett

Tags: 2010 Amy · Churches and Cathedrals