Summer has arrived; trust me, the temperatures show it. It has been over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit, of course) most days this week. I'm pretty sure it is in the low 40s in Celsius degrees. = HOT! And that's in the afternoon!
I decided to spend my first month of summer the American way; being busy. Yup, here they don't just "hang out". That is viewed as boring and as a waste of time. Also, most parents are still working, so kids can't just stay at home all day and do nothing. Therefore, pretty much everyone gets involved with something; summer school, summer jobs, volunteering, camps and other fun stuff like that.
Summer school? - you might think. Yes, summer school. I don't know about public school, but it is quite popular at Westminster. If you take a class during the summer, for.. 6 weeks I would say, then you don't have to take it during the year. And who wouldn't want some room in their schedule for a free period or some kind of art class, music class and such? A few of my friends are doing "Marine Biology" these weeks, as the junior science class is Biology. They study fish, yeah, but they get to go to Hawaii for a week to go look at these fish in real life! Nice, huh?
Personally, I had no reason to do summer school, I can't work because of my student visa and camp? No. Not enough time for that. Soooo, I decided to volunteer! Yay!
There is a program at school for inner-city kids (several programs actually, buuuuuuut...) that are not as privileged as Westminster kids, that go to public schools with a lot of trouble and trouble kids, and that get to go spend their days at Westminster, in stead of staying at home and getting into some kind of stupid stuff. This program is called Odyssey, and it isfor Elementary school kids and Junior High kids.
Elementary school kids are with volunteers all day. I'm not too sure about what they do.. Coloring, playing.. stuff like that I guess.
Junior high kids (rising 6th-8th graders) have themed classes in the morning, at Westminster, with Westminster teachers.
THEN it is time for Odyssey Adventure, the part I am volunteering for. It goes from 3pm to 5pm and we basically just play and do activities with the kids. There are quite a lot of volunteers (all Wesminster kids), and also a couple of friends of mine that are doing it. Excitiiiing! :)
I really enjoy working with these kids - my 7th grade girls, because I get to see another "culture" and I get to understand how it is not to be at Westminster and in Buckhead. It's crazy how different life can be for people just a few miles away.
Of course, sometimes they are hard to handle because they are NOT Westminster kids, and they are not used to this kind of supervision. Also, I don't think they are used to having people expect things from them. Odyssey is a quest for college. We have to give these kids hope and motivation to continue their education, because it IS possible.
Did I mention that this program is free for these kids, and sponsored by donors? Go America and all their donation-obsession!
I could go on about Odyssey for a long time, but I won't. Not now at least :)
If you want to read more about the program, you can read about it here.
Besides all of this Odyssey business, I have been an extra in a movie! This movie called "The Blind Side" is scheduled to come out at my grade's graduations, in 2011. A senior that graduated this year, Hampton Fluker, has an important role in this movie about football, whichs cast includes Sandra Bullock. Yep!
But Hampton was not enough Westminster for them, because they also decided to use our beautiful campus for some scenes!
They asked students to sign up for roles such as cheerleaders, football managers, crowd members, and even football players! Of course, I thought I would sign up too! They called me back about being a football manager and such, so I was super excited. I thought it would be SUPER fun to get to see how movies were made! But a few days later, they called and told me that they couldn't use me as I didn't have an American social security number, and because of that wasn't covered byt their insurance. Great.
Despite that failure, I decided to go hang out in the crowd last night, open to whoever wanted to join. A lot of random people showed up, simply because they could get paid 100$ per night (from 8pm to 6 am). It was weird seeing all these non-Westminster people on campus...
But yeah, I joined the crowd. It was fun. They moved us around several times, and finally we were on. We had to cheer, but silently. So fun. It looked crazy! It was like being in a movie, but in real life. It had a great time! And it was really cool to see how it works. Nothing is random. Some people were asked to walk from here to there, and asked to stand up when this and that happened, to walk out, to walk in, to sit down, and all that kind of stuff. To make it look real, I suppose.
I had a lot of friends that were cheerleaders, so when we had breaks, I went to hang out with them, until the people called us to "reset", and we filmed the scene 4-5 times. Then they had to change the light settings, move the cameras, practice the scene witht he football players and all. So there would be like 30-40 minutes with that, where I would go hang out with the cheerleaders again. And then more filming. It went on and on all night.
I left at 12.40 though. It would have been fun to stay all night.
They are filming again tonight, and Sandra Bullock is going to be there. I don't know if I want to go though.. Hmm.. I'll think about it.
Agnes' mom and mom's cousing arrived, so now everything is in Catalan at home! I don't understand anything. But that's cool.
I hope y'all are well!