Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November was a whirlwind of a month. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in New Orleans for the better part of the year. It doesn’t feel like any time has passed because it doesn’t feel as if there is any difference in the weather. It is still sunny and 70 almost every day. It is so baffling for me because growing up in Ohio, I’m used to November being in the 30s or 40s with a chance of snow half of the month. At the same time though, it is nice because I haven’t had to break out my winter coat yet.

I have continued with my volunteering a KIPP. For the better part of November, we have been helping to update their files for all of their students. While the work can be tedious, it is nice that there is a bunch of us working together.

In addition to working with KIPP, I have continued to work with the SPCA. They held an auction in mid-November calling Howling Success. This is an auction whose proceeds go to various programs put on the SPCA like the community clinic, which aids in spaying and neutering pets, and humane education. At the auction, I helped patrons with any questions they had about the silent auction items as well as how to place a bid. It was a great time and I definitely enjoy helping out with the SPCA.
It’s crazy that December is almost here, but with that bring Christmas and the new year. I am excited that I get a break from studying for a little while but it’s hard to believe that I am almost half way through the program. So, again, until next time – peace, love, and beignets.

November volunteer hours: 10

Total hours: 25.5 hours

December has been a blast. It finally is "cold" here which means that sometimes the weather is below 60 degrees. In the midst of preparing for the last round of exams, I continued to volunteer for KIPP. We continued to help pass out supplies, organize files, and even make giant Christmas trees to hang around the school. I'm glad that the semester is over and I can't wait to see what the spring brings!

December volunteer hours: 5
Total hours: 30,5 hours

Monday, October 31, 2016

October has definitely been one of my most fun months in New Orleans, and that's because I have finally started to step more outside of my comfort zone. I've gotten into a little bit of a routine and that helps out a lot as well.

I have continued my work at the KIPP schools, both the primary school and the high school. I really enjoy getting to work with the high school biology students and put my undergraduate and current grad school knowledge to work. With the primary school, we have continued to help out with administrative things that help the school run smoother. I like this work too because I understand the need to have the behind the scenes things be in order for the teachers and staff to get everything done that they need to. I also sat in on one of the primary school’s pep rallies and I thought that was pretty special. I'm definitely looking forward to finding other volunteering opportunities in the upcoming months as well.

I was able to travel some this month, back home to Ohio for a wedding, to Lake Charles (where the picture was taken)
and Hammond for some more Louisiana exposure. I loved that I was able to explore more places that just New Orleans, and it has definitely given me more of an appreciation for the South.

I’m excited to see what the last two months of 2016 bring for me in New Orleans, although I am excited to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Until next time – peace, love, and beignets.

Volunteer Hours in October: 4 

Total hours: 15.5 hours

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September has gone by with a blink of an eye. It seems that just yesterday it was Labor Day and I could still pretend that summer was still around. But alas, its almost time for my favorite season and some of my favorite things - jumping in piles of leaves and bonfires.

September might have been a whirlwind, but I continued my volunteering at KIPP. We've helped them out by continuing to organize parts of the media center and getting together materials for standardize testing. I also managed to fix the broken laminator with no prior knowledge, so that's definitely a small win for me!

Another thing we are starting is helping out at the KIPP high school down the road. We are helping out the freshman biology teacher with the labs the run on Fridays. This week I was helping the kids with graphing, independent vs. dependent variables, and testable vs. nontestable hypotheses. I had a good time and I can't wait to continue to help out with the class now and again.

I have also started to volunteer for the Louisiana SPCA. I love animals and volunteering with the SPCA is as close as I can get to adopting an animal right now. The SPCA had their biggest event this past weekend, Nola on Tap. This was a huge festival held in City Park with over 400 different vendors and 25,000+ festival goers. This event raises up to $250,000 for the SPCA so that they can continue to shelter and find homes for the animals of Louisiana.
Our roles for the day were to help take pictures of the event for the SPCA to use on their website and other social media sites potentially. I am excited to continue to help out with the SPCA in other capacities as well.

Until next time -- peace, love, and beignets.

Volunteer hours for September: 11.5 hours

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Volunteering at the school as continued to be a lot of fun. I love walking around the school and having all the kids wave at me; its hard to not to smile at them. Volunteering every Friday is definitely a great way to end the week.

This is a picture of the media center at KIPP. This is where we spend a lot of our time, doing various things like binding books or making copies so that all the kids can have a copy (also pictured below).

I am really excited to continue to work at the school and help the students and teachers have a great school year.

Volunteer Hours in August: 6.5 hours

Until next time -- Peace, Love, and Beignets

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Beginning

To say I was nervous to move to New Orleans by myself would be an understatement. I like to think of myself as a pretty independent person, but I've never lived more than 300 miles from home. But so far being 800 miles from home has been the best thing for me. I've had to get out and meet people and be social in a city that wasn't a college town.

However, New Orleans is the perfect city to do that in. I've lived in the Midwest my whole life and everyone there is very friendly and polite, but they don't hold a candle to the people of New Orleans. Getting out and finding things to do is so easy here, and you don't have to go for more than 5 minutes to find something else. Even in torrential downpours (which are surprisingly frequent) people are still out having a great time. 

I knew moving down here I wanted to experience what the city had to offer, but I also wanted to return the favor. Tulane is my vehicle for helping me to accomplish that goal. One of my deciding factors about the program was the community service aspect. Volunteering has always been something that I have been involved with and I'm glad its something I can continue while down here. 

My first volunteer experience was at KIPP Leadership Primary. I really wanted to go to KIPP because I've worked with kids for a long time, from being a camp counselor to working church events with K-8th graders. Since they just started we were going all around the school helping with logistical things, like handing out supplies and making bus posters for teachers. Working at the school brought be a little closer to home, and I am excited to see what I will get to do in the future with the school. In the mean time, I'm going to going to continue to eat my way around New Orleans.