Friday, April 8, 2016

Reasons 2B Cheerful - Students Past And Present

This wall at my college used to be painted plain white. It's a walkway between two buildings. It was so nothing special, it was actually boring. Then one day we stepped out between the two buildings and saw this. I don't think there was one person who didn't exclaim in delight at the transformation. I'd quite like to do this on my balcony.

Many of the high achools here have a policy whereby all students are required to do a certain number of hours of volunteering throughout the year. It can be a weekly commitment where you're a youth club leader, visiting people who appreciate visits, or a regular helper to people who need help. It can be environmental work at the botanical gardens or at the zoo, at the dog pound or charity work. Or it can be finding short term or one off projects that together make up your hours.

Whilst working at the Yedidya Bazaar last Sunday, at about 1pm four teenage girls walked in. The lady in charge had gone home for a well deserved rest and even though there was another lady there who was much more involved in the whole thing than I was, I suddenly became the designated stand-in leader. Always happens to me, I call it a type-v personality. And it's definitely inheritted.

Me: We don't open until 4pm.
Girls: We're from Reut High School and we've come to work. We can stay till 10pm.

OMG, those girls were amazing. The night shift had pretty much unpacked and arranged everything by the time they left late on Saturday night but by the time we arrived on Sunday morning, people had dropped off loads more bags and boxes of donations. and it was still coming in. We were beginning to think that we'd just have to leave some of it till day 2. However, I showed the girls the mountain of stuff that had to be dealt with and they ploughed through it. By 3pm there was nothing left in bags.

Later someone told me that there had been eight girls from Pelech High School who had helped them sort the night before wih similar results.

When I left on Sunday at just before 4pm, before the doors opened, the tables were piled high with clothes. You can imagine what state the tables were in by the end of the evening after over 3,000 items had been sold. When I returned on Monday I saw that those girls had stayed after the doors closed to the public at 9pm and had refolded every table so that it was neat and appealing for Day 2.

They also had some fun matching whole outfits together on hangers and displaying them. It was amazing to see an ensemble of jeans, white t-shirt, bergundy cardigan and a blue and burgundy scarf artfully arranged and on sale for 8nis (about 1.50 GBP) for the whole outfit.

Many married students cover their hair similar to this. (example)
Whilst sitting and working at college yesterday a married student (the headscarf gave it away) came to speak to me. She explained that she is a second year student (which makes her about 22 or 23 years old, having done at least 2 years of national service after school) and she'd like to enroll in my summer course. Her "problem" is that she's expecting a baby at the beginning of September so she might not be able to finish the course by the due date.

I looked at this student and was confused. I teach first year students and third year students but I recognized this girl. "How do I know you?" I asked. "When I was a little girl you taught my best friend privately in her house and I used to be there a lot." I was amazed. I taught her friend in First Grade so that was about 17 years ago. And here she was, a married lady expecting her first child. (I assume it's her first, I didn't ask so it could be her second).

Not only do I remember this girl but I remember her mother and that I taught her older brother in school. The older brother, then about 9 years old, was a very "independent" boy (read between the lines). I asked after him and she told me that he's now studying Law at university. Just goes to show. And an encouraging message for anyone with an "independent" 9 year old.

I'm linking up to R2BC over at Lakes Single Mum.


  1. What wonderful girls. Love those tiles it lifts the place. How wonderful to see the young people growing up even if it makes us feel old!

    1. Funnily enough I didn't feel old, I just felt like she'd caught me up and we were two adults together.

  2. Beautiful tiles, wonderful helpers, and that elaborate headscarf looks wonderful!

    1. Yes yes and yes. I tried doing that headscarf thing once but failed. I think they put something inside to keep its shape.