Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Struggle is Real

So, before I jump straight into the happenings of today, I would like to address the new phone game Pokemon Go. Simply put, it's a GPS based, augmented reality game where you try to capture little animals with special abilities, Pokemon. This game was introduced very recently, and has made quite the splash already. But more on that later.

The struggle is real when it comes time to wake up from that excellent deep sleep. The struggle is so real, in fact, that sometimes you just accidentally show up as the last one to breakfast. I'll make no excuses here. Anyways, following breakfast we had class for the first time today. As usual with first classes, we played plenty of games to get to know each other. Let's see if I can remember some of the names I learned: gregarious Greg, jolly J, energetic Emerson, enthusiastic Edward, jumping Jahnvi, sophisticated Shelby, rad Rachel, magic Mohammed...I can't recall the rest. There are exactly sixteen students in the class, with only five boys. I found this funny because the tables were turned from last summer, where I took a class with almost twenty students, and only three girls. 
Doing an activity; we had to bridge soda cans with limited supplies.

Jahnvi and Rachel working on a toy
One of the highlights of today's class was assembling a toy car toddlers can ride in, which we will later be modifying. After we finished putting on the sticker decals for our proud plastic Lightning McQueen, we had to write a reflection on what kind of children would not be able to speed around in the 2 mph car, as well as modifications we wanted to make it. I had no idea what to write, prompting a miniature crisis as I realized the lack of exposure I've had to the conditions of the disabled. I know nothing about them, what causes their conditions, their day-to-day struggles...nothing. And without knowledge of that, I can't do anything for anyone; engineers need to know a problem before they can find a solution. Luckily, we'll be going to a local treatment center to meet some children tomorrow, so I can gather some firsthand experience straightaway.

After class was our Arete class, basically a miniature, week-long, hour-daily course for a random subject. I was placed into a course called Sleight-of-Hand Magic, which I thoroughly enjoyed. We learned various magic techniques; while this kind of destroyed the 'magic' behind it, it was also nice knowing that we would be able to provide that 'magic' now to someone else.

If you're thinking that the scavenger hunt we had after dinner was fun, I'm sorry, but you're wrong. That sounded harsh, but I didn't really have a good time. Remember Pokemon Go? Everyone in my group played that for the entire time we were out - a good two hours. I was appalled that no one wanted to try at all, but didn't say anything about it.

Tomorrow's our class's first field trip, so I hope that I can learn some of the conditions that disabled children endure...I'm actually quite curious...

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