My first level meeting was really great. I worked with Nick on some of his math and science homework. He was so sweet and since it was our first meeting we really got to know each other right away. He knows some of my friends, and I know some of his. Although by the end of our time together we had felt like we had looked at numbers and equations for hours, we were very productive together. One of the questions was to measure yourself in inches and then convert it to centimeters, as many of the problems were metric conversions. Initially we agreed to skip the question because Nick cannot really stand on his own but then after Matt helped to hold Nick up so he could complete the question. He was just so happy and it just shows that his physical disability does not prevent him from completing his work no matter the task; I could tell he was really interested in what we were doing and I loved fueling his enthusiasm and helping him get through it. Since he can’t write on his own I act as his hands as he reads the questions and we work through them together, his thoughts bouncing off mine and so on. I could definitely tell math was not his favorite subject but he is still so genuinely happy and interested in doing his work. I found that he’s just like me in that he is looking to learn from others and develop confidence among our peers and the community.
This experience was definitely different then prior ones I’ve had this past semester. I liked how its one on one and much more personal, rather than group activities. You really get a chance to contribute your help and to get to know someone, like Nick, that I never would have met before this. It reminded me of my experiences from high school. I worked one on one at a life skills school and made many resilient, special relationships throughout those four years. I’m excited to form new friendships and continue these amazing and touching experiences.
I know after each time Nick will get more and more comfortable with me and we will be able to get more work done. The one challenge we faced the firs time was staying on task. He really wanted to get to know me as I wanted to get to know him so we were often off topic just talking about each others lives. This was really enjoyable and fun and we completed what we really needed to but I know we can be even more productive. I am eager for the coming weeks!