In my classes, we constantly discuss student learning. What environments facilitate the most effective learning? What discussions promote learning? How do you encourage students to want to learn instead of memorizing facts and regurgitating them onto a test? But these questions always bothered me because they automatically assume that students don’t want to learn. Students attend college to get a degree in order to get a job. Students rarely go to college anymore with the desire to learn or grow. They don’t even realize that development occurs. It’s all for a piece of paper.
Classes are obstacles that students must navigate through, with the least amount of effort, to get a grade. To get class credit. To get a degree. To get a job. It’s a terrible way to approach a college career.
Working here this summer has completely changed my outlook on learning. These 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students are here because they want to learn–Because these kids wanted to give up three weeks of their summer to attend class 7 hours a day, 6 hours a week just to learn. And the conversations I’ve had with these kids outside of the classroom is incredible. I could talk to them for days. I learn so much from them–Mostly because they’re so much smarter than me.
I absolutely admire their desire to learn. I’m so jealous of them.
So I decided to share seven random things I’ve learned so far this summer:
1. 20-somethings will always dominate teenagers in Ultimate Frisbee…especially if the teenagers have been doing activities all day long in the Georgia heat before the game…
Here’s the staff on the sidelines. You can obviously see I’m playing it real cool ’cause I don’t want to intimidate the kids too much.
2. Having incredible staff members is hard to come by. Luckily, I have the best staff in the world. I am so grateful for each one of them. They’re my sweet sixteen.
Here are a few getting ready to dominate in our Color-War Event: Dawgfest.
C. The cheese from cheesey poof snacks sticks to your fingers more when you eat them in the 90 degree heat of the day.
4. The best conversations last at least three hours and often occur after 1 am (this has turned into a common occurrence in Athens, GA…and these incidents are now referred to as “pulling a Megan”).
Lee M.: “I stayed up chatting with a friend until 2 AM last night.”
Me: “Oh…sounds like you pulled a Megan.”
Lee B.: “Meg, you look tired. What did you do last night?”
Me: “Umm…stayed up until 2AM talking about life. And Netflix documentaries gone terribly wrong.”
Lee B.: “Oh. You pulled a Megan.”
5. Being away makes you appreciate the beautiful people from home even more than you already do. The most perfect people have called me at the exact right times this week. *Shout out to Margaux for keepin’ it real and spitting mad rhymes about my shampoo.*
5.5 Don’t facetime with Charles unless I want picture texts like this:
**This is also where I’ll mention what a baller Charles is and how awesome he is…apparently I forgot to do that in a previous post and I didn’t want to make the mistake again.
6. I adore working with college students and can’t see myself doing anything else as a career. Except baking. Or writing a cookbook. Or writing a novel. Or traveling. Or rapping.
7. Complexity is incredibly beautiful. **that’s the best thing I’ve learned thus far**
What a wonderful week. Just 6 more days of the first term of camp. The days are going by way too fast. I need a nap.
“Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde