I want to share a few of my favorite things about my summer in the Micah Program although my list will not be as lyrical and lighthearted as Julie Andrew’s and it will not include “raindrops on roses” and “whiskers on kittens”. Despite that, these things are still awesome and will be what I remember the most from this summer.
1. Exploring another part of the Bay.
Being in Moraga, we get a different bay area experience than in other cities. I have loved being surrounded by the culture and diversity of Alameda and Oakland these past seven weeks. During the school year, I want to make a conscious effort of exploring more of this part of the bay.
2. Reading things that challenged and solidified my views.
I loved the variety of readings, and the few videos, that were part of our class assignment. I feel that having this theoretical articulation of social justice issue along with our first hand experiences created an interesting environment
3. Living with a fabulous group of people.
While the living situation was far from perfect (after all how many groups of 6 are successful at living in close quarters for an extended period of time), we all created an environment that was welcoming and open. While it was tough and awkward at times, we all respect and care about one another to address our issues to the group in order to get it resolved. Being a person that tends to brush off issues or concerns that I have with people, it was nice to learn how to create a safe environment to let those issues be voiced and to be more open and unafraid about it.
4. Learning about the inner workings of a non-profit.
While it was disheartening at times to watch the struggles that APC is going through, being able to sit in on meetings and talk to Phyllis and Doug about the running of APC made me realize how difficult and rewarding the work is. There is a lot of complexity and I understand that more so than ever.
5. Honing in on my communication skills.
I have learned a lot more about opening up to people. Even simple things like sharing my experiences and opinions on things I have come to realize is important and should be shared with others. I innately want to always listen to other people and what they have to say but I have begun to make more of a conscious effort to share more of myself with others.
6. How to Urban Farm.
Not only have I come to truly appreciate locally grow foods, but I have learned how to make that possible in an urban environment. From seeds to table I have learned a lot about producing different vegetables and fruits and have felt a sense of pride at watching things grow, nurturing them, and have them be enjoyed by others.
7. Reflection, reflection, reflection.
As an introvert, it is pretty natural for me to process, and often over-analyze, every experience that I have. This summer has given me the opportunity to work on my reflection skills so I can share my internal reflection externally. I love that I now look at and am able to reflect on myself in all my different roles: as an individual, as a social justice promoter, as a member of a community living in the same space, etc. I will continue to look at myself that way when I return to school and when I am at home.