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Updates/Volunteer Experience

May 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm
By Nick Lorenz

           This term definitely takes the award for my most difficult/intense term at Carleton so far.  Just for some updates, I will be rooming on 3rd Goodhue next year, with my roommate from this year! I'm also really excited to start taking Arabic next fall! I think being in the "Music in the Middle East" class as made me realize how much I still enjoy Arabic; In the recent documentaries, I have enjoyed trying to pick out the little arabic that I know. This Friday I played jazz piano at the Contented Cow(a local pub), with an excellent accompaniment with drums and a bass. It was a really interesting and relaxed environment to get to perform in, and I really thoroughly enjoyed getting to play in front of some people, eventhough it was also somewhat terrifying. Yesterday, I had a wonderful time at spring concert and managed to not do any work whatsoever starting at 2pm! This was my first time going to a concert that lasted the whole day, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. You could come and go as you pleased, and while there I enjoyed just sitting down and hanging out with some friends. Unfortunately, I really didn't take any pictures except for a couple towards the end, which did include a firework show! The weeks have just been very hectic, so I know this is all very scattered, but hopefully it provides some interesting updates!

Run the Jewels-Headliner for Spring Concert! 

Run the Jewels-Headliner for Spring Concert! 


Fireworks afterwards! 


Since I haven't really described my volunteer work in any depth whatsoever, I thought I'd include a short reflection on my experience:        

      I have really enjoyed my time in the middle school environment. I've really enjoyed working with the kids, and it really gives me a thrill when I truly teach them something that they didn't understand previously. Lately, I've been helping the students that need to catch up on their homework or the one's that missed a day, and consequently don't know how to do the homework. I've noticed several patterns at my time in the school. One of the main things is just how different the math middle school classroom setting is nowadays as compared to when I was in middle school. When the teacher lectures, she uses a computer projector, and the cursor for pointing things out, or solving problems(as opposed to the blackboard or an overhead projector with marker.) The students also make heavy use of their ipads, their homework can be completed on them, and whenever the teacher gives them some time to relax, they are free to go onto Khan Academy(A Math website) and earn points which can eventually give them little virtual badges and things. It was really fun the other week getting to help a six grader do some relatively complex math problems! (far beyond the scope of the class I was in.) I also have enjoyed getting to know certain students better than others, because some consistently need help on their homework, or alternatively want to stretch themselves and do difficult stuff on Khan Academy. 

      I also think that doing this every thursday for me is a HUGE stress reliever. Just for a tiny bit of the day I can forget about all of my homework, the midterm the next day, or the atrocities of room draw, or preparing for the summer, or how I didn't get to practice enough piano for the week etc. I can just sit in a simple environment, do my best to help out, and relax for a little while. I also really appreciate how much the kids seem to like me being there, it makes what I have been doing seem all the more worthwhile. 


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