Today was our last day at Lindblom! We did a biomedical engineering activity with the kids and they were all super engaged, which made running the activity really enjoyable. This entire week the kids were all so willing to work with us and give 110% during the activities, which was incredible to see.
Spending the past few days at Lindblom and around the South Side has been a really different and unique experience for me - as an out-of-state middle class sorority girl, I know my experiences are so different from most of the students at Lindblom. I don't really have to think about where I come from or what my life is like while doing outreach with kids from Ann Arbor public schools, and working with the students at Lindblom made me cognizant of both the way I try to relate to students as part of outreach and how my experience going to high school at a school where half of the students were Latino immigrants of lower socioeconomic status has shaped the way I approach outreach. The idea that teachers are sometimes the only college-educated people that the students come into contact with was something I accepted during high school, but I never really thought about it because my parents always did expect me to go to college, and it was something I forgot about until this week when I realized just how much our representation of college education and Michigan mattered to the students.
I'm really grateful to have been able to work with students, and on a larger scale, a community that was so accepting of outsiders. Even though engaging with students can sometimes be like pulling teeth, the students we met were so eager to learn and to talk to us about their lives and their aspirations. Riding the bus to school was also a unique experience, since it was pretty obvious that we were outsiders. People on the bus did ask us about it, and yesterday and today we got to chat with the same man about the history of the South Side since he'd lived there all his life. It was really cool talking to him and other people on the bus - it made what could have been a super awkward bus ride where our group stuck out like a sore thumb a lot more comfortable and I'm glad I got to learn more about the community I was working with.
After school some of us went to the Art Institute, which was a lot of fun. We went to dinner afterwards in the Water Tower and I ate spaghetti. I'm sad to be leaving Chicago, but I had an awesome week here and I'm so happy I got to go on the trip this year!