Christian Shenk

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

I am learning how to manage my time in a more efficient way, taking the two hours I dedicate to the Historical Society every Sunday into account. In addition, it aids in increasing my endurance, for my work involves me analyzing documents for two hours straight, which will be of great use for my IB exams. However, it has shattered my arrogance in managing my workload. For some reason, I viewed myself as the god of procrastination before. I foolishly believed I could manage to complete large assignments the day before they are due, all the while also volunteering at Historical Society. As a result, I failed an assignment in English because I allowed my work and other tasks at hand to pile up too high. I realize that I need to allocate time to myself in order to complete assignments successfully, rather than rushing them at the last minute.

What challenges have I been through?

Having to volunteer at the Historical Society while also completing hellish amounts of work, while operating with less than an average of four hours per day. Analyzing historical artifacts while yawning every few seconds is mind-numbing work.

In what ways have I started new challenges?

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Analyzing historical documents with my own critical eye, rather than under the guidance of a teacher. I provide my own spin on history (courtesy of Mrs. Archer, now if only I could bring it to her class). Also, I have learned how to quickly survey numerous documents in order to manage my time more efficiently.

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

I have volunteered at the Covina-Valley Historical Society consistently for the past year and a half. Even on days where I had an exorbitant amount of homework, I attended the museum. There was period of time where I grew bored with the place, for every it was tedious cataloging of the same sorts of documents over and over again.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

The entire project that we are undertaking in the museum is a huge collaborative effort that has spanned the past twelve or so years. Currently, we are conducting a mass survey in order to determine whether artifacts qualify to be in the scope of our collection. We are working in a team of four. I describe artifacts, while another documents in them in a computer.

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

Covina used to be the second largest citrus producer in the world. With such a significant role as that, it should important to document the history of such a city.

What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?

Well, the interpretation of history could be considered an ethical and moral quandary in and of itself. See, when one is relating history to another there is a possibility of the embellishment of facts, as well as influencing a person’s perspective in a permanent and perhaps negative way. Also, this creates the possibility for the spread of false information, going against the the goal of teaching history, which is to end ignorance rather than proliferating it.

Service 12/20/2012

Over the course of this past summer I volunteered at The Other Club. The Other Club is a non-profit organiztion in which Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are held. I helped clean the place and kept it neat. On my first day, I was shown the ropes by a man named Bill. It was from him I learned that I was the only minor volunteering at the place. He proceeded to give me advice to never let anyone know I was in high school because then some of the patrons would try to fill my heads with ideas. I knew how to judge things for myself already, but I appreciated his sincerity. I’m not sure if he was trying to prejudice me against the patrons or not, but I did not let his words cloud my perception of these people. Bill was only there for a week after I started. His father had passed away apparently, so he left early one day, and then I never saw him again. By the time he left, I had already learned the basics of how to clean the place. I mopped floors, wiped counters, vacuumed, and cleaned the bathrooms. The Other Club is also a café, so food was made there, and that landed me dishes duties on many occasions. There was a cook, who was also the one who initialed the sign in sheet to verify that volunteers were there. The cook was a volunteer job, so there was a chance of there being a different person there every day. But it seems like I went there whenever this lady named Shawna was there. She was very nice. I met an assortment of different people, be it patrons or other volunteers. There was an everyday patron who attended the café, but was not there for any meetings. I suppose he was just a friend of the establishment; they even trusted him enough with the keys to the place. He was an elderly gentleman who went by the name of Monk. He approved of my work, saying I was a hard worker, and he was impressed that I was doing this for school. He told me that if anybody gave me any trouble, or if I needed something, come talk to him. As I worked there, I spoke with and listened to some of the attendees. Although I had no negative preconceptions of these people, it did seem a bit weird how normal these people were. They all had a variety of different jobs, some high paying, others minimum wage, and others unemployed. But they all sat in one room, together as equals, for they shared a very deadly addiction. But they all laughed and had conversations with each other, as well as giving emotional support for each other for their destructive addictions. They applauded those who remained sober. None of them seemed psychotic or unstable, they were normal people with an unusual problem, all of which they were trying to get out of. And it’s understandable why some of them struggled with alcoholism. Some of them were neglected as children, some of them had lost their children, some of them were abused, with one very horrifying case of rape. These people tried to find a way out, and they turned to alcohol. This was not the best course of action, but this does not make them bad people. They’ve had very difficult lives, ones that not many normal people would be able to do. As time went on and I heard more of these stories, I grew to be very comfortable, and there were days where I even looked forward to going to The Other Club. The patrons were friendly, and they liked to have conversations and provide comfort to those in trouble. The atmosphere was very warm, and I’m proud to have had a small hand in making sure days went smoothly, and that the patrons were comfortable.

Other Club006

One Response to Christian Shenk

  1. Pingback: Matthew Rios, Megan Buckley, Christian Shenk and Casie Zwahlen « iblong

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