Waking Up through Action and Reflection

Thursday, December 14, 2000
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Students tell us that reflection changes them. We hear this over and over. Whether it’s weekly volunteering, taking one of our extra-curricular courses, or in our small groups, Student Open Circles teaches students to pause and notice. This is radical – in our society it’s not the norm to take time out from “productive” or consumer activities. As a result, many live in a trance-like state, feeling disconnected from what is happening around and within. Like Amanda, some of our student volunteers wonder why they need to stay to reflect after every shift. And then, they find that in the combination of action and reflection, they “wake up.” They wake up to meaningful connections with their peers and with the people we are serving. They become attentive to their own lives and growth. They grow into people who are “willing to learn, care, and give.” For Allyson, as a PhD student and Teaching Assistant, being surrounded by such engaged, awake, and empathetic undergraduates awakened her compassion for and sensitivity to the struggles of the students that she evaluates, even the ones who are anxious, demanding, and angry! Thank you for supporting Student Open Circles to help young people become more awake and alive!!

-- Marybeth and Jeff