Noe’s project is an interesting one. In theory, it sounds like cake: spend time at a beach house and fix it up a bit. But, it’s a big space with a lot of work that needs to be done. When I visited, she had cleared out most of what she knew she will have to permanently get rid of. She had purchased some budget-friendly bedding and had started to sprinkle her magic fixer-upper dust in small doses all around the house. I think she is beginning to realize how big (and potentially expensive) all her ideas were. Though three and a half weeks seems like a long time, when you start to realize how many square you have to cover... It can fly. I suggested that she scale back her plans (for the duration of externship, at least) to focus on the most visible space--the entry, living room, and deck. In this way, she will be able to make the biggest visible impact for her grandparents in the allotted time.
In addition, I was surprised that her mentor had not visited the home to offer ideas. Use your mentors! That’s what they are for! They can help you plan these projects so that you do maximize the budget and time that you have. They may have some connections that you don’t. (Most of) You aren’t on an island... Use the resources you have.
So, the beach house project. It sounds like something that could so easily dissolve into killing time while plagued with senioritis. It also could be an amazing gift for her grandparents. I’m confident that Noe will use this time to create something memorable for he family--and for herself.
After visiting Noe, I stopped by Sunset View Elementary to observe Xena and Saaleha teach poetry to fourth-graders. These kids were sharp, funny, and supportive of one another. I often heard a student encourage another to share because “We’re all family here.” I had a smile on my face the entire time.
I was surprised to learn that these ladies were only spending two hours a day on site. This, my dear readers, does not meet the requirements of HTHI’s externship program. While we understand that your hours may not fall within the traditional school day, it is required that students dedicate thirty hours a week (during a five-day school week) toward the completion of their projects. Fortunately, we cleared up this (what I’ll chalk it up to as a) misunderstanding, and the teacher serving as their mentor plans to help them flesh out their plan. I look forward to hearing how this develops.
My last visit was with Davis and his mentor, Maria Herman. I love Davis’ externship. He explored engineering during his junior year and decided to dedicate this experience to determine whether or not stand-up comedy is something he should explore further. He started going to classes (and even an open mic night) before externship started and now he’s learning how to navigate this big, open space of time he has devoted to developing five minutes of funny for the stage.
Maria is fabulous. She is the dream externship project mentor. She is forthright, sincere, and she knows her stuff. She is also sincerely supportive of Davis. She has come to see him as a budding talent and she wants to see him grow. As we talked, she repeatedly came back to the point that being a comedian is about “doing the work.” It’s not all fun and games. It’s hard to write funny material. It’s harder to write a large amount of funny material. Davis’ project is all about using this time to recognize just how much TIME it takes to develop quality material. I’m confident that he will use his time to give us all a few laughs when he performs
So, readers... Time. Whether you use it or abuse it, it creeps away from you and can’t be reclaimed. Do your clock proud.