Since Last Sunday

the urban pig

It’s been such a busy week! I feel like I have been working nonstop but can’t manage to keep up. Normally I am excited to count down the days until graduation and summer, but lately I have been trying not to keep track because I feel so overwhelmed with all of the upcoming due dates. Seven classes is no joke. I don’t know how people do it and work, too! I’m so fortunate that Connor finished school before me and is able to support us both so I can concentrate. I need all the time I can get. Even with all the work and stress, one thing that sticks out to me as a highlight of the week was the progression of the project for my leadership class. Tuesday we went to the local high school and were able to present our project ideas for adaptive reuse of the historic downtown buildings, in which most are currently vacant. Not knowing what to expect, we were thrilled to have almost ten students interested and sign up to help. We met with five of them again yesterday, where we began gathering ideas about the town and ideas about the specific building for what the inside would be designed for. They came up with some awesome plans!

Many of them told us about the lack of things to do for youth, so they brought up ideas like an arcade, frozen yogurt/cafe, small movie theatre, roller skating rink, laser tag, and lounge spaces. We got to work one-on-one through the initial space planning, and I think we were all realy impressed by the ideas they had. Much more advanced than we had originally expected! I am super excited for where this project will lead, and I hope they are as well. It’s really neat to see young adults caring about their community and having an invested interest on making it better.

I hear older generations often make comments about today’s youth and their lack of respect, laziness, etc. etc. Of course, every generation has its problems and individuals who could be characterized as such. Sometimes it’s easy to stereotype an entire group of people by one “bad” individual. But I also see a lot of promise in the youth. Getting a college education seems more common (every single one of the students had some idea of what they wanted to do after high school) and I think for the most part, we do still care about our communities and the future potential of them. This project takes place in a very small town, where the community is very connected and many generations of family have lived there forever. However, one student didn’t fit this category. She moved to the town recently, and really doesn’t like the town or the transitions she has had to go through. Having her in the group is an asset because she brings an outside perspective to the table of ways she believes the community can become better. She cares, even though she doesn’t feel like its her community. And on that same level, all of the students in my leadership class are outsiders to this community, yet we have some interest in making it better.

One of the girls mentioned that as she read through our project ideas, she thought it was a mistake that we chose their town as the setting for our project. She wanted to know why we would care about this little town of theirs. We had many answers that satisfied this question, good reasons, but I think the underlying idea was just to do something good for somewhere or someone. Sometimes, that just feels right.

Anyways, it’s back to work for me. I can’t believe tomorrow is already Monday, with still so much to be done. Hang in there, all.

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