by Maria Williams 

Hello again… this is my last blog for March. Next month another PSERVE member will be blogging, so you will get to meet someone else and to find out about another Catholic Charities program. I want to reflect a little bit on PSERVE. We are now more than halfway through our program year. We have all become thoroughly engaged in our work at our sites. The service that we do is very rewarding.

At St. Vincent’s Villa, I see this everyday when I work with the kids, whether I am teaching in Pre-Voc, or I am at the school for a teacher, ETA, or 1:1. This week was a standard week at work for me. But, I can still appreciate the work I am doing with the kids. On Monday, I was pulled from Pre-Voc to work in a classroom at Pot Spring. At the end of the day, the students had an insightful discussion about the best methods they could employ to maintain good behavior and get along with their peers.

On Tuesday, I was happy that the schools were not closed despite the light snow. We have had enough snow days this winter.  In Pre-Voc, the students are continuing to learn about different cultures. The March schedule returned to normal after the MSA testing, so we were finally able to complete the lessons on Irish and Greek culture. In the Nutrition group, the students made Colcannon, which is a traditional Irish recipe with mashed potatoes and cabbage. On Thursday, the students got to learn a new recipe. They made Tzatziki, which is a traditional Greek recipe; it is a dip with cucumbers and yogurt.

On Wednesday, I spent the morning helping to administer the MSA science test at the Pot Spring school. In the afternoon, I got to work for a teacher, so I was able to teach a lesson. I got to teach a little bit of Geometry, and helped the students learn formulas for calculating the area and volume of a few shapes. Most of the students are used to me now, and will say “hi” when they see me in the hallways.  I know most of them by name, so I will say “hi” when I see them. Some of them will even run up to me, and give me a hug; that is always meaningful to me.

At the PSERVE house weekly community night, we had a special guest, our coordinator, Allison. She came over to have dinner and check in with us. She also had an activity to remind us to “be attentive to living in the present moment.” We had an interesting discussion about the now with PSERVE, rather than the future after PSERVE. The message resonated with me, especially since I am a planner.  I know that time goes by fast, so I like to be prepared. Thus, Allison asked me to clarify the dates for our upcoming events. On Monday, we are going to the Annual Dinner for Catholic Charities. In the first week of May, we are going to Ocean City for the PSERVE spring retreat. In the second week of July, we will have our end of the year ceremony. The year has been great so far, and it looks like the rest of it will be fun, too. Hopefully, I will be able to be attentive, so I can enjoy each moment of it.