“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education” -Martin Luther King Jr. Although I could not go with my original service project, I still managed to give a little. With my last two dollars and fifty cents, I bought a reusable bag and bottle of dish detergent for a needy veteran. As I am getting older I am realizing how important it really is to give back to others and not expect anything in return. Whenever I volunteer, help, or give to others what I can, it leaves me with a happy and warm feeling. I am continuously building character and learning more about myself by volunteering and surrounding myself with positivity. I will continue to volunteer and encourage my friends and siblings to participate as well.
Last weekend I got the chance to speak with two Air force veterans that had served together for more than 10 years. They said most veterans appreciate when people just go up to them and thank them for their service and putting their lives on the line to protect our country. They said that not many people do it and people don’t really care that some of them are homeless and suffer some type of illness from serving. I think as a community we should raise more awareness for these veterans and the currently serving. The veteran dinners are very thoughtful and I think is a great way to expose students to experience the sincere feeling of giving back and talking with the veterans. I wish I could have attended but I have two jobs and my schedule is just hectic. My agenda looks like a coloring book full of highlighter markings and it almost looks like an essay for the months of April and May, it’s been a crazy semester for me!
When I spoke to one of the veterans he asked about my career plans and what I wanted to be. I told him that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist with my own office and attend Florida State University. He said that he graduated from there with his Masters in phycology. That’s when it also hit me that these veterans are no different from us and that most of them have been to school and graduated from universities like regular students. After we kept talking he told me about a place here in Tallahassee that he goes to once a week, it is called the Veteran Affairs. I never knew that place existed and I finally drove by it the other day. He told me to ask to volunteer over the summer as a physical therapist assistant. He said if I can get it and stay in long enough that after I graduate I can probably get a job or internship there. I’ve learned that networking is a necessity for business and careers. You must be able to talk to others, have your face recognized, and get your name out there. Being quiet and shy will not get you anywhere.
Before he told me about the V.A. I didn’t have a clue on where I can shadow or get experience in the field I wanted to go in. I’m very thankful that he shared this information with me and that we got the chance to talk. Both men had a very positive outlook on life in general and just saw their time serving as just a “two-minute commercial” in their lives. They encouraged me to keep volunteering, giving back, and building great character. Many young people think that all Veterans are old, sad, homeless, and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. I think that many don’t even get the chance or take the time to sit down and hear their stories or just make conversation. I think Tallahassee Community College should make a certain amount of volunteer hours mandatory for graduating and transferring. It may sound boring and a waste of time to some students but it is a great way to build character and become better citizens that will work together to better the community. I am grateful for having you as a history teacher and learning more than I have with all my history classes I’ve ever taken before college combined. My other history classes were based on remembering vocabulary words and my teachers never connected events like you did. Your way of teaching makes it easier to recite and remember why events occurred and what happened after them. You made me want to come to class because it wasn’t boring and you made learning somewhat fun. If I ever missed a class, I felt as if I was missing the latest gossip of what happened the other day or century! I just really enjoyed this class and as I’m finishing this essay…I just realized that I forgot to turn in my fifty dollar cash from the beginning of the semester…anyways, thank you for being one of the best and if not favorite teacher in my college career!