It was a very busy first week of our new adventure in Minneapolis.
I posted earlier on the first part of the week. The rest of the week was just as busy and fun-filled.
Wednesday was another training day. The morning was spent learning basics of volunteer management and then the afternoon was spent with the state Americorps people learning about poverty. We watched a video, People Like Us, which had some interesting information and perspectives. I've learned a lot about the poverty perspective, but this video also included interviews with the "elite rich." We then did a poverty simulation, during which my "family" ran out of money a couple of times. In the discussion period we talked about the safety supports we the "middle class" have and how the poor often don't.
Thursday was the the first day at my new school. Sanford is a small middle school in the system but has a high percentage of immigrants and free lunch kids. I got to meet the principal who will be my site supervisor and some of the other support staff. Most of the teachers were teaching! I got to meet a few of the kids during a Lunch with the Principal.
Friday was a regular VISTA meeting day to check-in and debrief about the past few weeks and what is coming up. This was the first time I got to meet the rest of the VISTA's serving in the Minneapolis Public Schools. It seems like a pretty good group of 20 something's.
It wasn't all work! We did manage to have some fun. Thursday night I went to Lake Calhoun to run, after stopping by our house and picking up mail. We spent those nights at the hotel, just relaxing. Friday night we went with Kristofer and Amy to IKEA. We had planned on going to the Mall of America, but spent too much time at IKEA. But we got a really good deal on a wardrobe segment. Originally $70 we got it from the As Is section for $15. The box was a little torn up, but were told that everything should still be inside. That was very exciting!
Saturday we went to explore Minneapolis and went to Minnehaha Falls Park. It was very beautiful, and frozen over! We were able to walk around on the ice covered creek. I'll post some pictures later, but here is the album (if you can't wait). We saw American Gangster at a very cool looking 1940's style Riverview Theater.
To top the weekend off we got to hear John Piper speak, live at Bethlehem Baptist Church. He rotates between the 3 sites, his sermons are played live via video links, so it was quite cool to actually attend the right site to hear him speak.