Service Is Important And Comes In All Forms

Service Is Important And Comes In All Forms

Community service brings more than one community together, and they help each other.

I love helping people. I know that sounds cliché, and possibly fake, but it’s true. I will go out of my way to help someone bring things to their room, walk someone across the street and babysit at the last minute. I enjoy it immensely, and get great satisfaction when seeing the individual’s reaction. Smiles, "thank you"s, "god bless you"s. I would soak them in as if I were a really pale person trying to get a tan. I absolutely loved it, and would actively search for people whom I could help.

Back home in California, I was part of an organization called Assistance League. It’s a nonprofit organization that is centered around offering dental care to those who cannot afford it. The organization has a thrift store that raises a ton of money for the dental office, and it has several smaller organizations as well. Kids on the Block performs small plays with puppets, and they teach kids about being healthy, friendship, the difference between right and wrong, etc. Another group makes care packages and holiday packages for those families who have children fighting and surviving cancer. A group of girls go volunteer at a homeless shelter and serve the homeless food, give them donated clothing, and help organize the house.

My favorite section of Assistance League was definitely Operation School Bell (OSB). It is an event that allows underprivileged families to get their children school uniforms, school supplies, and books. Sometimes the families would have one child, other times they would have six, and other times it could be any number at all. Some of the families spoke English and others spoke Spanish, and I fortunately had the knowledge to communicate in both. It was fun to interact with the kids and figure out what their interests were. Since most of them would walk in in soccer uniforms, it was pretty easy to find something common to start a conversation.

It was my second year as an Assisteen when I came across a little girl named Maria. She was in a blue soccer uniform with her hair in braided pigtails, and she was crying. Her mom said she was embarrassed to be here. I bent down to the little girl, and took her hand in mine. We went from section to section, gathering clothes, notebooks, and colored pencils as we went along. Maria’s crying subsided during our interactions, and she even started replying to some of my questions. When we got to the book section—the last section—Maria ran up to me and demanded I read to her. It was Little House on the Prairie. We went to the corner of the room and read the book for a couple of chapters. When it was time for Marie to leave, she took my hand and led me to the car her parents were driving. She told me to bend down to her, and when I did, she gave me a hug. Maria came into OSB crying, but she left with a happy smile on her face.

It’s these moments that inspire me to continue community service while I am in college. If I can help make someone’s day better, then I will try to do it. I give back to my community because it has given me so much and I have had the privilege of living the life that I do. When I came to Emerson, I decided to join an organization known as Imagine. It is all about community service, with children, animals, the earth, etc. I am very excited to be a part of it, and I can’t wait to see the reactions of those I help. There’s just something about seeing a smile on a face that does not smile enough.

Cover Image Credit: Helping Hands

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How video conferencing is helping in making education easier

Video conferencing is becoming a big part of the world and is opening the lines of communication everywhere.

The lines of communication are currently being opened and those that are communicating are not in the same rooms or even the same cities. With the help of technology, there have been many improvements through the world of communication. There are many benefits that come with video conferencing in the education world. With this being said, students are able to get the education that they need to get more out of life and not have to live near a large city where a school may be available.

Video conferencing is changing the way that people learn, work and do many everyday things. It is continuing to help many more get the education they need without having to spend hours in a classroom setting. 

No Student is Left Out

Even those that live in far away places that might not have the ability to go to the class can benefit through the use of video conferencing. It helps by connecting these rural students via video conferencing. This leaves no one left out and provides everyone with an equal education. It provides the students with a chance to not miss out on anything when they’re unable to make the class. 

When before these students would not be able to visit the classroom, which meant that they would not get the education that they need to move out of the area that they live. With more access to these classrooms for all levels of education, more and more people are easily able to gain the education that they need to move forward in life without having to travel very far. 

Travel More

Since videos can bring us just about anywhere, the same goes for travel that you want to do around the world. Connecting one classroom to another in another country, allowing the students to interact and learn more about each other and opening the lines of communication through video conferencing is a great way to not only take a virtual field trip but also see more of the world and those cultures out there. It is a great way to learn more about the world around us and providing even more information regarding the place these people are from.

Many people want to see the world, but are unable to do so. With the use of video conferencing, you can meet up with just about anyone in the world that also has a camera and the same program. This way, you can see a bit of their world, while you share yours. This is always a great way to learn more, but also to take in the views around you and see how their world is different from yours.

Save Lessons and Other Notes

Instead of having to write everything down and then pin it up outside the classroom, you can save these lessons and other notes right on the web. You can use video conferencing recording to record the lesson and then put it up on the web for all to see. This is something that provides everyone with an equal chance to touch down on the lessons and other notes that they might have missed in the classroom the first time. This keeps everyone up to date on their learning and activities too, which means that no one is left behind. 

Bring in Experts

You’re easily able to bring in experts that can provide you with more information or teach the students more about a specific subject. A lot of times, this is something that you want to bring in the experts to teach the students about or even to let them meet someone that they have been talking about, such as an author. Instead of having them come to the school and spend time traveling to the area, a video conference can make it possible to have them speak with the students and give them a valuable lesson without having them come out to do so. 

Parent/Teacher Conference

When it comes to connecting parents with teachers, this is an important tool that can help more parents make it to the meetings since they just have to connect through this way and not have to actually show up at the conference to do so. With this being said, parents can keep up with their children and how they’re doing in school and it allows teachers to be more flexible on the times that these conferences can be done, benefiting everyone that has to sit down and talk about the children. 

Opens All Lines of Communications

The biggest benefit of being able to have video conferencing in education is that it opens the lines of communication on many levels. No one has to worry about not being able to speak with someone, read body language, miss a class or anything else because they’re able to virtually be there when they cannot be physically there. There is no need to travel to the destination anymore with the help of these virtual classes that allow you to be there and take the lesson that is being presented to you. By opening the lines of communication, everyone is able to learn easier and more effectively and the teacher will have a better time teaching the classroom.

Video conferencing is a great way to make teaching efficient and effective. It is also a great way to bring more students to the classroom instead of having them sit out the lessons that they’re unable to go to. There are numerous benefits that video conferencing has brought to other areas of the world, but education is one of those areas that it is needed the most, so that everyone can enjoy more out of the education that is given to the students. Video conferencing is a great thing to have and it will continue to get better with time. Eventually, it will be almost as if the person is sitting next to you in the classroom and not just on a screen in front of you. This will be more lifelike and even bring more benefits to everyone. Technology continues to amaze and benefit us all. 

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Walt Disney World Tips from a Pro

Even the experts need tips.
Dixie
Dixie

I've learned a thing or two about Disney from my frequent trips there growing up. Although I would consider myself a "Disney Pro," even the pros need some help from time to time.  Here are 16 tips to take in mind during your next trip to Walt Disney World. 

Value Resorts have just as much to offer as Moderate or Deluxe Resorts.

I always hear that Value Resorts don't have as much to offer as Moderate or Deluxe Resorts, but I believe they have just as much to offer. You get the same perks you would if you stayed at Moderate Resort. Personally, I prefer staying Pop Century- this will always be my number one choice for a hotel when I go to Disney.

Get the Park Hopper Option.

Disney's Park Hopper option is a lifesaver, especially when you plan to spend 4 days at Walt Disney World. You get to experience 2 or more parks each day, which means twice the fun! My tip: try and visit all four parks in one day during your next trip!

Get the Disney Dining Plan, not the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.

My parents made this mistake on two of our vacations. You become too focused on when you have to schedule a dinner and use your credits, instead of enjoying your trip. It will be worth it in the end.

Get Memory Maker.

Get Memory Maker to help make your trip a little easier. I recommend getting it before your trip because it is cheaper. Plus when you get home, you can customize you photos by adding boarders and stickers!

Get tons and tons of pins.

Disney has a variety of pins (they are free!) that you can get to help make your trip more magical. They have a first trip pin, a birthday pin, a celebrating pin, a just engaged pin, a just married pin, and even an anniversary pin. Make sure to grab yourself a few pins to take home!

Wear Matching Shirts.

Matching shirts bring humor to your trip. You can look back and see how silly you look wearing these over the top shirts. I used to be against them, but they are growing on me and are now a tradition in my family.

Buy Mickey Ears or a Mickey Hat.

No trip is complete without Mickey Ears or a Mickey Hat. Buy the pair that speaks to you or go with the classics. If you aren't a fan of ears, grab yourself a hat! You can customize the ears to make your trip more special. My favorite ears are my Star Wars ears (they light up), whereas my favorite hat is my graduation ears I got to remember my special day.

Download the Disney Parks app.

The Disney Parks app is a completely free app, which helps make your trip easier. You can get wait times in real time, as well as book dining, make FastPass+ reservations, and even look at your Memory Maker photos!

Character Dining isn't just for children.

You will not regret having breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the characters (even if you are an adult). Character dining helps make your trip more magical, knowing that you get to see the characters without having to stand in line. I think my personal favorite character dining has to be either Tusker House at Animal Kingdom (breakfast with Mickey and his safari friends) or Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom (breakfast with Cinderella and the princesses).

You will have to stand in line at some point.

Unfortunately, you will have to stand in line at some point, whether it be to see a character or get on a ride or waiting for the bus, you will have to stand for long periods of time. My tip: wear comfortable shoes, it makes all the difference.

One word: FastPass+.

Get FastPass+ reservations 30 days in advance (if you have a reservation). FastPass+ is a game changer for Disney. Make sure to get FastPass+ for rides you really want to get on or for rides you know will have a long wait time. I recommend getting FastPass+ for Peter Pan (always over 120 wait time), Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs, Splash Mountains, Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Avatar: Flight of Passage (absolutely amazing!), Expedition Everest, Aerosmith, and Tower of Terror.

Visit the Countries.

EPCOT's countries are one of Disney's best attractions (in my opinion). When I went to Disney with my best friend, I truly discovered the beauty of each country. My tip: take a photo in each country to show how each one is different.

Be sure to check out each resort.

If you have the time, go check out the resorts you would like to stay at. You can check out different resorts by simply hopping onto a bus or hopping on the Monorail to check out the resorts near Magic Kingdom, it's eye-opening to see how each resort is different. My favorite resort to visit is Disney's Grand Floridian, this hotel is so beautiful!

Spend time at your resort.

It's nice to spend a day or an evening taking in your resort. Whether it be spending the day at the pool or walking around to see the different themes, you paid money to stay there. I love staying at Pop Century because each group of rooms is based on a decade. Typically, I stay in the 50's and I love going to the Flower pool.

Ship your merchandise back to your room.

Disney's free delivery option makes spending money easy. You can get everything you buy sent back to your hotel, free of charge, as long as you fill out the form. I use this option because I typically buy glass ornaments or jewelry, it makes my life easier knowing it will be at my hotel instead of having to worry about it.

Splurge and get what you want.

You never know when you will be going back to Walt Disney World, so splurge and get what you want. Typically, I get Alex and Ani bracelets as my splurge item, but during my last trip, I got a pearl from China. It's my favorite piece of jewelry, worth every penny!!

Dixie
Dixie

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