Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Brothers & Big Sisters

I was originally an Elementary Education teacher.  That was my degree.  I couldn't get in the door of any of the local elementary schools in our community so I dragged my feet out to the Cathedral Home with wild ideas about how abnormal the kids were.  I thought that I would see kids who were crazy, drooling, spitting, incoherent psychopaths with missing teeth, and instead I found out that my dream job was actually working with treatment kids...and here is the kicker...they are all so eerily normal.  Granted I did find the toothless psychopaths, but we are not talking about the people it takes to work with treatment kids...(joking of course.)

I started as an English Teacher, but quickly grew bored of the curriculum filled with rules that aren't followed anywhere but the classroom.  I did, however, fall in love with the kids because they were so real.  They wouldn't accept anything but the truth from a teacher, and they even challenged the facts found in the truth.  It was fantastic because it made me focus in on the things I love about life, and I wanted to share that love for life with the kids.  My love for life has always, as long as I can remember, been most intense when in the saddle of a bicycle.  So, we started working on bikes, and to make sure it looked somewhat like English, we started writing about our process.  Now, some nine years later, and thanks to a plethora of people, there is a Vocational Education Program based entirely on the concept of fixing bicycles.  It is a dream job.

Well this past Saturday I was able to share the fruits of the Vocational labor (of too many people to mention) with the local community.  The Cathedral Home Advanced Bicycle Mechanics class, in conjunction with the Pedal House, held a 2 Hour Basic Maintenance class for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization here in Laramie.

As you can see, the snow cut back on our participation, but the kids and Bigs that did show up were AWESOME!  Not to mention how fantastic my advanced kids were in helping assist with the instruction.

Overall, I think it was a big success.  David, Michael, Dezarae, and Katie learned how to service a couple of parts on their bicycles.  My advance class was able to demonstrate their knowledge in a real world setting while meeting Wyoming and California Vocational State Learning Standards, and I was able to enjoy the company of both groups.  It was a pretty good day.

So to everyone at the Cathedral Home, and everyone at Big Brothers and Big Sisters, thanks for sharing your life with kids.  And to all the young people who have been in both programs, thank you for sharing your life with us.  Until next time, Happy Trails from the Pedal House.