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ASL Reflection

                The Academic Service Learning project is a very fascinating requirement for students that help St. Johns live up to its Vincentian mission and reputation.  However, the truth is not all of the students are looking forward to doing this activity.  I was one of these students.  I like doing community service, it’s a very humbling experience and I feel it keeps me grounded.  In the case of ASL, it was just a very tedious process.  I didn’t like that fact that it had to be done in certain specified locations and that it could not be done in my community.  I commute to St. John’s everyday from Long Island and it is about an hour and half commute to get her e and another hour and half to get back.  Since, I have to catch a train, I don’t have time in my weekday schedule to do 6 hours of community service, and therefore, I had to schedule it for a Saturday, which at the time I thought was a waste.  I decided to do the ASL at the New Life Development center in Queens, which serves as a food pantry and a medical center for the less fortunate of the community.  The experience itself was eye-opening.  However, it wasn’t as humbling of an experience that it could have been.  The supervisor and organizer of this location was an interesting person.  He had a full time job and volunteered there on the side.  He was also very funny and he joked around with us, which made us feel more comfortable.  He scheduled me and a few of the other guys to make food bags and then organize the storage room in the basement of the church.  After that, we had to alphabetize the forms that the people had to fill out if they were receiving help.  The amount of forms was just ridiculous and this was just one place and there could be hundreds throughout New York with the same or even more people that rely on it.  We always know that there are people out there who need assistance to get through everyday life, but, the amount of people you picture in your mind is an understatement to actually seeing how many people truly need it.  Because we were working in the basement, we really didn’t get a chance to interact with the people.  After we were finished, the people who were working upstairs with the people seemed to have enjoyed it way more than we had. That was probably because they were interacting with the people and they got to see the difference they were making.  All in all, it was a good experience and I learned quite a bit from the experience.

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