Community service and youth homelessness, dog homelessness and interviewing, this week has left me with a vibrant imprint in my mind, with the added bonus of complete exhaustion.
Throughout the past week, I’m quite sure I faced zero ethical dilemmas- I spent most of my time contemplating them, not experiencing them. If that was good or not, I suppose it’s for you to decide. I found myself falling deeper and deeper into a pit of knowledge, absorbing everything I heard and storing it. I was definitely interested in this debatable topic of ethics and the issue of what’s right and what’s wrong.
Community service brought with it a whole new perspective. I really enjoyed working at Ascot Vale Special School, with children who had learning disabilities. I found it interesting working with children my age, helping them solve equations with skills that we take for granted. As pointed out by Steve, most of the time if we see someone who looks ‘funny’, we’ll generally try to avoid them. Some people completely cast away the saying ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. These children are the same as us, they still have feelings and I feel that this is something we should acknowledge and not discriminate against. This has altered my opinion largely and I feel this experience has opened up a whole new pathway.
For me there were too many highlights to count, though some stood out to me. Firstly, community service, which after the previous paragraph needs no more explaining.
Secondly, the Mini-Trail. This was incredible- the lady showing us around, Ms Elliott, gave us every possible detail that could’ve been mentioned. She gave us a tour of the Lost Dogs Home, and I personally thought the set up was well designed and interesting. A highlight of this place was a small Maltese cross, who repeatedly barked. No, screamed. Partway through the tour he started screaming, sounding insanely human-like. Another puppy chewed my finger. Another homeless cat stared up at us. The list could go on, and I can only say- if you’re ever looking for a cat or dog, go to a shelter and give another pet a home.
To add to this, I thought the team’s communication was amazing, we discussed most things and came to an agreement of some sort. We operated well, some taking notes and asking questions and got more information than we needed. Perfect. There wasn’t exactly an unexpected discovery, but I think all the facts, either appalling or amazing, made up for that completely. All in all I’m quite sure we all found our first trail successful and satisfying, extremely interesting and enjoyable. This, in my opinion, will definitely influence the way we plan our Options Trail. Overall, I thought this trail was fantastic.
Moving on, the youth homelessness trail was incredible. Our guide, Belinda, was amazing and gave us a full insight on being homeless at such a young age. She really brought my attention to a particular aspect; when we think of becoming homeless, we anticipate and contemplate facing harsh weather conditions and staying warm and dry. However, physical safety pushes this off the table completely- as so many young people get abused or picked on by the older homeless. I find this terrible and it really urges me to support these people, as previously I was not entirely aware.
In relation to the entire week, I think my social awareness, one of my chosen learning goals, has shot up the ladder, after the homelessness trail in particular. As well as this, I believe my interviewing skills have been slightly improved as of the Mini-Trail, which I found quite beneficial. I think that this week has really paid off.