It has been surreal to be at and finishing induction this week. After a whirlwind of traveling from China, I finally made it to Mississippi. I am so happy to be here. The first few days were hard as I battled saying goodbye to my family and jet-lag. However, I am growing into my position as a corps member and all that it entails.
One of my highlights this week was visiting Humphreys county. Humphreys County is home to Belzoni, MS – THE CATFISH CAPITOL OF THE WORLD!!!! It was interesting to learn about the legacy of catfish. The people, on the other hand, are Belzoni’s greatest asset. I was in awe at the wonderful people we met throughout our visit. Before the visit I was really concerned about being such a new member of a tight knit community. Our panel of community members helped to put my mind at ease and I wanted to share some of their words of wisdom:
- Don’t assume too much about your community! Take time to observe and learn about your community firsthand.
- Sit back, Listen and Learn what is acceptable.
- Don’t apologize for who you are – be real and authentic!
- Show the students how much you care for them as a whole person.
- Set standards and structure up-front and always be consistent.
- Learn not to take things personal – Have a THICK skin!
- Build relationships.
- Stay calm in the classroom – once they see you upset they will continue to push your buttons and try to make you upset.
They gave such wonderful insight during their panel discussion. I was taking notes and excited to gain insight into their ccommunity. This has been a great first weeks. I am so proud to be in the first class of the Mississippi Corps. I am a little concerned about institute, but we will see what happens! Until later!!