Summer Solstice

Happy first day of summer all! The fools woke up after a night of not partying and we were all better for it. I took an, unexpectedly, long run. And we got a chance to play with little Conor, Colin and Lorraine’s son. He is one of the most smily babies I have ever held.

We then sent lovely Elaine on her way back to Dublin. And Laura and I went on through Roscommon and I remember why I love random dirty-minded kids. I actually thought this was just an Irish term for gum, I think being here has made me slightly more gullible. Sorry mum, sorry dad. I had to put that in, it was just too funny. So, now onto lunch! Laura and I ate in the coziest little cafe called, aptly enough the Cozy Cafe. Oh the Irish and their sense of common…sense. Then the rest of the day took an odd swing.

This is the most difficult part of blogging to write thus far. Performing in the hospital was difficult but not as hard as today. Today the fools did a workshop for some of the children of the working class here in Athlone. I don’t even know how to begin other than to say that there are some children here in town, going to sleep here tonight that have it much harder than I do. I don’t want to downplay the problems that other people have, or the problems I face, but damnit, those kids take the cake from me.
These strong girls and women, these strong and suffering boys and man brought me to tears. Did I reach one of them? I don’t know, all I can do is hope. It feels hopeless. What am I supposed to do in two hours with these young adults. I didn’t think the group I had been placed in change of could be more than 14 or 15 years of age. I was wrong, these, seemingly, young girls were 18 and 19. I can only guess that their time thus far hasn’t allowed them to become the women they truly are. They want to get jobs but they say they can’t. They blame the govt. for their predicament, and who am I to say otherwise.
My group disbanded in the very first exercise and I was heartbroken but I was able to stay and talk with the girls of the group after the men/boys decided they didn’t need anything that I had to offer. The girls talked about their lives and even expressed hope for their future but I couldn’t help but feel totally impotent. Rita handles these kinds of kids every day. Laura and Austin did well with their group. How could I help but feel like a bad teacher?
Who am I to try and help them? Who says they want my help? Did I even do any good? Why didn’t I know a better way of teaching to keep the group together? These are the questions that are running through my head.
I think I need to sleep on this one in order to make any sense of the situation.
Have any of you out there had to deal with a similar situation?

One thought on “Summer Solstice

  1. The fact that you were there, spending time, listening to them, is very powerful. That may have been all they needed from you at that time, in that place. You will probably never know how, but you affected them in some way.

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