I had an idea of what this class was going to be about when I registered, but I didn’t realize how much of an impact it would have on me in the course of the semester. The only time I’ve really worked with kids in New Orleans was for another service learning class, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist anymore. We taught kindergarteners about art. We went to class and read them a story, but that was pretty much it. The lack of involvement was disappointing, but I certainly made up for that with this service learning class. Me and two of my classmates went to Langston Hughes Academy every Friday and worked with some awesome, creative, fun, and welcoming fourth through eighth graders. Although we had a lesson plan for each session, these kids kept us on our toes with their creativity and overall fun attitudes. Our sessions were a reminder to think outside the box and how fun creating things as a group can be. The part of this class that had the biggest impact on me was the group projects we did. I’m on one of the projects that is currently called “The Changing Face of NOLA” (there is a better title in the works, no worries). I wasn’t originally that excited to be on this project, but now it is my favorite thing I’ve been involved with at Tulane. I’ve learned so much about New Orleans, its different communities, its culture, its residents, its history…and probably many other things that I can’t think of at the moment. The best part was that my group and I were seeking this information out and were, in a way, experiencing it. This project opened my eyes to so many other sides of New Orleans and I’m so thankful for that. It also gave me some great new friends at Tulane, who are some awesome people that I’m not sure I would’ve even met without this class. This class made me learn about New Orleans in a way that I don’t think I would’ve been able to do otherwise. There is so much going on in New Orleans and I know I have so much more to learn, but I have a solid start and some people who I know are willing to go out to learn and experience more with me.
By KJ Schmidt