We made meals for everyone and I got to talk to a few people about their life stories and what high schools they went to many years ago and talk about the commonalities we still share despite age differences
We prepared food, enjoyed a nice service that allowed me to reflect upon conflicts in my life and how I approach them, and then packed everything back up again.
I went in and helped make the food which they had me mix the chicken salad with my hands (with gloves on) which was odd, but honestly a great technique for mixing it. I got to speak with some of the younger people and youth who attend about why they come and it was honestly super humbling.
love coming back to this place every time I get a chance.
Really enjoyed having the opportunity to sit down and eat with everyone and just talk. The older women across from me broke down in tears talking about her involvement with Jacob's well and how much it has changed her life, and that experience was crazy humbling because of the generation gap and how much we still have in common.
As always, I absolutely love coming here and volunteering my time to a place so humbling. It never fails to make me smile. I love interacting with everyone. I had an interesting conversation with an elderly man, from a wealthy neighborhood who comes, simply for fun. He talked about how I shouldn't focus as much on making sure the details are perfected, as I should learning people's names and getting to know them.
Overall this semester, outside of taking 20 credit hours, I also served 37+ hours (only 30 are needed for scholarship for that) in various places around the theatre building from ushering Be More Chill, to volunteering many hours in the costume shop, to doing two shows, filling in for a stage manager, painting sets, etc. I love it so much and am entirely consumed by it whether I want to be or not, which is fine with me honestly. I served directly with the community ushering because I was talking with and helping people outside of the university. I also ushered the student matinee where I got to speak with a lot of potential incoming freshmen and high schoolers here in the city and help them out and fill them in on what happens here at the University of Memphis, both inside and outside of the theatre department.
I came in and A group of students from Belmont was also volunteering that night, which was really neat because I got to speak with them about their alternative break experience here in Memphis, but they weren't terribly conversational. But basically I arrived at 4:30 and and I went in and washed my hands and began to make sandwiches and mix up the ingredients for chicken salad. We then assembled all of the food onto plates and around 6:15 we started handing them out to the people coming through for food and it was very heart warming. I especially loved doing this because I grew up working in a soup kitchen on the first Sunday of every month for years and my family just kind of stopped going but I loved it, so again it was nice to finally return.
I came in and Church Health was also volunteering that night, which was really cool because I got to speak with them about their work. But basically I arrived at 4:30 and we were serving little caesars pizza this night so there wasn't as much prep which left some down time. During this down time, I was sitting on the floor in the main room just chilling and I had been talking to probably the coolest 7 yr old I will ever meet about how his mom throws parties every saturday and so he has her drop him off here so he can help make food and serve his brothers and sisters. While I was sitting there, this family of homeless children came in and the youngest one who is around 3 is still non verbal and very defiant (from watching them come the other times) and mostly runs from people. I suspect he is on the spectrum just from my past experiences working with children very very similar to him, but anyways, he ran over to me and curled up in my lap and playing with my gloves and sat there giggling and drooling on me for the next 20 mins and it was just such a beautiful interaction and experience that honestly brought me to tears because I have spent the last few summers working with young kids but I stepped away from that this past summer to work with 11th and 12th graders and I honestly forgot how pure and innocent they are. So yeah, and then we served the food and cleaned up and sat thru the church service and then left.
For the past three months, I spent every night of my life in rehearsals as the Assistant Director, Script Advisor, and Dramaturg for a new devised piece called "Shaming Jane Doe". This new work is based off of the Brock Turner Trial and serves to blow up Rape culture and analyze why this is an ongoing event in society. Throughout this process I have learned sooo much. I had done a devised work before with an LGBTQ+ group, but I was on the other side of the table as an actress rather than an AD or script person, which gives you a whole new perspective. I spent the last 3 months doing so much research it isn't even funny. I also constantly was writing down everything that was happening in rehearsals and learning the stories of survivors and discussing how we move forward from here. My biggest goal as part of this project was to ensure that as a show it served as a Call to action for both those unaffected as well as survivors and create the conversation that should be constant and ongoing about how our culture views rape and how the victims are treated by those in society. I worked collaboratively with the whole cast and team to create this show with them from basically ground up and I am a stronger leader, harder worker, and more well rounded human because of it.