A Penguin in a Rainstorm Enjoys Some Charcuterie

An egg, initially new and unaware but cracked open and slowly understanding what’s around me

A squirrel, running around campus seeking new opportunities

A mirror, allowing me to reflect and learn more about my leadership

A rainstorm, one really deep experience that I wasn’t expecting completely flooded me with new information

A puppy, hard to catch hold of but enjoyable when you do

Having a kid, the empathy required has been exhausting

A mathematician, sorting out plenty of information that will eventually lead to a deeper understanding of the problems

A light in a dark room, illuminating ways to purposefully and mindfully engage

A snack, important but not always the most fulfilling

A magnifying glass, it helped me focus in on the issues most important to me

A penguin, just waddling along slowly trying to absorb it all

A charcuterie board, sampling news ways to be engaged

A book, I’m spending a lot of time becoming more knowledgeable but it can often times feel kind of heavy

Scuba diving, a deep dive into one particular topic, and I don’t know what to focus on because everything is so cool and unexpected

These are some of the responses offered up by the fifteen Civic Leadership Program students when I asked them to complete the prompt:

My community engagement so far is like….

I love the creativity, thoughtfulness, and range in their responses and thought you might too. You’ll notice themes of movement, depth, uncertainty, exploration, emotion, discovery, and a tendency toward animals and food (probably influenced in part by class falling right after lunch).

In the program’s first semester each student completes at least eight community experiences. They choose a wide range of options including weekly service, policy work, activism, and beyond. As first and second-year students, some are stepping into their first community engagement experiences in Williamsburg while others are digging deeper into existing commitments. Together they reflect on how they are becoming more community-centered leaders and are contributing to a more sustainable world and thriving communities. These similes are just a small snapshot of that learning.

a graphic of some of the images in students' similes - hour glass, frog holding a flower, magnifying glass, cracked egg, puppy, tree in a book, mirror, parent talking to a child, rice in a colander, penguin, charcuterie, squirrel on a toy train

How would you describe the role of community engagement in your life these days?

Categories: Community Engagement & Service, Faculty & Staff Blogs

No comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *