What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

07 March 2011

The Heart of Texas

Yep, these sweaters are all hand-
knitted just for this event. Cool, eh?
Saturday afternoon I volunteered at an outreach activity at UT. 20,000+ kids from all over Texas, plus their 2500+ patient sponsors, converged on our campus for a day of fun.

I didn't know my campus could be so crowded. It was unreal.

The point of the whole shebang was to inspire kids to start thinking about college; to this end, there were activities for kids as young as 4. I know, right? Four? Their parents are probably worried about sending their angels off to kindergarten, and here we're pushing college on them. Well, it's for good reason: A lot of these kids will be lucky get all the way through high school, never mind college.

Yes, this outreach day was for "underrepresented" schools. In other words, schools in low-income areas, or with low graduation rates, or with large percentages of students whose first language is not English. Or, more likely, some combination thereof. So, UT starts them dreaming big as early as possible.

My part of the whole shebang was to wield the bullhorn to keep the ice cream line in order. Before we started, the woman in charge instructed us to use our "most polite tone"; she was not impressed when I asked if she would settle for my least hostile tone instead. So I rehearsed the important information ("Single file line, please! We have chocolate or vanilla! There is plenty for everyone, but only one cup per person, please!" etc.) that I would be giving out in my capacity as an order-shouting person.

And since I have learned something from the myriads of parents and teachers I've been around for the past few years, I stopped one teacher as she was leaving to tell her that her kids were the best-behaved group in line. (By quite a long shot, actually.) She thanked me and then said, "Y'all told us the same thing last year, too. I'll be sure to tell the principal." So of course, I was even more glad at that point that I had stopped her. I hope they make a big fuss today over being proud of the kids' behaviour. (I'm sure they will; like I said, I've learned something from being around parents and teachers.) And in case you're wondering: After a quick Google search, I believe it to be Villarreal Elementary School in San Antonio.

The Longhorn band arriving for the
picture. And afterwards, they played
"I've Been Working on the Railroad"
"The Eyes of Texas".
And at the end of the day, everyone gathered in front of the tower to form a heart (yes, the heart of Texas) for a picture. I didn't get in it, since I was otherwise occupied, but I'll be sure to post it here once it's available. Because Saturday was a great day to be a Longhorn.

Wow, so many possible questions today. Parents and teachers: How happy would you be if someone told you your kids were the best ones in a group? Everyone else: At what age did you first think about college (if you can remember)?


Mary Vaughn said...

What an awesome ting to take part in.
I started planning for college at an early age (7or 8) but sadly the plan never materialized.

Su said...

Bummer! But it's not actually a life requirement, and you seem to be doing okay without it!
I actually can't remember what age I started thinking about college, at least, as it applied to me: Probably when I started middle school.

....Petty Witter said...

Well done you. Having taken part in similar events myself in the past I know what hard work they are ..... but also how much fun.

Su said...

Thanks! It was very fun. And it was cool to see the kids be so excited about learning.

erica and christy said...

Awesome, Su!! Not long ago, we were at an Asian buffet and an older couple came over to our booth to tell us they were a bit worried when we walked in with two young boys, but they were very honored to sit next to such polite children.

I try to think of that when they're driving me crazy!!

Len Lambert said...

Well done, Su. I think I thought of college when I was in 3rd year high school. I began to think what I'd like to do in the future.

Su said...

@Erica: Very cool! As long as they behave in public, it's more tolerable in private, yes?

@Len: I think it causes less stress in some ways to start thinking about college in high school rather than earlier. One of the t-shirts I saw on kids on Saturday was for a middle school, and their slogan was something like "X School is all about college readiness." Middle school! Geez!

Misha said...

Lol least hostile tone... Some people just have no sense of humor. ;-)

Not sure when I thought about going to university, but I guess I was a round 13 when I started going to open days.

Colene Murphy said...

Hahaha. The least hostile tone cracked me up. What an awesome day for everyone, though!

Su said...

@Misha: She may have a sense of humour under normal circumstances... but Saturday wasn't it. ;)

@Colene: Yeah, it was. As tired as I was Saturday night, I'm totally looking forward to the next one!