I sat on a moldy brown couch, scrambling to start the conversation. I frantically looked at the only other white person in the room. After a few minutes of eye communication, I started taking to the room at large about a writing contest. My proposal was met with blank stares, as the two teachers and principal contemplated what I had just suggested. After a few moments, they warmed up to the idea and got excited. They looked to me for all the answers. Me. A 20 year old student who doesn't really know what she wants out of life. They had spent years, working in schools, and they thought I was an expert. The meeting continued in this manner. I would ask questions. They would respond, but ultimately looked to me as the authority. Pastor Francis said " I know you are concerned with doing things in accordance with our culture, but we want to learn from your culture. What makes American students smarter than us? What can we do to be smarter than you?"
I was floored. Just because we have white skin and money, an intelligent man thinks that we are smarter than them.
I felt smaller by the minute and left my first meeting feeling overwhelmed.
I know I am no god or expert, but I do know that I can offer all my knowledge about writing and creativity in the classroom. But only time will tell.