Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day of Service


            Every year at Park, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we forgo regular classes to participate in a half day of community service.  There are dozens of options, both on and off campus that students can choose to sign up for.  This day provides a nice break from the monotony of classes, and gives us a great opportunity to give back to the community.
            We should be grateful that Park gives them the chance to take off school and make a difference.  Instead, many students choose to just stay home on Day of Service.  They figure it’s a good chance to recuperate, and after all they’re “not missing anything important.”  I personally find this unbelievably selfish.
            I admit that many of the service options are lackluster.  Making sandwiches or picking up trash across campus isn’t exactly my idea of an exciting morning, but that’s not the point.  Even if your participation is negligible in the grand scheme of things, simply skipping out on the Day of Service is not in the spirit of Thanksgiving, or, for that matter, The Park School.
            Our philosophy preaches positive expectations; when students are absent on the Day of Service, teachers assume that they are gone with good reason.  It is true that a lot of kids go away to visit relatives for the holiday.  Meanwhile, other students abuse these positive expectations when they don’t come into school, relying on their teachers and peers to excuse their absence.
            Park students come from all different backgrounds, and everyone has their unique concerns and problems, but something that we all have in common is the luxury of attending a remarkable school.  No matter how we got here, we all share the teachers and resources that compose our school.  So, think twice before you decide to sleep in Wednesday morning.  Is it too much to ask that for just one day a year, we stop thinking about ourselves and take one for the team?