Friday, January 23, 2015

Transitions Reflection: Nate Disser

Before volunteering at Transitions and working with my mentee, Roland, I was not very experienced or familiar with this young age group. I had been involved in mentoring and tutoring older age groups, but I knew Roland, who is in first grade, would be a challenge for me. Looking back at my time so far with Roland, I am so thankful to have this challenge, as it has provided the chance to make an impact on both of our lives.

When I first met Roland, I could tell that we were very much alike. On the outside, he was a lot quieter and introverted than the other kids, but I could tell that once we got to know each other he would quickly come out of his shell. Surely enough, by the end of our visit, we were sprinting up and down the halls flying paper airplanes and I could hardly get a word in because he was talking so much. Ever since, we have spent our time running the halls, building crazy train tracks, and playing basketball, all with Roland running the show.

What has been most profound to me, though, is Roland’s intense curiosity and desire to learn. Throughout every visit, he constantly asks me questions about school, sports, college, work, anything that comes to his mind. I can tell he genuinely enjoys learning new things and is absorbing every piece of information that he can. On top of that, during our last visit, he brought a homework packet and asked if we could work on it. Out of all the fun things we could do, he wanted to do homework and learn as much as possible.

This appreciation of knowledge and the desire to learn is something that I think we can take very easily for granted as college students. We often complain of the difficulty of our workload and try to just “get by” when in reality, the wealth of knowledge that we are exposed to is one of the most valuable resources we will ever have. I am reminded by Roland to be thankful for my education and to pursue it like a first grader, with a curious, relentless, and passionate desire to learn.

-Nate Disser
Knight of Gonzaga

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