Thursday, December 3, 2015

Artisans Reflection: Tyler Bianchetto

My junior year of high school I volunteered on the weekends helping kids with mental disabilities learn how to ski.  This was my initial experience of working with people with disabilities.  However, I had never worked with older individuals with disabilities.  It was a daunting task.  Kids were always very friendly, and I had no idea if it was going to be the same with older.  However, I was very excited to start working with Robbie.

On the day of my first visit, I was nervous getting through class in the morning and before we left.  My thoughts raced with ideas of “what if he doesn’t like me?” or “what if he is one of the harder cases that Mary had told us of?”  However, once Abby and I arrived at the downtown office, it was apparent I had nothing to fear.  Robbie was eating lunch and when we walked in a smile appeared across his face.  We had a little awkward greeting and exchange of our names, but before long, he became extremely friendly and talkative.  Ten minutes into our first session, we were already working on creating bracelets, drawing pictures and telling each other our favorite things.  He told me he loved watching wrestling and his favorite wrestler was The Undertaker.  We rounded off the visit with a trip to one of his favorite places, Starbucks.  As we walked down the street, Robbie all of a sudden started running in front with a grin from ear to ear.  It was apparent he was a little excited from the countless times he told me what he was going to order: a pumpkin spice latte.  It’s the little things in life.

Although we haven’t had much time to be around each other, what has stuck out to me was Robbie’s love of the small things and how fun loving he is.  From his love of just a latte from Starbucks, something many of us take for granted, or even just his love of making bracelets for his girlfriend and mother, he stays grounded, enjoying the small things.  I think a lot of us can learn from Robbie’s outlook.  Many of us in college get so stressed out about big things and the future and everything in our crazy busy lives that we overlook these things.  TAKE JOY FROM THE SMALL THINGS IN LIFE.  It’s a message that he continuously illustrates to me.  It is a message that I need to take into my own life. Don’t get hung up on things in the future and just learn to love the small things. 
           
Overall, I have only spent a little bit of time with my mentee Robbie, but from this little time, I am extremely excited to work with him and get to build a relationship with him over the year.  It is extremely gratifying to get to work with someone, especially when you are hanging out with them, like we all do, means so much to them.  I am extremely excited to work with Robbie and find the growth that both he and I can do together.

- Tyler Bianchetto
Knight of Gonzaga

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