A Mid Week Reflection In West Virginia

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pat With Students At Adult Learning Center
In the work week, Wednesday is “hump day; in Beard’s Fork it was “click day.”  While I can’t say we were humming to the tunes that Billy Payne sang last night, we were moving with a familiar rhythm to the jobs waiting for us at the historic Oak Hill School. Anna, Jay and Mariana finished painting the staircase under the eagle eye of Dale, a local resident, and then they moved on to painting the long brick walls in the hallway.  Stephanie added painting to her West Virginia portfolio while John and Ruth completed the refinishing of the handrails for the staircases before spackling and taping the dry wall- in local parlance, “slinging mud.”


While it was great to see such progress, the best part of the day was getting to know and work with the SALS students and staff more than we did yesterday.  There was much more interaction and I would like to think they were becoming more comfortable having us around, too.  Besides their names and nicknames, we’re learning what makes them tick, who’s related to who, and what goals some of them have set.  For some the goal is a GED or a trade certificate; for others it’s getting a paycheck.   Most hope to make their life and raise their families right here in Fayette County.  We volunteers realize that they might be wondering what makes us tick. Artie told us that they think we’re a little bit crazy to pay to do the work we’re doing.   I hope that by Friday they’ll understand that we like doing this and we’re actually having fun.


We miss seeing Pat during the work day and look forward to hearing about her day when we get back to the dorm.  She described her work with a middle-aged student who, she learned today, is incarcerated and bussed to her school for the class.  She found him to be bright with a good chance of passing the exam with some consistent support.  Sadly, the regular school staff did not demonstrate the imagination or flexibility for helping him succeed.


Paint and sparkle showered off, we hopped on the van to join Artie for dinner at Benny’s Bar and Grill in Montgomery, a town about 15 miles of hair-raising switchbacks away.  With full stomachs, the ride home seemed a lot easier and much faster. For the first time this week, we saw bright stars in the Appalachian sky.


One more treat waited for us – Phyllis’ homemade apple pie!

Written by Ruth



Thought for the Day….

“A story about a little poor boy, who was receiving a bag of clothing.  He did not understand why he was being given so much.  He worked through this puzzling question and came up with an answer,,,,,’because I am special'”

Shared by Anna

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