Saturday, June 08, 2013

Summer Volunteers

Columbia University campus
Mike & I are starting our summer by making a couple of volunteering commitments.  I've been hankering to volunteer since our Dundee days but pickings were a bit slim in that small town and we were far too busy being super popular in London to even contemplate the idea (except, early on, we did volunteer one day in the Carshalton lavender fields).  Now here, where we seem to have nothing but time, we decided to see what was available.

Well, as I suspected, opportunities abound and everyone wants a piece of us.  After a few interviews and inquiries, we've selected one long-term commitment, teaching English as a second language to adults at Columbia University's Community Impact program, and one shorter commitment, working the beer booth at the Governors Ball music festival for Doing Art Together.

We had our first teacher orientation at Columbia last night.  It was a lot of fun and we're both really excited to get into the classroom.  Classes start on Wednesday.  We chose ESL because we expect Mike to spend at least his first 9 months in Hong Kong teaching English and we want to make sure it's something he enjoys.  We chose Community Impact's adult ESL program because it's Columbia University and will look great on our resumes.

Doing Art Together is a short commitment, just this weekend, and gives us free entrance into the music festival on the days we volunteer.  I'm not a huge fan of music festivals (see this post) because they're crowded and there are long lines everywhere but I might enjoy myself if standing safely within a beer serving booth.  For charity. Also, it might take me back to the good old days of helping The Cascades Conservation Partnership at festivals throughout Seattle during the summer of 2001.  I saw Billy Idol, Lyle Lovett, Burt Bacharach, Chris Isaak, plus many others that summer, and all for free while volunteering for TCCP.  It was a great summer.

Although this weekend is supposed to be ensconced by Tropical Storm Andrea, and there are flood warnings and thunderstorms predicted, I'm sure we'll still have a good time.  It's a rare event that can surround us with beer and music and not produce a couple of happy Furnesses.  Make it free and it's damn near unheard of.
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