Hitting the home stretch! I am two weeks from departure, finished my last day at my job, half sorted about 1/4 of my life and boxed/given it away, and am suddenly realizing that I’m leaving the country. Wow!
I received the list of possible volunteer opportunities that I will be choosing from during my first couple of weeks in Israel. There are so many wonderful projects and assignments that I will surely find it difficult to choose. One that really stood out had been previously mentioned to me by the director of admissions for Tikkun Olam during my initial phone interview, when I was applying for the program. It is at Muzot High School, which is in Old City, Yafo (or Jaffa, depending on which you prefer). The high school was founded in 2005 and caters to teens at risk and teens who have experienced crisis. If I were to be assigned to volunteer at Muzot High School it would be a wonderful opportunity to combine my teaching experience and my previous experience working with at risk youth and victims of domestic violence. This type of work truly speaks to me, and I am very excited to have this opportunity in the mix right now.
I read an article recently, published by the Science Network in Western Australia, that touched on the subject of implementing art and utilizing it as a facilitator and catalyst in the learning process. The article focused on a study at Murdoch University that showed art helps in the development of critical thinking in young children. There was a similar article published in the New York Times, focusing on a study being conducted through the Guggenheim Museum that is currently in its second year. I have found through my own experience and through other research that this is not only true in young children, but in teens, young adults, and adults.
In addition to the volunteer opportunity at Muzot High School, I found a few others that had possibilities of incorporating a creative element such as art. I am glad to have the list now, so that I may keep thinking about these great options for the next two weeks as I near the beginning of my journey.