Coming from the Heart

Yesterday I probably had my worst volunteering experience yet.

I had to volunteer at my local library because they were working on a community project. Everyone was suppose to contribute to this cause. People came at different times to contribute to the project.

I was in charge of helping to sign people in, but it was a very slow day. In addition, the person who was suppose to be volunteering with me ended up not showing up. I kind of wish I had done that too because I stayed there for two hours doing close to nothing. The coordinator seemed really nice, so he showed me what exactly I would probably do (turns out he did it for most of the time, and I wasn’t even mad about it, because I went to sleep so late the night before and I wasn’t in the mood of talking to people).

I talked to him a little bit more and he told me how he was an English major and moved here about 2 years ago from England. Yes, England. I was super surprised because he didn’t even have the accent. He told me how England’s education system was very different. In England, you study and test in 12 subjects, and you choose 4 subjects out of the 12 to continue studying in depth. When he moved to America, it was a hard transition because there were some classes that he hadn’t taken in years due to this system.

As we were talking, I did notice that he was a bit attractive. Unfortunately, I had a huge hunch that he may not have been straight. And it turns out that I was right.

We ended up talking during the time that no one was there (which was a large amount of time), and he talked about how he wrote queer fantasy, which I thought was pretty interesting since there weren’t many of those kinds of books.

Then the other coordinator came and started talking to me. He asked me what I was studying and which school I went to. It’s funny because his first guess was that I attended the community college nearby (he kind of pointed his body in the direction of the community college and asked, “Soo do you go to…?”) With pride I said my school’s name, and his eyebrows raised a little bit, and he re-established his posture. He also seemed more enthusiastic to maintain a conversation with me.

I told him that I’m a bio major pre-med, and he was again surprised to notice that  I had maintained the pre-med track into my sophomore year. He talked about how he used to be on the pre-med track back in the day, but organic chemistry ruined his life.So he decided to do English instead and become a librarian.

At first I was confused as to how you go from being a doctor to being a librarian, but I didn’t show it in my face (atleast I tried not to), and I realized that it looked like something he loved, so I was happy that he found the right track for him.

So some more people came, and there was one lady who came with her son. He said that I could do it this time, so I took the clipboard and approached the mother of the child. It was at that moment that I realized I didn’t really know what to say, even though I did?

I was suppose to ask for her name, but I stalled to long and the coordinator noticed it. He instead asked her for it, and  I checked her name off of the clipboard. I kind of felt bad because that was the only job I had, and I felt like I didn’t do it.

So more dead time came, and it was near 1pm. I had a review session for my final exam starting at 1:30pm. I decided that I would leave early because I needed the review session..

The coordinator offered me a sandwich, and I took it and told him that I couldn’t stay for long. He said that it was totally fine. So I sat for about a couple minutes longer, and I told them that the bus was coming so I was going to leave. I needed them to sign off hours for me so after a goodbye I told him that I needed him to sign off the sheet for hours. The girl sitting next to him turned away and started rapidly blinking. He wordlessly took the paper from and me and scribbled his name and info on there. I don’t think they were pleased at all.

That’s the hardest thing for me: getting papers signed. I  feel like people would automatically think that you’re volunteering just to rack up hours, not because you actually and willingly want to help. That’s something that I really don’t like.

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