Thursday, 23 July 2015

My American Adventure: Second day in the Bronx pt 2

The people I worked with today were all friendly and down to earth. I have been really blessed and I always look forward to seeing them. Sometimes we rotate and don't always work with the same team. I had worked with three of them before but the other two women I met for the first time. I got on very well with them and we spent a lot of time talking about our experiences, what made us decide to become lawyers etc.

 Twinkle is from the Philippines and has been living in the US for about 4 years. She worked as corporate accountant and auditor for many years before deciding to become a lawyer a few years ago. She is a hard worker and so open. We had interesting conversations.

Shayshana is a mother of two who is currently working as a teacher and has done so for over 10 years. She inspired me a lot. She failed the bar exam 3 times and went into teaching. She always had a dream to become a lawyer and last year decided to do the New Bar Exam again and this time she passed. She didn't give up in her dream.

 I have learned so much from my colleagues and it's been interesting to see that most of the time, I am the youngest person at the clinics. Life experience and transferrable skills that you acquire working in different jobs and sectors helps a lot, especially when dealing with people and managing case load.

 After we finished the legal clinic at 3pm, I decided to attend the 4pm service at the Universal Church in the Bronx as it wasn't far from where I had been working. I walked around the neighbourhood for a bit and I was amazed at the sizes of The Projects.

 The buildings were huge and they were a lot of them. I saw projects across the road from each other, on one corner, then another one on the corner. I've worked in Brooklyn, Queens and Harlem, but was to see projects just like the ones I was seeing in the Bronx. The church is across the road from one and I took this picture as I was leaving the service.

 I find people in the area to be generally nice. Even if they do have a lot of attitude, a lot of it is down to lack of education and frustration at life and their situation. When I say education, I am not merely referring to academic education from school but education with manners, communicating with people, politeness, showing common courtesy. I have noticed that a lot of people didn't have this and it's probably the way they were raised.

Most people are a product of their childhood and you can clearly see. Six weeks ago I would have been annoyed with people like this but my attitude and outlook has changed. when I asked one of the staff at the Children's Center who were hosting us for directions to Webster Avenue, she replied "don't you have a phone? Look on google." She had been very nice to us earlier and was even talking to me and Twinkle but later her mood changed. I remembered her saying something about having a health condition so I assumed that maybe she was in pain at that time or she was tired because it was drawing towards the end of the day. She did look fed up so maybe something happened which annoyed her and took it out of whoever was there.

 The more I am around different people with different w and upbringings, the more I am understanding them and not taking offence or reading much into their responses when they appear rude or inconsiderate. I am maturing.

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