(Kelley Thompson is a Program Specialist in FLOC’s Scholars Program.)
I recently returned from a trip to Vietnam, where I was fascinated by the stark contrast between the serene beauty of the countryside and the frenetic pace of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). FLOC related? Yes, indeed. The period of time between when FLOC Scholars enter the building and the start of their program is reminiscent of the energetic, loud and bustling streets of Hanoi and HCMC. My office, which is adjacent to the Scholars program space, is more akin to the peaceful Vietnamese countryside.
It was during one of these ‘in between” times that I stepped away from the student-filled room and into my office to gather some program supplies before the actual start of program. Liquid Mind music was playing on my computer, and, as the name suggests, the music had an instantaneous calming effect. I paused long enough for the music to envelop my entire being and then emerged from my office more intentional and thoughtful in my observations. In my “Liquid Mind/Vietnamese Countryside” induced state, I viewed the scene of students with a profound clarity. I saw a group of young people, all of whom have infinite capacity to teach, inspire and impact those they encounter. More specifically, I was amazed by:
• The poetry Scholars speak without even trying to be poetic
• The ‘realness’ and ‘raw-ness’ (coupled with a somewhat counterintuitive innocence) with which they understand life
• The unique perspectives they offer to anyone who will listen
• Their creativity, ingenuity and inventiveness
• The ease with which they will sing and dance when the mood strikes
• The fact that some still find simple humorous pleasure in crawling under a table (come on, it’s like fort-building using the only readily available resources)
• The trusting and open way they share
• The way their smiles can change the trajectory of the recipient’s entire day
All of this was a very long-winded way of saying that FLOC Scholars have amazing things to offer the world. So, rather than my continuing to ramble, I think it’s time to hear the actual voices of the Scholars.
And thus begins part one of ‘Voices of Scholars: A Series.’ I think it is appropriate to kick off this series with an introduction to who the Scholars actually are. When asked, “who are you,” they responded……
Wolf, peace, unknown, ignorant, happiness, lost, eternity, human, silent, deep, Apollo, nature, handsome, abyss, tree, bright, poet, thought, champion, thinker, love, soldier, man, unity, darkness, boy, artist, pretty, smart, green, animal, BFF, loving, kind, outdoors, indoors, fun, friends, everything, family, cook, traveler, food, Abercrombie & Fitch, history, horses, dolphins, Spanish, singer, artist, logic, mature, mentality, movement, power, strength, comfort, Malaysia, spirit, gamer, hair, stereotype, statistic, solution, accessory, mandatory, unnatural, phenomenon, speaker, psychologist, Pandora, collision, motivator, encourager, courage, inspire, Aphrodite, sports, guitarist, musician, tall, incredible, amazing, talented, giving, loveable, sharing, daughter, granddaughter, niece, heart, friend, student, invincible, shy, pretty, occupied, film, writer, critic, teenager, fashionable, spontaneous, excited, excellent, important, sociable, forgiving, respectful, honest, loyal, girl, person, Redskins fan, puppies, successful, visitation, from God, intelligent, bashful, artist, talkative, love, hardworking, First honors, orange, FLOC, different, colorful, visi girl, creative, nature, Salt and Vinegar chips, pizza, real, fabulous, shopaholic, pink, unicorn, pony, gold, friend, St. Anthony, silver, lavender, nice, twin, caring, a boy who likes singing, Yugi-oh, comic books, drawing, nice, smart, soccer, football, writing, video games, books, silly, acting, library, glee club, rollercoaster.