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ARSC 3480 – Citizenship & Service Practicum

Examples of Excellent Journal Entries

These are excerpts from a student journal that you can use for ides about how to write your own journal. What I like about this journal is that there are keen observations which are described clearly, and which lead to themes on issues related to community service and personal discovery. She gives concrete examples but more general principles are extracted from them. The writer includes many fresh insights, personal discoveries, and "deep thoughts" relating ideas about community service to her specific experiences. She describe the value of service to others, to her personal development, and to the development of new insights as a result of the service experience. Also the writing style is personal, lively, and engaging. This is an example of what I would like to see in your journal. Of course, you will have to adapt these ideas to your particular situation.

Oct .17 Entry #4 An Inside Look at the Cafeteria Workers

Volunteering with the Food Recycling Program is such a rewarding experience. Throughout the week, I really look forward to Wednesday, a time that I can take a break from my daily activities to help others. The simple routine of what I do brings such an exciting and joyful feeling to my heart. I have never seen so much food in my life! Today I think we counted 36 buckets. WOW! This is great! Do you know how many mouths this is going to feed? I am so glad that Glenn Hutchinson started the Food Recycling Program, because it helps so many homeless and starving people.

Through the food recycling program, I not only learn about helping others, but I also learn about other people and their feelings., e.g., the cafeteria workers. Many people perceive cafeteria workers by their outside appearance, but once you get to know them, you see what’s on the inside. There is one lady that works in the cafeteria that is so sweet and caring. As my friend and I are doing our "daily duties", she is talking to us about her grandchildren and asks us how we are doing. Then there is the energetic lady that always makes me laugh. She always does crazy things to put a smile on my face. Today, I went to the back room to bring the workers the dirty dishes, and the energetic lady had the radio on and was dancing and singing. It was so hilarious and fun to watch. Through their own individual way, these workers show that they really do care about us. The appreciation and care that I receive makes me grateful for the cafeteria workers and what they do for the students.

Oct .19 Entry #5 New Insights, New People,

My perception of life has changed since I started this volunteer program. The Food Run has shown me reality and the other sides of life. Through the Food Recycling Program, I get to experience teamwork, charity, and suffering. Working together and talking to other volunteers and cafeteria workers allows me to form a team with others and at the same time, allows me to develop friendships. Charity is seen through the donation of time of the volunteers and the food given to the soup kitchen. I am so glad that there are so many people willing to donate their time to help others.

Every Wednesday as we arrive at the soup kitchen, I always see this one man on the sidewalk with his same pair of worn-out shoes and same raggedy, plaid shirt. He is sitting there like there is no hope in life. As we are unloading the food, I always look over at him, smile, and say, "Hi sir. How are you doing today?" He always smiles and replies, "Thanks for asking ma’am. I’m trying to get along, but doing just fine." For some, it is easy to ignore the homeless, but when you see the same man or woman sitting on the side of the street week after week, you take the initiative to see how they are doing because ignoring them is impossible. The Food Recycling Program has helped me realize what life is all about and has helped me appreciate life more. Through working with the Food Run, I have developed new qualities as well as new friendships. I really enjoy the time I spend each week volunteering and helping others.