Mobilis in Mobili By Cole Young

4 05 2017

Dear friends, family, Alumni champions, and followers,

My name is Cole Young and I have been teaching at T.N. Kirnon for three day now. Through my ups and downs over the first teaching week I have been constantly reminded of one of my favourite quotes from my favourite book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The quote is Mobilis in Mobili, which roughly translates from Latin to “changing in the changes” or also “moving within the moving element”. The reason I keep being reminded of this saying is because I have began to recognize the ever changing element that is T.N. Kirnon, and how within this element I am constantly moving and changing within it. After our first few days I was on top of the world, feeling as confident as ever, truly feeling like I was beginning to get a hold of everything that came my way. However, I have come to understand that every day is a new day, and the lessons you learn one day may not apply to the next. With this knowledge, I have started on what I feel is the beginning of my path to true understanding, which is that within a changing element you can’t be stagnant, you must be changing with it.

Today my experiences were very different from my experiences on the first two teaching days. Today there was a lot more disorganization, my mind would begin to feel scrambled, and where I was once calm and collected, I was now nervous and lost. However, with a quick breather and a drink of water I was able to reset myself and regain control of the situation. This taught me to be ready for anything that could possibly come my way, and understand that when something came up, all I could do was work with the skills I have to try and change the situation until things were right again. Through trial and error, I pushed through and was able to (with the help of my great teaching partners) take something that was beginning to be chaotic, and draw many positives out of it for myself and more importantly the students.

My experiences through the first week have left me with nothing more than a smile on my face at the end of every single day. The students we work with truly have beautiful souls, they hang on your every word, their eyes light up the moment you give them a smile and a wave in the morning, and when you teach them something, it sticks. One of the most amazing things I have seen so far working with these students is the way they listen and learn from everything you say. I have had students in my groups who are nothing but trouble, and when I pull them aside and explain that there is a better way to communicate with people rather than hitting, or shouting, etc. I see them absorb the information I am giving them, and they will go apologize, and later in the game they will be the student to step up when things are getting out of hand to tell students they need to work together. Then before you know it you have a student who was once causing all of the trouble, who is now policing the class in a polite and respectful manner. It truly makes me appreciate everything we are doing here, and it really makes me feel like I am helping make a huge difference in these students’ lives.

While I can feel the difference, we are making in the students lives, I can also feel the affect they are having on my life. Nothing makes you really appreciate the world you live in like watching a young boy who wasn’t getting a turn to play before, run into a game and be accepted with open arms. As you can imagine the ensuing smile that child makes is probably the biggest and warmest smile anyone could ever see. I will not begin to try and describe in words how amazing it is to see the joy in these students’ faces, it’s a level of joy I don’t think I have ever seen in a person, and I am lucky enough to see it ten times a day in every class I teach.

So there you have it, Mobilis in Mobili, changing in the changes. I never thought I would be seeing so many changes in the students I am working with while feeling even more changes within myself. As we begin to wrap up our first week I am now starting to really appreciate the gravity of the opportunity we have all been given. This is not an opportunity that just comes and goes and is a cool story once in a while. This is an experience that sticks with you for the rest of your life whether you meant it to or not, and as we continue this amazing journey I continue to look forward to everything that this trip has in store for me.

Thank you to everyone reading for your support, it really does mean the world to all of us over here to know there are people reading and wanting to know all there is to know about our days here. With that I want to wish everyone a happy Star Wars Day, and May the Fourth be with you.

Cole Young
T.N. Kirnon


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3 responses

4 05 2017
Shannon Toker

Well done Cole! The impact you and your fellow Champions are making on these children’s lives is such a gift. Enjoy your time in Antigua.

4 05 2017
Jenelle Atkinson

Great blog, Cole! Educators are continually needing to change and adapt. Personally, I think that’s one of the best things about the profession! It’s so exciting to hear the impact this program has had on you so early on. The Champions program is unlike any other and you are absolutely right about it sticking with you. It becomes a part of who you are! It is evident that you are passionate about the program and about what you are doing on the island. Best of luck to all of the Champions tomorrow at your first Unity Games!

5 05 2017
Tracy Young

This opportunity you have been given along with all champions is nothing short of amazing!! You are not only growing as individuals but the students are growing & learning alongside you. It must be the most rewarding feeling to be a part of this team & to be a part of these children’s lives for a month. It is going to be hard for you all to leave! I can see why UFV students go back year after year and why Joanna continues to run this program 11 years later! So proud of you all 😊 Enjoy all of your experiences and know your mama is so proud 😘

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