On Tuesday, December 1, the class took a field trip to CSUS to meet their writing partners. The students have had multiple opportunities to write back and forth with a college freshman in the undergraduate Nursing program. The day couldn’t have gone more perfectly.
Clear skies, nice temperatures for December, smiling faces, and loads of excitable energy loaded bus 134 at 9:20 am. After taking a slight detour around Sac State, we arrived at the bus drop off in front of the J Street entrance to Sac State at 9:50. As Prof. Curtis arrived to greet us, the students waited in anticipation for the day to really begin. Some were probably wondering; What did their writing partner look like? How would they act? Were they shy or outgoing?
At 10 am we were escorted through the campus behaving as the young adults the students knew to be. Being on a college campus, the students were very respectful of the learning environment, the other college students and the campus overall. They walked with dignity and respect admiring the buildings and great vegetation the school has to provide. Most of the students stayed up with the main group, but a few staggered behind, encouraged to keep moving so we didn’t lose the group. Finally we arrived at our destination- a college classroom where their college partners were already waiting!
What a great surprise. We were told their college class didn’t begin until 10:30 am. All but 4 or 5 partners had come early just to be there for the students. The kids and their writing partners quickly got together and chatted for a little while as they made name tags with the choice of colors and stickers to choose from. After a short interview from student to college partner about why they chose to go to college (per Ms. Robertson’ request), the students were ready to try out the “clickers”.
What fun! In college, professors can use the “clickers” to get an instant response to a lecture by posting questions to the class. This time, the writing partners asked the students various questions from their favorite color to their best subject in school. I think the winner of that one was Recess! All the students had a blast taking part in the surveys.
One of the highlights of the day came when we took a walk over to the Nursing building where a simulation of patients in a few hospital rooms were available for the students to listen to their lungs with a real stethoscope. Each manikin had a different respiratory issue, making the sound of the stethoscope different for each manikin. The buddies went around together, trying out the equipment, posing for the camera, and learning about the heart monitors and computers used in a real hospital. One manikin even had the ability to talk and communicate with you. Several students had to help that patient as she seemed to get sick and throw-up a lot! Good thing a bucket was near-by! Smiles and interested bodies circulated all 3 rooms. For the writing partners, this was a new experience for them as well. According to one student, they don’t get to work on the manikins until their Junior year in college.
After spending a good amount of time with the manikins, we were off for a quick look at the Game Room in the Union, and then to meet the CSUS men’s soccer coach and a little chat about athletics and the importance of keeping up their grades to play sports. Too soon, it was time to go though. After a short talk and a few questions, the students received posters and a goodie bag from their buddies. Everyone said their good-byes and we headed back for our bus as the other students headed off to their next class . . . or maybe some lunch!
All the students had a positive college experience on this trip to Sac State. The time and effort put in by Prof. Curtis and her students made all the difference. As a teacher I hope more will consider college as a possibility for them and work to achieve that goal in the future. Who ever knew college was so much fun!