After we toured the school, we had the opportunity to sit in on a class. The class I sat in on consisted of students around the age of twelve. They were working on Spanish, reading a poem and discussing the usages of commas, periods, exclamation points, and question marks. Although not all of the students had books, the students that had books paired up with students who did not have books. As the teacher asked for students to read, or as she asked them questions, I noticed there was a high volunteer rate. They raised their hands with enthusiasm, obviously wanting to be called on. It was quite obvious the students respected the teacher for the most part. The majority of them were attentive throughout the lesson. I noticed other than their books, notebooks, and pencils, there weren't many other materials throughout the room.
This experience made me realize how much students in the United States take their education for granted. Students in the United States complain about going to school, when in reality, they don't realize how privileged they really are. They are provided with so many materials at school to help them learn, especially technology. They get to go to school for a full day, and because of this, get to enjoy extra classes such as music, art, gym, and technology, that the students in La Cienega don't have the opportunity to enjoy. Despite everything they are lacking, the students at the school were full of life. Their smiling faces and friendly attitudes made me realize that you don't necessarily need material items to be happy. This applies to everyone in La Cienega. While we walk throughout the community to go to lunch, we are surrounded by smiling, welcoming faces. The people and children say hello, smile, and wave as we pass by. It is so important to appreciate the little things in life, and unfortunately we need experiences like this to be reminded of that.