English 101 Students Reflect On Service

The Experience of Serving at an Electronic Recycling Drive as Told by a Chester High School Student

Jenna+Bierman+and+Cierra+Creason+were+two+of+the+students+who+took+part+in+the+electronic+recycling+drive+Nov.+2.+Students+in+the+Rhetoric+and+Composition+class+participated+in+the+drive+as+part+of+a+service-learning+unit.
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English 101 Students Reflect On Service

Jenna Bierman and Cierra Creason were two of the students who took part in the electronic recycling drive Nov. 2. Students in the Rhetoric and Composition class participated in the drive as part of a service-learning unit.

Jenna Bierman and Cierra Creason were two of the students who took part in the electronic recycling drive Nov. 2. Students in the Rhetoric and Composition class participated in the drive as part of a service-learning unit.

Deborah Wills

Jenna Bierman and Cierra Creason were two of the students who took part in the electronic recycling drive Nov. 2. Students in the Rhetoric and Composition class participated in the drive as part of a service-learning unit.

Deborah Wills

Deborah Wills

Jenna Bierman and Cierra Creason were two of the students who took part in the electronic recycling drive Nov. 2. Students in the Rhetoric and Composition class participated in the drive as part of a service-learning unit.

Andy Bryant, Sting Reporter

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How often do you reflect on things? By reflect, I mean really reflect on things. Have you ever thought about how much a certain experience has changed, or has not changed, you as a person? Have you ever looked back at a situation and asked yourself, “What could I have done differently in this situation?” I can speak from experience that the world would be a much better place if we, as humans, stopped and reflected on our experiences. This essay is my reflection on before, during, and after the Rhetoric and Composition Electronic Recycling Drive. 

The electronics recycling  drive happened on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. The drive was at Chester Grade School and was put on by the Chester High School Rhetoric and Composition class. Electronics were collected from 9 am to noon on the 2nd by CJD electronic recycling. Statistically, we had 75 cars, of which: 57 cars from Chester, 7 from Ellis Grove, 3 from Sparta, 2 from Steeleville, 2 from Columbia, 1 from Kaskaskia, 1 from Evansville, and 1 from Missouri. Of the 75 cars, 38 found out from newspapers, 9 from social media, 13 from word of mouth, 1 from flyers, 3 from signs, 9 from the school or Sting website, 3 from other sources. 

Prior to the drive, I actually was not very concerned with the recycling of electronics, with the exception that there were laws against the throwing away of TVs. Also prior to the drive, I believed that squatting down in jeans was perfectly okay and that those jeans would not rip. I also thought that people were smart enough to follow hand directions like “stop,” “come forward,” “keep moving forward,” et cetera. I also thought that people would never attempt to drive under the parent pick-up porch with a car that is clearly too small to fit through there without taking out the side mirrors. During, and after, the drive, I learned the hard way on some lessons that needed to be learned. 

I faced several, in my opinion, good learning opportunities during the drive. I learned the hard way that bending over in jeans while holding a somewhat heavy box of computer towers will cause jeans to tear, no matter how well it is believed the jeans are going to hold. For example, while working the drive, I was wearing a pair of blue jeans that were a little tattered at the bottom, so I designated them to be work jeans. Well, this guy came in with several items: a TV, a computer monitor, a box with two towers in the box, and a printer. I decided that I would take the box of towers because it was the only thing in the bed of the truck left by the time I came over to help them. So, I grabbed the box and walked over to the pallet where the computer monitors were sitting. I decided that I did not want to just drop the box and potentially break the towers, which would cause all of the little pieces inside of the tower to go everywhere. So, I chose to squat down to set the box with the computer towers down. As soon as I squatted down, I felt my jeans split on my left pant leg from the middle of my thigh down to just above the back of my knee. Aside from the fact that I could feel the split in my pant leg, I could also feel the cold wind hitting my now exposed skin. 

A little while after my pant leg tore is when I realized that people cannot seem to follow simple hand gesture directions. For example, at some point like five cars showed up back to back. As a reference, I was standing in a parking space when this happened. I tried putting my hand up to them to indicate to stop so I could get to them to survey them. Apparently, in some other dialect of hand gesture directions, an open palm with all five fingers standing up means come towards me. A little after the parking space incident, a lady did not come the right way down the correct way to the drive and instead drove to the front of the grade school. Then, she proceeded to try to come under the parent pick-up porch even though  her car clearly would not fit in between the posts that were under the porch. At least, the car would not fit with those little side mirrors that were sticking out by about eight inches. I mean, nobody really needs those mirrors, right? Anyway, I got over to the lady and told her to stop before something bad ended up happening. She looked at me funny so I had to tell her that she was going the wrong way and that she needed to go back the way she came and went the correct way at the fork in the road. She then backed straight up, and came down the way she was supposed to go. I did learn quite a bit during the drive, but I also learned a lot, mostly on reflection after the recycling drive. 

After the drive, I learned a few different things. I learned that I am not a very concerned person about my recycling. At least, I usually am not. I do make sure that what can be recycled is, but not to the extent that Mr. North does his. I also learned that I could always use a little more enthusiasm when it comes to serving, whether it be in the community or at home just doing my chores. I recognize that I am not very cheerful and enthusiastic about my service. 

This is my reflection on the electronic recycling drive put on at Chester Grade School by the Chester High School Rhetoric and Composition classes. As a closing statement, I would like to challenge everyone who reads this essay to go out into the world with a cheerful heart ready for service and to go serve.

Editor’s note: The e-cycling drive was held as a service-learning project for the Rhetoric & Composition class. This was the fifth time the dual-credit students wrote a reflection paper after conducting an e-cycling collection.