This blog is brought to you from one of our MIT volunteers: Glory.  Glory is a recent graduate of M.I.T., and part of the long dreamed of project to teach the teachers. Great Shape! Inc. has collaborated with the Jamaican Ministry of Education and local teachers for years, but this was the first time we were blessed to facilitate workshops specifically for JA teachers.
I will always remember Jamaica as a cloud of jerk chicken smoke and Ganja haze.  I came for the first time in August of 2011 for a service project that was a partnership between an MIT Service Organization (IDC Jamaica) and Great Shape! Inc. I’ve learned a lot, and hope to someday go back – if only to see the people I’ve come to be friends with again.
JOY MOMENT: Arriving home in the U.S. at midnight and seeing that 7 of my students had written me emails wishing me a safe flight and warm wishes. (Most of our students had never even touched a computer, let alone email)
CHALLENGE: Controlling my pace of ideas. I would have 100 thoughts that I wanted to impart, but reeling them back, making them more accessible to the teachers, and ordering them in such a way that it was logical and easily followable (is that a word?) was very difficult to me. I’m very enthusiastic when it comes to sharing new ideas, but slowing down so that people can follow where I’m going has always been a challenge, and this project definitely gave me a chance to work on it.
IMPORTANCE OF PROJECT: Literacy and education are always important. The spread of computer literacy and seeing it empower the teachers and give them something else in their teaching arsenal was something very, very special that IDC Jamaica was very proud to be a part of. Literacy leading to empowerment- those are the service projects I love getting involved with.
WHAT I LEARNED: Apparently you can make an impact in under a week.  I didn’t realize how many people would remember who I was, or who would care that I was leaving early, but I was proven wrong. And at the last moment, unexpected as it was, I got a very profound, sincere, and moving speech/thank you from the class through one of its speakers.
FAVORITE LESSON I TAUGHT: The difference between To, CC and BCC in an email. I gave a dating example using the only male teacher in the class room and had everyone in the class roaring with laughter. I bet they will always remember now.

Glory was especially adventurous when it came to meals and took every opportunity to try Jamaica’s traditional dishes. Great Shape! Inc. is so thankful!