EXITEing progress

This week I am EXploring Interests in Technology and Engineering along with 36 grade 7/8 girls at the Toronto lab. I’m a team counsellor, which means that 6 of these girls are mine — hurray for team orange.

Somehow, I ended up with the quiet kids. Now, I know I’m louder than some (ok, most), but these kids are **quiet**. For example, this morning we were sitting in teams around our tables. The other colours were chit chatting away, and mine sat staring at me. So I started asking each what they had done last night. The answers were brief: “Watched TV”, “Went to sleep”, “Went Grocery shopping”. But that’s okay.

Then my favourite response: “I did nothing”
So I say “Really? You did nothing?”
Her: “Yes”
Me: “You just sat and stared at the wall?”
Her: “Yes”

Alright then. Let’s talk a little bit more about this girl. We’ll call her Wednesday, because I shouldn’t use a real name, and that’s the character that I think of when I think of her.

An illustration of how fun Wednesday is – she named her roller coaster simulation”Suicide Canyon”, and in an acrostic of her name she used the word “Assasin”.

She also refuses to pose for pictures. Like, hands over face, no negotiation. So in an attempt to make her feel special, I now let her cary around the camera and be the “team photographer”. She still doesn’t smile, or raise her hand for anything, but at least she’s making herself useful (and now I’m in the pictures too). I could go on, but I won’t.

Lots of fun.

Anyway, this afternoon our teams built roller coasters out of knex (wow, it’s *way* harder than it looks) and the girls were actually FORCED to talk to each other because there’s no way to put together something this big without “using your words”. And amazingly, our teams’ was the FIRST put together, and (for the first time in the four years they’ve done it at the camp) it worked on the FIRST try. Loop-de-Loop and all.

It was so exciting, even Wednesday agreed to pose with the coaster for a pic.

And during the wrap up activity, she raised her hand to answer a question!

We’re making progress.
By Friday, I will have them cheering.

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