My week in Montana has been far from what I had expected.  I expected to arrive in a place that was cold, beautiful, and not all that much different than Minnesota.  Well… I was wrong.  When I got off the train in Montana I was welcomed by cold, blistery, winter weather.  The winds here are between 30-60 mph each day!  Minnesota feels like a tropical island compared to Montana!  The weather was not the only thing that surprised me this week.  To preface, before I left I was warned that the students at our school were rambunctious, disrespectful, and lazy.  The students I have worked with this week have been far from this.  

I am currently working in a 4th grade classroom.  Our class has 10 students, although we have never had more than 8 students there at a time.  In fact, we often start out our mornings with just 3 or 4 students.  Throughout the day more students filter in.  Our students are extremely sweet and quiet.  They love to play basketball and receiving our help with their homework and reading.  I have taken a special interest to a student named Trentin this week.  Trentin has a short attention span and gets angry easily.  Working with him is always an adventure.  I feel my work with him is beyond purposeful, though.  Due to his needs, he often gets over looked and does not get the attention he so badly deserves.  Working with him has given me more patience.  Trentin knows he struggles and acts out, but after each time he does, he apologizes right after saying, “Megan I’m sorry for getting mad.  I don’t try to.  I like working with you…” followed by a hug.  It’s actions such as this that make my heart melt.  My week has been filled with many other touching stories and actions from my students.  They continuously make me smile and laugh.

Not only has my time at the school opened my eyes, but also my time with the other SOUL members.  We all get along so well and have shared many laughs and inside jokes.  Spending every second with one another has taught me a lot.  Here’s what I have learned so far…

Jake- He isn’t just Jake, he is “Jake from State Farm.”  He’s also a great shower singer.  By the way, if you need any drugs, hit him up. (Cold medicine stuff people!)

Nayeli- She is the fire queen.  Put a box of matches and a candle in front of her and she will be entertained for days.

Maddie- She’s from Wisconsin and is very proud of that.  Her accent doesn’t exactly match her Wisconsin roots, though…

Jessica- Her side name is Jessie.  Just call her Jessie and we’ll all laugh.

Michaela- She is a secret baller.  Also, playing volleyball for 10 minutes with her will turn your wrists extremely red.

Megan- She now goes by, “Megan- The Humble One” since I already stole, “Megan- The Cool One.”  Everybody already knew that though…

Erica- 6th grade boys have a thing for her.  Just ask her about the after-school note.  She would love to have a penny for your thoughts on the matter.

Regina- She is biggest mountain lover you will meet.  One day she will have a house out here and many horses.

Kelsey- She is an inspirational speaker.  There are too many quotable Kelsey moments.  Also, she makes the best Mickey Mouse pancakes out there.
I hope whoever is reading this is keeping the students we are working with, and their families, in their thoughts and prayers.  This week has been an eye-opening experience.  I will forever remember my time here and the many memories I have made.

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