The Words of the Schanker Family
Second Generation Workshop Reflections
Mi-ae Schanker -- staff member
Dec. 27–31, 2001
I am 17 years old; a senior in high school. During my 2001 winter vacation, I had the privilege of being able to be a staff member for the Second Generation Winter Workshop at the UTS Seminary. It was truly a rewarding experience for me.
I must be honest and admit that at first thought, a workshop was not my initial idea of spending my last winter vacation. This would be my last vacation before graduation, STF, and "growing up". But after talking to a few elder brothers and sisters, I decided that I had to staff the workshop and I realized that I really wanted to.
After getting a bit lost (which I take full responsibility for) and driving for many hours, we finally reached our destination just in time for the staff workshop. With lectures, discussions, and activities, the staff members were able to somehow unite together and prepare for our younger brothers and sisters who would be coming the next day.
The first day after the workshop participants arrived, was quite a hectic day. The sleeping arrangements were not to everyone’s absolute comfort and choice, but I think it was definitely a lesson of "living for the sake of others." The next day most of the physical elements of the workshop were smoothed out; very much to the liking of most of the blessed children there.
One of the main themes of this winter workshop, given by Hyun Jin Nim, was "Service for Peace." Through the lectures of a number of elders including Rev. Jenkins, Rev. Kim, Aunt DJ Brewer, and many others, the participants and staff were all given the opportunity to learn more about this theme as well as, the "Meaning of Second Generation", "lineage", and the "Vision for Second Generation." These were all sub-themes of this winter workshop.
Personally, the most I learned was from the members of my group whom I was given the responsibility of taking care of. Regarding to the lectures, I was pushed to pay even closer attention to find group discussion topics, or simply to be ready to answer any of the questions I might have been asked by the younger girls. But even beyond that, just having the opportunity to be an elder sister and a friend to so many younger siblings, was an experience that I could not receive anywhere else. The most interesting aspect of those relationships was that I was able to see a part of myself at some point in my life, in each and every single one of the girls that I got to know. And at the same time, to have so many elder brothers and sisters who worked even harder then I thought of myself, and who cared so much for all of us, was a great experience as well. Being able to see those types of people helped me to realize what my role is as an elder sister. I learned and gained so much from this winter workshop. I only hope I was able to teach some of my youngers something as well. At the end of this workshop, one of my elder brothers told me that it is now our turn to guide our youngers as our own elders did for us. I have truly come to believe that.
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