Monday, May 7, 2012
Ben had his heart set on playing basketball with me but I wanted to play mini golf so we made a compromise. First we would play mini golf and then afterwards we would play basketball. Mini golf went really well, Ben had three hole-in-ones, I was really impressed. Score was not kept but I think Ben beat me. Anyway, mini golf was a success and right after, like I promised, we played basketball together. Ben had his basketball in hand and went we got to the courts it was only seconds before Ben was dribbling. The look on his face when he was a basketball in his hand is sheer joy.
The Project Dream BBQ was a blast! Due to inclement weather, and a fear of a cold, Ben and his father had to leave us early but it was still a hit and I was glad I got to see him. I loved seeing my classmates interact with their students, playing games, talking and what not. The things everyone said about their student was so nice, I could tell what was said was sincere and the parents really appreciated it. I really hope Project Dream lives on for the years to come.
Ben was a little upset that the past week he did not get to play basketball with me so I promised him next time I saw him he and I would play basketball. The weather was in our favor so we were playing outside. Ben and I were on the empty tennis courts dribbling laps together. Eventually, we practiced our passing together, chest passes and bounce passes and that was a lot of fun. Soon enough though Ben wanted to dribble again so we got right back dribbling, running side by side.
Ben met me at my apartment along with my friend Andy and his student Bob. I rented Just Dance for the Wii from blockbuster. Just Dance went really well, Ben and Bob loved dancing to the music, just like Andy and I did. The four of us danced and danced until we could no longer dance anymore. Next, we played golf on the XBox Kinect and that was so much fun. I borrowed my friends Kinect but I am tempted to buy one of my own for the future. Anyway, the golf went really well too, Ben began to get indifferent however. Finally, we played Mario Kart and Ben was happy again, he really liked that game. The day went really well, Ben was having fun and was with his friend from school Bob.
I met Ben at Park Center and we headed straight to the racquetball courts. I brought along with me my Kan Jam set and a couple of racquets for racquetball. Ben was very good at Kan Jam, he started to play close to the Kan, trying to hit it, and progressively he would get farther away and still managed to hit the Kan. I got the urge to invite him to play Kan Jam with my friends and I when the weather would get nicer. Racquetball also went really well, score was not kept but Ben and I would volley together as we chatted. Finally, we played catch and I noticed Ben was having trouble crossing the midline so I tried to teach him how to do so and it began to get the hang of it.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Ben is such a good dribbler, I cannot believe it! As soon as we get to the gym he just takes off dribbling and nothing will stop him. I am dribbling right by his side, chatting with him but I am finding it difficult to keep up with him. I engage him in conversation and learn that he likes to swim. I am going to have to ask his father how strong of a swimmer he is because I want to take Ben swimming in Park Center, during open swim on Saturdays. I really am excited to see him in the water, and I cannot help but wonder if Ben will head towards the diving board. More on this later.
Ben and I met up with a few friends, Bob and Bryan, to shoot around in Park Center. Andy's student Bob was so happy to see Ben, and I consider myself lucky to have seen their friendship. I met Bob and Bryan and both of them are so friendly. The three of them must know each other from school because they were having a blast, and likewise so was I. I was so glad that Leron, Andy and I made plans to meet with each other. Definitely have to do it again.
I meet with Ben to play basketball and the look on his eyes, sheer excitement. I love the passion he has for the game of basketball, the look of joy in his face, it's priceless. It makes it all worth it. Ben quickly grabs his basketball and starts having the time of his life, without a care in the world.
I took Ben to 281 lanes to a few rounds of bowling. We ended up playing 3 rounds and Ben was amazing! Ben has the cognitive knowledge of bowling, never missing a beat. He was able to get a handful of strikes and I was thoroughly impressed. During the middle of our games, two high school students started bowling in the lane next to us and I could tell Ben was gradually getting uncomfortable. The high schools kids were very friendly and meant no harm, simply were trying to play a few games of bowling and have some conversation. Ben did not like it. I want to make him more comfortable around peers.
Now I finally get to play basketball with Ben 1 on 1, giving myself the ability to engage him in conversation with his full attention. I learned that Ben loves to dribble, more than he does to shoot, and he is a fan of Syracuse basketball, which I could have imagined. I hope to see a more social Ben by the end of the semester, hoping he does not hesitate to say what is on his mind.
It was finally time for me to meet Ben during the Project Dream Kickoff, and admittedly so, I was nervous. I knew he was 15 and I knew he liked basketball, but that it just about all I knew. Ben and I really hit it off and I learned just how good at basketball he is. I met his father and I could tell just how much his father cares about him. I want to show his father that I am here to help Ben and be his friend. I am looking forward to the days to come.