Tag Archives: service

Started from the Bottom, Now We’re Here

I knew from the start that my passion for social justice was about to grow indefinitely. I was completely right. I have learned so much on this backpack journalism trip. 

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I’ve learned how to be a better photographer. I’ve become an amateur film maker. I’ve learned how to conduct interviews, set up cameras, make sure all of the chords are plugged into the right places, always have backup sound in case you forget a chord, converse with the interviewee, and edit the final product. I have learned how to capture a variety of shots in one setting so that I can edit them into one scene later. 

I’ve learned about the Avery Dulles’ Models of the Church. I was introduced to the many varieties of these models and how they can differ depending on the location of the Church. While I grew up in the Catholic Church, I never thought of the concept of the church being based on models. I also had this idea in my head that the Church was the same everywhere. I personally thought that everyone had the same old way of doing things. I became bored with the monotone masses I was attending and found myself not being able to relate to anything concerned with the church. In my time at Marian and Creighton, I have had my views altered and had them evolve. Avery Dulles, SJ, brought up a whole new dimension to the church in his book, Models of the Church. Before  I read this book, I saw the Church as more of an institution of old men and chanting people.

I believe that Dulles brought to mind some good points and recognized the disadvantages as well. It went hand and hand with our trip to Nogales. I assume that the knowledge will help me in the future as well. I wa able to learn more about the Church as well as myself and my position within the Church.

I read and watched a lot about Jon Sobrino, S.J. who is a liberation theologist. He discussed this idea of the Crucified People. 

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We are called to stand in solidarity with migrants who can easily be seen as a Crucified People. These are our neighbors that we are talking about here. Since we as Americans are the more privileged of the two, we are called to advocate for those who cannot. Both countries have a shared “faith that calls for a living and just world, not one that is ruined by violence and discrimination.” We followers of Christ, we must work and pray for the universal good.

My confidence in the subject of migration has evolved and although I am not a master, I am more educated. I know that I will be able to live differently by how I handle myself when encountering strangers. Everyone has their own cross to bear, their own hardships. It is not my place to turn a blind eye or judge them. Instead I will meet them where they are and walk with them as my brothers and sisters. 

Why?

My Beautiful Mother & I A lot of people say that I look and act like my mom. We have the same cheeks, on our face and rear end. We both like to talk way too much and think we are funnier than we really are. I always have to be careful when I am in public because the odds are that someone knows who my mom is. I used to annoy her by constantly asking “Why?” to things that she said. I was never satisfied with simple answers.

St. John's June 20, 1992My mom used to tell me about her college days at Creighton. These were some of the best years of the first part of her life before I was born (the dull years). After I was born, the next 21 years would be her favorite because, duh, I am a delight.

There are two specific events that my mom recalls the most. 

The first being when she met her best friend, my dad, in a car on the way to the store to get party supplies. Intrigued by hi

s silence, she asked her friends about him. Eventually, she befriended the quiet, brown boy. In an attempt to flirt, they would play tag and run up and down the stairs, chasing each other in circles. She sprained her ankle one too many times. Whether or not this was an effort to trap my dad into feeling bad for her or if she was really hurt, I do not know. After dating for seven years, they got married in Saint John’s on June 20th (Happy Anniversary).

My Parents on June 20, 1992
My Parents on June 20, 1992

They waited two more years before they had the most incredible child they could ever dream of. Afterwards came three more hooligan children with whom I have had to teach how to be civilized.

The second noteworthy experience that my mother had at Creighton was her immersion to the Dominican Republic with the ILAC program. She was one of the first females to lead a group as well as one of the only non-medical students. This experience helped her become more fluent in Spanish. I would flip through her albums and see her grinning with her braided hair talking to the Dominicans. This was one of the few moments that I thought my mom was cool. There was one picture that I distinctly remember. It was of a little girl, maybe 3 or 4, and a bowl full of dirty water where she was cleaning her sandals. I took interest in the photograph because the girl looked to be around my age at the time.

A girl from the DR washing her shoes in a small tub.
A girl from the DR washing her shoes in a small tub.

Why?

That was my first exposure to the third world and to those less fortunate than me. 

My mom planted a seed within me. Ever since then, she has taken me along with her to serve those less fortunate in our community. My mom made sure that I would become a women for others. She has taught me that it is important to pray, but even more important to act. She has taught me that it is important to act, but even more important to do thoughtfully and intentionally. She has taught me to do things with purpose and with love. She has taught me to not be satisfied with the initial image that I am presented with while serving others. But to rather ask why things are the way they are? 

During my journey to the border, I tried to keep her lessons in mind. I saw a wall that literally divided a city into two, that sliced streets right through the middle. What happened that the US felt a need to build something so ugly and disrupt a city? I saw women and children who had been exposed to the desert, left to fend for themselves. Why were they left so vulnerable? I experienced the border patrol and the stone cold faces that they wore. Why the cold vibes? I saw the unjust Operation Streamline and how many people a day, in just one court setting, were prosecuted as criminals for illegal entry and re-entry. Why do they need to be prosecuted as criminals and face time in private jails? Why are people okay with putting millions of their own tax dollars into private people’s pockets by putting migrants into jail? I saw people face dehumanization, corruption, violence. Why have we become so immune to these injustices. Why do we find it okay to devalue someone else’s life? 

Why am I just now discovering all of the injustices that are going on at our Southern border? What other injustices have I not yet learned about? How can I continue to act and serve when I am just one, broke, college student?

Claudia Brock: Blending Service and Journalism

Aka Classic Claudia

Like many others who decided to step out of their comfort zone and join Creighton Backpack Journalism, Claudia Brock didn’t know what kind of experience awaited her.

A proud member of the Creighton community, Claudia Brock prides herself in her ability to stay involved in multiple ways on campus. However, her view on Creighton was not always as upbeat.

“Being from Omaha, I knew that there was for sure one place I did not want to go, Creighton. I always thought that I would end up somewhere else, so I initially came to school kicking and screaming”.

Now for Claudia it is a totally different story, she has embraced her time at Creighton and she is now involved in various activities. She embraced the Journalism major and joined the Creightonian paper as a staff writer and held that position for her entire freshman year, she later became assistant news editor,  a scene editor and more recently a news editor.

She first became interested in writing and Journalism from writing essays and her involvement with her speech team in high school.

“I enjoy researching and staying on top of news, and at Admitted Students Day, I got inspired to do Creighton news.” Claudia explained.

Claudia was raised Catholic, and from a young age always seemed to possess a drive to be involved in some way where she can help those in need around her. She has interned for the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, helped organize and lead retreats, and will be minoring in Social Justice and Peace study. So when she first heard of what Backpack Journalism had to offer, she couldn’t refuse.

“To have a trip that combined my two loves, social justice, and journalism was a dream come true!”

So after a long week of Creighton Backpack Journalism bootcamp, Claudia packed her bags and with the rest of the CBJ team, headed out to Alaska.

While in Alaska, Claudia seemed to be as involved as she possibly could, taking on a variety of different roles. She acted as an interviewer, a writer/note taker, was the official legal consultant for the trip, and was a proud member of the “C Team” all while developing and improving her skills with a camera and as an overall journalist.

The "C Team"
The “C Team”

“It has been challenging (the trip), because of the chaotic size of the group. Despite that, I loved hearing people’s stories, they are all so fascinating, and I loved trying new things like cleaning fish and eating seal.”

Claudia always seems to have a smile on her face, and can easily bring light through laughter in any situation seemingly without hassle. She is always ready to brighten the team’s mood, and is always ready to try something new or just help out.

She is truly a joy to have on the team, and the best damn legal consultant in the Creighton Backpack Journalism program.

 

Customer service

One of the things I feel most awkward about is that the people here are always serving us – and kindly. I think I notice it most at dinner time when there is always a handful of people preparing our dinner, making sure we get everything we need. Then they are right there waiting to clean up after you when you’re finished.

For me, it’s a new thing to get used to for the time being because I’m more of a do-it-yourself kind of person. I like to figure things out on my own and I’m so used to cleaning up after myself it’s weird to just walk away from the table and leave dirty dishes just sitting there. It makes me feel bad because I’m perfectly capable of cleaning up after myself. Isn’t the general rule that you’re supposed to pick up the table if you’re not the one who made dinner?

The thing is that it didn’t stop with just lunch or dinner being like that. It happened when we went shopping too. I distinctly remember several women asking if they could hold my things for me while i shopped, when I am perfectly able to hang onto them – although it was nice not to be carrying so many things.