Assignments and Reading

Weekly Assignments and Readings Fall 2013



Week of Sept 2


General Meeting, Time and day TBA

Orientation to Cristo Rey by Campus Minister Rich Pugh and Assistant Principal John Glennon

Make the most of yourself, for that is all ther is of you. ~Ralp Waldo Emerson

Week of Sept  9


Who Am I

Prep for Next Week


Westheimer, Joel and Joseph Kahn.  What Kind of citizen.  “The Politics of Education for Democracy” American Educational Research Journal. Volume 41 No. 2, Summer 2004, 237-269

Villanova Mission Statement and find out about St. Thomas of Villanova.



Please turn in a one page story that is essential in understanding who you are.

Journal Prompt:

Respond to at least one of these questions.

1.  What kind of citizen do you want to be?  Why? (related to the reading)

2.  What would you like included in a group agreement for your fourth hour?

Activity this week:  Good Neighbors:  Pick two names out of the “hat”, invite one person to lunch or dinner or a coffee break.  The second name you pick is like a secret Santa.  Do something nice for that person anonymously—but find out what they like before you act.  You might have to do a little detective work. 



The LORD God then asked the woman: What is this you have done? The woman answered, “The snake tricked (beguiled) me, so I ate it.” Genesis 3:13   and Adam’s excuse was that she gave it to him. Gen. 3:12

Week of Sept 16 tutoring workshop

What is your story?   What is your role in community as citizen?

Tuesday, September 17 at 5:30 pm in the Basement Lounge of Good Counsel Hall.  If you are unable to make this time, please notify your instructor.  If you are serving, please leave Cristor Rey Promptly.

Preparatioin for Next Week


Eby, John. Why Service "Why Service Learning is Bad"

Dialogue and Debate:   THE WAY THAT YOU SAY IT By Dr Keith Suter, Author, Lecturer, Consultant for Social Policy


Respond to the Dr. Eby   Argue with the reading?  Critique it or agree with it but find your own point of view.   If serving can be bad, how can we make it good?  Due on September 23 

  • Create three questions you would like your fourth hour to talk about.  Other students must be able to agree, disagree with the questions.    Make sure you are willing to get into a discussion with these questions.

Journal Prompt:

How is my first three weeks at Nova going?  What questions do I have about Caritas Community? 


Circe tells Odysseus that “once your crew has rowed you past the Sirens/a choice of routes is yours. I cannot advise you/which to take, or lead you through it all—/you must decide for yourself…“ (12.61-64).

Week of Sept 23


Preparation for Next week



  • Create 5 to 10 questions you have for or about Cristo Rey, the students or the neighborhood, etc.
  • One page reflection responding the question, why do you choose to serve others?  What motivates you?  Do you serve” with” or” for”?  What is the difference?  Consider Citizenship, community…


Begin Friendship Project:  Assignment due Week of 10-28 -In preparation for a “community meeting” at Cristo Rey the week of October 6 interview three people about friendship. 

  • You may work in groups of three. 
  • Create questions about friendship that you will use for interviews with at least three other students in Good Counsel.(not in your fourth hour)  You might take into consideration that some relationships, friendships might not encourage us to be our best self
  • Interview:  You may use social media, video or written responses  or face to face interviews
  • Be creative with a form of presentation at fourth hour. If you need a video projector please let your instructor know ahead of time.
  • Students at Cristo Rey will hopefully be doing the interviews as well so you will have something to talk about at the community meeting.

Journal Question:

Describe your first week of service.   What do you want to remember?

Reflection questions: 

What is my role in fourth hour?  Am I comfortable if I think differently than others in the class?  How do I respond to conflict?  What do I want to remember about service this week?

Set love as the criterion for all that you say, and whatever you teach, teach in such a way that the person to whom you speak, by hearing may believe, by believing, hope and by hoping, love."  St. Augustine  The Instruction of Beginners 8




Week of Sept 30

Why Serve:  Sharing critique of Eby article and the content of your written assignment, “why serve.” 

Agree, Disagree?  Group agreement.

Preparation for Week of October 21 (AFTER FALL BREAK)


Continue reading Hope in the Unseen—for 10/21 these are some of the questions we will use to spark discussion

  • Ultimately, is the book optimistic or not? Does Cedric’s success offer “hope in the unseen” for other economically disadvantaged students, or does it indict the education system for failing so many in his community
  • What are the major issues for Cedric?
  • What are the issues for his peers when he gets to Brown?
  • Are there similarities between Cedric’s story and the students at Cristo Rey?
  • In general what are the issues for low income children in the educational system?
  • Do you Hope in the Unseen


Journal Question:

Who helped me to succeed?  Who are the mentors in my life?  Why do I consider them mentors?


Optional Fourth Hour 10/7 Midterm week--


Moreover, this is the rule of love:
the good that we desire for ourselves we desire for our neighbour also;
and the evil that we are unwilling to undergo
we wish to prevent from happening to our neighbour.
all who love God have such a desire toward everybody.
[On True Religion 87]








Weeks of Oct. 7, Midterms. Oct 15 Fall Break

Week of Oct 21

Dr. Defina's Lecture is 10/21 @ 6:30 pm, Location TBA.  Required for all Caritas Students

Discussion about Hope in the Unseen



Preparation for next week:




Journal Promt:

What thing do you think you have that pushes you to succeed?  What is success?  What is the role of your friends in your success?




 “You are livin’,” she says in feigned exasperation. “You just don’t see what I see. You got something special. Something you got from your ma. It’s a thing. I mean, I wish I had it. It’s this thing where you know what it’s going to take, and then you get it done. You push yourself and you get there.”
Ron Suskind, A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League





Week of Oct 28

Review your plans or presentation on friendship.

Preparation for Next Week



         Wilson, William Julius.  More Than Just Race.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2009.  Chapter 2, “The Forces Shaping Concentrated Poverty.” Pgs. 25-60


Assignment:  One page response to discussion in fourth hour and the chapter from More than Just Race., “The Forces Shaping Concentrated Poverty.” P25-60


Pick our significant entries in your journal and bring them up in fourth hour next week.

Journal Question:   What have you learned from your Cristo Rey student?  What about your lives are similar, what is different?  Would I be different if I grew up in a low income neighborhood?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with your entire mind; and your neighbor as yourself?  Luke 10

Week of Nov 4

Topic: Poverty

Preparation for next week:

Luke 10:25 - 37


No written assignment this week.


Pick our significant entries in your journal and bring them up in fourth hour next week.

Journal Question:

What have you learned from your Cristo Rey student?  What about your lives are similar, what is different?  Would I be different if I grew up in a low income neighborhood?

Start thinking about group project, who is my neighbor?


"Poverty is the worst form of violence"  Mahatma Ghandi

Week of Nov 11


Brain storm themes for video/skit about “Who is my neighbor?”




Group Project discussion:   Due December 2.  Who is my neighbor?   What is our responsibility to others, to community, as a citizen, as a privileged person as a person?   

This video or skit is your opportunity to synthesize what students believe about being a “neighbor” both in the biblical context as well as the context of citizenship.  It is also an opportunity for students to learn what their peer think and start the conversation

Process for group project        

Break up into group of 2-3 students

  • Create questions for the interviews and format for presentation
  • How to include Cristo Rey, students, faculty and staff in the discussion?
  • Be sure you have some information about these neighbors, some facts and figures as well as what you learned from tutoring, reading


This video or skit is your opportunity to synthesize what you believe about being a neighbor:  who is your neighbor?  What responsibility do we have toward one another? And/or what motivates others to take responsibility or to assume people can take care of themselves?   You have a great deal of freedom with the content of the skit or video.

The final project is due November 18.



Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.  St. Augustine

Week of Nov 18

Service Reflection


Week of Nov 25  Thanksgiving week (no VEXP this week)

Week of Dec 2


What do you want to learn:   What questions has your service, ACS class and discussion in fourth hour raised for you?  You will determine the topics next semester. 



Write up to 10 questions that you have because of your experience in Caritas Community that you would like addressed next semester.

Week of Dec 9

Wrap up: Last seminar of semester.  End of year celebration.

Finish group project presentations if necessary.


Creating Questions for next semester?  What questions have been raised for you in regard to your reading, experience at Cristo Rey, in our ACS course and in the integrating seminar?   We want to know what you want to learn about to include it in second semester.

In the News


Integrate service with your academic coursework! Take a Service Learning course next semester.

Why Service Learning? See why with a PowerPoint Presentation explaining the merits of Service Learning.