Immersion Week Reflection Portfolio Essay

Submitted By sbayyari
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Immersion Week Reflection Portfolio
Sami Bayyari
Discover Chicago
Autumn 2015

During immersion week I learned quite a few handy new skills and information such as navigating the city, remembering who we are as DePaul students inside and outside the campus, and the importance of charity/community work. When navigating the city, I learned to always walk briskly and stay aware to keep things moving and watch for the safety of myself and others. Holding my phone should not be done on
CTA. Another key tip to remember is that Chicago’s streets are under a grid system so streets are easy to navigate. When I’m out in the city it’s always important to remember who I am and what school I represent. DePaul promotes Vincentiant principles, and they encourage generosity, honesty and kindness. This reminds me to always think about others and how my actions would affect them. With this, the Depaul way also encourages charity/community work. Since I’ve had a lot of experience with that from high school, it was more of a transition than an adaptation. Working at the Ronald
McDonald House was enjoyable and heart­warming. Especially, since we all got to work together to make many people happy. Even though volunteering at PAWS was not particularly fun, it was still good to feel like I was making a difference­­ and playing with cats is always a good time. I would enjoy working there again, and i will most definitely recommend it to volunteer work seekers. All this was food for thought, but i also learned other interesting things including the locations of famous death sites, and locations of important Chicagoan’s tombs and tombstones.

After this person who was quite relevant in my life passed away, I was much more calm and collected when someone close to me passed away. Someone even closer to me passed away recently and it didn’t hit me nearly as hard. It’s okay to feel sad, but I didn’t want to be trapped in my own thought and fall into a pit of depression.
The only thing that would make me feel like I did that fateful day would be if my mother, father, or sister passed­­God forbid. This wasn’t an experience where I could learn from mistakes, but observe how Alfredo dealt with his loss with such collectedness. I still don’t know how he did it to this because I am obviously not going to ask. It would only be appropriate if I was going through something similar and was seeking helpful advice.
Moving forward I feel that I’ll be okay the next time this happens. Thinking it won’t happen again is naive and unrealistic. Immersion week helped me realized death isn’t the end for some people­­ based on what they believe. It could be a new beginning or continuation of their lives. Thinking in this manner will help in dealing with loss in the future. For some people, their deaths will be appropriately celebrated, and some will not be at all or hardly at all. I am not religious,but it is not for me to decide what happens after death. I think we’d all like to think positive things happen to good people, and the ones that have done horrible things are properly punished. Al Capone’s “death site” had no indication of his death anywhere; it was just a grass field. Going the Graceland
Cemetery and the Scavenger hunt showed me how celebrated one’s death can be.
Moving forward from this, the other 2 days of immersion week were very eye opening as
I mentioned in my opening narrative.The Ronald Mcdonald house also helped me realize that other people have it much worse than I do which helps me not get hung up

on small things like not getting the grade I wanted or not getting to eat what I wanted for dinner. This whole week bettered me as a person and a community member. This was was not what i expected. When i first signed up for this class I thought I was going to experience some morbid stuff and my instructor was going to be strange. Finally, day one was here. Woke up much earlier than I would normally wake up in