Pre-Departure to London

As I prepare to depart to London, I have spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on the events that led me here. As a student who has only been abroad once, I have always been curious about different aspects of the world that I have yet to experience. My curiosity led me from a small town in Massachusetts to a city in Florida when I moved away for college, and now it is leading me from Florida to a different country. Regardless of where I have gone, I have found there is always so much more to learn than I can expect. This unknown has been the part of traveling that makes it become addicting. This summer, I lived with 10 students from Bulgaria and Russia who were working in the same town as me. During my time with them, I got a glimpse of the countless cultural differences and perspectives that I did not expect to come across, as well as surprising similarities regardless of the different lives we have lived. Having the opportunity to live with kids my age from different parts of the world and gain insight on the drastic differences each individual has experienced so far has made me even more eager to discover different parts of the world and different perspectives from others that I meet.

Most of the questions in the activities preparing myself and the other students going abroad were directed towards our identity and perspectives. However, I believe your identity is always changing similar to your perspectives on the world depending on your experiences. I hope to learn more about myself during this trip as I gain new experiences and I hope my current perspectives are challenged as I meet others and understand different perspectives. I know none of this is anything I can expect or prepare for, similar to the challenges and differences I faced while living with students from different parts of the world this summer, however I feel comfortable in the unknown of my upcoming trip and I look forward to all of the unpredictable experiences I will encounter.

Morgan Eustis-Final Mayflower Post

As the Mayflower project wraps up, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I think it was the most impactful trip to the Mayflower yet, because I knew I was not going to be coming back for awhile. I luckily got to meet up with both of my partners, Karen and Ruth. I was so overjoyed that they were both there for the final meeting. Before we parted, Karen handed me and Molly gifts. She gave us candy, a starbucks gift card, but above all, a mug that she got from Boston – a sacred part of her blue and white collection. I knew how much each piece meant to her and therefore I felt so honored that she gave it to me. As I reflect back on my previous visits to the Mayflower, I can tell how nervous and uncertain I was in some of my previous posts. It was a new friendship that slowly formed over the bond of technology. However, as each visit progressed, it is clear that the relationship progressed just as quickly. It is amazing that within one semester I was able to form a bond that felt like second family. I think that what I learned from this experience was that there is always something you can learn from someone else, and the best way to do that is to listen to someone who has experienced life in a completely different perspective than you have. At the beginning, I thought I was just going to meet someone and teach them what I know about technology – I never could have guessed going into this project that it was going to be this meaningful to me, and that I would form such a strong relationship.

As for this project as a whole, I think my best piece of advice would be to absolutely keep doing this. This made adjusting to college easier and it was something to look forward to every Wednesday. It was a learning experience unlike any other and there are not many times in our lives in which we would be given an opportunity to work with older adults. If there is anything to be changed I would say maybe more time with our partners, if thats even possible. Regardless of the short time frame we were able to accomplish many things but there is definitely so much more we could’ve accomplish if we had the time. Thank you Jonathan for doing this project with our RCC because it was a very meaningful one for us!

Morgan Eustis: A quick trip to the Mayflower!

This weeks visit at the Mayflower was a very quick but very eventful one. Me and Christie made our way up to Ruth’s apartment – which we thought was A322 – and ended up getting extremely lost and confused when we realized that was not her room. After settling a lot of confusion, we figured out that her room was B322. Unfortunately, after this whole mix up, we did not have much time left. Thankfully, when we finally arrived at Ruth’s apartment, she was ready to go and had a bunch of things planned that she wanted to accomplish! We got right to work and quickly helped her with everything she needed.

We began by showing her how to open up her documents on Microsoft Word that she had typed for her writing class. After this, she wanted to know how to print them out so that she could take them to her class tomorrow. Luckily, she just got a brand new printer that was all set up. It was pretty easy to show her how to use her printer because it was bluetooth and all she had to do was go into her documents, file, then print. We were both so relieved by how simple it was and quickly moved onto the next task. She then wanted us to show her how to resend an email to the correct address if she sent it to the wrong one. This was a perfect opportunity to show her how to copy and paste messages, which she practiced for some time. Finally, Christie brought her Mac laptop to show her a lighter alternative to the laptop that she was using. It was really beneficial to inform Ruth on the differences between the two as well as using an iPad as a computer. Despite the short amount of time, we had a very successful day at the Mayflower!

Morgan Eustis: A new friend from the Mayflower

This week was a very unusual one for me at the Mayflower. Instead of visiting Karen like I usually would, I got a chance to meet with a new person. Her name was Ruth and we got along great. She took me to her apartment and got right to work on things she wanted assistance with. We began by looking at her computer for awhile, and tried to figure out how it works since it was an older one that I was unfamiliar with. Then she told me she wanted help setting up Skype so that she could talk with her friends and family members. Setting up was a little bit of a challenge since her computer is an older one. We had to download and update a lot of things in order to download Skype, and after waiting for a long time for it to all load, we finally got it. Together we made her an account, and there was still a little time left for me to show her the idea of it and begin to explain how it all worked and how to add other people.  It was so fun helping her create an account and I was relieved that we got to fit everything in during the short time I got to meet with her. It also was really nice getting to know another resident from the Mayflower. While everything took awhile to download, I got to listen to her talk about places she’s moved around and it was really interesting to hear about. I hope to spend more time with her while Karen is away so that I can learn more about her life and help her with anything else that she has questions on so she can get the most out of this project.

Morgan Eustis

This week at the Mayflower was a very exciting week for Karen and I! Previously, we had taken pictures around the Mayflower for her to either post on Facebook or share them with her friends and family, but for some reason they would not send to her computer. After multiple attempts, and weeks later, we finally got the pictures to work on her computer! We were all very excited because we were just about to go take new photos to try again. Im happy for Karen that she is able to now show her friends and family where she lives, since the Mayflower is a very beautiful place and deserves to be shown off! The pictures came out beautiful and I think her family is going to enjoy them a lot.

This past week, Karen actually took Molly and I out to dinner. We went to a nice Mexican restaurant on Park Ave. It was so sweet of Karen to take us out and we had such a fun night! We had some awesome food and Karen told us many stories about her life that we enjoyed hearing about. We also talked a lot about the upcoming weeks, and we made sure to assure her that even after the project ends we will absolutely stay in touch. Since we have seen Karen every Wednesday since we started adjusting to college, it is going to be very sad and strange not seeing her once this project is over. However, I’m really happy that we built a strong enough relationship with her so that we are able to stay in touch even after the project is over. This project has been so helpful for both Karen and myself, and even though it is coming to an end I am very thankful that I got to participate in it.

Special Guest At The Mayflower

This week at the Mayflower, we had a special guest speaker who actually was a resident of Mayflower come and speak to us. This speaker was Rita Bernstein, the thirteenth president of Rollins college. She was there to provide us with information on why a liberal college is so beneficial and how she got to the position where she was. It was very interesting hearing her speak about her past and the struggles she faced while being the first girl president at Rollins college. I thought it was very inspirational to see someone who had to face so many problems just because of her gender rise to such a powerful position despite the people who gave her a hard time about it. This was especially true since she didn’t have any intention of being a president of a college for awhile, and as a kid she never would’ve guessed that that is how she would end up. She also told us that as President, she tried to make every student feel like they matter and have their own say in whatever they want to do. She asked us if this was still true which was heartwarming to see that she cared still.

I think as a girl, it is very uplifting hearing other females talk about how they made it so far. It is always a constant struggle hearing people tell me I can’t do things because I’m a girl, and when I tell people I’m going into fashion they think its typical because I’m a girl and thats a girl job. Breaking away from gender roles especially in jobs is extremely important and makes a huge difference to women who strive to be treated as equals. It also made me happy when she told girls talking to sit up straight and be loud because they deserve to be heard. I think it was a lesson all of us needed that morning.

Morgan Eustis Mayflower Blog Post 10/13/16

This week at the Mayflower was very exciting. It was good to see Karen after the fall break, and we caught up on how we spent our weekends. This time, instead of going right to her apartment, we walked around the Mayflower and took pictures of the scenery. Karen wanted a new post on Facebook to show her friends the beautiful place that she is living in. It was an extremely nice day out so taking a walk around the Mayflower was already a great start to the day. After, we headed up to Karens apartment to take a profile picture for her. We hung up one of her quilts as a backdrop and took a few Facebook worthy photos. It was a lot of fun, and Karen got a great, new profile picture in the end.

Before leaving, we helped Karen with a few more tricks on Facebook. Unsurprisingly, she picked it up extremely fast. It was so great to see how into it she was, and how she is finally enjoying Facebook. Helping Karen connect with her friends and family is so rewarding because I can see how much it means to her every time she picks something new up and learns another way to contact them. As we walked down to the lobby, Karen told Molly and I that she wanted to take us out for dinner sometime in the near future. She told us she wants to take us to a Mexican place and I immediately got beyond excited. It is so sweet of her to take us and it is definitely something I can look forward to. It also further shows how close we have gotten to her and that is something I really value about this project. Overall I’d say this was one of the most enjoyable visits yet!

Morgan Eustis – Mid Term Post

While participating in the Mayflower Project and working with Karen, I have surprisingly learned a lot. First, I actually know more about technology than I thought, and I am not as bad at showing others how to use it as I thought it would be. Two, Karen made this project something I found incredibly enjoyable, and something I found myself looking forward to every week. Lastly, I learned that no matter who you encounter, you always have something you can learn from them. This is the most important thing I believe that I have learned, because it is something that extends way beyond the ultimate goal of this project, which was to teach Karen how to use it and help her with whatever she wanted to achieve online. Although that is extremely important to me, since I truly want to help her so that she gets as much out of this project as possible, I did not realize how much I was going to be learning from her. Looking at this project from afar, you wouldn’t immediately be able to assume someone so much older and someone still so young were going to be able to impact each others lives past the point of technology, because it isn’t obvious that communication would be that easy. I can happily say Karen has impacted my life beyond the goals from this project. For example, last Wednesday, Karen called me in the morning to inform me that she was not going to be able to attend our meeting since she had things to do before the hurricane hit. This was a morning that I was feeling particularly homesick, and before hanging up, she talked with me and made sure I had a safe place to go during the hurricane and referred to herself as my “second mom”. This was incredibly heart warming and made me feel a little less homesick, even a plane ride away from home. I am really thankful that I am participating in this project, and for second semester, I can only hope things continue to go just as they have been going: Karen helping me, and Me helping her.

Morgan Eustis’s Mayflower Post

This week was a very interesting week at the Mayflower. At the beginning of our meeting, Karen showed Molly and I framed ripped out pages of books that she had saved. They were all incredibly interesting. My favorite was the map of her inherited farm in Kansas. It was so cool to see something that she had from so long ago, and how it was a little piece of home for her. It was funny how this time Karen probably taught us more than we taught her. However, after learning more about Karen’s family history, we went over to her computer and began to help her with her google email. Her main goal for this meeting was that she wanted to be able to create a group list with her email so that when she wrote an email she could send it to multiple friends at once instead of typing them all in. Molly and I both were unsure as to how we would do this, so Molly googled how to do it and we quickly helped Karen make groups to send emails to.

This meeting was exceptionally with Karen. We got to learn so much from her as well as helping her with what she needed to know. I look forward to next week when we can hopefully help her by figuring out how to get all of her pictures onto one disk. I am surprised by how much I have learned from Karen but I am also extremely thankful. I am having such a good time helping Karen as well as learning so much from her and the trip to the Mayflower keeps getting better and better.

Morgan Eustis – Mayflower Blog Post #4

This week at the Mayflower, Molly, Karen and I all decided to pick up where we left off. We had a great first day getting Karen set up with Facebook last week, so this week we were able to come into it ready to go and start teaching her more in depth about how to use the website. This was honestly one of my favorite meetings with Karen, because it seemed like she was having so much fun as she finally began to connect with friends and family online. We taught Karen how to look at her notifications, read and send messages, and “friend” people or accept friend requests. Needless to say, it was a VERY successful day and the entire time I felt like Karen was really getting the hang of how to navigate the website. We especially had a good time commenting back to posts her family left for her on her profile, and looking at some pictures her daughter posted online. It was awesome to see how much Karen was enjoying her Facebook and how eager she was to learn more about the website.

As Molly and I left, Karen quickly showed us a quilt she was working on. I really appreciated this because she always talks about how quilting is her passion so to see something she had made was absolutely incredible. There was so much detail in every square and it was so interesting to see that this was just one of the hundreds of quilts she had made. Before we left she promised to make Molly and I quilt experts by the time this was over, and I really hope that happens because it would be such an interesting thing to learn about and possibly try!