ACE was probably the most difficult experience of my life but also one of the most enjoyable, meaningful, and rewarding. An overflowing schedule—waking up at six in the morning to eat before teaching from seven to eleven and then again from one to five, then returning around at six to eat dinner, shower, fit in a workout, and begin lesson planning for the next day—left very little time during the week to rest and recharge. By the beginning of the second week, I was running on fumes.
The kids at camp were what kept me going. Every day, I would hop off the bus at seven with the rest of the coaches, bumping music from my speaker, and the students would swarm up to us, dancing, tossing balls around, and giving out high fives and hugs. Coming into the experience, I’d braced myself with the prospect that I was going to have to sit with each kid individually so they could focus and make progress in math, since I knew math was a subject many middle schoolers strongly dislike.
ACE was probably the most difficult experience of my life but also one of the most enjoyable, meaningful, and rewarding.
– Marcus Kushner, Stanford Men’s Gymnastics
Instead, the kids were so eager to do math, that every day they showed up to the classroom before I was even there. By the time I walked in, they were sitting patiently with their notebooks and textbooks on the desks in front of them, ready to start learning. They loved coming up to the board to solve problems; they loved working in teams and competing against each other; and most of all, they loved learning new concepts and then teaching their classmates who didn’t yet understand them.
Being a part of such a special classroom environment was incredibly inspiring. I hope I can bring the kids genuine joy and love of learning back to Stanford with me to share with my teammates and classmates.