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"Chat with a Stranger" and Laurel service hours

  03/25/20 16:16, by Lynne

Hi everyone!

We all know about our entertaining (and often hilarious) Laurel "Lunch with Strangers" ice-breaker activity, which gives everyone a chance to visit with fellow students they may not know very well. Due to these these unusual times, I thought it would be helpful to try a "Video Chat with a Stranger" activity that would be just as fun -- and also would count as Laurel service for those who participate. Many of your classmates are struggling with social isolation right now, and I'm sure they would welcome a chance to visit with their Laurel classmates a few times a week.

So here's how it will work:

-- Students who wish to participate are asked to reply to this blog post by Friday afternoon. This is completely voluntary, but greater participation means the conversations will be more varied and interesting.

-- On Monday morning, a meeting list will appear on this blog. Each student will be "assigned" two other students with whom they will have a 10-15 minute video chat in the coming week. (I recommend Google Hangouts for this, but other online chat programs would be fine.) Everyone is responsible for coordinating the time/day when the video chats happen. Please be considerate of the other person's time and do your best to attend the meeting at the agreed upon time/day.

-- At this time, there aren't any guidelines about what the conversation must be about, only that the students visit for 10-15 minutes on topics of their choice. (Examples are school, hobbies, sports, music, movies, how they are spending time at home, what their plans are after graduation -- you get the idea.) Each student then reports in their blog that day that they had a video chat with a fellow student (by name in the blog). The content of conversation doesn't have to be disclosed, only that the video chat occurred. If no reports are shared, no service hours will be credited.

-- Two completed conversations per week will earn 30 minutes of Laurel service (and brighten two people's lives that week). Even if you have completed all of your Laurel hours, you are welcome to join in just for the fun of it.

-- Each week, new names will be assigned so you will have an opportunity to speak with several classmates over the coming weeks. If you don't sign up for the first week but would like to participate, add your name to the list on this blog, and you'll be included in the next week. It's that easy!

Let's try to make the most -- and best -- of this time away from school. I would love to see all 42 of you participate -- now wouldn't that be amazing?

24 comments

Comment from: [Member]

I would love to be a part of this!

03/25/20 @ 17:43
Comment from: [Member]

I would like to do this!

03/25/20 @ 17:49
Comment from: [Member]

I would like to be a part of this! Sounds fun.

03/25/20 @ 21:14
Comment from: [Member]
Kale

I would like to participate.

03/25/20 @ 21:26
Comment from: [Member]

I would like to be apart of this. A great way to get rid of some at-home gitters!

03/25/20 @ 21:39
Comment from: [Member]

I would love to be a part of this.

03/25/20 @ 23:34
Comment from: [Member]

I’m in!

03/26/20 @ 09:26
Comment from: [Member]

I’m interested!

03/26/20 @ 09:45
Comment from: [Member]
Joy

I am down.

03/26/20 @ 10:06
Comment from: [Member]

I would like to do this!

03/26/20 @ 10:54
Comment from: [Member]

I suppose I will try this out

03/26/20 @ 11:43
Comment from: [Member]

Sure, I think this would be fun :)

03/26/20 @ 11:58
Comment from: [Member]

Great response so far, but I know there are several more of you who would have a great time with this. Be sure to comment by tonight so you can be assigned to a group. Groups will be posted here Monday morning.

03/27/20 @ 10:06
Comment from: [Member]

I’m interested!

03/27/20 @ 13:04
Comment from: [Member]

I’m in!

03/27/20 @ 14:27
Comment from: [Member]
Gracie

I am interested in doing this and think it will be a great way to get to know each other more throughout this difficult time, and to connect with each other so we can continue to be a strong Laurel family. I hope everyone is doing ok, and if anyone wants to talk outside of this activity, feel free to contact me!

03/27/20 @ 16:11
Comment from: [Member]

I’ll do it!

03/27/20 @ 16:26
Comment from: [Member]

i hope im not too late to sign up. its well past afternoon. But im interested

03/27/20 @ 19:17
Comment from: [Member]

I am interested.

03/27/20 @ 22:05
Comment from: [Member]

Very late on this comment, but i’m interested.

03/28/20 @ 00:01
Comment from: [Member]

I am interested!!

03/29/20 @ 10:40
Comment from: [Member]

Any others interested in starting tomorrow? I will accept one more person to join in order to insure teams of three.

03/29/20 @ 19:09
Comment from: [Member]

Welcome to Video Chat with Strangers!

There are a few guidelines for this activity.

You will be contacting the other members in your group through Google Hangouts (or other video chat program, but GH is by far the easiest to use) through your school’s email account. Use the email to schedule your meeting time; once you have the other person’s email reply, hover your cursor over that person’s name. An option box opens and you can either schedule a chat or open a chat from there.

A visit should last 10-15 minutes to qualify for an equal amount of Laurel service. If you are in a group of three, you will be visiting with two other people; if you are in a group of four, you may visit with just two or you may include all three and earn an additional 15 minutes of service. Each week you will be assigned to a new group.

Once a chat is finished, mention it in your blog post that day. It isn’t necessary (though it would be interesting) to include the content of your conversation. If the video chat is not mentioned, no Laurel service credit will be awarded.

Please be considerate of other people’s time. When you schedule a meeting, do your best to attend. Others are counting on you to be present. If you are unable to attend, notify that person to let them know. You can either reschedule or postpone until a later time, but do make arrangements to “meet up,” preferably in the same week. You also might find it easier to have these chats in the evening rather than during the school day. Whatever time works best, do it then.

You have been grouped with classmates who likely share at least one thing in common with you. Some possible topics of conversation might be classes (foreign language, math, film study, even keyboarding!), hobbies and interests (art, music, computers, video games, sports, animals, pets, movies, etc.), family/friends, places you have lived, nostalgia (favorite toy as a child, favorite subject in school, favorite cartoon or movie character, etc.), plans for the future (after high school, after college, career choices), where you have traveled (in the US or abroad), hopes and dreams. Anything upon which you both agree is an interesting subject to explore!

This is all new territory, so there may be unexpected surprises or challenges, but we can figure out how to make it work. The point is to have fun, get to know each other better, and to earn some Laurel service in the process. Most importantly – more than any of those reasons – is the reason this activity was formed: to address the very real need to connect with each other during this time when many are feeling isolated and lonely. You can be a bright spot in someone else’s life! Remember to Stay Laurel Strong!

03/30/20 @ 07:59
Comment from: [Member]

VCwS for March 30-April 3:

Aly
Gracie
Fritz

Anna
Ethan K
Joy

Anneka
Ambrosia
Kale
Dylan

Belle
Elisa
Jasper
Ena

Cammie
Tangwyn
Fiona

Celeste
Ben
Arianna

03/30/20 @ 08:01


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