A couple weeks ago, I got an email from someone associated with a local grammar school; evidently someone had invited some military folks to come to classes to talk to the students about military service, and the person who wrote me the email was looking for someone to come talk about the Peace Corps as an alternative.
So today was the day; I went and sat through two talks by military folks and then did my little talk on the Peace Corps. The military folks had way more show-and-tell sorts of stuff; I have to admit the MRE and medals and stuff were pretty fancy. But it sounded like the one guy got medals for serving for X number of years or working with a different unit or something. I wasn't really sure. The military folks were friendly and nice, and weren't talking up the whole killing thing, but I was happy to offer an alternative.
The kids were fun, grades 1-3 in two separate classrooms, and these kids were quite impressively well-behaved and a pleasure to talk to. I took in a print-out of the Peace Corps' three goals, and had a kid read each aloud and than talked about the goal, what the words mean, and why it's important, and tried to tie it into what they were learning about other countries and the environment, and why their learning is important. Then the kids had questions, lots of questions, some of them totally wonderful and insightful, and others just off the wall. But you know there's something to a kid's question, so even the off the wall ones are important.
Kid's that age are so eager and so engaged, but exhausting, too. I'm glad folks with way more patience than I have are willing to be their teachers!
I've been out of the Peace Corps for a long time, but I still love talking about the experience and the organization, it's goals, and such. And maybe, someday, one of those kids will choose the Peace Corps? Or maybe one will decide to plant a tree?