I have been working with Samiah since September. Although she is great at reading and writing and I have seen continuous progress in those areas, it is clear by her answer that she prefers free time. Every single week towards the end of the time we have designated to reading and writing, I see her eyeing the Jenga box. When their guidance counselor Ms. (I can’t remember if it is Mrs. or Miss) Bronte declares it is free time, she runs over and grabs it. There are two boxes of Jenga, but Samiah prefers the pink one. In this version of the game, each block has a personal question on it. I believe in the beginning it helped her in opening up to me. It was a way for her to tell me about her life and her views on things. I would explain in more detail, but we’ve always agreed what is said in Jenga stays in Jenga. There is one story I want to tell, only because it isn’t her personal business and I don’t think she would mind.
This past week the pink Jenga box was taken by another little sister, Samiah was upset but settled for the other box. In this version of the game each block has an emotion on it, and as we pulled each out we would state what made us feel that type of emotion. I pulled out a block that said “confident,” and she asked what that meant. I asked her, “What makes you feel better about yourself? What makes you feel good?” Not the most thorough definition, but the first thing that came to mind. She replied, “Helping others.” I think this is the best explanation of who Samiah is. Her emotional intelligence at nine years old blew me away. I’m twenty-eight, and I’m sure as some of you do too, I can so easily get caught up in my own world and forget about the things in life that are really important. I think how we interact and relate with one another has such a profound impact on who we are and the environment around us which we help create. With that being said, I’m going to challenge the readers of this and fans of Samiah, that the next time you feel overwhelmed with your life or too caught up in your own world, to do something for someone else.
Or you can take a picture with a cool snapchat filter, she seems to like that too.