Doing Time Notes from the Undergrad

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9780689809583: Doing Time Notes from the Undergrad

Randall's Social Work 322 class has been assigned to evaluate the community service program at Robert E. Lee High School. He and his classmates have each been given details of individual volunteer projects that the Lee seniors have had to complete in order to graduate.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up. A collection of 10 loosely knit vignettes that focus on the theme of volunteering. In "Shacks from Mansions," Randall's college social work class has been assigned to report on community service projects completed by local high school students as a requirement for graduation. Randall reminisces about the time he was on the receiving end of one such project and a well-known professional football player befriended him through a Big Brothers program. About the time Randall began to develop a bond, his big brother completed his court-imposed number of hours and disappeared from his life. The remaining stories examine issues regarding community service, including attitudes and motivations. Thomas challenges readers to look beneath the surface of these typical teenagers and realize that they are rarely the people they first seem to be. In "Blue Santa," one high school do-gooder is the president of the Key Club and heads up a Christmas toys project. The student is motivated only by dreams of the recognition the club will receive. On the other hand, Dwight, in "The Laser," rarely lives up to the expectations of his school superintendent father, yet he goes far beyond the service requirements to help a Mexican man pass an employment test. The stories are well-written, interesting, provocative, and humorous, and often have surprise endings. Teachers will find them useful to stimulate classroom discussion. The characters accurately reflect contemporary young adults and the dialogue is both realistic and amusing.?Tim Rausch, Crescent View Middle School, Sandy, UT
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

From Thomas (Slave Day, p. 306, etc.), an attempt to draw a cross-section of humanity from a group of high-school students performing community service. In the first chapter, as part of a college course, Randall is assigned to follow up on nine high-school seniors who had to do community service projects to graduate, by interviewing them and the participants in their projects. He's a skeptic after his own experience on the receiving end of someone else's community-service project a decade earlier. The next nine chapters are more like short stories, each one a self-contained first-person account by one of the nine seniors: Some perform their service with honor, some with cynicism. Thomas covers a lot of territory and demands that readers keep track of several characters and activities; each narrator establishes himself or herself, describes the mission, learns a lesson, or hits a defining moment, then checks out, without a reappearance of Randall for perspective or hindsight--which leaves the book's premise, and readers, dangling. It's a promising work--it just doesn't feel finished. (Fiction. 12-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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