Circle of Power and Respect

I remember the first day I came to SWW. My first day of classes was on Valentines day.I sat in a small room with a sea of students glaring at me with judging eyes. I felt crowded and cold, and not feeling very welcomed. Then the man in the front of the room tilting his head side to side showing off his nose ring in the process spoke. “Gather around everyone were gonna start CPR”. My head jolted up to the man I was suppose to refer to by first name. I stood like a deer in head lights as the other students stood up and started to place the chairs in  the room in a circle. “I don’t know how to do CPR”, I nervously whispered to the girl next to me who was wearing all black. She chuckled  like I told a funny joke. The kids in the room started to speak one after another.

“Were not doing that type of CPR”.

“CPR stands for circle of power and respect”

“We do it everyday in extended class’

“Do you really think I’d put my lips on anyone here”?

“Might get a disease”.

The class broke out in laughter. In an instance the icy shell encasing my confidences fell off and I grew the courage to speak up. “What do we do in CPR”, I stammered.

“Reading, greeting, sharing, activity . . . ”


Since then I’ve grown from the shy guy in a room full of students. CPR has helped me to connect with my peers, but also help facilitate the classroom, and grow as a leader. I use CPR wherever I go, and I’ll probably use it for the rest of my life. From traveling to Hawaii, and doing CPR with a class of Hawaiians  to starting Glee club with a musical CPR every week, I’ll cherish this gift.



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