Developing Empathy, Sleeping like a homeless person
万圣节之夜他 Party 归来，洗净脸上油彩后宣布，从当晚开始体验无家可归者的生活。这是学校给他们这个班的project。第一晚要求整夜不盖被子，不开暖气，开窗睡觉，不能洗漱。第二天和第三天只能吃Food Bank(加拿大为无家可归者提供食物救济的慈善机构)的食物，于是他两天中吃的都是最便宜的罐头食品。 这两天只能睡在屋里的地上，可以垫硬纸板，不能盖被子。这期间他还继续作为主力前锋参加了一场正规足球比赛，一比一战平。
第四天和第五天，要求最苛刻，他们只能吃乞讨来的食物(beg for food), 并且晚上要在户外不盖被子，不用睡袋，只能垫纸板睡觉。孩子白天要上学, 乞讨食物只能在学校里进行。他一大早就去了学校,下午回家时高兴的告诉我他中午要到了足够的食物,多余的够他当晚饭吃的了。晚饭都有些什么呢？几块糖，一小包爆米花，和一小罐酸奶。这些真是不够他这个大个子男孩吃的，他趁天黑前出去挖了一些蒲公英叶子充饥。加西的深秋雨骤风急，当晚室外气温六度。妈妈问他:"真的要睡在外面吗？" 他说是, 不能放弃.他穿好冬装，在门外阳台上睡了一晚。
第五天，也就是最后一天，下学回来，儿子很高兴，再坚持一晚就成功了。他说今天在学校乞讨食物比昨天容易，因为班里其他同学都放弃了，好像只有他一个人了。但食物还是少的可怜，几块儿糖，一小罐儿酸奶，但居然要到一个苹果，他特别珍惜，舍不得吃要留到睡前最后一刻吃。 我说你几天都没吃水果了，趁早吃了吧，太晚吃身体都休息不吸收营养了，他这才吃了。又是一个风雨之夜， 大概是摄入热量不足，凌晨时发生了短暂小腿抽筋的情况，大约一两分钟。
上周第一次参加了孩子中学的家长会，见到班主任，说起为什么要在Applied Skill这门课里安排孩子们体验无家可归者， 他是这样说的， 他们的IB预备班选拔严格，跨学区招收全面发展的好学生，按本地每所小学最多能招两到三人设置的。这些孩子们将来迟早会在不同岗位成为领导。所以一定要在很小的时候就培养他们感同身受的能力，这样将来他们到了位置后才能不忘社会，承担责任。
孩子乞讨的那两天网上有个新闻，国内一个六品官家里被纪委搜出上亿的现金，据说点钞机当场都烧坏了几台。 我随口把这个新闻告诉儿子， 他完全不能理解怎么一个正常人会干出在家里放相当于几千万加元赃款这种事，我跟他调侃说这个官员当初一定也是个好学生，但可能没有体验过无家可归的滋味。现在想来我可能应该在他结束这个项目后再告诉他这个新闻。 在他要饭的时候谈这个，过于刺激了，不健康。
November 4, 2014
My seven days of "homelessness" is almost over! I'm about 9 hours away from success! According to many people only I have pushed through all seven days with the proper regulations. I can't wait to have good food tomorow. Last night I slept outside in all my winter cloths. Extra pants, socks and sweaters were put on the line with a heavy winter jacket. I actually slept better than I did when sleeping on the ground inside. I didn't wake up at all and the extra cloths that I wore proved to be very useful as extra padding. Tomorrow, I might make a short slideshow of everything I've been through that I've caught on camera. I must say these seven days were far better then I had expected it to be. Begging wasn't all that bad because many people have very generous hearts. After this whole experience, I figured out that we should all appreciate our food and shelter that we have accessible. This experiment really got me into the idea of thinking what it is like to do this all day everyday. I now have a soft spot for the homeless in my heart...
November 3, 2014
I had to beg for food today, all went well and I didn't have to starve. Many people gave me bits and pieces of their lunches and I am very grateful. I am lucky enough to be doing this experiment after Halloween when many people have candy to spare. For breakfast, I had a load of candy that I consumed fairly quickly. For lunch I got a small sandwich from a friend called emma, a few forkful of spaghetti and some small bags of chips and popcorn which I saved for dinner. I didn't feel much hunger but I am constantly taunted by what my friends are eating. When I got back from school, I went out into my neighbourhood in search for dandelion leaves. The leaves are bitter, but they are as close as I can get to vegetables. Tonight I was supposed to have a soccer practice, but it was cancelled because of the rain. I was delighted at first when I heard the news because that would mean I didn't have to sleep wet. Then I realized I still need to sleep outside in the rain tonight... I hope everything goes well today and tomorrow night and I'll be able to reward myself with a good meal Wednesday.
November 2, 2014
When I woke up this morning, I felt really weird. Usually when I wake up im still really tired and want to go back to sleep, but when I woke up on the ground today, I felt really energetic. The cardboard on the ground did nothing it still felt really hard and uncomfterble. Apparently it's supposed to suck in the humidity from the ground so it won't be too cold. For breakfast I had a can of chili. I don't know why, but now that I've had a few cans of perishable food, they all start to taste the same to me. The canned food that I've had were mostly soups. The funny thing is they are not the usual soups we may buy like chicken noodle soup or tomato soup, the ones that I had were quite different. What I had was fast food added with water and somehow got the name "soup". There were "chili soup", " shepards pie soup", " smokin bacon cheese sliders soup" and many other so called soups, they basically all tasted the same to me.
November 1, 2014
Last night was day two of the homeless experience for me. Sleeping without covers did not prove to be a big deal to me, but it felt awkward lying there without anything covering me. I woke up 5 times in the night. Even though I put on three layers of cloths, I still felt a bit cold. This morning I had canned beans and olives. They did however taste better then I thought they would. Before soccer today, I had a meal of spam meat with pasta. That tasted better then the breakfast. My soccer game didn't go as well, we could have won our game but instead we tied it. I personally had so many chances to score, but I didn't. For the few falters we've made, the other team immediately got the ball and got a break away. After the game I went home and had leftover beans form breakfast and a shepards pie soup.