This is a job description for the specialized kind of volunteer work friend and I have performed this and last week in preparation for the opening of the Childhood Development Center. After inaugurating the center, there will hopefully be a horde of free labor that can do all our coloring for us, but until then, we work ourselves to the bone.
Wanted: Volunteer interested in Early Childhood Education
Location: Post-Revolutionary Cairo
The volunteer’s only responsibility will be to color, cut, paste, and laminate a variety of shapes and images. Nothing else will be required. Images to be colored range from little fish, flowers, and farm animals, to potato heads, shoes (sneakers), and teddy bears. Occasionally, the volunteer will be given the chance to offer input in other affairs, but this is completely optional.
Ability to use a wide variety of coloring utensils, such as colored pencils, crayons, and markers (thin tipped). The volunteer MUST be able to determine the appropriate utensil for each project according to time constraints and taste, respectively.
Passion for cutting and pasting precision, as well as a significant amount of cutting and pasting experience.
An appropriate—not extreme–attention to detail, namely the ability to distinguish between different shades of colors (NO COLOR BLIND)
Ability to focus for long periods of time on mindless tasks in a semi to completely silent atmosphere.
Unshakeable faith in the fact that every little bit makes a difference.
Self-deluded that children aged 2-6 will notice the effort an adult human poured into coloring dozens of little fish, etc.
Well developed sitting still abilities, spatial awareness to avoid elbowing people.
Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Foreign Service, or related field.
Ability to wait patiently to start eating even if everyone is present and the food is sitting right in front of you and you are starving.
Paper, exacto knife, and scissor edges
Strange thoughts that come as a result of a coloring induced mental state somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness
Stickiness of the glue on ones’ hands
The overwhelming desire to sleep at all times
Hunger and/or thirst that will not be immediately satisfied or quenched
Improve fine motor and staying-awake-against-your-will skills
Remember why you never really liked coloring in the first place
Impress people when you tell them you volunteer (conditional upon amount of details given)
Sporadic free lunches and coffee
Scenic walk from the metro station along a dusty, sandy street lined with slimy puddles in Ain Shams
Apply in person. Bring transcript from a western University as well as a coloring sample from the past 2 years. Be prepared to discuss what communal, silent coloring means to you and how it deepens your relationship with children.