The "Real World"

I have entered the full-time work force. I have lots of jobs, in lots of place, doing lots of different things, but I have never had a 9-6 Monday through Friday. What an adjustment! I accepted the Supervisor position for the after-school program I have worked at for two previous years. This is also the longest I have worked for one place. How did I get to age 25 and never work somewhere for more than a year?
Anyway, I am working between 30-35 hours per week. This has been an adjustment. I have said so much the last year or more that I am tired of this fragmented life; this life lived in sectors....ya know, the school sector, the part-time job sector, the friendship sector. I have been in school my whole life and I am ready to be able to have a career and put all of myself into one thing and plant roots in one place, working with and investing in specific people. This is still true, but man it is nice to have free time during the day between classes, to go and do, to run errands, to relax. A full-time job pushes that out the window. I have no idea how parents do it. When do they do anything for themselves? I have a whole new respect for my Mother!
Though I am not a school day teacher and I am not employed by Morningside Middle School, it is as if I am a school day staff member. Working at Morningside for two previous years has given me a great foot in door with relationships with school day staff. It has also proven to be very effective in leading the kids that come to our program. The after school program is designed to influence kids in a positive way during the time of day the stats show they get into the most trouble. I am so excited about this opportunity and I see more and more the vision that God has for my life and the gifts that He has given me. I have loved this ministry. I have loved working with inner-city kids and I could really see myself doing this kind of "youth ministry."
We have started off so well this year. I have two great returning staff, and two great new staff. We are busting at the seams with kids, almost to the point where we cannot take anymore.
Though the program is funded to keep kids out of trouble, we hope to change kids lives for here and eternity. I will keep you updated on how that is going!


a true mouseketeer

My first day back into my office was in the middle of August. I came up to the school to check on things. As I walked around I noticed one of our bookshelves was covered in this powder substance and a whole lot of mice remnants. When I say "a whole lot" I mean A WHOLE LOT! Apparently a bag of flour was placed in a garbage bag and put on the shelves for summer keeping. First off, if a mouse can chew through the flour bag, he will find the garbage bag a joke. So, anyway, all of these clues alerted me to a mouse problem in my office. So, last week I asked the custodian for a little mouse trap, which I placed on those shelves with a piece of granola bar. The trap went untouched for over a week.
Then suddenly, yesterday I was working at my desk and I heard a noise. I looked to my left, where we have this large metal file cabinet and a metal cart. Out of the corner of my eye I catch the back end of a little mouse jumping down off the cart and running in between the cabinet and the wall. I lept out of my chair and started the hunt. I had nothing but a round tupperware dish and my keen eye sight. I tore the room up and found nothing, so I decided to move the sticky trap to that area on the floor. I came in the office this morning reluctant to check the trap and sure enough there was Mickey, stuck as could be. My first instinct was excitement and my second was total sadness. It was awful to see him stuck to that death trap. He was so tiny and he was trying with all his might to pull himself off, but he couldn't. So, I knew I couldn't just let him die that slow miserable death. I picked up the trap, put it in this box and carried through the school to find the janitor to help me get him off the trap without killing him. Of course the janitor's response was, throw him in the dumpster! This was not an option, I was determined to save the little guy. So, I took him outside to a field and tried to get him off with a stick...this was a total failure. Suddenly I knew the only way that thing was coming off was if I grabbed him myself and pulled him off. You more than likely thinking at this point, "What is wrong with her? Please tell me she didn't!" Well folks, I did. I took my fingers, grabbed the little mouse and pulled without hurting him until he came off, which wasn't easy by the way, those things work. I sat him in the grass and he buried his head in a little ball as fast as he could. He was so tiny and so scared and I felt like an evil human. I understand we can't have rodents infesting buildings, and if it had been a large scary rat I might have done differently, but after watching the poor little thing struggle I just couldn't.
Call me crazy, call me gross, call me weird, I don't care. The little mouse lives another day!


Plane ride conversations

I got to fly to Atlanta afterall this past weekend. I had an amazing time with family for my sister's birthday. She is fantastic. She turned 23 on Saturday and it is hard to believe. I couldn't be more proud of her. She is married to an amazing guy, she has a beautiful house, a full-time job and two dogs. In most ways she has entered the adult world much faster than I have and I am learning a lot from her.

Other than a great weekend I had the neatest experience on the plane ride home. When I check in I always check to see what seat I am in. I was in the way back by the bathrooms and as fun as that sounded I decided to change seats to one closer to the front. I sat down next to this guy and we began talking. It turned out he is a camera guy for NBC The Today Show. I have become a pretty regular Today Show watcher so I was super excited about this encounter. He was on his way to Texas to try to get as close to the Ike aftermath as possible. They were supposed to land in Dallas and drive all night to Houston to set up by 3:00 am. We talked the whole way to Dallas about all kinds of things. He showed me behind the scenes photos of the conventions and McCain's exclusive interview, the Gustav aftermath, etc. He told me stories of being in Afghanistan after September 11th. I told him what I did and what I wanted to do. It was awesome. You never know who you are going to meet on a plane.


Hurricanes and Life Interuptions

There are many things I did not know about Texas before I moved here. I imagined hot and dry weather on miles and miles of dirt land and rolling tumbleweed. I admit it was a naive stereotype, but I just didn't know. Who knew Texas got hurricanes? I mean I am from the South East coast...hurricanes are a part of life there. Who knew Texas got spring storms that spawn of tornadoes as much as rabbits have babies? I certainly didn't know.
My roommate was supposed to be the Maid of Honor in a wedding in Lake Jackson, TX on Saturday. Lake Jackson is a coastal area near Houston. So the poor girl and guy had a shot-gun wedding last night and are now spending their first day as a married couple evacuating. Talk about a rough start.
I had a trip planned to Atlanta for this weekend to see my family and celebrate my sister and Mom's birthdays, but now that is up in the air.
My roommates family is evacuating with the pets up here to Fort Worth today. they live in the South East Houston area. IT should be an interesting weekend.
Of course Global Warming (which indirectly means President George Bush) is blamed for this. This is absurd of course to any rational, thinking being, who realizes that our need as a culture to place blame somewhere is ridiculous. When will we realize how little control we have? When will we realize that we are like flowers, that whither and fade? When will we realize that we are not in charge of this world? If people have managed to make it to adulthood without realizing these things it is likely they never will.