Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prayer Request

Hey everyone,

Last year, as a lot of you know, I did student teaching at PHS and loved it.  Today there was an incident between two teachers, and an English teacher that I knew was stabbed by another teacher.  She's stable and recovering.  She is quite a spitfire and loves the students so I imagine that once she's better she'll probably be back to teach.

For the news, see here.

Thanks for the prayers.

In other news, here in Philly we had the 5th Annual Winter Art Exhibit.  The girls from the afterschool performed there best, doing Step, singing in a quartet and displaying their paintings, crochet, and sewing projects.  I was so impressed with how well they all did!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I've learned something: working with middle schoolers is hard.

How do you meet the challenges presented by each unique individual, boost their grades, support them emotionally, and do it all the while feeling like you don't really have a clue?

The answer lies in the question: why do we, my partner and I, care so much?  Or, why does it bother us so much that we only have two hands and one brain each and sometimes we just don't understand 6th grade math?

Because we have hope.  We see a purpose in what we do, and we want so badly to be able to do it and do it really well.  And it's hard because I wish I knew how to sufficiently answer some of the tougher questions, how to address them, how to fix them today!  Right now!  But that's not feasible.  I'm growing and learning as much as any of the girls in the program.

And hope is more than just, "Oh, I hope I get that really neat shiny new ________!"  It something more sustaining than that- hope that we'll all grow from this experience.

Sometimes I struggle with hopelessness, especially when things seem like they're not changing or when I feel like the odds are stacked against me.  But fortunately, there is always that person to give me an encouraging word.  And I have a partner in this, and together we encourage and build each other up!  I'm learning to believe that hope means that everything, bad or good, has a purpose.  And that hope spurs us on, every day, to show up, give our best, enjoy the little things (and the littler things*) and trust in God, that all things are possible.

Come June, we'll probably say, "We get it now!"  And then school will end.

But it will have been a good journey.

*It goes on EVERYTHING!!!

Current concoction:
Sautee 1/8th of a giant chopped onion in 2 tbs olive oil.  Sprinkle with Adobo.  Cook a little then add frozen green beans (because you don't eat them fast enough to buy fresh ones) and stir.  Sprinkle with Adobo.  Cook raw frozen chicken in microwave (because if you add it to the oil it will splatter hard core).  Dice and add cooked chicken to beans and onion.  Saturate with Adobo.

Enjoy.  Take note of how the onions melt in your mouth and how the chicken bursts with flavor.  Then pat yourself on the back for eating green beans.