Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I had a job interview the other day.
Too bad being upfront and honest probably didn't pay off! I don't know for sure yet.
I wasn't going to seriously look for a job until soccer season was over, since I would hardly ever be able to work because having games and practice all of the time.
And then, with not being here for J-term, it seemed silly to even consider a job until I returned after January. However, I was called in for an interview, which was a surprise.
Actually, I would probably love working there- its a bakery (I love bread!) and they help out the community with giving away some of the bread to charities and such.
I figured it would be best to mention right away that I was going to be leaving for a while, and not come under false ideas that I would be able to work right away, especially as they are very busy during Christmas time. Imagine a brand-new employee asking for a month and a half off after only working for one month, I might have been fired!
So, I don't know how it will turn out, I'm not worried about it either way.
See, I was hoping to be here for at least another year, and then I could get a job and work there for a while, volunteer at the same place for about a year and get lots of experience. With the school closing, I have no idea what I will do.
It's difficult to stay focused on school when the school is closing.
I'm sure it is much harder for our profs to continue working when they realize their jobs are done after this spring. But the community is really pulling together; students have been going on road trips to visit other colleges, taking people they hardly know with them. The profs are pouring into the students and helping them complete what they need to, even though they are also losing their jobs, need to consider their futures and their families. The administration still prays with people; enrollment and admissions (who are no longer needed and will probably be leaving soon) are friendly and helpful and have treats for the current students.

What hasn't been helpful so far in this change has been the Upland administration. Not that everything is their fault or that they are to blame for our school closing. However, this campus thought it would be helpful for the students to host a "college fair", as every single student that is not a senior has to find another college to go to. That makes a lot of sense to me.
Nearby schools were being invited to come, especially Taylor Upland. Instead, the 'officials' who are above the administration at this school put a stop to it.
So all the commuter students who don't have the option of attending Taylor Upland just have to look around on their own.
All the students who have scholarships that are exclusive to this school, which probably won't transfer to Upland just have to look for other schools and be treated like any other student who is transferring.
Thankfully, some of the nearby schools have been more accommodating- some have announced that they will accept all credits from Taylor University, regardless if it exceeds their normal required limit (as most juniors would have exceeded it). Other school's coaches have been scouting athletes and looking for scholarships for them if they want to transfer to that school. And other nearby schools that my friends have visited were incredibly hospitable to them; setting up meetings with advisers in the fields they would like to study in, showing what classes would count for their requirements and working out possible plans with them, should they choose to go to that college.
Yet... Upland hasn't made many decisions for students as of now. They've said a at least 1 program that will not be at Upland: Pastoral Ministries (however, they are required to allow students who are sophomores or juniors and already declared and begun their major to complete it in some fashion- which is good news for me, because they haven't made a decision on Criminal Justice yet!) Still, it is very aggravating that not only was our school closed, but those who are supposed to be making decisions about all these things- like what programs and majors will be transferred to Upland, what will happen to scholarships and other questions we have were not considered in a serious enough fashion to be answerable at this time.
Advisers and professors cannot help students make informed decisions because there is not enough information and our questions have not been answered.
And when there were attempts made to help students- such as college fairs, they were prohibited. It should be mentioned that although they chose to not allow a college fair to happen here- the Upland campus has yet to visit here and recruit students.
I might sound very enraged, but really I'm not. It is talked about on a regular basis on this campus, so it is just part of my life right now.
That and the stank that is constantly in the hallway... ughh.

Tonight is our last soccer game ever. I'm excited about it, we plan to have alot of fun!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oh! pretty bruise

Considering the bruise, and that it is a raised welt and feels like a rock, it should be no surprise that when I was rammed in the side I fell over, saw black and was unable to walk right away.
The trainer said that I had 'rock hard muscles' I was about to thank her for the compliment when she said that it was a bad thing that my muscles were so tight.
I played the rest of the second half, but my sprint wasn't a very fast one.

Friday, October 17, 2008

There's a strange freedom in realizing that there is nothing left to lose. What else can be taken from us?
It's brought a strength and unity to this campus, in the midst of everything seeming so hopeless.
People dance more now- what can anyone do to them?
Professors joke about slacking off- what's the worse that can happen to them- they're already being fired.

What do you do when everything has already been taken?
That's what we are trying to figure out over the next few weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh, Sad Day

"After 16 years of trying to build a presence in Fort Wayne, Taylor University announced today that it is closing down the money-losing branch campus of Taylor University Fort Wayne — leaving about 340 students searching for another college next year."

Well, happy Monday all students- the school is closing after this spring semester.

4 years ago, I never, ever would have guessed at the struggle it would be for me to graduate college. I contemplated this afternoon, sitting in the dining commons with the other students and the faculty as we heard how our futures were about to change, how someone else- a board of people who we have never met and know so little about us just changed the course of our lives... I thought about how I would have been a senior this year and be graduating in the spring and none of this closing down the school and campus would be affecting me. I would be... that is if I hadn't obeyed God's call and spent nearly two years working in Winnipeg. I would be nearly a senior if I hadn't taken that 6 month break earlier this year, visiting my sister in Brazil, working in Calgary and living with a great family. But then I remembered that I don't in the least bit regret any of those choices and I would do them all again- including my choice to come to Taylor Fort Wayne. I love this campus, I have learned so much and really am enjoying myself.

Parents- you are prophets to have joked that I would transfer yet again. However, this is not by choice.

I am a believer in finding the positive in every situation, something to be thankful for.
I found several things;
I am part of the first and last (and only!) TUFW women's soccer team- what a legend to leave!
I am so glad that I am getting my Associates this spring, so I still get a degree from this campus- along with the last ones awarded.
And also, this whole school-closing this is making people do the things they wanted to, but kept putting off. Like going on trips, my roommates and I are planning to go to Chicago, and now we actually will. Those classes I wasn't sure if I would take on campus or online? many I will now to taking on campus, because I want to be able to take them with certain professors; like my RA who majored in math and is teaching a course this spring. My roommate's father, a former police officer who (hopefully!) is teaching a course on American Policing, and even if I have to take them through independent study- counseling courses with my favorite prof.

I am a bit discouraged, but more determined than ever to finish my degree.
I'm not average, and I couldn't be an average college student, but I never expected so many hurdles or that it would be so difficult to finish.
I have a life list in the back of one of my journals- one of the items on the list is to graduate from college. No matter how long it takes me, or how ever many schools I have to go to I will graduate some day!
I heard this awesome "last lecture" online by a professor who was dying of pancreatic cancer and about how to achieve your dreams. He said that brick walls get in your way to see how badly you are willing to work for something.
I really, really want this. If I do end up finishing at the Upland campus, I still want my degree to say Fort Wayne.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Enter October

We tied our soccer game on Friday. 2-2.
Even played double over-time, but no goals. But hey! it's another game we didn't lose!

I started an online course on Friday. A 1 credit hour orientation to online classes. Now, remember I have taken several online courses already, but this class is required for my associates degree. For all relatives reading this- yes, I am still going for my bachelors degree (2010, lets hope!) but I also have the opportunity to earn my associates without putting myself behind and only taking about 2 extra classes- classes which also can carry over towards some of the the extra social sciences I need! So I started this course on Friday. It's Sunday evening and I AM DONE.
whew. that was easy.
So I signed up for another online course tonight.

And for those of you concerned about my social life, I also had fun this weekend.
Here's my proof:


I carved a pumpkin for the first time today. In real life it is a little pumpkin, about half the size of a soccer or volley ball, but as the saying goes, that camera adds ten pounds.
Fall is here and Halloween is coming!
I'm going to be a big girl this year and not go trick or treating. Instead my roommate is having a party at her house, a fire, candy, dressing up, all that jazz. (So I still get tons of candy without having to walk all over the place for it!)
I even have my costume all lined up. I am going as a basketball player. My volleyball player roommate is going as a soccer player and my basketball player roommate is going as a volleyball player. Expensive costumes this year, huh?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Shabbat/Sabbath

This evening I was supposed to volunteer at the YSC with YFC, and although it didn't happen this today I realized I hadn't mentioned it at all on my blog.
As part of needing to fulfill mandatory volunteer hours (yes, an oxymoron) for one of my social work classes, I've been volunteering. Thankfully, we were allowed to pick where, what and when and I picked something I enjoy and that is relevant to criminal justice, as well.
A few weeks ago, a kid went off on a rampage about Mexican orphans between the ages of 12 and 18 who are imprisoned simply for being orphans because there arent' enough orphanages to take them and if they aren't adopted, that is how the government takes care of them. He talked about how it would only take 300,000 to release them from jail and why weren't people getting involved in this?
Open your eyes, (little sheltered boy) that happens in America, too. At YSC, some of the children are there because of crimes committed, some are in there as a mid point either to or from the youth correctional center and some are in there because they are waiting for a foster home to open up that can take them. There aren't enough foster parents, or enough room in group homes often, especially for teenagers or siblings trying to be put into the same home, so they must wait for placement in a youth center. These children may not be orphans, but whatever circumstances have happened that make their homes unfit places for them to live shouldn't mean they are sent to a detention center, but what other option is there when there are not enough foster or group homes?
I really enjoy volunteering there, alot of what we do is similar to when I volunteered at the Youth Center in Winnipeg, only there is more of a turnover here (because in Winnipeg it was similar to a jail, whereas you could maybe call the YSC more like a remand center).
However, I did not volunteer there tonight. Soccer practice usually inhibits my schedule for volunteering because it falls just in the middle of volunteering- early enough I would only be able to volunteer for about half of an hour and late enough that I would show up late and have no transport there. However, soccer is over in about 3 weeks and I am very thankful of that!
After soccer practice, I attended a Jewish service with my roommate. It is part of an assignment for one of my classes, to attend a church service with an ethnic group with which you are unfamiliar. And then boiled it down to- you could not have attended a similiar church or worship area before. So that ruled out African American churches, Buddhist Temples and Thai churches (although there aren't any here), Hispanic congregations, African churches and possibly even mosques, because although I've never been to one, I think living with a Muslim family rules out my case for being unfamiliar with that group. So, it was either the Korean or Jewish. The Jewish Temple was closer, so it won. However, we both really enjoyed ourselves. The service was calm and incredibly relaxing. At no point was I bored or felt like I might fall asleep, however when the service was over I felt so calm and so rested that it was as if I had been in a spa for about an hour.

There wasn't really singing... instead it was more like chanting and then reading some passages together. I've been attending a Lutheran church lately and there's several parts with chanting and responsive readings. It wasn't like that at all. And the hymnals were in English and Hebrew and because they read from right to left, the book started at what I normally think of as the back. So page 1 was in my right hand and page 600 was in my left hand. It wasn't an NIV Bible or a King James Version, it was... the Jewish version, I guess. They mentioned that all of the scrolls and scriptrues they read from were all the same and implied that everyone would read from the same version. They used alot of different names for God instead of just God and Lord throughough the passages. Adonai was popular (Everlasting God) I was surprised at how little Jehovah and Yaweh were used, because I've been told that is a popular Jewish term for God. At times if felt like we were reciting poetry together and other times they chanted in Hebrew and I just read the English translation.
There wasn't really a 'sermon' instead they talked a little about Yom Kippur and gave a little of the traditions because apparently there were alot of visitors that night and alot was explained that I figured would often have been a normal part of worship. There was a short story that stuck with me and we learned about the day that the Jewish people, as a community celebrate rebirth. They put a big emphasis on community, which stuck out to me because Christianity has an emphasis on helping a community, being part of a community, but not necessarily about a community faith, often one's individual faith is emphasised (how are you doing in your walk with God? how has God been moving in your life?). At the end, there wasn't a call forward, there was no push or even encouragement to join or to make a decision or join the temple, it just ended and people greeted one another. It was comfortable and relaxing. I felt so rested after the service- I can't remember feeling that way after a church service or really after any function, unless I received a massage during it.
And then when I returned, some one had been in my room in put a password on my computer, so now I can't get on. I'm sure it was one of my friends, but it's really annoying because I don't know who yet. I'm typing this on my roommate's computer, but hopefully I will be back to my own by tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Go Figure, We Actually Won A Game!

4-3.
and we sent a girl on the other team off in an ambulance.
Oh... October. I don't know if I'm happy or not for fall.
It's chilly... but I usually enjoy fall. Jumping in the leaves. Bonfires. Hot apple cider.
Many of the team members, me included, are counting down until the our soccer last game. But soccer is also a fun part of fall.
We have a game this afternoon, by the way.
I am deciding about my change in major, but happily stuck in the justice area, leaning towards criminal justice, victims services concentration with probably a minor in psychology and counseling.
The most exciting aspect of my change of major is that I can take my practicum anywhere!!! As long as it fulfills the requirements of the practicum and I have a reliable mentor while I am there, I could go to Los Angeles, or Nairobi, or Thailand, or Winnipeg. That thrills me and has put me in a good mood all week. With the social work major I had to be within a certain radius of Fort Wayne, which was really 'crimping my style' to hold me in one place for so long.

Now I get to dream up the places I'll go...
Speaking of which, I bought my plane tickets for this Christmas. I'm going home. Well, my most recent home. I'm excited to see the mountains again, even though it will be during the winter. And I will get to see my niece and nephew (Mr. Solomon and Umi) again. Also, a few more of my friends have been shifting over to Calgary, hopefully they will still be there in January.
The ticket cost a total $88 due to taxes and almost all of my air miles, but I'm not gonna complain when I realize the gas to Indianapolis costs about the same amount.
And of course, I'm not taking a J-term class, because I know that I wouldn't be able to finish spring semester unless I get the break during Christmas time. However, I'm already signed up for two more (1 credit hour each) online classes and then hope to take another online course over January.

I really am enjoying college. Still looking for a job, still deciding my major, waiting for soccer to end, chugging away at finishing up.