Thursday, February 26, 2009

I can still hear the tone, even through the internet...

Since it would not be loving to respond with the immediate responses that came to my head- I thought I would post them here:
Well, I was going to...

My adviser just advised me NOT to pursue a career with corrections, or anything working with offenders. He advised that I only work with victims, well, for right now, because he thinks that I am too gentle-natured to work with offenders at this point. He thinks that I would not be able to handle the behavior or the language that I would be around.

Now, I was raised to respect the opinions of others, especially those in leadership positions and when they were offering me advice.

However, I think I am going to disregard this advice.
1- because obviously I do not have a gentle nature, for any of you who know me. That's not a name I ever remember having been called. So, because his logic for me not to be in that field are not supported by anything real, but by an impression he has received that is not accurate- I disregard it.
2- I have 2 former (well, one former... one wishy-washy) drug dealers/gang members on my facebook chat right now who have both attested to my impact on their lives while they were 'offenders' and say that I should pursue that. These two who do know me, and also have the view from where I would be working... I am going to disregard it.

My reasons are based on logic- people who know me say I should, people who don't know me say I shouldn't.

Plus, I wanna be in that field. And I really did not like his attitude towards me.
If it doesn't change quickly- I'm about to request a new adviser!

winter blues...

Some people love college. They love the classes, the dorms, living on a campus surrounded by lots of people their own age. They even enjoy the homework and the time between high school and beginning their careers.

I am definitely not one of those people.
I graduated high school early because I hated it.
I transferred out of my other school and took a break because I was so sick of school.
I took the January semester off because I had to have a break from school.
It's only been three weeks into the semester, and I still hate school. I like the social life, and I will definitely miss these people. And I will miss some of my professors. And probably, this is the best college for me to attend- on campus, in person.
Perhaps because I feel like I have been in school for so long, or because this campus is closing and some things about the future seem so frustrating to me.

Part of me just thinks I should finish out my Associates this summer and be done with it! (That part of me seems to be growing...)
Another part of me feels like I should take another break from school, but then I wonder if I would have the strength to come back and finish.

I've been trying to sort out some things with my major and completing my degree through online courses. I have a concentration in victim's services- which is only two extra classes. I picked victim's services because of the counseling/psychology element. But since the main bulk of my courses would be criminal justice, I figured it would give me the basis for what I needed, as well. However, the more I am hearing makes it out to be that my internship must be within the victim's services portion of Criminal Justice. However, that's not really the area I want to go into. I would like to do chaplaincy, work in group homes- work with the offenders. I just received an email about my internship mentioning that I should have no contact with any of the offenders.
That's definitely not what I want.
Is it too late for me to change? I wouldn't be shifting completely out of the realm of Criminal Justice- just moving towards either corrections, or Justice and Ministry.

And then... that part that just wants to be done with school speaks up and reminds me that the people I admire the most don't even really use their degrees in the field they are working in, or never earned a degree. They are happy and doing amazing things- can't I just get my associates and be done with it?

And I wonder why there is so much pressure for me to arrange things for my internship right now- when I would not be starting it for nearly another year. Friends of mine who are seniors and doing their internships right now were still working on arranging them 2 months before they were to start. I don't see what is the rush right now.

And I feel like, when I go to talk to the people who must answer these questions about my future that as soon as I mention that I am finishing things up online and they understand the connection with it to Upland, this attitude pops up.
I'm frustrated at the closing of my school, too. I hate it. But that gives you no right to be short with me, give me a rude attitude or write me emails that 'bite'.
If you are my adviser- it's not about you. It's not about you losing your job. I hate that you lost your job. It's not about your anger or bitterness towards that campus.
It's about me. And advising me for what is best about my future. It's not about you being angry or bitter at Upland.

Actually, we had a great chapel service yesterday. It was about... well... I'm not sure what it was originally about, but it ended on the subject of bitterness and forgiveness. Much of the campus walked out of the church feeling a little lighter, after having laid down their bitterness towards those responsible and involved with the closing of our school.
It took me a while to drop that bitterness, so I am not expecting that these professors will just be able to drop it on a particular schedule; they have their own things to work through, in their own time.
However, they do not have any reason to be rude towards me because of my decision to complete my degree online. I feel very discouraged in fact. This is hard enough without their oppositional attitudes or negative feedback. If it was constructive, I would probably take it better, but there is little advice included and far too much lemon juice.

I HATE SCHOOL!!! can I just be done already?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

President, King, Commander

The other night, we were praying. One of the things we prayed about was the government.
It was interesting to hear some people pray for Obama and the clear sense that it was out of command to pray for our leaders, which is good, but there were pretty clear feelings against our president that leaked out even during that.
Some people were really upset at our government, at the changes that were being made.
Others were afraid for the future- for changes that might happen to laws or some of our freedoms.
Others prayed about the impact our government will have on the rest of the world.

Then, one girl prayed for unity- as our country is often divided between Republicans and Democrats. Sadly, our churches are often divided between the two groups, as well.

Biruk and I were talking last night about the different political parties and about the changes that we foresee happening in the US, and possibly Canada. I might surprise or disappoint some family members to say, I am probably a Democrat. Not that I would fit exactly into either party- or any of the others. But the one I identify with in many ways would be that of the donkey.

That prayer, it stuck in my mind.

My sister gave me Bono's speech, 'On the Move' that was made into a book for Christmas. I read it just the other day. It's a call for our government to do more. To follow the Biblical rules of the year of Jubilee- to forgive debts, to not take interest, to promote equality and justice. So that we are not father figures that poor countries in the world lean on, but brothers beside them.
It challenged our government to obey Christ.

I am grateful for the many freedoms, especially religious, that we have in America. Sometimes, I think of how the US is not a Christian nation, and then, other days I think of how our leaders do often strive to follow Christianity, to do things which line up with Gospel.
I was watching the news the other day. A group was discussing some of the changes that Obama is proposing. As they discussed the pros and cons of some of these changes, a few began to complain that if a Republican had won, this would be this way, this would be that way. They mentioned that they hear people who voted Democrat now complaining- it's their fault, they voted for it. "If-"
One lady cut him off.
"Democrats won the election. Republicans lost. They need to get over it." In some ways, I agree with this- not so harshly. But, our country is already split with different views; donkeys and elephants- and monkeys and 'green tree frogs' and other animals- we don't need people living in bitterness and back two years in the past, too.

The prayer, about the unity between the political parties, it echoed in my brain for a while.
Especially, for Christians, there should not be this discention between the parties. I mentioned this to my younger sister a little while ago, concerning if we lose some of our freedoms in the future. I am first a follower of Christ, and then an American.
Being an American is a big part of who I am, and I think living in another country accentuated that in me. Culturally, I am an American. Even the aspects of me that love different cultures, different foods, learning different languages and wanting to travel comes because of living in a country where there is such a mixture of cultures.
However, I was born an American by citizenship. And I was re-born as a Christian. My allegiance to Christ comes first now.
When changes happen in our government, when America is not the same country it was 5, 10 years ago, my allegiance to Christ does not change.
Being a Christian is much harder than being an American. Some of the laws of my faith are tough to follow- Love your enemy. Forgive everyone- and continue to forgive them. To be powerful, you must become a servant.
But those don't change. When it gets hard, they don't change. When progression happens, they don't move a bit.

I'm not really a Democrat. I'm part of a monarchy.
And I hope that's something Christians of any and all political parties can agree on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

3 in a row

There was this game tonight during dinner; it was the Pepsi Hoops Challenge. Two little Nerf nets and small basketballs. A category was called out, if you qualified for the category, you raced to get to the balls and shot to win prizes.
Everytime, it seemed I scored a basket, it was immediately after someone scored the winning one.
I did, eventually win a T-shirt (XL, so I need to sew it, or give it away) and a 2 liter of soda (and I don't drink soda, so I gave that away). I think I won that one because the category was for never having gone to the one of the local movie theaters or something like that.

But then, I ended up winning the grandprize- that was nice.
It was against the whole school, and the first 4 shots went to the second round. And then against those 3 other people, I had to shoot 2. I was against all basketball players, but I still managed to get them 2 in a row and won $100 for Best Buy.

I am going to use it all on minutes for my pay-as-you-go phone. That should hopefully last me till the end of the semester.
That was a nice gift, Thanks God!

It also was pretty cool to beat everybody- esp. my friends on the basketball team!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lent

I'm not Catholic, but I celebrate Lent when I feel like it.
Not that anyone ever really feels like giving up things or going for a month without something they are addicted to, have a bad habit in, or the like. However, when something is brought to my attention that I need to take a break from, work harder at or change, Lent is the perfect time to tackle it. I do like the practice of Lent, and I feel so much more motivated when I realize people all over the world are giving up things, too. I feel stronger when I consider how I am part of this 40-day fast of _____ as others also take this time to work on their relationship with God.

So, I have decided to stop making lists for Lent.
Biruk kindly mentioned that I plan things a lot. I didn't think much of it, but then he suggested that it was a negative thing. As I thought about it later, I realized that a lot of my list-making is rooted in my desire for control, instead of releasing it to God. Although my plans are often changed or altered, anyway, I still want that feeling that I can dream up what I want and try to implement my ideas.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that so many little things I do, or let my mind drift to tallying up take up so much time and are a security factor that does not come from my trust in God.

So I'm laying off. This week I will be weaning myself off and drawing my attention to the many lists I make and the many areas in my life which I try to claim control instead of giving to God that he might have free reign.
I love dreaming about the future and thinking of this, or what about that; but they are my ideas with foundations in my desire to control my own life.

The second area I am going to begin working on is a sequel to the absence of list-making. I am a people-pleaser. When I consider how much time and energy I put in to trying to please others (not to be confused with being nice, or caring for them), or even when I worry if I have disappointed someone. That is one of the most devastating things for me to hear- that I've disappointed someone.
It's why I sing quietly- because when I was young I was told I don't have a good singing voice. It's why I started to play sports, because I found that I could make my teammates happy. It's why I try to get good grades. It's why I talk so much in classes.
I want my desire to help others and to care for people be more a motivation than to make them happy and for them to like me. Now, I do love playing sports. And I do love helping my friends. But I need to get away from the motivation of pleasing others and focus instead on loving them.

I would say that both of these things I am giving up for Lent are trust factors- not trusting in God, that his plan is the best, otherwise, wouldn't I give up control to him? -not trusting in God that I am valuable simply because he created me and loves me. If I believed that, wouldn't I just rest in that alone?

And, I have to give a shout-out for Biruk. I have found that he is able to so gently tell me areas that I am inconsistent, or that I need to change in such a loving and non-judgemental way that I am motivated to change. I want to change, and I do not feel looked down on or that he is being critical of me, I simply want to improve. What is that gift called? Tact?

Biruk- thank you for motivating me to celebrate Lent this year and for giving me insight into the areas that I don't fully trust God.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The end.

Tonight was the Men's last home basketball game- ever. It was touching, and sad, and reminded me that we really did have something special at this school.

It was senior night, so that was special, as well.
But also, the man who has been the manager for the past, 10 years? (don't quote me on that) is mentally disabled (is that the politically correct term?) and he played in the game. He scored 18 points!
At first, it was planned and the other team just let him score, and then our team let them have a lay-up. But after our team was smoking them by about 40 or so points, the coach put him back in to actually play. And he did- he made a point with a guy on the other team blocking his shot!!!

With a win of about 50 points, I would have expected the players to slack off and just joke around and have fun for the end of the game. Instead, they worked so hard. All the players played their hearts out to the end of the game.

The whole crowd standing in applause for so long, my hands were beginning to hurt from clapping. The coach crying from the beginning of the National Anthem and all throughout the evening, watching someone play in a basketball game after admiring the sport for many years. Thinking about how hard the athletes had worked for this- how some of them were seniors and would probably never play again, how some of them could-or should- have transferred to another school for this semester, but stuck it out to be faithful to their team and coach, how the Sophmores and Juniors sweated and ran so much, even though the school was closing and they would have to go somewhere else, or maybe not play anymore.

Just considering all the effort and hard work that went into everything, the hours, and the years of dedication humbled me and made me tear up a little.

I still hate that this school is closing. It must get old that I am still harping on this, but still living here, still going to school here makes it so different and all these reminders that it's closing still hit hard each time.
Watching Carl shoot, dribble down the court and guard another player, then run over and hug the coach just reminded me of how special this campus is, how irreplaceable it is.

A nearby school canceled a game against us- they are very good and would most likely beat us. Them canceling gives our Women's basketball team a more likely chance of making it to nationals. I smile when I think of how kind other schools are being to us, going out of their way so that people can make some of their dreams- even the coaches and staff are getting to see some of their hopes come true because others are being so kind.

The series of lasts has begun...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

______

I'm switching back and forth between doing homework for my online class (New Testament) and writing this blog. This class surprised me yesterday by how many similarities there were between the Roman society and out own- according to my textbook, they had already invented a method of showers back then, as well as dolls with move-able limbs.

Last night I did some painting on the floor of a friend's room. I forgot how much I enjoy painting, how relaxing and soothing it is. and how much fun it is. His idea was very eco-friendly, as well. He dumped all of his old essays and assignments (which always only use one side of the page) and instead of just throwing them away, he painted on the other side. So we had a painting party, and then I gave away all of the ones I drew. I am in a drawing class this semester, which I think I will enjoy. I also have an art class, but it is mostly art history and I already hate it so far...

It's Sunday and I went to Church this morning- which was very fun. The worship was energizing and had some instrument I wasn't sure of- like a cross between a sax and a clarinet (but it was brass, and aren't clarinets wood instruments?) and the guy who played this unknown instrument just kept letting loose and jammin'.
The sermon was good, and the preacher used very big words, which made me feel like I need to brush up on my vocabulary. Also, it was the first time I remember ever hearing 'juxtaposed' in a sentence, other than in a vocab test.

Upon return to the dorms, I went right back to sleep for a few hours and missed lunch, so now I am hungry... And my dinners have lately consisted of bowls of cereal, perhaps a salad and sometimes a turkey or ham sandwich. It's college food, and after nearly two months of eating real food, even if I did get sick of the ingera, my standards are still to high. Give me two weeks, I should be eating like the rest of these guys in no time! Ugg...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fort Wayne

I'm back at school.
Classes started yesterday. I'm not too excited about being a full-time student again, but I know that I have much to look forward to when I finally finish.
I am meeting with folks at the Upland campus next week to discuss/finalize my plans for next year.
I am doing the clock and scoreboard for the basketball games this evening.

And I have decided to stay in Fort Wayne after graduation.
I really like it and already have been offered places to live- apartments where I can drill holes in the wall and thus hang my hammock instead of buying a bed.
I plan on visiting Winnipeg this summer, but I do not plan on living there for the whole summer. I think it would be best that way, so I would have the free schedule to see people, and not have to wrestle with all of the visas and permits to be eligible to work there. This way I can actually see people without finding free time in my work schedule, or worry with how I will manage to complete the online courses I plan to take, while working and trying to see all the people I want to.

And I am excited about staying in Fort Wayne, it makes me feel at ease and happy at the same time. I will not have to say good bye when the school closes down! (Many of my friends are going to live here, too) and I can look for a job and keep that job after the semester ends and fall begins- I can even try to find a job in my field.
As I told my dad- people will always commit crimes, so I will probably always have a job in my area.

Now I am going to eat my dinner- happy 6 more weeks of winter, all!