Not to worry, friends! Even though I haven’t had internet since Thursday, I’ve been jotting down things I wanted to share with you since then.
Thursday was my first experience working in the classroom. It was quite a strange feeling to have thirty 14 year olds staring at you. My job for the day was to have the students fill out their I-9 forms. In each session, we got them completed rather quickly, so I moved into introduction and discussion on Cristo Rey. I had some students ask me why I chose to volunteer there, I had others who came up to me in private to share that they wanted to help with peer mediation. I even had one student wait after class and then show me her poetry notebook, because I had mentioned that I was going to start a creative writing extracurricular. It was cool that she already trusted me and wanted to share something so intimate with me.
Friday was the retreat for all new students, freshmen and sophomore transfers. We had Mass in the morning, and Fr. Jose gave a beautiful homily about God’s ability to bring each of us through obstacles we face, and that each of us were still standing here together for a reason. I think that was a message that everyone, including the adults (so weird that I’m considered an ‘adult’ now) in the room, needed to hear. The group was then split into two separate groups. I went with Mr. Lacross and Mr. Dixon with a group of students outside to the ropes course. It was a serious of obstacles that required team work and communication in order for the entire group to accomplish the task. There was a group of girls in our group that were very stand-offish and scared, but I would have been (and probably still am to this day) the same way. I made sure to take extra time and encourage them through the tasks. I turned two of the four around, they started volunteering first and being more active. In a conversation with Mr. Dixon later, I had another revelation about myself. He said “It’s too bad that some kids are too afraid of what others think or of hurting others to put themselves out there.” That is exactly my issue. I fear hurting other’s feelings or what they will think so much that it puts restrictions on what I push myself to do. However, I can honestly and proudly say that during these past three weeks, I have pushed myself out there more than I have in years.
That night, the four of us went to Sr. Cecilia’s house for Bible Study night which she hosts every month with friends from her church. She was ecstatic that we attended, as were her friends. First we did contemplation, and then we read the readings for mass this Sunday and discussed them. It was a great experience to hear views and thoughts from many different backgrounds. The one thing I pulled from the discussion was that “God is Love”. So simple, yet so complex at the same time. Dave and I had a nice little conversation after the Bible Study about putting God first and having love in our hearts. The four of us then had dinner together, which Nate and Katie cooked. I love our community meals, sharing conversation and ideas with one another.
Saturday we headed over to Eastern Market with our fabulous, one of a kind neighbor, Frank. We didn’t do much shopping but looked around and got a feel for prices and selection. It was great seeing so many people involved in the city. Later we took a trip out to Dearborn for Dave to get a tux for his friend’s wedding and to get a few small items at Wal-Mart. We’ve still spent very little of our personal money. I even denied Starbucks because I don’t want to waste my money on expensive coffee. That night we decided to treat ourselves to eating out for dinner. We went to one of the local Corktown bars, actually one that is quite famous for game days. We wanted to go somewhere local to meet people, but ended up being the only ones in there. It was still nice to get out of the house though. We came home and watched Dogma and SNL together.
Sunday we visited our second stop of our “Church Crawl”, St. Aloysius. We loved it! The congregation was very diverse, we knew people, and the priest was awesome. We met up with three of the seven Jesuit Volunteers. Sr. Cecilia was there and made us feel very welcomed. After Mass, Katie and Dave went to the grocery store while Nate and I just hung out at home. I went over to Sr. Mary Kelly and Renee’s house down the block to do my laundry (we don’t have a dryer, so they let us use their’s) and had a nice chat with Renee. Came home for dinner and was in the middle of typing this when Dave knocked on my door and said Robert (former MVC) invited us to a free concert downtown. I knew I had to wake up early and that I should go to sleep early, but I also knew I should take advantage of the opportunity. So the four of us met up with Robert, had a beer, and got a sense of the local Detroit music scene. Even though I’ve lived here all my life I’ve never been to a local band concert. It was cool to see different people from the city gathering. We just dropped in and it’s almost midnight so I should be getting to bed.
That's the entry I wrote for up until Sunday night. I'll write more about this week later :-)