Wednesday, November 11, 2009

mama said home is where the heart is

As someone with anxiety, it's very hard to walk back into a place after being gone for some time. "What will they say to me?" is the constant thought running through our anxious minds. We have..well...we urge to know who's going to say what to us at what time so we can be fully prepared.

I was a little nervous to come back to school today. I haven't seen these kids since Friday, and on that day I was sick at school and not really myself. The second I walked into the gym with the juice and breakfast snacks in my arms, a student (dressed as Chris Brown) came running down the bleachers to help me. "You're back! We're so happy you're back. You're amazing". Pretty nice thing to hear first thing in the morning! As I sat behind my table, greeting students (all dressed as celebs), I got three tackle hugs and several students begging me to never leave again.

I don't say this to brag, or to be all "look how awesome I am". I know I have a lot to work on. The two worst behaved study hall's in the school are mine, while it's not completly my fault I do somewhat take the blame. I just have very little high school classroom management skills. I can get little kids to be quiet like I did when I worked for the girl scouts, I can teach an adult education class like I was trained to do at Western. I can't get 13, 14, 15 year olds to sit still and study. Anyways, I got way off topic. I say this because it stresses the point I've been making since August: This place is where I'm supposed to be. While I may not have all the answers or the best classroom strategies, at least I know that I can make a small impact on some of these kids.

I get strange looks and lots of questions when I tell people I'm doing a year of service at a Detroit high school. If those people spent one day here, they'd change their minds. I just know it.

Yesterday was the first day I was feeling a lot better (minus the stuffy-ness, that's still here) and I had a nine hour food manager's class. On the plus side, I am now 5 year certified to handle food, you know, incase I ever need that. (Don't ask me when). On the downside it turned me paranoid. I learned every possible way someone can get a foodborne illness and something about each illness. Gross. I learned that the most infected item in an office setting is the coffee pot. I learned that most Americans do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

I'm making some positive changes in my life. I'm signing a contract of all the things I want to work on during the next few months. I'm making my study skills extracurricular class do the same thing and teaching them the lesson that we can't sit around and wait for change, we have to do something.

It's not even 2nd hour yet and I already have so much to be thankful for:

-All of the people who have encouraged me throughout the MVC process. My family, friends, the staff, Melinda. You guys have been there since the beginning when I first decided to do this, you supported me through the application process and during all my nervous breakdowns. You were all right, God did have a plan for me and it is an amazing plan. I love you guys.
-My students. Amazing little people that they are.
-My co-workers, specifically Hannah and Jon. Both greeted me with huge hugs. They are both volunteers as well, so it's so nice to have people to relate to at work.
-Fresh ideas and motivation!
-Our support people, Mike and Amy.
-The other MVC communities. <3<3

Okay, I have a whole week of make ups to do for thankful people. I sat here and can I put a group of people on here? I'm going to write about seven men in my life! That sounds odd phrased that way, but you know what I mean.

Daddy- I've always been a huge fan of my Dad. He's got a huge heart and is the first one to reach out whenever one of us is dealing with an issue, whether it's a personal issue, money problems, homework help. He's the glue that holds our family together and he can make everyone laugh. He's a hugger and had such a sweet, caring heart. Every single one of my friends that has ever met my dad falls in love with him, because he's so funny. What a classy guy. I am thankful for all the times he's come through for me when I needed help...the car breakdowns, overwithdrawn bank accounts, when I just needed to cry. He's always there.

JP- People will often hear me say that my brother is my hero. It's true. He's been through so much and yet is one of the strongest and most giving people I know. It was his idea for us to adopt a family this year, another way he is constantly showing love to others. He's hilarious and one of the few people I can be yelling and screaming at one second and laughing with the next. We've always been really close, even when he used to rip off the heads on my dolls and throw them down the stairs. I am so proud of how much he has accomplished and I know he's only going to continue to grow and make a bigger impact on this world.

Dave- My otha brotha haha. I love this guy. He's a tough guy but another one to reach out and help people in a second. He is such a huge part of our family, I couldn't imagine our life without him. He is hilarious and cares for my sister in a way that I find beautiful. The guys at UofD are lucky to have him around and as a hockey coach, because he teaches them so much not only about hockey but about how to be a better person.

Alex- Bestie <3. I love this kid more than I could ever say. He is a light in my life. We don't get to talk as much, we're both extremly busy, he's trying to finish up at school and I'm living this crazy life. He's been there for me since we were young, he knows pretty much everything I've been through. He's a strong, compassionate person who I can be my complete self around. He's another one that I am so proud of and know that he is going to make an impact on the world- a fantastic writer, so creative and a wonderful teacher. I am thankful to have such an amazing best friend.

Dave/Nate- I put them in the same little blurb because I'd be repeating myself a lot otherwise. I'm lucky to live with such great guys. Dave is the hugger and gives me such positive energy. Nate is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. He gave some of his personal stipend up to purchase food for the food bank. I consider both of them to be like brothers, especially Nate who reminds me of my actual brother. They are lovely <3 I'm so lucky. I am thankful for their support, smiles, hugs, concerns. They are wonderful.

Chikezie- Yeah yeah. Go ahead and laugh it up, but this guy has given me so much hope. It is because of him that I have taken on the "never give up" motto and motivation in life. He is one of the most determined people I know. He's so sweet to every person he meets, he's softspoken, polite and loving. I am thankful for the music he has brought to my life and all the happiness that has come along with it. He deserves so much success in this world and I just hope he gets it. I am thankful for all the good times he has brought for Sam and I, all the concerts and after concert memories. I am thankful for all the times that he has gone out of his way to make me and other fans happy, like recording my favorite song for my birthday and sending it to me or shoutouts on stage. I am thankful for his sense of humor and toughness.

Okay. Love ya'll.

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