Monthly Archives: January 2011

Prophets of a future not our own.

On Friday, my coworkers and I spent all day at Trinity HS in Garfield Hts talking to classrooms full of students.  I, being all about processing (SH2 shoutout!), LOVE leading groups of peers in discussions about community service.  We usually talk really briefly about what UGIVE.org is, how it was started, why WE volunteer, and then launch into a conversation of why THEY volunteer (or, for schools like Trinity where 80 hours of service are required to graduate, why they think their school has them volunteer).

I’ve been working with high school students both through work and in volunteering for Leadership Lorain County’s Women’s Lunchbox Series, and it is increasingly alarming to me that the students with whom I interact are a) hyper-aware of heavy issues on all levels that they will not have to directly face for up to half a century from now, and b) able to list FAR more problems or concerns than dreams and optimism for their futures and their communities.  The Trinity juniors we had 2nd period were fairly reserved when asked why they serve/are expected to serve, but as soon as I asked them what’s wrong with Cleveland/NE Ohio/their neighborhoods, their sentiments were inexhaustible.  Mumbles of everything from housing woes to homelessness to a skyline they can’t be proud of to money uncertainties to failed sports teams to human trafficking filled the classroom to a point where we actually had to call for their attention and quiet again.

I asked why they thought I posed that question to them, and then I directed their attention to a bumper sticker their teacher had put on his podium at the front of the room; those familiar with social movements and liberation theology probably know the slogan If you want peace, work for justicevery well.  It is our goal as Cleveland UGIVE VISTAs to show students that, yes, there is so much brokenness and despair in Cleveland (and, frankly, everywhere these days), but there is also a lot of passion and energy inside of THEM that can change those things.

One student looked at me and said, “Human trafficking?! What can WE do about huge issues like that?” and rattled off reasons they (17-year-olds) couldn’t possibly do anything addressing that issue.  It sparked an intense “a-ha” moment with the class as they realized the Romero/Hellen Keller idea that it’s precisely BECAUSE we cannot do everything that we are able to do something no one else can do as well as we can.

It resurfaced into my mind of one of my favorite movie moments ever, something that I used at several school talks in the fall.  It’s from the start of Pay it Forward where the 7th grade students get their assignment to change the world.  I am always so inspired by watching it, and I hope you will be too.

I really, truly, honestly love my job and the catalyzing that comes with it.

I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something I can do. –Helen Keller

To see the KICK-BUTT inspirational video that Trinity introduced to US, click here.  We were teary-eyed and goosebump-clad both times we watched it!

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Pulling a Matt Forrest

Think about it:

The simple act of being completely present to another person is truly an act of love.

— Sharon Salzberg

It’s all happening!

Friends!

Well, well, well. 🙂 I just got done hanging with Jacq, Jes, and Katelyn (with a splash of KDull in the mix).  We were being old ladies– had brunch, gossiped a little, organized a book club for the next 5 months, and then we knitted baby hats for a few hours.  Kate even complained about her arthritis 😉

We were at Mulligan’s last night (the Wolfey’s of Avon? yuuuup) and just about to leave when who walks in but my friend Bryce, a wonderful fellow I knew (of) through some friends in high school but who also dated a fellow Rambler.  We’d recently bonded at the ACTUAL Wolfey’s about 2 months ago so I was excited to see him, and then from behind him emerges…COREY TAYLOR.  CT is my favorite person to harass via text about our friendship falling off in recent years. 😉  He just moved home in December so we were excited to see each other and catch up; I was filled in by his posse that he is “Corey Taylor 2.0” so I’ll be intrigued to hear about all the changes college forced onto him. (HA!) The gang’s going out for sushi tonight and I’m tagging along (chopstick win, Britty!).

Side note: Britt and I have decided to give up conventional utensils for Lent…once it arrives, at least.  I’m really looking forward to chopstick creativity and more avid use of my hands for food!

Anyway, to fill you in, I have a few goals (errrybody’s hating on New Years resolutions, but I say why not?) I am currently living up to for 2011.  Keep in mind that these are minimums for me:

  • Write 2 letters a week
  • Read 26 books this year (avg. 2 books/month) [we’re blogging about it!]
  • Write 1 blog post per week (either on DGCW or 26books)
  • Drink 1 Nalgene of water during each day at the office
  • Commit to 50-minute yoga sessions 2x week

So far, I’ve exceeded most of them and broken even with the rest.  Guilt-trip me into continuing to do so, DGCW lovers!

PS check out this yummy recipe I made for brunch today. 😉

Listening: Lots of NPR, tunes from the Sing-Off, people laughing at HIMYM, “To Make You Feel My Love,” to my own thoughts & feelings about with whom I surround myself

Reading: Room, Let the Great World Spin, emails that were sent while I was out of the office, too much into things, Half the Sky, 26 books in 2011

Watching: HIMYM, campers grow up, my year of service fly by, the universe unfold as it should, my budget (or lack thereof)

Wearing: sweater dresses, snoozies (best invention ever), face masks, myself out

Wanting: more stability for my bank account, less need for grad school, exercise to be more enjoyable (blech.), a cleaner political future for the country

…And what about you, loyal reader/team blogger? 🙂