Monday, June 20, 2011

At Thurgood Marshall, "The Dream Is Alive!!!"

Today was my last day of volunteering at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. It crept up on me--it's like, just when I feel like I've built up momentum, things get cut short. Yet, as it says in Ecclesiastes, There is a time for everything... Being in Ms. Pan's class every week has been so therapeutic to me! To see the kids smile when I enter the room in the morning is something I'll never forget. There were definitely times (especially when there was a substitute teacher) that I felt so exasperated that I just wanted to sock 'em, but I have surely grown attached to them. But once again, it's another goodbye, and I release them into the Lord's hands. It's like scattering someone's ashes to the wind.. kinda.

I wanted to share with you the "drama production" that the kids performed last Friday called "When I think of a friend." Each of the students were placed into groups and each created a statement of "When I think of a friend.." For each sentence the group made a tableaux, a posed snapshot to capture the meaning of the words:

Group One: Felisha, Galeah, Amiria, Martin and Janelle--
When I think of a friend I think of someone who...
  • helps me when I'm going through rough times
  • will play with me in gymnastics
  • welcomes me warmly
  • is helpful
  • supports and encourages me to do the right thing

Group Two: Kiana, Dez'Wonique, Abdikadir, Jordan and Au
When I think of a friend I think of someone...
  • who can keep all my secrets and giggle with me
  • who cares for me when I get hurt
  • that can be honest with me
  • who helps me score a goal in soccer
  • that dances with me

Group Three: Mia, Halimo, Isaaq and Mohamud
When I think of a friend I think of someone who...
  • helps me with a math problem
  • plays tag with me
  • helps me when I'm dizzy
  • that plays soccer with me
  • plays basketball with me

Group Four: Salat, Arturo, Lavontre, Amina and Katana
When I think of a friend I think of someone who...
  • welcomes me to a new neighborhood
  • is playful
  • helps me stay on my health
  • helps me when I get hurt
  • helps me on a hard problem

Group Five: Ibrahim, Olga, Anaiya, Sergio and Russell
When I think of a friend I think of someone who...
  • can play tag with me
  • will play a game with me
  • helps me
  • cares for me


Aren't they just the cutest???

To close, here is a picture of the kids out front of the Underground Seattle Tour office:
It was sad hugging them all goodbye today, but I know they've got enough spark to make it through the rest of their lives with flying colors. So thankful to have spent this year with them!!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011


So what have I been doing with my spare time now that school's out and I'm chillin' like a villain? Watching videos of the JabbaWockeeZ like crazy. They're just completely AMAZING!! Watch them!!



Monday, June 06, 2011

Last Day of School!

So today I finished up for the school year! I must admit, I feel a bit strange. The hilarious thing is, people can tell. They say, "Wow, you seem really happy." It's a huge relief and I feel so free! I can't wait to take a break from all the dramatic seriousness that is the savior-complex of the school of social work. Lighten up, peeps!

Since everything is wrapping up, I'm getting all reflective... I love to reminisce and be sentimental. Today Hillary & I were walking home from getting smoothies and thinking about all the breakfasts we've made together with Faith. I met with Kristen today and we agreed that it seemed just yesterday that we were getting lunch together at the HUB. The years are flying by.

I <3 Hillary!
As brutal as this year may have been (with dreary weather and faith crisis and burnout), there are definitely things to be thankful for. What I cherish most about this year is all of the friendships! It was definitely tough to leave high school and lose my posse..but it's so cool now to be building networks at UW. I'm thankful for all the wonderful memories with Hillary & Faith--grocery shopping, cooking, playing volleyball, watching movies, quoting them and just talking about life! I once asked them, "Is this what it's like to have a sister?" I have truly learned the value of living with other Christians and sharing in fellowship together. It's been a blast!

Brittany and I are buds..
My peers at the school of social work have just been super awesome, too. It's amazing to be around such passionate, caring, like-minded people. I'm thankful for Tania, who I bonded with on the really discouraging lobby day for immigrant rights/services. I'm thankful for Kayla (who, sadly, is leaving the program!) and Kanchan--I'll never forget going to coffee with the two of them and finally realizing I wasn't alone in my distress because of the class content. And of course, Brittany has been such a wonderful new friend to me, I can't even express it with words! She is a ray of sunshine in my life. When I prayed for ONE friend in freshman year, I was super happy to find Hillary. Brittany, too? I am just tooooooo blessed. From spur-of-the-moment ice skating to earring beading to watching the "Double Rainbow Song" and Mi Pecado, I've just had so much fun hanging out with her!

And also, though I can't quite yet articulate it in words yet, I feel as if God has done a lot for me this year to establish me in my faith and prepare me for the future, whatever it may hold. I just have a sense of peace and a sort of inner equanimity about all the "tough things" in the world--like ya, it's going to be all right. Anyway..

I find myself thinking about the things I am going to miss about my life here at UW, living in the Cliff House. Move out day is a little over a week away! I'll definitely miss Ten Thousand Villages (I am SO going there tomorrow!). And the millions of bus routes here. I'll miss hosting kick-@$$ parties with Hillz & Faith. There are so many little things! But until I actually move out, I'm going to soak up every little moment and every little blessing!--like walking home from U Village today as the sun was setting and enjoying the smell of summer, vibrant colors of grass & trees and the happy energy of students exulting in the end of the school year.