Nerd alert

We get this free newsletter at the house that is pretty much a waste of paper except that it has a social calendar in the back that sometimes comes in handy. Well I got it out of the mailbox today and was excited when I saw that on June 7th there is “Heroes for Literacy” pub crawl downtown. Now my days of pub crawling ended in ’07 but when I saw the theme of the event I was willing to make an exception, I mean drinking beer dressed as a favorite literary character, Sign me up! My enthusiasm came screeching to a halt when I went to the website and found that the idea is not dress up as an actual literary character to fight illiteracy but to dress as a super hero. Lame. Since when does Batman care if kids are reading? He is too busy fooling around with Robin! I should have known it was too good to be true and only I would be nerdy enough to want to dress as Elizabeth Bennet and drink beer. Well even though I do not plan to dress as a super hero downtown I will say that it is a good cause.

Progress Report

Todd and I went to UCF and spoke to an admissions counselor the Friday before last. It went as I expected it would. She had concerns about my GPA being under a 3.0 and did not think that I would have all of my grades submitted in time to apply for the Social Work Program in the fall. Although I knew all of this and really just wanted confirmation it was still a bit disappointing to hear that I have to wait another year before applying. However, I do want at least a 3.0 before I graduate with my A.A. so this gives me a little more time to reach my goal and continue to focus on my volunteer work.

On that note, volunteering is going great! I was at The Cherokee school last Friday volunteering during their field day, it was a blast. The station I was running was a relay race for the kids to do and they all enjoyed it. I only had one group that was disorderly and for that school that is pretty good. I also got to meet the boy who Daddy mentors at the school, he is a cute kid. I was impressed, he seemed to stay out of the mischief that his classmates were getting into. I am sure that is not always the case for him but he was very well-behaved Friday.

I got my first test grade back in Psychology today, it was an A! I got two questions wrong which I was bummed about but I will take the grade gratefully. Our next test is Wednesday, I plan on spending the day tomorrow studying. I turned in my first writing assignment to my English teacher today. I will be very curious to see what her comments are and how she grades it. I submitted my rough draft here first as a way to get my thoughts down on paper. I have read two of the other students responses and thought mine fell somewhere in the middle of theirs. I am hoping for an A.

All things seem to moving forward with the house purchase process. Both our home inspection and termite inspection went well. There were only a few issues in the home inspection that needed addressing and the seller is taking care of them. Todd is now calling a few different companies about home owners insurance. Seems like we are right on track for June 15th closing. I am very excited, I have been decorating the house in my head for days.

It is certainly going to be a busy summer. I can’t wait.

Flannery O’Connor’s “All that rises must converge”

From the very beginning it is difficult to conjure any positive feelings about this story. Even as O’Connor sets the scene you can feel the tension and negativity in the air, “[t]he sky was a dying violet and the houses stood out darkly against it, bulbous liver-colored monstrosities of a uniform ugliness though no two were alike” (1). Everything about this story, down to the houses on the street,  strike me as dreary and discordant.

I find myself wanting to be able to get behind one of the main characters and support their point of view but between Julian’s hypocrisy and his mother’s racist outlook it seems a hopeless pursuit. As the story progresses however it becomes apparent that in spite of Julian’s Mother’s faults her devotion to Julian is unfaltering, “[a]ll of her life had been a struggle to act like a Chestny and to give him everything she thought a Chestny ought to have without the goods a Chestny ought to have” (O’Connor 5). In the story I think Julian becomes so entangled in his crusade against his mother’s racist ways that he loses sight of the bigger picture, that everyone deserves love and acceptance for who they are. It is not until the end of the story that Julian faces what his disingenuous attitude has caused, “[s]tunned he let her go and she lurched forward again, walking as if one leg were shorter than the other. A tide of darkness seemed to be sweeping her from him” (O’Connor 10). It is only in this moment of emergency that Julian finally lets go of his resentment towards his mother. Unfortunately for Julian the damage has already been done.

A big step forward

Todd and I have had a critter problem lately. It seems we have had a few problems with the house we are renting lately. The critter issue is my primary concern, it makes me feel quite uneasy but there is also roof leaks, down branches and A/C stuff. Our landlord is getting a bit tired of it all I think, understandably. It is an older house though so this kind of thing is to be expected, well except for the critter in the attic, one never expects a critter to take up lodging in one’s own home.

Well this story begins last Thursday when the roof repair men came by for the second time to re-repair the leak in the bathroom. They came by 2 weeks prior but then after a good, hard rain we found that the leak was not fixed after all. We made our landlord aware of this at the same time that we made him aware of the critter that had been running around over head at all hours of the night. The roof people came first though. The gentleman informed me that he wanted to look in the attic to make sure he knew right where the leak was. I advised him of our critter problem hoping this would deter him as, truth be told, I didn’t really want the attic to be opened while there was still an animal co-inhabiting with us. This did not deter him at all, however. To fast forward, after the job was finished I realized the man left the attic wide open! I was completely rattled and had to leave the house. I did not return until the evening when my family came over for dinner. At that time Daddy closed the attic for me and he, myself and Krissy searched the house for any rogue critters, thankfully we found none. Daddy then did a perimeter search to try to determine where the animal would be gaining access to the house. He found the a grate on the bottom of the house out by the drive way that is always falling opened and decided that was probably the place. (this was confirmed by the critter man who came by this week).

That night I barely slept. I was nervous and unsettled by the whole ordeal. I woke the next morning exhausted and still upset by how everything was being handled. I was venting to Todd when he suggested I email the landlord. When I finished my email Todd called me into his computer room and showed me a house online that he liked. From there we made a call, went and looked at the house and then went to the bank to secure a loan. There are a few details that I am leaving out, like the fact that we had lunch and also stopped by UCF to discuss my admission, but for the most part everything did happen just like that. Todd found this house a few weeks ago and had mentioned it to me but it wasn’t until things started going awry at the house that he gave it serious thought. It’s funny how you can try to plan and plan but more often than not when things are meant to happen they just do without much planning at all. It’s a very nice house, Todd signed the contract on Monday and is now in the process of getting all the things done that need to be done before closing. We plan to close around the 14th of June and should be all moved in just in time for our two-year anniversary.

I know Todd is quite stressed out while he is running around trying to schedule inspections and secure this or that but at the end of it all I know this will all be worth it. This will be the house we start our life in together, what a very exciting thought.

there are always options

divorce

I saw this online today and although I agree with the concept of not giving up without a fight I don’t know if I can completely get behind the message here. I walked away from two long-term relationships that I never thought I would have. One of them in particular I was in so deep that I was sure the only way we would have broken up is if he left me. I fought hard but at the end of the day people change through life, we are not the same person at 30 that we were at 20 and we will not be the same at 40 as we are now. I think what is most important is taking your time to find someone who shares your values, that believes in the same things and is kind. People change over time but at a certain age your values become pretty concrete so it’s a safe bet that if you share that even as other things may change that will stay constant. I just think it is so important to remember that you only get to do this one time. You only get today –this moment– right now and then its gone. Sometimes even things as wonderful as marriage can turn out to be a mistake and I think it is sad that two people would throw away their chance at a happy life because of the notion that it is supposed to be forever. I am not advocating for divorce here, which is why I will reiterate my point that it is so important not to rush into that decision and to make it for the right reasons with the right person.

brainstorming cont.. 4

I look forward to being exposed to people from all different walks of life, hearing their stories and being able to help them in their journey. I enjoy interacting with the public and have always found it easy to connect with people regardless of any distinctions that may set us apart. I have found through the work that I have done with the public up to this point that our physical dissimilarities mean nothing, we are all human and experience the same emotions.

Although I have no hesitations about working with diverse groups of people I do know my limits. I have enjoyed every opportunity I have had to help people in the last six years but with the work I have done I have also learned a sense of balance. The hardest part of working with the public and wanting to help people is the nagging feeling that you aren’t able to do enough. It took some time for me to understand that even though one person’s efforts can make a difference I cannot change the world on my own. I feel that it is important to be introspective and reflect on the work you are doing to help keep the balance between what you want to do for people and what you are actually capable of.

brainstorming cont.. 3

A social problem that I take a personal interest in is the issue of bullying. Bullying is a social issue that in my opinion does not get enough attention. The issue of bullying is just a branch on of the tree that stands for the larger issue of discrimination. We live in a society of bystanders who are hesitant to speak up when they see injustice and discrimination happening around them. Our children see our lack of action and interpret it as OK so when confronted with the same injustice and discrimination in social situations in the form of bullying they will remain silent instead of speaking out against it. Our society is in a rut where although we may disagree with discrimination and bullying we have lost our voice to stop it. I realize I am over simplifying the issue of bullying and that there are other components that play a role in why adolescents bully but I strongly believe that if we as a society raised the generation that follows us as a generation of activists instead of bystanders and educate them on acceptance and inclusion that would help eliminate the issue faster than the current course of action.