Saturday, March 23, 2002

03/23/02: Isn't that weird? We just finished our fourth week at Harford Heights, and now it's been two months in Perry Point. Crazy. It really doesn't feel like it's been that long, but at the same time it feels much longer. You know how it goes.

This week, like most of them, flew by. Thank goodness, too, because I'm still always tired. But it was a fairly good week, nice and busy. On Wednesday, a group of us stayed in Baltimore to do an ISP with the Bea Gaddy Family Shelter. We've been working with them for at least a month now. Sandra (one of Bea's daughters and the one who runs the show now) is just the coolest lady. So kind and caring. Anyway, there was a whole bunch of donated sandwiches (most frozen) and milk and dessert, plus some blankets. We were in front of City Hall, in War Memorial Plaza, for about an hour and almost all the food was given out. It was great. Oh, and we always park our van in the Mayor's reserved parking space. I see a kind of poetic justice in that, you know? We all get a kick out of being the Mayor, if only vehicularly speaking. There was a reverend and some others from Sandra's church at the Plaza as well, they were so nice. At the end of the evening, we all held hands and there was a prayer and song. Y'all know I'm totally not into religious stuff, but I went along with it and I enjoyed it. I liked the atmosphere of acceptance and love. The circle happened to morph into a heart shape at the end of it. Oh, and you know what else is cool? Every time we're in the van on the way home from Bea Gaddy work, Phil Collins' version of True Colors plays on the radio. Love that.

We all have such a great time on ISPs, and usually end up discussing volunteerism and service. How everyone needs to get involved. How incredibly easy it is. Rarely does it include actual labor, it's more like just being there for people. And the labor isn't difficult or anything. How very gratifying it is, and that we get much more out of it than the project sponsor. So I'm here to urge you to take up President Bush on his challenge for every citizen to pledge 4000 hours of service over their lifetime. It really is easy, it hardly takes any effort or even much time.

Last night, Thursday, we had the second of our now-weekly Team Function nights. Mandi and I were in charge of the planning; we went bowling in the exciting township of Elkton. We also had construction paper, a sheet with each team member's name, on which we all wrote something we liked or appreciated about that person. Mine was mostly serious stuff, about dedication and passion and all that boring, responsible crap. :) It was a really fun night. We didn't have to time to do the reflection/service learning discussion, and it was great to just be together as people. I got a pretty decent score of 70. Yay me! And I wasn't even in last place, I was ahead of two or three other people. Anyway, we all had a good time.

And now it's Friday!! Woo! I'm excited. Nothing too exciting is going on this weekend. There are two big ISPs going on. Another afternoon with Bea Gaddy tomorrow, I'll be going to that. Since I'm the ISP coordinator for the team, I've also been putting together plans for the Special Olympics Maryland on Sunday. It sounds like a lot of fun, and the lady I talked to was so great, I'd love to go, but I need a day off. There's a bunch of incredible projects in the coming weekends, through April. We're going to stay busy! I've got 30 hours already. We only need 80 for the entire ten months, but I'm all for getting it done early, especially with the cold weather. By the time it's hot, we'll be able to lounge around the beach or wherever on the weekends and not worry about ISPs.

Oh, that reminds me. A whole bunch of disasters have struck, like five states' worth. You all probably know that, but we're amazingly isolated. I don't have a tv and never watch any. Some people do have one and get all of three fuzzy stations, and probably actually watch stuff. The only time I've been in front of a television lately is to watch movies. But even that is rare, just because there's so little time to do anything. But back to the point. There's 30 people from my campus getting pulled from projects to do Red Cross disaster relief. My neighbor is going, and a few others from local projects. But they pull people on spike, too. I guess we won't get called out this round, they don't like to pull people from educational projets. We were discussing it today, and how much it would suck to leave practically right away (they had less than 48 hours' notice) and not get to say goodbye to our kids.

Friday, March 15, 2002

03/15/02: Woo, it's Friday! I am thrilled. Today was a great day.

I went with a teammate to a doctor's appointment. (We can't take the van out on our own.) So that took up most of the day, I only got back to school for the last hour and a half. When the kids came in from music, they were all excited to see me. I was happy to see them too. I missed them. They are so cute! The weather was WARM today. Warm! Like summer almost! It was beautiful. The van ride home was even fun, with the windows down and music blaring. Party in the government van, baby.

We were so psyched about the weather that some of us played ultimate frisbee after getting home. In other words, we did voluntary PT. Rather incredible, I must say. It was fun. So warm and lovely. It was 71 degrees at 6pm today.

And now it's the weekend! How cool is that? I can't wait to relax. There's an ISP tomorrow morning that I'm going to, and while I won't get to wake up at noon, it is an hour later than we meet during the week. So it is kind of sleeping in. And it should be nice to do some physical labor. This project is all mental, so I'm looking forward to something different.

Had the house inspection tonight, and I was completely ill-prepared. My room failed, so I need to have it ready for random re-inspection sometime this weekend. Not like this is a surprise to anyone who knows me, but can I just say that I don't really care about cleaning? Especially having to do it every week. Argh. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

03/12/02: Well, sorry that it's been awhile. We've just been working with the kids in school. It's the third week at Harford Heights, and the honeymoon period is definitely wearing off.

My class is pretty cool. There are 11 boys and four girls. The girls always behave and the boys always get in trouble and get lots of negative attention. But most of them are really smart. They read quite well and some of them are great writers. They do lots of reading and writing, and math, and science. I help out with random stuff, small group tutoring, some individual attention, too. This week I gave the spelling test and read a story during Read Aloud time. They have Resource once a day, I've gone to art, music, PE and library with them and I have a blast. I love playing. In art last week, we made pipe cleaner animals and people, it was great. I love playing, sometimes I wish I was still in elementary school.

Last weekend some of my teammates and I spent the weekend in Baltimore. It was a fun time. We went to Fells Point to all the clubs and bars. On Friday night two of us visited eight bars over the course of the evening! We finally got to dance, and I was thrilled. On Sunday we went to the Walters Art Museum, with an Impressionist exhibit, and some great Greek, Roman and Egyptian stuff. I felt very cultured. Except spoiled, too, because I kept expecting the museum displays to be bigger and have more stuff. I suppose I've been to the Louvre too many times. :)

I think that's about all that's going on. I am always really tired, because getting up at 6.15 just is not cool with my body. I would need to be in bed by 8pm to get enough sleep every night, and yeah right. We are really busy, somehow. I swear we don't do that much, but I feel like I have no time for anything. I don't even have time to read and relax. But at least I'm not bored.