Sunday, November 14, 2010

Evolve, Create....

The other day, my coworker and friend invited me to "create" with her.  She had presented me with a canvas, something I had no idea what to do with.  As my paintbrush hit the blank canvas, I began to create my own definition of art.  I am no Monet, but I have realized that there is an artist within.  Everyone has the ability to create.  It is up to that individual to use their gift and present what they have to offer to the world.  Here is my first canvas, I hope you enjoy.  

"In the future everyone is an artist because it is in these days that we realize that each of us is a creator"


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living life for me...

Recently, I have been experiencing some "rockiness" in my own personal life. I have been seeking words of wisdom through the ones that I love.  The endless support I have received is amazing.  My point of blogging about this, is not to air my dirty laundry, but to speak of the lessons learned.  

As I go through this time, I realize I still have a responsibility to work with my students while maintaining an up beat demeanor.  When they walk in the door from school I wonder how I can even begin to pick myself up, considering how I feel.  I do not think that I can find the strength within to smile or give anything of myself.  Then, we interact.  My weakness instantly turns to strength and my hopelessness disintegrates.   Surprised by my actions, I have begun to form some conclusions.  One, is these girls bring absolute joy into my life.  Their smiling faces, silliness, and excitement make me genuinely happy.  I enjoy being around them, hearing their view on life, and watching as they grow into wonderful people.  The fact that I can be a part of their lives for a short time is such a blessing and something I do not take lightly.

Another aspect to consider is what each child has been through.  Everyone has a different walk of life, and we never know what they have experienced because we have not lived their journey.  I know for certain that these kids have been challenged with much worse then I have ever endured.  What I am going through is nothing compared to the pain and hurt these girls have charged through.  How they continue to live everyday, leaves me in awe.  This inspires me to press through and keep being me.  

Final thought, nothing in life is forever or concrete.  I realize now that the life I once thought I would lead is no longer.  This hurdle allows me to reevaluate, look into myself, and for once live for me.  Through this I can understand what I want out of life, and do it.  The rest of this year is devoted to complete soul searching, discovering what truly brings me joy, and living my life to the fullest.  I refuse to let anyone bring me down, and I will continue to surround myself with uplifting, inspiring people.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Ten important things I have gathered while working with teenager/ "pre-teens":
1. Forgetting books in a locker is an everyday occurrence.
2. If an 11 year old boy can throw a football better then you, do not play.
3. Disney channel is an essential to every pre-teen's life.
4. To "bomb" a test, means that you have done well.
5. Electrified music(Selina Gomez, Hannah Montanna, ext.) is played on the hour and is the most annoying noise I have ever heard.
6. Never refer to younger kids as "little ones"(they are pre-teens)
7. Farting is the funniest joke, along with any type of bathroom humor(for both boys and girls)
9. Lighting while studying, gets in the way of the emo-persona.
10. These are the most amazing, unique, wonderful teens I have ever!!

Working with these teenagers has definitely tested me in multiple ways.  It has tested my patience and my anger level.  It has enforced to always be in check with myself, in order to be a mentor.  These kids are simply amazing, the more I learn the more I admire them.  

I cannot believe that the holidays are coming up so fast.  My favorite holiday is around the corner.  Yes you guessed it, Thanksgiving and it is because of the loads of food present.  Thanksgiving is also close to my heart because of all of the traditions my family and I partake in.  As I continue to grow up the traditions, which I once looked at as a burden are now events that I cannot wait to participate in.  I am so excited to see my wonderful family and friends, you are all missed, while the cold weather is not!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Updates, My life as I know it

Hi to all of my faithful readers, aka my mom and dad.  I know it has been awhile since my last post and I apologize.  I was able to get a taste of Midwest and family when my dad came to California for business last week.  I was so happy to see him and spend an amazing four days with him.  The wonderful thing about my father is he is so easy going and great person to be around.  Him and I both appreciate California, food, and adventure so we combined all of our loves into his trip.  He was staying in Santa Monica so we were able to scope out the local restaurants and Santa Monica sites.  Of course, I dragged him to the Santa Monica Promenade and to one of my favorite shops, the Hardtail store.

On his last day, we wanted to try something new and decided to go surfing.  Yes, we actually got into the ocean with surfboards and had absolutely no idea what we were doing.  Our instructor said that we both "technically stood up" but in reality I am certain we looked like morons.  After surfing kicked our ass, we both expressed between breaths how out of shape we felt.  Although that was the case I have to say I still enjoyed it a lot.  I consider it a challenge that I will conquer.  The best part about the trip was not the food, the shopping, or the adventure, it was being with my dad.  My dad and I always have great conversations and he has the persona that puts me at ease.  I was so excited that I was able to spend time with him and experience his wonderful nature.

In work news, my girls are doing wonderful.  I just chaperoned high school homecoming, which I have to say was quite an adventure.  Watching dates dance and friends hang out made me want to travel back to high school for that one moment and then quickly return to my current life.  My coworker and I had the job of coat-check.  This you would guess is not a challenge in 70 degree weather, but you would be wrong.  After working our tails off our supervisor gave us a small break.  It was then when we decided we should definitely go on the dance floor for a quick dance.  I mean who says you have to be in high-school to dance at the homecoming anyway?

Also my mom sent me a great link, check it out:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Found Respect

As I traveled into Parent Night with my coworker, I was not expecting to leave scared for life.  Currently, there are two new eleven year  at in our house. Therefore, my coworker and I ventured to their school to meet their teachers and observe the curriculum our sixth graders will be partaking in this upcoming year.  As the daughter of a teacher, I am accustomed to such a night.  Throughout my youth, I remembered my mom going on about Parent Night and how concerned she was.  It was not until this evening, that I was able to piece together my mother's challenge.  

I left the classroom, eyes bulging when I found my coworker with the same expression.  Instantly, I knew we had to take a moment to debrief.  My co-worker shared her experience of the infamous "my child is the center of the universe" mother.  I guess this women's child was next to the importance of God as she continued to go on about her son's endeavors.  I began to divulge my own experience with the "I am out to get the teacher" mother.  This individual loudly proclaimed how offended she was about the teacher stating that the students were studying early man in history. She stated that the comment was "sexist" and hoped when working with the children the teacher would use the term"homosapiens"(with sixth graders mind you).  Again and again this women continued to berate the teacher, who was handling the situation quite well.  After being traumatized by Parent Night, my coworker and I made a pact that we would never be "those moms".

My ranting does have a point.  My mother, is a wonderful women in many ways. She is giving, loving, and an extremely selfless individual.  None the less, she is so sweet and cute you just "want to put her in your pocket"(as I have heard many say).  Those of you who are reading and know my mom understand.  I honor my mother and love her dearly.  Lets just say after this adventure, I have a new found respect for my mom.  For she has survived at least twenty parent nights.  Love you mom, and miss you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Verbs in Action
Allow humility to define you
Place each soul before your own
Kiss a mother with gratitude
Whisper love to a friend
Send a smile to a stranger
Yearn to touch a life
Strive to make an impact
Continue to rejoice in every circumstance

I was surfing the web the other day and I found this poem.  I instantly felt that it defined what I am doing here.  To be in any position of service, we must possess humility.  By "allowing humility to define" me I must place others before myself.  I will admit, this is not an easy task.  I know we are all guilty of placing ourself before others.  But, a part of growing up pushes me to see that the world is made up of many individuals that are in need.  When we are thinking of solely ourselves it is difficult to hear others cry for help.  Simple acts such as reaching out to someone or telling a loved one how much they mean can make a world of difference.  In doing a year of service I must strive to think of others and  give everything I have to offer.  In acting selflessly I know that I will gain more then simply thinking of myself. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First day of school

Last week my girls had their first day of school.  
As the academic coordinator, I made it a point to be ecstatic for their return.  For this joyous occasion, I created wonderful "back to school bags".  Continuing my excitement I collaborated with my co-workers and we decided to make a yummy breakfast for our achieving scholars.  That night, 
I laid in bed feeling thrilled for my scholars and looking forward to the upcoming day.

 Sooner rather then later, my alarm began buzzing me awake.  I stumbled out of bed an I put a smile on my face while trying to remember how to function at  6:30 am.  As the girls entered the kitchen I thought they would share the same enthusiasm as I in regards to their first day of school.  To my dismay they were anything but enthused.  Instead, their faces screamed "get away from us now".  At this point I had to laugh at my own stupidity.

To continue the fun my co-workers and I drove them to school in the large red van wearing our pajamas(cruel I know).  As each mortified teenager exited the car we cheered for them.  When they all gathered together, mumbles of our evil gestures were shared amongst the group.

Looking back I am certain that I possessed similar feelings towards attending school.  Instead of living the free-life of summer, days become filled with routine and discipline.  I wonder how different my high school experience would be if I had the attitude I have now.  Today, I realize the importance of education and that through it tools are given to survive in the "real-world".  There are people that have gone without this gift and my heart breaks for them.  Simple actions we take for granted, like reading a book or writing a letter to a friend, many cannot accomplish.  I can say whole-heartedly that I am grateful for the education I have received and I know I would not be the same with out it.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Living life..

So I have promised some loved ones(mainly my mother) that I would begin to post a blog of my adventures/life in California.  I have been living in Southern California for a month now.  I was able to make this move through an Americorp position that I received upon graduation of Saint Mary's College. 

 My life has always been a constant.  Growing up in Michigan was a wonderful experience, but as I became older I quickly learned that I gain so much from situations in which I am placed outside my comfort zone.  Moving to California was just that, a leap of faith.  Before moving, I found myself uncertain that I could make this leap.  Fortunately, I have a large support system of family and friends that encouraged me to take to plunge.  Once I made this life-changing gesture I came to the conclusion that I could not be happier with my decision.  To those who pushed me, I thank you.

 The people I am surrounded by in California have touched me and have inspired me.  Not to mention, they make me laugh constantly.  I have observed my sense of adventure continue to blossom as I discover my current surrounding, L.A, the beach, Disneyland, ect. I know that I am here for a reason.

 I came to California with goals to accomplish and a mission to achieve.  The duties for my Americorp position are not simple: to tutor teenage girls while monitoring their academics.  Also the responsibilities of being a role model, a cheer leader, a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen are tasks that I will never take lightly.  I am here for these girls in times of joy and times of failure.  I know this is not an easy job.  I am also certain that these girls will teach me valuable lessons, ones that will never compare to lessons learned in a classroom. For, whatever they teach me I will carry alongside me forever.  Each young student I have encountered in my short time here has a zest for life and ambition to achieve.

This blog will allow my friends and family to have a glance at being in California, being an Americorp member, and being me.  Through this I am able to document lessons learned, adventures taken, and happiness found.  I hope you all enjoy.

-peace and love