Good Morning dear souls!!!
If you haven't noticed, I tend to choose titles for my posts which are slightly descriptive, but mostly mundane. "A fast month" isn't poetic or intriguing. I don't know why I choose to do this, but it's a trend, and I might as well stick with it for now! (I was never good at titling papers in college either) :)
Wow, it has been two weeks already since I last posted. I believe this is what prompted my title. February is generally a fast month to begin with, and I have felt really present here at Red Cloud, so I guess that makes time go quickly. I shall highlight a few particularly exciting events in the past two weeks, both school-related and personal.
So, the highly-anticipated Crush-gram sale went really well; I believe I sold around 135 bottles of crush pop (with which the recipients were extremely pleased). Granted, it made for a really chaotic Friday the 13th, especially with the talent show the same day, but overall I experienced one of those, "Wow, I love my job" moments after it was all over. The talent show in particular was SO MUCH FUN. Every student who participated did so solely out of intrinsic motivation (I didn't even offer prizes or competition)... and honestly I think that's what made it beautiful! Two original songs, three instrumentals, two lip syncs, and a few "jam with the music" entries made it well-rounded and entertaining. Our student body also makes a great audience for the students who participated...cheering them on, even when a little off-tune. :) Ah, the beauty of peer encouragement. It doesn't get much better than that!
We also had a successful student council meeting last week (even pulling together a fabulous lip sync for the talent show)! I bought them pizza, and that seems to make me quite popular (not to mention increases the involvement) with the Stu. Co! A bit of reflection on my college days would teach me that at one point in time I was quite cynical of the "eat pizza, hang out" mentality of youth work... but now I would venture to say the concept actually has much more merit than I could have envisioned in my Ymin classes! :) Okay, maybe Stu. Co. is a bit different than a traditional youth group, but I suppose a similar concept could still apply across the board. Kids do love pizza!
Yesterday we had a prom meeting with the juniors, and I believe they have finally decided on a prom theme. I don't want to speak too soon regarding these delicate details (which have inspired so much drama)... but I will take the risk and tell you... they are going to decorate as "Above the City Lights," which has quite a resemblance to my junior prom theme: "City Nights." I told them this, and of course that excited them even more, because I said I would love to help with ideas and such. I am also in charge of ordering everything for prom, from invitations, to memorabilia, to decorations. It will be different than last year (I had no such duties with prom)... but I am glad to be involved in this way, especially since I cannot actually be at prom. :( (a college friend's wedding coincides).
Alright, so that's life here at Red Cloud. Happening, for sure- with the continued one-on-one interaction with students being my primary source of joy and discouragement-Excitement and sadness. Regardless of the activities going on here at Red Cloud, the students have very real (and often disheartening) lives outside of school; I believe I only grasp a small portion of their reality, but it's enough to make me aware of the deep inner-struggles many of them face daily.
Onto personal life...This past weekend I spent a wonderful Valentine's Day with my Valentine, AJ. :) On Saturday we headed up to a bit of the Red Cloud b-ball games in Rapid, then to a Rapid City Rush hockey game. Neither AJ nor I had ever been to a hockey game before, and we were fortunate to receive (complimentary) tickets from our telecommunications provider here at Red Cloud... front row! We were 'on the ice' I guess, if that's how you say it... able to flinch every time a puck or a few intense players would crash into the Plexiglas! We had a great time- and 4 students were suppose to join us, but for a variety of reasons, only one ended up coming. Tiarra Little, a superb freshman, joined us for the excitement!
Tiarra & I at the Hockey game (the strange angle is due to the fact that we were sitting so close to the rink!) :)
AJ & I enjoying the hockey game together. He loved the fight, even though he calls himself peace-loving. :)
On Sunday AJ and I went skiing with a group from my church back home. It was really great, getting to spend some time on the slopes (for me, a little personal interaction with the snow- more than the others). Okay, I'll be direct. I fell. A lot. And sometimes it hurt (I suppose that has something to do with the fact that I was going speeds I have no business going... especially with only an elementary skiing skill set). But I still had a great time, I want to emphasize the fun over the fact that I came home with several bruises, a sore calf, knee, and elbow, and a confirmed understanding that I need to take lessons before I venture again!
AJ & I posing after the excitement had ended... still smiling, of course! :)
This will conclude my post for today. Oh, before I end- I want to mention that Stu. Co. is hosting a Pennies for Patients drive once again (we did during Homecoming as well)... and it thrills me to see the students bring it what little they have to further the cause of Leukemia research. I'll let you know grand totals once we are finished!
Much love, coming from a heart full of life, full of love, and full of spirit,