Thursday, November 10, 2005

This is definitely a skimmer!

I am extremely tired today for some reason. Since I don't feel up to doing much this evening, why not blog? I have a lot of random thoughts going through my head right now. So here is some stuff I have been up to lately....

1. Last week all my housemates and I went to a lecture at a local university. Yes, we attended a lecture by choice and not because we had to! It was equivalent to a forum at Bluffton and brought me back to my college days (because they were so long ago...) Anyways it was really interesting. The speaker was Salman Rushdie, a well known author, although I had not heard of him before this night. One of his fiction novels "The Satanic Verses" was deemed sacrilegious by many, and a fatwa was issued against him, which is basically a death sentence. The Muslim world made a movie about him in which he was killed by God at the end (which this guy has seen and made fun of) He was a great speaker and brought up interesting points about free speech and the power of story telling.

2. I saw the play "The Crucible" last night (for free of course). It was good, but not my favorite that I have seen here. The play was very familiar to me, although I don't think I ever read it. However it had some of the same characters that I used in a video I made back in the day for high school about the Salem Witch Trials (like Tituba, Sarah Good, etc.) Vicki..did we read this play?? It reminded me a lot of the stupid video we made in my basement. Obviously this version of the play was very serious, but it kept my attention since I have always been fascinated by that period of history.

3. Last year in October I attended an MCC conference in NYC that dealt with issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. I learned so much those few days, and had no idea then that in less than a year I would be working and interacting with people who came from those countries. For example, my co-worker Louise is a Rwandan refugee. We watched a documentary about the conflict in Rwanda at the conference. And now I know someone who had to live through it. We had a staff enrichment day on Tuesday since the kids had no school, and Louise shared her personal story with us. She was in Rwanda at the height of the conflict in 1994 and had to flee with her husband and children since they were in fear of being killed. They made it across the border to Congo, and not safe there either, traveled all the way across Africa to Senegal. After a couple years there, they were able to make it to the United States. She had a college education in Africa, but when she moved here she had to start out cleaning houses since it meant nothing in the U.S. She discussed how difficult it was for her family for the first couple of years here. They even considered going back to Africa. But instead they moved to Louisville. They have been in the U.S. seven years now. Louise is in her last year of college to get a degree in social work, and she plans to attend graduate school next year. What an amazing woman. I have so much respect for her. Although I am still in the U.S., I am learning so much about other cultures and I love it. Most of the kids I am mentoring in the after-school program are refugees, coming from Sudan, Somalia, Liberia, and Bosnia. I have also learned the difference between ethnic Somalis and Somali Bantus. We have a large number of both groups here, which at times causes conflict.

4. I found out this week that Muya Muya moved!! Although he had some behavior issues, he was one of my favorite kids and I had no warning that Friday was the last time I was going to see him. He is still in Louisville, but not near the community center anymore. But on the bright side of things, I have one less teenage boy in love with me now.

5. We just got walkie talkies today at work and I had so much fun with them! We decided they would be helpful for a few of the staff to have them every day since we are spread out over the building during the after-school program. They are fancy looking ones. I got to have one today since I was up in the computer lab and I had fun saying things like "This is 4 calling 3, we have a situation in the computer lab, can you send back up." We used the numbers on the walkie talkies today, but I think we can get more creative and come up with code names for ourselves. We were being incredibly immature by the end of work. I don't think we were setting a good example for the kids. :)

6. I am discovering how nice it is to have free time to read books for pleasure! I took a walk to the library the other night and checked out several books that I have always wanted to read. I feel that I have en endless list in my head of books that at some point somone told me I need to read. But if anyone has any suggestions, let me know! I am currently on "Cry the Beloved Country" which is excellent so far.

7. I have started watching Lost!! After hearing several people going on about how wonderful the show is, I was feeling left out. Luckily my housemate Ben now owns a burnt set of Season One. I just finished the fourth disc tonight, so I am well over halfway through the season and I am hooked! Unfortunately, I can't watch the season that is currently on because I know I would be "lost" (he he) and I don't want to ruin season one by knowing things I shouldn't. So no one tell me who died last night!

8. Finally, I have started considering what I am going to do after my year of service is up. Although I still have NINE months left, I find the question of what I am going to do next often asked. I have always thought I want to go to grad school, but I wasn't sure for what. I am now thinking I want to get a masters in social work. I think it fits me, and there is a lot you can do with it. Several people I have met from the non-profit world here in Louisville have graduate degrees in social work (Edgardo included). And I have heard good things about the social work school here at U of L. It is a two year program, they accept people from various undergrad degrees, and you don't have to take the GRE! (while this is a good thing, it also seems kind of shady to me, but I have been reassured that it is a quality program. I have met many graduates and work with two interns that are in the program now). And Edgardo is a part-time professor! So..it looks like I could be in Kentucky for another two years, but this is definitely not set in stone. But I am considering this option and already began filling out an on-line application. Some of my housemates and I have already discussed sticking around after this year is over and moving into a house together. But we'll see what the future holds...

Wow this is a long entry! Congratulations if you skimmed down this far! I hope that this post entertained someone, somewhere while bored at work ;)

9 Comments:

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Abby said...

I read it all. And it was all very interesting. But I'm disappointed that I'm not allowed to talk about "Lost" last night...I REALLY need someone to talk to...it was really traumatic! I might need some therapy after last night's episode.

 
At 1:12 AM, Blogger Rebekah said...

The long blogs must be a disease, but it's sometimes so fun that it gets out of hand. I've determined to read all the Harry Potter books - I just bought the entire set. Today I finished "My Fuedal Lord" and "Interpretor of Maladies" is also good. Social work must be a good career - I have so many friends in that path!

 
At 9:11 PM, Blogger abbymo said...

Have you seen the movie "Hotel Rwanda"? I just saw it last week and it was really inspiring. Social work in KY, eh? That is awesome! I'm so glad that you seem to have found your niche! Perry would be so proud!

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger abbymo said...

P.S. I did actually read the whole thing and it was very interesting! You (and everyone else) should check out http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm since you are so involved with Africans. I personally didn't know African geography well at all, and it is a fun site. (Not that you need the help, but even I (aka "Map girl") needs to brush up on her skills occationally. Also, I haven't read a ton for fun recently, but you shoudl read "The beginer's guide to changing the world" It's a sweet book. Free Tibet!!

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Maria said...

I actually haven't seen "Hotel Rwanda" yet although it is a movie I have been meaning to watch. I should rent it sometime soon. But I already know about what went on there.

 
At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Vicki said...

I know that I've seen the movie the Crucible but I don't think we ever read the book...why and the hell did we make that video again? I can remember doing it but I don't remember why?? Speaking of high school, I was talking to someone about AP Spanish the other day and they said at their school it was the hardest class offered and the teacher spoke nothing but Spanish. I think our school under prepared us a little compared to everyone else.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Maria said...

hmmm...we made that video for AP History with Winland, I think the assignment was to do a project about some time in history and we picked the salem witch trials..does that sound right??? And Kim and Diana were in our video, but they weren't even in our class!!

 
At 5:30 AM, Anonymous Vicki said...

Oh yeah, that's right. Now I remember. I think I've blocked that class out of my memory because of James Johnston.

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous dissertation thesis said...

I have been visiting various blogs for my dissertation research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

 

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