I have a lot of random thoughts to share with you tonight.
First of all, I read this after I posted about the trip to DC and thought it connected quite well.
"On this planet, we share an awareness of injustice because we have a deep, foundational sense that there ought to be justice. There is a standard that defines right and wrong, good and evil. We may differ on where that line is but we do not differ that there is a line."-Billy Sprague in Ice Cream as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe (Yes, that is the title of a rather thoughtful, delightful book about theology. My friend Chelsea knows me well!)
Then tonight I watched this video about how Wal-Mart should raise their wages since many of their employees are on food stamps. (it would cause an overall 1.4% in their prices to pay their employees like the video suggested) I really liked what the video said except for one thing but that's a whole different issue. If you would like to chat with me sometime about SNAP and other public assistance, I'd love to hear your opinions.
So, where to begin about life lately. I had a rough few weeks with my job at the school, but I'm back on the up-swing now. What carried me through that time? What made my feet walk toward that school on those days? Well, my pride was one thing. ha. The LORD, definitely. I couldn't get through a day, no, an hour, without Him! Encouragement from folks like you all, absolutely! And these quotes:
"If I have helped one person then my life shall not be in vain."
I can't find the original source, but it's on a mural in North Lawndale (Chicago)
"Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of this world. Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy and kindly help where I had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness."
-Prayer to Do Good (F.B. Meyer England, 1847-1929) (from my Lenten Daily Devotional through YouVersion)
That's what carries me through. As I walk out the door each morning, I know that my efforts will not be in vain if I can even help one person. And I have to say, Ms.D. is so appreciative and affirming to me that I know no matter what the day holds, I know that I can bring a smile to her face and somehow make her day as a teacher a little less crazy. (have you ever been in a room with over 30 second graders? you know what I mean.)
One reason why it was a little difficult at Spencer a few weeks ago: (Confession alert!) I let a 7-year-old hurt my feelings. It's pretty embarrassing but, alas, it is true. You remember Markell? He was the little guy who always gives his artwork to Ms. D. because it doesn't get appreciated at home. After hearing that, I tried to buddy up to him, take him under my wing, be a nice person who cared about him. It was all going very well until about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Basically he had a rough day, I had to discipline him, and then he got really mad at me and said mean things. "I hope Mr. Bonner fires you" (Mr. Bonner isn't even my boss but Markell tried to tell me that he was.) "You do too much, Ms. Clarissa. I don't like you." "I'm not coming to Build anymore because I don't like you." So, after school that day, I asked Megan to meet me at Dairy Queen for comfort food. Which she did :)
Things with Markell got better. I gave him space, but still said Hi to him and gave help when he asked for it. The next week he even hugged me and said "see you after school!"with a SMILE. Today he walked into class and gave me a hug, too. Then I saw him and another girl getting into a fight and went to investigate. They were shooting rubber bands at each other and then went at it with their fists. Anyway, Markell kept going after her with rubber bands and tried smuggling them into his pockets so I took him out for a time-out with another teacher. He said those same mean things to me, and tried to tell me that I didn't care about him. That's the only part that was really hurtful- I can put up with the attitude to an extent, but it really hurts me to think that these kids don't think I care about them. Anyway, I assured him that I did care about him and I know he can do better, which is why he was disciplined. That, and I care about the other kids enough to not want them to get rubber bands shot in their faces.
So, the battle with Markell today made me realize that he associates someone caring about him with letting him do whatever the heck he wants. He and his brother give me the impression that they are the bosses at home and they can walk all over their parents. So, Markell doesn't like me because I make him follow the rules. And I'm ok with that. He actually did come to after school today despite his threats not to. Not that his attitude changed at all, but that's his problem and not mine. I'm tired of his drama, so I'm not going to listen when he talks like a diva to me. But I will always smile at him and be there when he needs me, because that's what I'm here for. Booyah!