On the work front, life has been pretty fulfilling and today was just exceptionally good! I thought, why not share such a good day with all these people I love? So here’s a quick update for you, I love my job.
At Peace Pals, the after-school program for elementary aged students, my day started off with my fifth grade girls trying to set me up with their 23 year old teacher. Such is the life of those of us single and working with youth. But later, once all the craziness was contained and the homework was done, one of the fifth grade girls and I had a breakthrough. She’s really intelligent and a great reader, so I asked her if she had ever read Harry Potter. She said no and she wasn’t interested, but shortly I convinced her it would be a good idea. We sat there in the middle of chaos of 15 other kids as we took turns reading page by page (of course I did it in a British accent) the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was nearly squealing with excitement over knowing how if she really invested in this story, it would change her life. I even documented her reading the first page like a proud mom. She denied her excitement about it, but she even wanted to keep reading even during outside time, so we crouched under the play ground set enveloped in the story. And what a good story it is.
At the close of the chapter, we even had time to play a quick round of “Pirates” with the whole gang.This is a game I mistakenly made up one day at Peace Pals when I decided it would be a good idea to jump on top of the play ground, pretend it was a ship, claim the ship in the name of the girls (in a Scottish accent for some reason), and then try to forcefully remove all the boys. Today’s edition of pirates meant a mutiny of all the kids trying to get me off of the play ground set and me holding on to the top of the slide or the monkey bars with all my might, mimicking Mufasa and Scar’s infamous scene. Sometimes these kids are just too fun.
I also got some news today on the House of Teens front, the after-school program for 6th to 12th graders I work with the other two days of the week. Part of my job is calling a bunch of organizations and companies and asking if they are willing to donate to our non-profit. 1. I don’t really like talking professionally on the phone that much. And 2. I don’t really like asking for things. So tasked to call places like local movie theaters and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, I set out to score a few tickets for the students to purchase with their HOT Bucks, our financial incentive program that teaches about taking care of money and spending. Last week I made some calls, filled out some online applications, even mailed a letter but with little hope of a successful outcome. But then, someone did respond. And it just happened to be the San Antonio Spurs. Hello. Got an email this week from the Spurs that was like, yes we’d love to support you and we are mailing tickets to you! Umm, felt like a boss. Then the tickets come in today and we learn they are for a great game (against the Rockets, apparently that’s a good thing) and they sent us 5 tickets for free?! And just on top of all the fun we’ve been having there with the Haunted House and the relationships with those youth that have been really coming together lately, it is all simple the best.
Then to top it all off, at Teen Night tonight, Alex and Alexa (siblings obvi) brought their puppy for me to meet and it was seriously the cutest dog I’ve seen since I’ve been here. And I’ve seen a lot of dogs! Even convinced them that the dog’s middle name should be Meredith and they agreed. Now I know two dogs named after me (throwback to Guatemala 2012 when I pet that dog with gloves in that they named Meredith and got busted good times). All in all, I am loving this job. And everything from the serving up snack once a week to practicing the art of copy making has been fun. I am thankful for this opportunity and the relationships that have already shaped me so much so far.