Do you ever just have so much going on, and your brain is racing in so many directions, that it’s difficult to think straight? I feel like I have a finger and toe in so many pots, and I know that I need to find some focus, some direction to my little life, but each of these things, despite the chaos they all bring my life, also bring me closer to a kind of peace. I love all of my crazy jobs, and even though I feel like I need to kind of “pick one” I can’t, and I won’t, and someday I’ll just fall over and crash, but until then, I’ll keep going, fueled by grotesque amounts of caffeine and chocolate.
I love working at the writing center, and seeing that “AHA” moment on a student’s face. That moment when they realize they DO know something, they’re NOT stupid, and they CAN write. I had a student walk in one time, tell me she couldn’t write, that she was no good at it, and that she’d had terrible grades in this class. She wanted me to help, but didn’t want to help herself. I was tempted to tell her, “yep, you’re a bad writer, and if that’s what you think, there’s nothing I can do for you” but of course, I didn’t. I sat her down, told her that we’re not going to talk about a) grades or b) negativity. We’re instead going to focus on the challenge this prof has offered, and how we’re going to work together to get her to rise to that challenge. She told me that the article in question was about some pretty heavy stuff, stuff I’m familiar with, but know I don’t have enough understanding of to grapple with. I asked her what that meant, and she replied, “Well, I don’t really know”.
“Then why write about it?”
“Exactly. If you can’t talk about it, you’re going to have a helluva time writing about it. So tell me what this article is about.”
She went on to tell me all about the article, connect it with some films, and really make some intelligent connections. I repeated everything she said to me, and she was so excited that I gave her so many ideas. But I didn’t give them to her, I just allowed her to open up to hearing them. She was so close off when she arrived, that she wouldn’t have heard a darn thing I said in those first 5 minutes. She left feeling MUCH more secure about the assignment, and hopefully about the class.
I’ve got a pile of high school papers to read. These are the honors kids, and I’m hoping I can get through each one with a minimum of crazy citation and grammatical errors. I’m shocked and amazed and a little dismayed at the state of the previous essays I read. I know it’s just high school, but sentences people. An essay requires sentences. And please, please, please stop addressing me in your paper. I know it’s a small thing, but unless you’re writing a “how-to” book, please, stop telling me what to do when I’m reading your paper. There are so many more clever ways to write a sentence! But, I find joy in helping these high schoolers work towards that next step, and I hope to God they figure out how to write and make it into college! If these are their culmination projects, I’d hate to see their application essays!
I just finished up the course work to become a Childbirth Educator. It was truly an amazing, transformative experience, and one that really made me rethink not only my views on pregnancy and the birthing experience, but also the way I’m living my life. Life (and pregnancy, and birth) are all natural, normal occurrences, and our tendency in the US to treat everything as pathological until proven otherwise is tragic. We treat pregnant women as though they are ill, rather than empowering them to believe that the body is designed for this, and through several billion years of evolution, remembers how to do this. Birth is not a place for medicine, it is a sacred place for women and their partners to bring a new life into this world, and should be treated with reverence and grace, rather than I.V.s and Cesareans. I come out of these classes full of passion and fire to spark a revolution in the way we teach Childbirth Education, the way we, as Americans, respond to breastfeeding, and yet knowing that I will be constrained by the rules and obligations of the organization I teach for. If I can empower just one woman to give birth without drugs or medical interventions, then I feel I can begin to make a change. I’ve gone from having a medicated birth, and birthing a child with an Apgar score of two, to believing that a home birth might just be the right option next time around.
And my little store, who can forget my little shop!? It’s a zoo, and I love it. It satisfies my need to work retail, without having to work for “the man”, my need to shop without necessarily adding to the clutter in my own life, and my need to help parents make this HUGE transition with style and grace. I know, it’s quite an ambition for a little shop that sells baby carriers, but I think big. BIG. And the more into it I get, the more I think it’s becoming a reality to open a B&M store. I’d be able to carry all kinds of other helpful items, and offer a really great space for parents to hang out. Not to mention, teach independent Childbirth classes, and be able to actually teach without hospital constraints. And really, in many sense, it’d be easier to be able to leave it all at the store at the end of the day, and then focus on my family at home. The way it’s going now, that line is a little blurrier than I’d like.
Volunteering, again, focusing on the parent/baby trio. I love working with this part of the population. It’s just such an awesome time for people, and I love being able to be a support for parents at this time. I know what I do at Evergreen is small, but I also know that the program wouldn’t run without it’s volunteers, so if I can, by proxy, provide that support for parents, then I suppose I am. Besides, the educators at these classes are so amazing; it’s inspiring to spend time with them each week.
Oh yeah, and on top of all this, I am working rather diligently to raise a toddler. She’s turning out OK, so we must be doing a decent job. I brag about her so much, I’m not even sure what more to say, other than that I love her more than I can put into words, and that I do ALL of what I do to make her world a better place to live. Yeah, I know, idealism, blah, blah, blah, but if you can’t start at home, then where the hell are you going to start it?