Friday, August 26, 2011

The week before it all starts.

I forgot.

I forgot how crazy it is to work in Student Development...

...the week before the student leaders return.

5 years ago, I lived and worked in the dorms.
I loved the fact that I got to be with college students 24/7 while they went through some of the most transformational years of their lives.
I didn't love the fact that they would randomly knock on my door at 1am, and then ask me why I was in bed already.

I haven't fully disclosed on this blog that my new job is "Associate Dean of Students".
It's a fancy title which means...I work with students. 
And I don't live with them.
I try and make sure their college experience is everything they ever imagined...
...and then I try and keep them in line when they go a little overboard.

I essentially work to remind them of what their parents taught them. 
(Because, yes, college students forget. It's a kind of temporary insanity.)
And I try to love them through anywhere from one to four years of studies...the best I can.

For those of you who haven't experienced the college world, let me tell you, the week before student leaders return...even though you know it's been coming, is a little bit of a panic-stricken week for the staff. 

Without further ado, I give you:
"Classic tell-tale signs you work in Student Development and it's the week before Student Leadership Training! (2011 Edition)"
  1.  You have the largest stack of profiles on your desk waiting to be reviewed.
    As you read through them, you acknowledge your unrealistic dream of surprising each student by calling them out by name, before they even introduce themselves to you:
    "Ah, Johnny! It's so good to meet about that summer you went to camp? That really changed your life, huh?"

    ...Johnny is now silently stunned and a little bit scared of you.
    He inwardly worries.
    If you already know this much about him on day 1, he wonders if you'll somehow just "know" every time he breaks a rule. And that will always silently haunt him.
    Mission accomplished.
  2. While you've been inwardly brainstorming about leadership training sessions, you find yourself realizing you've written nothing down.
    And now in your sleep you have those nightmares where the students have all arrived and are just staring at you, waiting for you to talk...about anything really...and you don't know what you're supposed to say...because you didn't write it down.

    These nightmares are enough to scare you spitless and make you write stuff down.
    (Mission accomplished.)

  3. Students are emailing you, facebooking you, texting you (but rarely calling you on the phone, because they don't do that sincere apologies to Alexander Graham Bell)
    all with the same message:
    "Is it too late or can I apply to be a student leader?"

    While something inside you wants to be black-and-white and remind Suzy that she's known about this position for at least the last seven months, you are gracious...because
    (a) your leadership team would benefit from adding one more,
    (b) you think Suzy would actually rock it, and
    (c) sometimes this is the way God works, and if you're too black and white about things, you can miss out on some pretty cool stuff God sends your way.

    And so you give yourself the pep talk...again:
    Working with people is messy.
    That's what makes it beautiful.
    And that's how we make room for God to work.
    Trust Him.
    Love them.

    And remind them to give others a chance the same way you took a chance on them.

  4. When you look at your clock at 5pm...5:15pm...5:30pm...and then simultaneously look at the office across from you, you find comfort in knowing you and your teammates are all in it for the long haul.
    You may be the last people to leave the building for the day, but you're doing it as a team.
    (Or, like some team members may leave...but you'll return an hour later with supper in hand to keep going until you're satisfied the student leaders can show up and you won't scream:
    WHAT!?! You CAN'T be here already, you just CAN'T!).

  5. And in the midst of all this busy-crazy-long-hours-too-many-coffees-the-occassional-red-bull-and-sugar-of-some-sort-combo-along-with-photocopier-malfunctions-and-keypad-codes-that-don't-work-...phew...-chaos you find yourself smiling every now and then, because you know that in just a few days, a new year begins.

    And that new year, folks, holds anticipation for hope, restoration, learning that changes a life, a lot of laughs, some tears, and a whole new set of friendships.

    So...I may have forgot.

    But I can't wait to remember.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The art of taking things literally.

So we're sitting at dinner tonight.
Adults are done.
Kids are still "in progress" usual.

And so, for motivation, Gary goes "Jerry Macguire" on us and tells Bo and Char:

To which Bo plainly looks at his dad and says, matter-of-fact:
But Dad...
I don't have any money.
I don't even have pockets!

Well played, Bo...well played.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The art of arranged marriage. And soup.

Tonight at dinner, Bodhi, out of nowhere, looked at Carleigh and said:

Mom, I'm marrying Penny, right?

So, maybe it's true that Carleigh and Corinna have been matchmaking their kids...but hey, I hear arranged marriages are all the rage lately. (That may be complete speculation on my part). But anyways, it seems that both Bodhi and Penny are on board. And I can't blame them. There's some security in knowing...hey, this is just the way it's going to go! Might as well run with it! At least Penny knows what she's getting into...

But once Bodhi followed this with, "tonight, right?", we thought maybe we should lay down some ground rules.

Carleigh let Bo know he needed to be at least 21 before he could marry Penny.
Gary clarified with a "you mean 25".
I looked at Bo and explained that there's a few things he needs to learn before he can marry Penny.

Like how to drive a car. 
And to find a job that pays well.
Carleigh added that he needs to be able to do his laundry all on his own.
And I said he needed to be able to make macaroni and cheese.

Before we could go any further, Bo nodded and exclaimed:

Yeah, and I'm three and I can't even make soup!

So, I guess we're in the clear for now. 

Davey/Doll Household one teaches Bo how to make soup until he is ready to marry Penny. Deal?

The greater community...

Thanks to my friend John Horn, today I've been featured on "The Daily Gumboot", an awesome Vancouver-based blog about community! John is the great mind behind this blog, and I highly suggest you read one or many of the creatively genius articles written by him and the other contributors...cause it's the perfect cloudy-day Sunday activity.

Be blessed!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

can't get it out...

Since I saw the Civil Wars back in June, I've been wishing this song was on their album. I showed a short clip from the concert, but found the full version for my enjoyment and yours...may it get caught in your head as it has in mine.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I'll be honest.

Even though I'm surrounded by people, lately I've been feeling a little lonely. I've been trying to peg down why.

I think it comes down to transition and change.

Between figuring out my new job at the college, trying to get caught up in school work, and daily doses of ibuprofen/boxes of kleenex attempting to combat this killer cold...I feel like I've just missed quality people time with many of you.

And many of my dear friends have growing families, or are in new relationships, or are newly married folk, or are have moved to Vancouver. It's transition and change. It's good, but sometimes the reality of it still can hit you when you least expect it.

I need to be mindful of my need for balance. This means I can't just sit in Starbucks all night reading about my job or working on homework. And I definitely can't just sit in my room all weekend watching Prison Break. I need you, my friends.

I guess what I'm saying is...can you help me not to lose myself to school and work and routine? I'm not asking for you all to call and invite me to your house, but would some of you be willing to check in and ask me if I've made time for friends lately, for people who can speak into my life?

I think I need help to find that balance as I start a new role at the college where I'm very student-involved. I'm gonna be doing a lot of relating to people each day...but it won't be the same kind of community as that which I need from my peers.

Here's to transition, folks, and my love-hate relationship with change. From my yours, thanks for listening.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

celebration. of sorts.

I'm celebrating Post #317 on this blog with...

...bloggers block. 


I'm also celebrating by taking two extra strength advil cold and flu every 4 hours...and depending highly on my good friend Otrivin.

Double awesome.

But here's the overall synopsis of my life as of today:

I sense that life is really good...and I need to be grateful. 
For each little thing. 

Like tonight, for example, when I sat down next to Jane and she exclaimed "sit! me!" with emphasis in her voice like it was the coolest thing I've done in years. My heart was warm.

I also started a new job this week, was reminded how great it is to live with the Davey family (again), spent some time with friends, and got my laundry done. It's the big things AND the little things that bring joy, people. And I need to remember to see them. 

Also in the news, I've been watching Prison Break...a little too much. 

This may be the otrivin/advil combo talking, but the show has been leading me to distrust the government and constantly strategize my next move.
I need to remind myself I'm not a woman on the run.
But if you see me running downtown Abbotsford, maybe just pull over and remind me of that fact, okay?