This Week at School

I’ve been a bit stuck on my writing; this actually happened last fall as well.  The way work paces out just doesn’t fit well with sitting or reflecting, and I feel it not only in the blog but personally as well.  The end of this season isn’t far, but in the meantime, I decided to start where I was.  So I looked at what happened in our office this week.

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Our ongoing programs are off and rolling.  We have 14 partnerships this year, working across our four focus areas–hunger & homelessness, health & wellness, education & literacy, and environmental justice.  One of my favorite parts of my job is to visit them.  So I thought I’d share a bit about those visits with you.

This week, I went to Skid Row to visit School on Wheels, an after-school tutoring facility that works to keep kids on track with their schooling.  Tutors help children stay focused on their homework for the day and answer questions they have about their work.  Although SOW works in a variety of locations, we are specifically partnered with the Downtown Learning Center, located at the edge of Skid Row.  Most of the students they work with are currently homeless, living with their families in a mission on Skid Row.

I spent most of my time working on rounding.  P. and I knocked out that 4th grade math sheet like pros.  To the hundredth?  Done.  Ten thousand?  No sweat.

P is smart and cheerful.  He’s a visual learner who needs to be looking at his sheet to be focused.  He’ll jump the gun on your question, so his first answer is wrong.  As soon as he stops to listen closely to what’s being asked, he nails it.

After homework and reading time is done at 5pm, kids have some play time.  There is a park on Skid Row.  There are never children in it.  But these kids do have a gym space available at one of the missions.

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We launched our Spring Break service trips, which include the option to serve in an undisclosed domestic location.  You sign up and interview, knowing a little about the work but nothing about the partner or the place.  Maybe you’ll be in Maine in February.  Spring Break!  Wooooo!  I’m super excited to see how this gets processed by the students.

My role included making bacon and pancakes.  At 10:30pm.  And for not the first time, I realized I’m getting old.  As a college studen, I used to have rehearsal for gospel choir at 10pm.  No sweat.  Now I have to gear up to work a 10pm party.  I got home smelling like bacon.  It’s a wonder Flop didn’t crawl into bed with me.

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Today was the first day of a six week small group I’m leading focused on faith, scripture and social justice.  There are nine students signed up for the group, and after meeting them all I’m really excited.  There is nothing better than having a group of sharp young people who are genuinely interested in a topic.  So fun.  Today we talked about Genesis and the four types of poverty.  We’ll make our way into Old Testament law and the prophets next.

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Today we brave Carmaggedon II:  This Time We Mean It (Maybe).  I’m speaking at a women’s ministry event in the morning and then we’re heading to my hometown for church and to see some friends.  So that’s two ventures into the vortex…here’s hoping.

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