Breaking the Ice

Over the past month I’ve accompanied a girl I know from a local, non-university affiliated dorm for college and young professional women to teach catechism in East Boston. Our interactions to this point have been the quiet, polite exchanges expected between acquaintances. Today we managed to break the ice a bit with more comfortable conversation. We laughed over fumbling through our commute to and from East Boston, particularly when we missed a stop on the way back. The best exchange was over lunch back at the dorm when we debated over my whether my deepest desires included consuming more chips that we took from the dining room so as not to throw them away.

I’m glad to have shared some laughs with this girl today. We’ve known each other for a few years but never really had many one on one interactions together. I’m like that we’ve finally reached a point where we can show our quirky sides and be accepted for it.

Spanish movie night

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Patacones, the Emperor’s New Groove in Spanish, El Dorado, and some great company from Catholic undergrad women who accept me despite the fact that I no longer share that academic status: a solid end to a long day and a comforting way of fulfilling a need to socialize.

ILP Humor

A day of tutoring at the ILP is never dull. From the moment I step into the classroom, I encounter plenty of jovial banter and laughter shared among the students and teachers. Yesterday was no exception. I got a full account from one of my learners about how his co-workers kept warm during the cold of winter with a swig of Cognac from their pockets. I had a learner comment on going up to heaven after living a good life, going down to hell if you were a bad person, and another learner responding to him by saying he’ll just keep going straight after death to avoid being sent down to hell. As always a learner from Africa was admired for the Spanish skills she’s acquired in the time she’s been in the program. A learner supported me by offering life advice to finish school before seeking love. Hearing vignettes from my learners’ lives and participating in friendly teasing with them are always the highlight of my week.

Appreciation for mornings

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making an effort to wake up earlier in the morning. This has given me the chance to settle into the day by taking time for reflection and prayer, as well as for pacing myself in getting everything together for the day. I’ve liked sacrificing the extra half hour or so of sleep in order to allow myself to ease into the day rather than having to rush out the door.

Waking up early benefited me yesterday by giving me the chance to get a head start on a weekly assignment that I would usually procrastinate. In addition, I got to leave my apartment early for my first class. In having some time to spare before walking into the classroom building, I took the opportunity to take in the warmer winter day (warm for Boston!) and the view of the snow, which has started to look nonthreatening with smaller mounds.

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Lately I’ve been feeling that I’ve been on the go a lot with little time to enjoy myself. Having that quiet moment yesterday morning allowed me to recollect myself and to quiet my stress and thoughts in order to take on the day ahead. I hope to continue to take advantage of the quietness and stillness of mornings.

Challenge: Consider a time of day that you find most relaxing. Mornings? Mid-day? Before you get to bed? Try to take at least a half hour to yourself during those times.

Confidence, positivity, smiles

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This girl rocked her school placement today. She nailed testing kids, kept up her positivity, faced sessions head-on, shared some good exchanges with her supervisor, and pulled off an outfit with bright colors and shoes that stamp confidence with every step. There were some stumbles along the day, with the same difficult kid breaking down during an activity and some goals needing tweaking, but nonetheless she faced it all with a smile after deciding there’s nothing worth stressing about :)