Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For Good

One year. I remember signing my AmeriCorps contract exactly one year ago tomorrow, and I thought that one year of working with kids would probably be enough for me. Don't get me wrong, I love kids. But I never thought I'd be working with them full time. Now, after completing my 1700+ hours, most of them with crowds of kids, I've grown, changed and learned more than ever thought possible. Want to take a little tour of what I learned at Club? Yes? Sweet.

  1. Laughing is so much better than yelling
  2. I still am crazy bad at craft time
  3. Yes, I can hear that boom, badoom, boom, boom, badoom, boom, bass. Thanks, Nicki Minaj.
  4. Leading choir is HARD!
  5. Hearing children sing is a blessing
  6. Seeing that light bulb moment is worth all the hours of frustration every time
  7. Beating a 5th grade boy in a swimming race is also worth it every time
  8. Making a fool of myself is always effective
  9. A certain pair of twins spells trouble
  10. I'm a pushover
  11. But I also expect a lot
  12. Some parents make me frustrated, some make me sick, and some inspire me
  13. I am brought to tears by the fact that I can drop off a child in a house laced with poverty, drive 10 miles and see wealth oozing in the streets
  14. Sharing a 10' x 10' office with 2 coworkers leads to tension but it can also lead to incredible friendship
  15. My coworkers are some of the most caring people I've ever met
  16. My kids' brutal honesty is typically right on
  17. Simple gifts at the right time add up to serious excitement and gratitude
  18. If something is fire or crackin', it's a good thing
  19. 4th and 5th graders are really bad at volleyball but so fun to coach!
  20. I'm not made for saying goodbye

I've been snotted on, hugged, talked back to, and sought after. I've asked kids to shape up, to sing out, to be nice, to believe they're beautiful. I've seen furrowed brows, chlorine-reddened eyes, tears, and the light of surprise. And the thing is, I can't see this, feel this, learn this and go back to the way things were. So, as we've sung so many times in the small confines of our office, I have been changed for good.

This one's for you, Patty!
I do believe I have been changed for the better.

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