Thursday, September 22, 2005

Today was quite a day.

I got up early to take care of Mystery Baby because my mother’s been sick. I had to take them to the hospital in Ashland, so mom could get x-rays. The doctor thinks it’s pneumonia again. Mom’s pneumonia actually never shows up on x-rays, so it was probably a waste of time. But, whatever.

X-rays went well. The trip and the wait for the technician just killed a lot of time. Afterward, we went to get lunch. Mom bought, so that rocked. Mystery Baby is very cute when we take her out. She knows how to work a crowd. She flirts with everyone with her eyes until they coo at her. If they fail to do so, she gets really disappointed. You can tell she thinks those people are jerks. She’s probably right.

After that, I went to pick up The Boy. Matto didn’t have to work today, so he was home. But yesterday was one of the neighborhood kids’ birthdays, and I was too busy to pick him up a present. So The Boy and I went to get him something.

We decided on one of those video game systems where the games are built into the controller. They’re not as slick as a Gamecube or anything, but Aunt Sarie isn’t rich, so that’s what it is. I hope he’ll like it. He loves video games, and last month his family’s cable got turned off, so at least the tv will be getting some use now.

After that I went to school. Tonight was actually sort of fun. Partly, I’m certain, because I was a half hour late to class. That I meant that I missed the boring stuff where all you do is go over the syllabus. I arrived just in time to start this drawing exercise. It was sort of like the game “telephone” that you play when you’re a kid.

Basically, one person has to draw a picture based on information that’s been passed down through a line of people. So, imagine there are eight people playing. One person is the artist, one person an observer, one person is a reader, and the remaining five pass down the information.

So the reader tells info guy 1: “Draw a house in the lower left-hand corner of the paper. The house should have two windows; one on each side of the door, which should be drawn in the middle of the house. Color the door red.” Guy 1 tells Guy 2 who tells Guy 3, etc. and in the end the artist gets the message and draws it. Usually, of course, the message is insanely garbled by the end, and you end up with a red house on the right side of page, with four windows and no door.

It was actually sort of a fun learning experience. I usually hate stuff like that because it’s usually intended to be an “ice breaker” or whatever. Not being particularly social, I don’t enjoy those overmuch. But today was fun.

What struck me is how shy I still am. One of the points of the exercise was to show us how vulnerable our clients are. They’re introduced to this new setting, flooded with information, complete with distractions and scary authority figures who take notes on their most personal thoughts and feelings; it’s a pretty intimidating process. I can relate. I didn’t like the observers, who stood around taking notes on all of the steps that I, as Girl 3 in line, misheard or misreported.

I was actually sort of our example person in a lot of ways. I was visibly nervous about the observers; I don’t like messing up in front of an audience. So the first two steps of the drawing, I totally garbled out of nervousness. But the third one, I stepped back from the observers, stopped making eye contact with everybody and concentrated on the message. I got everything right after that.

Social Work will not be the easiest profession for me to pursue. My shyness and social awkwardness are not really conducive to my building trusting relationships with my clients. These past few years that I’ve spent with Jasmin have helped me a lot. I’m much more confident than I used to be when interacting with people; I certainly do much more of it now than I used to, and I’m much less nervous doing it. But people can still sense my anxiety.

It will be difficult for me to suppress my trademark nervous body language. I’m supposed to project a sort of friendly and empathetic authority; usually I come across more like a freaked out geek suffering from severe computer withdrawal. And I usually am a freaked out geek suffering from severe computer withdrawal, too.

Ahh, damn it, it’s late and I need to sleep because tomorrow’s going to be crazy. Every day is crazy. But I’m not complaining. I love what I do, and all of the people I see. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Apologies to Ferg for the lack of updates. Life is hectic and eventful here, in the same totally boring and predictable way that it always is in Ohio.

The past few weeks have been, for me at least, a mess of various children. Since my last post, I've taken kids go-karting, to Mohican, organized soccer games in the park, prepared The Boy to join the school orchestra and taught Tyron how to count to three. These are not small accomplishments; they take more energy than I ever imagined while I was growing up. I have a new respect for my own mother now. She raised five children, with six grandchildren often in tow. However much energy all of it has taken, it doesn't seem like very much in print somehow.

Jas, Matt and kids are good. The Boy started school and he likes his teacher. X. says he likes school, too. His mom is pregnant; he's going to have a baby sister soon. Jas is still working like mad; so is Matt. They're thinking about another house, but you know, they've thought about other houses before so who knows?

I've got to crash because 6:00AM comes early. Promise more contact soon, Ferg-0. Things have to calm down eventually.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Sorry for the recent lack of blogs. School has ushered in an entirely new set of busynesses. I'm keeping baby Ty in the day now. From 6:30am until 3:30 I've got the baby, and shortly before he's picked up, The Boy gets off the bus. Plus, it's soccer season. And I'm going back to school soon myself. Will try to blog tomorrow when Little Man is sleeping.

I am a bad person.

Originally uploaded by trewqaz.
When I first heard about the story of little Susan Torres, the baby girl born a few weeks ago to a cancer-ravaged mother who was being kept on life support only long enough to allow her child to be born, I was very moved. What a bold and wonderful statement against the Western world's culture of death. When I heard later that the little girl had died of a perforated intestine, I was devastated. What a horrible ending to such an inspiring story.

But being the evil wench that I am, I still couldn't help laughing when I read the headline: "Brain-Dead Mom's Baby Dies."

Seriously, where was the editor on that? I can think of a lot of stories that deserve that headline, for example: Baby Dies as Parents Play World of Warcraft and Baby Dies From Nappy Rash; but I still think that this case deserved a touch more sensitivity.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Why do I never enjoy laziness as I ought?

Boredom does not become me.

Minutes after posting I was deluged with work. That's what I get for decrying a chance to be lazy.

Got new tires today. Needed them badly, so that's a plus. Washing machine at our house broke. Sort of sucks. Both will cost money; that definitely sucks.

The Boy's home. Must go and cook before the world spins off its axis.

I used to think the title option would be cool.

This time of year is usually sort of happy for me, in an anxious sort of way. Having been a student for…umm, ever it seems, I associate the coming of Autumn with all of those back to school sorts of feelings. There’s excitement, dread, the joy and drudgery of having a schedule again.

This year is sort of odd. I was in school already this summer, and I’m only just in the middle of my break now. The Boy had his first day back on Tuesday, and I’m already sort of missing him. It’s not the same around here without his (and his million-fifty neighborhood friends) squawking and spilling things and wanting me to cook every thirty seconds. I miss them.

I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my niece lately. My brother’s really funny about her presence on the internet, so I’ll just call her Mystery Baby. Mystery Baby and I have been discovering the joy of shaking leaves on trees, and barking at all furry animals (either because they’re dogs and that’s polite, or because they’re not and they therefore deserve barking at). We’ve had crawling races, and tried new foods and worked to master the fine art of pat-a-cake.

This past week has felt sort of sad. I don’t know if it’s because I’m missing the Boy being around every day, or if I’m just not used to having so much free time, or what it is. I guess it could be a lot of things. There are a lot of stressors in life just now; of course, I can’t remember when there hasn’t been.

I was finally accepted as a grad student at Ohio State. After a quarter of being present, I’m officially allowed to be there now. That rocks because now I’m actually going to be able to get some financial help from the school. I’m hoping for scholarships, but at this point, I’d be pretty glad for loans. I’m broke. And gas is very expensive.

I know that I’m prone to negativity. And being an oversensitive type, I’m prone to piggybacking on somebody else’s bad day. But I don’t want to be unhappy this week. I have a lot to be happy about. Adjustment periods always make me nervous I guess. Becoming bolder and more talkative means that I have to think more carefully about what I say. Certainly, after the fact, all I do is think about what it is I’ve just said and all of the reasons I shouldn’t have said it.

I wonder if things will ever settle down for me. It seems like I’ve been transitioning now for years and years. Maybe that’s how life is for everyone. Maybe things don’t ever stop becoming something else.

In church not too long ago, the preacher said something about how unknowable God is. If you go running toward His presence, you’ll often find that it’s not there by the time you reach where you were heading. He’s always coming just as you’re going, and going just as you’re coming. And sometimes when you’re sitting very still, and not going anywhere at all, He’s right there and you never even saw Him approaching.

It seems like a lot of things are that way. Every time I start to think I’ve really figured something out, it’s gone. When I think I get to know someone, they turn out to be someone else entirely. When I think I’ve finally figured out where I’m going, I find myself in a place I’ve never been. The preacher told us once, and I think it’s true, “If you want to make God laugh, get comfortable.”

I’m definitely not comfortable now. Things feel unsettled; I feel distant and melancholy. I’m stuck at Jasmin’s by myself today because I couldn’t justify the cost of gas to drive back home for the day, only to return again in a few hours to get The Boy back off the bus. It’s too quiet here, I need to find something to do.