Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summer Work...

This marks the eighth day of work with the kids. I supervise kids ranging from 13 to 18 as they work outside. Weeding, trail blazing, picking up sticks and general yard work is, let me tell you now, not loved by most if not all of these kids. For that matter, neither is the strict rules and disciplinary tactics regularly enforced by their supervisors (me and four of my co-workers). I've already been called "a mean b****". This job has taught me several things, a few of which I will share. Patients are defiantly the first. I cannot simply yell at my little workers to hurry up or understand my sometimes-vague instructions. This brings me to the second lesson, be clear in instruction giving. Instructions that start with "Do you want to..." will immediately be responded to with a "No" without even thought or hesitation on their part. Questions posed such as " would you give me the..." are usually followed but with a throwing action rarely desired. Constant complaining and demanding to know the time are also a regular of my day.

This is not to say that the day is filled with constant correcting or arguing. The majority of the kids I work with are your normal mediocre teenage workers with the odd amazing diligent worker mixed in. My co-workers and I spend lunch breaks going over the comments overheard and actions taken by both youth and ourselves throughout the course of our working hours. Who said what, who didn't work, who you want to avoid for the afternoon work groups are always discussed in detail.

Another positive to the experience is my boss. He is everything one would look for in a supervisor, leadership and understanding being the two qualities I most appreciate in him. He 'has our back' so to speak, and is always joking around about how wonderful and or horrible the kids are. Yet, through it all one can really see how he has their best interests at heart. He cares for these kids enough to be tough when needed and understand what they are like to deal with day after day to not allow them to continuously dish out crap to us.

Other summer happenings...
Well, sadly enough, although by no means unexpectedly, the U.S. is out of the World Cup. England is still in with an amazing goal in their game against Ecuador, made by your friend and mine David Beckham. The Swiss/Ukraine game was tense as the game went into double over time and then a kick out. Other teams to keep an eye on over the next few days are Brazil and France. Also I'm still in the throws of figuring out my financing for grad-school. Prayers are always appreciated!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


The World Cup is currently underway. I might be as bold as to say that most of the U.S. has no interest or is even aware of the significant event that has the rest of the world on hold. The U.S. team has a rank of 5th in the world, leaving many questioning why or how they got that high ranking. Yesterday, when playing the Czeck Republic the U.S. lost 3 nill! The first goal scored within the first 5 minutes of the game set the tone for dissappointment that continuted throught the game. Reyna's attempted goal seemed like a cruel teaser as I, watched with anticipation and filled with hope as he set up the shot, only to watch it bounce off the goal post a second later. For a world towarn apart by conflict, apposing views, prejudice and suffer, this sport has seemed to brought the world together in one common cause. Countrywomen and men stand united cheering for the team of athletes representing their country. Political enemies, former colonial rulers and friendly regional neighbours find themselves playing agianst eachother. Yet there seems to be (for the most part) a general respect for fellow players and a respectful comradorey. I'm not disregarding the frequent fowls, occassional yellow cards or even the odd red card. However there are unspoken rules of common curdiosy that are practiced. I like this. It gives me hope for international cooperation.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Coroners, Government and Christianity...

Nearly finished now with Brain McLaren's A New Kind of Christian. It's an interesting and provocative read. Its one of those books you're not sure you agree with, then find yourself analyzing and viewing ideas and methods using the books line of thinking. I especially find myself agreeing with the idea that there is no cookie-cutter way or step by step plan to be followed for how to be/become a Christian. I recently went to a college night at the church I had grown up in. The speaker that night kept using the word "normal". This greatly annoyed me, especially since he never defined or explained what he considered "normal" to be. Now, I do understand the general definition of normal...that's not the point. When someone says "normal way to relate to God", "normal way to interpret the Bible" or "normal view of Jesus", that I do not quite follow. What is normal? First of all, to an outsider, nothing about Christianity would seem normal. This was only one of many issues I had with the message presented that night. The idea that A leads to B which then leads to C was clear. Cookie-cutter step-by-step presentation of Christianity. It only takes one trip overseas to realize that not all people experience God, faith and Christianity in general, in the same way.

So the toll roads are now going to be bid away to private companies. Does anyone else feel outraged by this!? Now I am obviously no strategist nor economist, however I feel it a poor choice (to say the least) to hand over control of national infrastructure to a private firm. I am not able to articulate quite why I feel this way or back it up with a rational argument at this time. Quite frankly I just don't think its a good idea and am very uncomfortable with the level of privatization that seems to be taken place these days.

I leave you with this question that has been on my mind, oddly enough, for some time. Why is the position of city coroner a politically elected position?