Friday, August 26, 2011

On Vacation

I've been lazy this week, so there's really no excuse for the complete lack of posts on here. I just finished two weeks at camp, and decided to follow that up with a week at my sister's place in Detroit. It turns out that this was a brilliant idea. Since arriving here, I've been resting from a crazy summer. There's not a whole lot to do here aside from reading, playing with the kids, eating....ok so there's lots to do here but the pace is considerably slower than my last three and a half months have been. I've been using the time to catch up on sleep, do some serious reading, and relaxing. It's been good.

I just finished reading this book by Donald Miller called "A Million Miles In A Thousand Years". It talks about what happens if we think of our lives as a story instead of a sequence of random events. It then goes on to describe the author's experience with this style of life. It was quite a wake up call. Sometimes my life has felt like a sequence of random events. Graduating early has pushed me away from that a little bit and reading this book has made me think more carefully about the things that I do.

I've had some good visits this month. Packing August full of people has forced me to engage with people and talk about things and the resulting conversations have been really good. A lot of topics I wrote about while I was in California have come up and I've gotten a bit of resolution on them. Mostly it's just nice to know that other people think about these things too.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Graduating

I think I've sent all the emails and made all the personal explanations, so I'd like to outline what is going on with my life this year for those of you who might be a little confused.

During the summer I did a lot of thinking about what I want to do with my degree, where I will go after undergrad, and what I'm interested in. As I discussed in an earlier post, I am moving away from things of science and have shifted my focus towards working with God and people. As I thought about the future, I found I was less and less excited about the prospect of another year of school.

While all of this was going on, the threat of a strike from our faculty union had me thinking about the possibility of graduating with a BSc GEN (instead of a BScH MAJ) which would not require any additional credits from school. I looked into some of the schools I was thinking of applying to after undergrad and found that they all only required three years of study to enter into their programs, meaning another year of school would not provide me with any extra benefit.

I talked with my parents about it and we discussed the financial impacts of graduating early. A year of work would allow me to build up savings for future schooling, and would allow them to save what money they would have spent on my fourth year and apply it to some form of future study. Economically graduating early made a lot of sense. A final discussion with my parents led to me making the decision to not return to school this year and instead spend the time working in Westport and living with my parents. This will give me some space to think about a number of things, build up some savings, and apply for school next year while not spending a large amount of time on a school year which would not provide me with much additional benefit.

I'm a little sad that I won't be returning for a fourth year. It was shaping up to be an interesting year, but I'm clearly being taken in a different direction now and I'm enjoying the ride. To those of you I've met in my time at Queen's, I hope to keep in touch. Thank you for your time and kindness in my tumultuous three years here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sick

My mom says I don't do sick well. I tend to whine and complain a lot. I think this is true in the winter. In the summer things seem to be different. I'm on the third summer where I've gotten sick while taking care of small children. It requires so much energy and yet for some reason I push through it. I'm not really sure what's going on there.

Now that I'm thinking about it I remember that I asked for days off during two of those summers. Things just got kind of crazy and I had to walk away for a day. This week I haven't had a day off yet but the week seems to be stretching out to be several miles long. I'm really not sure how to keep going. I may take some medicine but that doesn't really give me more energy, it just numbs the pain so that I can think clearly.

I'm in a position where there seems to be no one to replace me and I'm not sure what that means. I wish that I hadn't gotten sick in the first place. Things would be much easier now.

Being sick is no fun.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Chillins

I'm working as a cabin leader taking care of a group of 8-11 year olds right now. They're a rambunctious bunch. They don't listen to me, they hit each other, they run away, and generally cause a lot of mayhem.

Now my training would tell me not to have favourites, but every group of kids you get as a cabin leader has its good and bad apples. Some kids never listen to you, some latch on to you and hang on your every word. It's not often clear which are which until a few days in. It seems to be much easier to engage one on one with the kids who listen and are engaged than it is to engage with the kids who are disobedient and disinterested. There are two boys in the current group who are much more well behaved and much more interested in taking it all in than the other 6 boys are. These two boys are making all the difficulty and frustration with the other six boys well worth it. I would do it for all of them for the sake of the two.

Yesterday I was thinking about this and I found an interesting parallel. Sometimes people ask why God would bother going through so much trouble if some people would deliberately choose not to follow him. It seems kinds of strange. Why bother if a chunk of the human race is just going to spit in your face?

I was thinking about it from my perspective. If I were God and I knew that there was a group of people who would hang on to my every word, I would do everything I could to hold on to that group and make their lives good even if it meant putting up with a whole bunch of other crap from the rest of people.

I realize the scope of this idea is pretty limited, but there you go. That's my thought for the day.