Showing posts with label diversity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diversity. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Three of the Four Seasons

After my post yesterday, the rain fell off and on.

When I left the house to go pick up Jenna, the sky was pouring down water from the sky.  POURING.  I had to return to the house for different shoes so my feet wouldn't get wet.

I had grabbed Jenna's umbrella and coat as that morning we had both left the house with just sweatshirts and I knew she wouldn't be prepared.  The spine came out of her umbrella as I was putting it into my bag.

Roland had forgotten his phone, but I can text him through an texting system that he set up through his computer at work.  I told him that it was pouring and asked if he could meet us at the school.  It would be an hour wait, but still.  Jenna and I are both okay with the rain, really.  But she is currently taking swim lessons, and I didn't know if the weather would interfere with the bus schedule running on time.

When I exited the bus less than 20 minutes later, the sky was barely drizzling.  No one in Salt Lake even knows how to dress anymore.  I notice people wearing shorts and coats, sandals and sweaters,  or packing extra stuff - I fall into that third category.  It's not nice to have to pack a parka, an umbrella, a light sweater, sunglasses and boots - just in case.  I'm not a pack mule!

The sun was shining as we waited for Roland.  The rain fell again as the sun was shining.  Jenna took my umbrella and danced around while I waited under the awning. Roland didn't arrive when we had expected.  I told him to meet us in front, but ventured around the school to see if I could see the car behind the school.  I do tend to misunderstand.

He wasn't behind the school.  He had stopped off at McDonald's to surprise us with dinner.  We ate on the way to the train station where he dropped us off so that we could continue to Jaime's class.  The weather and traffic conditions may interfere with the bus schedule.  It is rare when the train doesn't run on time. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Roller Skates and Scooters


       Shortly after school started, Jenna found some roller skates at a second hand store and Roland bought them for her.  She would never admit that they were tight on her, but I think they were. 

        She did try using them on occasion, but never really got the flair for using them comfortably.  After two months of leaving them outside in the cold, I told her to put them in the car and give them to Anna – not that they would currently fit her four-old cousin - but Anna can grow into them, whereas I believe Jenna has grown out.

         The wind has been howling something fierce.  Yet the last two days have been like a spring/summer transition.  Neighbor kids were riding up and down the street on bicycles and scooters.  How fun it would have been for Jenna if she did still have her skates – or maybe she'd feel embarrassed as she is the tallest of all the children by a long shot and wouldn’t have been able to keep up with Trume on his scooter.  She would have lagged behind with his sister – who hasn’t seemed to master gliding gracefully either.  



        Tank tops, shorts and bare feet in some cases.  Though I told Jenna I wanted socks on her feet when she jumped on the trampoline.  Last month I would make her wear three pair in addition to her jacket.  Yesterday she did not need a jacket.  I don’t recall ever having sent anyone to jump on the trampoline outside during the months of winter.  We’ve had strange weather. Could be the start of a drought.

         Would be nice if the weather would just remain.  Not get any hotter.  Not get any colder.  Perhaps the wind could ease up a bit.  I LOVE how awesome our current strange weather is right now.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Riding the Blazing Furnace



I don’t mind the change in the weather.  I welcome the cool air.  Even if it means I need to bundle up or dress in layers.  The thing I don’t like is having bus drivers blare the heat as though it’s his or her sole responsibility of heating the entire universe.

When I lived with my mom and was working downtown, I would get on the bus and start stripping down.  It was a good 30-40 minute ride.  Just before we got to second south, I’d layer up again.  But the distances I have from West Valley to my destination are so much shorter. It seems senseless to strip down.  At the same time it seems I will suffocate if I don’t remove something.

I sit next to the door as often as I can – though the back door doesn’t always open.  I’m getting familiar with which drivers are able to deal with a minimum amonut of heat and which ones have to have the heat cranked up as though Roland is the driver.  I try to avoid their routes just so I can breathe.


Monday, July 29, 2013

I’m Grateful for Diversity


In addition to celebrating the nations birthday in July, Utah also celebrates its roots with “Pioneer Day” or “the Days of ‘47”   On the 24th of July Salt Lake holds its annual two hour parade in addition to the youth parade that takes place the week prior. 

“The Days of ’47” parade is well attended.  There’s several people who will actually camp overnight in order to get the perfect parade watching spots.  I happen to believe that all of these people are crazy – yet at the same time I admire their enthusiasm.  The parade is truly an awesome moment for them and I’m grateful for the enthusiasm.  I really am.  I’m also grateful that the parade is televised and I am able to watch it in my air conditioned home. 

I am not a parade person – actually I am not a crowd person.  I could handle the parade in Afton, Wyoming just fine.  I don’t think the entire population of their small town matches the tremendous amount of people flooding the downtown streets of Salt Lake on the 24th.  I am actually a lot more comfortable with the peon parades that are less than an hour than with a band, another float, another horse, another . . .

But I’m not opposed to a two – three hour parade.  I just choose not to sit through it.  Especially in the blaring sun.  But that’s me.  That’s MY personality.  My sister-in-law, Sunny may have been one of those who camped out.  She LOVED the parade – probably still does – though I don’t think she gets downtown as often as she did when she was single.  My brother Patrick is less thrilled with the whole parade idea than I am – or at least he used to be.

I’m grateful for the diversity that makes us individuals. 

There is no paid ministry within the LDS Church.  Those who teach lessons or give talks are our peers from the same congregation.  We don’t sit in a meeting listening to the same speaker week after week.  There are a variety of speakers asked to speak on certain topics – often the same topic as the other assigned speakers.  And while Joe may speak with vigor and vibrancy, Eric’s talk may be more subtle – or he may just read with no eye contact whatsoever.  And maybe Eric is the only one who will actually get something out of his talk.  But Eric has reached someone that perhaps Joe cannot.

Veronica may type all the quotes from her lesson to pass out to class members to guarantee participation while Dorothy just stumbles through her lesson and gets nervous about the amount of participation.  Jade may do her lesson completely different from the other two and belt out the lesson without the microphone but have most of the sisters willing to eat her words.

I remember two neighbors who had come to visit my mom once a month.  Jody was by the book: “this is the lesson, this is the outline, and this is the message that God wants us to learn.”  Peggy seemed to “scan” the book.  She would give her one or two line lesson from the title.  Oh, she’d elaborate if more was wanted or needed – but her theory was: “you’ve had this lesson, you’ve given this lesson, and you know this lesson.  Here is a quick reminder”

It’s a good thing really.  Not everybody relates to all people.  Not everybody absorbs the message the first time or the second time.  Perhaps not even the fifth time.  And then there’s those of us who may think, “Yea, yea.  I ‘vet heard this message over a thousand times.  I’ve got it.” But do we really have one’s perspective or “take” on it?  And sometimes there are individuals that will say the words that we’ve already heard, but suddenly it takes on new meaning.  It suddenly makes more sense.  We may experience an “aha” moment – and it’s not because the message itself or even the words are new.  It has been presented in a different light.  A situation was given in which we can identify or appreciate. 

I remember my own mother practicing her lessons over and over again.  There are many times I know she felt inadequate about whatever calling she happened to have.  I know she wasn’t always pleased with her lessons.  She was constantly comparing herself to others who had been in her position.  I don’t think she understood the diversity is needed until after she’d given one lesson in particular

Lily had been inactive for years.  She returned on a day that my mom was the instructor.  Mom kept things simple according to her own understanding.  Lily thanked her for her lesson.  Mom was taken aback.  Her lessons weren’t anywhere near as powerful as when Peggy would present them.  But it was mom’s simpleness and delivery that Lily needed.  Peggy’s flowery words or method of presentation always seemed over Lily’s head.  It’s true that Peggy may have reached more sisters than my mom – but there were some people who actually weren’t comfortable with Peggy’s deliverance.  Diversity is needed in teaching because we are made up of a huge amount of diverse personalities.

Our current bishop is very soft spoken.  He really does put a tremendous amount of thought into his talks and his words are of importance – but I don’t think his delivery always settles well with the entire congregation – especially if he is the last speaker of the meeting.  My husband, on the other hand, can wake up the congregation.  Most people like his enthusiasm and deliverance – but not everybody does.  What one may have gotten out of the bishop’s talk may be missed in my husbands or vice-versa.

And then there are some people who are blessed and talented enough to learn from all talks and lessons.  They don’t fall asleep.  They don’t get bored. They are in tune with the Spirit (I fully admit that often I am not in tune) and then there are those of us that get much more out of the talk or lesson if we are entertained by deliverance (or at least not bored by it)
We all need the opportunity of presenting His message – even if it’s only for ourselves.  Perhaps the individual that I need to reach is myself – and if someone else should make discoveries while I am talking or teaching – great. We need diversity.  And just as with the parade – not every speaker or instructor is going to appeal to me – that doesn’t mean I can’t learn.  I appreciate the diversity.  I really do.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Actually, Location Does Matter – but not Always an Option


I went out to see my mom at the assisted living yesterday.  The last two times I have gone, I’ve taken her out to see Aunt Trudy – who is currently in rehab and in a facility with a name similar to the place where mom is staying, but such radical difference in the two places.

Granted, the facility my aunt is in is not the last place that she will ever call home. It is a rehab center.  But it reminds me of some of the assisted living facilities that Corey and I had looked into but could not afford. I don't know how this rehab bill is going to affect Aunt Trudy – for I know that it will be more pricy than the bills Corey gets for mom.

The center where mom is currently seems understaffed.  And each of the staff members assists with the seating and the feeding and the meds and forms of entertainment.  They start setting up and bringing residents to the table starting at 11:00.  They don’t eat until 12:00.  There is one cook.

At the center where my aunt is (or even Sunrise – the place we would have put mom if money was no option) has staff teams.  I don’t know how many people were in the kitchen.  But there were three people at the table where my aunt had been seated (really fine dining atmosphere by the way – like some posh club or something) and there were three people that served them.  So each resident gets his/her own waiter?

I was asked if I wanted soup.  I was hungry but had brought my own lunch so as not to saddle my aunt’s bill with an extra expense.  I was told there was no charge for the soup.  It was really good soup!  I think they could have charged $5.00 a bowl, it was that delicious.

The residents (temp residents or patients, clients?  What would you call them) have a choice of menu items.  I don’t know how many people are in the kitchen.  I imagine the kitchen is bigger than the entire house where I currently reside (and that is NOT an exaggeration)

The food at mom’s facility? It is okay. Not that I’ve had a lot of it.  Usually there is no place to sit.  They don’t get to choose from menu items.  Eat what is served to them or don’t eat at all.

Aunt Trudy’s bed looks like it is just a single – but her room is huge!  Her bathroom is huge (but it has to facilitate a wheelchair and at least one nurse) I don’t know how often each staff member stops by.  But it’s routine clock work – I don’t guess there’s a single hour when somebody isn’t looking in on her.

Mom’s place – well . . . they have a schedule.  It gets altered a lot.  Things don’t always happen on time.  Sometimes personal items get misplaced (bras in the laundry – all with worn out tags) and sometimes overlooked.

I’m not blaming anyone.  You get what you pay for.  But there’s a lot of love and concern that goes into my mom’s place because they’re so small.  They know not just their residence, but all the family members who come to visit.  I see some smiles and genuine positive emotion with some of those who have worked with my aunt (or at least there in the facility) but I have seen just as many who are “just doing their job” who are there to get a paycheck and be polite – but their priorities don’t always seem to be set on those they serve. 

I could be wrong.  I’ve only been there twice.  Each time I’ve been overwhelmed by the “luxury”.  At mom’s I am underwhelmed for the most part.  Though I do appreciate the devotion of the staff.
  
I had a friend who had done rehab in an assisted living facility or nursing home, rather.  It seemed overcrowded and understaffed and reminded me of a veteran’s ward, actually. I knew of two real people that had been sent there to live for the remainder of their lives – one of whom is younger than I.  She had Huntington’s disease.  And her mom was not in a position to take care of her full time.  Same facility.

But my friend was in good spirits.  It’s certainly not the place she would have chosen for herself, but it was an option through the insurance company – and unlike many that were there, she would be returning to live with her family and would not be there until she died.

Sometimes we find that we just have to settle due to our own lack of control. Because we haven’t been blessed with financial wealth.  Because the economy robbed us of our house and were forced to move to a less expensive area.  Because the government is dipping into your paycheck because they say you owe money even though you were on welfare the last two and a half years.  Because the income you depend on has the name of your deceased spouse on it, it is automatically given to medical and you have no say in it whatsoever.

I love the school Jenna goes to currently.  I have to drive her two miles south each morning and then drive back to pick her up.  She rode the bus in her last four months of kindergarten.  We had moved to a different school boundary – one that caters to those who come from homes with a language barrier or those that are learning challenged or slow.  Jenna wasn’t happy there.  Neither one of us were.

It is such a different situation – entirely – when comparing the two schools.  Teachers at the former school kept everything under lock and key – even while in the classroom.  At her current school, teachers seem to trust students.  They close the doors and turn off the lights and that’s usually good enough for a student not to go in – or if he does, it’s to go through his own desk – never the teachers.

Jenna’s in a portable classroom this year.  I have had to use a pass to return to the main building.  The students at her current school are so polite.  They open doors for adults and stand there until the adult has passed through.  I don’t think that would even cross the minds of those in the other school that she went to.

At the former school, instruction seminars were held for the parents once a month – they would have the opportunity for learning proper hygiene, basic nutrition, things I had learned in junior high.  All of the seminars were done in Spanish and the school would supply English translators for those of us who didn’t speak Spanish (I’d gone to a seminar to meet other parents; I felt like a fish out of water) but the opportunity to mingle felt so limited.  I only went to twice.

At Jenna’s current school, there are very few that don’t speak English.  And there are several bilingual parents, teachers and students that no one should feel out of place.  There probably are a few parents who could use the basics, but no seminars are offered or morning mingles (which I learned was just a name – I did try to associate – but it just didn’t take.  But it helped me understand why Jenna was having such a hard time as she couldn’t seem to communicate either)

I loved the friendly faculty of the former school and didn’t feel threatened by anybody – but there was definitely a different atmosphere from the school Jenna attends today. 

Location.  The former is a boundary thing.  The one today.  Ironically she’s learning Spanish in the dual immersion.  But she has friends there.  She tried but made only one friend at the former – and then that friend moved.

It seems like I heard these words in Sunday morning’s session of conference: “It doesn’t matter where you live; whether it’s a nice neighborhood . . ." somehow I let those words set off my emotions.  There was a fuel burning inside of me that made me explode.  We didn’t choose our neighborhood.  We’re here because we had to settle. But perhaps I took the message out of context.  Perhaps it was my own interpretation made set me off.

 We are still struggling just to make ends meet.  The house across the street must be a section 8 and someone else is helping to fill out the required paperwork in order to get state support (I know they have to have assistance – the woman who resides there isn’t smart enough to do it herself) The police have been called I don’t know how many times because of her undisciplined children.  We certainly had absolutely no say as to whether we wanted them for neighbors or not.

Currently the police department in West Valley is being investigated by the FBI.  Should I be concerned?  I know that values start in the home – I know we can help instill learning in Jenna.  She is happy with her family.  But she shouldn’t be afraid to leave the house because of the idiots across the street.  Location does make a difference.  Sure, attitude does also.  But it’s hard having to be the strong one all the time.  It’s hard being one of 25 who volunteer and show up to see the same ones doing it again and again.  I’m worn out. 

I don’t want to have to settle because my husband’s ex wife is a habitual liar and the government won’t cut us a break.  I’m tired of living from paycheck to paycheck.  I’m tired of having needs that aren’t being fulfilled – forget about the desires.

The facility where mom lives seems to struggle just as my family does.  But they are family.  They are bound.  The facility where Aunt Trudy currently resides may have some caring family members – but I think the closeness that brings people together is lost somehow.  Who really has the greener grass?

We have been blessed with transportation.  And yes, we do have shelter for the time being.  Jenna and I have both been blessed with her current education.  And we’ve been so blessed by Church welfare and friends and family.  I guess there are pros and cons to every situation.