Friday, July 29, 2011

Drama Drama Drama

My two best friends are also my roommates. We've all been best friends since we were twelve, which astoundingly was fourteen years ago now. I don't have any sisters, but these two friends we'll call them Amanda and Lindsay have been sisters in my life. We've known each other through first loves, first marriages (for one of us), through middle school, through high school, through parents splitting up, through college, through starting careers.

Through all of this we've had very little drama. I remember once when I was sixteen and had my first serious boyfriend Amanda was mad at me for about a month because she felt like I was always ditching her. Her dad locked us in a room at church and said, "you two, work this out, because you are friends for life." He was right and we did work it out.

Life changes and people grow up and get married and move on. I have been really happy for Amands who has recently fallen in love (I should remind her how I'm handling this much better than she did my serious boyfriend I had at 16). I know she really wants all of this to happen. So much so, that I think I haven't noticed that something else is going on with her. I just have been assuming that she is really in love and happy, but tonight I got a wakeup call that something else is going on.

Our lease is up on October 1st, so we have almost exactly two months to sign a new lease or to move out. We've been holding off on a decision because Lindsay, who recently got divorced and moved into the office, was looking for a job in town that couldn't start until she graduated nursing school next month. Well, she found a job, so we were all planning to meet to talk about what we want to do with the October lease.

Tonight I asked Amanda as she was on her way out the door to work what time we were going to meet tomorrow. "I don't the time," she said, "but I have no new information."

"Amanda, in two months we either have to move out of here or we have to sign a new lease. I am fine with whatever we want to do, but I don't really want to have 31 days to plan financially, find a place, and time to move. Plus, Lindsay is planning to stay and she needs to know what her options are."

Then, she was obviously upset and said she's not officially engaged and she didn't know when she was starting graduate school. The thing is that she's not planning to get married until May no matter what, and she says she will not consider moving in with her fiance before they're married. She wants to move out on her own to see if she can make it with no roommates and no boy before she is married. All that is fine, but she was saying that she didn't know if she wanted to move out at all now because of school and not being engaged. She was getting so upset as she was telling me this.

"Amanda, I am not trying to tell you what to do. You should do what you want to do, but not as your roommate, but as your friend, I don't see your logic. I understand you are stressed that things are up in the air, but you can stay here until you get married or if you don't you can stay as long as you want. I just don't see why you're putting all this added pressure on yourself. Why don't you just stay here until you get married, and I'll find a new roommate or we'll figure out what to do with the last four months of our lease?"

Well, then she says nothing. Nothing. I have never had a conversation in my life with Amanda like this. Seriously, it was still 20 minutes until she left and neither of us said a word. I got the idea that I better drop this conversation, but not before I realized there was a lot more going on than I thought. I don't really understand why she just wouldn't tell me. Whatever it is I wouldn't judge her and I would help her.

The thing is that with family sometimes you don't want your family to know about whatever mess you're in because you know that they will know that you were raised better than whatever your choices that got you into the mess were. I think that something like that is going on with her. What, I'm not sure, but I am far more concerned with that than the eminent surprise move that may be happening for some or all of us in a couple of months.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

May the Force Be with You

Yeah, just ignore my nerdy Star Wars pun in the title, that's just how I'm going to roll tonight! The thing is that there is just some kind of switch (maybe labelled the Take-Me-Seriously-Switch) that has been flipped inside me. I just feel confident and in control of my life. I've been this way for a while now, but I am just noticing that it is a change.

The other day I was getting a little annoyed as I was dealing with the Health Savings Account people. They had just done a bunch of things that were generally incompetent and were trying to give me a hard time. Before long, I realized that the woman on the other end of the line was going to send me down another rabbit trail. A year ago, I probably would have viewed it as something beyond my control, but instead I started directing her about how to help me. Once I told her what I expected and how she could do it, she was actually very helpful and did exactly as I asked.

I was working with Mr. Bull the other day on our data committee stuff, and suddenly I saw how to make things more efficient. A year ago, I would have focused on the vast amount I don't know about our data system and what we need the data for, but I just naturally saw something to improve and said, "I think we should do X." It turned out to be quite a helpful idea.

Yesterday as I was talking to Prelawguy, I was able to clearly communicate my feelings. "I love being your friend," I told him, "I don't want to hurt you. I am glad we're able to be friends, but I would understand if you changed your mind." A year ago, I was just not emotionally mature enough to be that clear in an emotionally charged situation.

I am such a nerd that I work on building credit, not to use but just to keep it in good standing. It seemed like my bank wasn't increasing my credit limit even though the other company I have was and I was getting offers in the mail. A year ago I might have ignored that situation, but something made me pick up the phone about a week ago and tell the bank "Make me a better offer or I will be closing my account right now and going to your competitor." It worked. I got a new credit line with rewards, really low APR, and a significantly higher limit. They offered it to me on the phone, and I got it in the mail today.

Sometimes I think that I struggle to actually grow up and be a functional adult. Lately, though, I'm a force to be reckoned with. I just suddenly seem to be much better at handling every area of my life than I ever have been.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Here We Go Again

So, I went on my first date from eharmony today. He was a nice guy, a computer programmer, and a Texan (born in the same small town I was--randomly). He was decidedly Christian, but open minded. That is exactly what I want. He really liked me, I could just tell, but also he is already trying to nail down another date. I don't know how I feel yet. It wasn't instant attraction, but it doesn't have to be. Something has to grow though. Also, I think he is a bit old for me (10 years my senior). Too much? Maybe. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am kind of a young twenty six.

Then, in early evening, guess who called to tell me that he still has feelings for me? Prelawguy. Then, I had to tell him that I still don't have feelings for him. This time I think I really broke his heart. I do have more feelings for him than I did a year ago, but is he waiting for me? I'm not sure that he should because I am not sure I will ever have enough feelings for him.

I have secret room dreams almost constantly right now. I have a secret world above my house that lives in my subconscious. I am constantly exploring it even though it is haunted and the ghosts will kill you. The internet says that this dream means I am discovering new things about myself, and that is kind of true.

I have been notoriously unopen to dating. Remember when I couldn't handle Trust me, too, I've never been able to handle it. Suddenly, though, I think that I can handle it.

Yet, there's this other thing. My heart is strangely attatched to someone out-of-reach. It's just one of those things that I didn't know I wanted until I did. Yet, I don't really do anything about it. I mean, I respect that Prelawguy has declared his heart to me several times even though I've rejected him multiple times. It is kind of gutsy and I have to admit that I wouldn't be that gutsy.

I feel like on the one hand, I am ready to meet someone and actually know what I am looking for. Then again, maybe I am psychologically sabotaging myself. Maybe I just want what is out of reach precisely because it is out-of-reach. I mean, why didn't I ever feel that way when it was within reach?

Here are these three scenarios playing out in my heart and my head and my life all in one day and it leaves me feeling sad. First, I meet a new guy who is interesting and obviously and interested in me (we seem compatible) and he is right here. Then, Prelaw guy stands there with his heart in his hands. My friendship with him has grown and it hurts me to hurt him, but I know the difference in friendship and love and my feelings for him are friendship. Then, cruelly, my heart seems to be playing tricks on me.

Are none of these guys right, and that is why it is so hard? Or is the problem me? Maybe I don't really want what I think I want.

There are bound to be many ghosts in the secret rooms tonight. Maybe I am taking a big step forward, though, in realizing that I don't get me. I always thought the problem was men, but maybe it is me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 Good Reasons Why I Should Cheat (and 1 Very Good Reason that I Won't)

10.) I should cheat because it would be beneficial to my career.
Test scores matter. There's not a lot of ways to climb the ladder as a teacher, but to whatever you look toward in the education world right now, there is no question that test scores are the ticket.
9.) I should cheat so my school district doesn't face penalties.
My school district is a high performing district without cheating (to my knowledge), but the dirty little secret most people don't know about NCLB is that without 100% proficiency every public school district in the country will face penalties in the next few years. Actually, my school district is already facing some (despite the fact that almost every school is rated excelling, the highest possible rating). Somehow we're technically a failing district with only highly performing or excelling schools--yeah, I don't get it either. The trouble we faced is that our test scores were initially high. We had to improve an already stellar record at prescribed incriments pressing on toward the 100% goal. I believe we started with a proficiency rate over 80%. Meaning, we should almost be at 100% by this point. If we had started at 40% our goal might be a more reasonable 70% at this point. In any case, we're facing penalties and barring a miracle (or wide scale cheating) we will face more.
8.) I should cheat so the kids see an A+ over their school every morning.
It's all about the kids, right? Next year, in this state all schools will be given a letter grade instead of a label. That letter grade will be posted in giant letters over the school. I get it that this is aimed to punish staff and not students, but what message do you suppose we are sending to the students walking into the "F" schools every day? My school is not really going to get an "F", but I do see why cheating to avoid that might be smart.
7.) I should cheat to keep my job.
Okay, technically not yet, but in two years 50-80% of my evaluation will be based entirely on test scores. Sometimes third graders don't understand the gravity of the test for them, much less me. So yeah, with lay offs every year, a good evaluation seems like a strong incentive to cheat.
6.) I should cheat to even the playing field.
Our state Math test is all reading. For a third grader with a reading disablity this makes them appear much worse at Math then they are. For a third grader, with limited English ability this makes them appear less than they are. Maybe I should just even it out and help them out.
5.)I should cheat so I don't have to teach to the test.
Let's be honest, in third grade we have to do a lot of test prep. Just the idea of a bubble sheet is foreign to them. My first year teaching third grade, I saw a little boy drawing a picture on his bubble sheet in an area that said, "do not write here." "What are you doing," I said exasperated, "It says, 'Do Not Write Here'!"
"I know," he responded, "but I'm not writing, I'm drawing!"
My point is that these kids don't know how to test so thoroughly and I have to spend a lot of time teaching them how. In some sick way, I might actually be able to teach more if I was going to cheat my way through testing.
4.) I should cheat to get a little more money.
Let's face it, being a teacher does not make you rich. Cheating at being a teacher would not make you rich either, but part of our pay is technically linked to test scores, so especially if they started falling, I would have a small financial incentive to cheat.
3.) I should cheat to be seen as a good teacher.
It seems like a pretty strong definition of "good" teacher is having good test scores. Cheating would lead to good test scores.
2.) I should cheat to take the pressure off.
I am not seriously going to cheat, but this would be the strongest incentive. I, like most teachers I know, was a very strong student. I got top marks on all tests. It's a lot harder to get top marks when you're not the one testing. I've never had testing anxiety and I have it now when I give my students tests. Test anxiety is the number one reason I've seen students cheat, and I believe it is probably why teachers do as well.
1.) I should cheat because I can.
This is kind of a non-reason, but I think it would be easy to cheat. There are not a lot of preventative measures in place around here. We have to turn in tests on time, but as far as I know, scores aren't being monitored or audited for suspicious trends. It would theory be easy to catch cheaters, but there is not much being done to attempt it.

I wouldn't cheat because it is wrong. However fed up I get with education, I will, personally, not cheat because I think allowing me to be a teacher is a sacred trust and I won't break that.

In looking at what is going on in Atlanta, and has gone on in Chicago and other places, I realize that I probably know or have known teachers who cheat. If they do cheat, and it is proven, then they broke the trust described above and should be fired--just like students who cheat should be punished. However, measures should be put in place to outweigh some of the incentives above. I don't think this cheating problem can be solved reactively. We need to be proactive. It also makes me wonder how honest our honest discussions on accountability measures really are. If some of the examples they hold up for us have cheating involved, are the things suggested really working?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Cast of Characters

You know, if any of these dates actually do work out, and I decide to tell them about my secret blog perhaps my nicknames could become a problem, but I need some way to describe them all anonymously. Anyways, eharmony, so far is very, very different from I feel like, for me, it is better because I need a little more guidance in my dating life. Last time, I felt like I had dating ADD and I couldn't even figure out who I had real potential with because there were so many of them. I think I am more likely to have success this time. Maybe, too, it is because I have finally figured out what I want.

For a long time, I was so unsure of the path I wanted my own life to take; and that made it really difficult to know who I would want on that path with me. I went to such a restrictive, religious college. I kind of wanted to get away from all the rules and judgments. Yet, my faith has been and always will be real. I wasn't sure how to reconcile what I don't believe with what I do. Finally, I feel comfortable and confident. I know that I want to take life's path with someone who believes, is impacted by that belief, but isn't judgmental or sanctimonious. I want a relationship that is not based on traditional gender roles. I want to laugh a lot and not take life too seriously.

This time, I am looking for people who fit where I want to go. The first guy "communicating" with me (I am still trying to figure out when you actually go on a date with this site) is a pastor. For now, I am just going to call him PastorGuy. He is good looking and seems to have a good sense of humor. Obviously he has a lot of faith, but I don't if I want to date a pastor. Finally, I feel like I live in the normal world and pastors are always at church in a way. So, I am not sure about him. He's 28--I think, so close to my age.

The next guy is a doctor in emergency medicine. He likes to go adventuring. He's fairly religious. He is 30 years old and good looking (he does look a lot younger than 30, but I look a lot younger than 26). He seems cool and I think it is cool that he is so successful. Anyway, for now his nickname is M.D.

There's more, but actually I am mixing them up in my mind right now. It's hard when you haven't met them yet. Anyway, I will update soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Things Might Get More Interesting on This Blog Again

As you know, if you've read my blog for a while, this blog is primarily about my work and all the craziness that goes along with it; but occasionally it also becomes about my dating life. Last year, I tried Match.Com, but I couldn't handle it. I was totally freaked out at the magnitude of it, and quit after a month or something. Since then, I haven't really been dating.

Last night, I was at my cousin's house; and his wife is the sister of one of my friends from high school; so my high school friend was there. Now, he actually brought a girlfriend, which surprised me because my friend, we'll call him backwardshatguy, never has girlfriends. The thing was that we all really liked his girl friend. He met her on eharmony. So, my cousins wife was telling me all of this, and it seems like maybe I would like eharmony much better than Match.Com. I mean, it actually checks for compatibility.

So, I signed up for a few months anyway. So far, I actually like it because the guys on there seem like much more of who I am looking for. We'll see how it pans out, but of course I'll write all about it (the good, the bad, and the ugly)--you know how I am.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Expertology, Reformenzies, and Other Words I am Going to Make Up as I Go

Prologuette (because it's short and girly--just like me):
As the calendar creeps onward, and another school year approaches, I find that THE TASK AHEAD is still monumental. THE TASK is different than it was when I first started this job FIVE YEARS AGO (certainly I can't believe it's been that long now), but it is still challenging and at times overwhelming. This is post is going to explore what's made me better than I was five years ago and the things that still hold me back in a lighthearted tone (yes, you should read that as it will be a silly rant that packs a punch with an air of truth).

This blog has been about my journey as a young teacher (some would argue that I am now on the brink of not being young)(to those who would argue that I say, "please don't talk about that. I know and I am not taking that exceptionally well at the moment.") and my journey as a new teacher (statistically speaking about the general level of experience in the field I'm no longer new). This blog is just one case study and my experience is one perspective, but I know what I think now about some things that I was not-so-long-ago too inexperienced or maybe young to offer any valuable insight into.

The Narrative of My Glossary of Made Up Terms (yeah, I think that's an oxymoron):
To start with, I am going to offer some definitions for words I recently made up. Expertology is the study of how expertise is developed in a given field (let's say education in this case) (did you see that coming?). Reformenzies is my name for all the clouds of educational reform movements in American education brought to you by politicians at every level and your occasional philanthropist with the strange phenomenon of time on his hands.

Next, I want to just get out in the open what I sometimes dance around. I dance around this opinion particularly in the company of non-edheads (that's a word I just made up for people who do not live in education world) because, frankly, it's polite practice to pretend like dealing with your kids is always my pleasure. So, I refrain from mentioning my true opinions on the amount of blame teachers get for problems in education. Those two things aren't directly related, but the line is somewhat implied. Tonight, though, I will go no holds barred. Edhead or not, I will tell you what I really think, and it's not even Happy Hour!

My Comments on the Prevailing Views on Education (at least, based on my experience which is admittedly a lot of watching fox news and hanging out with friends/family in a uniquely conservative state):

A lot of people are really worried about hunting down the "bad teachers" and ousting them--quite possibly with pitchforks and everything. It's what I call the Sheep Go to Heaven; Goats Go to Hell philosophy of education. If we can just find all the goats and send them straight to Hell, then of course we would enter into the Golden Age of Education. Unfortunately, many Teacher prep programs are nothing but Goat factories, and if that wasn't enough, there are all these unions that care about goat's rights far more than education or children. Let me be clear, I think this argument is all about finding a scape goat. There are problems with public education (we all know that), but they reflect greater problems in our culture. Of course, there are some goats working in public education; but I predict that even if Judgement Day came tomorrow and we successfully rooted out any goats and replaced them with sheep (an excellent metaphor for good teachers in the eyes of reformenziers) we would not make a significant dent in the problems faced in American Public Schools. I loved Freakonomics (one of the books on my summer books) which courageously noted the strongest correlation (not necessarily causation) in school success was home environment.

Beyond my feelings on the home's strong impact on learning, I don't think that goat teachers are as permanently fixed as we say. I am just going to come out of the bad teacher closet and admit that I was probably a bad teacher my first couple of years. Not because I was Cameron Diaz and looking for a man to get me out of the classroom or something. It was because the amount of data coming into your head as a new teacher in this day and age is unfathomable unless you've been there. Standing in front of a classroom looks simple enough, but to own that class and successfully teach it I can't even begin to describe how that works. I'll talk about that more when I talk about expertology, but suffice it to say, that it takes time and experience to learn how to teach well.

The problem with the reformenzies that either try to save education by rooting out goats or by offering so much professional development to all teachers is that you can't teach expertise. When I was a new teacher, I got so many tips of classroom management but it was only marginally helpful. Now, even as a teacher, who makes a living of of explaining and training, I don't think I can explain how to manage a classroom. I can do it, and if you put an inexperienced person in front of the same group then you will think it is a different group, but I can't explain it. That is the nature of expertise. Recently I've been reading Moonwalking with Einstein which thoroughly discusses the expertise of chicken sexers who cannot explain how they know, but just know. The expertise of teachers is currently harmed in two ways: 1, teachers aren't retained long enough to develop this in many cases;
2, it's hard to find enough consistency in teaching to develop well rounded expertise. In my four years, I've taught two grade levels, the Math curriculum has been changed three times, the reading curriculum has changed twice, and I have no idea how many different programs I've been asked to use to teach the same things.

My Reformenzy Manifesto or What I Would Do If I Had Majored in Philanthropy Instead of Education which Would, in Defiance of Logic, Still Be More Profitable:

My Reformenzy would focus on teacher retention and the nourishment of expertise. Attrition for teachers is at its worst in the first three years. I would have teacher apprenticeship as opposed to student teaching and it would be a paid three year position. Those teachers would be on a low pay grade with no increase for three years. Master teachers would be paid more and would be the ones accountable. (Too expensive, you say. Hey! I'm a philanthropist now and can pay for what I want).

To nourish expertise, I think you've got to make the job manageable enough that you can focus on the important stuff. Now coming into my fifth year, it is all the junk that eats my time that I dread. If I was going to lead a reformenzy, it would unburden teachers so they could use their expertise for the majority of the hours they work at the school. I would bring back teacher's aids.

The second thing I would do, is push for consistency. Our slogan would be, "Nothing new for at least two!" I would push to keep curriculums the same, to minimize grade and subject switching, and to keep programs consistently in place.

The third thing I would do is keep strenuous measurements and reports of success in place. Yes, of course, I would keep standardized tests in place, but I would let experts deal with them. I think administrators should use that data to help teachers who need help and even to weed out goats. BUT I think it can't be done with a blanket rule. Data is our friend, and as a teacher I love it, but data isn't our God. We might as well make computers principals and even superintendents if we're going to be told exactly how to use and interpret data. I'm sure that corruption could happen and not all administrators would be good, but let's see corruption is already happening (how many cheating scandals are currently going on?).

My Comments on My Comments (Is Anyone Really Still Reading This?):

Wow, this is what happens when I take a little break from writing/ranting about education. I get a little, teensy bit long-winded. My family and friends and likely colleagues should thank me for writing this, so they don't have to be subjected to the oral version.


Five years ago, I began my professional journey as an educator. I worked so hard, and people told me it gets easier. They were right, it does, and it did; but I should have paid better attention to the fact that they didn't say it would get easy.

As I sit here, I realize that I have all these thoughts, now, on what might be done, but I'm not sure I want to be the one to do it. I'll leave the details out of this, but I've been looking at a lot of alternative career paths recently. Maybe I'll jump ship and maybe not, but a part of me feels that I owe my time as a sheep after making it through my goat years, and that maybe I should one day be a shepherd and put my money where my mouth is.

For now, I have another year here to do my best with what I have, which is a lot more than I had five years ago.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Day

Okay, now if you're not a teacher you'll probably hate me for this, but in the summer I typically roll out of bed at about nine o'clock, head to the coffee shop across the street with whatever I am currently reading, drink coffee and read for a couple of hours-ish. Currently I am reading Moonwalking with Einstein (it is so good, but I am going to do a complete post on all my summer reading another time).

Today, I was carrying this book which is thick (only because it has not yet come out in paperback) and I decided, for some reason, to get hot coffee (even though the temps have already climbed to 115 or more). So, I got my cup of coffee, but there was no seats inside the shop and outside is hotter than hell, so I decided to bring everything home. Well, I opened my car door and tried to scramble in with all my stuff. Well, in the scramble, I dropped the coffee cup, spilling hot coffee all over my chest--which hurt (the burn is fortunately not any worse than a sunburn). Anyway, being who I am, I was more worried about getting coffee on the interior of my car than burning myself (which is ironic since my front bumper is shot right now anyway). Of course, I didn't get any napkins, so I'm like "what now." I don't particularly want to go back in the coffee shop with coffee all over me. I look around and I don't really see anyone directly around me (which is when I had a brilliant idea). I decided I would take off my shirt, use it to clean the coffee overflow up, and drive home to get a new one. Good idea, right...?

Wrong, but I proceeded with my plan anyway. Well, as soon as I started mopping up the coffee, I see some gross delivery guy is sitting at the outside tables staring directly into my car. Awesome. I guess my day was bad with the spilling coffee on myself and embarrassing myself, but his was good witnessing some random girl stripping in the parking lot.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Song for Me

A few nights ago I was watching the interview of Jaycee Dugard (apparently along with most of America). Her attitude is a lesson for us all. Every moment in life there is something to be grateful for.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Patience Is a Virtue... I Am Fast Giving Up...

Maybe God is really testing my resolve to be a better Christian. Maybe the fates are playing tricks on me. Whatever the problem is, I am having a bit of trouble being patient and kind and all that.

Yesterday my little brother backed my mom's car into my car. The damage was pretty minimal--just my front bumper. I wasn't happy, but I took a deep breath and consoled myself with the fact that insurance would cover it.

Well, today I find out that my mom forgot to pay her insurance bill a couple of months back and her insurance wouldn't cover it. So, that leaves me with two choices: insist that my family pay money they don't have or take the hit to my insurance rates and pay my 250$ deductible.

Its not like they did anything malicious, but this insurance thing is a constant battle between the way my mom runs her life and the way I run mine. I am all about checklists and planning and thinking ahead. Every 6 months my insurance bill comes to her house and during the month period I ask her for it every time I see her because once she forgot to give it to me and I got a late fee. I am so careful about things, and it didn't work out at all!

I was always the only one in my immediate family who pays attention to bills and deadlines and preemptive measures. Most of the time we can all be at peace with our different lifestyles, but then every once in a while our philosophies of life smash into each other. This time literally.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Non-Negotiables Revisited

First, I saw "Bad Teacher" today. So funny. Also, I did get up and go to church. So far I am following my resolution!

Moving on to my revolution about being a better Christian than I have been recently, I figured out something about love.

Interestingly enough love is the most popular topic on this blog. This ironic because I am really not good at love. I am actually completely mystified about those girls who always seem to find a relationship. That's just not been my experience, but I digress.

Remember when I was talking about (read as scoffing at) the non-negotiables. I changed my mind. I am feeling suddenly secure in who I am and who I want to be, and it makes me more clear on what I want. I am open to who I meet, but there are some things that are non-negotiables. I need a man who can take sarcastic humor and keep up with my wit, I need someone who loves God, I need someone who is a thinker, and someone who can tolerate my workaholic tendencies. That's not such a long list is it? It's just that now when I think about finding someone, I think about marraige which I haven't always and I want someone to walk through life with who has those things. I realized that maybe I do want to meet a nice boy at church! Hmmmm, I can't believe I am being so forthcoming about that.

It's just that for a long time I've been sitting in the middle of who my family thinks I should find and who my friends think I should find. I think my family is right.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Maybe your twenties are supposed to be about figuring things out. I did figure out something about myself this week. I've been writing on here about something I've been calling my struggle with faith.

I found faith young. I defined my faith with theology in college. Since college, I've had to learn to live it. Life is a redemptive process, and for me the "live it" phase has been hardest.

The thing that I am figuring out is that I am having more of a hard step than a struggle. Being with my family this week was cool because everyone has loosened up without losing their faith.

Most of us =), were able to sit and have a drink together. It was normal and natural. We also just enjoyed sarcastic humor and company. Lately I've been worried that these things are vices, but somewhere deep down I know that they're not.

I got home today and I realized that for the first time in a long time I want to get up and go to church tomorrow and I want to pray. It also got me to thinking about some of my behavior recently.

I've kind of been floating around without much of an anchor. I don't feel bad about going out and drinking with my friends a lot, but I haven't been temperate at all. I think that drinking is okay, but a partying lifestyle isn't. I realized that I do need to be more temperate. I have been thinking that it doesn't really matter if I drink too much with some friends as long as I am responsible and don't drive. I still don't think that accidentally drinking too much is a sin--it's just that if you do it all the time it does leave you open to poor choices. Life isn't about partying and I do believe in sin. Honestly, earlier this summer I was drinking and I was about to do something that no matter how liberal you are you would realize it's a sin. The only reason that I didn't do it was circumstantial. I didn't even think about it being very wrong until now because I didn't actually go through with it.

As I was saying, in my twenties, I am thinking a lot about who I want to be because I could still be a lot of different ways. I hear God talking to me about who I should be and it is the most clarity I've had in a good while.