Kids Just Wanna Have Fun

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This morning, Seattle saw a good amount of rain. I was predicting that the rain would cause us to have recess in our classes, but by the time 10:30am rolled around the rain had stopped. With this, the students were scheduled to be outside for recess as usual. Today’s recess was just slightly different than normal in that there was a GIANT puddle of water – “the pool” is what the students called it.

 

Unsurprisingly, the students didn’t hesitate and ran through the pool as fast as they could, as if their lives depended on it. There were about seven students in it at once with the water up to their shins and it took me a good minute to realize that maybe the students shouldn’t be in this pool of water…

 

I was just so entertained by the joy that the students were experiencing with the giant splashes of water going everywhere and the thought of how the students were going to deal with their wet feet, socks, shoes, and pants afterward. I knew I should’ve told the students to stay out of the water right away, but I could just see how much fun they were having and I didn’t want to ruin that!

 

Anyway, a student fell into the water (but safely caught himself!) and that is when I said, “ALRIGHT. TIME TO GET OUT OF THE WATER, KIDDOS!”

 

It’s all fun and games until someone kind of gets hurt?

Hide and Seek

Today at 2nd and 3rd grade recess, a student comes up and says, “let’s play hide and seek!”

At recess, I’m supposed to be supervising students making sure everyone is being safe and respectful. I wasn’t sure if I could simultaneously play a game of hide and seek and fulfill my duty as a responsible adult at recess.

With that being said I responded to the student with, “OKAY, what number do I count to?!” Luckily it was only 10. So I counted.

1..2..3..4..

With the speed I was counting at, I knew she wouldn’t be able to get very far.

8..9..10!!

I opened my eyes and carefully scanned the playground for the little second grader in a black dress and hot pink hijab. Then I stopped and realized wait, I’m playing a game of hide and seek with just one other person. Then I stopped again and realized I was on an important mission: seeking.

It took about 7 seconds after opening my eyes when I spotted her head pop out from the side of the bushes. She immediately retreated back to hiding and I slowly made my way to her secret spot.

BOOO!!

She let out a little scream and then laughed because of how excited I was about finding her. I might have let out a “muahaha!!”

She was a good sport and began counting to 10.

I knew I didn’t have much time to hide, so I did my best with the limited hiding spots. I did what any other adult would have done in this situation.

I hid behind a narrow tether ball pole.

I watched her open her eyes and scan the playground just how I did and her eyes went right past me!

I thought I would be found on the spot, but that wasn’t the case. I was laughing as each second passed because where I was hiding seemed so ridiculous to me.

Finally, she spotted me and sprinted my way! I couldn’t retreat to my hiding spot the way she did because I was so much wider than this pole, so I jumped out and we were both laughing at how silly my hiding spot was.

Sometimes you seek out the joy.

Other times the joy seeks you out.

The Team

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Here’s the people I work with every single school day. A unique group of individuals, indeed. They each possess some valuable strengths and I’m so lucky to be working with them. Although I am the “mentor” or “coach” this year, I know there is so much to learn from this group right here. I’m excited to see what we experience individually and collectively as a group this year.

PITW #174

SEEK BALANCE IN LIFE.

Living a life of commitment and service can be very hard. Quite literally, we take on the problems of the world. In order to be effective and to set a good example to others, we should seek to maintain balance in our lives. This doesn’t mean we don’t or can’t often work long hours or weekends, especially during heavy seasons in the campaign of idealism. But it does mean that you should not neglect your friends, family, relationships, health, or other personal areas of life. We should all also take time to relax, rejuvenate, and recapture our perspective and energy.

“PITW”s are ideas that are supposed to help guide City Year’s service and are supposed to serve as a reference for ways to implement the mission in our daily work.

This PITW is totally relevant to me at this moment because I feel like I’ve been taking the right steps in caring for the different components of my life that contribute to my overall well-being. Am I 100% balanced though? Not quite. Not yet!

In my relationships with family and friends I’ve made a list of people I want and need to prioritize. With this list I’ve developed a scheduled plan to make sure I am maintaining and nurturing our relationship by keeping in communication and appreciating each of them in different ways. This looks like writing letters, sending texts, making phone calls, spending quality time, and asking what they’ve been learning recently in their own lives. This ensures that I am prioritizing people who have prioritized me and who have injected joy, positivity, energy, and inspiration in my life. This means focusing on those who add to my life and being okay with choosing not to focus on those who don’t add to my life.

I’ve also been on it with my health. I get a good amount of sleep, take my vitamins, eat well (for the MOST part), and feel good about my physical activity. I’ve even recently visited the doctor for the first time since I’ve moved to Seattle!

I journal every Monday, reflecting on what’s going on in my life and what thoughts are filling up my mind. This has been important to me because I want to be able to freely express how I am feeling and be able to express those feelings with words.

In terms of how I spend my time with myself, I’m still working on it. Lately I’ve been dreaming about work. I hate it. They aren’t dreams specific to the school, students, or team I work with, but just generally about working and being stressed in a school environment. I can definitely attribute these dreams to being so focused on work lately. It’s a good and bad thing. I think I’ve been performing well with my work, but I also think I’m not making enough time to do what I enjoy on my own time. My own time has usually become “work time.” I’ll send emails, work on schedules, and worry about upcoming deadlines for work – on the weekends! I’d like to spend more alone time  with reading, practicing calligraphy, creating goals for the future, learning about random things, and cooking new recipes!

I think this blog is super important to me because it’s giving me an opportunity to express how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking throughout my second service year. I learned a lot from last year and wish I would’ve continued my blogging. This year has already presented a small dose of the challenges I’ll experience this year, so I want to be able to synthesize what I’m experiencing and share it!

Better Late Than Never

Around this time last year I posted my last blog post on here. I didn’t know it would be my last, but posting on this blog definitely fell down on my list of priorities. I want to say it’s because the year got really tough around this time last year with work.

BUT this post isn’t about how I’m like any other human and don’t follow through 100% on things.

This post is about how I am determined to begin again and document my experience as a City Year Team Leader in Seattle. My service as a Team Leader began in July of 2016 and will be ending in June of 2017!

Within this blog, I will be posting things from what joys are brought to me by the students I work with, what inspires me and keeps me going in my work,  what values I am focusing on developing throughout the year, to what I’m thinking about doing AFTER City Year!

Stay tuned!

-Nhoell