Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 92: "I may be black, but my whole world is gray."

During my daily Starbucks today, I took a crack at writing a letter to Laurita in my pathetic excuse for Spanish (with some French and Portuguese randomly thrown in). I then continued my exploration of urbanization in Scientific American, reading David Biello's piece "How Green Is My City." To summarize, this article says that new cities built with an (environmentally speaking) quasi-Utopian vision are great and all, but retrofitting existing cities is where it's at.

This morning, I attended a clinical training at Progressive Life Center (PLC). The topic was Cultural Competency for providers of social services. I was surprised when the facilitator started the session with a prayer (I didn't know PLC was spiritually affiliated) but I really appreciated the text:

At a time when the home with family and friends should become the center of our attention and efforts, let us not forget, o God, the homeless and the friendless.

Make us strong to fulfill our purpose, and to go forward in spite of the doubts of others, or our own distrust in ourselves. 

Let the blessings we enjoy be available to all our people, through our own deeds and kindliness.

Amen.

The phrase in italics above especially caught my attention as interesting, and was the reason I asked for a copy of the prayer. (I was amused when the facilitator accidentally gave me the words in Spanish, and appreciative when she let me keep the Spanish version even after she realized her "mistake.")

The presentation itself was a great introduction into approaching clients whose worldview differs from one's own, as is most often the case. Today, I also received my certificate from the Ethics Training I attended at PLC on Day 50.


After the training, I called a cab to take me back to the Sasha Bruce office -- I did not know a taxi wouldn't be dispatched for an hour. While waiting, I wrote to SBY Executive Director Deborah Shore to request that she address the World Bank volunteers whom I have invited to participate in a day of community service at Sasha Bruce. Debbie responded right away, and she will be there! I am so excited for the event on December 14th. I also wrote a quick post about a class project on which my Gyaan Ghar students have been hard at work!

When my coach finally did arrive and I made it to the office, I grabbed a soy hot chocolate (such a strange flavor) from Happy Cupcake before saying "hi" to Jess and heading to a meeting about the Annual Report. Sasha Bruce Development Director Jim Beck invited me to this because of my interest in helping with this annual SBY publication. I helped the team delegate final tasks and make a set of deadlines as we approach the end of this process.

Jim has the prettiest office!

After this meeting, I took the metro to Vienna, hoping to help Mr. Williams at middle school Certamen practice. My driver, Richard, had heard of the school because he "drive[s] a Flint Hill teacher to school many days of the week." When I asked him which teacher, the response was none other than Adam Williams himself! A huge coincidence, if there ever was one.

Unfortunately, I learned when I arrived at school that Mr. Williams was not feeling well and had gone home sick. Priya and I came home on the bus with Dee Dee, and I fell over for a nap shortly after she and I made a sample recording of Adele's "Someone Like You."

I now plan to finish studying for my driving permit test tomorrow -- wish me luck!!

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College shout-outs: Big congrats to Grace Kim and Ryan Ackerman on their acceptances to Syracuse and Tulane respectively!

Since I am off Facebook, please write to me at Ratna113@gmail.com to give me college news -- I am so excited for my seniors.

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