Saturday, May 31, 2008

When the dog bites... when the bee stings...

While the last two weeks have been very challenging, there have been some wonderful things as well. And so I am happy to report on these happy things:

1) Michael and Tricia Swalm -- along with their two beautiful girls -- came to visit their grandparents, so I got to spend an evening with them. So wonderful. We reminisced about Bethel and choir and Greek; discussed being a pastor, being married, being single; and we ate lots of El Porton chips and salsa. Good times. I'm hoping to go see them this fall as their third little one should arrive in October.

2) Bennett Matthew turned five last weekend, and the entire Wood clan (who also happen to be my closest high-school-time friends from camp) came for the festivities. The kids just get cuter and Auntie Marah gets to read and play and paint toes and all manner of lovely things.

3) Davis High School posted an English position, and I applied the very next day. While I haven't received a call for an interview yet, I'm simply glad that I didn't have to wait until July to find out whether or not a job would even be available at Davis. So I'll keep you all posted on how that goes.

4) I designed and facilitated a Mid-level leadership conference. So it was me and 150 middle school ASB kids. I was wigging out (as usual) but it went very well. Hurray!!

5) And I've got nine days of school left. Fabulous. I haven't found a summer job yet, but I'm not overly concerned. My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory. That's a good promise, right there.

lots of love -- marah jean

The Shadow of Death

Don't be overly alarmed by the subject... I and my immediate family are alive and well. But in the past ten days, I and many of my good friends have been plunged into unexpected grief and bewilderment. Our friend Michael Arreola decided last Tuesday to end his own life. He is one of the people who is deeply woven into the fabric that is Wapato -- he is from an extensive family, married into a prominent family, and is thus in-lawed to another extensive family. More specifically, his sister-in-law is Johnny Gomez's wife, and Johnny is my brother's closest childhood friend.

The memorial service was last Saturday, and it was such a dichotomous and emotionally draining affair. There was lots of laughter as Mike was a regular card, but it was other-wordly to be laughing and to be happy to see people I haven't seen in years only to be hit by a wave of shock and soul-wrenching ache to think of why we had all gathered -- all 1500 of us... the church was PACKED.

The hardest thing for me in this has been walking beside people who were much closer to him... my students especially. I am very thankful for my small group who has been praying for me and for his widow, whom I saw yesterday and got to chat with a bit.

Then I got a call yesterday from Lisa Jean, who told me that our friend Kyle, who has been battling brain cancer for several years, is in his last days and so I should give his wife a call so that I can go out to their house (he's been on hospice) to say goodbye. My gut reaction is to flee... to Cold Stone. But that won't actually help.

So while I was hoping for a better weekend this week, it seems that this one will have its own set of emotional challenges.

My sincerest thanks to those of you who've encouraged and prayed for me these past weeks.

love -- marah jean

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hiccups in the Final Round

Well, I've been reticent about one HUGE thing that has been going on these past two months because, well, it's embarrassing. But today, it took on a grand irony that is just too funny, so I must share.

In mid-March, I was in the process of applying for jobs at the local community college and trying to figure out how much I will get paid for the long-term sub jobs that I was (and am) doing in Wapato. I hadn't heard back from the district office, so I called over there to check on things. I was told that my recently arrived transcript from Gonzaga did not have the "Degree Completed" dealy. I figured that was a mistake at the university, so I called to get things straightened out.

When I spoke with a person, they transfered me to "Degree Evaluation." Hmmmm.... ominous. And it turned out that I was NOT done with my degree in December as I thought I was. No, apparently one needs more than a commencement program and gifts from friends to actually graduate. I needed one more elective. When I was researching the program at GU, it was 33 credits. When I enrolled that fall, it had increased to 36, but I never got the memo. And apparently I was sent a letter informing me of this delinquency in January, but again, I didn't get the memo.

So, thankfully, the folks over there quickly got me enrolled in Transformative Leadership, which had started the previous week. I got all my books and got to work one more time. I even plotted out the various due dates for all the papers and have been quite excited these last few days as MY LAST PAPER is due on Tuesday. I was glad to have caught this because normally the papers have been due on Saturday.

Last night, I was quite impressed with myself as I wrote most of this paper before heading over to Rachel's for dinner. But this morning, as I was checking out the website, I caught an odd thing: the description for the last paper that is due on Tuesday was not about the same thing that I thought the "last paper" was supposed to be about. Huh.... curious.

Yeah -- upon further research, the paper I wrote last night and finished this morning was actually due YESTERDAY, and my REAL last paper -- that I haven't started and didn't realize was necessary -- is due Tuesday.

Apparently, I have issues with reading the "final requirements." It's just funny at this point.

And now, though I am off to write the REALLY I MEAN IT THIS TIME LAST paper

much love -- marah jean