On Friday, January 23, I entered into the elementary school ready to observe the teachers and administrators while enjoying lunch with my grandson and volunteering as a lunch monitor. As I approached the office, I was greeted by the school nurse walking into the office. She didn’t look like a nurse, or wasn’t dressed as a nurse in scrubs, but she was wearing instead, slacks, button down blouse, name badge, and baby doll shoes. Her demeanor was rushed, but I didn’t pay it a lot of attention. The rumors within (CMS) Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, is that they are short on nursing care for the children at every level.
Nevertheless, as I proceeded to the desk, I was asked did I need assistance. I smiled and said that I was here to eat lunch as a surprise with my grandson. The secretary asked me who my grandson and grade level was. I proudly stated, “Demorious Anderson, 4th grade”. This lady had the biggest smile on her face. She quickly began to go on and on about how smart my grandson is, how helpful he is too all the teachers, and how well his manners are to the adults in this school. She was like a proud mom.
As I began pulling out my state I.D., she looked up the contact information to make sure I was on the “school parent list”. After I was all checked in, she directed me how to get to the cafeteria, but it wasn’t his lunch break for another ten minutes. So I made the best of it and we began to talk about D.J., my grand. She said, “I worked at other schools, but I find this too be like home to me because the students here want more. They seem too want more than just shoes and clothes, they want to grow up and become an important person in society.” I smiled and headed towards that cafeteria.
When I got into the cafeteria. I scanned for my grandson and his teacher. When we connected, I told her why I was here to assist and to also eat with DJ. While the teacher disappeared to get her lunch, I was left to monitor twenty 4th graders, some staring, some eating, some asking DJ, “who is that, your auntie?” Yep, I was smiling, but I answered instead saying, “I am his Nana, and I am here to monitor all of you while your teacher is away.” The first questions were, “Why?” “We good okay?” “We not little kids!” “Can you take me to the bathroom?” “Can I get a napkin?” “She said DJ like her, are you going to spank him?” “What kind of car you drive?” “Is that your REAL hair?” “What size are your boots?” “
For that short 20 minute lunch of just sitting observing the kids. I was exhausted. I guess I should have felt good since I was able to release the teacher long enough to sit down and handle whatever necessary business that she needed for her students. We didn’t get a chance to talk since Friday is the beginning of the weekend, but she did gracefully thank me for enduring the question massacre those kids had on me. I am new to visiting this school, so I didn’t interact as much as I wanted, but I can’t wait to go back and volunteer for the PTSA and find out how being an involved grandparent can encourage others who feel like their presence isn’t needed.
On Thursday Jan 29, I had the not pleasure of working in the high school with the “new” secretary from hell. She was not ready for me in this world wind atmosphere, and I guess I wasn’t feeling the same way towards her, but I knew my mission wasn’t her issues, but to be a big support in the time of need.
Today was a day where the systems were pretty much doing what it wanted to do. I was there to stamp the envelopes being mailed to the parents, and file the letters for the absentee kids in all grades, and place them in grade and alphabetical order. Now I am not one to complain but I do my best to have a strategy so I can get it done faster, make them happy, and talk with the administrators while in the school, and of course, keep track of my son on the sly side.
Anyway, while I was stacked in paper up to my ears, the secretary was struggling with her computer as late kids were arriving as well as the one being locked out of class. They have to come get passes and a security escort so they wouldn’t be roaming the hallways. As one kid, Hispanic it appears, came in, he was frustrated that he could not get in class, but had a dying emergency to get to the restroom. The teacher had locked the door. When he approached the secretary, she didn’t seem like it was a matter to even be concerned about and so the kid because a little pissed off by talking to her in a demanding manner as if he was irritated and had a test to take and needed the pass. She wrote the pass, called security, and told him too “sit down!!” I was like, hmmmm, okay, do I ask her if she is okay? Or do I just tell her she was rude, then say, “Are you okay? “ That was an inner battle.
Once the security guard approached the office, he was took on the same demeanor as the secretary. Because she seemed irritated with the young man, now security was tipping on his attitude making it worse before he went to class. All I could see was this domino effect just waiting to take place even when the young man got in class.
After they left, I asked the secretary, “Is there anything I need to do to make her day better before I went to eat lunch with my son and leave for the day?” She replied, “No” I said, “Well try to have a blessed day because you never know what you say or do that can impact a child before they go home for the day.” She looked at me crazy but I didn’t care. My job to paper kill was over, but my job as mom was not. I know working with these teenagers can be a pain, but I also know that a lot of them need guidance and assistance and not ridicule. I will see her again next week and I hope she has a change of heart because kids are our future, the good ones, the bad ones, and the strange ones.
This week of community service, I had the pleasure of working alongside the counselors as we began a free tutoring session to help us prepare our kids for the EOG End of Grade testing or the EOC End of Course testing. During the short session I was able to adjust my ability on how I can improve reading and math for kids that struggle and are less fortunate. The demand for teachers in grades 3rd and higher is really sad and strenuous for the teachers and students.
As we began to sit down on go over the training material, you could almost hear the sound of relief in these teachers voices for having parents/grandparents willing and able to offer there time an effort that in the past wasn’t allowed. Most schools require persons with degrees to even tutor kids and now Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools are gravitating to all the resources they can get without prejudice.
Amongst the parents and volunteers present, we were able to listen, learn and prepare for a step by step presentation on how to interact with kids that were below school level and how to develop that relationship with them first so that we could reach them, then teach them. I was very fortunate to become part of this new wave in my life and network. I was able to meet teachers and professionals that could help me utilize skills that would help me run and inner city daycare that prepares our futuristic young kids something to learn and look forward too. I really felt important. More than I have in quite a while.
While present in the library, as usual, you have complainers. Some were worried how our teachers teach with so much on their plate, and how to become more political in making changes than about the welfare of our present world. I understand the concerns, but in the course of becoming a mentor or tutoring, which is the main purpose, I expressed that the political motivation speech should be saved for another time. Some didn’t like it, but I know all too well from corporate America how we as a people will began and process or meeting and become very well sidetracked on side conversations and not accomplish the main goal. When I was asked to elaborate, I did in a very short sentence stating that it was not the time or place, but I was there to see where I could fit in to helping someone and not here the woes of our system. CMS was already dealing with the sudden move of the Superintendent due to unlawful conduct. We could have went on for hours, but I have so much more I feel like I need to do and offer than complain and already broken system that cant balance out where new computers need to go for low performing schools. Sad, but true.
Later that afternoon a few parents approached me in a very “proud like” manner and if I had made a speech on the lawn of the White House, but I always try to approach anything in the most humble way because there are too many people using their world to inflict and influence others. I wasn’t saying anything that no one else wanted to say , but mere recollect how I grew up fighting to be the spelling bee champ or trying to be better in my classes because that where the cliques belonged, or as they say these days, nerds. By the time we left for the day, I was exhausted, thrilled and encouraged all in one breathe. I love it when teachers can make a no-body feel just as important as some body in the school system. I have had Administrators look at me as if I am below them because I don’t have my degree, yet I am here just as the “help” around campus. Now that I am doing more mentor in Literacy and Reading, I can be a better me and a better resource for the school system and even to my children and grandchildren. This was a pretty annoying week, but I don’t expect them all to be full of laughter and fun because it takes time and work to adjust to new teachers, new administrators at a school you have seen grow and change. That’s life and I just keep moving forward. I really believe that this week has made me a better me in this social “school system” network.
Week 4 n/a
During this week of community service I had the pleasure of working with the Parent Advocate for my son’s middle school. The experience was cordially nice having to see the perspective of the parent volunteer and what she has for me to do in my spare time that made me feel as a beneficial part of the schools staff.
As the day began, the Parent Advocate was basically trying to see what made me want to be a volunteer for middle school since children, since at this age, they tend to want to make you run and hide instead of come and help. I told her that all middle school kids need is stern hand and a lot of love. Most daycares and after school places cater to the age group up to age 12. Then when you think about jobs and the youth working, you basically have to have a workers permit to begin at age 15. So in doing the math, it leaves room and opportunity for kids age 13-14 to be left unsupervised and unattended and highly vulnerable to getting into unfamiliar territory harmful to them and possibly their future.
While sitting in the Advocates office, she had me to work on sending out letters for kids missing too many days out of school and it’s a cold and short week. In my mind, I am wondering how it is even possible to miss so many days out of school at such a young age, but they do. It serves as a warning to the parents of possible penalties for not having their kids in school on a daily basis. I was having a wow moment at this point, and I really was feeling sad for the kids.
The Parent Advocate was reading my expressions at this point because as time passes, kids are becoming parents and acting as parents best friends instead of children in this new millennium. She said it was a relief to have a parent working with her instead of against her. Parents don’t seem to think how vital it is to be up to date and forth coming about what is really going on in middle school and what their children are exposed too. I was feeling like I was her breath of fresh air at the moment. As we sat there talking a knock came to the door. It was a young lady needing to get a bus pass to go home since her mom was unable to pick her up for her doctor’s appointment. She was pregnant. Before I knew it, I was holding my breath and squeezing my thighs tightly together as if I was bracing myself for pinch from an IV needle. I was speechless. Not because I don’t think it exist, just because she was like, somebody’s daughter, a beautiful young lady whose life was changing for the next eighteen years, or forever. When the young lady walked out, the Parent Advocate was basically letting me know through her eyes, she felt the same disappointment, but was glad she was able to help. When life changes take place, there really isn’t much you can do. We (parents) just try to be the next best thing, assisting these children of this new millennium.
Lastly, before leaving the school, I was able to assist in the cafeteria, and that alone was a very intriguing experience. The kids were talking so loud that I couldn’t even hear myself think. I don’t know what was bigger, my ego or my eyes because I wanted to shake, raddle and roll some of them straight down the hallway. When one of the teachers knew I was there to relieve her, she disappeared so fast, I was baffled before I could even turn around, she said, “Thank you. I will be back in 25 minutes.” Then all I could here was whispers of, “She is Caleb’s mom.” “She is pretty.” “She don’t play.” I won’t say that I didn’t like the compliments, but I guess my reputation from my sons games proceeds me. I enjoyed it and will continue my journey with these little children who thrive to be grown before their time. I want to be that role model parent for them because their memories are untouchable, they never forget who teased them or mistreated them, and who helped them in spite of their circumstance along the way. A lot has changed over the years even since my daughters were in middle school, but I was glad to see that I could listen and be a great help to someone who feels that being a Parent Advocate is more than just a job, and help a teacher who apparently needed more than a just a lunch break.
“Loving the respect of those who already teach in the school systems and on the collegiate level, I don’t think that everyone receiving a pay check for teaching our kids deserve the name of a teacher.”
During this week at the high school, some teachers didn’t want to come in, the two hour delay made them grumpy it seems and of course, I was just there to ease any relief on the phones and assisting with calls from parents. Around 9:30 a.m. after the final bell, I was placed in the Atrium to assist with phone calls. The Atrium is the huge foyer in the school that shows off some of the student’s most excellent work of art from those that are alumni’s.
Anyway, while sitting at the front desk, a parent called and expressed that it was good to hear a pleasant voice and a patient attitude on the other side. Of course I smiled and chatted with her on a personal level just so she knew that everyone at the school, don’t act, work or talk the same. Needless to say, I just assumed that on a bad day, the assistants or teachers that fill-in has a short fuse and dealing with high school kids can in fact produce a cause and effect.
On this particular day, a teacher approached the foyer with a student in hand, fussing about something they did in the class room. Most volunteers don’t respond, react or reply in those situations since much of the flames are burning when the approach the office with the security guard, except this particular time, this was my child. Oh hell I thought. My eyes stretched and my face said about 1500 words in the 10 seconds as the teacher passed me. She was talking to him in a downward demeanor and of course my son was looking at her like she lost her damn mind and so was I. “Hold up,” I said as they approached the office. “What happened?” “What‘s going on?” Now I’m not the mom to quickly jump to my kids defense, but if I catch a piece of what you don’t want me to see, then my reaction is not going to be the action you expect from the all so happy volunteer that never says a thing but “How can I help out?”
Well I was told that a match was lit in the bathroom and my son along with a few others were in the vicinity when the flickering took place. They asked all the kids to stop running and singled out ones that were nearby. My son of course feeling grown decided to keep walking because he was not a part of the group and had nothing to do with the situation. I was highly pissed because my day of assistance turned into a hellish argument with how you speak to students and how you can earn their respect without treating them in an unseemly way.
As we began our conversations, I quickly advised my son to zip the lip and momma was here. I don’t condone ignorance of any nature or disrespect to elders, so I abruptly put him in check in my old school mom’s voice. As it turned out, the teacher was only upset because my son didn’t stop when she said stop. My concern was hearing her tell him that kids like my son, being a young black male that WON’T listen to authority will listen to those behind bars if you keep this type of attitude up.
Me, being the quiet little smiley mom on a good day stopped her and blasted her for even approaching my son with that attitude as a black male. If my memory serves me correct, it was a black male that died for your black rights in order to vote, sit in the front of the bus, and stood against may whites just to even have a freedom of speech and equality, so when you talk to the kids at this school, whom some already feel the challenges from police and other people in society and Corporate America, speak truth into their life. Keep that down trodden “ish” to yourself. I told her, “My son is the last person you will ever tell that what he will become just because you decided to associate him with the reputation of “all black males”. “The next time you approach a young black male, in your opinion disrespecting you, ask him what in history has he been presented with too make him a better decision maker, person and understand that future characteristics of a good leader?” Stop talking about the damn jail cell and talk about how to make better choices. Teach, preach, and say what you like, but to my son you will not talk down at the young man that may be your preacher, boss or teacher one day.
Being a parent is a process that you learn along the way, but if you want to teach, teach cause and effect in a positive manner because you never know who is looking, listening, and talking. Let just say, my day as the quiet volunteer was over. They now call me VMA or Velma , short for Volunteer Muhammad Ali.
During this week of community service i had the opportunity to visit two schools, elementary and high school. First at the elementary, i thought it was ironic that i could volunteer with my grandson’s teacher, eat lunch, but when it was time to dismiss from school i wasn’t on the “blue card.” Really? Anyway, it was nice to be able to read to this kindergarten class while the teacher prepared her lesson for the upcoming day. I really didn’t want to read but who am i when i know that it is greatly needed.
When i began to read to the class, i told the little boys and girls that i had two grandsons at the school. They asked me their names and grades and i kindly responded. Then came the personal questions about my age and could i speak another language. The school is very much Latino and Hispanic so when i asked did anyone need to use the bathroom, then all were staring at me like i won a lottery since this black woman was talking Spanish, so they broke out with all kinds of questions in Spanish and i didn’t have not one idea what they were talking about.
The teacher walked in and was looking around like she saw a ghost. She is listening to all this Spanish and is wondering why they are talking in their native tongue when in the classrooms English is always spoken unless the Spanish teacher comes in for a short lab. I was laughing like crazy because they started teaching me their ABC’s in Spanish, singing the song, and when they say i was already ahead of them, it’s like all the tension when away. Those dreary eyes went to giggles and wiggles.
After calming them down, i told them i had to read the book. It was required, but when i come back we were going to have some real conversations in Spanish.
I sat down in the white rocking chair, opened the book and began to read. As i read, they always had their hands up trying to ask a question clearly after i told them i had to finish the book. Kids don’t really listen, they just hear what they want, and move forward to get an answer. I had an “AH HA” moment then. We want our kids to be very motivated, persistent, positive little creatures, and when we are reading to them, trying to open their minds up to the creativity in the fiction realm, we want them to sit in quietness, when they can’t hold a question or thought. It’s actually helping them to visualize what they are reading because somewhere in the story, their minds couldn’t understand what was going on. They don’t want to talk just to be talking, but i see a lot of teachers who takes that curiosity of what is going to make them a balanced human being, to becoming, possibly and introvert, not wanting to share their feelings or really be around a lot of people.
Anyway, as i approached the end of the big picture book, kids where watching and waiting for the story to end. I can’t really blame them, their minds are like computers and we shouldn’t shut them down. As the teacher returned to the room, she was surprised to see how the kids sat, paid attention,, and pretty much accepted me, and made me feel welcome. It’s my understanding, some volunteers just want to get their hours in and move along based on the feedback from the teacher. I don’t ever want to be that way or have that mindset. It is unfair to the kids who some desperately need the attention of feeling special. I really enjoyed my day with the babies and having my little lesson in Spanish. It was a good day for me and the teacher requested that i come each week to her class since the kids received me so well. It takes patience to work with kids and i love to help them see me, a black woman and a fun person, shading out stereotypes before society even gets in their minds. I will be back to assist. Great group of kids!!!
I have realized over these last two months that community service isn’t always about what I want to do to satisfy others but it’s really about satisfying what makes happy in giving back to the community. Most look at it as a charitable deed, I look at is a need for hope and purpose in everyone’s life. I guess where I am coming from today is my community service isn’t about insulation up my resume, it isn’t about doing things so that I might be proud and egotistical about it. But it is the hopeful awareness of the greater understanding about our humanity, for our children, my children and others appreciation of life.
I have spent many of my hours, dedicated to community and schools because I realized after being present, the need was and is today greater than it’s proclaimed to be. I love to have that job or business teaching and inspiring kids to becoming a volunteer after they reach their goals in life and decide to give back. I was given the opportunity to make new relationships with unknown kids and adults through my children that were for the most part very comfortable around me and deemed worthy. This has been one of the greatest experiences because I got the chance to interact with many different types of people including teachers battling cancer, teachers battling fatigue in a great depression, yet I let my circumstances not hinder the smile on my face and the determination to keep pressing on.
I was reading an article when I was helping out in the library and it said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”- Mahatma Gandhi. WOW! Sometimes you need that reassuring that even while you’re putting up books, answering the phone while getting cussed out by parents, there is always a reason to smile and move forward in life.
The week I sat in the cafeteria after assisting in the library again with the once upon a time English teacher. Even though her story amazes me, she still has this inner peace about her that is calm and graceful. She doesn’t get all mad at the kids, and holler at them, even when they need it because with the battles she’s had in life, she shows me through her actions that it’s not worth the aggravation. She has this motivation to make some positive struggles in life out of a negative and watch how the stream of life changes.
The cafeteria is not technology where I prefer to help, but cleaning down a table or sweeping is something I do on a regular at homes sometimes anyway. Actually I can notice that the workers treat a little bit different, not but much, but I will get a big hello when some mostly think im just trying to be cute with the single male prospects. You can always tell by the way a woman looks at you rather than her actions. Maybe it’s the stress they feel seeing the kids every day. I don’t try to figure them out, but I assure them that I am here to help and I am pleasantly doing this when I could be a hundred other places giving support. I guess after sweeping a cleaning they can see that I am just a parent who wants to be where my kids are. One of the janitors spoke highly of me being with the band and in the office. I don’t come here to sit and gossip, watch people or be the star of any show. I recognized that of the one thousand kids there, I am one of 10 consistent parents there supporting the school.
Shortly after my dreadful day of what I have to think about after volunteering, I was able to point out which one of kids were still at the school, and to my surprise she knew him and thought he was well mannered. I don’t know if it shaded a new light of who I was at Garinger, but I hope it did.
I know I am not perfect nor to I try to be, but if one person or kid can be inspired to just give a little of their time, then I am hoping they see the great benefits of giving. My kids are off in college and doing a lot of things, as well as being new parents, but one thing they will do, and that is volunteer. I told the administrator that day that his crew was pretty cool. Don’t keep me out the office, but its nice to see the school from another level of perspectives. I have now sat with Administrators, Teachers, Librarians, Counselors, Band Directors, School Resource Officers, Behavior Techs, Janitors, DSS workers, Sport Coaches, and School Security. They all know me, my kids and family. I thank God for allowing me to give.
This week of community service wasn’t as great as it could because I lost my USB key that housed all my data for my classes so I went into a state of depression. I was pushing myself but not really pushing myself because I wanted to give up. Volunteering has always been my way out of whatever I was doing. It takes my mind off the struggles I have around me but this time it wasn’t working when I went over to the school.
This time I went into the classroom setting for the high school. Most of the persons I talked too could see I wasn’t me but I decided to help out anyway. Today I was the score keeping for the Right Moves for Youth basketball game. These group of kids come together to meet, talk over problems and meet with CMPD police officers. The police officers take them under their wings, talk and mentor with them. They become a temporary role model for them, allowing them to go on college trips and other activities good for their life long development. This is not just technically for high risk kids, but it helps them refrain from gangs, drugs and guns.
Well on that day we arrived at POB, which is Philip O’Berry High School to compete against their Right Moves for Youth. I was there because my son informed me he was a part of this group/committee. Before the game begins, they must all shake hands, quote the mission statement, and play a fair game of basketball.
The schools social worker was telling me how he was one of the leaders, say the prayer, and lead by example. I know that my child can, but he just didn’t tell me. Hmmm, I thought. Anyway, when I arrived, of course, I meet another group of kids that I now can call my sons. They are recognizing me from the school’s office but didn’t know that I was Philips mom. The police officer asked me to keep up with the books. The books include keeping up with each players fouls, points, as well as how long they are in the games at times. I did, which now allows me to run the clocks at the even bigger basketball games. I really don’t want too, but one day I will.
As the games started, I saw how unorganized the boys were being that I love basketball. The police volunteer said that it was so the boys could work things out for themselves. Someone had to step up to be the captain, call plays, set up shooting points and be a leader. As the game continued on, I was hollering, “close the lane, move your feet, box out, hands up, defense, offense, and look up and take the dang shot.” Then all the boys starting laughing at me because they knew I was right, as well as the coach. So Philip felt good having a loud momma in the corner calling plays, so they knew I knew the game and not just a regular parent spectator. I felt kind of good.
My whole day began to change just from that one little drop of time with the basketball team. It didn’t change my circumstances but it did help me to focus on what I needed to do to feel a lot better. It was nice having a group of 10th, 11th, and 12th grade boys like my sideline cheerleading.
Once the game was over, the officers took them out for dinner and Mickey D’s. I jumped in my car and headed home to work on more papers and journals. In the short time of the game, it was nice to see the boys smile. I tell people all the time my passion is kids, especially those in high school, boys and girls. Now I just hope that when it is all said and done, I hope to have inspired my kids and others to be a volunteer and reap the rewards of being admired and respected.
During this week of community service, I had the opportunity to look at the lives and jobs of the high school administrators from a different perspective. A young man came into the school and wanted to purchase some tennis shoes from a young man he proclaimed to be his nephew. When the secretary explained to him that it was not possible to just get him out of class, the young man became someone angry and left. When the young man left, he used his cell phone to contact the school for at least 7 times trying to remove this young man from class. Desperate and determine the young black man returned to the main office and stated that because he was a family member and over the age of 18, considering himself and adult, he wanted or demanded why he was unable to have his request handled.
As time went on, the secretary contacted the school security and inquired that the young man was demanding contact with his nephew. Not knowing of course that the other little boy was removed from class and placed into the security room only to identify him as the “show trade guy.” The officers returned to the young man in the office and told him to leave the premises. The other young mind identified him as only being someone he was going to sell a pair of shows too. This is the new trend in show trading. You go online after taking a picture of your shoes. You make contact with the person, and then pay a small fee for the shoes compared to the store brand price and then you wash and clean them up. UUGGHHH!!
Nevertheless, it was now nice to sit down and listen to the administrators speak about that young man at the school could have been robbed or hurt if they would have let him out of class to meet a stranger to buy or sell a pair of shoes. It is important that we understand their load of responsibility to be accountable for these teenage kids whom have yet to understand and live and see the world and what lies ahead. This world in dangerous and the preparations of being an adult is ever-changing. The world even as they see it now will change in the next 5 years so you want them to be wise, kind and smart.
Kids need to realize that the chastening from parents and the school system doesn’t always mean that they don’t care, but it’s good to see when the administration does. They expressed to the young man in school that it’s not always cool to meet someone you don’t know just because you have money to purchase what they have or to sell to them in an unaccepted place. Anything could’ve happened and can, so I was just glad it all fell apart. Maybe next time he will think about meeting a stranger ado mate enough to challenge grown men as officers, what he would actually think about you and your life.
Later that afternoon the security guards who I know very well stated that the young man in class was a good kid and not one that they have experienced problems with, and situations like that make it easier to explain to them the consequences of just dealing with anybody from anywhere. At some point when it’s all over, you sit back and laugh and they talk about what they were going to do, and what they really wanted to say on the street level but can’t because of the job and title they hold, but I know all too well what that feels like. Its good to see when the care and express even if it is short term love. J
One day in this same week I ran over to the elementary school for a quick peek at the grand babies who think they are 25 and 27. I really enjoyed the lunch, but wasn’t in the volunteer mood status since I have so much going. I did get a chance to see a teacher that use teach my 21 year old daughter and it was amazing to spend time and talk with her. She was amazed to see that I was still in the school system handing out paper and giving teachers that support they need to take a quick MIA (Missing in Action) run. I only gave about 20 minutes there, but I guess that was 20 minutes well spent. Hopefully next week will be more promising and much better.
Not much to say or do, but was just glad to be amongst the living. It has been one of those weeks where not much really matter at all, but when you have a 7 pound shaggy dog excited to see you on a regular basis despite you downfall, it really make the day a lot better.