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Not Your Average Summer Job June 14, 2009

Posted by reddlissa in Rants/ Raves, Teacher Stuff.
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Although I’ve heard rumors that teachers have the summer off, I have yet to experience such pleasure this year.  I spent my first week of summer vacation at Volunteer Houston as part of the Houston A+ Challenge externship program.  My fellow externs and I visited many different non-profit organization throughout the week.  Overall the experience was amazing and I am very excited to bring all that I learned about volunteering back to my students in August. 

The best day was when we spent Tuesday at the Houston Zoo; we were tag-alongs with the Shell Summer Intern Program.  We were allowed behind-the-scenes access to a few of the most popular exhibits (giraffes and elephants) and then set to work painting a huge construction fence.  I was able to talk to many different college students from across the country and I was amazed by their drive to be successful and their commitment to non-profit work.  My fellow externs and I left with a renewed sense of hope for the future of America.



The Changing Face of Friendship January 4, 2009

Posted by reddlissa in Uncategorized.
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2008 brought many changes in my life including a complete upheaval in my world of friends.  I lost two of the friendships that meant the most to me and am still struggling to deal with the void of those losses.  H was the first friend I made in Houston, and we saw each other through a roller coaster of experiences.  In March our relationship reached an impasse and we went our separate ways.  While she is no longer a part of my life, I think of her often and miss her terribly.  Just a few months after the fallout with H I lost the best friend I have ever had.  B was not only my boyfriend but in friend terms he was my other half; I can’t think of a way to describe our friendship that would even scratch the surface of how deep a connection we shared.  We ended our romantic relationship in September 2007 but maintained an incredibly close friendship through August of 2008.  Honestly I can’t even think about him without having to fight back tears.  It’s not a boyfriend that I miss; I let go of that part of our relationship long ago.  It’s the deep connection we had as friends that I long for.  Learning to live without that relationship as been one off the toughest challenges of my adult life.   

Life is often a thing of balance and I found the same is true with relationships.  The loss of old friends was countered with the addition of new ones.  SF is co-worker who has become an amazing friend.  We have cried together and laughed together as we both face some tough challenges that have been thrown in our paths.  She has taught me so much with her strength, compassion, and resilience.  I feel blessed to have her in my professional and personal life.  SH started out as a romantic interest but the 1,000 miles between us quickly killed that possibility.  Surprisingly we have grown close as friends, and he is the person I turn to when I need a guy’s perspective.  He is brutally honest, gives great advice, and even helped my respec my hunter on WoW 😆 .  I am lucky to have him as a voice of reason I can count on.  LH came into my life only as “M’s girlfriend” but she and I have built a friendship that is our own.  I am amazed at the depth of her compassion for others.  She has taken me under her wing and introduced me to a great group of people through HoustonConnect.  At a time when I long for new social connections, L has helped me make new friends and I am looking forward to more HC get-togethers and more time spent with her an M.

2008 was a challenging year for friendship but as I reflect I think I definitely came out on top, and I am looking to sharing great times with my new friends in 2009 🙂