Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My life as a barista.

I always joked the last semester of high school that I would become a barista in college. I thought I would become a lot of things in college that I was not in high school.

I have been a barista for almost 6 months and my god has it been an incredible journey. An up and down roller coaster of a 6 months would be an over generalized understatement. A vast understatement. But regardless of that, it has been a pretty incredible opportunity.

It's no secret to my fellow partners and my friends and family that I absolutely love my job. In fact, I spend at least some time on my off days, in my store. Which especially today (totally writing this in my store), I've worked everyday for the past seven days and on my first day off I have been in twice already and have spent probably an hour here already.

The other day, a regular customer came in and ordered her usual drink. After she got her drink she put her stuff away and pulled a handle bag out of her backpack and brought it up to where I was working. She asked if I had purchased the mug that I had wanted. Its a 16 oz mug with a bunch of Owls on it. After I had replied that I hadn't been able to find it. She pulled a red box out of the bag and  opened it up. Revealing the mug, she said she found it at another store and said it was my christmas present. I was in complete shock and disbelief, I probably said thank you about 30 times.

I get so many compliments and talk to so many people daily at work that when I don't work, I feel like I try to talk to a lot of people. Social interaction is so satisfying at work. From Robin, to Stephen, Kylie and Amber. To the countless IMPD officers that come in and have conversations with me. To the others that I just talk to because they talk to me. We are told to connect with the customers, and i feel like that is the best part about the job.

New faces and names everyday, sure sometimes I see people that I don't necessarily like. To the customer who cussed me out asking for a cup of coffee. To the lady who always wants a 'real caramel" Latte and complains. Even when they come in, I'm happy to see them because it keeps my job interesting and refreshing.

If I had any other job, there is no way that I would be as happy as I am with being a barista.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Why I want to teach.

So at the end of last semester, I changed majors from Clinical Lab to Education and English. And a lot of people ask me why I switched to Education and English. I've always been able to tell them a reason, but when I really think about it, there is not just one.

The most influential people in my life (excluding family members), have been teachers.

Teachers who sparked my interest in history, social sciences, and writing. Teachers of different levels of my education, from middle school to College. Theatre directors, Coaches in sports and Pastors at church. I could probably take up a good page or two just naming off people who have influenced me who I consider to be teachers. I would not be who I am today without them. I have been taught compassion for others and passion for learning, thirst for excellence and striving to always be better. My views on the world have been molded by those teachers.

If I can influence someone's life as much as just one of the countless teachers that have influenced mine, then I will be content with where ever my life goes.

I feel like a lot of students go through school, high school especially, just going through the motions. Making it through day by day and not really taking a moment to look at all of the knowledge and resources that have been put into the molding who you are. A lot of students spend a lot of time disrespecting teachers and making their day/lives difficult. I've heard from a lot of students (and have been that student on occassion) that has said they have hated a teacher or a class in particular. But in retrospect, I have enjoyed and been thankful for every teacher and class I have ever taken. I wish I could go back to a lot of those classes and do better.

Every teacher, whether it is a substitute for one day or a teacher you have had all year, or multiple years, has put in the time and effort to help you take at least one step further on becoming who you are today. Whether it was by worksheets, lectures or just supervision, there was effort put in.

That's really why I regret being somewhat of a procrastinator in high school. I feel like I am failing more than just myself when I am not doing well in a class, because I'm not the only one affected by the grade I get. People like Mr. Tom Clark and Mr. Josh Clark, Mr. Palasz, Mr. Holden, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Ohlenkamp and Mrs. Iwema. All who put so much effort, day in and day out to teach and positively influence their students. Honestly, I should have aced all of the classes that I took with them, but I didn't because of my own laziness or procrastination or some other reason. Of course there are many other teachers that I could mention, but those teachers really stick out the most to me, because they are all teachers of subjects I have always said that I have enjoyed or been good at (German, English and Social Sciences).

If I do anything with my college life and if I do become a teacher, I hope that I can be as influential as they have all been to me. I hope that I can try and be as passionate as they are with their classes.

In addition to all of this, the small number of times I have been able to teach or mentor students, friends, or children have been some of the most challenging but satisfying times in my life. Sometimes I dreaded doing it because it was time consuming, however I wish I could keep doing all of those smaller mentoring positions (Though I would have no time to sleep then!).

That is why I want to teach.

So Thank You to all of the teachers in my life.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some things just do not make sense.

So today first off is my birthday, just want to get that out of the way because chances are if I saw you today I probably told you straight up its my birthday because I'm annoying like that. If you came up to me and said happy birthday, well you avoided me being annoying today.

Anyway, things do not make sense. Small example is the weather. Why in the world, is it super cold in the mornings here in indy and by noon I am sweating like no tomorrow? Why do people look for conflict and refuse to see from other peoples perspectives about things that bug the other person.

Now I know, nobody is perfect and that a lot of the time people are close minded until they are almost 'forced' to view things from a different perspective. I also know that at least for right now, I am on the outside looking in on this particular example but not necessarily from any other example.

And this is purely my opinion of things (duh my blog). I am a very trusting and caring person. I make every effort to be friends or take care of people who are my friends or friends of my friends. I try to keep a fairly open mind about people and think of the current situation from their perspective. And if I do not do that, well i do my best to ask questions and assume that the other person is hurt/hurting and that I need to make time to be able to understand issues that may be going on. Yes this is in a way, My utopian society. Only in terms of the song 'why can't we be friends?' (I do not know if thats the actual song title and i honestly do not care, it's my birthday cut me some slack.)  So pretty much in my mind, people should be less oft to hate or dislike someone purely on the words of others. You know the he said/she said kind of stuff that goes on in the cliques of high school (and apparently college as well).

Anyway, in my intro to religion class we just finished talking about buddhism and hinduism. I have learned so much about different cultures and people who come from different backgrounds as me and it has really made me think about what makes people different. Yes, someone who has grown up muslim and wears a hijab is very different than me in many ways, however what is that to say that I am better or she is better. The idea of conversion and trying to spread the word in the idea of converting people to the "right" or "one true religion is something that I do not fully understand. Do not misunderstand me though, I am a believer in Christ and that he died for our sins so that we may have eternal life. I have never doubted that fact in my life. However if someone has grown up worshiping a totally different religion and been influenced by a culture completely different to the one I grew up in. How can I say that, that person is worshipping the 'wrong' religion. I believe what I believe and they believe what they believe. The whole part of Faith is to believe that what you are worshipping is true or good. If someone has faith that something different than my faith is true. I should not argue with them, I feel that a conversation rather than a debate would be much better.

Besides there are some things, like from Buddhism especially, that a lot of people do without knowing it really stems from a different religion. For me, I enjoy meditation or sort of spending time in my room, just sitting on the floor or on a chair and not doing anything. Now a lot of people would probably say that its not directly related, or that because I do the meditation does not mean I am practicing Buddhism, which i am not saying at all. I am only saying that our culture is so intertwined that many things that seem 'normal' or that doesn't seem to necessarily have a religious background, probably does. (Another example of this is Yoga). Obviously I could spend way more time trying to find other examples but I am sure John Green has a video on Mental Floss or Vlogbrothers or something (DFTBA).

I guess in closing, A lot of things don't make sense. For me its people and some parts of our culture. For you, the reader is may be how I can think the things I do. Obviously, this is all my opinion, in no way am I stating this as fact or the like. I appreciate you all for reading this and As my education professor Dr. Baker says, smile at someone today and make their day.

Don't Forget to be Awesome.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life has its challenges. Revised.

About 2 months ago, I started writing a blog post about how life has its challenges and how my life since March has changed drastically. In all honesty, my life has changed immensely since March of 2014. But when I really got down to thinking, my life has changed immensely since I moved out of my mother's house.

Sure that has been over a 13 months (wow thats a big number...) but it still has made me really think about why I am where I am.

When I first moved to Indianapolis, I was a pre-med major and had a girlfriend and a group of friends I was hanging out with every night. Since that first day, I have been in three relationships, I have had three jobs. I have lived in three (kinda four actually) different places. I have also changed from a Pre-Med major to a dual Education and English major. The only constant through it all has been the type of friends, not the friends themselves. In fact the only group of people I still even really talk to (that I am not forced to see i.e. co-workers) from the beginning of my life in Indy, are my fraternity brothers.

So this begs the question, What is wrong with me? Now many of you will definitely say WOAH hold on, just because you haven't been in the same place the whole time does not mean anything is wrong with you. And I will gladly explain the list of things I am not going through that really exemplifies why i ask this. I have come to the conclusion that out of everything, there are three things that are wrong with me in terms of explaining why my life has changed, or as many normal people would label them. Flaws.

First, I am sensitive. In some ways, overly sensitive. I have been told my entire life to not let things bug me so much. From the customers at work, to the bullies in schools, to even my fraternity brothers that sometimes like to throw words around like they have no real weight or consequence behind them. I however, do not see these things as being of little or no weight and that they do have enough behind them to hurt people. I have always be sensitive. Ask my family, ask my teachers from the private school I went to when I was younger. I have always been this way, and because of events in my life, it's not going to change.

Second, I always feel the need to be around people, or just talk to people. Once again, many would say this is not a problem at all. And I agree. The problem arises, when I am alone. Or when I am not able to be around people or talk to people. I overthink, I become anxious about random things. And worst of all I sleep. A Lot. In fact there was a time over the summer, where all i did for probably a week or two. Was go to work, sleep, wake up and go right back to work. It is a vicious cycle of laziness and loneliness.

Lastly, I have become less of a God-centered person. Now I have since my realization of this, made a conscious effort to change that, but I often find myself going back to number 2 over everything. I have not found a church in Indianapolis. I usually spend sundays working. A lot. And when I do have a sunday where I have free time, it is usually spent relaxing. I know my mom especially has always been on me for this (love you mom). And I myself have found myself not taking as much time to thank God for getting me through what I have gotten through in the past year. I now watch my church back home, who has an online webcast of their services when I can. I have been feeling better about my situation since this but i still have a lot of work to do before I am where I want to be.

I see these things as Flaws, ones that I have that may or may not be rectified. Two quotes however stand by me wherever I go and another has been with me for a long time.

The first is a bible verse from Philippians 4 verse 13, "I can do all things through him, who gives me strength."

The second, is a quote from the song "Flaws" by Bastille. 

"All of your flaws and all of my flaws,

When they have been exhumed
We'll see that we need them to be who we are
Without them we'd be doomed"

And Lastly, the quote that has been with me for more than 10 years, something my Dad used to say everyday from his diagnosis to the day of his passing. 

"God is Good, All the Time. And All the Time, God is Good."

Life may have its challenges. People have flaws. Learning to overcome the flaws and challenges that have been set before us is how we move forward. 

Thank you for reading this, I hope to be posting more in the weeks and months ahead. Smile at someone and make their day, and DFTBA.