Leaving the Comfortable for a Shot at the Dream

imgresFor the past three years, I have had the pleasure of working for a school that not only strives to educate each student, but also equip the next generation to serve others.

Mullen High School‘s motto being, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve” penetrates the hallways as students are encouraged to do selfless acts while growing in their academic pursuits. A bit refreshing with the way it seems the younger generations tend to be more ‘navel gazers’ or ‘screen watchers’, lacking the ability to hold interpersonal conversations and patiently enjoy dinner out with the family without being on an iPad or smart phone.

I was hired at Mullen the week before the 2013-14 school year began and little did I know it would be the very opportunity to change my perspective on high school education.

Mullen is a private Lasallian Catholic school, run by a imgresPresident & Board and Principal, and is a part of a larger district of schools across the US. The Lasallian approach towards education adheres to the 5 Core Principles, a well-rounded approach for students to learn and grow as was given by the founder Saint John Baptist de La Salle.

Beyond the Lasallian experience, working for Mullen has helped restore my thoughts of today’s school system as each teacher and administrator truly cares for the good of each student.Each educator is committed to growing the students and becoming better themselves. As technology progresses, Mullen encourages and emphasizes the importance of growth within the educators to use technology to reach their students while teaching them the appropriate use of technology. It is known as a 1-to-1 school using the iPad as the main resource and tool during learning. Students learn technology as a tool rather than a toy.

The students I have been working with over these past three years have been absolutely wonderful. Their respect for the educators and the Lasallian heritage is incredible to see as each student truly appreciates the opportunities afforded to them by attending Mullen. Students have the opportunity to grow academically, personally and also spiritually as there are retreats for each level. The most unique is the KAIROs experience for Juniors. I had the privilege of attending two while at Mullen and both were life-changing experiences. LT4!

Walking alongside each of the students has enabled me to live many lives as each bring me through their current life challenges and triumphs. Needless to say, I’ve developed special relationships with many of them… and I will sincerely miss seeing them each day.

It was a joy to serve as a counselor and volleyball coach for the Mullen students. Over the past few months, it has become clear to me that it is time for me to move on from serving as counselor at Mullen. As my desire to grow our family increases as well as my aspiration to pursue my personal dreams of owning and running my own company, it is time for me to say good-bye to Mullen as my ‘work home’. It is my hope to continue supporting Mullen in the stands as I believe in the Lasallian education and the work Mullen is doing in the community.

As I walk down this new path, with new personal and professional goals in sight, I pray for the continued mission of Mullen. I have my own fears of what lies ahead and all the unknowns that will be revealed in due time.

For today, I reflect with gratitude on my experience at Mullen: the friends I’ve made and the personal & professional learning opportunities I can take with me. I will continue to ask God for guidance for my next steps into this new adventure of my life, trusting in the journey for what lies ahead.

Live Jesus in our Hearts, Forever!

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Connection Through Technology

 

What an overwhelming outpour of support from my previous posts about my current struggles within my journey of being a ‘woman’. Thanks to all and I will continue writing about my experiences.

This past week of support reminds me how much we are designed to be in community with one another. We are built to need and give support to those we love and to encourage and affirm our friends and neighbors. To know we are not alone as we journey through this path of life. To recognize that life is not easy and with all the bumps in the road and detours- having people alongside us can help us keep going.

How far we have come from the days when our day-to-day living was contained in a small town. And when I saw ‘we’ I mean people/humanity… not ME. I grew up just outside of Denver, in a cute neighborhood that replicated a small town, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the growing metropolis.

I was always quite jealous of those who lived and grew up in a true small town. I great up watching this guy… Mr. Rogers and thought everyone should start their day off singingmr-rogers.jpg. Where ‘everybody knows your name’, and you could go to the store and it is family run with the person behind the cashier is your friends parent, or the police person who pulls you over is the buddy you had dinner with a few nights earlier. Where you attend the same elementary, middle and high school as everyone else in town so when the high school Football team plays on Friday night its against a major town rivalry (all the stores close because they are at the game). People load into busses and tailgate to the game and there is a sense of camaraderie among the neighbors. People doing life together. Children playing in the front yards while people are mowing yards and neighbors actually TALK to each other. We live in a neighborhood where the houses were built in the 1950’s. The front yards are HUGE where the back yards- tiny… And all the new renovated/pop-the-top homes have eco-front yards and privacy fences…say something.

In a day in age where people drive into their houses and close their garage door before even getting out of the car- enter their house and only open the front door for their (expected) friends who drove blocks (or miles) to come over or to receive a package from my online purchase.

The wo29764319.jpgrd ‘Community’ looks different than it used to and to be honest, I am not sure how to accept how community looks now. I feel as though we have become too consumed with our own lives and circle of perceived influence that we have dismissed the precious art of spontaneity and uncomfortable small talk with those in our immediate proximity. Not wanting to take the time to get to know them or not feeling as though we have anything in common. Believing that I’m too busy, or they’re too busy to spend time together.

We choose our friends and those we want to let into our inner-circle by our own set of guidelines. May it be personalities or personal interests or where our kids are plugged into (school & activities). At times, these relationships are temporary… until life circumstances change.

So why am I writing this? In the new age of technology, social media and text messages, I can see how disconnected we can become from reality and human connection. Yet, how much we can connect with friends across the miles who may have once been close. What a blessing it is to have the means to connect and support one another across the miles.

My challenge is to not allow technology and social media to replace the genuine conversations that can happen with the people in my immediate proximity. For my tunnel vision (when I become self-centered) to prohibit me from seeing the people next to me- my neighbors, the person standing next to me in the grocery line. Possibly putting down my phone when I’m waiting for something to allow a bit more of humanity into my day-to-day interactions with others.

In addition, how can I use technology as a source of community building as opposed to a wedge in relationships? Reassessing my purpose for scrolling through Facebook or understanding when a friend needs a little text to know I’m thinking of him/her. Using technology with intentionality and purpose as opposed to a crutch to shield me from the world.

So thank you, all who read, who reached out, who commented. I feel your support and your love. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this journey and that community is still alive today… it just looks a little different.