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A boost… A bummer… And bony arms

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Hello everyone!

Once again I find myself apologizing for a long absence. Even though I haven’t been “gone” – I just haven’t been blogging. I seem to have gotten my self buried in work and volunteer-related things and writing here has taken a backseat.

I’ve been in a little bit of a funk off and on lately because of a string of bad luck. My mood got a boost today – from a fourth grader. For years I’ve participated in the “Everybody Wins” reading program. Every week you spend one lunch hour visiting and reading with a student. For several years I read with a wonderful kid named Majid, and now I read with his adorable little brother Faruk. I love this program but it seems like most weeks I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get to the school on time and then rushing to get to work afterward. Some weeks the kids just don’t seem that in to it and ask to leave early so they can go outside and play. I get it. I want to go outside and play, too! I’ve wondered if this sliver of time even matters. Today Faruk showed me that it does. First of all – he was reading an encyclopedia when I showed up! Then he told me that he missed me last week (we didn’t have reading). Finally, when we got out “Goosebumps: The Haunted School” I almost fell out of my seat. Everything about Faruk’s reading is improved – especially word recognition and inflection. I stopped him after the first page and told him what a great job he was doing and he said, “I’ve been practicing like you asked me to and I actually like reading now.” I almost started crying! This is proof that making a difference doesn’t require a ton of money or time or brains or influence … just showing up can have a impact.

I often let little (negative) things have far too much impact on my outlook. An example – this email.

Message: I would encourage the news team and Erin because of tonight’s use to research the correct usage of the word further. Further only sounds sophisticated when used correctly.

It was sent yesterday and I spent way too much time obsessing over it… the rolling narrative in my head went something like this, “Did I say the word ‘further’? Did I use it incorrectly? If so, how embarrassing. People must think I’m dumb. This guy obviously thinks I’m dumb. Beyond that, he thinks I’m trying to sound “sophisticated”. Why does he think that? I’m not trying to sound like anything, I’m just telling people what happened today…oh geesh, and I tripped over my tongue during that DHS script…and that lady sent that nasty email last week about my bangs hanging in my eyes…” See what I mean?

I’m considering sharing an email, letter, and/or voice mail of the day on my facebook page. What do you think? We get some doozies.

Finally, how do you think Angelina Jolie looked at the Oscars? Sonya and I gasped and then screamed at the TV when Jolie came out to present the award for best adapted screenplay. We think she looked skeletal and sickly. One of our (male) colleagues disagrees. Disclaimer – Sonya and I were in my kitchen eating macaroni & cheese and fried chicken that Michael made for Sunday dinner – this may’ve influenced the way we felt about Angie’s bony frame. :)



  • Carrie Krupke

    I totally agree about Angie's frame….and the emails? Did he really spend time sending you that? You went to journalism school at Drake-I think you're well educated Erin! (said from a fellow Drake alum…) Keep an “Encouragement” folder of emails too so that on days like this, you have other, louder, words to hear in your head. :)

  • Jamie

    Carrie had a great idea, Erin. Keeping a file of encouraging emails would be very helpful when you are feeling down. I cannot imagine being critiqued each and every day of my life, and you have to know that anyone who writes something like the emails you refer to have to be very unhappy people in the first place. Good heavens. Chin up, girl! You are awesome, beautiful, and very, very smart.

    Your fan and friend,

    Jamie Adams

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