Week 5-7: It’s been a while…

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Wow, I feel bad for not updating this blog for a long time.  I guess, on the one hand it’s good that I’m busy in both school and my classes (school meaning student teaching versus classes meaning Tufts).  On the other, I did hope to write more and be consistent with my writing.  Every week I’m doing some really fun things in school and classes and as of three weeks ago, I’m “volunteering” with InterVarsity at Tufts.  I’m also starting to cook more and I’m having a crap ton of fun cooking too.  I’ll do my best to write about what’s been going on, and this may as a result, end up being a longer post than most.

Every week as always, I’m doing something interesting and exciting.  In some ways, my work in the classroom is less of an exponential growth curve and has more or less plateau’d.  In the beginning, it was very much ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ and now it’s very much controlled and I know what’s going on and what’s expected of me.  These days, I help create worksheets for the museum field trips, I create and grade quizzes, and I help facilitate other classroom activities.  The relationship between myself and my supervising practitioner has become very symbiotic where I help anticipate her needs while also taking ownership of my role in the classroom.  Most of it is technology things, but I suppose it’s expected as a member of Gen-Z.  Even then, I still do quite a bit and my relationship with my students has grown quite a bit.  In some ways, I’m a bit concerned with how they view me as a student teacher and whether or not they see me as an authority figure.  Nonetheless, as I say all the time, I’m having an amazing time.

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Another aspect of my life that has been quite surprising is my time in InterVarsity at Tufts.  After an amazing time with InterVarsity at Oxy, I knew that coming into graduate school, I would like to be still connected with IV at Tufts.  My biggest question was trying to figure out what my role was in this fellowship.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a “participant” or a “volunteer”.  In some ways, I felt incomplete in my time at Oxy, knowing that my head wanted me to go on staff and continue to work in college ministry while my heart wanted me to pursue my career in education.  Even praying multiple times at multiple occasions about this, I felt concrete in my decision to not “go on staff”.  Fast forward to arriving at Tufts and meeting with the on-campus staff member for Tufts IV, I decided that I wanted to “participate” for a month and see what the fellowship was like before committing to a final decision.  The turning point came at the first “The Gathering”, where I went up to one of the leaders to talk about the small group he was running: “Family Groups.”  To my surprise he felt overwhelmed by the amount of things in his life at the present and was praying about giving something up.  After a brief, but focused conversation, I decided to step in and help run his small group.

On my way back from The Gathering, I was praying about what direction God wanted me to explore.  Within a few steps God pointed me towards The Book of Ruth.  I had previously studied Ruth in a Bible study for college students over the summer, and I recalled that there was quite a bit to explore in terms of family.  The unorthodox family depictions between Naomi and Ruth and Boaz was a frame for us to develop our own bonds and relationships as a group.  During this small group, I’ve been able to get to know these students more and I’m really able to sort of share my experiences as a student and as a student leader with InterVarsity.  With every new interaction I feel more confident in my decision to be a part of this fellowship.  It’s funny, because for the longest time, I repeatedly stated my commitment to not go on staff, and yet with this, I feel like God is showing me opportunities to do both.

On top of the small group that I’m leading, I also had the opportunity to go to two (I know) Fall Retreats with InterVarsity at their retreat site in New Hampshire known as Toah Nipi.  The first one I went on was with New England IV chapters for undergraduates and the second was with New England Grad School IV Chapters.  Both were really different from each other and I had an amazing time attending the respective conferences.  I got to meet a lot of really great students and make some cool friends!  One of the highlights of the of the first retreat was going out onto the “lake” and kayaking despite it being 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Part of the fun was also having some of the Tufts Students kayaking out there with me and sharing their own stories of their journey.  It was a real moment of vulnerability and sharing that was clearly orchestrated by God.  The second retreat brought an equal amount of joy as I got to know people of my age and similar life status.  The highlight in the second retreat was getting to the finals of a retreat-wide Volleyball Tournament.  Our team “Hufts” was comprised of myself (Tufts) and 6 other Harvard students.  It was a disappointing defeat as we were leading 9-3 for a while.  Nonetheless, hanging out with them was so much fun and I look forward to seeing them in the future.

Finally, cooking!  I really have found some time to be creative in the kitchen despite limited time and limited ingredients.  Every Tuesday afternoon, I pass by a farmers market in Harvard that allows me to buy some really nice things such as homemade ravioli, tamales, and fresh produce.  I was also able to find a Korean Supermarket nearby that allows me to get my Asian ingredient fix including pre-cooked microwaveable rice.  In the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with pasta and different butter/garlic/soy sauce combinations.  Butter and soy sauce is an amazing combination and has produced some really great meals.  The nuttiness of the butter and the crisp savory flavors of soy sauce really combine quite well to make a very rich sauce.  These days, I plan to cook one or two nights as a way of de-stressing and it has been a really enjoyable experience.  I hope to write one or two posts about cooking and even share some recipes and such.

That’s all for this chunk, hopefully I’m not writing these really long massive posts and instead have more smaller posts.

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