You may be aware that my VISTA placement at TCU was completed on August 28th. I have officially completed my term "serving our country." (You can thank me later) :) IT was a really great year professionally and personally, but while living below the poverty line is educational and spiritually enlightening, it is really difficult. It was a hard year making less than $800/month at an institution where some students spend my monthly pay on a pair of boots or a purse. I also struggled with the feeling that I am behind my peers as I read emails/facebook filled with wonderful life and work related updates. But I was geared up to complete a second VISTA year at TCU, because I absolutely LOVE my students and the work that I do.
In June, we got word that we would not be receiving any VISTA positions for the 2010-2011 year. I was devastated...again. I felt like...why is this happening to me? How am I going to support myself through another year long job search? Why does this happen to me?
After a long, long, loooooooooong waiting process, we got word that our department was receiving a permanent position, Community Engagement Coordinator, working with both academic and co-curricular Service-Learning programs/classes. After an interview process that beat me up more than anything, I was hired on as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Center for Community Involvement & Service-Learning at Texas Christian University on September 27, 2010.
I still LOVE the work I do and the students/faculty that I work with and am again remembering what a busy season this is for service-learning at TCU. I am looking forward to working more closely with faculty to assist them in developing/maintaining s-l courses and partnerships.
I hate to say that sometimes I feel like my value is wrapped up in what I DO, but I do feel that sometimes. It's really good to see that others value my work enough to give me this opportunity and that people appreciate the work that I do. In general, I just really enjoy doing good work.
It does feel slightly strange that for the FIRST time since 2001 (senior year of high school) I have a little extra to buy a little something that I want/need and to treat others as well. (granted, you ALL know my live simply stance, so life won't look TOO different). Anyway, its been a long time coming.
Thank you for your thoughts, laughs, prayers, concerns and support (both emotionally and sometimes financially) along the way.