August 24, 2008
August 19, 2008
Will Alicia Sacramone be remembered as the gymnast who cost the US a medal in the finals?
August 9, 2008
August 8, 2008
“.... my philosophy toward sports is a cliché: it isn't so much the result that makes me proud of an athlete or a performance; it's the effort. It's how an athlete handles wins and losses, it's attitude. And it's about understanding that being great at a sport doesn't make you a great person.” – Excerpt from TIME magazine by Dan Jansen 4/30/06
In a country where the average fan idolizes sport figures, will buy endorsed shoes and clothes but could not even afford a ticket to a game or the Olympics, it is wonderful to know there are people like Joey Cheek and many others who will set an example and give back to the community and world.
August 5, 2008
I am not so sanctimonious to say I don’t swear myself, I do. But remembering back several years I think of a client who came to our office one day. She sat drawing for a couple of hours. It was quiet and a rather peaceful time as she began to reflect back on her childhood. Remembering warm memories of good people left behind, far from the ugliness that brought her into care…it touched a chord in her heart and ours as we silently imagined a past that might lead to a future. A while later, her harried young case manager appeared to collect her, a casemanager at end of her rope, but the child had been tangling from hers for a long time.
The day ended sadly, a confrontation in the small visiting room across from our office, quiet voices of the staff trying to seek the right path, escalating conversation, police, scuffling and metal cuffs banging against the large glass window. But ingrained in my memory is the shouting of 14 yr old, screaming over and over at the top of her lungs “F-you!! F-you!! F-you all!!!!” Screams unleashing all the pain she ever felt…endless, endless pain. They were good words she was using, true words…and they were not ugly enough…surely there were worse words for the occasion?
So when I think about the F word…that’s the day I remember and I think it should be reserved for times like that. Shouldn't you save a bad word for a very bad time? Of course that would make it very subjective...that's okay too. Maybe your bad is nothing compared to my client's but it's your bad time. I will not judge another's pain...but the chit-chat has to stop!Interestingly there is an actual organization called Cuss Control Academy, they actually get paid ($1500) to come out to your company to give a presentation about the negatives of swearing in the workplace. Even though I probably agree with the principle....that’s a little too much! Today for me, I just want to voice a pet-peeve and that’s the use of the F-word to chit-chat about everything in life, it is really on my nerves and we should upgrade our language skills!!
August 3, 2008
He's tough now, he's a self proclaimed thug and quite proud of it. In the semi lock-up where he lives, he has advanced and now frequently rides the bus to the office. Usually he slinks in with shorts hanging under his backside, a tee-shirt covering it. Some days he complains endlessly about what's not being done for him. It's true he's had a bad life but if we do not redirect him he will acquire an attitude of entitlement which will paralyze his future.
Last week he wants me to buy his lunch, I tell him no but he can share mine. Thanks but no-thanks he says but quickly changes his mind. We talk as I microwave our meal; my patience is waning and I find myself telling him, at 30 no one cares that he had a bad life in foster care, they want to know that he comes to work on time and does a good job. I don't know what makes me say this but he's not listening anyway, he's asking how I make soup. I smile and tell him. The words about his future are not for him today, he's not quite ready...but he will hold them for another day.
In summer the office is like a second home where many kids would stay all day if they were permitted. Amazingly, over the years it has become quite easy to see through the facades of the children. And this child is easy....he's smart, deep and pensive...and there is a promising future for him .... if he can just make a few good choices and just ONE PERSON will hang in with him!
Thursday he appears at the door with a clothes bag slung over his shoulder. He is so excited he can barely talk. "ONE PERSON" has arranged for Jack to meet an attorney. Later Jack emerges from the men's room in dress pants (actually covering his backside) and a maroon designer dress shirt and tie. He is transformed in some strange way. Are the pants too tight he wonders? No, he looks great, I tell him. He rushes off to have someone teach him how to tie his tie. He finds Booker, the best dressed guy in the office.
It chokes me up a little, Jack treats us like we are his family. I wish this moment was shared with his real family, not people working at a foster care agency. But Deb, my supervisor reminds me...we care about him and he knows it. She's very practical. With that, Jack reappears, looking sharp in a windsor knot. Soon it's time to leave and his anticipation turns to anxiety.
What should he say??? What should he do?? He's sooooo nervous as he awaits the elevator. I tell him to relax, be himself. He's very disturbed by that response, he tells me he can't possibly do that, the guy won't like him. No time for self-esteem lessons, so I tell him to put out his hand and "Hi I'm Jack, thanks for meeting with me!" I hug him and he's off! I return to my desk, Deb and I are like mother hens praying this man will be great for Jack. Time passes, there's work to be done but we are still thinking about Jack....