Recap: Last week I want to, "Circle training!" I am now 100% certified to lead a circle! It is still hard for me to actually explain exactly what Circle is. This technique can be used for a multitude of things such as: peace, reconciliation, sharing, community, the list goes on and on. Basically it is a way to address an issue, feeling, or even a crime from all angles. By sitting in circle a relationship is eventually established and people talk one at a time on what the issue may be. In the end things aren't always resolved and it may even take more than one circle. But the overall hope and accomplishment is basically pointing out similarities and truth.
(As I read through this description I realize it makes about almost zero sense. Hopefully, I will lead a circle soon enough to be able to explain with my own, personal experience)
This past weekend I was blessed by perfect timing of some familiar faces. Some family came in town for adventures to a Cubs game, Solider field for the NIU/Wisconsin game, and ventures throughout the city. I am so thankful for my family. They truly are such a support and rock to keep me grounded. I still think that I might have one of the best families around!
Here I sit my first full week of work beginning. Last week I met with a boy that I will be tutoring. He luckily has avoided being a part of a gang. However, at 18 he's seen plenty of violence related to gangs. I will be helping him get his GED. He does not attend school. However, I am starting to wonder if public high school is even worth it here in, "Back of the yards." The public schools here, in my opinion are just another venue for isolated gang violence. Guns make it past metal detectors every day, there isn't near enough security for the overpopulated school, and teachers.... ha! Good luck, just because they are there you have to ask how they can actually accomplish a lesson in the classrooms when there aren't even enough desks for the kids to sit in. I haven't been to one of the schools yet to see all this myself, I guess you could say this recollection is only word of mouth here at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. If it were my own personal experience, I am betting mine would be 5x worse.
Back to my 18 year old who I will be tutoring. He is basically homeless, and word is, he has tried to get his GED multiple times in the past but has always given up. If its up to me this kid WILL get is GED in the amounted time given. I will (OK I already have) bribe him. (not really, I just told him I would bake a Carmel cake... if anyone has any recipes I am in dire need... I have no idea how to make a Carmel cake! hah) So we set everything up last week, he was to come in today at 12.... guess what... no show. Here I was all excited, we had discussed everything and I told him that this is his decision, I'll help but ultimately he has to decide and do the work to accomplish this. It's not about me.
Today at 1 he called me to apologise. He didn't make it down here because....basically he's afraid to ride the bus. He's scared to ride the bus in broad day light/middle of the day. I'll let you imagine why. He promised he will be here tomorrow.... so I am praying he makes it here tomorrow..... Because gosh darn it... he WILL get this GED...... done and done....
Last thing, I was just assigned a circle. Me and another co-worker are to set up a circle between a 16 year old and a police officer. The kid robbed this officer. As part of his sentencing, he was given some time with "Project Re-pay," (a service we offer the kids as a community service kind of project) and the option of doing a, "Circle," with us. Now begins the planning... ahhhhhhh time will be a little delayed because he is not out of juvi yet. It may be a possibility that I see him there? Who knows!
It's only my first Monday and from here on out..... game on (I have a feeling there may never be a dull moment in this office..... I love it!)