Warning: I apologise now, this could be a long one ;)
Here's a rough lay out:
17 dollars lighter
We'll start out simple.... ha, I guess. Last week I had quite the convo. Someone was in to have their paper looked at, the paper was over "discrimination." So, myself and one of the boys started out with the basics, what is discrimination, what kind... wait? what kind of discrimination?-- you know, age, race, work, sex, ect ect ect. WOW timeout there is more than just race discrimination? (why yes, and so we begin) After internet searching, google (is great) and so forth, we stumbled upon this conversation. (I will try my best to relay the conversation) We are saying A-the other person B- is ME!
A. Bonnie can I ask you a question, and you promise you won't get angry with me?
B. I don't ever get mad, so of course you can.
A. You are here, the same age as I am, and you have this job. I could do your job. I know how to act, help and work with kids that come in and out of here. And you don't have their trust yet and don't know how to act with them yet. And you get paid for this. I feel like I have been discriminated against because you have this job and I didn't even get the chance.
B. But I don't get paid for this, I am a volunteer. I am here to learn and give back. I'm not here for recognition or a pay check.
A. But you get something in the end right? Like you are here because of school, or you will write a paper about this and get credit, or money for school right? Overall, you get something out of this right?
B. Sure, I get something out of this. I get the experience. I guess I get to add something else on my resume, thats all though...
A. Oh... well then you are here volunteering and its not part of school or anything like that. Volunteers always say that they are here to give back. Well, that's what all the older people say. They say they want to give back. But your 23 now, you haven't received anything. How can you give back something, if you haven't received anything yet?
Its like this idea keeps haunting me, poking at me every once in a while, right as I am forgetting, it pops up.-- So why are you here? Its like I am this huge mystery that everyone is trying to figure out.. surprise! I'm trying to figure it out too! It's interesting. I love being here, even if I am not doing a whole heck of a lot. I am learning more and more about people. Trying to think of ways to get some of these boys, some of my favorites to reach their potentials, trying to get them to think about the big picture, get them away from here. But, I don't know how.
Yesterday, I left 17 dollars in my purse. Strategically waiting for me to use it on my Target run to buy face wash and toothpaste. Well, I got to Target, picked up my desired whitening toothpaste and exfoliating face wash, opened up my wallet and BAM! Nothing was there. Cooooool. I guess I will confess and say that I'm not surprised that it didn't happen any sooner. I was mad, more than mad, pissed. The next day I was talking to one of the boys about it and he was so nice. He was sorry he didn't warn me sooner, or gave me some tips as to what I should have done. He just sat there and shook his head and apologized for whoever it was. Well, all I can hope for is that the money was spent on something good right (except who I thought it was miiiight have showed up later high..... nice) Moooooving on :)
Help-Portrait was a success, so I hear! I was unable to make it on that Saturday, but everyone said it was... organized chaos. So... sounds like a success to me!
My birthday weekend was fab! Best birthday I have had in years! No really! The past four years my birthday always landed on the week before college finals. Yuck! This year three of my best friends came up. We stayed down on Michigan ave. Shopped, walked, sight seeing, shopping, drinks, pizza, the bean, shopping. You know... all that fun stuff. It was so good! Now if only just one of them lived here!
I gave someone a ride yesterday and he asked me the next time we drove together, not to drive down the street that I did. Even though he wasn't in a gang, he was black, and he was in the wrong gang area. Good thing it was cold outside and there wasn't anyone hanging out outside.
I was at Juvi the other night and I was re-named Bonnie Blue Eyes (he doesn't know that my Grandpa calls me Bonnie Blue because of my blue eyes.) This kid was shocked by how blue my eyes were... or maybe he was hitting on me? Either way, we had a really good conversation. It kills me every time I meet a kid that is in Juvi for the first time. They are always so quite, scared and asking, how do I get through this? I hate Juvi. It makes me so mad thinking about how many kids are there and how they are treated.
Finally talked to the girl I was tutoring way back when. She is having family problems. There is so much going on with her I couldn't even begin to talk about everything going on with her. I guess my only question is, when can you tell someone that its time to worry about themselves than worry about everyone else?
Each week always circles around to the same problems: race, family problems, gang lines, discrimination, why is this crazy white girl still here? So here I am, blue eyes and all.... still here, thinking.