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Posts Tagged ‘education’

A couple of months back I heard Seth Glier in concert at Rivermill at Dover Landing. Seth is 22 years old but has a depth and profundity to his music that bespeaks someone much older. His opener and the title track of his latest album is The Next Right Thing which, in its own way, challenges us to take the next action that will benefit beyond ourselves … to do the next right thing rather than simply the next thing right which may be just about us.

A couple of weeks ago I got some clothing back from a friend who was doing alterations on them. I had given them to her over a year ago. Her life got very involved so that she didn’t finish them last summer but this one. With many apologies and embarrassment, she gave me the bag of clothing. “It was really O,”K I told her (and it really was) and gave her a hug; things happen, and friendships are worth more than delays. When I emptied the bag a few days later, I found a note of apology and five $20 bills folded up as turtles and hearts. She was returning the money I had paid her. Well, I don’t remember if I had paid her in advance or not, but returning it because of the delay was not something I wanted. I knew that we could play the “pass the money back and forth” game and neither of us would win.

So, taking the challenge of Seth’s song and in response to a piece I heard on NPR about how expensive it is to get ready for school, I opted to buy school supplies for kids at the elementary school near my house.

With backpacks costing $25-$100 alone, I knew my funds wouldn’t go too far. However, since Staples was running 25%-50% off of them, that’s where I headed. I had the cashier ring in items in a particular sequence to see how far I could make the money go. The three backpacks (at 50% off) were $74.97. We added notebooks, pencils, pens, glue sticks, folders in a bunch of colors, pencil cases, and so on. Though I hit the $100 mark somewhere around glue sticks, I had the cashier continue with the total coming to $152.06. $100 cash and my Discover card given and I was back at the car.

Feeling that I had made “our” money go far, I couldn’t wait till the next day to drive to the school and drop off the items.

Well, talk about surprises and confirmation that I was doing the “next right thing,” when I got my mail, in it was a check for $55.62; so my shopping trip was more than covered! While the money was for some online teaching that I do, I thought the arrival date was most interesting and timely. Hmm, wonder why?

Now, if I could only be a fly on the wall to see the faces of the kids receiving the items … but then that’s not what it’s about, is it?

My challenge to you: Find YOUR next right thing and maybe watch Seth’s video for inspiration.

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Thursday, January 29, Audrey was due at my house in Dover around 9:30 am. We would later travel to Kit’s for filming of a career counseling session. Why I didn’t put two and two together that filming would also occur at my house, I don’t know. I knew there was to be an interview, so I should have realized a camera crew would also be arriving.

And one did, a very nice chap!

In short order my living was rearranged so that a chair was smack dab in the  middle in front of the fireplace. I was told that the room was great and would be a wonderful background to our conversation.

Audrey asked me lots of questions and was out of view of the camera. Because I tend to gesticulate so very much, I opted to sit on my hands while I talked to appear more calm and to hopefully slow down my machine gun delivery.

With hindsight that was probably not the best thing to have done. I probably appear pretty flat and without my animated style. But I won’t know that (nor will you) till March 23 and beyond, depending on which day my story will be told. Live and learn. The “next” time I’m “famous” I’ll be so much better prepared. 😉

Among the questions I was asked (and I’m sorry I don’t remember much) were what it was like to be unemployed, did I feel I was subject to age discrimination, and what was happening now that I was no longer receiving unemployment benefits.

Audrey told me I used the word “panic” in five responses. This surprised me greatly as I didn’t feel in a state of panic while we were talking. But I had been pretty panicky the week before when the unemployment news came down that my claim for the extension was being held, and no job prospects were in sight. I found I had started to apply for just about anything that I was remotely qualified for giving no thought to whether or not I would actually enjoy doing the sort of work or seriously thought I would be hired.

And then there was a drastic change. Something had happened that my words were not accurately portraying.

The morning after being selected for the news piece, I started a spiritual retreat to explore whether I felt a specific call of God on my life. I have felt that my teaching and the related work I did around my church were a gift that I was to share. However, whether I was to actually pursue certification or ordination was another matter entirely but one that I felt needed exploration.

Although engaged in spiritual discernment sessions with a group of about 40 amazing people with incredible talents and stories, I was till doing my job searching online (aren’t laptops great?). I had left feeling a great deal of turmoil about the questions relative to unemployment and worried about finances and whether I would ever get a job.

An interesting thing happened on Friday, however (six days before the taping). I was engaged in a conversation about unemployment, the words of which should have caused me major distress. But they didn’t. Instead I had a feeling of overwhelming peace.

God had brought me through unemployment back in 1993 and into a job that I loved. I had been blessed to have had a career that was fulfilling. I knew that my high school teaching job was were I was supposed to have been just as the middle school job was. God had been with me each time, our family had gotten stronger through the process; so why should this experience have a different ending?

That feeling has stayed with me, though I do need to remind myself every so often. What had happened during the interview, however, was that my brain had not yet caught up with my heart; so my mouth was responding with the expected answers and not the ones my spirit knew.

I don’t know where this will end. I do know that it will be “good.” The “good” may be very different than I expect. The “good” may not be good by the world’s standards, but I know that the “good” will be what is best for me. And I will stand on that promise.

But back to the taping. Part of the focus was to get “real” footage of me in my home; so I was followed around in my kitchen wiping counters, wrapping up banana bread, putting dishes in my dishwasher. Is nothing sacred? LOL

That done, we were off to have lunch in beautiful downtown Dover and then on the road for more taping.

Oh, and I was given a camera  to record my own personal video diary. I did one shot holding the camera in my hand, saw how much I looked like I was in a fishbowl (not to mention how your wrinkles and pores look) and proceeded to get a small tripod to use!

Vanity thy name is Diana!

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