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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Youthful exuberance


I’ve mentioned, Emily is taking service classes, where at pecuniary expense to grandma, she is learning to be a good person. I’m noticing, senior year seems to be about service. Emily became a member of Honor Society, for instance. I paid a membership service fee, and she must contribute more service hours to maintain good standing. Fortunately she likes to knit, so joined knitting club, to churn out scarves for community donations.

But, I digressed, cynically. Hopefully I have not degraded the best story of all. This very same service class that sees her assisting in an elementary school two half days a week, has another service requirement. Or perhaps this time it is her English class. All this service is becoming a blur.

This assignment is, with classmate Olivia, identify a person who would make them uncomfortable, seek out such a person and do a kindness for the person. I listened to the brainstorming and potential acts of kindness and swallowed my hilarity. When the plan began to unfold, the devil’s advocate driving the grandma bus laughed her way to tears once or twice.

Who would make them uncomfortable: a priest.

What could they do to promote understanding between themselves and a priest: bake cookies.

Still not laughing out loud, I gave them the name and number of the priest at Mother of Sorrows in Peninsula; Olivia’s mother provided the same for St. Mary’s in Hudson. They never made contact with Father T in Peninsula. As he’s a bit long winded as well as a bit of an old curmudgeon, probably the best.

So, two young women kept an appointment with Father Pat in Hudson. It turned out, he’s a nice young man who did take the opportunity to opine his place in eternity is known to him, and he suspected the destination of the young women was yet to be determined, as neither attends a church.

What did Father Pat think would increase understanding between a priest and them: rake parishioners’ leaves. Oh, and bake cookies for the members of his youth group to eat after said raking.

Forgive me, by now I was laughing out loud. Just for starters, every two plus acre lot in Hudson is maintained by a lawn service. It would take an army of tender handed rakers, with their dad’s nonexistent rakes, to move the leaves on one lawn to the curb. But, Father Pat would take care of that.

Last night they baked cookies in St. Mary’s beautiful industrial, stainless kitchen. The bakers who showed up:  Emily, Olivia, another Olivia recruited by the original team, and Emily’s boyfriend. 

They baked so many cookies that after they set aside enough for today’s leaf rakers there were dozens to give to their school secretaries as a random act of kindness (one of my suggestions in the original brainstorming).

How many teenagers plus one priest can rake a yard: Emily, Olivia, Olivia, Emily’s boyfriend and Father Pat raked the front of the parish house to the curb. What of Father Pat’s crew? They were too tired to participate.

Well, that service project is over. Oh, and Emily has been accepted to Hiram, and her initial scholarship award is for four years and covers 30% of her tuition. She didn’t even apply for this one; it’s based on her grades. Wait till she goes for the community service scholarship award. Just kidding.


26 comments:

  1. Love the quilt. And would give the report a baring passing grade. They made a beautiful thing into a dull story. Factually accurate, but dull.
    And I would have joined your mirth at the latest service requirement.

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  2. Congrats on the partial scholarship money!!

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  3. Her quilt is lovely. She did a marvelous job there. I had several good chuckles about the community service. At least Father Pat was not too tired to help.

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  4. Congrats on her acceptance into Hiram; that was her 1st choice if I remember correctly?? That's great too with the scholarship. I had to laugh with their choosing of a priest, but I have to say he did at least try to come up with something with the raking and the cookies :) Sounded like it was good to get this assignment over with.

    betty

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  5. Congrats to Emily on the partial scholarship money. I hope she will get notice of a few other scholarship which hopefully will cover all of her costs. That would be a nice reward for all her service ;-)

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  6. Wish I was there I would rake lots of leaves for home made cookies.Nice quilt, lots of colour.
    Merle............

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  7. 30% is quite an accomplishment. Now you only have to figure out where the other 70% will come from. On the other hand you must be so proud of Emily to know/learn empathy about others. We have a few people who contribute knitted gloves and scarves to our community center. They are more than appreciated.

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  8. The quilt is luminous... the reporting, undeniably less so.

    Devil's advocate driving the Grandma bus, hmmmm? I'd have been laughing my hindquarters off. Not a pretty picture, incidentally.

    Huzzah for Hiram and scholarship dollars, fingers crossed for more!

    And how are you doing?

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  9. I was thinking of you this morning and wondering how you are doing. Emily is getting quite an education in her service class isn't she. Darian is now reading to Third graders in his class. And for FCCLA Harley has adopted a family and they are providing the groceries for Thanksgiving. I'm with you on the costs of all this service. Have a Happy Thanksgiving Joanne and family!!

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  10. It does sound a lovely thing for teenagers to do, although I must admit it did make me smile. How is that arm doing?

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  11. Your Emily sounds like such an impressive girl. The quilt is beautiful as well as thought provoking and good on her for baking the cookies and trying to help people that make her uncomfortable. I heard something about mixing with people outside your comfort zone as one of my daughters is researching something relevant to this. She said that one of the findings is that those who seek out people from different backgrounds and interact with them have the (unexpected) benefit of doing better in terms of career and achievement than those who stick with their own group. Emily seems to be proving that point. And now a scholarship - wow!! I've been reading of how she has been progressing over the months and years on your blog, and it's just so great to see her powering along like this.

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  12. So funny that they picked a priest as a person who would make them uncomfortable. Did the priest know that part of the story?

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    Replies
    1. I believe thry stumbled through that part at once, to find they're just people, too.

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  13. I don't know much about priests, but I suspect that most clergy carry a heavy load all by themselves. Emily and her group may have brought the priest a smile and a moment when the load seemed worthwhile and lighter. I love your story and admire you for not wading in to make changes. Makes me smile.

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  14. So, a priest makes them uncomfortable? Hmmmm.

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  15. It's all very good and I love that you had a good laugh about it. Senior year is so expensive, they need money for everything. Congrats to the granddaughter for her scholarship and good works.

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  16. and so do they feel less uncomfortable around a priest now that he had them do what his own group wouldn't do? I would imagine his first assumption about their eventual destination would have only widened the gap. my own grandgirls, the twins, are involved in many service projects but they aren't organized by the school. they have to find their own ways to get service hours for their eventual college applications. congrats to Emily and the quilt is gorgeous!

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  17. Priests scare the bejesus out of me. But, nuns are worse. And my daughter's grandmother is a full blooded Lakota Indian and she sent me some peach leaves to make into a poultice to put on my radiated chest. She said it was also good for body aches and breaks. Care for some peach leaves, dearie?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and how to use them. I don't know how, but hurt it a lot at work this morning. Actually, I do know how and the road super came by and did the job that had to be done.

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  18. I really wonder about schools and what they're hoping to engender with their service requirements. I've always been such a cynical soul that doing community service would have made me even more so. Hope Emily has a kinder soul than me.

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  19. "This assignment is, with classmate Olivia, identify a person who would make them uncomfortable, seek out such a person and do a kindness for the person" - mmh, funny... next time I'll be very weary if someone offers me cookies... :-)

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  20. The quilt turned out beautifully! Great story, all of it :)

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  21. The quilt turned out very nicely. Emily and her friends are the busiest teenagers I know.
    And they do such good works for community.

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  22. I had to giggle about the Priest ! Good for Emily x

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  23. Hiram sounds like a worthwhile scholarship to have been awarded so far.

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