Horrible UMAC Night

Well I knew that I would eventually talk/gripe about this on Xanga, but I was kinda hoping that it would have happened a little later than 4 days into my on-line journal…  lol…

So tonight I’m pissed, I’m frustrated and I’m really tired – and it’s all thanks to a meeting I had tonight.  Before then my day was going pretty decent.  I’m done with my finals, I had a really productive day at work that ended with me feeling great. What more could I ask for?  Well certainly not a UMAC meeting.

UMAC stands for University Ministry Advisory Commission which is a group at our church that comes together to help vision and offer direction for our campus ministry.  This is basically my last tie into campus ministry at my church (the ugly part which I don’t enjoy talking about).  So many changes have occurred in the last year, but it looks like the last day of finals wasn’t too late for more changes to come. 

So enter the UMAC meeting where the following occurred.

Beginning of the meeting Bombshell – It’s now official, we’re no longer going to hire a director of campus ministry, or a campus minister for that matter.  Our pastor decided that because we have a new priest, utility costs have risen and we want to give everyone in the staff a small raise, we no longer have money to hire a PROFESSIONAL campus minister.  Perfect, just perfect.  But now it gets better…  We ARE going to hire a part-time campus minister – WHO IS A STUDENT!?!   Boy, good thing they told the Campus Minister search committee that – OH WAIT – they didn’t!  Perfect – just perfect.  Not only did we piss away our opportunity to get an experienced PROFESSIONAL Director of Campus Ministry or settling for someone fresh out of college with no experience (like our current CM) – we couldn’t even do that!   And it’s not even the fact people value saving money more than they value bringing in qualified people, but the fact that this decision was once again made in the back room, counter to the values of the community and volunteers!

So this already put a bad taste in my mouth for the meeting, but things were going to get worse…  Towards the end of the meeting we were talking about UMAC membership for next year and the Campus Minister and someone from the student leadership team made a comment about how it’s important that we should have some students on UMAC who are involved in the activities..  "They’re not trying to say that anyone does this, but it should be important that students who are on UMAC are students who attend activities and know other students, etc".  Well of course the only other students there are myself at Emily, so I wonder who the comments are directed at…

So in response to my accusation that "I am not involved and can no longer represent students", I offer these points:

Point #1: What is your definition of not involved?  I’m not doing the things that you like to do?  I’m still at church three nights a week, involved in 2 leadership groups and am now CHAIR of the Pastoral Council (a role I have reluctantly accepted for the greater good).  How can I not be involved at this parish?

Point #2: Given that I was in Spirit Fire student leadership for two years in a row (and signed on for a third year), helped plan & lead over 20 retreats in the four years I’ve been involved in campus ministry and have logged more volunteer hours at that church than the campus "ministers" combined in my tenure, I think it’s safe to say I have an understanding of campus ministry.

Point #3: This last semester I have traveled 7 times for NCSC and have been actively involved with Campus Ministry on a national level – cut me some slack.. I couldn’t come to your retreat because I was in Orlando…  It’s not like I’m actively boycotting your activities, so why don’t you cut me some FREAKING SLACK?  I still have campus ministry ties which are just as valuable.

Point #4: Granted, I don’t know many of the students anymore, but I think that might be due to the 90%+ TURNOVER RATE our program has had..  Maybe I don’t know many of the students anymore because all of the students I knew and were friends with are gone..  Where are they – I have no idea…  But you might want to take that into account before you say I know no one.

Point #5: This is our last and only tie to Campus Ministry at J23…  Emily and I have gone from being two of the most involved people there to being pariahs in the community.  We gave you what you wanted by resigning from Spirit Fire and staying away….   Are we that big of a threat that you need us to relinquish in one remaining tie to the program…  I’m getting pretty sick of this hostility towards the institutional memory.

What makes things really tough is the fact when I told the committee that I was thinking about not coming back (on the heels of those comments being made) all of the parish & faculty members of the community talked to me privately expressing their disappointment if I would leave and all of them said I am a valued member and are imploring me to stay on…  It’s an awesome feeling to be affirmed in that way, but it also reminds me that the people who really have a problem with me being there are the ones that have all the control at this point.

Am I coming back?  I have no idea…  I need some time to think & to pray, maybe a week or twelve…   I will say this though:  I have a mental list of reasons I’m still around – seeds of hope & joy that I have..  One of them is playing music on Saturday night, another is working with the youth – but one of them was bringing in a QUALIFIED Director of Campus Ministry to help shape the program and challenge students like myself…   So one more item is crossed off that list…

Day Marked with Blessings

Well another long long day…  Marked with a lot of great milestones though, but in the end still long.  Still I’d like to count my blessings:

Blessing #1) Got my windshield replaced!  YEAH!  It’s been cracked for about a month and while I didn’t really care about my last car’s windshield being cracked, this was the ONLY thing wrong with the Explorer.  Getting it back almost felt like the car was brand new again   I’m looking forward to detailing it this weekend.

Blessing #2) It rained all day.  While most people would hate this, I love the rain.  Everything is just wet and really green and it gives us hope that we won’t have another drought this summer.

Blessing #3) My Dave Matthews Band CD’s came in!  After nearly two months of waiting the day is finally here!  Yesterday the new DMB album came out ("Stand Up") and today I received that CD, PLUS the bonus CD, PLUS 3 different live albums.  All together I got 10 CD’s of Dave Matthews Band today!  How cool is that?!?  That’ll give me something to listen to for quite a while!

Blessing #4) In that same mailbox as those DMB CD’s were my DMB Tickets!  Bristow, VA here I come

Blessing #5) Dinner with Emily.  I am blessed with an amazing friend and it’s neat to be able to just hang out and have fun!

Blessing #6) Done with finals! Now I can focus on that huge to-do pile!

So in the end, today was a pretty good day.  I got a few things knocked off the "to-do" list.  Got some mysteries solved at work, nervousness about deployment date beginning to subside…

Matchmaking-Sister’s Roomate update: My sister talked to her roommate, who said that I was "really nice" – whatever that means.. Whether this is good or bad I have no idea…

Jo-Anna update: She called me!  Unfortunately we realized that she is 5 hours from where I’m at.  Either way you do the math, someone or both of us would have to do a lot of driving on Thursday to hang out..  We agreed that it’d probably better to hang out in August.   I think she’s going to come on the NCSC retreat. Jo-Anna rocks

Long Day – Not a bad one though…

It’s been a loooong day, so this may be a bit quick…  Not a bad day though….

Took one of my finals today, didn’t treat me too horribly..  Then off to work I went, which turned out to be alright.  Fixed one of the problems that hosed me, but uncovered another one that concerns me even more.  I have 3 more days until a big milestone date, so I’m a bit nervous about getting all these bugs out of my project.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring some resolution to that.

After that I made my way to Boulder to go get my sister and her room mate for a Rockies game.  Joel met up with us on the way down and the four of us went.  The Rockies got beat (what else is new), but it was a lot of fun and in the end they made it little interesting.  They rallied a few times and tried to make it close but nothing could overcome that 6 run deficit in the first inning – very NIIIIIIICCE.  What else can you expect from Coors Canaveral though?

Then came the interesting part of the night.  My sister I think has really been pushing for me to meet her room mate, trying to be a little match-maker.  Boy can my sister pick them.  She was very sweet and very pretty (great smile, very nice hips), but I don’t think I impressed her much.  I am *really* shy when it comes to meeting new people, especially in situations like these where there is some kind of expectation.  I know my sister told her something, so I wasn’t really sure.  Either I make a complete ass of myself, or I end up not paying enough attention (trying to "play it cool", you know…).  But I think I tanked…   Or maybe it could have been my "soccer" comments, being that she’s played soccer since she was 3 and I talked about how all soccer players do is run around and then fake injuries.   Hmmmm… We’ll see how this turns out though: outlook not promising.

Tomorrow’s going to suck…  Get up at 7am, go to Loveland and drop off my car to get windshield replaced (FINALLY), go to work, try to get a ride back to the glass place from one of my sisters (fun stuff), then head back for a final… Night looks pretty open but then again there’s that huge to-do list… 

I’m also supposed to go see Jo Anna on Thursday, but I don’t think it’s going to happen..  First off she hasn’t called me (and yes I know the phone works both ways) but I haven’t made the time to call her…   I did put the "time-off" notice on the work calendar, but I haven’t told anyone yet…  Hmmmm….  No excuses, I need to see her…

Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays…

Well another weeks starts and with it another list of things that I must do…  The list has really piled up and I really need to knock some of these things out.  What better week to get started on these than finals week as well – but no worries, my finals are pretty much a joke so I’m not really worried (gotta love these "clean up your GPA" semesters).

NCSC work has really piled up and I keep procrastinating on it.  What makes it hard is that I keep catching these lucky breaks and things end up working out.  I’d like to think of it as God taking care of me, but it could just be luck as well.  Nonetheless I can’t let these be another excuse for why I’m not doing it.  I need to let the creative juices flow and make a logo, then I need to get some forms that I wrote out onto the web site.  On top of that I need to reach out to my team (which I feel horrible about maintaining communications silence).  The list piles on…  Argghhh…

Work was good today, for a Monday.  Got bit in the butt by something I didn’t realize when I was doing an upgrade and now my project is temporarily hosed. I just pray that tomorrow the team that needs to help me will actually help me.  I have to move onto other stuff…  (There’s another pile of stuff I need to do over there) Ugh…

Tonight was great as I got to reconnect with two very great friends.  I got to see Emily and help her out with her graduation invitations.  I’m always excited to see Emily, even if it’s only to help her with a favor.  It’s nice to talk to her though and it’s been way too long.  I invited her to the family Rockies game with the fireworks so that should be a lot of fun too.

I also got to see Sam tonight too, which is really good.  This friendship is the one I’m most pleasantly surprised.  After everything that has strained our friendship I feel that we’re healthily mending it, in a way that’s not awkward either…  I’ll tell you what’s a bit scary though.  Tonight Sam asked me if I would be able to be her phone call when her water breaks and it’s time to deliver – as I’ll be the ride to the hospital.  Part of me is *very* flattered – that she trusts me enough to be able to ask me for this great task.  Another part is scared to death…   I get a call in the middle of the night and next thing I know I’m making a mad drive to the hospital?!?  Then we all have seen those sitcoms where you’re there helping in the delivery.. "Squeeze my hand if it hurts"..  Did I sign up for this???  I’ll need to pray about it, she’s going to be a single mom and she doesn’t really have anyone else so I think I’ll need to wise up and just do it…

Tonight was fun though, Sam and I got some food, then were going to go to the movie and decided to kill some time in front of the Tivo by watching some Law & Order…  Such a great show..  Take your pick: we decided on Criminal Intent & SVU.  Then after that we watched Iron Chef – the Japanese version.  CLASSIC! If you’ve never seen the show you’re missing out on a real treat.  They take these chefs and pit them together in competition as if it was the Super Bowl or something.  They have this big countdown and are cooking frantically to get these dishes to these judges that don’t have a clue what they’re talking about…  The real kicker is the commentary.  They have such bad voice-overs and the English commentators are so out of whack with what they’re saying.  My favorite guy is this kitchen sideline reporter who always goes "Sckuz-a"…  CLASSIC!  At the end of the show I have no idea what they cooked or how they cooked it, but I know that I laughed about 20 times during the show.  GREAT!!     I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch this show, but if you’re looking to kill some time in front of the TV from 9-10 the Food Network is the place to be.

Inaugural Posting

So here we are – my inaugural posting…  I’m typically not one to jot my thoughts on paper, or a web site for that matter, but I’ve decided to give in and join the latest fad of blogging.  Plus I have so many thoughts going in and out of my head I thought it might be interesting to capture them somewhere where they can be reflected upon.

So being that this is my inaugural posting I should probably give a breakdown of what my life in this day and age.  The majority of my life is devoted to both work and school, and when I say both of them, with the majority being focused on work at this point.  I’m blessed with a great job that is career-oriented and challenges me.  The downside is that working full-time has put me on the non-traditional extended school plan, something that has been more of a struggle.  This last semester I only took 6 credits, and easy ones at that.  At this rate my present calculations will have me in school for the REST OF MY LIFE… There is actually end in sight, but it’s still quite a ways away.

Outside of school I keep myself busy with all sorts of activities, a majority of them being church related.  I used to be totally involved in my campus ministry, serving on the leadership teams, pastoral council, and all of these various committees.  Unfortunately within the last year there have been a lot of changes going on, which have left me feeling pretty disenfranchised.  I struggled a lot during the fall semester and ultimately decided to resign from a majority of my leadership roles and have pretty much disconnected from the student group.  It’s a big part of my life I’m still in grief about and still struggle with watching all of the changes.

This brings me to where I am today.  I am involved with the National Catholic Student Coalition (NCSC).  I totally love this organization, the people in it and all of the teams I am a part of.  It’s been such a blessing in my life and I’ve once again found a "home".  At the same time, I still struggle with wanting some way to connect with people on a local level and am exploring opportunities to do that.

Outside of that my time is spent drumming, going to concerts, listening to music, working on various projects and trying to be a good friend.  I am a huge sports fan and love going to virtually any sporting event (besides soccer).  Big time Broncos fan and am just counting down the days until football season starts…

Well that should do it for now…  My goal is to try to write something every day and see how things are going.  Hopefully my journaling of each day’s events will help shape the picture of my life…  Thanks for reading.