Tying Shoes and Wiping Noses
Post

Tying Shoes and Wiping Noses

Being a preschool teacher sounds like it would be easy.  Reviewing colors, shapes, and songs everyday, what could be simpler?  Coming into this year, I expected my days to be spent playing with Legos and counting to ten. My reality, however, has been a completely different experience. To say that we preschool teachers are on...

A Journey Into the Unexpected
Post

A Journey Into the Unexpected

“Willingness to jump into all sorts of unexpected situations.” Though perhaps included as a catch-all in most job descriptions, as I look back at the description for my AV position at HELP of Ojai, it strikes me that this line captures an important theme – the unexpected – that has underscored my entire experience as...

Lessons From Outside the Classroom
Post

Lessons From Outside the Classroom

I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I was 17. I imagined growing up and having my own classroom. I thought about how I would decorate it, how I would arrange the desks, and how I would make sure that every student felt comfortable there. When I decided to spend the year as...

Being Heard, Known, and Loved
Post

Being Heard, Known, and Loved

Community is the charism, or spiritual gift, of the Augustinian Order and a pillar of the Augustinian Volunteers. “What is community?” is often asked as we strive towards achieving a fruitful community of volunteers throughout the service year. Before, I had a surface level understanding. It was a group of people united over a single...

We Commit Ourselves to Never Stop Laughing
Post

We Commit Ourselves to Never Stop Laughing

When it came time for orientation this August, I was super nervous about living with two strangers in intentional community for the next year. Upon meeting Meg and Hank, I became assured that this year would be one wild ride. The three of us spent the entire week laughing until tears were pouring out and...

Middle School Mayhem
Post

Middle School Mayhem

Never in my life would I have ever imagined that one day I would be dressed in an Eeyore costume with a fluorescent orange vest and holding a hand-held stop sign at a K-8 school in California. Yet, that is exactly where I found myself on Halloween morning. Since it was a Wednesday morning it...

The Bright Side
Post

The Bright Side

I have always loved the sun. I love the feeling of its warmth on my face. I appreciate how it makes the avocado tree in our front yard abundant with fruit. I look forward to the amazing show it puts on every morning and evening, each day different than the one before. I recently remarked...

Welcome to the Billy Joel Fan Club
Post

Welcome to the Billy Joel Fan Club

I have very distinct memories of being back home during my high school days, driving my sister to school every morning. Normally, we would be too tired to talk in the early morning but have plenty of jokes to share on the ride home. In the present day, the days begin and end very similarly....

Life as a 22-Year-Old Soccer Mom  
Post

Life as a 22-Year-Old Soccer Mom  

Four years of college, a degree later, and I somehow find myself back in the bustling halls of high school. It’s a Friday night and I am driving an eight passenger white van down the 101 with fifteen-year-olds screaming in the back. This is the kind of moment I dreaded when I thought of a...

God’s Plan can be an Unexpected Turn of Events
Post

God’s Plan can be an Unexpected Turn of Events

Even though I grew up Catholic, I must confess that I was a bit nervous with the thought of working with religious orders while completing my year as a volunteer in an Augustinian program. To add to my nervousness, I was going to spend almost a full year in Peruvian society in a small city...