i am...

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Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
i'm the Director of Camp Wapiti and i have the best job in the universe. yes, the whole universe.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

life in a woodshop...

as part of my work with Young Life in Grande Prairie, its my job to go into Jr High schools and build relationships with teenagers by volunteering my time at the school. so imagine my surprise when the school administration asked me if i would consider assisting teachers in their classrooms! needless to say, my jaw dropped. however it is safe to say that i was no dynamo in the brain department, so i was kind of nervous in my response. i was quite pleased however when i found out the wood shop (industrial arts) teacher expressed a desire for some help. i can do wood shop.

i didn't know that life in a woodshop could be so interesting. so far, i've come across one crush that a girl had on a boy (my eyes rolled many times that day), a lot of questions about why wood has to be sanded more, and a few conversations about life - both with students and with the teacher. one student today really grabbed my attention. he just sat there the whole class, bound and determined to get his second (some students are on their fourth) project done. he just sanded away, quietly doing his work, and while he worked, he would look up every now and then, and smile.

i was glad to see this today. his smile said a lot to me. he's content and he knows what he's supposed to do. most kids don't have a clue what they're supposed to do. that's why they're so awkward, and how it is that they can become annoying to those older than they are. this student today knew what was expected and as a result he was able to be relaxed and enjoy the experience of the day. most kids have no idea what can be expected when they get home or when they walk to the next class. for some reason their friends can change almost hourly, their beliefs are challenged at every turn, they're ridiculed for the slightest mistake or awkward little slip. but when they know that they're in a place where the expectations are clear, and where they know that they've more than a slim chance at being included in what's going on, they just seem to relax that extra little bit.

i hope he's still smiling tonight.

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