Jaquandor tagged me with the Meme of Four...with a slight twist. He has added a new question at the end and has instructed each person who gets this to do the same. It will be interesting to see two things: a) how long it eventually gets as it passes around with each person adding to it... b) how divergent the various versions become since different people will be adding unique questions of their own. Maybe once it grows some and takes on a new flavor it will come back to me and I'll get a chance to try again? Who knows?
Anyway, here goes:
Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Factory worker making CB antennas. WORST job of my life. I was not cut out for factory work. This was even worse than cruddy restaurant jobs of my youth or the brief stint I spent at telemarketing. It was just brain numbing awful.
2. Group facilitator in a women's prison. I spent one summer working as a private consultant in Scott Correctional Facility in Plymouth, Michigan. I worked with a program that was looking for ways to strengthen family ties between the women inmates and their children. I went in every Saturday and ran group sessions with the moms and their kids. We did craft projects and played games, talked about feelings and sang songs. It was an interesting gig that gave me a completely different perspective on what makes "good people" and "bad people." The kindest, most compassionate mother I ever knew was someone I met in that program. She adored her daughter and was very tender with her. Yet she was in prison for having murdered her husband, drained his blood and drinking a cocktail made of it. HMMMM.
3. Direct Care Worker / Crisis Intervention Specialist - again, this was back in Michigan. I worked in various capacities with community mental health for a number of years. When I worked in Van Buren county I floated between 3 different houses; One was a program for adolescent girls (everything from eating disorders to suicidal depression to one girl with multiple personality disorder), one was for men with long term mental illness (mostly schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and a few other garden variety psychosis)and one was a co-ed program more geared to people who were having reactive problems short term (crisis due to losing a job, an ugly divorce, or general life melt down.) I met LOTS of interesting people at that job and came to the conclusion I needed a score card to tell who was "well" and who was "nutty" cause some of the staff made less sense that some of the clients. When I moved over to the program in Kalamazoo County there were some similarities but I had more responsibility. By that time I was passing meds and running groups and helping design the treatment plans rather than just carrying them out. I still have very strong memories of some of those clients and wonder how they are doing now.
4. Teacher - this is what I was born to do. In addition to my standard online work teaching Sociology and Sociology of the Family, I am currently teaching a Face-2-Face class called "Academic Planning". It's basically a "what you want to be when you grow up" kind of class. Students take different personality tests and learning style tests, etc and then we talk about how you decide which program would be better for you. We talk about goal setting and values clarification and how to overcome barriers. But it is most definitely NOT a lecture based class of me up at the front of the room being a talking head. We do lots of interactive exercises and introspective small group work assignments that are really fun to pull together. When I'm in the zone with a class I feel like all the planets have lined up and I know I am doing what God created me to do.
Four countries I have been to:
3. Costa Rica
But perhaps more interesting would be four countries I WANT to go to! Those would be India, Italy, Indonesia and Ireland. All "I" countries. Not sure why, but I just want to.
Four places I'd rather be right now:
Actually I liked Jaquandor's ideas on this one...But on this lazy Saturday morning I truly am RIGHT where I want to be. In my own house with no obligation to be anywhere else. If you were to ask me four things I'd like to do sometime I could come up with all sorts of answers, most of them having to do with being outside in nature in beautiful places. But since the question asks where I'd rather be I say nowhere. I'm staying right here.
Four foods I like to eat:
This is a stupid question, as far as I am concerned. I like to eat anything I didn't have to cook.
I'm pretty easy to please. So I'm going to spin it a bit differently and say four people I'd like to eat a meal with!
1. Condoleeza Rice
2. Anias Nin
3. Steven Hawkings
4. Isaac Pearlman
Four personal heroes, past or present:
THAT is a hard question for me because context is everything....there are so many I could name:
SPIRITUAL heroes would include Nephi, Mosiah, King Benjamin, Eliza Snow, Chieko Okasaki, Gordon B. Hinkley
SOCIOLOGY heroes would include George Herbert Mead and W.I. Thomas
FAMILY heroes would include John Lucus Vischer Thomas and William Brewster
WRITERS that I tremendously admire could be a rather lengthy list
SOCIAL ACTIVISTS would be a whole other group...
hmmmm I feel a whole new post coming on about heroes - what criteria do we use to determine who we most admire?
Now, for my new question....
What ONE thing would you change if you could change the world? That should bring up a few interesting answers.
I'd wipe out loneliness.
If I could change one thing about the world it would not be to end all wars, stop global warming or even eradicate poverty. It would be to find a way to let every single person to feel valued and a deep sense of belonging. Can you imagine what the world would be like if every person everywhere had that?
I suspect there would be an immediate drop in substance abuse, domestic violence, vandalism and all sorts of crime. I believe people who feel confidant and a sense of connection to others would behave very differently than those who do not. Yes, there is much suffering in the world from so many other ills. But if I had the power to do it, I'd wipe out loneliness. Then, once we had that dreaded scourge cured, I think people would get way more creative and powerful and have the energy they needed to tackle the rest.
I wouldn't cure cancer. Dealing with physical illness can be ugly and difficult. Yet I've seen so many people transcend their pain to experience joy and love even in the most brutal of circumstances. But I believe one of the greatest tragedies in the world is that there are so many people dealing with a deep sense of disconnection from all others, that bereft sense of apartness, not belonging, forever unappreciated, un-heard. Too many feel that loneliness even when surrounded by people. It robs them of their capacity to flourish and snuffs out joy at a very basic level. From a nagging sadness of having something missing to a wrenching sorrow that taps all strength, loneliness is an ache in the world I wish I could assuage.
(ok, ok , I know these meme things are generally for short off the top of the head answers, but what can I say? Introspective ramble is what I do.)
So who will I tag next? HMMM....
I think I'll pass this on to
JULIANA just because she hasn't blogged anything at all since way back in March and I will hope maybe this will prompt her to rejoin the blogging world. I miss her words!
Next I'll pass it to Paula Spurr over at I Remember Actually I would be a bit surprised if she decides to do this, since it's a bit far flung from her usual reminiscing...but I'll give it to her just the same.
Of course I will include the Rev Dr. Kate from Meditations from the Messy Middle of Things
and for my last nomination I tag Angela over at SciFiChick - a blog I've just recently started reading. She doesn't know I exist so won't see this, and may not care for this sort of nonsense...but I'll send her an e-mail and see if she wants to play.