Friday January 14, 2011
Today was theoretically a sleep in day, but I was still up before 7:00. I’ve been away so much that rather than take a day off, I hit the office all day.
I had paperwork to sign for educational assistance for two of our staff who are picking up some college classes this semester. One of our counselors wants more training on how medications affect student behavior. Another long-term employee who interrupted school to start a family some years ago, wants to finish up her bachelor’s degree. They both thanked me a lot for giving their request an OK, but I’m not entirely altruistic. I believe that just as a good education helps our students–our staff can improve themselves by going back to school–they can add so much more to their work and our children in need here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
I stopped in at the Friday night Skate Room movie for the 1st-3rd graders. I got my quota of hugs for the day. While the kids laid on the floor with blankets and pajamas, the houseparents sat around a table, catching up on conversation while trimming box top labels. When you have a dozen 8 and 9-year-olds to take care of around the clock, sometimes you just appreciate the chance to have an adult conversation.
Over in the Recreational Center, I joined some of the students and staff shooting baskets. Michael, one of our alumni who is working here as a custodian, talked about his desire to go on to a four-year college after he finishes his courses at the tribal community college. He dreams of coming back here and working with kids who were once in his shoes, and helping them to believe in themselves and set their goals high. I encouraged him heartily, and listened as he talked about the things that he saw holding his friends and classmates back.