Orientation

Today should be my first day of work, but alas, since today is the Feast of the Assumption, and I work for the Archidiocese, I have off today. While my housemates have been meeting the challenge of their first day of work, I have done plethora of things including making my commute to time it (~50min), exploring downtown and the Holy Name Cathedral, going the wrong way on a bus from the El stop, making a leisurely lunch at home, cleaning, buying groceries for my house,  blogging, and I will soon go cash my stipend check! Yay for a day off before work has even begun!

But since I do have a few extra minutes, I thought it would be cool to share some about what I’ve been doing these past few weeks. Like RA training, I was a dork and thoroughly enjoyed most of it while not everyone expressed as much acceptance of it. Also like RA training, I had the feeling several times that, “this is good life training! I wish everyone could have something of this sort!”

But here’s some snippets of what we learned and discussed and experienced:

  • Intentionality.  Be an active and aware participant in your life. Don’t just let it happen. Cultivate community purposefully. Make consumer decisions mindfully. That sort of thing.
  • Creating a safe space for sharing in our house communities (there are two other houses besides mine)
  • Always ask, What part of the problem am I?, in a conflict
  • We discussed the books we read, so I got to talk more about my love for Compassion, by Henri Nouwen 🙂
  • Self-assessment and personal mission statements
  • Neighborhood tours and dinner with Amate alums
  • Small group discussions on hospitality, internet, cell phone, guests in the house, etc. Lots of discussion on issues mentioned in the handbook.
  • Guest Speaker from Catholic Relief Services on The Common Good…. the idea that the good of all people matters and I can not flourish if not everyone is flourishing.
  • Servant Leadership.
  • Speaker on Professional Development. Good reminders but mostly what I liked was a quote from one of her sheets, “No reflection means no commitment.” Sound familiar?
  • Low Ropes course with our house communities.
  • First El or subway ride in Chicago last weekend! I feel like a pro already (I’m not actually) but I was stoked that first ride!
  • Chinatown
  • First Chicago-style pizza. HEAVEN ON EARTH!!! Sooooooo good.
  • Rode Ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
  • Conflict-style assessment (My highest score was the  “Accommodating” or “I lose. You win.” mindset)
  • Conflict and Nonviolent communication
  • The many forms of stewardship.
  • Discussion on Community and intimacy with two members of a Catholic Worker house. We get to know ourselves better in community, just fyi 😉
  • A Jesuit priest led us on a discussion the Examen and reflection in general. We live in a “culture of distraction.” Very rarely are we truly alone and not multi-tasking. We need to give ourselves the time. If we do this, we will develop the sense we are living our lives in God’s presence. We will find God in all things. Oh what joy!
  • Closed the week by signing the Amate House covenant that covers the aforementioned tenets of this program. It was a really meaningful ceremony and a wonderful spark with which to begin our year.

I hope that gives you at least a little insight for anyone who is curious what it actually means that I’ve been at orientation and hadn’t actually begun work yet.  Unlike RA training (which, by the way, it’s a little weird to think is going on right now yet I’m not a part of it lol), there was a lot of time built in for community-building. No surprise they would build that in, huh?! They just wanted to make time for us to just hang out and get to know each other before the busyness of our jobs set in. Another win for Amate House 😀

I hope that wasn’t too boring! As always, feel free to ask about something or comment if something sounds interesting. I can’t wait to share about work soon!!

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2 thoughts on “Orientation

  1. Girl, you are ANYTHING but boring to read. I’m so glad that you have decided to take on this blog as a way to share your life with those who love.

    Two things:
    1. Your second to last bullet – I don’t think I’ve taken time recently to truly reflect on what multi-tasking means in my life. Even when I’m supposed to be praying, I’m often listing off what needs to get done in my head. Or if I’m supposed to be purely resting, I do it with others so that I get a two-in-one deal. You know? Not that resting with others is bad, but if you need alone time to renew yourself and all you can think is how that time is wasted because you’re not building relationships, that’s not always good.
    2. Just looked up Nouwen’s Compassion – gonna check it out from the library if I can – I think it’ll be a good plane ride book, don’t you?

    Love,
    Sally

    • Well thanks Miss Sally! i’m glad i’m not boring 🙂

      1. yeah… when the Jesuit priest posed the reflection question to us, it was a bit startling because he asked, “how often are you truly alone? no music, no texting, no computer, etc.” not many of us could answer much at all. i think it’s so true that in our culture of distraction, we have little capacity for cultivating silence. but it’s not a lost cause! we can get better at it i think 🙂 same with praying. it seems that when i try to set aside time for prayer, that becomes the time when my to-do list is most prominent in my head. so i’ve started having some sort of paper handy to just right now everything that i have to do so i can stop worrying about remembering it. i think addressing distraction can be more beneficial sometimes than trying to ignore it?
      and you’re so right, we need time to rest- with others AND with just ourselves. there are such different purposes to both of those that we can’t forget one or the other.

      2. yeah! it’s a good plane book in the sense that after each chapter you’re going to want to put it down and think and you’ll have time for that while traveling. it’s not a good airport book in the sense of an invigorating plot line to pass the time like some mind-numbing fiction (which is sometimes needed as well! lol).

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