1. This past week I finally got to vueontelr again after my last round of midterms. I went to Youth clinic on Monday and SHARE at General clinic on Tuesday and I had pretty amazing experiences both times. On Monday I went mainly to talk to service providers and to survey clients for my learning contract. Typically, I’d feel a bit intimidated to just straight up approach a client and talk to them for no reason, so having to ask questions for my learning contract helped ease my nervousness a bit and forced me to make the first move and introduce myself. Of course it’d be awkward to just go up to them and start asking a bunch of questions, so I started most of my conversations with Hi, how are you today? I was surprised at how easily I could start talking to a client and how fast I could become immersed in a conversation with them after breaking my initial fear and awkwardness. I got to ask some of the clients my survey questions but I never even got to them with others. In any case, I learned a lot about each client and I’m excited to see them again and talk this coming Monday at the open mic night! The next day I went to SHARE and although there weren’t any clients until the end of the session, I had a pretty stimulating discussion with my fellow suitcase-ers and SHARE coordinators. We started the discussion talking about the different Occupy movements in the area and I definitely learned a lot and became more informed about the different issues that the movement supports. I also got to voice my own opinions about the movement and recent events. After we exhausted the Occupy topic, we moved on to talking about the recent fire on telegraph and haste. It was sad but also encouraging to hear about what some of the residents of the apartment that caught on fire were going through. At the end of the night, one client came and sat in briefly who was actually a former political activist. He had actually marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr! Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time during SHARE to hear about his experiences, but a couple of other suitcase-ers and I talked to him later in the main room. We asked his opinion about the current Occupy movement since he himself had been so involved in politics in his youth. His advice and opinions were very insightful and I actually agreed a lot with the different issues that he brought up. I definitely felt so blessed to have been able to talk to someone who had so much knowledge from personal experience. After these past two experiences I don’t want to waste precious time during clinic being awkward or afraid to talk to clients when I can learn so much from them and about them!

  2. It had been awhile since I had been back to Woman’s Clinic and I was so glad I rrentued by the first couple minutes. I volunteered to foot wash tonight, as I had done at Women’s several times before, knowing that this would allow me ample opportunity to converse with clients. I recognized a few faces and enjoyed each woman’s company as they came and went, carrying about their business- some moving straight onto pedicures across the hall. Then I met Client M, and my heart melted just a little bit.M, as I will refer to her, was about the sweetest woman I have ever met. It was at times difficult to understand was she was saying, as her voice was very soft while noisy business bustled around us. As soon as I asked her how her day was, M launched calmly into tales of her past and family’s situation. I was able to pick up on bits and pieces regarding her father, a general in WWII and her husband, a veteran of Vietnam. M also spoke of her daughters- one in particular whom (she whispered) was a terrifying driver, as well as her grandchildren whom she guessed were about my age (though they were several years younger). When I asked what her favorite Thanksgiving food was, M answered like a woman after my own heart- yams topped with melted marshmellows.Throughout our conversation, though, I noticed two things. First were the large callused bumps on the bottom and sides of M’s left foot. As she spoke gently about her family and past experiences I could not help but wonder how such a delicate woman could even bear shoes (none the less BOOTS) over these soars. When I asked her if they hurt while she walks, she knodded yes and continued with her narrative. Secondly, I often as she covered repeating points of struggle in her story, M would shake her head and say, “But who knows…who knows ” It was then it hit me the incredible strength of the small woman. Even when her eyes glistened over and I almost expected her to burst straight into tears, she was able to draw upon the inevitability of hardship and focus thereafter on something she was really grateful for.As Thanksgiving approaches I will continue to think of M, as I reach for the yams, and especially as I count my blessings.

  3. Congrats on a beautiful atclrie! I’m obsessed with Baies as well—the candle is sitting on my desk as I type! Can’t wait to try the Essie shade you reccomended… Oh and I think you should move to Paris. It’s one of my favorite cities on earth as well—the architecture, the art, the croissants… It’s for the chicest of chic and you my dear over-qualify!XXX Kate

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