Thursday, May 01, 2008

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES…(the April/May 2008 Edition)

My, my, my…what a difference a month makes…there have been some rather radical changes in the life o’ Sonny in the last 30-odd days. Read on for the highlights, and for the blurb about how and why this website will – after June 1, 2008 – begin to be updated with alarming regularity…

JUST ANOTHER VICTIM: The University of Miami – through a grant from the Ford Foundation and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression – hosted the Tunnel of Oppression April 21-23, 2008, with tours nightly from 4:00 pm – 9:00. This was one of the Two Big Projects™ I was responsible for this past semester. The first was not nearly as cool nor was it as inspiring.

“Instead of asking young people, ‘What are you going to so when you grow up?’ ask them ‘Who are you becoming?’ The question is not whether you will be a doctor or a lawyer but what kind of doctor or lawyer you will be.” – Shane Claiborne
Okay. Little bit of back-story: As most of you know, Ashley and I moved to Coral Gables in June of 2007 because she was offered a job at the University of Miami as a Residence Coordinator here at the "U" (Hunh...I've gone from a "W" to a "U," totally bypassing any school with a "V." But I digress...). I, on the other hand, did not have a job offered to me, so the school "found one" for me, working in the Center for Service and Leadership, as the staff advisor to several of the "hippie" groups (Students Together Ending Poverty, Kids and Culture, CANES Against AIDS, Hands for the Homeless, etc.), co-advisor/general guru to others (Amnesty International, Students Towards A New Democracy, Random Acts of Kindness, National Gandhi Day of Service, etc.), and as the person who would arrange all community and volunteer outreach programs, working with homeless shelters, HIV/AIDS outreach, etc. They had originally tried to make this position a full-time professional job in Spring 2007, and were told “no,” but then the upper administration thought different of it and said they could test-pilot the position with a temporary employee. The job was initially promised to me for a full year, then back-pedaled to a semester in length.

Fast forward to late November/early December of 2007. After going back and forth about IF they could re-hire me for an additional semester, the University finally told me they could extend my job by one extra semester (for January-May 2008). After that, they were uncertain if they could extend it any further. The Asst VP for Student Life has been telling me all semester long that "they're working on" getting the position approved as full-time, and that all paperwork has been submitted, and they're fully certain that the position will be approved. I would know for sure by mid-February...sorry, we meant March 1...make that March 22...nope, April 1...okay, April 15 for sure...

In simpler language, they strung it out as far as they could.

On Wednesday, April 30, 2008, I informed the VP for Student Life that I could no longer wait for them, and that I was making the decision for them: I will not return in the Fall. My last day will be May 31, 2008.


I do not at this time have another full-time job lined up (there's the chance for one at a part-time level, but…I’m still debating the merits of it). There’s the possibility – with nothing assured – of me taking on a role part-time with one of the campus ministries here at UM. There’s the possibility (and I’m looking at YOU, Beth) of me taking on a role as a writer. I am not aware of anywhere or of anything about a full-time job in the Coral Gables area, neither in nor out of Student Affairs. I truthfully do not have one bloody clue what the crap I'm going to do in 30 days, besides start selling a lotta crap on eBay.

What I do know is - shockingly - I feel an odd peace about my decision. In spite of the fact that this is Great Big Leap of Faith #2 (in a series) that Ashley and I are making together (moving here was #1; getting married was not #1 - in spite of the snickers and giggle noises that I know some of you are making right now...), and in spite of the fact that our income has the potential to plummet in 30-odd days...this feels right. I know that many of you won't get that, that many of you won't understand making a decision based on instinct, faith and feeling and not on what is practical and logical...but then again, almost every time logic and practicality has trumped my decision making process - it's been a freaking disaster.

On the plus side, this does mean that come June 1, I will be able to begin to regularly update/blog about the deep thoughts that have been in my mind – but more importantly, I will have the TIME to do so, something I have been grossly negligent in doing as of late. In all candor, many aspects of this job have wreaked havoc on my personal life: people…I have been snippy and angry, and not in my usual Sonny-is-sarcastically-gruff-but-a-loveable-teddy-bear-underneath way, but full-on anger and frustration have been in my mannerisms and attitude; my marriage has suffered because Ashley and I have not seen nearly enough of each other nor have we spent nearly enough time together as a couple OR as friends; my spiritual life has shrunk to something that I barely have time to think about every so often let alone do anything about; and I’ve not been me. I’ve lost myself to this job, and that’s not something I ever wanted to do.


For those of you who pray - pray. For those of you who don't - wish for guidance for me as Ashley and I walk this path together and that we try and determine what the dickens we are to do next. And try and remind me that in many, many, many ways...this was the right decision.

Oh and my *&^%$#@! phone number will change again since UM pays for this thing. When I get a new # in May/June, I'll let'cha all know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ya know.. I resigned as well back in April.. effective June 30th, and having not yet found a job is stressing me out! It's starting to feel like a poor decision, even though I did it because I wanted to feel good about whose hands I was leaving my community in, and I knew our good candidates were starting to disappear. So now I'm in talks with the person who will be taking over for me, and I still have no idea where I'll be going.


All that to say... I totally feel the uncertainty/stressfulness of not knowing what's "next." I wish you the best and will also do my darndest to pray about it. (assumign you're still accepting prayers - I'm a bit overdue on catching up on your life here).

Also... Shane Claiborne has been to my house. The one I grew up in. I "knew" him before he was "famous". :) Although he would likely have no idea who I am... (My high school best friend started the Simple Way Community with Shane and some others when they were in college).

Okay. long enough comment. And it's the middle of the night. Must go.