Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chicago, Week 1

Greetings Comrades!

My summer Institute in Chicago is a jolting and often overwhelming experience. 18 hour work days, steaming heat (I've often sweat through my clothes by 7:30 am), high demands, and strained personal relationships have left me in a veritable pile of mush come Friday afternoon. I will refrain from touching too much on these subjects, as they only exhaust me further and talk about the good things that have happened this week.

*I have been slowly making connections and even friendships here. Though my life seems mostly disjointed and fractured, some shining faces are starting to poke through, helping me grasp and remember the things I like about myself. Other relationships are frustrating and overwhelming, but I am constantly forced to assess my own pitfalls and am being challenged to work on the areas of myself which quite honestly need some work.

*I got a sneak-preview of the students I will begin working with on Monday. They are bright, intelligent, and good-humored. I am excited to get to know them over the next four weeks.

*I managed to sneak in a gorgeous graphic novel read this week, which I highly recommend. It's called Portraits of Israelis and Palestinians for my Parents by Seth Tobocman. It felt good to access a higher level thought and empathy and to remind myself of the damaged world which I am slowly taking into my hands as I grow up.

*I found a group of fellow Corps Members to practice Yoga with. This morning we practiced for an hour in the grass outside our dorms at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The combination of the wind and the rushing L-Line helped me remember to hold concentration through adversity.

*I am constantly impressed with David. Our relationship continues to revive and energize me. I am amazed at how even short conversations refresh me from the worst moods and motivate me to keep working.

*My parents have been such an amazing support system. Their constant love and support, as well as their ability to remind and center me on my purpose in these five weeks and beyond.

*I have received the most amazing mail from the west coast!!! Keep it coming! The letters and postcards have been giving me that extra energy to push through every day!