Changes, They are a-Comin’

Yesterday afternoon I logged into my old Blogger account to read my travel abroad blog.  When I logged in I noticed that I had an entry under the heading “Deleted Blogs.”  Apparently Blogger decided that even though I deleted my wedding planning blog, I may want to come back and read it again someday.  And so, for some dumb reason unbeknownst to man, I did just that.

I was very weird.  Guys, I think I may be getting over C.  As I read the blog I noticed that I missed having a bunch of craft projects to work on, but I didn’t miss him.  Is it horrible that it only took me 3 months to get over having my heart completely broken by the guy I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with?  Does that mean I didn’t really love him?  Or is that a good sign, a sign that I’m really healing and starting to move on with my life?

The other reaction I had to reading my blog was just how weird it was.  My last post was dated December 19.  That post was entitled “Date Night” and talked about how C and I were going on a date that night and I was very excited, and how I was worried that we weren’t spending enough time focusing on our relationship with jobs and wedding planning and holidays.  It was just so weird to read that post.  I couldn’t help thinking how happy and in love that girl sounded, and how she had absolutely no idea how her whole life was going to blow up in approximately 5 days.  

It is so funny how fast life can change.  I remember after our date that night I received my acceptance email to Weddingbee, which I was extremely excited about.  I distinctly remember driving to school the next day (it was the last day before Christmas break) just being out of my mind excited about Christmas and the wedding and Weddingbee.  I remember exactly what intersection I was going through when I thought “I am just so, so happy with my life right now.”  I had absolutely no idea that in a few short days that all was going to be taken away from me (well, Christmas still came, but you can imagine it wasn’t exactly the most joyous one I’ve ever celebrated).  

My life is in a completely different place than I thought it would be.  However, I don’t think I regret that fact.  I can clearly see now that marrying C would have been a big mistake on my part (drugs aside, I was definitely settling with him.  I deserve someone who treats me better than he did).  While those abrupt changes really sucked to live through, I think it will work out for the better.

This is an example of when a really bad sudden change happened.  There also can be amazing sudden changes.  For example, a week ago I was wondering how in the world I was going to make it through another year at my job.  As I’ve mentioned, I love the school I’m at but my job is just boring.  I miss being in the classroom.  Then that 6th grade position opened.  Yesterday afternoon the principal told me that if I want the job, he won’t even open it to other applicants (!!!!!).  Now I just have to decide if that move is the right one for me to make, but I’m probably going to take it.  This change happened fast, but it will (hopefully) be a very positive one.

I guess the moral of today’s post is never to get complacent or desperate (why do I always feel like my posts need to contain some sort of a lesson?  Must be the teacher in me) because you never know what life is going to throw at you.  Life could be going great but you can’t get complacent, because you never know when there’s going to be a huge wrench thrown in and you have to be able to deal.  At the same time, things could be really shitty but you can’t drown in despair because you never know when something might go your way.  I guess it’s all about keeping a positive attitude and being strong in the face of whatever, helped along by a little (or a lot) faith and hope.

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There Is a Plan

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I started seeing a therapist in the aftermath of my destroyed engagement.  I am still seeing said therapist because (shockingly) he thinks that 12 weeks was not enough time for me to recover from all the emotional trauma I suffered (for those of you who didn’t get it, I was joking when I said “shockingly”…sarcasm Sheldon).  This past Monday I was talking to my therapist about the same issues I wrote about in my Life as an Interloper post.  After listening to me blab for about 40 minutes, he made a pretty astute observation (sidenote: this is generally how my therapy sessions go.  I ramble on for most of the hour and then he says one or two things that pack more punch than everything I just said.  I guess that’s why he gets paid the big bucks).  

Anyway, my therapist noted how there are many areas of my life where I am so close to achieving what I want but I’m just not quite there.  This is true for my job; I love the school I’m working at, but the media specialist job just isn’t my calling.  My job is ok, but it’s just not quite there.  This is true for my living situation; I’m so excited to move into our new apartment with my sister in June, but that situation is temporary.  At the absolute most we would live there for 4 years, but it’s unlikely it will be that long.  I have a place to live, but it’s not quite my “home” since I don’t plan to stay indefinitely.

After noting this fact, my therapist encouraged me to focus on what I have achieved and keep faith that things will work out eventually.  He pointed out that it’s not like I’ve gotten nowhere in my life.  Sure, I’m not exactly where I want to be.  But I’m getting there.  I’m closer than I was 2 years ago, and in 2 years I’ll probably be closer than I am now.  He suggested I need to make a mental shift and start appreciating where I am in life and the strength it took to get here.  He reminded me (he’s mentioned this many times) that true growth and change are often accompanied by pain, so if I can get through this hard time things will work out even better in the end.

Well, I’m happy to report that something might actually be working out even sooner than I expected!  Last week one of the 6th grade teachers at my school came to tell me that another teacher is retiring and she thinks I would be an excellent person to fill her spot.  There were a few tense moments when we weren’t sure if my license qualified me to teach 6th grade, but we found out that I just need to submit a short online application and take 2 courses online over the summer and I would be certified.  I don’t have the job yet or anything, but just the idea that I will potentially be in the classroom again next year fills me with so much joy and hope for the future.  

I sent an email to my dad explaining the opening, what I would need to do to get certified, and how much the other teachers wanted me on their team (they were sending emails to the principal saying things like “We’ve seen her in the classroom and we know she would be a great fit.  Who can I contact to figure out what qualifications she needs for 6th grade?”).  My dad, being a man of few words, sent only one sentence in his reply:  “There is a plan.”  Though brief, I know exactly what he meant.  

In case you got lost somewhere in the middle of that long-winded story, let me sum up my point.  Things will work out the way they are supposed to.  This doesn’t always mean they will work out the way we think we want them to.  But everything happens for a reason.  Instead of wasting time worrying or mourning what is lost, we need to muster all our strength and keep going full steam ahead.  We may not always understand why things are happening the moment they happen.  Growth and understanding can come from pain and heartache.  We just have to have faith that Someone knows better than we do and that we will understand someday.

30 Things

There’s a fabulous article that’s been circulating on Facebook recently called “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself.”  If you haven’t read it I demand you stop reading this post immediately and click on this link (but come back when you’re done!)

http://www.lifebuzz.com/just-stop/

I am guilty of so many of the things this list advises against.  I worry a lot, I look to others for happiness, I’m scared of making mistakes, I waste time explaining myself to others, etc., etc.  There are a few things on this list that don’t really apply to me, but for the most part I was just described to a T.

The first step in correcting any problem is to recognize that it exists in the first place.  I’m not delusional enough to pretend that I don’t have several of the issues listed in that post.  And I also completely see the merit in following the authors’ advice.  I probably would be a lot happier if I could stop trying to compete with everyone else (or stop worrying, or feeling sorry for myself…).  I can recognize this, but how do I actually carry it out?

I know I am in control of my own attitude and my response to various situations.  But I’ve been a perfectionist and a worrywart for basically my entire life.  How do I just stop?  I really like how the article offers a few ideas about how to actually stop the negative behaviors (#16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”) and I am going to make a commitment to follow through on these.  I think I tend to be a person who reads suggestions like this and then promptly writes them off as cheesy or corny.  Worse, I may think they are good ideas but worry that someone else will think I’m cheesy and corny for doing them (2 negative behaviors that are on the list!  Bad Amy!).  

So here I go.  You guys heard it here.  Today starts the process of retraining my brain to stop the negative thoughts and behaviors.  It’s time to just stop.

A Few Good Men

Disclaimer:  I have no idea how this post is going to go.  I just saw a friend post this article on Facebook and knew I wanted to blog about it:

http://www.returnofkings.com/30402/most-women-dont-deserve-a-good-man

As I was reading this article, I was expecting the author to write something that made it clear this is a satirical piece.  I didn’t find that, and still can’t figure out if he is for real.  Regardless, the guy who posted it on Facebook and the subsequent men who commented are taking it seriously.

Let me start by saying this: I am not saying I 100% disagree with everything the author says.  Cheating is awful, regardless if you are a man or a woman.  I too get tired of reading self-righteous posts on Facebook.  However, there are many, many things that I take issue with.  The title, for starters.  “Most Women Don’t Deserve a Good Man.”  Most?  Really?  Do you have statistical evidence to back that up?  In my experience, whenever I have gone out with my girlfriends it is impossible for us to try to dance without guys trying to come up and start groping.  I’m not out there dancing like a slut; I just like dancing with my friends.  However, I would never dare say that MOST men are disgusting pigs based on this experience.

Next: “But perhaps it was the virtually naked selfie she sent me, almost like it was a reflex, when I jokingly commented how she was wearing too many clothes in a previous photo.”  So, it’s ok for you to make a comment like that and then turn around and judge someone else?  It’s just “joking” when a man does it, but if a woman says something they don’t have any class, just “a vagina and plenty of lonely men around”?

“Chicks I witnessed take on three dudes in a hot tub now throwing up pictures of their baby and poor husband who has no idea what a selfish slooter his wife once was, and probably still is…“The best thing that ever happened to me,” it boasts under the family picture at Epcot Center.  Wrong, she realized one day she was not the star of the show anymore. She desperately needed to dupe some unsuspecting man into locking her down and dealing with her bullshit for the rest of his life before it was too late for her.”  Um, or she grew up and matured?  Again, I’m not condoning slutty behavior.  There are many behaviors mentioned in this article that I would never, ever be comfortable doing.  Women need to have self-respect and not objectify themselves to gain a man’s attention.  However, if she wants to take on 3 guys in a hot tub, I’m not going to sit around and judge her.  That’s not my job.  And it’s also not my job to assume that if this same women later gets a little older and a little wiser and decides to settle down that she has “duped some unsuspecting man into locking her down.”   You are really going to have the pretension to assume that she doesn’t think her family is the best thing that has happened to her?  Really?!

Ok, now I’m officially pissed.  I’m just tired of labels and sweeping generalizations.  I would feel the same way if a woman wrote a similar article entitled “Most Men are Douches and Deserve STDs.”  Life is hard, and we are all doing the best we can to figure it out.  People have different beliefs and values and are going to act differently.  It frustrates me so much when a) people presume to know everything that’s going on in someone’s life and b) we are all judging each other.  When I was in Minneapolis for my birthday I got dressed up in a shorter skirt, got drunk, and went out dancing.  The author of this article probably would’ve called me a slut.  In reality, I was still getting over ending my engagement because I found out my fiancee was using meth and I just wanted to dress up in clothes that made me feel good about myself and go have a fun night with my girls.

I don’t think I’m a slut for doing that.  Others might have different beliefs and values and disagree.  That’s fine.  But don’t judge people.   There was a girl in my high school class who definitely marched to the beat of her own drum and did her own thing.  She had a tattoo that said “Only God can judge me.”  I loved that.  That doesn’t mean I won’t tell you my opinion if I think you are doing something harmful to yourself (whether physically or emotionally) but I’m not going to judge you as a bad person based on a few incidents that I observe in your life.

I guess my whole point in this post is that we can never know the full story, so I think it’s important that we try to be supportive and offer constructive criticism to others, but to keep sweeping generalizations out of it.  Let’s leave the judging up to the ultimate Judge.

Life as an Interloper

interloper (n): a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.

I came to the stark realization last night that this is how I have been living my life for the past 3+ years.  Probably longer, in fact…likely since I graduated high school almost 7 years ago (what! How has it been that long??).  It’s not that felt like I didn’t belong at Notre Dame.  There were certainly times when I felt different than many of my classmates because I came from a much lower tax bracket than they did, but I never felt unwanted by the community.  However, I knew that was temporary.  I was only going to be there for 4 years.  Notre Dame wasn’t “home.”  I loved my friends, roommates, and the community, but I ALWAYS felt more at home when I went back to North Dakota.

After graduation I moved to Fargo to put in another 2 years of school to get my teaching license.  The feeling of being an interloper intensified.  I definitely felt like I didn’t belong at the school I was now attending.  I had just been through 4 years of rigorous academia with a class full of over-achievers at Notre Dame.  My new school was much less demanding, and that took some getting used to.  I was living in a pretty old apartment with a random roommate who I had very little in common with.  Yeah, definitely didn’t belong.

Even earlier this fall, when I started my first “grown-up job”, was engaged, and was living in my own (much nicer) apartment, life still didn’t feel quite right.  My passion is teaching, so I knew that being a media specialist was a temporary means to an end.  The apartment was a 1-bedroom, so I knew we wouldn’t be staying long after we were married (C had already been looking at houses).  Maybe deep down I knew the relationship with C was temporary as well.

All these feelings came to head last night as I was considering my life.  I feel the same way about my job, and I am interloping in my aunt’s house (is that a verb?  If not I just made it one).  But even after I move to the new apartment with my sister, it’s still a temporary situation.  We aren’t going to live there indefinitely.  Either she will want to live with someone else after this year, graduate, or move for pharmacy school, and then I will find another place to live.  

I was starting to get discouraged while thinking about this, but then I realized the big problem is my attitude.  There is nothing wrong with where I’m at in life.  Very few people step into their dream jobs and live in their dream homes the second after they graduate.  I realized I need to stop looking at my life as if it’s this temporary limbo and start enjoying the journey.  I don’t have an end goal in mind.  It’s not as if I have the perfect job, perfect man, perfect home in mind and once I achieve those things I’ll stop living.  Life is about constantly making yourself better and pushing yourself to your fullest potential.  If I keep thinking “oh this is temporary, don’t settle in because you’ll be moving on soon,” etc, I don’t think I will ever fully enjoy life.

I feel like I’ve said this about a million times on this blog, but it’s all about balance.  I want to keep moving forward and working towards my dreams, but I also want to be happy and enjoy my life in the present.  At the same time, I don’t want to get TOO comfortable and become complacent.  How does one balance all this?  

Does anyone else feel like they aren’t really living their “real life” right now?  They are just “getting through” this part so that eventually their real lives can start?  Am I making any sense?

Struggling

I’m having a hard time with things today guys.  My ex-fiancee (the one who moved out to California for drug rehab and is currently living out there in a halfway house) emailed me this morning.  I have blocked his phone number and deleted him off Facebook, not because I’m being petty but because it just hurts too much to talk to him.  Email is the only way for him to contact me.  Every once in a while he will abuse that and send me several emails per day, but I usually ignore these or keep my responses brief and he gets the hint.

Anyway, he emailed me today to tell me that he will hopefully be able to send me some money after April 1 because he will get paid from his new job.  He’s sending me money to try and help pay back some of the wedding expenses (which my parents and I had completely covered up to that point with no help from him) and some of the credit card debt he left me with on the card we had in both of our names.  I stupidly replied and asked what his new job is.  C’s true passion is construction management.  He loves building things and working with his hands, so when he told me he was working as a cook at Cafe Rio (I guess it’s like a Chipotle or Qdoba) it made me really sad.

I don’t want to feel like this right now.  I know a big part of what I’m feeling is pity.  How do you go from loving someone and wanting to spend the rest of your life with them to not caring about their hopes and dreams?  How am I supposed to not feel awful that he’s almost 25 and has nothing going for him in his life other than the fact that he’s 75 days clean?  I don’t even care about the money as much (thought it would be nice if he could help me out a little bit), but the whole situation just makes me really sad.

It was exactly 11 weeks ago that I officially ended the engagement.  I’m not dumb enough to think that all these feelings will go away in 11 weeks.  But they had been getting so much better.  Maybe it’s the fact that so many other things have been going on in my life that have taken my attention, but these last few weeks I found myself thinking less and less about C and about my lost future.  Then I have days like today, where I feel just as weak as I felt 10 weeks ago.  I’m sitting at my desk swallowing the lump in my throat and trying not to let my eyes fill with tears.  I think a big part of the problem is the fact that because of this stupid boot on my foot I haven’t ran since Monday, so I haven’t been getting my daily dose of endorphins.  But still, this sucks.

For those of you who have ended engagements and lived to tell the tale, when does it really start to get better?  How long before I don’t have days like today?

Movin’ On Up

Guys, my string of bad luck in 2014 is getting almost comical.  This happened yesterday:

ImageI was lifting weights at the gym, set a 20-lb dumbbell on a bench and went to change the song that was playing on my phone.  As I did this the dumbbell rolled off the bench and landed on my foot.  My doctor was shocked it wasn’t broken because it was so swollen and tender.  I’m so relieved, because I only have to wear the boot for 1-2 weeks, meaning I should still have enough time to train for the half.  Six weeks in a cast would have forced me to withdraw my name.  I was scared to go to the doctor, because this is what my foot looked like after icing it for a solid 2 hours to bring the swelling down:

ImageNotice how my right foot is twice the size of my left?  Yeah, that’s why my doc thought it was broken

Now that I’m stuck gimping around in a boot, I needed something to cheer me up.  I texted my sister and asked if she wanted to go shopping to start getting ideas for our apartment decor.  Let me tell you, that was a great call.  We had so much fun wandering around Hobby Lobby and Gordmann’s, getting ideas and inspiration for our new place.  It’s really nice living with your sister because your tastes usually match up (and when they don’t you have no problem telling her that thing she likes is ugly).

Because we are working with a teacher’s and college student’s budget, we will probably want to do a lot of DIY in our place.  DIY is also nice because it means we could start working on projects now to help hold our excitement about moving at bay until June 1.  Here are a few of the projects we want to get going on:

1. Giant Letter Wall Art

We have a fairly long, blank wall in our living room.  Nikki had the idea of creating a giant letter “G” (our last initial) and putting it on the wall as a focal point.  Our vision would look something like this:

Giant Monogram  Wall Decals  Your Choice of Letter  by DaliDecals, $40.00

We don’t want to do the vinyl sticker thing, so we have to figure out what we want to use to create our letter.  Right now I’m thinking of using a large sheet of thick posterboard or balsa wood (any other suggestions?).

2. Jewelry Organizer

I’ve been wanting to do a project like this for a long time, but it was always pushed to the back burner.  I don’t have a very big jewelry box, so a lot of my jewelry is stuffed into random boxes.  I often forget about a lot of the pieces I have because they are scattered all over.  I REALLY like this idea that I found on Pinterest:

jewelry organizerI really like how this has a place to hang necklaces but also has little boxes for earrings and rings and such.  So many of the other organizers I’ve seen just create space for necklaces and dangly earrings.  I want all my jewelry in one place if possible.

3.  Wine Bottle Decor

Like many other kitchens, we have about a foot and a half of space between the top of our cupboards and the ceiling.  I refuse to put fake plants or ivy up there, but it also looks too plain with nothing.  I came across this picture on Pinterest and was immediately inspired:

Wine bottle diy decor. I'm loving this bottle idea to decorate.I‘m not sure if I would wrap the bottles with yarn or just paint them, but I like the idea.  And I have access to PLENTY of empty wine bottles (I studied abroad in Rome, it’s not my fault I’m a wino).  Simple, easy, and looks adorable.

These are 3 projects I plan on starting ASAP (like I said, I’m getting really impatient to move in!) but I am sure there will be plenty more that come about as we get settled and see what else we need.  I’m glad I have this little crafting outlet.  I’ve said before that I’m not an overly crafty person, but I am pretty decent at finding tutorials that are simple enough for me to take on.  

I’m not sure if this shopping trip helped ease the excitement about moving or made it worse, because now I think I am even more impatient to move in!

The Bright Side

I’ve been learning a lot about tragedy, trauma, and sorrow over these past few months.  Until this past Christmas I had lived a pretty cushy life.  Bad things didn’t really happen to me, so I was never forced to learn the lessons I am learning now.  I’m learning how to cope, how to release control, how to lean on others.  But I’ve learned another, potentially more important lesson as well.  Life sometimes hands us great tragedy and sorrow, but from these situations we can find great joy and triumph.

I haven’t really found that joy and triumph from the tragedy of my broken engagement–yet.  I have faith that will come in due time.  However, I have started to find joy in the tragedy of the fire in my high school.  No, I am not happy that the school is destroyed and my family and friends now have to attend classes in different buildings all over town.  But it is definitely a joyous thing to watch the support that has been rallied for the community of Trinity High School.

There are a few glaring examples of that support.  Today, the school where I teach (which is located 300 miles away on the other side of the state) is having a “Non-Uni for Unity” day.  The students usually have to wear school uniforms, but today they can wear jeans and T-shirts with a minimum $1 free will offering.  All proceeds will go directly to the Trinity Fire relief fund (http://www.dickinsoncatholicschools.com/development.cfm?subpage=1833119).  When I walked by the table at 7:30 there was already a large pile of money.  It was obvious that many students are contributing more than the $1 minimum.

ImageRockin’ my Non-Uni sticker

Another great example of support comes from the Dickinson Public Schools.  Students from Trinity started classes at 3 DPS buildings yesterday.  The following are all pictures that were shared on Facebook:

ImageImageImageImageImageI had to smile when I saw these pictures.  Dickinson Catholic Schools and Public Schools haven’t always had the closest relationship, but they were willing to put aside any differences to help out a neighbor in need.  As Bishop Kagan said, “(DPS) set a standard of charity and cooperation.”  

These are just two examples of the amazing outpouring of support that I’ve witnessed.  I know the Catholic school in Minot, ND is also doing a non-uniform day to help raise money.  Microsoft has donated over 100 flash drives since students do not have folders on the servers at their new schools.  A school in Gwinner, ND donated 30 backpacks filled with school supplies for the students.  The list goes on and on and on.

The fire that destroyed my high school was awful.  Students, staff, alumni, family, and friends are still struggling to understand why it happened.  There are still feelings of hurt, anger, and sadness.  But it is already clear that we will triumph.  The Titan family will emerge stronger than ever before.  The community of Dickinson, North Dakota Catholic schools, and maybe even the whole state of ND will be tighter knit after facing this and supporting each other.  Even though I am 300 miles away, it is amazing to watch this support unfold.  It is helping me remember that there are more good people than bad in this world, and the good will eventually win out.

Training Update

I realize my posts have been all gloom and doom as of late.  I feel like I have been surrounded by negativity, and no matter what I do bad things keep happening.  I can’t control a majority of what has happened, but I do have 100% control over how I respond to these situations.  I’m done focusing on the negativity.  It’s time to focus on how I can move on from these situations.

As far as the fire at my high school, I’ve been brainstorming ways to help raise money.  I’ve contacted a few national figures via Twitter and email (hey, you never know) about helping spread the word for the relief fund.  If anyone in the blogosphere wants to help, here’s the link:  http://www.dickinsoncatholicschools.com/development.cfm?subpage=1833119

Any and all support is greatly, greatly appreciated.  Also, if you believe in the power of prayer please consider taking part in this:

rosaryIf you can’t read the text, it’s explaining that at 2 pm MST today we will be praying the rosary for the students and staff affected by the fire

The fire wasn’t the only thing that had been bringing me down these past few days (though it was definitely the most major) so I’m trying to refocus my energy on my half marathon training.  Running releases endorphins and just makes me feel better.  When I can accomplish a goal that I’ve set for myself, I feel proud.

As a reminder, here is what I am using as my guide for training:

33

I say I’m using this as my guide because I’m not following it exactly.  My goal is to run the number of miles they specify each week, but I might not do it on the days they outline.  For example, this past week I did 3 on Sunday and then was busy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and didn’t have time to run.  I ran 3 again last night, will do 3 more tonight, then do 4 tomorrow or Sunday.  I’m doing all the runs they outline, just not in the exact order.

Training has been going pretty well.  I’ve done most of it on a treadmill, and have been gradually increasing my pace.  On Sunday I ran the fastest pace for a 3-mile run that I’ve done in a while (about 9:30 min/miles…not super fast I know, but pretty good for me).  Last night I tried running outside because the temperature had warmed up to about 38 degrees.  There was still a lot of snow and ice on the sidewalks so that was pretty slow going.  Plus, it’s just a lot tougher to run outside with the different inclines and the cold air hurting my lungs.  However, it was still a good run and I felt good after finishing.

I really think this half marathon is what is going to pull me out of this funk.  It’s something that I have total control over.  Yesterday I was feeling pretty tired around Mile 2.  I made myself push through it and was able to finish the run without walking.  That felt good that I was able to control that situation.  A little feeling of control can go a long way!

Time to Unite

Never, ever have the audacity to think that it’s impossible for life to get crazier than it already is.  The moment you think that, you are proven wrong.

My last few posts have talked about the slew of bad things that have happened in my life and to those around me.  One of these awful occurrences was a fire that all but destroyed my high school.  When I posted yesterday, we didn’t know much other than that the fire had started in the main office and the smoke and water damage were extensive, likely making the school uninhabitable for the foreseeable future.

No one saw what was coming next.  At about 6:30 last night, the Dickinson Press broke the news that the school’s principal had been arrested and charged with arson.  This principal was new this year.  He had been brought in from out of state (something that is pretty rare in my small North Dakota hometown).  I have never met him personally, but I have heard stories from family and friends that they were unhappy with the job he was doing.  His contract was not renewed for him to return next year.

http://www.thedickinsonpress.com/content/trinity-high-school-principal-charged-connection-school-fire

Like I said, I’ve never met the man.  And I’m trying to withhold any judgement until the evidence comes out and he stands trial.  But if everything is true?  I will be SO livid.  I don’t care what has happened to you.  You do not burn down a school that meant so much to so many people.

When I talk to my Notre Dame friends about this, they don’t get it.  They agree that it’s a bad deal, but they don’t see why this building is so important to me.  I LOVED my high school.  My dad has taught and coached there since before I was born, so I basically grew up in that building.  For 6 years of my life (the building housed grades 7-12) I learned, studied, and grew as a person in that building.  I felt safe there.  After I graduated, I usually stopped up to say hi to some of my teachers when I was home on breaks.  It’s not just a school; it’s my family.

My youngest sister is a senior.  She is taking this really hard.  When I talked to her yesterday, she said something along the lines of “I just can’t believe it.  If this was an accident or faulty wiring or something that’s one thing, but to know that our principal deliberately took so many things away from so many people is hard.  I wanted to walk across the same stage at graduation that my parents, siblings, all my aunts and uncles, and many of my cousins walked across.  Now I’m going to finish out my high school career in some loaner building, and that sucks.”  

I’m trying to convince her (and myself) that what makes Trinity special had nothing to do with the physical space.  It’s all about the people and the connections.  It’s so hard to see a place that you love and that has so many memories literally go up in smoke.

My high school is a Catholic high school, which means they are going to have to rely on whatever they can get from insurance and then donations to rebuild.  They have set up a relief fund on the school’s website.  Now I’m going to ask for help.  If you would like to donate, or you know anyone who might want to help, please PLEASE share this link.  I would appreciate it so much, and so would the 250 kids who no longer have a school to attend.

http://www.dickinsoncatholicschools.com/development.cfm?subpage=1833119