Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Strawberry Wine, Maple Syrup, and Skim Milk

As I sit and drink my glass of wine, I reflect on the day I just experienced. I've often thought to myself, "What am I going to do when it actually happens to me?"...

It started off well. I was awakened by a phone call from Bhavini before 9. Okay, so that wasn't all that good, but it was wonderful talking to her. Then I fell back asleep, and Sydney's phonecall woke me up about an hour later with some good news. Casey is on leave from Iraq and the family is all getting together on Sunday. After I stressed about how in the work I could get off inorder to go home for it, I watched a few episodes of the first season of 24....which is the best thing I've ever seen. I am officially addicted. Well, nothing much could be going better. It was a beautiful day, and I dressed myself with my new pink Bermuda shorts from Old Navy. (I love em, go get some.) And I went to work, where all the fun began. By 3:00 a girl was in time-out. By 3:30 two more girls were in time-out. I knew it was going to be a fun night. I had to lead the dorm meeting with all the girls a wee bit agitated. I sat there, probably with fear in my eyes. My whole body felt like it was shaking. I was so nervous, not knowing what was in my near future. As I debated in my head whether or not I should send kids to time-out or let them continue their negative comments, I thought about what my supervisor was thinking of my decisions/lack of decisions in the adjacent room. Soon dinner began and things were looking good. I heard several please and thank yous. I sat next to a girl who is usually really loud at dinner. I miserably ate my corndog and mac and cheese wishing I had a way out. The girl next to me was told that she couldn't have maple syrup to put on her bread and she said she was going to eat it anyway. I took it away from her, then offered it back saying it would be a grounding for unauthorized consumption if she ate it. Then she was asked to leave, and on the way out, she shoved me out of her way. I gathered myself and continued to eat with that ugly pit in my stomach. As everyone was lining up to put away their dishes, I sent another girl to timeout because she was being loud and disruptive. She was yelling and cursing and she threw the water pitcher.

crap, I just lost part of be continued later. gotta sleep.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And somedays are less interesting

I just realized that it has been a few days since I have written. Since I was last here, I have:
Discovered and conqured the best way to make grilled cheese sandwiches in bulk.
Almost been hit by a flying pencil.
Woken up without an alarm at 9:45 two days in a row.
Worked 18 hours of overtime and didn't realize it.
Spent some quality time with an old friend.
Finally jumped on the Dawson's Creek-watching band wagon.
And now I am just trying to find something creative to say. So basically what I am getting at is that my life has been pretty uninteresting lately.
I am excited about Teambuilding on Thursday. I get to hang out with all the wonderful people I work with, but not at work! I had to submit a trivia question about myself. I choose, Who has been to the capital city of six countries but not the capital of her own country? IT was either this or, Who is 1/64th Cherokee Indian? I thought they would have more of a chance with the first than the second.
Anyway, today is my day off, and I have created a list of things to accomplish. I must begin!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Bags Plus Double Bags

Sometimes when I am at work, I shake in my own pants. Yep. I get so scared. I'm like, "Lord please don't let anybody go off." It is bad. Tonight I was sitting there listening to a bad conversation going on in the hallway while I watched City of Angels with a bunch of girls. So I wasn't really paying attention to the movie, becuase I was zoned out thinking, "my ass is grass tonight." Then a girl asked me, "So, what just happened, who is that guy?" And I honestly had no clue. I just had to say, "I'm sorry. I wasn't listening to the movie. I was zoned out." Basically, the conversation was being led by a girl who really can't stand me. She was angry that I threatened to hang up the phone if she didn't get off and simply just because I'm Ms. Starnes. She was like, "I swear, I don't want Ms. Starnes to say another word to me." I sat there thinking, "What did I do to deserve this?"
An hour later, I was sitting calmly in the kitchen wondering, "How did this happen? How did we keep this dorm from going off?" It was simply amazing.
Last night I had the same feeling in my stomach, butterflies. I sat uptight and ready to jump if necessary. I assumed that we were going to have a rough bedtime. I was mentally reviewing all my SCM skills and wondering who was skilled out and knowing their locations at all times. But, guess what, nothing happened. I wasted all that energy thinking and worrying when I could have been using it to build relationships with these girls. So tonight makes two great nights in a row for Pelletier. I am ashamed of my pessimisim. I cannot believe how much this job has made me recognize my weaknesses. I must stop making assumptions about these kids just because their past behaviors point straight to negativity. Stories like the following one are great examples of how I should never give up on one of the kiddos. Last night right before bedtime in the middle of me writing off the night as a failure, a girl who I had been having issues with took up for me. She told her peer, "Stop being mean to Ms. Starnes. That's my friend." I wanted to run and give her a huge hug and thank her greatly. It meant so much to me. She is the girl who a few weeks ago said to another staff, "Please sit over here Ms. Hall because I don't want a certain staff to sit by me." I was that certain staff and it was obvious. She constantly mumbled bad things about me under her breath. The first step in our make-up was after school this past Monday. She said, "This morning I had bags plus double bags under my eyes." I just thought that was hilarious, and I must have laughed for five minutes about it -- in the typical Jenny fashion, of course. She enjoyed this. Later that night, she sat down and did Origami with me. She had never been so eager to sit with me and do my activity. Therefore, I said, "A----, I really appreciate you being so nice to me today and participating in Origami." She said, "Well, you made me feel so funny earlier." And that was a wonderful moment. After she went to sleep, I left her a note under her door restating my comment and encouraging her to remain positive, and things have been wonderful with her since then. (knock on wood.) The next night, she was managed and sent to time-out. I processed with her and somehow we both ended up crying, and this also strengthened our relationship. I've realized that she really appreciates me leaving notes under her door, and if that is all it takes, I'll do it everyday. Of course, leaving notes is right up my alley anyway!
My next subject to mend my relationship with: K------ or A-------. I can do it. Yes I can. I'll keep you posted.
Well, I sort of got off track with this, but I just wanted to write a little about work.

Happy Birthday BEN!!!

Monday, February 21, 2005

The never-ending joy of SET continues

The only thing positive I can say about today's work experience happened just minutes before I left. Two clients almost got in a fight over my SET cards. I know, "'almost got in a fight' what is so positive about that?" But the key is that they were both wanting to play with my SET cards. On the inside, I smiled. I introduced the SET to the girls a few weeks ago. There were 4 or 5 girls who became interested in it immediately. It was so exciting to be in the kitchen cooking dinner and hearing, "Set, Set, Set, Set" in the Great Room. You'd almost have to be me to completely feel the joy I felt. But since then, my SET cards have been floating between three of the girls. I now use SET as a consequence or reward. Like today I said, "M---- if you don't go to your room right now, I'm going to take my cards away from you." I don't think she believed me, because she didn't listen, and five minutes later, I took the cards from her and gave them to her peer who had been asking for them. She looked at me in disbelief and disgust. I guess she'll learn. Oh the power I may have thanks to a little game I learned of a few years ago...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Too cute for words

My favorite ladies are coming to visit on Saturday. I can't wait. I miss them dearly!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


I've realized something new about myself in the past month or so. I've realized that I have really good self-esteem. I know that this is a random thing, but just hang in there with me for a minute. Tonight at work when I heard a girl say to a staff, "You have really big hips." The staff said, "Yeah, I know," laughed, and continued walking down the hall. I thought about it and realized that in order to handle my job, a person would have to be comfortable with their appearance. These girls have no filters on what comes out of their mouths. They are still learning how to be respectful of people who aren't like them. Within the past two months, almost every aspect of what makes me me has been criticized. Twice a week someone inevitably mentions something about my blondeness. I must have explained that I really am a true blonde 15 times, and I've gone through the whole mascara issue more times than I can remember. Sometimes there are lots of blonde jokes. I've even had a girl tell me that I should dye my eyebrows because it would make me look better. I've been asked if I am an albino. They have pointed out my birthmarks. They've noticed my slightly lazy eye. They have asked about the little indention in my chest that looks like a bruise. They have questioned the scar on my forehead. A girl has even said I have a mustache and explained to me that girls aren't supposed to have mustaches. And I think the funniest story relating to this is the following: a girl was commenting on my tan shoes with the deep pink stripes and shoelaces. She said, "You really like those kind of shoes." I said, "Yeah, I guess I do wear these shoes a lot." She said, "No, I mean, you have lots of those kind of shoes. It makes me think you are.... well, nevermind." And in case you are wondering, the ... means gay. Oh man, I laugh thinking about that. I've never been accused of being gay. It is sort of fun. I guess she thinks I should wear huge skateboarding shoes like she and DHigh does (no offense d, I'm just not into those for me.) I am almost to the point where I wear weird things just to see if they will comment on them and think I'm gay or something.
Oh my... so my next question is, "Since when did such comments not hurt my feelings or get to me in the slightest?" And I know the answer. This I must thank my entire crew of college friends. I cannot explain how much they helped me understand that my body is fine, better than fine, wonderful. I don't really know how they truly convinced me, but I thank them for their consistant reassurance. Combined with shrugging off the girls' never-ending comments, this weekend I decided for sure that I'm okay with how I look. I guess Carrie was a little obsessive with the compliments when we went out on Saturday night, and I had to act like I believed her just to keep us from fighting. However, I, for once, said, "yeah, I know I look good" and truly meant it. I just hope I don't get cocky with the self-confidence now that I realize that I have some!

Monday, February 14, 2005

It's a small world after all...

I walked into the staff office to begin my shift. I noticed someone new, although she didn't look new to me, she looked familiar. I looked to the left and to the right of her as I talked to other staff who I had expected to see. Then the new one said, "What's your name." I said, "Jenny Starnes." And then I knew. She said, "Are you from Glasgow." Oh, it was so funny. None other than LaToya Franklin from Glasgow, KY was about to train with me in Pelletier. It was crazy. I never would have thought I'd work with another Glasgow person in my entire life. haha. We won't be working together very often because she is a temp and will be working in a different dorm, but it was fun to have someone to talk about Glasgow with.
Happy Valentine's Day!