Thursday, August 4, 2011

I open at the close - Jenny's take on the last day

"I open at the close" -- a line I love from  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - it's so beautiful and mysterious and it's all about endings. So it came to mind tonight as the Roeper Alumni Service Corps 2011 comes to a close.

I'm not one to stop and take time to just feel and experience and appreciate. I tend to be busily thinking busy noisy thoughts at 100 miles an hour: what's next? What went well, what needs tweaking? Who do we need to thank? What are all the evaluation questions we should ask? Should we change the mission? restructure? etcetera.

But all that can wait til tomorrow.  I have been writing my top ten favorite things about the week (my list is at about 14 and growing) and thinking of how every single person who showed up this week brought something special and necessary and perfect for that moment. And I'm not one who likes to talk about The Universe and how everything happens for a reason. But this week may have changed my views on that!

I've also been thinking about impact: the obvious kind - did we make a difference to Detroit? to Roeper?  Then there's another kind of impact, as Brad pointed out - the impact on ourselves. And a third kind, that my husband Fred mentioned later tonight: something about  acquiring humility.  Realizing that as RASC (and as human beings) we can only ever be a drop in the bucket, and accepting that.

Herewith, in no particular order , my top ten (twenty) favorite things about the Roeper Alumni Service Corps 2011.
Everyone we asked for help or to get involved said "yes" without hesitation
How the right person with the right skill kept showing up at just the right time
How a little girl named Paris said “We’re here to take care of the plants.”
The wonderful feeling of tired muscles after a hard day of physical work
Mom-approved porn. Eewwww.
Knowing we fed 1,000 hungry people
Salads from Avalon and how Avalon was in the very space that used to hold the Willis Gallery where I spent many hours as a child helping my mom hang art shows
How I couldn’t visualize what the pergola was going to look like but others could so I didn’t need to
190 trays of flowers - and we got a bigger boat
The greatest gift to us this week: Stephanie Cobb Johnson
Feeling like all my nostalgia has been banished - who needs to think wistful thoughts about life in Detroit in 1982 when life in Detroit in 2011 is so interesting and engrossing?
Learning about how many other entrepreneurial, community oriented project led by smart passionate committed people are happening in Detroit
Helping Roeper get press, build connections with alumni,
Having lots of long conversations abuot the Roeper philosophy
Meeting and working alongside very recent Roeper graduates
Making face book friends into real friends

love and thanks to all of you!

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