In “my PVCC things” in my pro-bag which compartmentalizes my life are a few folders.
One keeps my goals while another has many beloved photos, not all are there. I have two larger black, thin digital portable external terabyte hard drives where all of the vast captured moments of people’s lives are stored into event files. I need to go through them, some day? A day when they won’t hurt to look at them, represent shards of glass, broken, fragmented pieces of myself and what life I shared with others. Grief. The stages of tragic, disrupted loss.
I have to take them out, now, however, to decide, create, an uncertain re-entry plan?
The black professional bag has to be emptied out of what used to be, so new can be placed inside.
The me and them in these beloved areas of my life, can they be put back into some genuine whole?
I don’t recall exactly what day I attended Aware Club after The Festival of Tales in 2015. Michael had sent out an invite, and I had a file folder to drop off to Marketing. I had begun the Fall semester hiding out in safer, obscure places on campus. Each Wednesday I ventured out into three other areas tackling anxiety, fear and uncertainty in order to regain a sense of composure and understanding in regards to a lost life that no longer existed. I was no longer a journalism student on that campus to many, and I was trying to negotiate like a frightened rabbit with real predators in the background watching to see if I needed exterminated? For me, I was grasping at any possible pathway forward, re-framing, for hope anywhere. I wondered if I could still possibly graduate in May without the loss of my dignity, moral compass and intact fragile identity? What were my choices, options left? I was never going backwards to settling for fake again!
Thus, I was strong enough to venture my way back into the KSC building to an upstairs room where a small group of my peers would help me know. I wore my necklace of “Esther’s beads.” Advocating connections are really helpful when grown, sown so nicely, planted more appropriately in my soul. Thus, I went in to nicely assess, read and discern certain people.
This photo says so much. I had this file in my pro-bag where I keep important matters. It had a few of my favorite Puma News stories in it. They are stories that serve a purpose; they are about service learning, an overarching theme, plan, from silos to synergy.
Aware Club had a guest speaker. She was from the Welcome Center, to the front downstairs. She asked a few questions, and people provided good feedback. Donna kept everyone moving along as usual “verbally jumping in with all her lovely supportive gestures.” I still found watching her captivating, a place of longed for opportunity of learning, mentoring. I chose her long ago. She never knew.
I shared a few insights intentionally. I was discerning to know if she was genuinely interested?
It is easy to say pleasant things, but to offer a real critical observation is entirely different. I was practicing assertiveness skills in safer places transitioning them into more complicated and oppressive areas where an authentic voice is unwanted.
I spoke with a slight hint of edgy disapproval in regards to the disconnect that far too many professors have in helping students participate in a community. I gave an example: How hard is it for them to open up PVCC’s main website and invite students into a beneficial, campus-whole-wide-look at the diverse meaningful carefully planned public, social occasions that they could engage in? grow in?
Additionally, they as well could attend and even volunteer, lend their supportive talents and expertise, or even just affirmation. Why is that asking too much? I said, “Lazy.”
The guest inquired specifically about the needs of adult re-entry students.
I had one of the Aware Club articles in my bag, written by Julie Rhodes Mataway. I didn’t take it out though, for I wasn’t yet ready to allow Donna to “see” areas that I shared so easily with Mike Ho. Instead, I provided her with key search; I observed her write them down: Donna Mosher, Aware Club, Puma Press, PVCC.
I kept Julie’s article, cut it out fresh from publication, added it to the folder for it provided highly useful data as well as treasured relational place of goodness, support and love…and, I was there to see if that too was now gone? Who was Donna now to me?
Baby Steps PVCC offers wealth of support to returning students by Lynx Editor Mataway, the cover story.
Donna was so unaware of how much she planted, sowed into me; that my grief was like watching, experiencing, a beautiful green and lush garden full of vibrant female connection perish unable to save it from fading away inside of me, dying into some vast unwanted wasteland. My trust and entire relationship with her was murky, darkened by tainted views, corrupt control, and manipulated leadership which twisted all things good and true into some evil place of ruin – for what?
To avoid dealing with problems, hurtful issues and destructive choices that tore all of us down including them. It all needs to stop!
I look at the scattered contents of what used to be my life, and I still have love with Francine! And on the end is Victoria. I keep track of progress and areas that really work. I miss Donna, Aware Club and what was once and is no more. Puma Press, what is it now? all the work, all the growth interwoven like a tapestry where strings were pulled out as to unravel them all.
Still what remains? This is a process, one I have been avoiding.
There is Dr. Green and Laurie Cigan at her retirement “party.” In that memory is a brief window, rare opportunity, in which I saw Shirley’s tenderness, her deep love and devotion over the relationships in a community she fondly cared over; and, value in shared work-related progress, satisfying, collaborative faithfulness, well-planned togetherness, accomplishment in stewardship…words strung together like beads on a necklace which are not exactly right for now. Expressing what is in that memory is difficult to put into a few words in one or two sentences, for it expands into a much larger view, comprehension, beyond that place and time into colorful legacy – breathtaking to have the rare ability to perceive, view.
Mike Ho and a few Student Life stories with relevant quotes. Then, others as well still intact.
Miranda Gue humor…Finals stress drives some PVCC students absolutely bananas, I recall the writing of it, the hilarious nature of a few people collaborating in the news room. Friends.
One by Rachel Van Iwaarden, Editor-in-chief, about Politics first, America’s citizens last, in which she gets tough on Obama and other leaders who are struggling to come together in budgeting programs and plans??? March 1, 2013, and her article could change-out a few names and be the same old story suitable for today, current in the news!
The centerpiece is an article about “resurrecting embattled Service Learning” written by Gavin Victor. There are quotes, commitments by Dr. Dale, in regards to our community. I have a few others as well. I am supportive in helping out, and he always spoke up about having an open door policy where he welcomed student conversation.
Dr. Dale will not be the same knowing he broke a broken student in the worst of ways for foolish reasons, betraying his own true self, convictions. He chose to be cowardly, to hide it all instead of make it right. Forgiveness is a way back, and he didn’t want it.
News is thin and one can keep many stories that weave a bigger picture into something very worthwhile! I am seeking to find what remains in the debris. I yearn for all of it to put back. Tears stream that it cannot.
God will carry me on…there is a poem about a tandem bicycle that came into my life in the early 1990’s. http://www.promiseofgod.com/bikeride/
The hardest part of life with God is seeing beyond what is all around us into a deeper reality, truth that God unfolds in His own good time.