I spent the month of January at home. That fact is notable enough when I think that in the past four years I have spent a cumulative 8 months at home. Living at home after being gone for so long is a little weird. Weird doesn’t even convey the proper feeling of detachment, being out of place, wishing life would just hurry up, and wondering what life will bring. Maybe those feelings are with me when I’m studying at Faith Builders. If they are, I don’t think about them as much but at home, they seem to be more prominent.
So during the month of January, here are a few of my thoughts and actions (you may or may not understand these).
- It’s always a good time with brothers. My younger brother is currently doing VS work in Arkansas. I flew out and spent a few days with him. Grand times talking about life and our dreams.
- The excellency of Kansas hospitality. After visiting my brother, I drove to Kansas. Dad had been asked to preach a week of meetings there. It helped that it provided me an opportunity to visit some of my friends, among them being the brothers Mast, Hans and Benji.
- The frustration of wanting to work but only having seven weeks available to work. Prior to coming home for winter break, I had idealized working 10 – 12 hours every day. (Ha!) When I scored a job on a construction crew during the last two weeks of the fall semester, I was sure that this was to be. (Wrong.) The first week of work was during the infamous polar vortex and we didn’t work two days that week because of weather.
- Taking on disgusting work to earn money. So I talked with my boss about some frustrations I was having about not working as much as I had wanted. He agreed, saying that this year was rare in the fact that there was not much steady work because of the weather. (Me thinks, "Gee, thanks boss. That’s encouraging.") He asked me if there was something that I had in mind and I mentioned that the only job I could think of that does not have a steep learning curve and that seems to always need more workers is catching broilers for Case Farms. I expected him to be a bit hesitant to my idea. Nope, he offers to call the crew and arrange it for me. (Hmm, not bad. Apparently he understands college kids and their desperate struggle for wealth, despite being an Amishman and never putting foot on a university campus)
- Making filthy lucre. Great Scott! If you dislike early mornings, are a priss/yuppie/muppie, or simply have aversions to your senses being assaulted, DO NOT EMPLOY YOURSELF AT CATCHING CHICKENS! My first thought when I got on the van at 2:30 was "Hmm, smells violently of dung." Ten hours later, or 65,000 chickens later, and with $190 in my pocket, the smell had ceased to bother me. In fact, it smelled like money. Having caught chickens on multiple mornings, I still find the smell of chicken feet, which is only erased by repetitive hand washing, to be unsettling. This job shall past and I won’t mourn its passing. Well, except for the making money part.
- The Christian ethics of mass raising chickens. Though I’m doing it solely for the money, I wonder at the ethics of raising chickens for packing plants. Due to the number of Conservative Anabaptists who raise chickens, I stand to step on many toes if I’d voice these thoughts here in my community. Since those thoughts are still developing, I won’t publish them yet. Maybe sometime. In the meanwhile, if you read this post and see me in the coming days, feel free to ask me about them. We shall have ourselves a glorious discussion.
limitedjoys of learning French. So I catch chickens, one of the lowliest jobs available here in Holmes County. On the side, I’m trying to learn French which is the language of haute couture or high fashion. What a contrast. Except that between working two jobs, social life, and sleeping, I don’t study French like I would like.
- The second job. Thank Goodness (capital G refers to God) for a family business. Catching chickens is strictly a morning job. In the afternoon, I help Dad who is trying to build his inventory of premium honey prior to embarking on a three week missions trip to Kenya where it’s 75 degrees and sunny. I’m almost jealous but I need the money so I’m content to stay home.
Wow, this is getting long but there’s more.
- Brainstorming a new service that does not exist in Holmes County. Developing any new business is hard. Studying and ironing out the details. Thinking of all the pros and cons of one method versus another. Thinking of your targeted demographic. Visualizing how it is going to come together. Writing your advertising. I never expected I’d be involved in all of this but at the end of January, an idea seized my cranium-encased gray matter and hasn’t released it yet. I wish I had more time to devote to it but first, there is the final semester of Faith Builders to navigate.
- Being comfortable with being poor and in need of money. Facts speak and none quite so loud as the fact that for the past four years, I have not had a regular job. Translation: “no hay mucho dinero” (Spanish) or “michĩmi pirapire.” (Guarini) (btw, the EJ Scholarship Fund is currently looking for more donors. ) When one of my friends used the adjective “desperate” to describe my signing up to catch chickens, I had to agree with him. It’s not the need for money that is the root of all evil, but the love of it. We need money to live in this world/economy of ours. That, too, is a fact
- Oh yes, during the month of January, I got two of the songs that the Hope Singers will be singing this summer. Two songs in three different languages = more of my spare time taken up. So far, I’ve enjoyed learning these pieces of music. They are relatively easy, and I’m relishing the thought of traveling to a country I’ve never been before . . . Poland. *happy thoughts*
- Life post-FB: The big question is whether or not I complete my bachelors degree at another school. I think I will but behind the first big question is another, just as large question. Which school? To any Ohio readers, any input on these three colleges: Cedarville, Bluffton, or Malone? These are the three schools that I’ve been considering and barring any major advice or suggestions from other people, probably attend one of these three colleges. I know, okay heard, that Bluffton and Malone would be open to accepting credits from Faith Builders but have not gone far enough in the transfer process to discover if this is true.
And that, in a blog post, has been my cranial and physical activities for the month of January.