Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ready? Good.

I leave in the morning. I am excited but a bit overwhelmed. This morning was a hard goodbye. I got a big fat hug from Caitlin and accidentally woke Katy up when I locked myself out of the dorm. We were never big huggers to begin with but its weird knowing i probably won't see these girls for a very long time. I hope thats not the case.. but it seems to be how it goes.

Cici. I miss you already girl.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Phew. Tired..

So my room is packed up and my car is full. All thats left are skeleton hangers, lots of thumbtacks and bobby pins scattered around. My Weekend shtuff/computer and bedding will be the last things to be jammed into my car. Once again I pulled a mary poppins and have plenty of room to spare. Blindspots? Nope.. I love my car. So tonight is a night for relaxing. Katy and I are about to go watch Chronicles of Narnia, and then later I think there is a possibility of Karaoke :) Should be fun!! ehem.. we'll see. Otherwise I leave tomorrow for Michigan. Funny.. I'm not even looking up directions.. I know this route like the back of my hand. Hopefully the traffic won't be too horrendous.

K.. well I am off to movie time. See you on the flipside. My next post probably will be either tomorrow night or in Oklahoma as Training next week will be pretty crazy and doubt i'll have wireless. :(

Longest DAY EVER!

Today was a triumphant but tiring day.

I got up around ten for a group meeting to talk about our presentation and to help set up for the potluck fundraiser starting at 1230. I manned the donation bucket where we made about five hundred bucks in about an hours time. NICE. Class went well.. our discussion about the Prison Industrial Complex went well, and that was the end of my life in classrooms as I knew it. HURRAY. well except for watching/participating in the following two presentations.

After that I went back to JW for a riveting convo with Laura. She is leaving early tomorrow and it will probably be the last time I see her.. ever. :( My quote for the day ended up being something to the effect of "You can't be a bitch just because youre brown!" which I am slightly embarrassed of but it was valid based on the context and referred to a certain few in our classes that have been driving me up the wall last week. Yeah I get it.. I'm white thus have some degree of privilege and power, you are brown which means you don't. Doesn't mean you get to treat me like dirt. Deal with it. It is a rough life I know :P

JW Ice Cream was short but fun. Good to see people. After we went to Dickinson where they.. get this... had slaughtered a goat and barbecued it. YES SLAUGHTERED. AKA IT WAS ALIVE WHEN IT SHOWED UP AT THE DORM. BAhahaha.. I love it. It was very tasty as well. Fun to hang and chat with folks. Around11:30 I went out with some of the girls dancing at Metropolis.. one last hurrah I guess. It had oddly ghettofied for brattleboro and was fun for awhile but quickly became packed with some odd folk we weren't down with. It was still fun to be dancing.

Now it is 2am. I smell like sweat and BBQ and I am going to bed. Tomorrow will entail packing, cleaning and some Gilmore Girls with Katy. Actually I might make her watch Grey's with me cuz I was distracted when I watched Thursday, and I don't htink she's seen it yet. haha..

Later kids. I AM FREEEEEEEE!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I am one measly presentation away from finishing my first year in graduate school. For said presentation my only preparation was to print off pdf fact sheets about the Prison Industrial Complex to use in our small group discussions tomorrow during class. At approximately 5:30pm tomorrow evening. My year will be over, and a new phase will begin. I will no longer be Phyllis Chill- student in graduate level courses. But Phyllis Chill Master of Arts in Social Justice Candidate and Site Director at the Osage Reservation Site with Youthworks Inc. I am still a student, but no more classwork. Hurray. My mom just said "yeah right, you'll find another degree to get." haha. Yeah.. probably so. But not yet!!!! NOT YET!! I am excited to see where my summer brings me, where this degree brings me and the further stretching to come. This time next year I will hopefully in the graduation process. That means I'll have my Masters at 24. I am not going to lie. I am proud of my work this year, and excited to put it to use in the coming year.

Now that that is done..

I drive to Michigan on Sunday and fly to Minneapolis on Monday. What a whirlwind. I am super excited to finally meet my staff, start our training, and get to work for the summer.

Right now I am going to go pull together all the stuff I have been learning about the Osage so that my staff can learn as well. I don't want us all going into a situation we know nothing about. Should be fun.

God has been teaching me something lately. I am amazed at how he works sometimes. I have been doing my best to be obedient and read daily, to pray when I stress rather than whine, and to verbally process with him rather than dumping on those around me. I keep failing miserably but the one thing that keeps coming back to me is the phrase "Take up your mat and walk". Something that has always been a struggle for me is to just make a decision and change a behavior. They say if you do something for 28 days it becomes a habit and you are more likely to stick with it. You just have to force yourself to be intentional about it for 28 days. Lately when things come up that I want to be doing (or not doing), the phrase "Take up your mat and walk" rings through my head. I think just make the decision to ____ and start doing it. Yeah you won't be perfect but you don't just wake up one day and _____ you have to work at it. And to work at it you have to start doing it. So just take up your mat and _____. There are a lot of things that might be inserted into the ____: read daily, pray daily, be patient, love people, don't lie, be responsible, don't pinch people etc. There's a lot of things. And one by one each day I am trying to be intentional about my decisions. So if you see me waddling around struggling with something awkward and heavy. It's probably just my mat. It's ok though. I can tell Jesus has the other end of it.. its like those machines that help you do chin-ups..

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Congrats to David Archuleta for rocking the face off of finals last night. I am sad I'll miss the finale tonight. but I'm not going to lie I am VERY excited for So you think you can dance to start! WOOOOT!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Once again.. my friends are absolutely amazing.

Thank you to everyone who tells me to keep looking up and straight.. to work hard, and know I deserve good things and good people.


My Osage Presentation:

SOOOO... I have to put together a presentation for my Education for Social Justice class and I am really struggling on how to do that. The point is to offer content, understanding of a certain topic to a classroom in a way that upholds social justice, equality, fairness etc. The point is to offer different sides of the story, or allow the story, if of a non-dominant culture, to be told by its members. Right ok. Well because I am working on the Osage reservation this summer I thought what better of a chance would I have to explore the Osage history, context, situation etc than via this project. Ok great.. so now I know a whole lot about the timelines, the place, some of the cultural context etc. but that doesn't mean I can pull together a socially just presentation of that content without some sort of outside help. So I have a few things mulling around in my head.

How can I present the culture of the Osage to the students who are coming for one week? Who do I talk to to walk through this "brief" and make sure that it is congruent with who they think they are? How can I present a people who have been around for a few hundred years, who have been exploited, pressed, and pushed around into a tiny space? How do I present on current issues facing the Osage such as jurisdiction within their reservation, Oil rights, Indian Casinos, and the cross-section of poverty and reservation life. I have no idea.

A few cool things that I have gotten from my research so far (Disclaimer.. this is what I have come to understand after like 2 days of research, not through experience with people, conversations, or prolonged exposure... so don't take my word for it.. I just click and read :P):

The culture of the Osage has a focus on balance and dichotomous interconnectedness: aka two groups who are opposite, have different skills, tools, needs- must interact together in a spirit of interchange in order to be a "whole" and surviving tribe.

The larger tribe is split into the Earth people and the Sky people. One group focuses on agriculture, gathering, peacemaking, spiritual wellbeing etc; the other focuses on hunting, defense/war making, material wellbeing of the tribe as a whole. On their own they cannot meet all of their needs, together they are successful. They cannot marry within their own, they must intermarry between the groups. Earth and Sky come together to create "children of the middle", which is congruent with their story of creation. (where earth and sky met, there was land; where people of the roots met people of the branches, there was land; it continues.. interesting stuff)

The other interesting piece of the puzzle is the orientation towards time. Shuffling through a billion forums/blogs/websites looking for different things I often came upon the understanding that the Osage have a time orientation that is represented by the infinity symbol. They are not past, present or future oriented because all are one. It made me incredibly intrigued because as a nation they are working towards a 25 year strategic plan, and trying to decide what they need to be doing to preserve their culture and language. I wonder how the process might go in a culture of such a time orientation. Does it hinder? Or do they have such great oral history and understanding of their past that it becomes easier to see the themes and threads they value.

I don't know.. this is just a few of the things coming out for me. Now how to present on it?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Waiting. waiting. watiiindkla;gjd;a dgk;laj

I feel like every day is waiting. I am waiting for my room to pack itself, my paper to write itself, my research to find itself, and my groups to self disintegrate. I am also waiting for an amazing car rid to michigan followed by a plane ride to MN and a summer full of adventure and wonder. I have been 'researching' Pawhuska/Osage etc for a presentation and because I'll be living there and it is getting me more and more excited. I haven't lived out there in so long.. it will be fun.

I really REALLY want to go see Chronicles of Narnia. I might go finish the prince of caspian real quick before bed so i'll be ready for it.

Layli and I made the decision that my hair needs cutting.. and that we are both too swamped to make the date.. no worries there I just need to be proactive about making an appointment somewhere. Maybe that lady I went to before will be around > So much for my coming back for a trim. If only she had hunted me down ages ago I wouldn't be in this mess. Actually thats a bit of a lie.

My brain hurts. and I need a kiss.. hershey's that is. it makes me laugh when I pull out a hershey kiss that says "kiss someone" and slyly plant it on someone just to see what they do. HEHEHHE. I have done this a few times and it really makes me laugh when they get all nervous.. hehehe.. Mean? Yes.

Later folks! I miss you all. Daniel.. we need to chat this week cuz I'm not going to lie once summer starts I may fall off the face of the earth. and that would be sad cuz I have enjoyed catching up so much this semester.

Why am I awake.

So it is 6:15am. I am wide awake. Yesterday was such a good day. I went to Panera and worked for about 5 hours, came back and hung out with people for a couple hours. It was the end of the year bash and I'm not going to lie it was dramatic as always. All sorts of conversations with weird people, typical emotional rollercoaster associated with a two-hour open bar followed by a bonfire.. but it was a good night. I liked laughing at/with Katy and Cici, talking with Aaron and working through our stuff, sitting with people and just chilling out. At one point I think Will and I were speaking spanish with each other and that was fun. It was a good night (and I was a good girl I promise). I got back to my dorm at like 11:30pm and completely crashed. I was soo tired. And so here I am, awake at freaking 6:30am trying to decide what to do. I am running my laptop on the 120 dollar power cord I am "loaning" from CircuitCity til mine shows up in the mail this week. I finally started making some headway on my Education for Social Justice presentation. I just really have no clue where to find the information I need on the Osage.. I was planning on doing my presentation on that, and I'm doubting it as we speak but i need to just pick something and go with it already. Oh well.

Well I am going to try and get some work done at this ungodly hour. OH GEEZ.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"This is our time"

Man I swear.. I'll never get sick of that line. Goonies is possibly one of my all time faves.

We had a movie night on campus last night. It was somewhat of a fundraiser.. we didn't have too many people show up. We were planning on doing it outside but it rained. so I don't think there was much incentive to show up.. lost the luster.. :) Either way I love that movie and it was fun to pull it together and relax to watch the movie.

This has been a pretty good week despite the hectics. My laptop cord is still messed up, my new one on the way, which means I haven't gotten a lot of work done. I struggle with on campus computers.. I'm picky I guess. Besides most of my useful docs are on my lappy soI have to steal Cici's cord all the time and I feel bad. I plan to go to Keene, buy a cord at Circuit City and return it if they'll let me :) I'm a cheater I know. :( Resourceful sounds better.

I was supposed to go to Jersey with Kiera today until tomorrow night but post-movie last night I somewhat panicked at the realization of how much work I really need to get done. So I am heading out to Panera/ Circuit City here in a minute rather than driving with her to Jersey. I appreciate her willingness to let me not go even though I told her last minute and had committed to it before. I suck as a friend.. but this next week is going to be nuts. Two group projects, one huge presentation, a paper, packing, exit interview, and goodbyes all by Sat night. I'll beleaving sunday morning. Its really weird though... This is it. I mean I'm not coming back until capstone. And we all may or may not be at the same seminar so it could be the last time for seeing all of these people. That's insane. I'll miss Cici, Katy and my other JWs more than I ever thought.. and there are a handful of other SITers that I really got to know... Its surprising how quickly you connect with people.. and surprising I let myself. Typically I probably would have guarded myself a bit more knowing that we'll be leaving soon.. but I let it happen a bit, especially with the janeway girls. I've made some great friendships there.. and it makes me smile :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

My staff is placed~ WOOOOOOOOOOT!

So I called my staff: Angela, Cornell, Zach and Brenna.. well I didn't get to talk to Brenna yet. but it was great to finally put a voice to the open spots for this summer. It was exciting to break it to them that we will be in Okey this summer. I caught most of them before they had even gotten the placement email from Youthworks. My next few days are crazy with meetings and things so I wanted to be on the ball and get a hold of as many as I could.

Um. ps. randomly American Gladiator is on.. and the guy only has one leg and a prosthetic CRAZINESS. This guy is nuts.. amazing.. crazy strong. Congrats.

My laptop power cord is officially broken. Which means my laptop is dead. well until i get a new cord. which means I am downstairs on the dorm laptop. I'll be hating life the next few days. WOE IS ME. Pretty much I might as well go to bed because I can't do any homework tonight. Sad.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gravity by Sara Bareilles

For some reason this song speaks to me. I don't know about who or what it refers. Nothing real specific hits me.. I just like it.

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I'll still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone.

You hold me without touch.
You keep me without chains.
I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your rain.

Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be.
But you're on to me and all over me.

You loved me 'cause I'm fragile.
When I thought that I was strong.
But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.

Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity.
Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I'm supposed to be.
But you're on to me and all over me.

I live here on my knees as I try to make you see that you're everything I think I need here on the ground.
But you're neither friend nor foe though I can't seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know is that you're keeping me down

Great weekend!

I had an incredibly relaxing and productive in its own way summer. I wrote a paper, socialized, went on two hikes, slept in, volunteered for a race on campus, and I will be on my way to group meetings here in a bit. My body is the good kind of sore, and I feel a lightly sun toasted. I missed summer, the outdoors and being active.

I am really excited to get my hair cut. seriously.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I am not going to lie.. I had a rough morning. I woke up to a comment on my FB wall from a friend of mine blatantly criticizing the work I plan to do this summer connecting it to the "oppressor" talk we so lovingly caress at this school. It angers me. It makes me more passionate as well because I know why I love the work I'll be doing this summer.

I am excited to be working in a community week after week, and see the connections that have been happening all year. I am excited to be in a community YW was invited into.. to work, love and serve in a community that is struggling but bustling with beautiful people- my brothers and sisters.

I am excited about working with my staff, developing friendships, love, work ethic, challenging our faith and actions, biases, and assumptions. I am excited to lead lovingly with a servant-heart and not fear conflict- for it brings growth and fuller understanding.

I am excited to lead and walk with my adult leaders through the intercultural process and teach them how to process with their own students so that they can continue to develop hearts for social justice, and passion for those in need, those that we have impoverished without knowing.

I am excited to walk next to my youth as they struggle, ask questions, love without restriction and process the rehumanization of a population that they have rarely had contact with previously.

I am excited to work with a community culture that I have never known! I cannot wait to learn through loving and serving this community. I am nothing, they are everything. I come to serve and learn, because I have the privilege to build these relationships, foster love and respect for the "other" rather than continue to ignore that it exists. I want to build bridges not walls, love not fix.

Lastly I am excited to be working in the Family again, to be doing ministry, loving and encouraging my brothers and sisters to look beyond them selves to the people of the world, to the God who loves them, and to the Son who died for them. I am excited to be able to serve Jesus, by playing with bubbles with a five year, hugging the necks of struggling youth, painting the house of a family who is sick of lead poisoning, and just "being" in a community.

So.. to whoever has issues with my work.. Shut it and tell me what you would do differently.. lets talk about it. Don't be a wuss and leave me a post on my wall like a slacker who knows how to regurgitate Janaki like its your own thoughts. and P.S. she is excited for me.. so eat that :p

Monday, May 05, 2008

Back from the 'sota!

So Minnesota was amazing. It was a whirlwind weekend of training but it was an overall great experience and I am super excited for this summer. It was interesting as a trainer brain to see more into why the trainer was making the choices she made. Like switching rooms after sessions to break up the day, sitting us with our Areas like small groups to provide safety and build community, we did ice breakers, food in a seperate area, and some other different things that I thought were a lot of fun to notice. We did everything from case studies to role plays, workshop type activities and crazy games. It was a lot of fun and I learned SO much about this summer. Our next all staff training (RAMP: Regional and Area Mission Preparation) is at the end of the month and I am stoked to meet my staff! WOOT!

Now I am back in academia and completely overwhelmed.


TSA Paper
Listening Project
TOT project
Ken's Class: Fundraiser, big paper and personal paper
Ed for SJ: Main presentation to class and paper
Spanish Test?