Monday, September 13, 2010

BIG Update!

Ok, I feel like I start every entry like this, but I am very sorry that I have been lazy and not updated. So many amazing things have been happening that I had to write this entry before I called it a night.

So, since my last update, a ton has happened. I know I said I have found a church, and if you know me well you know that I am an impulsive individual that shares exciting things upon that impulse. Well, to be honest, I haven't necessarily found a home church yet. I have visited some amazing ones but still looking for that place that fulfills my strong desire for discipleship. I have had some thoughts of starting a bible study among guys in my cohort. Then I begin to think that I really would like to keep the academic side of grad school as secular as I can at this faith-based institution I have chosen for grad school. It is important for me that I am able to get a job at any type of university after I graduate. That includes large state schools. The more evangelical ones reading this might say that I am missing opportunities to minister to those cohort members of other faiths, but honestly, I would rather learn about their particular faith because those who do not know about other religions, in my opinion, have no place arguing that Christianity is the only way to go. I am here to learn and be sponge so that I can strengthen and refine my personal beliefs. ANYWAY, I will be stepping of my soapbox now before I have unwanted trouble. To summarize, I am still praying for areas in which I can experience discipleship and weekly accountability. If you are reading, prayers are greatly appreciated.

So much has happened at work. I mentioned that I have three very fired-up undergrads under me. To remind people, fired-up equals individuals with so much potential to so amazing things and also individuals that, if not coached and managed correctly, could eat each other alive and do the opposite of their original goals. Can I get a "what what!" for strong personalities? I literally learn something completely new about my capabilities, my limits, their capabilities and limits, new managerial techniques, and what it means to fail or succeed every single day. I finally developed a system that is working so far in regards to splitting up duties between them. This ensures that minor details and not forgotten and the big picture of an event is also thought about. Today ended up being a terrific day. I began my one-on-ones with each of my three amazing students and each of them went very well. It is always great to pull people away and figure out what's happening in their life and talk to them about how they can improve and grow individually and as a team member. The day started out with worry and ended with a feeling of contentment that things are going to work out and be great. Regardless of throwing a successful or sub-par event, if growth and development happens in these students, I have done my job. What an amazing job I have. I still am in shock that I get paid to do what I do.

I STARTED CLASS FINALLY! I was honestly scared to step into the classroom. I was not the best student in undergrad and the whole class idea frightened me. Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to announce that Garrett Isom is a student and enjoys studying. I'm not sure if I have reached nerd status yet but I am well on my way. I find myself so interested in the material I am reading and the topics discussed in class that I cannot wait to go to the next class. I love my professors, Mari and Carol (my program allows the first name basis), this semester. They are brilliant and have a ton of experience and research to educate us on. I know that some things in class might become a drag but I am truly interested in this material and I thank God everyday that I don't have to take another finance class in my life. Can I get an AMEN? Currently, I am taking an intro class on college student affairs and also a theory class, where we are exploring different student affairs scholars and their particular theories about the field. We talk a lot about the rising diversity in college students of today and these topics inspire excellent discussions in class. Aaannnddd, now that I am boring you, I will stop with all this academic talk.

My roommate situation is something to brag about. This living arrangement literally fell into my lap and was a huge answer to prayer. I have 6 roommates, 5 who I didn't know at all before moving in. Two of them are in my program. I know I have talked about them before, but they are two of the most amazing individuals I have ever met. All three of us are so different but we all love and cherish (and a lot of times laugh at) those differences. I have had some of the best conversation in my life with these two guys and I know I will keep in contact with them well after grad school. They make me very excited about the memories to be created these next two years.

I am finding myself at an excellent place, spiritually, mentally, and physically (Did you notice, I left off financially? Yyyyeeaaaa.......). I am in my second week of half-marathon training and it's going well. It took me a while to get my breathing down here in Southern California, but the runs are getting easier. A prayer request that I have is just to remember who provides the good times and the bad times. All credit should be going upward and I need that daily reminder. God is taking me down such an exciting road and I just need to remember to look up and thank Him for providing such a great path. I am learning new things everyday. In my program, I am one of the youngest ones, but to be frank, it pushes me even more to learn and stand up for what I know and what I believe in. The reality is that I am still figuring out a lot of those things, but even being about to admit where I lack and what I need to work on is a new aspect of my life.

I appreciate every single person who has helped me get to this point in life. You know who you are. Everyone who has believed in me, seen me through my MANY faults, and kept striving with me even when you wanted to quit. I cannot thank you enough and I can only hope that you will read this and celebrate what God is doing with me. Praise Him for his faithfulness and love for his corrupt and stubborn children. Without His wisdom and guidance I would have no idea what to do with my life. Also, if you know of people that have similar personality traits as myself. Please let them know that they can make a living forming relationships and hanging out with college students. That is all for now.

Peace and blessings, peace AND blessings,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The whirlwind has begun.

It's been a few days so there is a few updates. So I left off last Saturday.

Saturday night was awesome because I got to hang out with my great friend, Kelly Donelson, from Baylor. We both moved to LA around the same time. She is kickin' butt in the film world and she is very inspiring to all who are trying to make it in a tough or competitive field. I drove to Santa Monica and went out with her and one of her co-workers. Great people, great times. Sunday was such a blessing of a day as well. I had heard about a church in downtown LA where a few Phi Chi alumni attend. I obviously had to check it out at some point so I went this past Sunday. It was absolutely amazing. I met this great family who sat next to me. It was their first time also and we bonded over that. Thank you Deanne, Razeez, and little baby Bliss for being a genuine family after God's heart. I plan to make this my home church. The church is called Oasis Church and it is in a Filipino community of LA. The area is great and the church doors are wide open to anyone who wants to enter. They speak from the word and have let God move the worship how He may. I will keep you updated on the church and the great things going on there!

Monday was an all student leadership training day at APU from 8 am to about 8 pm. In the beginning the only thing going through my head was the fact that I have been a student leader for a while now so I thought the day would really drag. It did pick up though. It was a contemplative day for me. I am still getting acclimated to the APU culture and I learned a lot on training day. We went to workshops on reconciling with yourself and God and also ones on diversity and having tough conversations. All in all it was an informative day that got me thinking about a lot of things that i need to be thinking about. The silencing factor of moving to a new and uncomfortable place is a great thing. I was quiet and thoughtful for most of the day.

Tuesday and then today is where the whirlwind comes in. We had orientation for my program yesterday so I finally got to meet all the grad students I will be spending the next 2 years with. It was refreshing to meet so many smart people with similar interests. Work then turned a little chaotic. Obviously I am still learning how to become an effective manager and supervisor and these past couple days have been a huge test. I have a very talented and excited team of undergrads under me and with that brings a heavy dose of enthusiasm, opinions, and sometimes chaos. It is my job to run the whole ship and tonight I was able to sit and think about this year a little bit. I just started praying for God to give me strength to effectively use and organize this great talent before me and I was very blessed to hear from Him. I believe I've come up with an effective was or at least a spring board to tackle these all-university events we have for the year. Praise God for being good!

Well that is all until next time,