Words of wisdom from a 4th grader

It is funny, this week I went to another refuge called Agassiz and helped out with a 4th grade school group. At the end of the day, they all got the choice to climb a fairly tall fire tower. I am not a fan of heights, so I skipped out on doing it. A couple of boys were in line waiting their turn to climb the tower. One of them asked me, “Jessica, are you going up there?” I told them no, I am afraid of heights. The two boys nervously replied, “So are we, but we are conquering our fears.” This Saturday morning, waking up to a free day, I thought about some of the things I am afraid of doing, maybe less afraid and more worried and insecure about it. A lot of the things that I am worried about are really small, like driving the government vehicle to Fargo today with the other two interns in the car. I am always insecure about my own driving, and getting lost, or doing something that the other people in the car will point out. One of the other small things I am nervous about is making spaghetti for the first time. I totally realize that making spaghetti is fairly simple, but once again, it is my insecurity and awareness of how others will look at me if I fail or make a mistake. This thought pattern this morning brought me back to that little 4th grader, standing in line, waiting to climb a tall tower and face his fears. I guess that is the theme of my internship; facing my fears, insecurities, pushing myself to do things that I am not confident in. So, today, I will drive to Fargo, and sometime this week, I will make spaghetti.
Now, on to more interesting things for you readers, hopefully. This week I helped out with school groups again. I may have mentioned this in my last blog post, but I just can’t believe how blessed I am to somehow connect with kids. I have worked with teenagers and preteens the past few years and haven’t had much opportunity to spend time with elementary school kids, so I felt a bit out of practice. Despite feeling out of practice, I have become buddies with almost every kid in each school group that comes. I have worked with 2nd graders, 4th graders, 3rd graders, and 5th graders and have had a blast with every single grade. When we split them into groups and they come to my group, I immediately ask them their names and ask them if they want me to call them any nickname. I have had some pretty funny nicknames: Mr. Awesome, lasagna, happy baker, sledge hammer, double jointed boy, ninja, razzles, and so many more I can’t even remember them all. The great thing about all of this, is I love hanging out with them all, I enjoy playing games with them, joking with them, talking with them, and for some reason they love hanging out with me too. They will say I am their favorite part of the day, they ask me if I am going to be a part of their group the entire day, they cheer when they find out they are in my group, they express time and time again that they like being with me. I hope none of this sounds arrogant, because honestly, I don’t see how I am any bit special in how I interact with them, but none the less, I am soo grateful that they see something special in me anyways. All of this, has me thinking, if God gave me this special gift and I enjoy it so much, perhaps my career path is to work with kids. I am beginning to think about it more and more and I have a strong feeling I will come back from this summer and have a lot more of an idea of what I want to do once I graduate.
It was fun to test out some of the food/coffee places here in Minnesota. Sarah (the invasive species intern) and I went to a coffee place called Cofѐ in Crookston, a town about 30 minutes away from us. It was a cute little coffee shop with sandwiches, coffee, and the best part, fast internet!!! Anyways, I think it is our new favorite spot and the girls working their said if we come in enough they will remember what drinks we order, which has never happened to me in Arizona no matter how often I visit a coffee place (Extreme Bean!). We also tried a pizza place called Rhombus. It was pretty good, but kind of pricey and you could only pay with cash or a check.
On to another busy week of interning, I get to do a lot this week. This weekend though, we are picking up Anna (The refuge operation intern) in Fargo and of course, are going early so we can take advantage of internet at a Starbucks and good food at a restaurant. Then, Sunday, we are having a Barbeque at our bunkhouse, with cheddar and bacon stuffed burgers and one of the staff members of Rydell helping us out. Monday is a holiday, of which, I have no idea what I am going to do, though there was a suggestion to go to the lake just outside the refuge. Then, I am spending two days at Agassiz Wednesday and Thursday helping out with school groups. The week should go by very quickly and then I will have been here three weeks, about a quarter of a way through my internship. I am counting down the weeks until I go home because the more time I am away from Arizona, the more I long to be home and the more grateful I am for so much I have there.
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8 thoughts on “Words of wisdom from a 4th grader

  1. Jessica,

    I thought you were going to write that on Saturday you decided to climb the tall fire tower. Maybe you will before you leave MN, eh?
    -Mr. W

    P.S. — Kids are fun. They’re instant and continuous energy. Nicknames are a plus. 🙂

  2. It was wonderful to read of all the things that you are learning about yourself. There is no better gift that to discover what you are truly good at and truly enjoy. I can see a great place for you in conversation in inspiring kids to love the beautiful creation that God has given us to care for. I don’t blame those kids for being crazy about you!

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