Friday, April 30, 2010

A Valued Student

In my several positions in adult and college education this year I have benefitted much by the privilege of working with many students whose lives have touched mine in many ways, especially in the realm of the spiritual. In this post I would like to highlight one such student, whose first name is Etheline, with whom I work with on an individualized basis.

Etheline is seeking to enhance her basic literacy skills in reading, writing, and critical analysis and interpretation of texts of many types. She and I work with the 5th level of the Reading and Writing for Today's Voyager series as well as with the Bible, her favorite text and mine.

Based on an assignment from Voyager focusing on the theme of work (whether paid or unpaid) Etheline constructed the following essay and gave me permission to publish here. No doubt you'll each have your own experience in reading the following essay. In addition to the simple elegance of the essay, what stands out for me is Etheline's calling sense of calling in public service which she links directly to her Christian vocation as a servant of God. In both her paid position at a Hartford area based nursing home and in her "unpaid" position at her large member church, where she has substantial managerial and organizational responsinilities, Etheline exhibits the core quality of care, service, follow through, and deep consideration for her fellow human beings whatever station of life they happen to occupy.

My Typical Work Day

I start my shift at work at 3 pm daily. I start by getting my patient assignment. As a certified nursing assistant, I go to each of my residents to see if they are okay and in need of anything. After, I get a report from the nurse on the unit. Then, I get the residents who are to go back to bed in bed and get the other ones up in a chair and get them ready for the dining room for supper. When supper arrives, I set up the residents that can feed themselves and help to feed the ones who need help eating. After supper, I do the shower and sponge baths as needed and get each resident ready for bed. I havde about ten residents on my assignment that I take c are of. I usually get off work at 11 pm.

On the days I am not working 3-11, or sometimes in the morning before work, I have church duties. My primary duty is cooking. I cook for different occasions at the church with the assistance of about 12 other cooks. I am the head cook and I oversee the shopping and the general duties in the kitchen. It is a lot of responsibility because there are at least two functions per week. Sometimes the gathering is between 150-200 people. I do not get paid for doing this but I consider it my work for the Lord.

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