Let the Darkness Fear // Challenge Blog #4

Hello All!
I’ve been struggling with motivation this semester. With graduation and my wedding coming up, getting the things that I need to get done has been pretty hard. 


But this project, this project I’m doing has been on my heart for a while. And I was reminded this past weekend of why I am doing this specific project.

You see, this past weekend was Jr High Tool Time. Tool Time is a weekend retreat for youth. We coordinate speakers, worship teams,  small discussion groups, a community service event, games, and so much more. Many people I know have been extremely impacted by this weekend. I have been too. I’ve worked it for the past four years and I love it. Our theme for this year was “Be Still” based on Psalm 46’s, “Be still and know that I am God.”


During one of the songs for the weekend, we linked arms and jumped up and down for the last couple of choruses. We sang to “let the darkness fear.” This song is so upbeat and joyful that I almost started crying every time we sang it. “Let the darkness fear.”


In my faith, we believe that the devil wants to destroy us. Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, but most of all… spiritually. This line, as we jump up and down and sing at the top of our lungs is us praising God because our Savior has defeated sin, death, and the devil. The darkness fears. 


This project that I’m doing. It’s taking the things that have aimed to destroy us and bringing it to the light. Not only is it bringing the dark to light, it’s showing the power of God. You can hear it in how my participants talk about Jesus. Their sorrow, their shame, their darkness… it turns to JOY, it turns to praise. Let the darkness fear.


It’s powerful to know that this project is coming into existence. Everything I do is an act of worship, and I hope this brings praise to Christ. I hope that this joy that I am feeling towards working on this project continues. 
How do you keep up motivation when exciting things are happening and things are coming to an end? I need to know! With job applications, wedding invites in the mail, and a summer of fun coming up, I’m nervous my motivation will slip again. 


Do you have any songs to listen to? Any articles to read? Any tips?


-Adele Gendron (though it’s 129 days before I change this name!)

Fitting In // Challenge Blog 3

I have just finished filming and editing my first video for this project! *cue confetti* It was an emotional ride. Many tears were shed. I am excited for you all to see how her story turns from sadness to JOY. You can see it in every part of the video. How she holds herself, how she speaks, etc.

But now comes the hard part. She spoke with so much passion and told her story, but her connection to the larger story was unclear. So, I guess it’s my job to make that connection clearer in the study and discussion guide.

But that is a hard task, how do I make the connection to the larger story clear through questions? What parts do I pick to clearly showcase that? And also, what exactly is the biggest connection? My friend talked a lot about love and how she felt the need to know what love meant, but how do I best pick what that is!

I feel a little like I have to put meaning in her mouth that isn’t quite there. I feel like I have to take her story and stretch it a bit to fit whatever theme I choose goes best. My current thought is to pick a couple of themes and then send them to her to tell me which one she believes is the best fit. But how in-depth should this themes be? Should I just have a theme or should I have samples of what stories I would use with them?

To conclude: It’s a challenge to try and connect this piece to the larger topic and I don’t know what the best way to go about this is.

-Adele

I’m A Leader But I Hate Leading |Challenge Journal #2

Last month, I was asked to write a blog post for the publishing company I work for. I specifically write in the youth ministry section. I wrote about leadership development of volunteers, something I find very important especially as I see the younger crowds not understand how leadership isn’t a title. 


I struggled writing this post because if I’m being honest. I hate leading. Especially leading peers, it’s the worst. It’s crazy that for me a leadership position aka a position of “power” feels incredibly vulnerable. When you’re a leader, everything you do is critiqued. From how you phrased it, what you chose, to even how you dressed, you can bet someone has a comment about how they would have done a better job. I’m at the point that when I’m asked to step up, I hesitate because I know that I am a sensitive person and I’ve been hurt in this way before. How do I write something to help prepare volunteers for the struggle?


What I could have written was “As a leader, you’ll never feel good enough. You’ll feel like you have great ideas with poor execution. Your friends will talk behind your back and tell others that they would do a much better job. You will never feel confident in what you’re doing” While that is all true, I wanted to be more helpful. Sometimes the truth hurts, but this was definitely not the type of article to air my grievances. I ended up writing practical ideas to work on leadership development. I actually really liked the article, but wish I could understand how to write about it better.


I guess, my writing problem that I discovered is how to merge the good with the bad. I think it’s helpful and necessary to acknowledge when something is hard and when it can be hurtful, but to do it in a way that is helpful and not just whining. Should I have leaned in to the discomfort of leading? How do I know when I am doing this and how do I fix not fully addressing the struggle?

Challenge Journal #1- On Rituals and Fears

I have this fear that has been creeping up on me for a while now. It started this summer. I was an intern at Concordia Publishing House in the marketing department. I had such a great experience, I met new people, explored the city of St. Louis, and ate a lot of good food. Not every day was a great day, but I was able to merge a lot of my interests and my internship became a dream job for me. I was writing content, making video content, and learning from my excellent supervisors.

My Cohort of Interns at the House!

You may be asking yourself at this point, well what is her fear? What is the issue. While the fear may have originated at CPH, it did not start to take affect until I started my senior year here at Michigan.

Motivation. Burnout. Coming off of such a good experience at a place I could see myself working in the future (one rejection and a second application entered later I still say that), I have been struggling to want to be a scholar like so many of my classes require. The work is just a means to an end at this point. I am fearing burnout.

I am writing a lot for most of my courses. Since I get to choose my courses, of course this is my own fault but I think that most University courses are writing intensive (at least, that’s what I’ve experienced.) Of course, not only am I writing for class but I also am contractually obliged to write one post per month for CPH’s Vacation Bible School. As a freelance blog writer, I am finding it so so difficult to stay motivated and to generate new ideas.

I am feeling burnt-out. I know this, I am so stressed and tapped into that I do not know what to do. I just fear the day that my motivation plummets so low that I cannot bring myself to care about late-assignments, passed blog deadlines, or showing up to my extracurriculars.

How does a writing ritual fit into this? I need to be able to get into headspace where I can work on my writing while not feeling overwhelmed. I need to re-center myself before diving into work. I hope to get into a head space where my creativity can just flow instead of being interrupted by the slightest and smallest discomfort. Because a rituals can help to center yourself on why you are doing the work, it will be beneficial to my work.

As a Christian, something that I find myself writing about a lot (so get ready), all of my actions are worship. To make this clearer and give proper gratitude and praise, a ritual will help me to know where my hope is placed before I start to worry about my writing not being good enough.

To start the ritual, I will plug my laptop into a charger. I normally type my words on my laptop. This seems small, but if I don’t do it at the beginning I will make that an excuse to quit writing later. From there I will grab the maize and blue knitted blanket that my Michigan alumni grandmother handmade. I will take one of my special mugs and make vanilla honey camomile tea with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of sugar. Once everything has been arranged, laptop in front of me, blanket on my body, tea to my side, I will say a quick thank you to the Man upstairs. My ritual will be completed.

I don’t know whether the ritual will help. I want it to, very very much so. But I’m so tired.

Anyone else having similar feelings about the semester?

The Author Adele: Writing 220 E-Portfolio

We made it! It has been a great semester with our class of “tea cup pigs.” So, I first just want to say thank you to everyone, you guys are what made the class so special.

Below is a link to my e-portfolio, The Author Adele, it showcases all the projects from the Gateway course, as well as an extra special one from high school “hidden” somewhere. The theme of my site is “love.” From my love of the U.P to a project on dating, my hope is that my thoughts and feelings on this topic would be understood.

I am very proud of my e-portfolio and hope you enjoy reading through all of my projects! Feel free to contact me with any and all questions!

 

Link: http://theauthoradele.weebly.com/

Enjoy!

-Adele

Gateway Guidance

The amount of work in the gateway course can seem like a lot, especially if you are a procrastinator. Personally, I’m not very much of a procrastinator and I generally think things are easier to handle if you get a jump start. But below are some of my practical tips for the Gateway course.

  1. Don’t Neglect the Eportfolio: You don’t have to work on it everyday but if you slowly work on one page at a time, by the end of the semester, you won’t have to worry as much. You already know how to edit your site. Also, you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting.
  2. Do Your Dream Project: This class gives you so much creative freedom! Use it! Do that project you’ve always wanted to do. Whether that’s a video, writing a song, or starting a blog, you can do that in this class. Don’t miss your chance to have an excuse to actually do it!
  3. Challenge Yourself in Workshop: Be nice and courteous when giving your workshop feedback, but be extremely picky and critical towards the piece. Push yourself to ask the author questions about the intent of the piece and the heart of the story. Give the best feedback you can.
  4. Make Friends: I loved this class. My classmates are incredible and I’m so lucky that I was able to be a part of something special with them. They’re a great resource because they understand the demands of the class and if you want an extra pair of eyes, they can be there for you.

Those are my main tips for the Gateway course. A huge thanks to T and the rest of the “tea cup pigs” for a great semester. Good luck to those in Gateway classes to come!

 

-Adele

Who else loved workshop?

I love workshop. I know it sounds super cheesy, but I do. I love being able to help someone work their piece into something new. By being a bit removed from the project, one can give suggestions that the author hasn’t seen before. It’s so exciting to be able to tell the writer your ideas for their work.

Our workshops were especially effective. With having limited time for both praise and critique, our class was able to talk through the piece and help the author push the piece further. We got to show them where we wanted more and where we wanted less. And I’ve this done this workshop format before. But this class was so free about their comments and no one seemed to feel hurt about any of the comments.

This was refreshing. To be able to be honest about the changes I thought should be made without fear of damaging the author’s feelings. It allowed me to fully state my thoughts and truly help the author.

So, thank you to my Gateway class for being open to change and critique!

 

-Adele

 

Rain and Me

Immediately after stepping outside my dorm, I regretted my decision to not wear my bright yellow raincoat.

The rain immediately soaked my hair. I tried to put up my hood but the wind knocked it off quickly. Before even making it by the Law Quad, I was shaking my head regretting everything that had brought me to this moment. I just wanted to turn around and crawl back into my warm, dry bed.

The Diag was the next obstacle to get through. Walking through in my black nikes, I cursed the money gods for not giving me the resources to be able to afford rain boots that fit. Rain pelted my face, it was freezing. I was getting a brain freeze. The rain had soaked through my shoes, socks, and onto my feet.

With my head hurting and my hands cold, I quickened my pace, trying to get to the USB as fast as I could. I know that when I walked into room 2330, I looked a mess. Runny, red nose and shaking hands, I looked like I had just stepped out of the shower after receiving the news that my grandfather died.

I sat down and immediately pulled off the silver winter coat that I had trusted to get me through the storm. It had soaked through completely, I silently prayed that it would dry by the end of class.

Rain was not my friend today.

 

DMC Orientation Response

North Campus has always seemed like a foreign land to me. The buildings that house the engineers, musicians, actors, and artists are daunting. The dreaded bus commute from central is a deterrent. The library where engineers cry as they try to finish their projects at 3 am, only to have messed up one line of code, seemed like a somber place. A space full of technology but not accessible to me. After making the trek up to the land of people more talented or better at math than me, I have gained a new perspective.

Touring the DMC, I saw the incredible tools that are available for students to use. The recording studio and the video studio were both incredible impressive. It is so cool that we have these on our campus for our use! It had me dreaming up projects and going back to my childhood dream of working in the movies. It was cool to see what you could do with GroundWorks, how it allowed for people to be working with software they might not be able to afford otherwise. (aka me, a poor college student, who works two jobs in the summer and still can’t afford tuition hahahaha)

With all the technology and new things I saw, it all still felt pretty inaccessible.

A small reason I felt this way was because I am unclear on the rules. Are we allowed to use these tools when we do not have a project? If only allowed when you have a project, that’s pretty sad as I have so many ideas on how I could use this equipment. It would be cool to be able to make projects with my friends for fun!

However, the biggest reason is because of the complexity of the software and craft. How I wish there was a class on production of online video, where students could take for credit a course that teaches the basics of the software! Instead, I worry that in using some of it I will be flailing around trying to figure out how it works before the deadline. I worry that I won’t know how to use the tools to my advantage and create the best quality I can. I worry I won’t be able to properly put it to use.

I really like video making and the DMC gives me the opportunity to do so and in high quality. That is… if I’m allowed to just try and learn how to use all of it!
Thanks for the opportunity T!