Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Days Like This...

Today feels like this painting by Rudy-Jan Faber. In fact, almost every day feel slike this painitng by Rudy-Jan Faber. hard to explain, but then again, maybe not.

Here's a Wednesday morning summary…

9:00am - Discerning the legal ramifications of two young men’s possession charges (under 30 grams or over 30 grams, there’s a big difference), then assisting them with the ounce to grams conversion (1 oz = 28 grams) and then explaining the difference between an indictable offence and a summary offence (the answer lies on that side of the scale that tips over 30 grams, or just over 1 ounce). By the end of the conversation I was explaining the importance of acquiring a lawyer.

10:00am - Meeting with school officials regarding an addict’s attendance problems and where the school’s responsibility to educate intersects with my responsibility to guide him towards rehabilitation.

11:00am - Meeting with a kid’s guardian about a post-plea plan for rehab and relocation.

12:30pm - Grabbing a coffee ‘cause I’m no longer all that hungry…kinda numb, in fact.

This is my usual day…a day full of problems, and full of the people who hold on tight through those problems, or who throw themselves into the hurricane that those problems tend to resemble. I haven’t gotten used to it. I probably won’t. It makes me think of Zoey, and the future, and how I might teach her things, or react to things, and of just what kind of a person that she might become. Then, of course, how do I explain to her what I do? ”Your Daddy helps people,” is all we can muster, June and I, but it’s much more than that, and of course, my philosophies are much more complex than that. That’s not exactly, or entirely, what I do. It’s mostly what I do, but it’s not entirely what I do. Sometimes I’m just a friend. Sometimes I’m something to lean on. Sometimes I’m common sense, and sometimes I’m a friend you'd rather not have. Sometimes, I would imagine, I’m the last person that you want to see, even though I'm assured by all that it's quite the opposite, and almost all of the time I’m someone I never imagined that I’d be. What surprises me the most is that someone pays me to be the kind of person that I would have hoped I’d have become anyway.

I work as a combo youth counselor, advocate, school board consultant, and general "oh sh!t" guy. I work with the YMCA and with the local school board and the job that I've wiggled my way into is to fill gaps that everyone knows exist but no one is either willing or able to address. Huh? I'll explain further...

If a kid gets kicked out of school, or if he/she drops out, it's rarely about school is it? You're supposed to be relatively disdainful of school when you're 16. Something else is going on.

If a kid needs rehab or detox, I set it up.

If a kid needs Legal Aid, I help them get it.

If a kid needs housing, I help them find it.

If a kid needs a counselor or a therapist, I suss out the good from the bad and then assure them it'll be alright.

If no one is showing up in court for you, I do.

If all you need to do is talk, I'll listen.

If all you want is to be believed, I'll believe.

If you don't know which way is up, I'll point in the general direction.

That's what I do. It's a tough job description to summarize in one paragraph. It’s a complex thing and not something that will be easily explained to Zoey. All I really know is that I’m working somewhere in the middle of the kind of person I wanted to be when I was growing up, not nearer the edge, but smack down in the center of it all. I'll take it but in the end there better be a thing called karma or I'm gonna be bummed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abso freakin lutly love that picture, reminds me of alot of people and how damn scary and lonely it seems when your heart generally protrudes from the sleeve of yer fav T.

Uncle B

February 11, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

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