Well, school has officially started and is back in full swing. We’re two weeks in, and have settled into a routine—more or less. We’re still working on the concept of ‘Lights Out’, which is at the same time every day, yet remains a difficult concept for 15 year-olds to grasp. We’ll get there. It may be the end of the year before we do, but we’ll figure it out. 🙂
We’ve already had our share of adventure in the past two weeks. The third night here, the hot water went out in the dorm. (They are renovating the dorm above, and something accidentally got turned off down here.) One of the girls decided to build a fire, which did nothing about the frigid water, but at least gave the girls somewhere to warm up afterward. The building of the fire was accompanied by two or three girls singing ‘I Set Fire To The Rain’ and ‘This Girl Is On Fire’. (For those of you not in this hemisphere, it’s approaching summer but not quite there yet, and it’s very cold still at night.)
We’ve also had some technical difficulties with the notebook laptops the girls are given for school work, and can we take a minute and praise the Lord for David Tilly the IT guy? I’m serious. I shudder to think what would happen if I was faced with fifteen teenagers locked out of the internet. Then there’s my junior highers who tend to lock themselves out of their computers in class a couple times a week—and being on the computer is fairly essential in computer class. He is my hero.
We’ve also had a couple of dorm devotions (every Tuesday night), and a dorm party the first weekend of school. The dorm party was fairly laid back—just a chance for everyone to get to know each other. We played a pictionary-telephone game that really broke the ice and got everyone laughing. This was followed by the Princess Bride and cookies and mini-pizzas that were inhaled before the opening credits were over. The way these girls eat, you’d have no idea there was a cafeteria here. 🙂 Fortunately, I only provide snacks once or twice a week and birthday dinners. I’d go broke otherwise. We did have two birthdays dinners this last week. The girls get to pick a meal and invite two friends. There’s dessert and candles, and I take pictures to send their parents.
All in all, things are running pretty smoothly. We’ve still got some bumps to iron out—Lights Out time, for example. My goal is to have them turning their own lights off at the appointed time, instead of me walking from room to room to do it. Because they’re 15 and they have watches. They know. We’re also still working on keeping the dorm clean. They have jobs to do each day to make sure the hall and the bathroom and the kitchen stay clean, and we’re still in the stage where they’re seeing how much they can get away with not doing. 🙂 I’ve had to give out a couple of Work Details (extra labor assigned for not doing your dorm job—usually along the lines of cleaning the shower drains or pumicing rust stains out of the sinks), and that’s gone a long way. One girl was doing the sink thing yesterday, and her roommate was sitting on the trash can next to her, eating chips and offering moral support. And that’s really what it comes down to—we’re starting to gel into a little family here. Girls are making friends, figuring out when to tease and when to offer to share a snack, what buttons not to push and how to love each other. And when I’m sitting in my apartment, my furniture and floor claimed by girls doing homework, laughing, teasing and snacking, it’s a beautiful thing.