2/10: Work, a different kind of

I’m tired, finally, I think. I’ve spent two weeks resting – so much so that it has been challenging to sleep at night. When it hit 4:13am and, wedged between two dogs with roommate gone, I couldn’t sleep in the 10th attempted twist, I would reach to my nightstand and take yet another Tylenol pm.

Last night, like Christmas, I slept in fits – only feeling soundly asleep in the final two hours, before waking up at 7 to again move my car and rush back to change and pack a backpack for work.

My second year of undergrad, I interned at Bearquarters for Build-a-Bear Workshop, or BABW if you’re an insider or a 10-year-old. I had a cubicle and a circle of other interns that became instant friends. In the first two weeks my manager set up meetings for me to meet department heads and influencers (not a word) in the company, meetings that made me feel lost, and young.

At DPS, my manager has set up meetings for me with key players in our team and on the perimeter. I have 30 minute to two hour events sprinkled across the next two weeks, at which point my 30 day goals will be set and I should have work to do! Things are organized. I have a cubicle. I spent my day on the 12th and 14th floors of an office, had lunch with a good portion of our team, was gifted a new coffee mug, and showed up sweaty from the 25 minute walk.

Around 4:45, I walked home to take my dog for a (wait for it) 2.5 mile run. It’s all about the slow progress.

After the inertia of the move, of newness, of doing whatever I wanted for at least a week, today felt mostly like work. There are mountain views and nice pens and an adorable chart paper poster welcoming me to Colorado; there are two monitors on my desk because I’ll be staring at spreadsheets for, ya know, ever. I’m excited and also curious, questioning my usefulness, my ease at fitting in the predominantly white woman situation that is US education. During the overview of the team I got this morning, I understood everything, could make easy comparisons to my work in Arkansas. It felt familiar. This transition feels more than feasible.

My manager is absolutely wonderful, my team is perfect, I already feel welcome and loved and invested in. I know I will be able to do this work and do it well; I know I will learn new skills; I know Denver is a city wrought with problems and conflict in the school system just as much as any city is. There is always work to be done. I spent most of the last hour of my day watching a recent documentary about the integration and then re-segregation of DPS, this is work that was assigned to me. This is important, and valuable, and urgent, and pretty much just what I thought it would be.

Not anticlimactic, I don’t think. Just unsurprising. Just another girl with a job that involved a cubicle and some other stuff.


With a short news segment about Alton Sterling just finishing as I stepped into the living room, I’m again embarrassed to be posting about my life on my blog. With the massive attack in Baghdad just three days ago, I live completely normal until reminded by facebook statuses what the rest of the world is like. I’m worried that Denver will shelter me even more than being white does – and any friends of color I cringe if you even read this paragraph. I am able to walk around blind; I am able to function like the whole world is clear blue skies. Not the case. I am looking for any and all assistance to stay grounded. Right now I’m reading (Pedagogy of the Oppressed and just started Being White, Being Good), staying current with Facebook, and waiting for the next Denver SURJ meeting which is a long month away. I need to be closer to the work on the ground. I want to, as reading tells me, stop being complicit. I need to run the wrong way on the moving walkway… especially if it involves things other than reading, which I do a lot of, which I value and love, which I know is very different than direct action.