New Beginnings Abound! (or, Mr. Hungry, my Frightful Friend)

I started a new job today. It’s a mentorship program for at-risk youth in the Rochester City School District. I’m still learning what organization does what, which branch represents which function, and who exactly I’m working for (the U of Rochester, I think), but the building, at least, is labeled the Center for Community Health. Specifically, my program is UR BOLD (Building Outstanding Leadership and Distinction).

A startling statistic I heard today is that only 10% of Black males graduate high school in Rochester (9% Latinos). Crazy, eh? If there was ever a job for a skinny, white, redheaded kid from California… I’m not sure this would be it. However, I’m up for the challenge! I couldn’t be more excited.

The past two or three months I’ve been working as a barista in a local grocery store. The job was okay; I had to wear a goofy hat and listen to my coworkers talk about boy problems while making microwaved breakfast sandwiches. Overall, the job weighed empty on my shoulders. I needed something meaningful.

SIDE NOTE: It doesn’t get more meaningful than coffee; however, this grocery chain isn’t what one would call “speciality” or as I like to call, “good.”

So here’s to new beginnings! My wife just started her new job last week, and so far she loves it. I think Rochester has great things in store for us. A bumpy start, for sure. We’ve been missing home (wherever that is) and the weather sucks. But it’s cool. As the kids say, “s’all good.” Do kids still say that? I should probably find out.

Mr. Hungry

In true Kevin fashion, I showed up for my first shift freshly perspired from a last minute bike-ride, wearing jeans and without packing a lunch. Doh! I’m a college student, right? No big deal. Oh, I’m 27. Yeah.

In my defense, they initially asked me to stop by to sign a couple papers. But they showed me to my cubicle (I have a cubicle!?!, interesting…) and told me to stick around. Three hours later I was hit hard by Mr. Hungry.

After an embarrassing explanation of my skinny-man syndrome to my new boss, I raced back home and ate a bag of almonds, goldfish, two bowls of cereal, a pickle, and then some more goldfish. My wife says I’m a fat man trapped in a skinny body, which I agree: “I’m eating for two.”

Any who, next shift I’ll be better prepared, and I’ll be happy to do so. I got a great new job, Spring semester starts tomorrow, and my wife and I have officially began training for a half-marathon.

My New Years ResoWINtions are off to a great start. Now do me a favor and go read my short story from Saturday called, “Training Day.” I’m starting a creative writing class tomorrow, and would like some general feedback on my fiction abilities.

Also, go Seahawks. Denver too! Sorry, Tony, about the Colts.

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7 comments

  1. From one at-risk-youth-worker to another: congrats!

    I have found that a less-than-skinny, mostly goodie goodie white girl from Seattle can make a great impact on ‘at-risk-youth’ simply by sharing who I am authentically and listening to who they are authentically. Also, saying ‘fuck’ doesn’t hurt, but I’m at the college level (high school dropouts…part of that 92% that didn’t make it…) and am at zero risk of being fired 🙂

    Have a sense of humor…and they smell fear from a mile away…but it’s better show who you are than false bravado 🙂

    You’ll be great.

  2. It’s me, one of your OLD Aunts. Is this for real? You really started a new job? After the tweeting ministry, I’m a tad gun shy.

    If for real, you will do great. If not, grrr!

  3. Noble undertakings, all of them. And while you can’t have too many stories with coffee in them, I believe you will find more meaty material and be more inspired to write about it at the new job.

    Oh, and while the title doesn’t sound familiar, your flash fiction piece I read was quite good. I would call it dispassionate, in the best sense of the word. A little Kafka-esque, as I recall old Franz.

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