Today I attended the 2012 Catechist Convocation at the Paramus Catholic Regional High School in New Jersey. Whew, that was a mouthful! Usually, I’m alone for most of the day during these things and my schedule today left me free from any workshops from after the opening ceremony, ending at 9:30am, to my scheduled lunch then my first workshop starting at 12:45pm. Basically, I was left to my own devices most of the morning. I spent some time browsing the “exhibits”, but I shall call them vendors. I pretty much spent almost all the money I had on a book about my favorite author entitled, “Genius Born of Anguish~ The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen” and a car bumper sticker that reads: Abortion stops a beating heart. Yeah, the book took up 98% of the money I brought. Normally, I would’ve gotten something for the current RCIA class but there is no class currently in the works. Thanks to Cyndi for teaching me the proper “etiquette” for these things. The first time I attended, she got me a booklet and cards for our then class. Well, after that purchase I headed outside and got halfway around the building, and found a nice gazebo to sit a spell and start this book. The weather was really nice and stayed there a while until the groundsmen came around with their leave blowers and drenched me full of diesel fuel or whatever they throw in those things…. yuk!
I also attended two workshops:
- Be An Evangelizing Catechist
- One Body in Christ: Sacrament Preparation & Participation in Liturgy for Individuals with Autism
That’s one bitch’in title and I had to write that whole thing when I took the survey with my opinions on the classes. The first one really focused on the CCD kids. Some really great ideas for teaching kids and inviting the parents to get involved. I really enjoyed that class for the ideas, but I spent the whole time getting up and down to get my handouts, which were one after the other the whole hour fifteen minutes. The up side is that I have the actual handouts to give to the school, and I’m going to make sure I do some of this stuff with Gabe at home. I think I’ll work on a separate post for that…. Heck, maybe while this Frankenstorm comes through.
The second workshop focused on providing an effective education for, as it says, Individuals with Autism. This is near and dear to my heart and I took this workshop with Gabe in mind, hoping I could bring some of this home. My second hope is to try and get the church to develop a program for the autistic student, both children and adults. Not sure how it will go over, but this is SO important and would go a long way with families who are not yet advocating for their autistic child for whatever reason. While I didn’t really hear anything new about autism in this class, I found it helpful, though I do wish the speaker was more prepared. She spent most of the time fiddling with her electronics and getting them to work. We did not go over all the material she had for the class and that was a downer. It was a major distraction, all the while I was thinking about the previous instructor telling us we should be well prepared with our lesson before the children walked into the class…. priceless!
Well, getting to the inspiration of my post. I’m sitting in the cafeteria eating my lunch at 11:15am and I realize that I don’t have any money to buy more water. The lunch people were very specific as to what we could take: ONE sandwich, ONE packet mustard or ONE packet mayonnaise, ONE drink, ONE bag of two Oreo cookies and ONE half-bag of chips. I’ve been guzzling water lately like an elephant and all I had right there was a 16.9 oz. bottle of Snapple Spring Water which was to last me the entire rest of the day. Snort…. I’m sitting there knowing that will never happen. So I sat there, counting the minutes till I could get home for a nice frigid cold glass of water …. (glugg… glugg…) I’m thinking that the fountain water was not too bad of a tasting water. I sat there knitting (yes, I brought my knitting and knit through the whole opening ceremony and keynote speech, though I wasn’t actually there for the speech as I was stifling hot and couldn’t wait to get out of the auditorium. Let me just say that God most certainly works in His own way and in His own time. Whenever or however, He knows what you need and exactly when you need it. Just before I got myself ready to leave the cafeteria, my friend from our parish came out of nowhere and offered me her 16.9 oz. of cold water, unequivocally stating she was not going to drink it. I accepted her offer with such gratitude that even that completely overwhelmed me. It was all I could do not to tear up, there. She really had no clue of my dilemma, yet she handed it over just when I was going through my options. Even after I finished her bottle, I refilled it with water from the bathroom because that water was colder than the water in the drinking fountain. It had a distinctly chlorine taste but I told myself that it was sanitized… ugh. That bottle, though, kept my tongue from drying onto the roof of my mouth and my lips moist and separated during my two workshops. Oh well, not a life and death situation, but God certainly has looked out for me in many ways and many, many times.