270 | Not to Tutor My Own Horn

March 25, 2013
Monday, 11:00 p.m.
Letter #270: Not to Tutor My Own Horn


Dear Family,

I stopped by Dr. DelSordi’s office today to see if he’d received the GED transcripts yet, so that I won’t have to be placed in 6th grade classes. “No, they should arrive soon,” he told me, “but I’ve placed you in Tutor training, a 3-day course, so you can be certified to be a tutor in the education department.” I blanched, which tastes great when an almond does it, but is less practical in humans. I politely told him no thank you, to which he replied how perfect I would be as a tutor. Funny, he never mentioned that fact three weeks ago during my committee. He told me that a tutor job is the most desirable one in the institution, since, I assume, an inmate cannot rise to the position of warden. I told him that I did not desire the job of tutor, since I am a bit busy these days. When he assured me that I’d be able to do my college work during the hours as tutor, I showed him my Day Planner, its pages filled with projects, notes, and my schedule. He said I should be his secretary, a job, I reminded him, that I turned down last year when I found out it would not allow me the flexibility to lead classes or choirs. I thanked him for thinking of me, then I asked him to kindly stop thinking of me for these responsibilities. He understood how I felt, he said, agreeing to drop me from tutor training. I felt like I’d had to list off everything I’m doing to benefit his education department, just to stay afloat while he was trying to drown me in the all-day-long tutor jobs. The only reason everyone wants the job is because it pays four times what other jobs pay: $.32/hour.

Only a few weeks ago, Chaplain Keller asked if I’d be his Chapel Clerk. The guy I’d replace hoards donated materials for himself and then sells the items to inmates. The chaplain said he wanted someone he could trust and someone he knew could handle the constant demands of the job. Unfortunately, though Chaplain Keller would make a great boss and collaborator, I couldn’t give up everything I’m involved with just to work for him full-time. I thanked him, then proposed some meaningful ways for us to work together on a few short-and long-term projects, which he said yes to. He filled the job opening with a good friend of mine, a Christian guy who is perfect for the job.

The potential trouble with being invited, asked, or even forced to do something that not everyone gets to do or even will have the opportunity to do is that it can go rather quickly to the head. It felt great to be asked to play such key roles, supporting men whose goals and vision I agree with and support. However, I’d do a terrible deed if I abandoned the key roles I’ve made such a priority in my own life these past several years. I can’t let someone else’s ideas and ideals or even what they think will benefit my life determine how I spend my time. I’m accountable to God alone for how I use my time, energy, and resources.

This week, I made time to speak with Mr. Lopez, the man I’d spoken to previously, with the major body fatigue. I was able to ask him about his childhood, his belief system, and where he thinks he’ll end up when he dies. So much unknown, he didn’t have concrete answers for most of my questions. I gave him the plan of salvation, but he became distracted by activity around us, so I’ll need to touch base with him once again.

I’m excited for some incredible opportunities that are coming up for me soon. Please pray for wisdom and direction.

I’m blessed by your letters and notes of support. Thank you!