Openings Meeting You Halfway – a Mini Novel Celebrating Your Hearts and Spirits.

Dear Repentino. Staffer,

6:50 AM.  On a Saturday.  Truly, your commitment to be present at a concession, on a SATURDAY, that EARLY, and even to the others who came in early today, in the middle of the day, and stayed to make sure we had a successful day and made the most of the day, making it a success – there is alot to say about the how and why, but I will try to keep it simple (a few paragraphs instead of a few pages).

I am not sure many of you just coming into the Repentino. magazine will notice since, well, you are new, but a few of the veteran staff we still have will recongize this as a fact once they hear it and then feel it.  Repentino. continully reinvents itself every year, takes on new approaches, attempts new challenges, and presents a road open to anyone willing to pave it their own way.  I feel that is what is so exciting about what the idea of Repentino. has become.

True to it’s defintion, every time Repentino. moves closer to creating new forms of assistance and programs to help others more than just publishing our magazine., but reaching out, we grow.   I hope you enjoy these moments.  An example.  As we have begun to earn money for the Bear Boosters, redefine our approaches to producing our print version, and help create scholarships that will enable students to enroll here, experiencing events that they would not normally be able to I see each of you growing.  The long hours, the extra projects, the early mornings, the late nights, all squeezed in between the challenges of letting a world know there is a publication/blog, and an Open Mic that is open to the possbilities of creativity – both here in Mexico and across the world -ALL of this means an experience that is more than simply being part of a club.

Today I saw a group of young women putting in the time, leading others to do the best job possible, and having this be one step more towards doing something amazing for others, often in moments where most people do not know we are doing these things until it occurs later in the year.  Even though you might not hear me say it immediately, the reponsibility, hard work, and hours you put in? – you make me proud every time I am lucky enough to be with you when we do these events.  The reason we have a magazine that continues to grow OUT, (covering sports, athletes that usually do not get coverage until that one crucial meet or game, exploring charities that we can help move forward, and trying to reach out to the far corners to represent authors and artists no on knows quite yet) – is because you find it within yourself to do more than the average, whether it be on a Saturday, a weekday, in isolation and not receiving praise because many do not knwo what you do, but you continue to amaze me.  You work so hard and in the process I see you appreciate so much in the work you do.

I am excited to see how you use the opportunities that come to us to reach out and benefit so many others.  Finding out that Repentino. can be a source or means to reach out to help charities, improve others’ outlook on life in gernal, as well as simply rising about what others maybe only think about doing, and doing something to change from being the normal, all of this will continue to shape your life in the future.

I was sitting on a bench today, with my three dogs, exhausted after today’s long day, and you know how it is.  People are friendly and full of energy with the weekend and usually when you, on the receivng end, are exhuasted, you find yourself full of less enthusiasm then those around you.  Still.  A couple came up and were admiring my dogs, all bubbly and positive me simply feeling, “I want to go to bed!”  Yet, they found out I had been here 5 years and I wanted to live here permanently, that I received my permanent residency the other day, and they were acting as if I hit the lottery.  Literally, you would have thought I hit the lottery they way THEY were so happy for ME.  It made me feel really, awesome – despite thinking how tired I was (I felt selfish after they were so nice).

A final example – a man sat down on the bench not 10 minutes later and was really depressesed, barely able to say hello – it was obvious this was a bad day.  Literally, in the next 35 minutes we had a conversation mostly in Spanish, ( I was like WHOA!  I can do this in SPANISH!)  – and found out, he is the head chef at a restaurant, for three- four years, and he was just upset today that he makes less than the chef before him, when he comes here from Pachuca to work every day, over 10-15 hours a day.  We talked about the philsophy that many places take the attitude well, if he/she wants to leave we will just get another person, and not appreciate the job that the worker does, or not caring enough.  He must have hit a low today and had decided to drink over this problem and realized, he actually realized, that was not the solution either. He obviously had to leave work since he was not in the right form, physically or mentally, and was so depressed about his situation of never looking as to get decent wages, and yet working in a place he loved for other reasons, for 3-4 others.  After many many moments of talking this over with him, advising him to clear his head and be up front with his boss and just tell him how he feels (he was tied to his job because he truly loved it, the people he works with, and just knowing others count on him).   He stated a few times it mattered to him how good a worker he was and yet he never jeard the words, “Good Job!” or felt he was appreicated.   He kept telling me how much it meant for me to just talk and listen to him, a complete stranager and yet, through origianlly thinking I didn’t want to talk, see, or listen to anyoe  and just go to bed, the opportunity of listening and sympathzing with someone who was hurting made my night again.

The reason I give you these examples is this – for this being my fith year, and from the beginning, the start of this idea we call Repentino, Camila de la Parra, had this vision of Repentino. becoming hard to define, yet always being something more than others can imagine and growing.

I am so so lucky to be surrounded by each of you every day, because the reason we like you on Repentino., and the reason Repentino. survives? – you believe.  No one continues to say every year, “We did it like this or that and we have to do it again like that.” Yes we do a GREAT job of looking back and seeing /using what works but for all these years, each one of you suggest and create doing something you feel is beneficial to being new, refreshing, creative and it works the majority of the time.  Because you believe.  Yes, there are those around us that simply do the minimal possible to get by, and yet you see them serve as “invisible staff”,  they linger but never really feel the power of implementing and following through the creative and hard working efforts you follow through, and have the absence of heart.

You make me feel as good as that surprising moment when you meet a stranger and hear their story, and just let it flow through you and then you respond, making you feel worthy of helping another.  This year, there will be so many opportunities to further the popularity and recognition of Repentino. through helping others and giving of yourself.  That is a good way to be represented, awards are great yes but the heart we create along the way also are priceless.  I believe that is the magic that lies in the success of Repentino. that started as six people with a dream, and now, at 46, all seeing something they see possible.  Your minds are the paths to where Repentino. can go, and that direction is exciting.

Although alot of those breakthroughs occur behind closed door, away from view, I see it just the same and see the ability you have, whether it is taking a concession and using it to further the possibilties for others to continue here at ASF, to spread to others what Repentino. is in Mexico and countries abroad, followjg the sports beat, interviewing the latest author/artist, and so much more, a part of yourself comes out in Repentino.. For those that want to strive above just being in a group by name and not action, you have created a home for many.

These initiatives you follow through and make happen will benefit you in the future when you are in that competitive world where everyone strives, climbs, and clamors for a number one spot.  You will have a major advantage above them because I am seeing first hand where your ambitions, energies, and heart goes, and can only imagaine where it will go if you strive towards directions or futures you want for yourself.

I am proud of you, and see so many examples in the students of my past,  I was lucky enought to jump on projects with that went on to be smash successes in the Naval Academy, in the classroom, in their community, on the Cross Country Course, in Key Club meetings, in the classroom, on the yearbook staff, and so many more places – their heart was in all they did and everyone arond them saw and felt it.  Each one of you are the same and that does my heart proud.  I continue to push you because I believe in the great things you will do after here, so thank you for willingly stay with me as we try to reinvent ourselves through so many directions; with you as a part of all these Repentino. moments, we will all contiunue to create a memory of challenges that will remain with us and so many others for a very long time.  I am indeed richer because of each of you  🙂


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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