Friday, May 28, 2010

To a my Newest Westside Find

Dear Hankook Taqueria,

Well, now you've gone and done it. You've joined the ranks of Octane and Gato Bizco by being so delicious and fantastic that my head exploded. The Bulgogi taco... the sesame fries... the bibimbop...!

Why is this a problem, you ask? Well, sweet hole-in-the wall purveyor of Korean-fusion goodness, thanks to you, I'm going to have to stage a protest--a "live-in," if you will. I'm going to chain myself to a tree in Piedmont Park, and I AM NOT LEAVING. I will stay here in Atlanta, chained to that tree, so that I may enjoy your culinary offerings whenever I...

Crap. There appears to be a flaw in my plan. Namely, the whole "chained to a tree" part. Hm...

I've got it! Take two:

I'm going to chain myself to a tree on wheels (bwa ha!) And I AM NOT LEAVING. Yes, yes, that should solve the problem. Excellent. Rain or shine! In the most humid of summers and bitterest of winters, I will stay here in this city I love. No matter the weather...

Dang. There's still the whole "living under a tree" aspect. Hmm...

Are you interested in expanding your new empire and opening a location in Clinton, MS?

Love and Kimchee,
Me and my stomach.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

To My Coworker

Dear Future Staff at Emory,

(Whoever you are)

My loss is your gain, friend. I am so excited for you to receive this--is it too cocky to say?--inheritance of the fruit of my labor over the past 5+ years. I wish I could pass on all of the students and faculty I've had the privilege of working with, but many of them have gone on to bigger and better things. It's funny to realize that they don't all know each other, except through me. I often forget that some of them haven't overlapped with each other in their time at Emory--it just feels like one big family, to me.

It is my family, which is why it's hard to leave. These faculty and students are my co-laborers in seeing God's kingdom come (on earth as it is in heaven), as well as my accomplices in crime. We've prayed, eaten, laughed, studied, wept, eaten some more, and shared life with each other, and that leaves a mark that doesn't fade away. You are inheriting some great people.

So, fellow staff worker, as much as it will hurt (and perhaps be slightly weird) to think of things continuing after my departure, that is, of course, what I am praying and hoping for--and I expect a full report each year at our national staff conference. I want to rejoice with you about what spiritual breakthrough that such-and-such has had. I want to laugh uproariously about what you-know-who said. I want to weep with you--as I have wept with them--over the heartache in their lives and wait expectantly with you to see God's redemption. I want the bittersweet joy of hearing great things about the GFM work at Emory that I am not there to take part in.

These are my sheep, fellow staff worker, and so my first instinct is to say that you had better take good care of them (or else!). But I realize that attitude doesn't allow room for you to love and shepherd them as I have. That attitude doesn't let go of them, as I must; nor does it allow you to take on the primary role of staff worker/shepherd in their lives. I must not try to lead them by proxy through you. It's your turn now, to learn all about them, to become fiercely loyal to and protective of them.

It's also time for me to be reminded that things will look very different under your leadership. I have to remember that your care for these students and faculty will most likely not be as gregarious as mine, and that not only is that "okay," it's the way it should be. You have things to offer them that I don't, so I am grateful for them to receive those gifts and guidance from you.

I will throw a few tidbits of advice your way--take 'em or leave 'em:

1. Food, food & more food. But I think that goes without saying. I apologize for getting them spoiled to expect munchies!

2. You don't have to do your "office hours" at Octane in the Village... but please don't stoop to doing Starbucks. Blegth!

3. You can't avoid these topics during discussions: politics, evolution, vaccines, women in combat. But you can be prepared for some entertaining fireworks.

4. Did I mention food?

and finally,

5. Take the students and faculty up on their offers to help--not just with the campus work, but in life. They are a good bunch, and they love to serve.

Enjoy this wonderful, zany, unpredictable, fabulous group. Welcome to the family.

Much love,
Chandra Crane
(for now) Campus Staff Member, Emory University
Chapter Planting Cohort v. 2.0
bringer of snacks and the Word