"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

the radio

Woke up to "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" this morning. It's the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon which was one of my formative experiences. Well, maybe formative is too strong a word, but it had a big impact. The strange phenonmenon of grieving someone you never met and were possibily unlikely ever to meet, even briefly. It meant a lot to me that no one tried to talk me out of how sad I was about losing one of my beloved Beatles, and in such a horribly unfair way.

I have two unemployment benefit appeal hearings today, back to back, for the parents of 5 kids. They are Hmong and half of the reason they left their good paying jobs in Southern California was to fulfill cultural duties in Northern California. I've heard that UIB hearings aren't generally too tough but since I've never done one, it seems more natural to freak myself out with anxiety about it. I need to get to work a little early this a.m. to finish up some declarations, put nice tabs on my paperwork, and so forth. I guess one difficulty with my job is that I still travel back and forth a lot between feeling like I sort of know what I'm doing, and realizing my deep and abiding cluelessless. I wish we had some kind of manual on how to conduct a successful UIB appeal. I wish I had a few more sworn declarations and bits of evidence. On the other hand, each hearing is slotted for about half an hour which would suggest that this is not a class action lawsuit against WalMart.

Maybe it will be ok. I just want these folks to get their money. I think the reason they don't have it was basically a communication problem when they applied four months ago. I think they may be able to give the appearance of speaking and understanding English somewhat better than they actually do. We'll have an interpreter at the hearing.

So I'd better get to work then.

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