Kareem's Memoir & Bio

2002-06

Back in school!
I knew that I wanted to continue in school. I had already completed my first degree at Contra Costa College. But I wanted to get a four-year degree and get into a teaching program. I knew that the more time I spent comtemplating and re-thinking, the less apt would end up moving forward in accomplishing the goal. And so, I jumped in and did it. I applied for San Francisco State University (SFSU) and was accepted. I attended classes three nights per week and continued to work full time for the San Francisco Bar Association. At the end of the work day, instead of taking BART home, I took it to SFSU. My days would be very long and didn’t end until about 11:30 pm which was when I got home. I met lots of people at SFSU and many good instructors. I finished up by earning my BA in Education.

Anothelightning storm from hercules, car rare thunderstorm
Living in a warmer part of the bay area but working in a cooler part of it made for interesting clothing transitions. I would leave for work in light clothes, drive to work in San Francisco and suddenly find that the weather there was so drastically different that I would need a coat or umbrella. One afternoon, the bay area was surprised when a rare thunderstorm treated everyone to a spectacular lightning show that sparked a few fires in scattered locations around the bay. After work, the storm continued for a few hours into night. The lightning was amazing. I grabbed my camera and gear and drove to the city of Hercules to photograph the storm. I used over three rolls of film (I hadn't bought my digital SLR yet) but only one photo exposed properly (shown).

Another job opportunity
The Bar Association was starting to undergo major changes and a new administration was transitioning in upon the departure of long time E.D. Dru Ramey and her successor. The church offered me a fulltime position as their web and graphics support employee. I accepted their job offer and started working there where I met many other friends and grew spiritually. I started understanding more and more that I was not in this world all by myself. I shared it with other people and other believers in Christ. I needed to fellowship with these people. This was a hard thing for me since I was more comfortable being independent and doing "my own thing". I joined a small group with Reggie and Myra Smith and connected with close friends like Mark, Kathy, Danny, Jeff, Ana, Stephanie, Frank, Pastor Bill & wife, Pastor Carl & Gwen, Pastor Earl and his family and so many others. This was a good church and it had good people. I joined the choir and sang in the church's popular Singing Christmas Tree. I was asked to get involved with Children’s Ministry and then later in the Teen Ministry. Later, I grew closer to the Senior Pastor Jim and his family, Leone, Janet and Mark. I traveled with them to Disneyland which was one of their favorite forms of escape from very busy and consuming church business. I also worked and grew fond of the Associate Pastor Don and his family. There were many aspects of growing that I needed to learn by my having been at Hilltop and experiencing these other people in my life. Thank God for that time.

My new Xterra!
So, I had my 1997 Chevy Lumina for about six years and now it was starting to show signs of wear and tear. I bought the My 2006 Nissan Xterracar used. And this is why it did not surprise me that it was starting to have the kinds of problems that emerged. For one, the steering wheel column would occasionally start smoking. Then later, the smoke would be seen coming from the door. My battery started dying on me. I took it in twice to have it looked at and the mechanics could not find the cause of the problem. I prayed about the car thing and asked for guidance on what kind of car to get.  I knew I wanted an SUV but not a full-size one. I was seeking a compact SUV. I checked online for several different models. I thought I like Mazda’s Tribute, then Hyundai’s Santa Fe and then a Nissan Xterra. Seeing these SUVs online was not the same as seeing them in person. When I went to several dealerships, I found that seeing them in person didn’t intrigue me much. I scratched the Santa Fe and the Tribute off my list. Then one day, I saw a Solar Yellow Xterra driving on the road and thought it was the ugliest SUV I had ever seen. Then something surprising and strange happened within me when I test-drove the Xterra. I fell in love with it. I decided to purchase the vehicle online rather than going into a dealership and doing the haggling. I made the purchase online and managed to save quite a bit of money. Days later, my new Xterra was being delivered to a local dealership.I picked up my brand new Midnight Blue Xterra, the S Model.

 
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