Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another picture of my wonderful city

Just because I like posting pictures. And this is my blog, so I can do whatever I want to do with it. So there. Maybe I am feeling like my space is being invaded just a little. Maybe I feel a little out of control of my own life. It's time to reclaim. And I do that with this blog. It is my little side of cyberspace.

I found employment...

Here, for now. It won't be fabulous and amazing, but maybe it will. It will give me the change to explore different teaching and learning settings and play around with different age groups, while giving me close to full time work. At the same time, I'm not excited to be subbing again. However, I'm not living at home, so it might be a little better than four years ago. At the same time, it's subbing, and it's exhausting. It's always having to be "on" all the time. It's always having to take a test when at a new school or center to make sure you have employment the days and weeks after you are there. The first month will be rough, but hopefully I'll get in with a center I like and be given steady employment for the rest of the year. I'm taking this slowly, one day at a time. One minute at at a time. I will be OK. I need help. I need a career counselor. I need a mommy. Good thing I'm going home. Hee hee.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Combatting Death in the Bedroom, 20-something style

In a few days, I will be moved in and a full-resident of College Village House. I am excited about this, but a little fearful since I will effectively be living as a college undergraduate again. That's right: I will be 26 years old and live with a roommate. As in, share my room with another individual. This is something I haven't done since (excluding my AmeriCorps*NCCC days) since my junior year at UGA. It will be an adjustment, but I have faith in myself and by roommate A, so I think everything will work out.

Aside from the LOFT factor. Part of the sharing room experience includes taking my spot on the top of an IKEA loft that has yet to be cut down. This means that when I put my mattress on the loft, I am only about 12 inches from the ceiling of my room. This is flashing me back to all shades of freshman year in room 665 of Creswell Hall. I sit up, and I risk Traumatic Brain Injury by Ceiling Fan. I will post pictures soon. No joke. As far as I can see though, if I can avoid brain damage, I can be successful here. I love that will not be living with tiny tots any more, and more with people my age. I love that I will be making a difference in my community and doing something that I love to do, which is tutoring and playing with children on my terms, not ALL THE TIME like in my current situation.

I love that I am starting a grad program in Reading Education at Hamline University after Labor Day. And I love that I have yet to find a job. (Seriously, the freedom is amazing.) But the lack of cash is starting to get old. I've yet to get my accomplishment post up, and that's coming. I promise. Until then, it's off to pack. Since I have nothing else to do and need to get the hell outta dodge today. Laters.

Monday, August 18, 2008

OK I'm asking!

Who are my Georgia readers? Aside from Emmy over at Lucky Ball Charms, my Feedjit says I have a reader in Decatur, GA, and reader in Norcross, GA. I'm insanely curious as to what brought you over to Rambling Rose!

If you are willing to reveal your identity, please comment here. I really want to know who is reading this blog, and if I can do anything to help.

What do you want to know about? What do you look for in a blog? What brought you to my little side of cyberspace?

Please tell and I shall respond with more new posts!


Recycled Art Girl

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I love the Olympics

"I think I really shouldn't have filed my nails last night." ~Dara Torres after taking silver in the 50M Free by 1/100th of a second.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I *heart* GK

“Beer is now cheaper than gas. Don’t drive, DRINK!”
~Garrison Keillor, in News from Lake Wobegon (5/3/2008)

In two weeks...

...this will no longer be my space. I'm so broken up about it. Can you detect the sarcasm?

Still fooling with words, and taking risks

I took a detour alright. I was on my way to a teaching career. I was on my way to stability. I couldn’t sit still. That’s what I told myself. Instead, I ran away. I ran to Minnesota. I was a teacher in Marietta, GA and I hated it, so I ran away. First, to Charleston, SC and then to Minneapolis, MN. It’s not a glamorous life by any means, but I enjoy it. I’m an AmeriCorps member, and I make a difference. I don’t make a salary, but I make a difference.

A little of something...

Who am I?
I am a chick with an attitude but I don’t show it off often.
I am a chick who hates the word chick.
I love Broadway Musicals and generally everything that New York City stands for.
Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana
Where to next?
Who knows?
Only I can decide.
Who knows?

Just for fun, (although I think I've done this before...)

The Sonnet

Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer (DGLD)

The Sonnet

Romantic, hopeful, and composed. You are the Sonnet. Get it? Composed?

Sonnets want Love and have high ideals about it. They're conscientious people, caring & careful. You yourself have deep convictions, and you devote a lot of thought to romance and what it should be. This will frighten away most potential mates, but that's okay, because you're very choosy with your affections anyway. You'd absolutely refuse to date someone dumber than you, for instance.

Lovers who share your idealized perspective, or who are at least willing to totally throw themselves into a relationship, will be very, very happy with you. And you with them. You're already selfless and compassionate, and with the right partner, there's no doubt you can be sensual, even adventurously so.

You probably have lots of female friends, and they have a special soft spot for you. Babies do, too, at the tippy-top of their baby skulls.

Your exact female opposite:

Genghis Khunt

Genghis Khunt

Random Brutal Sex Master

Always avoid: The 5-Night Stand (DBSM), The False Messiah (DBLM), The Hornivore (RBSM), The Last Man on Earth (RBSD)

Consider: The Loverboy (RGLM)

Link: The Online Dating Persona Test | OkCupid - singles | Dating
My profile name: : I_AM_RECYCLABLE

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm celebrating this weekend

Why? Because it's been ONE YEAR since I proclaimed my independence, and moved to the Twin Cities. What have I accomplished in a year? Expect an accomplishments post this week. Until then, enjoy the view from one of Minneapolis's "most photographed" landmarks, the Hennepin Ave. bridge and Grain Belt Beer sign. Beautiful.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm going to finally go public with this...

"Everyone is doing it from the Buddhists to the Baptists!" exclaims our site sponsor Martha Lee during the seventh volunteer orientation I've heard since I've been working with Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gulfport, Mississippi. "Over 700 roofs have been fixed since the storm; we call ourselves the Righteous Roofers," she goes on to explain of the faith-based volunteer mission. A chuckle choruses across the fellowship hall. New volunteers are eager to begin their week of grueling physical labor and helping residents of the surrounding towns get back to their homes.

Every week we get a new crew of volunteers, and every week I hear these statistics. And every week these statistics never cease to amaze me. The moral of the story I suppose is never underestimate the power of people in large groups with large hearts. These are people in a different stage of life, mostly retired, who want to give back to society at large. They come with many skills or no skills at all, and work tirelessly for a solid week. I feel hopeless next to them; I've been here for seven weeks, returning to the same project even after winter break and by patience for all things disaster relief and construction is starting to wear thin.

Then I meet Janet, a retired high school French teacher. I have been assigned to the group she is working with to paint a house by the beach. We load the car in silence, but I can feel her staring at me. Why is she staring at me? Pretty soon I will get the question. The dreaded question: it pops off her tongue no sooner than we open the door of our worksite. "Why did you decide to join AmeriCorps*NCCC?" I want nothing more than to run at this point. There's no looking to my team members for help on this one, for I am the only person under age 55 there. I knew what it is before I heard it; I've heard the same question at the beginning of every week with a new volunteer crew.

Like many of my fellow Corps members, I joined this program because I had no earthly idea what I wanted to do with my life after college. I knew I didn't want to teach and I knew I didn't want to sit in an office. That doesn't leave much room for exploration for a girl with an education degree and AmeriCorps was my sort of delaying the real world gig. I sure wasn't going to admit that to this volunteer though. I managed to get something off about wanting to explore my options and travel while helping others after college, but I stumbled.

Clearly, this question makes me nervous. Can't she see that? I want to tell the truth about my past in the classroom and failing miserably at classroom management when I was on my own as a teacher. I want to say that I asked for help and was asked to resign. I want to say I'm a perfectionist who is lost in a world no one can dream of. I don't, though. I'm expected to be a strong leader of these folks, and I can't do that and crumble at the same time. It's not like I have practiced this speech enough in the past seven weeks.

I realized I must have struck a chord when, 30 minutes and one coat of paint on two walls later I'm engrossed in her life and career story. I listen intently because there really is nothing more to do. I learn that she was a teacher for ten years, and those ten years were the most miserable years of her life. "There are teachers and there are those that give back in other ways," she explains. I'm starting to believe that these other ways are OK, thanks to this woman and ten others I met this week. I don't know why this woman stuck out more than any of the other volunteers, all of whom came up to hug me before they lift at the end of last week.

Maybe I realized for the first time that I could do and be anything I want to be. I don't have to be a teacher and that is OK. I don't have to paint myself into a little box and settle down into a career and do that for the rest of my life. I don't have to spend the next 10 or 15 years in the same state of even country.

I listen to stories from volunteers like Janet, volunteers who are different ages, both men and women, and who represent a variety of professions, and I am renewed. I look forward to the beginning of every week. These people energize me to complete tasks for the Westminster community and Gulfport region once again. I am hopeful for my work during my team's final tow weeks in the Gulf. Yet, I am also reflective of my future and excited to begin seeking out plans for the months and years ahead of me. It's inspiring what I gain simply by opening my ears and heart and just being here.

It goes without saying that my generation is whiny. I am proud member of the millennial generation, for what it's worth. There are many great things that we have contributed to society (our work-ethic, commitment to a team and a task, and desire for success among them.) However, among those strengths are our greatest weaknesses: we are whiny, and we tend to make a BIG deal out of not much. Who knows the reason for this? I blow my resignation from teaching after less than a year out of proportion on a daily basis, possibly because I haven't had much else to complain about. As much as a career set back such as this one disappoints me, I have learned much.

Since my resignation, I have realized that I fill a support role in teaching much better than I fill a teacher role in the classroom. Thanks to AmeriCorps, I have been given a tremendous opportunity to meet people and see places and experience situations I never would have dreamed about as a classroom teacher. In my second year of service in Minneapolis, I was also given a second shot at teaching, but in a much less intimidating manner. Thanks to the City of Lakes AmeriCorps program, I have been able to work collaboratively with teachers and students to build the kind of teaching career that I might enjoy holding for the next ten years, at least. Then I can reassess.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mildly amusing

My most recent conversation with the parentals this evening went as follows:

Me: Hi, it's me! I just called because I wanted to let you know I found this really great organization here in the Twin Cities that I am going to apply to...

My dad: Does this organization pay money?

Me: Why is that your first question? Of course it does. It's the organization of "yes we pay cash money."

My dad: Good, good. That's what we look for in jobs for my kids. Organizations of paying cash money for work.

Can you tell they are getting just a little sick of me doing Ameri-gigs for two years and my general "stop me before I volunteer again" attitude towards life?

Yeah. That about sums it up. I don't want to jinx it, so I'll let you know about said organization in a later post...stay tuned!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Casual Observation

It's really hard to motivate oneself to get anything else done when working part time, particularly the job I'm working now. This summer has been a complete bust in terms of my writing, and also in terms of my fitness goals. I never know when I'm going to work, so I'm always on call for that, and I'm not even working 20 hours a week! I just sit around, read, watch TV, fool around online, send out a few resumes and cover letters and wait to work. It's pathetic! I can't wait until fall starts so at least I have a steady schedule.

I was much more productive when I was working 50-hour weeks in terms of writing and fitness.

I knew when I had to work, and I went to work out after work. I was also at the same location everyday, and I realized that makes a difference. All of this is helping me figure out what it is I actually do want when it comes to finding a real, live job! (Which will hopefully unfold in the coming weeks, as schools start back for the fall.) There's nothing much else to this post, just some reflecting going on. I also am living in a garbage dump of a room as I make the transition from my current house to College House. I feel like I'm embark upon the Real World live as I will be sharing space with FIVE females. FIVE. And ONE bathroom, ONE fridge. Stay tuned for updates, this should be interesting.