Monday, February 27, 2012

What day is it again?

I know I've been slacking on here, but I've been super busy/too tired to gather all my thoughts collectively to make an update. Nothing that exciting has really happened since my last post, though. Just training, training, and more training.

I'm not really sure where to start. Oh! I passed the van driving test, so I'm able to drive the 15 passenger van. Which is exciting, cause I don't think I could have gone the whole 10 months without driving at all. PT was pretty brutal last week. Surprisingly not the 5:30 part, mostly just the actual physical training; I'm so out of shape. It's gotten a little better each time though.

Found out our Rep Roles. I am one of the Media Representatives as well as one of the Service Learning Initiators. Although media is something I'm familiar with, it's more press and stuff like that. I hate being interviewed and doing cold calls, so it's definitely going to be challenging. I wasn't even sure what SLI was when I was assigned the role, and I'm not even confident in how to explain it so I'm not going to really try. It's way outside of my comfort zone and I'm already overwhelmed by both. It's definitely going to be rough.

We start our three day mini spike tomorrow. Our team will be working with the Matthew 25 Ministry Hub in Cedar Rapids. The first day we will be surveying members of the community to collect data of the communities' preferred fruits and vegetables. The remaining days we will be spreading soil and mapping out a community garden that will be planted in April. Pretty excited.

Despite looking forward to this mini project, I can't help but be curious about where our Round 1 spike is going to be/what it's going to be. I know I need to get better at focusing on the present and not the future, but I've been having a lot of trouble with that recently. I've been stressing about life after AmeriCorps and what I'll do or where I'll go from here. It's difficult not thinking about that, and I shouldn't completely not think about it, but I need to learn to just live for today. That's one of my goals this year.

This feels really short, but my brain just isn't functioning right at the moment; being sickly isn't helping either. Plus, I need to go clean my room for room inspection tomorrow. Priorities!

I'll try to update again this weekend with details on how the mini spike was. :)

"There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Maple 7

It's funny how it's only been a week, but it feels like months that I've been here. Everything is going so fast, which is good I suppose. The sooner we make it through CTI the sooner we'll be out on our first spike. No idea where we'll be going or what we'll be doing yet, but I'm definitely excited to get out there.

Yesterday we had van driver training, and part of that was learning how to change a tire. With my track record in car problems, I'm kind of surprised I've never had to do this before. It was actually really cool because one of the guys on my team knows a lot about this stuff, so he kind of took charge. But we still all got a chance to step forward and have a hand in the activity. Which is cool, because I think it's important to have a team that's willing to work together.

Maple 7! That's what's up. My team is pretty awesome, I like everyone.

That picture is so ridiculous, but those are my awesome blue coveralls! They were actually my team leaders last year - pretty random, but still kind of cool.

Today we "explored the community". Also known as driving five minutes to town and parking at the library before walking around and checking some of the places out. The library is pretty cool. It's very small and they don't have that much stuff but I'll definitely be utilizing it. Then we checked out the coffee shop. It was so cute! I love independent coffee places, but their hours are terrible. 7-2 Monday-Friday. And only open till noon on Saturday? I'll never really get another chance to go there.

Vinton is so tiny, it takes no time at all to just walk around. Which can be nice, I guess; but there really isn't that much here. I'm not used to such a small town.

Oh! We took our first road trip Monday as well, to Iowa City for our ropes course (that actually didn't involve any ropes). I really enjoyed it. Learned a bit about myself, as well as my team. So that was a fun little adventure.

Van driver road test is on Friday. Just a smidge nervous for that portion. Not sure what driving a 15-passenger van is going to be like. ISP (Independent Service Projects) training is on Saturday, and a few of us on my team are wanting to get started straight away, so hopefully we can line something up for Sunday. Everything moves pretty fast here.

I realize there's no organization to this update. My mind is a jumbled mess, and I can't really focus right now so I think I'm just going to leave it at that. Positive note, right?

Okay maybe one more picture.

It snowed the other day. I kept trying to start a snowball fight. With no luck. :p

I think I took this looking out one of the main doors of Rice Hall, which is the dorm I'm living in. Or sleeping in. I think I spend more time in Palmer, because the only wifi is over here.

Through the underground tunnels.

Oh! Almost forgot. PT starts Monday morning at 5:30. Super excited for that!

Please note sarcasm. Hah.

"We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake." - Marie B. Ray

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Iowa, finally!

It's day two in Iowa! I still can't believe I'm finally here. It's been a long process, but I know it's going to be worth it. :)

Dorm living is different. I don't mind it for the most part, though I'm not a fan of the bathroom situation. I guess I'll get used to it. I only have one roommate, so that's good. No internet in our dorm though. :( Such a bummer, but it's just a short walk through a couple underground tunnels to get to the other dorm where there is wifi, so I guess I'll be spending a lot of time over here.

And yes, there are tunnels. It's actually pretty cool. They run between all the buildings here. Who needs to go outside, anyway? Especially when it's freezing.

Not much has been going on so far. Lots of meetings going over rules and regulations. We were also issued our uniforms. Obviously some very stylish threads - you'd be jealous of my rain gear and jumpsuit.

Haven't had a chance to really take many pictures. I will though. There's a shuttle into Cedar Rapids this weekend, I haven't decided if I want to go or just hang around Vinton and explore here. I really want to check out the $2 theatre, so I may just do that.

Everyone seems pretty nice so far. All the Team Leader's and staff are super awesome and seem to really enjoy this campus and what they do, so that's exciting. I can't wait to find out my team for the year this Sunday. And then where our first spike will be, though I know it's going to be several more weeks before that. For now I'll settle with just knowing my team.

I'm also debating trying out for the Wildland Fire Team. I originally thought that I was going to, but now after hearing about it I'm not so sure. I just don't really feel like I'm up to par. And I really don't want to throw my back out or anything. Still debating that.

But I can't wait to actually start making a difference.  March 8th is our induction, I believe. And then I'm assuming our spikes start right after that. Just have to make it through this first month of training. It's going to be tough, but so worth it.

"And now...let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." - Dumbledore