I know, I know, I am really behind on updating the blog these days. Believe me, though, there are reasons I haven't been writing, and I hope you accept my apologies. And anyway, I'm here today (woot--a rhyme), so get excited!
As always, starting where I left off...I did, in fact, visit Allie in Baton Rouge so that I could take the GRE, but the timing was a little different than I expected. Instead of staying with her on January 7th and taking the test on January 8th, I actually ended up spending the night at her house on the 8th and taking the test on the 9th. To make a long story short, I was lucky that to even be able to take the test on the 9th, but I did have to miss the parish 4-H Jr. Leader meeting that I was hoping to attend on the 8th. Stupid conflicting dates...I hate those.
Anyway, it was great to see Allie...it'd been foreverrrr. (Okay, just since August, but still!) We spent a lot of time talking about camp and hashing out plans for Summer 2009. In an attempt to find the testing center the night before, so that I wouldn't get lost, Allie, her cousin, and I decided to have dinner at Applebee's, near the center. Neither of them had been there before, and Misty had a gift certificate. Afterwards, we went to Wal-Mart to buy some Cajun goodies (Zapp's potato chips) for Matt Eckess and Kyle Bost, Aldersgate staff members who had their birthday that week. Then, we drove all around looking for a Red Box with the movie Juno (heh, Nathan) but when we finally did find it, we decided to watch 27 Dresses, since Allie owned it already, lol. I enjoyed the movie, and to prevent the temptation to stay up talking until the wee hours of the morning, Allie banished me to bed as soon as it was over. She even made us sleep in different rooms! Hah.
As for the GRE, I made it to the testing center wayyy early, but I guess it was better early than late, right? It's been two weeks, now, so I guess I've blocked out most of the details, but I will say that that stupid test sucks some booty. I was highly disappointed in my scores, but I'll just have to suck it up and hope for the best because I don't have time to take it again before turning in my grad school applications...nor do I want to take it again. To be honest, I don't feel like I could do any better, even if I did take it again...grr.
After the test, I drove home from Baton Rouge, only to turn around and go back to Lafayette, all the way to the north side, in fact. My brother and his friend had to meet Mr. Todd to catch a ride to 4-H Camp in Pollock for the Winter Executive Board meeting. I didn't mind the driving, but at some points, it started to get old...
On Saturday, January 10th, my mom and I set off for a weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas. When we arrived that afternoon (it's an 8 hour drive, eek), we went to camp so that I could say hello to the staff (it was a respite camp weekend) and show Mom around the facilities. Everyone was really welcoming. In fact, when I walked in, they started shouting, "THE CAJUN GIRL IS HERE!" It was so cute, lol. Momma was quite impressed with the facilities (with a 7.2 million dollar grant, who wouldn't be?), and made some comment about how it was very different than 4-H Camp, lol.
I didn't have much time to hang out with camp friends, but Matt and Kyle both seemed to enjoy the yummy chips and birthday cards that I hid in the Khaki Cabin, lol. K. Bost hung out with my mom and I when we went to dinner during his "paperwork" (off time) on Saturday night. Then on, Sunday night, he came to the hotel for a while; we watched School of Rock twice and spent some time catching up with each other. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see many of the other staff members, especially Matt Eckess and some of the other people that I was pretty close to this summer...buttttt, at least I can get excited about seeing them all again this summer, which is only about 5 months away now! Woot.
On Sunday, my mom and I found a church, which happened to have been the same church that Eckess took Allie and I to once this summer. Ironic. Then we went to Arkansas Children's Hospital; I applied for my Child Life internship there, but didn't get in, so I kind of wanted to see what it was all about. For lunch, we ate at The Purple Cow Restaurant, which is the coolest place everrrrrrrrr. :-D In the afternoon, we did a test run to find the two schools I planned to visit the next morning, and then walked along the river (one of my favorite places in Little Rock) for a little while.
Monday morning, we met with someone in the Master's of Public Administration (MPA) program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The school was smaller than imagined, and kind of quaint in an old, familiar, sort of way. The people on staff were really nice, but I'm just not quite sure if it's the sort of program I'd enjoy studying.
Our second meeting was at the UALR Clinton School of Public Service (UACS). Just like UALR, the staff was really nice and welcoming. Their program is so unique and exciting; it sounds perfect for me, in fact. However, they are not able to offer assistantships, and funding is limited, so if I got in, I probably could not afford to go without taking a loan or something. That saddens me greatly, because I really do love the program... :-( However, I'm going to apply anyway, and see what happens.
As for my feelings toward Little Rock, in general, it definitely seemed a lot larger during this trip than it did in the summer. I think most of it has to do with the fact that we liked to stay in our own little area of the city during camp, and only ventured out on the weekends. Our corner had everything we needed--shopping, food, and...well, that's about all you need when you work at camp and only have 2 hours off a day, lol. If I were to move to Little Rock, I'd want to be able to have another little corner of life and not have to drift out onto one of the four freaking interstates anytime I wanted to go somewhere. Big cities...bah...take me back to Boise, darnit!
Anyways, what have I been doing since Little Rock...a whole lot, and a whole lotta nothing all at the same time. I had lunch with Victoria (an old 4-H friend from Abbeville) the day after returning from LR. It was nice to talk with her and catch up on each other's lives. I probably hadn't seen Victoria, or really even hung out with her since Benjamin's visit last May. Needless to say, a lot can happen in eight months.
Other days have been spent gathering a ton of essiential paperwork for my DC tour guide licenseure. I mean, seriously, it's a rediculous amount of stuff to get, places to go to get them, and money to pay for measly pieces of paper...Sheriff's Office (fingerprints-$5), parish jail (criminal history report-$10), 2 passport photos (Thrifty Way pharmacy-$10), driving record (expresslane.org-$17), 2 physicians forms (random doctor in Delcambre-$22) That's nearly $70 bucks, not to mention the 3 forms I had to have notarized, 6 character reference letters, and a few other documents to sign! All for a Class B DC tour guide license; Crazy!!
Once I secured most of my doucments for the license, and while waiting for the others to arrive, I began requesting letters of recommendation for graduate school applications. That has taken quite a while, and I'm still not finished securing letters for each of the applications. It's understanding, but sometimes frustrating when people are too busy with work to respond to my phone calls or e-mails, but I'm holding out hope that I'll be able to get everything done in time.
And while waiting for thooooooose documents to come in, I've been writing graduate school admissions essays and such. Yesterday I ruled out at least one school, maybe two, which means that I'm mostly finish writing essays now. (That one school required nine essays, and yeah, I just don't feel like writing any more.) So, as of now, I'm applying to 5, maybe 6 graduate schools...in 5 different states, lol. *And the gypsy life continues...? lol*
I also spent all of Saturday working on my application to be a Collegiate Facilitator at National 4-H Conference in Maruch. I've worked at Conference for the past 2 years and can't bear to think about missing it this year. Conference is by far my favorite 4-H experience of all time, and it will be especially special (lol) this year, because Austin is going as a delegate. Thankfully, my supervisors at WOW have been flexible in allowing me to apply for this position. Even if I am not chosen, though, I will be living at the Conference Center, so I'll still get to see everyone that week, which is super exciting. :)
Whew, so I guess that's it. Oh wait, no...I should also say that I've been reading more novels and studying DC factoids in my spare time. We were given a 300+ question study guide to prepare for the DC tour guide licensure test, which is scheduled for February 17th. I'm not a pro, yet at least, but I'm hoping that my casual studying will be worthy of something, lol. What I really need to do is get some index cards and start studying the information that way. Busy, busy.
Okay, now that's it. Off to find more means of productivity...and hopefully write again soon.
Oh, and, yay for King Cakes in Mardi Gras season. :-D
PS: My thoughts are with all those marching in our nation's capital this week, especially my dearest Sunshine. Best wishes toward the success of the National March for Life and for the overturning of Roe v. Wade..."As a former fetus, I oppose abortion."