Saturday, March 7, 2009

Starting Now

Good news--I passed my tour guide exam!!! Yup, you got it, myself and the other three PAs all passed our DC tour guide test. Yay!! We haven't gotten our official cards yet, but it'll be great when they come in, so we can start using our licenses to get discounts at tourist destinations lol.

Backing up a bit, this past week was our first week of "real work." Christy and Colin had their first group--middle school students from a school for "learning differences" in Georgia. Despite the challenges for working with this group of children, I truly admire the idea of creating a school for children with learning differences.

As for the PA experience, Christy and Colin did a wonderful job, even with all of their opportunities for on-the-spot problem-solving situations. Their week started out with the group's delayed arrival due to a strong snow storm that swept the East coast. Because of this, the group had to eat lunch at Union Station (they took a train here) before coming to the Center, and then two workshops were given the first night, since the Zoo was closed, and it was definitely not a good idea to do Nightview with snow-covered roads. On another day, Mt. Vernon claimed they didn't have the group's reservation, and Hard Rock Cafe mischarged the Center beforehand. Through it all, though, I'm pretty sure everyone had a great time, which is all that matters, really.

So...snow. Yup, that's right...I HAD MY FIRST SNOW DAY EVER!!! I don't even know where to start about this one. Monday morning, most people at Center decided to work from home, so the PAs got a hold of our supervisor, and she said to take the day off. Can anyone say, "SAWEET??" Cuz, yeah, that's exactly what it was. On my first ever snow day, there were many other firsts...snow angel, snow man, sledding (!), and snowball fights. I have a ton of pictures posted on Facebook, so you should totally check them out. It was just such a glorious day...probably one of the best of my life!

Nick and I didn't have a group this week, so we were in the office doing projects all week. The National 4-H Council Board of Trustees had a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, and since I'm working with the President's team (the one who organizes the board meetings), I was pretty busy toward the beginning of the week. The Board inducted three new youth trustees, and they wanted to offer an orientation to these new members, so they asked me to design the orientation program. Victoria, one of my long time great friends from home, has been a Youth Trustee on the board for over a year, so she was invited to facilitate the orientation.

It was really cool to use my experience in designing workshops or training sessions to design this orientation, and even cooler to know that one of my best friends would be the one leading it all. This really helped my motivation and understanding in the whole concept for the orientation, and although it didn't look exactly like my original plan, in the end, I think it all worked out well. I think they'll probably continue offering a youth orienation in the future...awesome to know I helped with implementing this new idea. And, it was great to see my dearest Victoria, even if it was only for one day, heh. Plus, she'll be back again in three weeks...

So, yeah, that's the sort of stuff I'll be doing when I am working for the President's team (weeks when I don't have a WOW tour group). I'm sure they'll come up with some interesting projects. In fact, the President/CEO's assistant said that I may have an opportunity to work on some of their new international projects that relate to expanding youth programming (in the form of 4-H) in Africa. It all sounds pretty cool to me, so we'll have to see what happens.

Alas, Nick and my first group arrives tomorrow evening. It'll be a quick turnaround--they arrive, settle in, eat, and leave for Nightview in only an hour's time. Crazy, but we'll manage. The 8th graders from Alabama will be here through Thursday morning; with Dawn arriving on Monday, and more 4-H gang on Wednesday, I feel like this is going to be a crazy week. Currently, I'm trying not to think about how scared I am for my first group, but I keep reminding myself that Nick will be there for support, and I will get throgh it. I bet it will even be better than I expect, because things generally work that way when I am stressed.

Oh, I guess I should also mention that I received a letter this week from the University of Georgia. Apparently, I was not accepted into their graduate program. I was a bit disappointed, and especially frustrated to believe deep down that the reason I didn't get in is because of my GRE scores. I know I could do well in any program, but if my GRE scores keep me from being able to demonstrate my abilities, then oh well. I also realize that my previous life experiences (i.e. Idaho, DC, etc.) have evolved into culminations of events that lead up to the opportunity, or were long in the making. UGA was rather random, I don't have much stake in Georgia, and so therefore, it's probabably not where I'm meant to be.

I expect to hear more from other schools sometime around the beginning of April. Rest assured, however, I'll keep you all updated with things as they go along. And, expect another update...just as soon as I get through this week and the awesomeness of great people visiting during the best week of the entire year! Tehehe...

...Party time?

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