Monday, April 13, 2009

April Absurdities

My last post, "March Madness," was a great title and explanation for the month, that's for sure. March is always a month of madness for me, but that's why I love it so much. It is my favorite month, after all! Now, though, it is April, and that means it's time for a long-awaited blog update. Get excited! Heh.

National 4-H Conference
As I mentioned in the my last blog, National 4-H Conference began officially on March 28, but lots of awesome people started pouring into the Center on the 26th. Conference organizers, the Planning Committee, and Collegiate Facilitators came in on Thursday night to beging the get-acquainted, planning, and preparation process before the delegates arrived. Just a few highlights...
Thursday - Lots of delayed flights, a relaxed night of introductions and an overview of the week.
Friday - Excursion preparations (aka, a fun day in the City), Roundtable planning and preparations.
Saturday - More RT planning, delegate arrival, Opening Assembly, and RT Session #1.
Sunday - Fun Run at Greenbelt Park (beat the nasty weather), more RT sessions, and an exclusive private event at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum (the one at Dulles Airport).
Monday - Excursion Day(!), RT session, relaxing evening for the Tators.
Tuesday - Workshops, Focus Groups, final RT session, 2nd museum night at the International Spy Museum (another new one crossed off my list).
Wednesday - USDA Assembly, Capitol Hill Day, Newseum/fun lunch with the Tators, annual pass-out-on-the-floor-at-National-4H-Headquarters event (heh), and the traditional all-nighter.
Thursday - Bye, bye, to some of the greatest people I know! :-(
Once again, I'm going to reiterate that Conference is my favorite event of the entire year, and even when I'm not able to attend, Conference will forever be a part of me and my passion for the great organization of 4-H. To all of you, old and new friends, I have very much enjoyed my time getting to know you and I hope that we can keep in touch throughout the years. You'll always hold a special place in my heart, and don't forget...we're having a reunion when the first of us gets married (lololololol), so put it on your calendar!

Cherry Blossoms
The weekend following Conference was the big Cherry Blossom Festival weekend here in DC. I hadn't got a chance to really see or photograph the blossoms during Conference, so Christy and I set out on Saturday to see what all of the hype was about. Let me just say that this was a very interesting day...none of which really related to the blossoms themselves. You all should go and read Christy's blog for a fully detailed story of the day because my summary won't do it justice. Briefly: a brisk jog UP the DOWN escalator at Federal Triangle, nearly sniped by a police officer for trying to cross the street, log roll onto wall at American History Museum for good seats to watch fail parade, scored free yet-to-be-released Suave cherry blossom body wash and 4 gift cards to facials at Macy's...a successful day, if I do say so myself. Oh, and I guess I should say that the blossoms are quite beautiful, but I'm slightly disappointed and feel as if they're just a tad bit overrated, in comparison to the numbers of people who trek out here just to see a bunch of flowered trees. Meh.

Warren Hall entertainment
Oh, Warren Hall. Life here...I tell ya. In fact, I should take that back, because words really can't describe it. I'd take a stab at it, but I feel as though my housemate, Nick, was able to explain it a little better. For that, here's an excerpt from his thoughts:
"...Now, let me explain something about Warren Hall (that lovely place I live in) that might explain MY actions a little bit more. (Bare with me on this one, it is kind of confusing, but I will do my best.) Ok, Warren Hall and the 4-H center campus is the biggest bubble ever, you get trapped here. You live/eat/work/ everything here, and you NEVER get away. You basically live in this world that is a cross between Real World and Big Brother, its madness. Now, your entire life is Center when your a PA or live in the house. You literally cannot function without one another, and I know this sounds a little crazy but its the truth. Ok, so what does this have to do with you? Well, when someone new comes into your life when you live in the house, its a big d*** deal. And you might get uber attached to that person because they are the first outside contact in months..."
Basically, Nick is right that we do live in a bubble here, and outside contact can be few and far between, depending on who you are and your access to outside individuals via way of visitors or local friends. In that bubble, though, there are some definite benefits, despite the co-dependence that tends to develop. We Warren Hall kids sure do have a great time... I mean, come on, we built a sheet-fort in the living room on Friday. We have strobe light dance parties, watch endless amounts of movies, and have developed plenty of inside jokes in the short few months that we've lived here. Sometimes, it's hard and frustrating to live with people who see you at your highest and lowest points, and annoying when the kitchen is worse than Ground Zero, but in the end, we're all going to miss each other when it's over. I've said it before in other situations, but there's just something about living with people...it results in a lifelong bond that can never be broken. (And that's my tear-jerker moment for the day, heh.)

Easter
This was my second holiday away from home (first being Thanksgiving, when I lived in Idaho), and I think I've decided that holidays are not holidays without family and friends. Granted, I was welcomed into a very loving home for Thanksgiving, which I very much appreciated, but I'm just used to being off for that entire week, and it was totally weird for me to be working on such a holiday. This time around, for Easter, it didn't feel like a holiday yet again. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one home (there were four-ish of us), but with our disgusting kitchen, we really didn't want to attempt any sort of home cooked family dinner. Instead, we lazy-ed around and went out to dinner at Chili's last night. In the afternoon, I braved the meto alone in an attempt to find and attend Mass at the Basilica. Thanks to some very very sweet girl, I found it, made a new friend, and was invited to dinner with her Brazilian family (I declined, due to plans with the housemates). I'll probably never see that girl again, but thank goodness for her and her generosity or else I may never have found the church, lol. Again, I am resolved to believe that random, one-time-only friendships can be some of the most rewarding of all. (Think, Rosetta Stone kiosque guy in March 2007.)

Upcoming WOW groups
It's been a while since my first WOW group (even though I did Conference and had a Nightview somewhere in between), but my second of many groups arrives today. The exciting part about this group is that they are Vermilion and Calcasieu 4-H Jr. Leaders (from home)! My mom and brother (he came to Conference too, which was great!) and everyone that is nostalgic for me and 4-H back home will be arriving in only a few hours! They'll be here through Thursday, and Colin and I will be tired puppies because we have a Nightview group that night, too. Next week, I'll be working with another group for 5 days, and the following week, we have a huge group (5 buses) for four days, and then an even huger group (9 buses) for a Nightview tour. In other words, these next few weeks are going to be crazy busy and you'll be lucky to hear much out of me before May rolls around...

Graduate School Update
As always, I must include the grad school update. I've been placed on the waiting list for admission into the Clinton School of Public Service and am still waiting to hear back from Ohio State. That means, I'm still admitted only admitted into LSU and NC State. For that reason, I'm hoping to rent a car and take a road trip (with my housemate, Nick) to Raleigh on the first weekend in May. I can't really rule out the school until I see it, so it's probably a good idea to head out there sometime.

In any case, this blog is forever long and it's about lunch time now. I really need to start putting myself together, since the group will be here in only a few hours. Sorry I don't have time to blog more often, but I hope you'll all forgive me. :)

Peace out.
Lauren

1 comment:

Brittany Nicole Staires said...

How was Mass at the Basicilica??
Di you take pictures? ha.