Sunday, April 19, 2009

Off to Trapeez School!

Okay, okay...I'm not really off to trapeez school, but for various reasons (that I'll explain later), I felt as though it was a fitting title for this blog.

In my last post, I was finishing up preparations for the arrival of my second WOW group, or 2 huge buses worth of 4-Hers and adult volunteers from my home in Southwest Louisiana. I was really excited about their week here in DC, because I knew I'd get to work with a bunch of people that I have known for many years, and I have been missing Louisiana very much lately. Rather than detailing out each day of our adventures, I'll say that despite the rain, I think the group had a great experience with the Wonders of Washington Program. It rained every day except their last, which, I guess, is nothing new for a bunch of Cajun folks from one of the most tropical climates in the country. Going through security with 110 individuals takes agesssssss, as does walking any distance farther than 500 feet. In the end, Colin and I both got good evaluations (he sure was a hit with the ladies, lol), and I think everything turned out fine. ...And this is why we're trapeez artists--anyone juggling that many individuals would have to have some sort of fancy skills, lol.

To be honest, though, I haven't been enjoying work very much at all, and people can tell. I'm trying not to give it off to my groups, and I hope I'm doing a decent job of that, but my co-workers and housemates can tell that there is something different about me lately. I keep dreading my groups and feel like I do a horrible time with my job. Of course, everyone says that I'm doing fine, but I just don't see it. The reality is, I've probably had the most difficult groups here so far (size and respect/energy wise), so maybe that's why things have been so tough. I figured that after working with 4-Hers from home that I might have a new take on things, but I'm not so sure. The youth and adults with that group were amazing--respectful, caring, wonderful individuals (hey--they're farm kids, lol)...and yet I'm still not enjoying it.

I don't like to sit here and report such negative things, but I figure I should be honest about how I'm doing. On Friday, I had a mid-employment meeting with my supervisor, and after having the weekend off, I do feel better...but I'm scared about how I am dreading this next group that comes in tonight. I don't want to dread work; I'm not used to disliking what I'm doing. Hopefully, as I get more experience (my fellow PA's are at least 1 or 2 groups ahead of me), I'll feel more comfortable with my skills and will be able to enjoy it more. On that note, I'd really appreciate your thoughts during these next few weeks because it's going to be crazy-busy on the work front, and I don't forsee a real break until after the beginning of May. Thanks in advance.


Yesterday, Christy and I spent the afternoon/evening in Baltimore. As I've mentioned in previous posts, sometimes it's just really necessary to get away from the City (DC) and away from the Center. We live and work here all the time, and it's just one huge trap (bubble?), and sometimes you really need a change of scenery. And, so Baltimore, we went. Baltimore is a great city, but very much a city. It's still huge, and I definitely wouldn't want to live there, but for the area we went, it was fine for an afternoon.

We spent most of our time in the Inner Harbor area, walking along the waterfront watching the street performers, checking out some shops, attractions, and eateries. We sat atop Federal Hill Park and watched some locals play beach vollyball, as well as tourists paddleboating in the harbor. It was there that we noticed TRAPEEZ SCHOOL! Heh. Yes, there is a such thing as trapeez school, and after a bit of watching from a distance, we decided to walk closer and actually sit to watch the trainings for a while. It was quite interesting to say the least. In the afternoon, we walked to a Sprint store (where Christy got a new phone --yay), and then asked the workers for suggestions for a seafood dinner. They recommended Mo's Fisherman's Warf, and although we settled on there for dinner, we also walked around the neighborhood of Little Italy a while, contemplating some authentic Italian food. After dinner, we went back to the car and headed home for the night. It's interesting to note, though, that Baltimore has a ton of similar sites to DC--Holocaust Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Washington Monument, Mt. Vernon (neighborhood), Calvert St., ESPN Zone, Hard Rock Cafe, Cheesecake Factory, paddleboats, etc.


Continuing my act at trapeez school, I have further updates concerning graduate school. One night last week, I decided to check online to see if any new status concerning my admission to Ohio State had been posted. Sure enough, it was, and I have now been officially admitted into their graduate school. Yay. In addition, I received an e-mail on Friday afternoon offering me an assistantship at NC State. The position would require 20 hours of work each week (some sort of program evaluation/assessment projects), an in turn, offer paid tuition, health insurance, and $15,000 stipend per academic year. It sounds like a sweet deal, so Nick and I are definitely gonna take a road trip down there in 2 weeks to check things out. Hopefully the trip will help with all of this decision making because I sure feel like this is going to turn out to be a crazy balancing act. Again, wish me luck with making a good decision.


And now, I'm going to head out to an early dinner so that I can be ready just in case my group shows up ahead of schedule. You should be proud that I found the time to blog during all of this busy-ness. Heh.

*Performs trapeez dismount*

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