Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's all happening.

A while back I posted about my interest in Teach For America and how I was officially submitting my application. Well, on Wednesday I have an official, non-official interview chat with the TFA recruiter in my region.

Through my work as Vice President of a totally awesome honors co-ed fraternity (Don't laugh, it's not as geeky as it sounds. I promise), I've come to work with said recruiter putting on an event this quarter. Before I told her that I was actually applying for Teach For America, we sought out the help of my organization to help her flyer and spread the word about the final deadline to submit your application for TFA.

When I told her that I am applying, she was quick to suggest setting up a phone date to talk about the application process, how I was doing with it, etc. I'm super pumped to get an insiders perspective and advice on the whole endeavor, and hopefully I'll get some good tips on how ace the application and interviews (if I get that far!).

Or maybe she can just put in a good word for me. Maybe she can just hire me then and there. Can they do that? I really don't think they can but weirder things have happened, right? This girl I work with got an internship by serving some dude a cheeseburger at our local diner. No joke.

Keep your fingers crossed that I don't accidentally cuss at the nice recruitment lady. And that I remember to charge my phone.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm a hot mess right now and might be high on NyQuil

I may have mentioned that I was sick over New Years and how it sucked. Well for two whole weeks I felt So! Much! Better! Until yesterday when I came down with a fever and nasty cough.

I'm normally a healthy person. I take my vitamins and drink tea at the first sign of a sore throat, but the last few winters I have been a walking sickness infested mess. Maybe this is a college, down immune system thing. Whatever it is though, I hope I get over real quick.

I hope everyone else is feeling okay!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Who knew that hard work actually pays off?

Back in my sophomore year of college I took Philosophy 101, and I wasn't particularly excited about it.

It was the first time I experienced a 400 person lecture class, and instead of being overwhelmed, I was surprisingly comforted in being just another face in a sea of students. I liked the anonymity, the fact that I didn't have to worry about the professor picking me out. And more importantly, that I didn't have to prepare for a discussion. I showed up for the two hour class period, I got absorbed in the lecture and scribbling down notes, and I left. Simple.

The book, on the other hand, was not simple. It was a 900 page monstrosity that my professor insisted we bring to class every day, and right off the bat I considered myself above actually reading any of it. For the first exam, I thought I was golden. I had been familiar with some of the readings we were assigned, I never missed a class, I took notes and paid attention. And it was multiple choice!

As you might have guessed, I failed. Miserably. It was my first college F, and the first test I failed since the seventh grade in Advanced Algebra II. It was also a wake up call.

In high school I was always told that college was hard. College freshman would come back to the high school to visit old teachers, and would regal us with their knew college wisdom: the tests were hard, and now they had to study. I was half terrified, and half humored.

And then I started college and was surprised that I didn't find things to be that much different than high school. Yes, now there was more responsibility, more reading, more assignments. But I was used to studying and being dedicated. And then came Philosophy 101.

After that first test I realized that  half-assing it wasn't really working. So, I broke down and I decided to put in some honest effort. I actually read what we were assigned, recopied my notes to help me remember and make more sense of he material, and didn't wait until the last minute to review.

On the day that we received our second tests back, my professor called us in groups according to last name to the front. As I waited for my grade, I thought about what I would do if the grade was bad. Would I give up and just claim that Philosophy wasn't my thing and I was never going to get it? Could I accept that my honest best just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be?

But, I didn't get a bad grade. It turns out that I missed two questions and got an A. When my professor handed me my test he smiled and said that out of all 400 people, I had the highest grade. The feeling I had at that moment was such a rush. I loved that I had put in hard work and it had paid off.

Whenever I get discouraged I try to think back to that moment; how it felt to accomplish something that I worked so hard for. And it helps me to remember that life isn't easy, but with a little effort, a new attitude, and some hard work, there's nothing that we can't do.

Monday, January 3, 2011

If you're really excited about the new year then you should probably stop reading. Actually, this ended up on a positive note. I think.

Can I tell you something really screwed up? I generally hate New Years Eve. A year ending, a year starting. Saying goodbye to the old and hello to a fresh clean slate. It's too much pressure. My plans always fall through, I never have a NYE kiss, and somehow I always manage to end up in a bad mood.

Well this year, I was sick. Head fog, sinus pressure, congestion, a nasty wheezing hacking cough. It never fails! I loaded up on cold meds and vitamin C and had a box of Kleenex practically glued to my side, but nothing helped. I managed to stay away until 10 pm before passing out on the couch and then finally relocating to my sister's bed (family from out of town were staying in my room).

Sleep was deliciously good but this was the first year since I was a tiny person that I missed seeing the new year altogether. No ball drop, no champagne, no kisses from strangers.

But somehow, I'm okay with that. This year, I didn't build up that anticipation. I didn't agonize over getting things to be justright. I just let it be. And it was fine.

Or maybe that's just the cold meds talking.

But, I can honestly say that I'm not sad to see 2010 go.

It's been a hell of a year filled with many ups and downs. But this year seemed to have many more downs than some years passed. I did some things this year that I wasn't really proud of. I slept too little, drank too much, procrastinated on my school work in a way that almost killed me in the end.

But I learned. A lot. I learned about responsibility and owning up to my decisions. I learned how my actions affect others, and how sometimes crying is just what you need to do. I've also gained a new perspective on finances and what it takes to make it in this world.

I did a few things right this year too. I made some headway on figuring out my future goals and am starting to get used to the idea that college is almost over. I gained a confidence and sense of self that I never used to have, and I'm continuing to work on it every day. I'm blessed with a great family and good friends, and I'm excited to see who 2011 will bring my way.

And you know what? How could 2011 suck when SNOOKI was IN THE BALL as it dropped in Times Square. I believe it can't.

(Not that I actually saw any of this, but thank god for YouTube.)