Thursday, December 30, 2010


Here it is. My baby. Or at least five single spaced pages of what I hope to accomplish over the next 27 months. I had a hard time writing this, I think because it's all so unknown still. (At least I hope that's the reason.) I'm the type of person who observes and listens and seeks out, and only after hearing everything there is to hear makes a judgement of her own. I am pretty sure PC is for extroverts, which I am not. But I'm also pretty sure that it's what I'm supposed to do in my life, so it will have to work somehow. I'm almost positive that Africa is not going to bend for me, so I will have to learn to bend for Africa. And that's ok with me.

A: The professional attributes that I plan to use, and what aspirations I hope to fulfill, during my Peace Corps Service

I like that this statement is in regards to aspirations and not expectations, because during the last five months of learning everything I can about Peace Corps, listening to RPCVs describe their experiences, and dreaming about what my service might be like, I have come to understand that no two volunteers are alike in their experiences, and that there is hardly a “typical” tour with Peace Corps. Having any sort of expectations would, then, be fruitless, while in contrast, having aspirations seems more flexible and hopeful, just as I feel about beginning my service.

The professional attributes that I hope to make use of are my sense of patience when working in an unstructured environment, my excellent listening skills, my flexibility, and my uncanny sense of humor in frustrating situations. I like to occasionally take a step back from whatever I’m working on to gain a perspective of the bigger picture. From there I think about the things I want to accomplish, and I set goals for myself, knowing that accomplishing small milestones will help me keep going towards whatever it is I’m working on. Knowing that I will be working in an unstructured situation, I think this will keep me from feeling overwhelmed or hopeless if progress doesn’t come as quickly as I want it to. I know that the professional environment I’ll be working in will be vastly different than what I’m used to, but I know I will succeed if I can keep in mind the overall reason for me serving and not get lost in the details.

Another attribute that will help me is the fact that I am an excellent listener. Having taught elementary school for several years, I know the importance of giving someone my full attention and making sure I understand him or her before acting on whatever it is that we are discussing. I have mediated arguments between five year-olds, I have listened to parents worried about social and academic situations, and I have given my full attention to colleagues who need to vent about their day. In my community and with my counterpart, it will be much more important for me to first understand what is being asked of me before I worry if I am being understood.

I am extremely laid back and flexible when it comes to working with other people. I understand that all of my ideas may not be the best ones for the task at hand, so I’m more than willing to listen to what others have to contribute and find the best way to solve a problem. I am also flexible when it comes to plans – it does not disturb or upset me when things are changed around to accommodate someone’s needs. I have heard the term on more than one occasion that someone is on “Africa time” and I can appreciate that my community and counterparts might have a different way of conducting their days. Something that goes hand-in-hand with being flexible is my sense of humor in situations that are more frustrating and less amusing. I have learned in life that it is a waste of energy to hold onto anger or ruminate over something that I have no control over. It is much more effective for me to find something funny to laugh at and then move on with solving whatever it is that has presented itself as a roadblock. I believe that every single day I am presented with a choice of whether I want to become frustrated and mad, or whether I want to be happy. Nine times out of ten I’m going to make the choice to take a breath, and then smile (although occasionally it may take me a minute to get there.) At this point I am just so happy and honored to become a part of this organization, that very little could fluster me or deter me from going through this experience with anything less than an open mind and open eyes.

I know that my aspirations may change throughout my service, but now they stand as:
• Share my knowledge and experience as an elementary school teacher with my counterparts to introduce new ideas into Ugandan classrooms. I hope to serve as an outside resource and sounding board for new teachers who are seeking a different way to accomplish their goals.
• Think creatively about how to use the resources available to enhance students’ school experiences.
• Learn about the Ugandan culture and people, including becoming proficient (fluent even?) in the language.
• Represent my home country well, sharing holidays, my family traditions, and my passion for the University of Florida athletics.
• See as much as Uganda as possible and take enough pictures to make everyone I know wish they were there to see it as well.
• Gain a better worldview and understanding of developing nations’ struggles.
• Share Ugandan culture with my family and friends at home through letters and pictures, so they may better understand how I’m a part of a bigger picture.
• Be completely open to falling flat on my face and having to start over in order to help my community reach their goals.
• Building lasting friendships with my host family, community members, and other PCVs.

B: My strategies for working effectively with host country partners to meet expressed needs

From what I’ve learned throughout the application process, and speaking with other RPCVs, patience and positivity are much more important than a want for progress. As an elementary school teacher, and someone who has worked with children for almost the past decade, I have become extremely patient when it comes to working with others for the benefit of a school or other organization. I understand that in order to initiate any sort of change or to be taken seriously when introducing new ideas into an already established education system, I will first have to build trust and rapport with my counterpart and community members. This will take time, and I am willing to be patient and grow the relationships into ones that will help both my counterparts and me. I am fully prepared to be both surprised and humbled by my experience working as a Peace Corps volunteer, so I will need to take the time to truly understand what the needs are of the community and where I fit in before I try to introduce any new ideas.
I also understand the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, as much of what I experience will be vastly different from what I’m used to. I am a very positive person already, and while I know that might be tested during my service, I am not worried about becoming so bogged down that I forget why I’m there in the first place.

C: My strategies for adapting to a new culture with respect to my own cultural background

I have had the opportunity to travel a small amount and experience a new culture through the eyes of an American. While there is a stereotype of an American traveler berating anything not up to his standard of living at home, I consider myself lucky to be someone who is curious and open to new ideas and ways of doing things, rather that someone who is more stubborn and closed off from anything different. Listening to people speak about their homes and families always makes me want to experience where they come from. Paying attention to what is around me, and truly listening to my host family describe how things are done will spark enough of an interest in me to want to dive in and experience it for myself. I love learning the nuances of a new culture, and beginning to appreciate them and perhaps even participate in them. When I traveled to France I was tickled when I got to kiss people on the cheek upon greeting them. The act is so simple, yet so different from home. I was very fortunate to grow up in a household where differences were appreciated, not picked apart or belittled. I didn’t even realize that this was special until I met other people who had no desire ever to travel outside of their home county, and certainly no desire to experience anything “different”. Knowing that I do possess that curiosity to experience cultures different from my own makes me that much more appreciative of the way I was raised, and that much more excited to begin learning how to live respectfully and productively within a Ugandan community.

D: The skills and knowledge I hope to gain during pre-service training to best serve my future community and project

During pre-service training I am truly looking forward to learning all that I can about Ugandans, their culture, history, families, and communities. I know that the better I am able to integrate into the community I am placed in, the better chance I will have to reach someone and make a difference. I am especially interested in learning how to cook and make a home, these are things I loved about growing up and living in the United States; feeling like an adult who could take care of herself and contribute to her family and neighbors. I am looking forward to being able to do the same thing (eventually) in Uganda.
I am also excited about studying the Lugandan language and becoming proficient enough to carry on a professional conversation and communicate with my neighbors enough to share about ourselves. In speaking with RPCVs from all over the world, I understand that learning the language is the single most important thing I can do as a PCT to improve my chances of having a successful and enjoyable Peace Corps service.
Lastly, I am very interested in learning more about the education system that is in place in Uganda. I only know what I have read so far, but that may be vastly different from the experiences that teachers are having in their classrooms, just as is the case sometimes here in the US. While I have teaching experience and skills that are valuable, knowing where they fit into to the bigger picture in Uganda will help me better apply them once I am in my community.

E: How I think Peace Corps service will influence my personal and professional aspirations after my service ends

I am very open at this point as to what I wish for my life after I return to the US. I am confident that my time living and working in another county will raise my awareness level of the needs of developing nations, specifically the educational needs of Uganda, and I hope that that awareness does not fade away once I am back in the states. I hope that I will have developed relationships worth holding onto, so that I want both to return to Uganda at another point in my life, and to travel to other countries to learn about more cultures and people. Depending on the success of my service, I can see myself wanting to continue the work I do there; helping school systems in developing nations become institutions worth fighting for, with good teachers who are effective and caring educators. I hope to share my experiences with both friends and colleagues here in the United States to show them that the rest of the world isn’t a homogenous group of people living in poverty, but a rich mixture of individuals who deserve thought and respect. I hope that I honor the third goal of the Peace Corps well and change some stereotypes that Americans may have about Africa in general, and Uganda in specific.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shopping is more fun when you find things you love.

So I switched it up a little on here. Moved some things around, changed the background and whatnot. I also added some tabs across the top that I plan on expanding on as time goes by. I wrote a pretty sweet packing list last night, nothing like the one that gives me so much amusement, but it was ok. I have a rough draft in a yellow spiral bound notebook, but I had given it some actual thought, organized it, and made hilarious comments. Alas, blogspot decided to be a douche and did not save it. Ugh.

I also went to find a hiking backpack today and am even more confused than when I started. For one, I'm so glad I didn't buy one online because they're serious about trying them out and fitting them to your body. There is an awesome outdoors store here in town that was so incredibly helpful today, and we picked out a pack, except that pack is $279. And it's not even that cute. I ended up letting them know that I'd have to finish my list and make sure that was exactly what I need before I spend that much money. When I got home I chatted with a friend who has literally travelled the world and I asked about her backpack. She gave me some good suggestions and I felt much better about not rushing to buy one right away. I'm going to take a little road trip on Monday and see what I can find a giant outdoors store about an hour and a half south of here. Maybe if I find something I like, I'll ask my little local store if they can order it for me. I would much rather spend that kind of money locally.

I also went shopping for a dress to wear on new years eve and was sooorely disappointed to find nothing cute that fit me. Yes, I am 27 years old and have hips and an ass, but I would still love to find a cute fun dress to wear. I hate that all the cheap fun sparkly dresses are cut for prepubescent bodies. (And even more disgusted knowing that's who wears them, put on some pants, high schoolers!) I had to have a come to Jesus meeting with myself after being so let down about what I look like. This is madness!

Edit: Packing list is up! If you're going to make fun of me, at least do it to my face so I can rethink things that might be over the top! I'm serious, input is more than welcome, just be polite please :D

Sunday, December 26, 2010


First, a huge THANK YOU to everyone for your congratulations and well wishes :D I feel so lucky to finally have gotten through this process and to be moving onto the next phase!!!! It means a lot to me to have so many kind words directed my way.

The last two and half days have been a whirlwind. Getting my invitation on Christmas Eve was certainly whimsical and felt like something out of a movie, but actually it was kind of awful timing. I feel like I have not had more than 4 seconds at a time to look at ANYTHING in that packet other than the absolutely required reading simply to be able to accept my invitation (which I finally did last night at about midnight, next to the fire, half ignoring my family because I just wanted to get it all read so I could officially say "YES!" and also - a SINGLE gear bike? this is gonna be fun...) My goal tomorrow is to actually pick apart things paper by paper and get things filled out and sent in and whatnot.

I feel like for the past five months I've been so caught up in thinking about my life as a PCV that all this paperwork is kind of throwing a kink into my online shopping for leathermen and sleeping bags! Silly? Yes. I really want to start making my packing list, but I know that passport application, visa application, resume and aspiration statement must come first. This week I also need to start cleaning out my storage unit and making piles of things to donate. I really don't want to try to organize a garage sale, and I don't really feel like justifying that decision to anyone at the moment (just like I don't know what I'm doing with my car!)

Ever since I finally found out where I'm going, people have had so many questions (finally! more than just, "do you know where you're going yet?") and it's so interesting to hear predictions about what my life will be like. It kind of makes the whole third goal thing seem that much more important. One of my friends tonight was like "OMG you're not going to be able to wear make up!" to which I said "of course I will.." as in, I'm going to be bringing some, I most likely won't wear heavy base or powder on a daily basis, but I'll be ABLE to if and when I want to. Another friend was surprised that I'm planning on bringing nail polish. Like, guys, I'm not going camping. I'm going to be living somewhere for two years. Wouldn't you want to have cute pink toes and maybe some eyeliner if you go out with your friends? Women in Africa dress up and look nice, that's not something we Americans have a monopoly on.

Ugh, I went to a bar tonight, and it was so smokey in there. I smell like I smoked a pack of cigarettes while sitting in my car with all the windows up. My jacket, scarf, and cashmere sweater all smell too, things I hate to wash more than is absolutely necessary. Also, I just got a little creeped out that the mom from Modern Family who is adorable and I love her, is a creepy 40 year old sleeping with an 18 year old on Weeds. And also also, I got a sweet new iPod for Christmas that will hold 10,000 songs, and I currently only have 1,300, so I need everyone to make me mixed cds of their favorite music to load up on :D THANKS.

Friday, December 24, 2010


I feel an intense need to Uganda-out my blog now. With maps and flags and facts and links and a packing list... (By the way the flag is awesome. It adds like 10% to my excitement factor.)


SO much inside my head right now!!!! (also I'm sorry the movie is so wide, the html code isn't letting me make fit inside the column, and sorry my voice is annoying, lol wow...)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

knockoff burberry

PCJ said I have 5 comments on the last post, my blog is telling me I only have 3. Blogspot is broken, how sad :( In some fun, unrelated news, I just got home from a night out where I literally chased a thief all over UF campus after he stole my friend's phone. I was actually the backup chaser because I had to stop and take my heels off and had a heavy purse, while the primary chaser was purse-less and wearing flats. The guy ended up trying to ditch the phone in a dumpster, eating it on the pavement, having a police report written up about him, and now has a warrant out for his arrest. Bam.

Cab/Shiraz blend

Fun little update this morning letting me know that I've officially been invited and that my packet was sent on the 22nd. I started to look through the toolkit (since it's all I have right now) and immediately felt overwhelmed by all of the information and the links to seventy-two different pages. I took a deep breath and told myself that thousands of other invitees are dealing with the same things, that people leave the country all the time, and that there's no reason why I can't get my shit together and do it too.

I got an email from an Evite account the other night, it was my four best friends setting up a goodbye weekend for me. I just sat there with tears in my eyes, for maybe the first time since applying, thinking about how I'm actually going to miss so much going on in people's lives. Things don't stop just because I'm not there to see them, unfortunately. I'm most likely going to miss a few weddings, babies being born, first days of kindergarten... I've gone several years without seeing people before, but it's never been realized on this end of it where it's like, "Ok, this is the LAST time I'm going to see you for however long." It's always been, "Oh crap, you know who I haven't seen in FOREVER is so and so."

I keep catching myself looking at my life from the outside. Not as a whole, but just at the fact that I'm going to do Peace Corps. I think about other people I know who do amazing things, and travel, and be adventurous. Until now I've kind of always sat back, comfortable where I am, and marveled at how much fun their lives must be, wishing I could just dip my toe in a little bit of what they're experiencing. Now that's my life. Now I'm the one who is doing something nuts, who is moving to Africa, who is diving in headfirst. The funny thing is, this all feels perfectly natural. I can't imagine not doing it at this point, and I'm almost a little embarrassed at how hard I thought it would be three or five or seven years ago.

I'm actually really proud of myself.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I had a 45 minute long conversation with my placement officer this afternoon while I sat in my car, parked at the basketball stadium on campus. It was the first place I came to where I could sit undisturbed with amazing reception. I'd originally driven to a park not far from my house, but I only had two bars there and that was not going to fly with me. The conversation closed with her saying she'd be extending me an invitation :D From what I understand it's to my original nomination region (SSA) in the original month (February 2011). I can't wait to see what it is!

Anyway, she asked about how, if at all, my view and commitment to PC had changed since applying, to clarify something I'd written in my essay, what challenges I'd come across that I hadn't considered before, how I would deal with certain situations, etc. I was incredibly nervous partly because sometimes it's hard to put into words how I feel about this and also because so many situations I have no idea about. I am completely expecting to be flipped upside down and backwards stepping off that plane and to have everything I could have imagined blown out of the water. It's so hard to imagine actually living in Africa that I am planning on learning as much as I can, being as respectful as I can, and then just rolling with it. She did mention that I'd have to cover my tattoo (I have a cm high star on my right heel) so I'm wondering about that given the fact that I'm hoping not to wear socks and shoes everyday...

I am so flabbergasted right now. My mom, sister-in-law, and her friend were all here when I got home and heard my news and they were all (mildly?) excited for me, no jumping up and down or hugs or anything, but maybe that's just how my family is in general.

To quote another blog, "shit just got REAL."

Monday, December 20, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

Is it because I called or would it have happened anyway if I'd waited? Who knows, either way I got an email asking me to schedule a time between 1:30 and 5 tomorrow, or 11:30 and 4 on Wednesday to have a follow-up convo with my placement officer. Of course I picked 1:30 tomorrow. About. to. jump. out. of. my. skin.

Things I found out

1) My program is still open
2) My file has been screened by the placement assistant
3) Since it has been screened by placement, and I haven't received any requests, then my file wasn't missing anything
4) I need to be patient
5) The person who screened my file was out to lunch
6) I have time
7) I'm very well informed about the process (I didn't attribute this to the fact that I read 20 blogs a day)
8) Not everyone has a request for additional information
9) The woman I spoke to is making a note in my file that I called, and letting my placement screener know (good or bad?)
10) They haven't lost me, I'm still in the process
11) I'm now supposed to have a great day

I take it back

Because I sort of love this, and also some Shel Silverstein.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Is it weird...

That I don't really like poetry? At all?

I swear I'm so so close

I have a dilemma, not a huge one, but an annoying one. The dilemma is that I'm not rich. I want to go ❄❅skiing❆❄ with my family after Christmas, but the plane ticket, possible rental car, lift tickets, ski rentals, and additional clothing that I do not currently own are going to add up, fast. It will almost certainly be the last time I see these people before leaving, so I really want to go, but it's also très last minute and très cher. "These people" would be my aunt and uncle who I'm closest to, their 4 kids (my cousins), kids-in-law, and grandkids... totaling 18 people.

In related I'm-leaving-soonish news, I still have not gotten a request for any info from placement, but my letter from medical came, letting me know that I'm cleared and that my file is being sent on. I had lunch with some PC friends yesterday (and by lunch I mean a 5 hour chit chat about anything and everything), one of whom told me that she never received any sort of follow-up interview or request for another resume before she was invited. Now, she and I have almost the same credentials - both have Masters of Education, both are certified teachers, and both have teaching experience in our own classrooms, and we were both nominated for the same program (we even have the same alma mater, mutual friends, and she did her internship in the classroom next to mine my first year teaching - spooky!). Apparently my degree and experience make me desirable in PC's eyes since not many elementary teachers apply. This makes me hopeful that I might not have to play phone tag with a PO, a PO's assistant, or whoever else might want to ask me questions, and that I might, just miiiight, wake up one morning with a notice that I've been invited. Oh, if ever I had a Christmas wish!

I went through the wiki (I know, I know) and calculated COI dates for the programs going in February. Does anyone know what program is being sent to Namibia? I think it's health but I know they have the PTT program in that country (or, at least the wiki says they do) I also found the Uganda facebook group page and it made me really want to go there. December 29th is the COI for that country, 10 days. I think I'll call placement tomorrow and just, um, check.

I need to get out of the house, this will drive a girl nuts!

edit: just to dispel any concerns about reaching out to placement not getting me anywhere, don't-get-your-hopes-up-missy, why can't you just wait and be disappointed like the rest of us? or HA, good luck comments... I'm fully aware that citing PC wiki as a reference is a bad idea, and that pointing to other applicants getting their invitations to "but that's MY region" is equally stupid. I'm also fully aware (and at ease with the fact) that my date, region, and program can change- I honestly do not care where I go. I'm just enjoying the process at this point and excited beyond measure about actually getting to be a part of PC... asking questions helps me get through it all.

Friday, December 17, 2010


This totally just got delivered to my house. Pretty sure it's a Christmas gift pour moi, so ooops :D


Dear Placement, PLEASE ask me for my resume, what I've been up to, what I've been doing to prepare for service, aaaaanything! I will send cookies, or Harry & David Pears, or a Ferraro Rocher pyramid of chocolate, or a grab bag of delightful holiday films. I'm waaaaaaiting, heart heart heart, Liz

(Ok, that's out of my system now. I can go back to my life)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

15% baby!

I'm sitting in the Charlotte airport, happy as a clam. I just spoke with my nurse who said she could go ahead and clear me today! It really was a case of simply overlooking the page with the right lab results on it, which I find interesting considering how thorough we're expected to be. Either way I'm happy and hoping to hear from placement soon so I can get this show on the road. Honestly it just hit me how fast this is all going to go now, I'd been in la la land the past week having too much fun with my friends in Boston...

Sent from my iPhone

/edit 12-15-10/ And, bam. Come on placement!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Remember when I almost fought the nurse to get my bloodwork done right?

I called my mom this morning to ask if anything had come from PC, I was up earlier than the kids and curiousity got the best of me. I figured if it was something easy I could just call PC and try to sweet talk my way into clearance. Anyway, she goes, "yesssssss" in a knowing little voice that was all excited for me, but as soon as I asked her to open it she lost a little of that sparkle. Apparently during the review of my file, they noted that I was missing information (I call bullshit). What's missing? Oh just my Hep B Surface Antibody test. Yep, that's bullshit. Those three tests are the things I am 107% sure are in there because I had to advocate so hard to get them done. Remember this post? I have a binder of everything PC related and asked my mom to go through my lab results and just confirm for me that those test results were in there. Sure enough they were so I decided to call and ask the nurse to check again. The woman I talked to was like, "Do you know if you got the right one done, because there are three and some people miss one." I said I'd gotten the surface antigen, surface antibody, and core antibody, but that since I had to fight to get it done the results were listed separately, because it was a second test in addition to the "Hep Panel" that I was told would cover me. She said that those are all the right ones so I should be good. She transferred me to my nurse, but guess who is out of town until tomorrow? I smiled to myself and left her a voicemail letting her know what was going on, but really if I'd just waited till I got home tomorrow I would have been fine :) So for now I'm going to enjoy my last day here, walking around in my puffy painted shirt, wishing it would snow so I could stay another day.

PS, If them overlooking my lab results is all this is, I'm absolutely counting myself in the 15% of people who did it right the first time.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, December 11, 2010

So I'm moving to Boston when I get back

Quick update while I wait for the shower to be unoccupied, so I can jump in and then go out in Boston for the third night in a row. My medical is still on hold, but I don't even care. This vacation is way too amazing for me to give a second thought about my medical status. Even if I'd figured something out, I can't very well be running around ruining four other girls' weekends while I get blood tests or pee in cups. Again. I'm perfectly content waiting until I get back, just enjoying my time in the best city ever, and drinking my butterbeer. Yes, we made butterbeer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'm sitting in a car, just got off the plane in Boston, and just wanted to update that I got an email this morning that my status has been updated!!!!! It wasn't in my inbox when I got up (at 4) and wasn't there when I was sitting in the airport (at 6) so I figured it wasn't coming today.. But during my layover in Charlotte I whipped out my laptop and saw I had items in my spam mail. Why PC stuff goes to spam is beyond me, because all their mass emails go to my regular inbox. Anyway, my medical is on hold while it's being reviewed, any input on how long medical holds last?

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I hope this list keeps growing

I've been thinking about this post for some time now, but I felt like it was some kind of culmination type post that I should write at some super meaningful point in my life when I've had time to flesh it all out and make sure it's done correctly. However, like life, the idea behind this post is one that is ongoing and living. I will hopefully add to it at various points, because I don't want to leave anything out. This is a list of lessons I've gleaned from all the women in my life, I try to remember them every day and be a person who they would all be proud to know.
-A sense of humor and grace will get you through literally anything. KSD
-Love your alma mater, shamelessly. AAF
-Question everything. MKS
-Don't not do something because you have a pet. JKS
-Walk like it's for sale the rent is due tonight. NCSCK
-Boil the gibblets in chicken stock & white wine, then chop up the liver for some i-take-crap-from-no-one gravy. CJS
-Don't get caught up in the fray, be a true person. AAF
-You don't really need a man around the house, except to lift things occasionally, and if you don't want to fix a toilet. CJS
-Take care of your hair, because it's what you look like. JMEF
-Speak another language. KJMM & PL
-Be unwaveringly loyal. AAF
-Always wear heels, they give you good posture. KSD
-Have a line that you're not willing to budge on, and then don't. SCZ
-Look people in the eye when you're talking to them, it makes you intimidating. KDH
-Be a good daughter. NCSCK
-Be passionate. AAF
-Believe. JKS
-Sometimes it's ok to eff the afternoon away. ACC
-The best artichoke dip is a can of artichoke hearts, a cup of mayo, and a cup of the good parmesan. Bake till it's brown and bubbly. JKS
-Always send a card. GSK
I think what sets these women apart from others that I know is that they are all truly kind.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Relationships. Or, Can I come see you when you're in basic training?

In addition to being fabulously stubborn and obnoxiously optimistic, I tend to let myself get carried away with day dreaming. About boys I have crushes on. These day dreams almost never come to fruition (as in, once they did, seven years ago, and then almost once more a few years later). I've gotten over this obsession in recent times, being older and wiser and generally sick of most guys in my town. I have shared some of this with one of my close friends, but I'm a little ashamed to admit it in general, that I am the most single person you will ever meet. When I was asked about relationships in my interview, I had to chuckle even because I've never really had one and don't expect that to change any time soon. The closest I've had to a serious boyfriend was a guy in college who liked that I liked him and wanted to see him. He took advantage of that fact and I got to snuggle with him occasionally. Other than eventually getting my heart broken, it was a great little system that worked out perfectly. (As long as you don't get too technical about the definition of "perfectly".)

I guess the whole reason behind even beginning this post was to talk about a ridiculous conundrum I've found myself in at one of my volunteer gigs. I go hang out in a friend's classroom once a week or so, and one of the custodians there has fallen in love with me. Apparently he goes to her room every single day to ask if she's talked to me, seen me, heard anything new about my trip, knows when I'm coming again, etc. At first I was flattered that he thought I was cute (never a bad thing to hear) but it's turned into an annoyance because whenever I volunteer or sub, I am literally stalked around the school. He has now asked me out five times, each time with me trying to politely turn him down, saying that I have no interest in starting anything since I'm planning on leaving. I know some of my friends who would say to just go out to dinner, that it couldn't hurt anything, but on top of honestly thinking that beginning something would be a bad idea and hating "dates" in general, this guy is not my type at all. AT ALL. I might feel worse about hurting his feelings if he wasn't so damn sure of himself. Me saying "I'm leaving" has prompted him to ask if he could possibly come visit, when I'll be back, and assure me that he has no issue waiting for me to return, and would like to buy me some land and some chickens and pay my bills. This situation would be hilarious if it was happening to someone else (in fact, my friend the teacher is entirely too amused.)

This all prompted me to think about what would happen if I were to meet someone between now and my departure (this was, of course, followed by a good laugh at myself for imagining such an absurdity). If I were to actually meet the man of my dreams, would I walk away from it? I know my sister-in-law was planning on moving away before she met my brother, and realized that if she were to do so, it would screw things up. She stayed and they got engaged six months later. Would I make the same choice? I think regardless of leaving, I would hang out with someone I thought was cute and fun to be around, keeping in mind how badly I want to do PC. I did feel a little like a schmuck though, on Friday at school, when I asked my friend about this cute teacher, and if he was single. (We'd obviously have to keep that on the DL, my stalker might get mad if he knew I was dating someone, lol.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

i cut some awesome new bangs tonight

Medical clearance was not mine to be had this week. I swear every other blog I read, someone was getting clearance or an invitation, so I must be due for it soon. I attended the GlobeTalk at UF this week with Kortni & Kim, and we chatted about everything we could think of with the recruiter there (who is a godsend I might add. I'm so happy I've met her.) I think I've decided on a duffle bag to get, the LLBean rolling duffle, in guide gold. Aka, the most obnoxious color that will never get misplaced. Holla.

The weather finally changed cold on the first of the month, which I found remarkable since it was in the 80s the day before! I love wearing sweaters and scarves and having my hair stay straight and shiny :D I'm a dork. (I've also used the term "lol" more in the last two weeks than in the entire rest of my life, yeesh.)

Lastly, three things that, at the same time, equally, embarrass me and make me smile. The first is that I added "US Peace Corps" to the sharpie inscription on the bottom of my computer (in addition to my name, email, and phone number that have been there since I got it) I guess what makes it embarrassing is that I wrote that on there back in, oh, September? Yes.

Number two would be that I had a more-direct-than-I've-ever-been-in-my-life texting conversation with a long ago crush, who I told, in not so lady-like terms, that I'm moving to Africa and want to see him again before I leave. It's amazing what the line "I'm moving to Africa" will do for one's sense of, um, shamelessness. I think we may have made a date for new years, but I'm not sure. It was marvelous.

The last is that I've adopted a new favorite mantra or whatever, but also that it comes from a Dos Equis commercial. The Most Interesting Man in the World is possibly my favorite series of commercials (how sad is is that I have fallen for that schtick?) and I love the line, "He lives vicariously - through himself." As dumb as it is that that line stems from some ad agency, I really like the idea of not having to live vicariously through anyone because I'm doing amazing things on my own. Life is too short.

I leave you with this, the best packing list on the face of the planet. I'm going to try my best to keep it in mind and recreate it to the best of my ability :D

"Crappy shoes…will get crappier.
Two nice shirts…preferably reversible so that I can get 4 days out of them during training.
One pair of dress pants…does anyone ever really notice your pants?
Four old T-shirts, a pair of shorts, and a pair of Dickies for “real life.”
Four bags of pretzels…time locked to stay fresh and open at 6 month intervals.
A pair of pliers…don’t ask.

Yep, that pretty much covers it. I guess I’d have to check the bag though…can’t carry on the pliers..."