Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

new tool

I have wonderful and exciting news!!!! I'm happily typing to you from my new laptop. She's a lovely MacBookPro in glossy, shiny silver. She plays video, downloads pictures, files, and more! She's light. She's fast. Meet Dot. She's my new MacBook Pro. We're just getting to know each other, but based on my past Mac relationship, I can already tell we'll be going places and together through thick and thin.

I'm sad to retire Computrix; she's a feisty old broad, but alas, no longer meeting my needs. I'm going to have some friends clean her up and potentially donate her, or sell her (for a very low price) to some kids for their first computer. I really can't stress how much I've loved my iBook G4. We've been together through a very influential and important time in my life. I've spilled water, beer, wine, and puke on the keyboard. Dropped her countless times, and yet, she still runs. Computrix hasn't always run like a dream, but over the nearly six years we've been together, she's been a reliable little machine.

Santa was very good this year. I'm so thankful for my family, friends... and Dot. I wonder what challenges lay ahead of Dot and I. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

progress can be slow

The weaving is going slow.  I'm not going to lie, its kind of taken the back burner lately.  The warp threads are the ones we put on the second day of the workshop back in October.    Although the progress is very slow, I'm throughly enjoying the entire process.  Only downside is I originally intended to use some of this for holiday gifts... alas, December has some how slipped past me.  I ended up buying gifts this year, but never fear.  I bought them all from local small businesses and locally made when I could. 







The weave pattern is a herringbone (slightly visible in the blue stripes) and the oatmeal colored tread is my own hand spun.  There isn't really a rhyme or reason to the stripes or their widths.  It's telling me when to switch it up.




Saturday, December 19, 2009

'real' adult


M & D sent flowers to the office last Monday.  Before I read the card I was flipping my wig a bit.  I never get any mail or packages delivered to the office, and to be completely honest, I was a tad afraid/concerned about who they'd be from.  It probably didn't help that the office was full (a rare occurrence in itself) and a-buzz with "Oooo!  Liz!  Who's the new boo?!"  I called M after reading the card and we both had a good chuckle.    M & D were congratulating me on my first Finals Week with no finals... apparently a milestone into adulthood.  I'll take whatever excuse to receive flowers.  

The flowers sat on my desk all week and made me (and my office mates) smile.  I brought them home Friday because they were still looking great... and almost an entire week later, they're still beautiful.  Do M & D rock, or what?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

providence canyon, georgia

This weekend several friends and I went on a quick hike in Providence Canyon State Park in Georgia.  The park was only 4.5-5 hours away from Gainesville and had a 7 mile backcountry trail.  Our group was originally of 7, but by the time we departed, we were down to 4 plus a pup.  When we drove up Saturday morning it continually rained.  We kept our fingers crossed that the weather prediction of sleet wouldn't hold true.  At the start of our hike, it was a whopping 38 degrees and still rainy.  We would not be deterred and decided to hike in 2 miles and make camp.  










Surprise, surprise.  I'm in the back of the pack.  




The rain never let up.  It continued throughout the night and into Sunday morning with torrent waves coming and going.  We decided over breakfast that we should probably head back the way we came and call it a short hike.  Everything was soaked.  We packed up very wet tents and gear and headed the two miles back.  However, we could never have predicted the surprise we were in for.  The creek bed had risen 6 inches to a foot in some places.  Of course, our trail was the creek bed.  There was no alternative but to walk through the flowing chai colored water.  The rain pounded down and we trudged through.  We all laughed and rolled with it.  It was exciting, refreshing, and just plain fun.  I remained relatively dry (so to speak) until the water reached my knees.  There's really only so much water prevention Gortex can handle; my boots were probably carrying 5lbs of water.  We reached the segment of trail back up out of the creek bed and turned to survey our triumphant path.  We all laughed at our orange, clay covered bodies.  The hike might have been cut short, but the adventure hadn't.

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of us when we reached the cars.  Everything was soaked, including the camera.  Naturally, the rain stopped once we got off the trail.  Figures.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my companions and the challenge of hiking in the cold and rain.  I also learned just how out of shape I am.  I suppose I need to get back into the real gym and get back on the bike.  Simply rock climbing twice a week just ain't cuttin' it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

tat #2

I did this while in CA with Mess.  I'd been thinking about it since coming home from India about a year an a half ago.  Dominic Vasquez at Full Circle Tattoos drew the image and then inked me up.  We found them on yelp.com (which I'm also quite pleased with).  It took a total of an hour and a half.  I'm not going to lie, it hurt.  But the end result is AMAZING. 







Thankfully it's not as red and angry looking anymore.  It has healed up quite nicely, and I'm increasingly tickled with it.  I couldn't have done it without Mess there cheering me on.  Hooray for sisterly bonding.

Friday, December 11, 2009

formatting

I apologize for the wonky formatting and inconsistency. I've recently learned that the blog looks very different on my home Mac than it does on my work PC. I'm trying to find some sort of happy medium.

Any suggestions would be great.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

teaching tolerance

I should probably explain something, I was never trained as a teacher. I never took any education classes while in school and generally avoided kids under 14 unless absolutely necessary. I have no idea what drove me to apply for the job I currently have... most likely desperation and encouragement from a few friends already at Peaceful Paths. As unlikely as my role as facilitator/educator may have seemed, I'm generally enjoying it. Yes, I complain about the kids, they can be quite cruel at times, but I must say that this is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.

Unfortunately, shortly after I started my job, my boss left. She is an amazing person and continues to be a wonderful mentor and friend, but her departure nonetheless left me flying solo in a new job. I struggled to figure out how to do the sessions and how to go about utilizing the curricula we had laying around for me to consult. I somehow managed to run my 5 groups without too much feeling that I was screwing up the kids. It was fun, most of the time, but very overwhelming.

One of the resources that I've come to love is
Teaching Tolerance. The site contains entries/submissions from educators across the country as well as articles from the experts (get this... the experts are actual teachers, school principles, guidance counselors, etc) on how to integrate civil rights and liberties topics into curricula. It also has a strong emphasis on teaching social change and helping students develop the skills to engage in community action, conscious media consumption, and critical analysis of current events. I'm loving the ideas and reading about the ways that educators are subverting the system and integrating some wonderful messages and topics to our youth.

Things have eased up a bit in the past week or so. All but one of my groups has wrapped up, at least until Jan. And in that group we're doing an activity called
Progressive City Planners to further explore different forms of oppression, discrimination, and societal violence. Check the activity out. I'm excited about the discussion we're going to be having. This particular group middle schoolers is very smart, they never cease to blow my mind. Even has they manage to get under my skin and drive me nuts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

discovery

I can fit a penny in my right nostril.


Ok... back to work.

Monday, December 7, 2009

the interns

I'm starting the interview process for the program's Spring interns this week. I must say, I'm slightly nervous and uncomfortable about it. I've been told I'm being slightly ridiculous since I'm doing 6 interviews. I just want to give them all the benefit of the doubt and ensure that I'm not overlooking anything about these candidates. The scars of job hunting and rejection are still a bit fresh. I don't know how I'm going to negotiate those feelings and my desire to take the best 3 candidates. I'd take them all, but I simply cannot manage 6 interns. Plus, as an agency, we traditionally only take up to three for each department.

My philosophy with the interns is that they should create more work for me, in the sense that I don't want them to do bullshit tasks... but actually get some hands on learning. They are not slaves. They're the next wave of our activists, advocates and educators. (Can you tell I had an awful internship once upon a time?) My goal is that by May, they'll be able to cofacilitate groups...or even fly solo. If only I could take all of them... UGH!

First World Problem? Possibly...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

fred the fin whale


While I was visiting Mess in CA, she had a meeting at the San Diego Natural History Museum with some super cool dude, who's name, I just cannot remember.  Her meeting was regarding her project of describing a fossil that has been on display, but undescribed and unclassified for some time.  It is thought to be a different species (although, extinct) of Balaenoptera, or Fin Whale.

While its no dinosaur, Mess is very excited about her project and took me to see the specimen.  We promptly dubbed it Fred the Fin Whale (unless it turns out to be female, in which case it will be Frederica).