Monday, June 30, 2003

It's that time of the program. When the bat has finally contacted the ball and everything is launched. Will it be foul or fair?
I apreciate you.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Proud of Rachel and Nathanial! Featured in the Willamette Week.
Another Day Off
My day off has been pretty dull, but it's my own fault. I thought I would take a bike ride now that the bikes are all spiffied up, but that didn't happen. Instead I've been lounging around (as always) in my fleece pants and Bears sweatshirt--which I wear every single day pretty much. I talked to Paul, finally spoke to my family, and watched two pretty lame, but slightly entertaining movies: Adventures in Babysitting (where supposedly they go to a UofC frat party, which was just plain weird to see in the plot...and for the record it's nothing like the frat parties are at the UofC--they suck), and 40 Days and 40 Nights. Tomorrow is looking up though: I'm going on two field trips. One with the Journalism clan to a farm, the literacy council of Fairbanks, and a food bank, and the other with my Justice clan to the Fairbanks courthouse. I'm happy to spend more fun time with the students!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

We have no advocate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

printed and ready for me to write. the fierce competition has me scared, but i have to try. and cry at my gpa. at least it's getting a boost. this cat is growing on me. and growing in size too. billie the class cat. who is walking circles through my chair and legs, giving me comfort and encouragement through this paperwritingprocess. at least i have aim to distract me. nothing could be better unless you and you and you were online. smiling in anticipation of giving gifts and buying more. my suitcase is extraordinarily empty as i packed last night. good news: just means I have more to bring back with me. who wants what?
A Night to Myself with my 3rd floor ladies.
This evening was one of the best nights of the program. For me. Fun frisbee with B and M. A silly dinner with J, K and ?(the only one out of 60 who I still can't remember her name). Study hall ran smoothly, J and I read two chapters of Things Fall Apart out loud, on her request. I miss that. I like reading out loud. It makes me feel happy, to be reading and enjoyable book, while at the same time using that time connecting with other people and sharing in the story. Rockclimbing, smiles and figure eight knots...everyone was having fun while being enthusiastic and supportive. We drew a crowd. And I love to belay, B claimed me right away as his buddy and called me by name--he specifically memorized my name today (a big accomplishment).
Hall/Room/Floor time was easy and fun. Girls said that I could handle being the only Resident Mentor for our floor in the program. Usually there are three of us, but on Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings I am the only one on the floor. Chatting til the last minute. Bear stories, village explanations, the first snow, snowmobiling, four wheeling, crossing the river, ice breaks. I felt free, super happy, and very connected to my girls tonight instead of disconnected and separated by strategically-placed walls. It's hard to explain. But I can say definitley that I love having the floor to myself with the girls. And I think they love it to. A nice change of pace.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Seriously, things are getting worse. I feel all tied up and smothered. Hand in the face, cutting me off. And 4 years of fhs mediation training and a city peace crane award makes no difference. On top of that add lots of pain and 800mg every 8 hours. Doubled over and hugging my pillow with fake weak smiles. All the bad hits in waves. I need a hug.
But on the other hand. I've been laughing a lot more. Inside jokes are starting to emerge. The mentoring role is starting to sink in a little more. K braided my hair and with that a friendship starts. But I still have clan worries, that somehow there will be something that keeps us in that human knot that we ended up in today (and ironically it was my hand holding that stopped the group from that a sign for me?)--unsolvable.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

My First Day Off
I get one day off a week, from 1pm on Thursday, until 4pm on Fridays. I remember my first day off last summer--I slept for about 18 hours. I was so tired I couldn't even help it. But last night I didn't end up sleeping much more than I usually do. I watched three movies in my room: Brown Suger, Kissing a Fool, and Love Jones: all chic flicks. Then this afternoon after lunch I walked over to Beaver Sports to buy/checkout some hiking boots and also sandals (I had a very misfortunate incident around a campfire Memorial Day weekend and melted my beloved Tevas). But get this. I tried on at least 9 or 10 different pieces of footwear and not a single one in the whole store fit my tiny and narrow feet. They had NO shoes for me....and I think that the salesboy was getting a little irritated. I hate shoe shopping, I can never find anything that fits. Being a size 5 sucks. I'm right in the middle of the little kids and women's (they usually start at 6). The other sad highlight of the day: I went to the UAF Rasmusen Library and the librarian actually told me that I should go out and buy some books that I wanted in a certain subject. And then I told him (in gentler words) how pathetic this library is!
It seems like I have no problem whining about stuff every day here. And this blog seems to have turned into a forum for me to voice my complaints. On the one hand it's nice for me to get it all out, but on the other I had being so negatively vocal about everything. I need to step back and look at my blessings of the day too--and despite some conflicts, there have been many things that I am happy about. returning staff. three meals a day. fuzzy soft-voiced phone calls late at night. sleeptime. beautiful weather. alaskan native culture. beaming smiles. way too much clothes. my own room. the ethernet and my laptop. a full address book and nice stationary.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Grading Confusion
A I checked my spring grades, for one of my classes that I just finished, I got a Q listed on my transcript. I have no idea what that means? Does anyone know?
Update. Aha, I have just figured it out. The Q stands for "query" and it means that my instructor has failed to submit a final grade for me for the course.
1000journals. This seems pretty cool. I wish I could run into one (signing up wouldn't really work cuz I don't have a permanent address where I'll be).
Lazertag tonight with my Justice clan, and also Journalism. You'd think it would be a great night--I even got MVP! Except it's not. I come back to the dorm to find one of my returning students leaving the program for good tomorrow, and also that somehow my director says that I'm $20 short of money returned. Very upsetting, because I was super careful all night to make sure I accounted for all $600 and kept all receipts. I have no idea what happened. I am not in a good mood. oh ps. to make the night funny (being reminded of Nicole and Scott and their constant teasing), but also sad. One of the girls in my hall asked me (seriously) if I was pregnant after taking a picture of me with her digital camera.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Still a bit annoyed. Spending my morning photocoping and filing records is not my idea of the role of "Resident Mentor"--especially when it's birth certificates, and I'm needing the alphabetize files that should have been done a week ago. This is especially aggravating when our Office Assistant in the past week has been obviously reading and shopping online--she gets paid $150 more a week than us, but I don't see her putting in the extra time or effort.
I love this program, and I'll do anything to work here. But I just wish people would pull their own weight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I need to chill out and change my attitude. Otherwise this is going to be an incredibly long summer.

Monday, June 16, 2003

It’s starting to come to life again
This has been a fast weekend. Things have definitely been coming to life and speeding up here at UBC. Part of it has had to do with medical emergencies. On Friday night two of our students were in the emergency room..and as it turns out, one of our girls ended up having an emergency operation to get her appendix taken out. I stayed up for 28 hours and spent the night at the hospital with her. She was soo brave and I am so proud of her!!! I wouldn’t say that the experience was fun, but it definitely was interesting for me to be there. Besides the comfort and support that I gave, I also built some friendly relationships with the nurses, and in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else was sleeping I basically had some neat conversations with the staff attending to us there. I learned the aspects of all of the heavy drugs that they gave to people for pain, the dosage limits, and the side effects. I learned all about every monitor in the room—how to read it and how it worked. And about the social services given to some pediatric patients. The nurse even gave me access to the break room, and the back kitchen where only the staff were allowed. I raided the pediatric unit of some of their food and dined on Ritz crackers, and although I explored the fridge filled with jello, pudding and assorted juices, I passed them up.
The neatest thing that I learned is that nurses can be in programs where they can travel around the globe and work at different hospitals. The nurse that first attended us in pediatrics only spend 13 weeks in each place. She stated in May in Fairbanks, and then at the end of her 13 weeks will move on to a hospital in London. She’s been all over the US in rural and urban places, and has traveled all over the world—Saudia Arabia, all over Africa, all over Europe. And to top it all off, she get free housing a car at each place that she goes (and I would assume free airfare too?). What a great deal! Seeing her do her thing, and talking to her about all her experiences makes me want to be a nurse. But then there’s that med school factor that’s looming large, and I tell myself that I’m crazy to try that.
Also, I was peeking out of the window for much of the night (we overlooked the emergency room parking lot) and spied on the patients and families coming in and out. At one point a teenage-looking guy got out of his truck, cradled a girl into his arms and ran with her towards the emergency room door. Right away I knew what it was going to be—alcohol poisoning. About two hours later she showed up in pediatrics and were forced to share our room with her (it held four and we were the only ones taking it up) because everything else was full. She sat there bickering with her mom. I found out from the nurses (who had informed me of her before she came up) and through the mother-daugher conversation that I couldn’t help overhearing because they were right next to me in a quiet room—the girl was in middle school—but had been kicked out. She has been pulled over by the troopers before for drugs, and this alcohol incident was certainly not the first. She had a super high blood alcohol level, so the nurses asked her what happened, but the girl just replied “I had a 40, and then I don’t remember”. In fact, she hadn’t even remembered puking all over in the emergency room only moments before (lucky for her, because of this she didn’t need to get her stomach pumped). Definitely a troubled youth, I really hope that she turns around soon and realizes the bad path that she’s on.
Summertime Relationships
Relationships are forming between students and we’ve been busting a lot of PDAs recently, much to their anger. It’s funny because it’s been bringing back memories of my experiences at Upward Bound: the unity you feel between program participants, the extra intimate gestures, the crushes and major flirtations, and the should have been first kiss. Those half silly, but seriously emotional high school summer relationships. And I don’t regret them. I look back and smile. I still care for these people, I still call them my close friends and still keep in touch. Upward Bound is a lifelong experience for me—participating in UB programs has been one of the best opportunities that I’ve had in life and I strongly defend the program. Maybe it’s a bad thing to look back to my experiences five years ago, but I do and I compare the two. I know people snuck off and had sex in the woods, I know the arrests that were made of students, I know the late night secrets, and the rules that were secretly broken. Personally, I have no problems with people getting in relationships here at UBC. I don’t exactly encourage it or anything, but I also don’t feel like I can forbid them (opposed to other staff in this program that feel that everyone should be going home single) at all. They’re healthy, they’re fun, they’re controlled here (for the most part). The only thing is that definite boundaries need to be set, and there needs to be a huge sense of respect formed. This is the time in their life where they should have completely positive role models as they are involved in the program. The students need to be guided as to what appropriate behavior is in a relationship, and they need to feel comfortable asking the staff questions about relationships and other similar issues. They need to be comfortable telling us everything, but I don’t feel like they are this year…yet. To me, part of this program is not only educational and fun, but it’s building character and social skills. And just growing up.

I feel like I’m not connecting with some of the staff here. And that they have a semi-secret grudge against me. There’s that unspoken tension that just makes me cringe every day. I hate it. I hate this feeling. But I don’t know what to do about it. I’m just doing my job, and voicing my thoughts that I feel are valid and reasonable. But others have taken them the wrong way (I’m not referring to anything I’ve written above—it’s other stuff). I feel like with some people here they “like me”, but they’ve really put me to the side and have judged me negatively for one reason or another. I probably shouldn’t think of this as a slap in the face, since everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and maybe it is my fault for whatever I’ve done, but I still feel hurt and a little displaced. Or maybe I’m overreacting? Whatever, I’m just sad that things aren’t going as smoothly as I’d like them to go. But maybe it’s just murder to this summer if I try to compare it to last year.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

First Week Impressions
UBC is running smoothly. But I do feel the same as Jared. The staff is good, but I don't feel that people are really putting in their full effort and genuinely are doing everything they can for the kids and to make the program desirable and the best it can be. It does feel a lot more rigid than last year's program in many aspects. But that's not to say that this summer sucks. I think it's going to be great, just very different, and it's taking a little bit to get used to.
I won!
good news! Somehow, I got honorable mention for the study abroad photo contest. I really didn't think that was going to happen, but I'm sure glad that it did. I also thought that a couple of my other pictures that I submitted were better than this one, but oh well. The picture is "Morning at the Temple" and it's taken overlooking the tank/pond at Badami in southern India. We had watched the sunrise there (well, sorta, not really) and then had walked to the many temples surrounding the lake. This certain one just had this magical look to it with the morning light streaming in over the cliff, and the reflection of the temple off the slight green-tinted water. It was a beautiful shot, but I can't say that it was completely original. If I remember correctly there were about 4 or 5 of us who all took a picture of it, and I'm sure that they probably all turned out very similar. But I guess none of the others submitted theirs to the photo contest. When it gets scanned and added to the study abroad website I'll give out the link.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Tonight is the first Justice clan night of the summer. And Dane (my partner) and I have decided to do tiedying and then walk to Hot Licks to get ice cream. :o) I hope it goes well and the kids like it!
My New Summer Info

(Until July 20th):
University of Alaska--Fairbanks
PO Box 750927
Fairbanks, Alaska
He was in Kuwait and Iraq during the war and didn't even tell me. Good thing I guess, cuz I would have been so worrisome. But I hope that this summer we can meet up and go to visit Mark. It's been a long while. But you know what I love? Friends who will always always be your friends. Years may have gone by, but it doesn't matter. We know the bond. We know the respect. And it feels so good to connect back up. It's not like friends at college (though I thought it would be).

The Montrails came today. They're so cute, and so great, and so cheap. And maybe a tiny bit too small? I still haven't decided for sure though. But I guess that even if I have the slightest bit of doubt I should probably return them huh? No use getting hiking boots unless they fit perfectly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Franklin won the Rose Festival crown, and news from home makes me smile. The first day of class, but still not down with the names. I have to try really hard this week--especially with my Justice clan members. I have a feeling I might be having some trouble coming my way in the future, but I hope that I'm proven wrong. April was the due date, shockingly a son adopted. I definitely cried watching Rabbit Proof Fence this evening. Today I turned in my Contemporary Human Rights final paper and I am now officially done with school for my 3rd year. It's scary to be a 4th year. There's so much ahead, and yet not much time left. Have I missed out already? Am I behind already? Have I lost my roots?
Let me find out this summer.

Monday, June 09, 2003

"ready to mingle?"
"mingle away"

Saturday, June 07, 2003

I'm here. 59 students checed in and ready to go. PITCH. Justice=my clan. a great group, a great staff so far. Anticipating a wonderful summer in Alaska! (notice my to do list below, still not having everything crossed out. yikes, lots to do, and one large paper to finish).

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Well well well. What better way to take a "study break" from writing my paper than to blog. I have four pages down so far, half-way decent ones I suppose, but that means that I should have about 16 more spitting out of me by morning. My flight to Alaska leaves at 11am, which means that I should be grabbing the bus by 8am. I have a feeling that I'm not going to sleep tonight at all.

So, you might be wondering, as Amy is, what am I doing for the summer? Here's the deal:
June 6-July 21: I'm working as a ResidentMentor on staff at Upward Bound at a summer program for 50 Native Alaskan youth at the University of Alaska--Fairbanks.
July 21-25: My ticket is roundtrip, so I'm returning back to Chicago, and while I'm back here, I might as well stay a bit, right? I have a feeling that there are some people in Chicago who I'll be missing and would love to see again! ;o)
July 27-August 3: On vacation in Central Oregon with my family and friends. At Black Butte Ranch.
August 3-???: Back in Portland!!!!! (and visiting surrounding area and Seattle)
September 8- 28: The Black Hills, Missouri Breaks, Yellowstone, and places in between. Camping the entire time and and mapping geological formations. I love geophysical science field courses!
September 29th: Start school.

*whew* That's a lot.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

This is more for me to remember than for you to read, but here's what I have to do before I leave on Friday:
*Dinner with Parker tonight @ Noodles!
*Turn in Paleontology labs
*Write 20 page Contemporary Human Rights essay - "What Constitues the Best Interests of the Child"
*Paleontology lecture final
*Paleontology lab final practicum
*Return library books
*Finish packing
*Get Montana Fieldcourse info and gear in order
*Call parents
*Drop off/Organize GeoUnion stuff
*Use the end of my flex dollars and meal points
*Get keyboard for my laptop (my "8ik," keys don't work still!)
*Say goodbye to graduates, get contact info
*Meeting with Rowley to figue out Readings&Research
*Recycle used batteries

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

the silver bangle broke on my wrist. without expectation or force.
signalling that I was doomed and tongue-tied. the worst class ever.
*completely embarassed*
20 pager due Friday, Lab notebook due Thursday, Critique for Indigenous Intellectual Rights due tomorrow, Paleo final Thursday morning and then Paleo lab practicum thursday night. Plus a meeting to plan my Readings&Research course on Wednesday with Rowley. Packing in the meantime. Will I be able to finish and still be sane by the end of the week when I leave Friday morning for Alaska? We'll see! ;o)

Sunday, June 01, 2003