Tag Archives: work

Ink Blots and Achievements

20130609_183613A good half-dozen partial posts are sitting in my draft box.

Each begins with some creative quip or funny experience, but invariably they drop-off in quality at the part that I tie the opening paragraphs to the section that actually matters.

While it would be difficult to argue that my life has in any way significantly slowed since the pre-April 12th days (aka the days before my thesis was due), I am spending considerably less time undisturbed in a research cave.  Lack of human interaction encourages use of other outlets to process life…like blogging.  Hence the plethora of thesis-complaining posts and absence of anything since then.

But more importantly, I think there’s been less to record.  Despite finishing school, moving, and settling into what will be my life for as long as the immediately foreseeable future holds, everything simply is, and I’ve been waiting for it. 

I finished school sometime at the end of May, but my thesis eclipsed all other schoolwork in importance sometime in early October.  After thesis, none of it mattered any more.

By the spring, I started experiencing some kind of mental whiplash for attempting to fully live in the worlds that were work and school, knowing that I couldn’t fully commit to either.  I could remember everything on the church calendar for the next three weeks, but I’d consistently double-book my own schedule because school and work never merged in my head.   I willfully chose to try to make the most of what was left of school, but my friends were as aware as I was that my heart wasn’t in it anymore.

I’ve been teased for my lack of sentimentality, which is probably fair.  One of the last times I spoke with Prof. Elphick, I went to great lengths to assure him that I didn’t regret my Wesleyan education.  Near-complete lack of resources for anything I really cared to study is unfortunate, but learning how to ceaselessly defend and protect myself has got to count for something.

But the truth is, I love a challenge.  Sometimes, I love a challenge so much, I bypass the transitions, because what’s next or could be is always more exciting.

This doesn’t deny the importance of the present.  In fact, it elevates the importance of the present, because it articulates dreams that are still too splotchy to yet fully-explain as challenges instead of directionless aspiration.  It frames the present in the realistic context of what could be.

Some of what I’m working toward are very old dreams, some are clearer than they once were, and some I finally just know how to pursue; and while I’m still drawing the plans, there’s no doubt that it’s a beautiful place to be.


In the present

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin a four day window, I started a new job, start my final undergraduate semester, will “finish” a chapter of my thesis, and will travel to North Carolina to attend a seminar having nothing to do with any of three previous activities.

I said I’d go to the conference because I was invited in October.  I remember the distinct thought, “It’s the first weekend of the semester.  What could I possibly be missing out on?”  I now have no less than three places I need to be this Saturday afternoon.

Knowing that this week would be uncharacteristically busy, I remember thinking that the drive back to campus in the evenings would be long.  Instead, I find myself wanting the road to be longer and wishing I could script the thoughts that come when I drive.  They’re always the most eloquent.

When I drive home, ideas come out in organized phrases that get strung together and rearranged like they would on paper, and in them is the reason otherwise absent in the momentous chaos and excitement that characterize this last week.  Slipping into mechanized motion (not zoning out, I promise), it’s so much easier to shut off the processor and just be.  And rest.  And pray.

Funny thing is, I don’t even know what that road is called or which way it goes.  It’s just the way home.  This is a slightly embarrassing fact, and I probably ought to look it up in case I need to give somebody directions sometime.  But it all sortof speaks to the point.

To that end, I will cope with the new phone that wouldn’t activate, the possibility of not being able to port my number, and the fact that the library closed at 5pm with all my books in it.  In doing so, I’ll funnel this week’s emotion and stress away from tense joints and toward my fingertips, step away from WordPress and back to Word, and finish draft one of chapter two, tonight. 

Things I email my mother

Homework complaints, work schedules, $3 off at Dominos because the pizza guy thought I was cute, time-wasting websites, 4am no-one-is-going-to-come-in-at-work-and-I’m-tired panics, caffeine, and bad dinners…I might live in Connecticut, but still tell my mom about everything.

…In honor of the day (click on the image to read it)

I less-than-three-semicolon-close parentheses-you—always

code: ❤ 😉


“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

I don’t know how to do finals.  I mean, obviously of done them plenty of times, but I feel so out of it.  The rhythm of CSS breaks a lot with your traditional mid semester and final semester work schedule.

And I’m feeling it.  Mind you all this is compounded by a deep dislike for Carlos III, most of my classes, and academic frustration in general.

Yesterday, I was like an overheated engine that quite working.  I, quite literally, forgot how to exit the train.  Last week, I forgot where a class I’ve had since September meets.

But, alas, I have defaulted to my classic high stress coping technique.

Inspiring quotations in English and Spanish, detailed daily to-do list, encouraging words from a friend (shout out to Esther Oser).  Can’t tell you how much better it makes me feel.

On another note, the low quality photo is because I had to use my computer to take the picture.  My camera is freezing in obscure ways and not taking photos.  I’m waiting for the battery to die, and hope that once I recharge it, it will work again.  If not, I will need to buy a new one, meaning I will have replaced every piece of electronics I own while in Spain (though, my new computer, headphones, and ipod are functioning wonderfully).

I guess you just role with what you can.  In the meantime, I’m just trying to take it a day at a time.

iServe Video (check it out!)

This is the iServe video I made for General Conference.  It will also soon be on the new NewYorkIsCalling.com website.


It’s not perfect, but I’m pretty proud of it.  Video editing is like digital scrapbooking, beautiful, but time consuming.  Wordpress will charge me $60 if I upload a video to this site (rip off), so instead, I’m sending you to youtube.  So please, click on the link and see what I’ve been doing while the teams are here.

Some might call it a closet, I call it an office

I made a near immediate discovery when I moved into the Brazilian Church. No wi-fi.

Perhaps I am showing my youthfulness here, but this was new to me.  Granted, I can remember the day my older brother finally convinced my father to to get high speed internet, and I didn’t discover pandora.com until I was a senior in high school.  However, since I neither buy nor steal music, but still listen to it all the time, I live on pandora.  I am used to enjoying leisurely cross-campus walks with my ipod streaming the online radio station.  Now, I can’t even get internet in my room (at least I couldn’t until Jeff bought a 50 ethernet cable).

Please don’t take my comments for complaining, because I’m not.  Just pointing out differences and explaining how my personal closet  office came about.  There are two places in the church that I can connect an ethernet cable.  One is on the floor above me in the treasurer’s office, an inaccessible locked room.  The other is two doors down from my bedroom in storage room.

After about a week of shoving birthday decorations to the side, I finally organized and rearranged the setup (I should have thought to taken a photo of the room, before I rearranged everything).  Anyways, this large storage closet has now become what I have affectionately termed my office, which if I’m not mistaking must mean I’m moving up in the world.  😉  After all, I’m not even old enough to drink.


Maybe it’s sad, but it’s unlikely that I would have taken the time to create my own little office space if it hadn’t been the only place I was able to access the internet the first two weeks I was here.  But it is rather nice now.  It gives me a separate place to work and rest, which I think is fairly important.

Also, just as an fyi, I promise the post about my experience at church last Sunday is coming.  It just requires far more time and thought then I have the ability to spare right now.   Check back to this blog for updates though.

Something akin to a rollie pollie bug

No, not that bug I had a run in with a couple of days ago…

I still can’t bend at the waist, which is incredibly awkward.  I think the worst of it was last night.  I couldn’t even sit up to eat my dinner, and I had to crawl back to my room to go to bed.

Miriam however has sort of saved my life.  She’s let me borrow her back brace, which minimizes pain x1000.  I’ve never seen anyone my age wearing one before, but hey, whatever works right?  Anyways, the brace makes it possible to roll, which is how I managed to get in and out of bed last night and this morning.  The ability to move without crying out in pain is about the most amazing thing ever right now, although  I really do sort of feel like a rollie pollie bug.

As you can imagine, all this back trouble is setting me back a little in terms of getting my work done, which is okay, but a little frustrating.  I’m knee deep in this trying to figure out how to build a new website and have a bunch of other little projects to get done before General Conference, which as my father pointed out on the phone last night, is only 4 weeks away.  I really got to get rolling.  (a cheap pun I know, but I couldn’t resist.)