My Story

My God is full of wonder, and each day I am learning more about Him
and the amazing plans He has laid out for the adventure that is my life.

This is my story.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

9 Interviews in 2 Days

The past two days have been an absolute whirlwind in a suit. I took my first step as a grad student, ending up interviewing for nine different graduate assistant internships in two days. I am thoroughly exhausted from having to talk about my strengths and weaknesses and why I want to go into Student Affairs. I start to shake at newly formed phrases that have been completely worn out and murdered, such as "deliberate mentoring," "supervisory preferences," and "intentionality."

However, as the pain in my toes from wearing oh so cute, but impractical heals started to ease on my way home barefoot in the car, I received a marvelous call. My first choice for internships called (even though I don't think they are actually supposed to do that) to say that I was their first choice as well! Thank you God! I'm in! And rather thrilled and honestly nervous to start this very new big step.

The internship's official title is: Coordinator for Student Development and Program Support in the Center for Academic Learning and Research. Yes, it's a mouthful! It sounds like my main duties will be mentoring an intimate group of undergraduate students while working as a team to create and implement different programs and events on campus as well as in the community that encourage further learning and the betterment of society. The staff seam absolutely lovely and very interested in encouraging the dreams of their staff members. We'll see how it goes!

And that is all that my brain can crank out at this time. But as always: there will be more to come sooner (or later).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Life is Shiny

This past week was my third week teaching outdoor education, but only second on Catalina Island (I spent one week teaching in the mountains of San Bernadino). It turned out to be quite a blast. I had fourteen seventh graders from a prep school, and they were the best set of kids yet! I loved them. And because they were all such good listeners, my two chaperons were involved and helpful, and they all seemed so interested in everything I was teaching, each of my classes seemed to go almost perfectly!

This was my third attempt at teaching Fish Lab, which involves getting everyone into a wet suit and snorkeling along the kelp forests and rocky reefs of Doctor's Cove, apparently considered to be one of the best places to snorkel in the world. My last attempt was an epic failure. If you've ever attempted to put on a wet suit (especially a Body Glove one), you will know the potential for torture that attempt can be. It took almost an hour and one of my chaperon's knuckles were bleeding by the end, and then we only had about fifteen minutes in the water seeing almost nothing at all for all that! Needless to say, I was rather filled with trepidation at having to repeat this class and have the same events follow. Thank the Lord, it couldn't have been a more different experience! The wet suits all went on in less than thirty minutes and we ended up spending almost forty minutes in the water snorkeling because we had the time and there was so much to see. There had been a storm the night before, which had apparently brought a lot of living creatures that are usually out further in the sea up to where we were. We saw all sorts of fish, swam through hundreds and hundreds of tiny jelly fish and other see-through creatures, spotted a huge black and blue spotted octopus, and a vast array of other invertebrates including sea snails, urchins, sea stars, and crabs.

I keep pinching myself to make sure all of this is actually real. How in the world did I get so lucky to be blessed with all of this?! I live and work on a beautiful and almost certainly enchanted island. I get to work at a camp again doing what I love and am good at. I've made some wonderful new friendships as well as had two old friends come work with me here too. My boyfriend (who I met during training) lives and works alongside of me. And we both have shiny future steps waiting for us in the fall in the shape of grad school.

And to know that all of this was entirely God setting things in motion by a random phone call because of a resume I sent out into ciber space a year before is a thought that always leaves me speechless. I wake up each morning to the sound of the ocean at my side with joy and thanks bubbling out of my heart.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Could I Actually Be Enjoying Teaching?!!

Finally! I am now a full fledged Catalina Island Waterfront Lifeguard and Marine Science & Mountain Adventure Instructor! I've been teaching for two weeks now and am almost flabbergasted by how much I actually am enjoying myself being a... ready for it... TEACHER! My experiences previous to this in the "teaching world" have all been rather unfortunate and horrible and have therefore always retreated from the idea of teaching. But that just might be (dare I say it?!) changing!

I am so enjoying my time here on the island teaching mostly sixth graders (but some fifth and seventh as well) about fish, invertebrates, pollution, astronomy, marine birds, kayaking, snorkeling, the island's history and ecology, orienteering, shelter building, and so much more! Who would have thought that working could be such a pleasure when involving teaching?!! Sixth graders, I am learning, are quite enjoyable, even if it is almost impossible to keep the little blighters quiet for long during lectures... ever! They're just old enough to be able to have wonderful conversations with them while also being young enough to automatically love me just because I am in charge of them. :)

Unfortunately I might have killed my camera by accidentally getting sand in its every orifice. I'm hoping for the best though and will give you an update on whether or not I was able to save my camera, or at the very least still upload my pictures. But for now, just so you can see what it all looks like, here are some pictures taken by my friend and co-worker Deb:

Deb's the one to the right of me and Melody is to my left. They are truly wonderful girls and fast friends!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Santa Catalina Island ~ Finally Here!

Again, I start with an apology.

It has been far too long since I have last written on my incredibly interesting (to say the least) adventure with Mountain and Sea Adventures here on Catalina Island. It has partly been due to the fact that we have not had that much time to do anything but train in the mountains where there was little internet connection, and partly because my life has recently become rather more complicated than ever before and writing a blog just wasn't anywhere near the top of my list.

A short recap of what I have been doing in general is that training is almost over! We ferried over to Santa Catalina Island this past Monday and spent the week shadowing other experienced educators run camp for a group of the rowdiest kids I've ever been among. This next week should be my first time to experiencing teaching everything I have now learned about marine life and the scientific names for whales, crustaceans, and seaweed, among other such interesting specimens. To be honest, I am starting to feel rather anxious about having to teach all of this entirely new information so soon after getting here; not to mention everything else that has been going on my life that has all but been distracting me from learning about fish and birds.

Santa Catalina Island was named by the second conquistador to have found the island in 1602. He apparently arrived upon the island on the eve of St. Catherine's day, who is the patron saint of single women (of all things!). And so, I suppose appropriately, it is here on Santa Catalina underneath the moonlight on the pier overlooking Emerald Bay, a boy I have been working with and growing rather fond of asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes!

And so it begins.

Pictures are sure to come soon of this magical island that reminds me so deeply of Neverland!