Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Everybody knows that you'd break your neck to keep your chin up."

I suppose the time is ripe for an update on my life.

As everyone know, I am now in New Hampshire. In the southeast part of the state. Almost halfway between Concord and Manchester.

I am living in a state park. Bear Brook state park to be exact. Yes, LIVING in a state park. Not just working.

There is lots of snow. I have not been properly warm since I got here. Everything smells like campfire. I am struggling to balance sympathy and annoyance with one of my coworkers.

The food is good though pointedly vegetarian. Meat is a rarity and I find that's okay with me. I don't need meat. But I am not, I repeat NOT giving it up. Give me the chance to eat a meaty burger and I will take it.

The people are nice. I have broken out of my shy state and made it to the "Sarah is really sarcastic" stage. Really surprised everyone there. According to one of my bunkmates it has been the talk of the crew, my switch over from wallflower to Audry II.

I surprise myself sometimes. But I'm glad to be breaking out of my shell.

Let's see. What else.

I am getting far too used to being fed 3 times a day. Sue, the facilities manager cooks dinner every night and often prepares something easy for lunch. Breakfast is provided by the volunteer stewards of the day and has ranged from breakfast casserole to French Toast to choco-chip pancakes. The only downside to the last two is that we have no maple syrup. So I've had to improvise. Sue is an amazing cook and almost everything she has made I have devoured. All except the curry soup that had cilantro. Ew. The weekends are hard because there is no one cooking. You are on your own. It's especially hard on Sundays since I am sp used to it being a night of sumptuous dinners. Despite the good food I am determined to eat healthy. Most of the time this isn't a problem...but the other night Sue made some sort of casserole that was cornbread, black beans, mashed potatoes, cheese, onions, peppers...yum! And last night she made jambalaya.

Anyway...Soon it will be up the the three person teaching teams to cook dinner at night.

Speaking of teaching teams, they were finally assigned. These teams of three are the teams we will work in with our classes. We will plan all the lessons together, present them together and do after school activities together. Me and my team are called The Young, The Old, and The Educated. AKA: YOE! (the exclamation point is key). Jonathan is the Old (being the oldest member in the whole crew at 25), Nate is the young (being the next to youngest at 19) and I am the educated because I am the only person in my team who has a degree. I am in the only team that has two boys and one girl. The rest are two girls and one boy. I feel pretty confident in my team even if one of them smokes and the other chews. And I need to because we are the team teaching 8th graders.

I cannot tell you how excited I was when I found this out. This means that the leaders think that the three of us have what it takes to deal with older kids. I was really hoping for 8th graders mostly because I have taught younger kids before and I wanted a challenge. Also, I think I have a lot to offer to kids who need a little deeper instruction on ecology and natural resources. Then yesterday I remembered how troublesome kids that age are and I got a little scared. I think it will be great, but it will be hard. Thank goodness I have a little experience and got over my public speaking fears.

I really like my roommates...there are already a few minor disagreements but overall it is good between all of us. We do have the messiest cabin according to Kate. That will soon be fixed I hope.

I am slowly starting to learn my way generally around. I can get to downtown Concord no problem. I know where a couple libraries are and a couple laundromats. I am already planning some great adventures if I have time. I will have to visit the beach at sometime. I also want to visit an Island Marlee (the education leader) said had sightings of snowy owls. How amazing would it be to see snowy owls?

Also me and a girl named Abby are planning on learning Piano Man by the end of the 10 months. She is going to learn the Harmonica and I will learn the piano part. It's going to happen. And it will be amazing.

I was feeling pretty down the other day. Financial problems had me singing the blues. Not literally though. I'm not comfortable enough to do that in front of people yet. Besides, I am a firm believer that white people cannot sing the blues. Not really. I had to keep telling myself that things would be fine and that the worst that could happen was nowhere near horrible. I am much better now that it's Friday.

Man, I know it's only been about two weeks but I feel like I've been here a month already. It's crazy. The days go by at a normal pace, the week goes by fast, but this month is going slower that I thought it would. Everything at a different pace. It's a little weird.

I really can't think of anything else. I know this entry has been long enough as it is. I think most of them will be this long until new things stop happening (which may be never).

Thanks to all of you who read this and make it worth posting anything ever. I hope everyone is doing well. As soon as I get a new phone I look forward to calling everyone and having a good chat.

Until then...did you know that there are tiny hexopods (not an insect) called snow fleas? The appear on warmer winter days and are easy to see against the snow. I was fascinated by them as we were walking in the woods today.

Also...I think being a mammologist would be great. So now it's between mammology, entomology or behavioral ecology/biology. Too many choices. Or I could just work for an animal rescue organization.



Peeser said...

Snow fleas? Ew. I don't care how fascinating they are- if they are interesting, they need a much different name because it simply sounds like fleas who can easily survive winter temperatures. Gross. One of the many reasons I actually enjoy winter is because nearly all bugs are either dormant or dying/dead! (including fleas/ticks). So please don't talk about those anymore.

And I know what you mean by weird fluxes in time... I had that experience my entire mission, where days would seem to go on, but the months flew, and at times I felt like I had just gotten there, yet somehow I also felt (sometimes simultaneously) that I had been there forever...

...and I often wonder, especially lately, what is time like - really- for God? After all, in Alma, it talks about how time is only measured unto man. So does God just not measure time (is that what "one eternal round" means?) Or does He just measure it in a way that is totally incomprehensible to us mere finite mortals?...

just some food for thought. Glad you are adjusting well. Hang in there!

Kirsti said...

Nice blog post! I love learning all the details of your new life and am completely jealous that you're up there in the Northeast, kicking it with the wildlife. I really want to visit you and by the time I do, you had better have a whole bunch of places ready for me to visit, including the beach.

And remarking on both Elise's and your comments about time going fast and slow at the same time, that's how the past two weeks of this semester have been. I can't believe I've attended class for two weeks while I feel it should be around February right now. Gosh. January could not be moving any slower but faster. Yikes.

BTW, I need an address so I can mail things to you, like packages (I'm getting more money from work recently!), letters, hot single Mormon men in my ward, etc...

Love you, and this comment is basically a blog post in and of itself.

Emily S. said...

Loved the update!! It is like a good serial story in the tradition of Babysitter's Club, but more grown up. You and the bunkmates roughing it up north... Keep your chin up. I love you, and so does this wee Sadie who is sleeping on my legs this very minute. <3

Julina said...

Hey, you could be like on that show we watched in one of our hotels, with the super sweet and scared pit bull. You could help animals like her...

Or whatever... I think whatever you pick might put you in the lead for "favorite aunt status" just because of the awesome animal factor... no fair ;-)

I just got your text about your phone charger being kaput. Did you need me to pass it on to other family, or just friends?

Anyway-hang in there, and I'll hopefully email/chat with you soon...

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Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

Send some photos! Good post. Glad you are going to be teaching.

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