Friday, January 8

Missing school?

A friend of mine said to me on the phone the other day, "You know when there is a constant in your life, and you don't realize how much you love it until it's gone? And then, when you do get the opportunity to experience it again for a moment, when it's over, you go through a sort of postpartum depression?" Okay... that may not have been the EXACT quote, but you get the gist.

I never thought, at the time, that I would miss the daily grind of SCHOOL. Of all things to miss in life, I had to pick school. Really?

I miss walking around campus in wrinkled sweatpants and rain-spotted hoodies, with soggy socks sticking to my feet because I was too lazy to put on practical shoes that would keep them dry- and instead am wandering in my slippers from class to class. And even though I slept through that dreaded 8am class because I was up too late watching a movie, and even though I have a midterm this evening for a class in which I haven't even removed the plastic wrap from the textbook- I couldn't be better.

I know that today holds opportunity to run into a familiar, smiling face (or two or three) and grabbing a slice of American Dream pizza on Monroe between classes.

I know that today holds opportunity for new friends and acquaintances, and a chance to touch their lives with the love of Christ.

I know that today holds opportunity for direction to land in my hands and show me what to do for the rest of my life through something a professors says, through something I read in the Barometer, or through a fleeting thought that runs through my mind.

And if not today, then there's possibly tomorrow.

Campus life. I hate to say that I am going through withdrawals because really, I am so thankful to be done with the all-night study sessions, the cramming that comes with midterms and finals, and the crazy amount of effort that goes into scheduling just ONE meeting for a group project. But I do miss it, without a doubt.

Full-time-job-world is SO different. It has been teaching me a lot of new things, of course- things like diligence and responsibility, and the particular workplace I have for now is challenging me in things like compassion and patience. I have enjoyed growing in these areas so far, and know I will continue to learn as long as I am willing.

It is a different season of life, one that is still very new and takes adjusting, but it is by no means one I would pass up. Whatever the Lord throws my way, I want to take and run with for as long as He has me in it.

The spontaneity of skipping class just because I feel like going to the beach instead is no longer an option (at least for now), but the chance to mature and grow, learning from the real adults around me- that's a pretty good opportunity for today.

Sunday, December 27

A New Kind of Christmas

I'm usually a person who is all for change. I love the excitement a "difference" brings- it's an adventure on the smallest scale (typically). Therefore, I was caught off guard when I realized how upset I was that this Christmas would look so differently this time around.

It was really difficult for me this year. As much as I loved the festive decorations and holiday tunes everywhere I went, the fun of buying just the right gift for my family, and the daily delicious chocolate and peppermint treats at work, I was unable to "get in the spirit." I'm thinking it's because for the first time in years (we're talking... 20 or so) we weren't with the rest of our family.

Since we moved to Oregon, each and every year (but one) the Gatlins, Kirianoffs, and Westfalls would congregate either at one of our homes or a neutral location (typically southern California) to spend this joyous time with one another. We would argue, eat, play games, eat, shop, cook, eat, go see movies, listen to music, lay out in the sun, eat some more, and take 3 hours to decide what we were going to "do next." Haha. The hilarities of family, right?

Anyway, this year, everything was different- with my graduation, and the celebrations surrounding the wedding, our family was traveling out here almost EVERY month throughout the year- and if they weren't here, we were there. With the amount of security checkpoints, packing/unpacking of luggage, and the laundry afterward... not to mention the abundant amount of airline tickets purchased between the 13 of us, the Gatlins chose to stay in Colorado for Christmas, but welcomed any of us to head out their way and join them. Going back and forth between there, here, and other options- my family (the 5 of us)- decided to stay in Corvallis. It just made more sense practically this time around, but it still was a hard decision, of course.

I felt the effects of it most on Christmas Eve and day. I am used to complete chaos all around me as 13 people try to dress up and get ready for a theater show and nice dinner that night, and then being woken up by Christian (my 10 year old cousin) the next morning to open my stocking, to only then sit around waiting for everyone else to wake up.

This year, we went to the Nelsons for a tasty dinner before the Christmas Eve service at church... after which, I went home with my parents and sat in my room reading a magazine, for the rest of the night. Sarah and Ian did come over late to spend the night, which was fun and a little added treat. It was nice to come downstairs and see them sitting with mom and dad by the fire, stockings ready to be dug into. I still missed everyone else though, despite the cozy scene in front of me.

We got on Skype with everyone in Colorado: coffee breath, messy hair, and eye boogers in full view. Garrett showed us his legit bow and arrow, Christian held up his rollercoaster-building-set-thing for all of us to see, and Grandpa told the typical jokes we "love" to hear over and over again :) It did make a difference for sure. Rather then just hearing their voices over the phone, one at a time, we were able to see them all, as we tried talking over one another, interrupting and shouting- just like we're used to. The biggest difference is, we were able to hang-up

And we got to go to Disneyland :)

Wednesday, February 25

Process memo- Profile Story

Interviewing Mike Parker, the voice of the Beavers, was an interesting choice for me. I had no idea what my focus would be, and so devised a plan to ask as many questions as possibly and see where that got me. I came to the conclusion, by the end of the interview that “living the dream” would be a focus I could springboard off of. I could use this as an inspirational piece for college students who are facing their futures in the here and now.
Talking with Mike on the phone was easy and he was willing to help in whatever way necessary for me to get my story. Having an existing relationship with his family made this easier, I am sure, but he is a rather accommodating, interested person all around. I was able to set up a meeting in Gill the morning of the OSU/Cal game during the basketball teams’ morning “shoot around.”
This way I could see him in his work environment, and he had no trouble discussing his daily game-day routine. Later, we went to a coffee shop he frequents and I was able to find out specific information I had an interest in knowing based questions I had previously developed, as well as new insight that came up while we were talking. After about a 1½ hour conversation, we went to his house and I was able to see his family.
Their interaction this particular day was interesting because while it was his daughters’ weekend and chance to relax from school, it was a workday for him. We all visited, watched some funny videos on, and as I was about to leave, Mike asked if I were going to the game. I hadn’t planned on it, but after seeing behind-the-scenes action and hearing interviews with the coaches and players, I wanted the chance to finish gathering my story information.
He was able to get me a press pass into the game, which included a court side seat right behind Mike and the rest of the sportscasters we all know and love.

Wednesday, February 4

Process memo- Speech Article writing

I thoroughly enjoyed this project, as difficult as it was. From the beginning I was feeling pressured by this article, but I believe that was simply due to the length requirement. I have a hard time fulfilling even the minimum sometimes and feared I would not have enough to write.
My notes were very thorough and assisted in my writing, however it was difficult to remember the context of each mark I had made. I did my best to record entire quotes, there were many quality things Winston Wilkinson said, but it was hard to do while still listening as he continued.
Audience members were interesting to watch. Their facial reactions were not always what I would have expected based off what he was saying, but it was difficult to pinpoint exact terminology as I wrote. Listening, writing, and observing at once, while trying to be accurate- specifically in information and quoting- was a challenge I definitely faced.
While actually writing the article, I found it helpful to have done my research prior to the speech. The background information aided in my overall understanding of what he was discussing during the evening.
If you wouldn’t mind focusing on the layout and order of my writing, that would be helpful. I did my best to not write in chronological order from my notes or his speech, but this made me question the “flow” of the article I wrote. Thanks!