Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yet Another Week...

Hello world! Figured it's been about a week, so I am due for another blog post! I had quite the exciting weekend with two different visitors - needless to say I am very exhausted from the busy weekend!

Well first things first - to all my Peace Corps applicants out there, still no word on Medical. They haven't even had my paperwork for 3 weeks, and I'm not expected to leave until August or September, but I want to know ANYTHING! The waiting seriously is the worst part of it. March 4th, I'm letting myself email the person who is my medical assistant, just to see if there is a timeline for anything.

Well, this past weekend, both my friend Nick and my Mom were in the city! Nick came up to visit me after I went to Tennessee last semester. We had a really great time. I don't always get to go out and do a lot of things in the city, and we went to a comedy club one night and a jazz club another night. It was nice to do a few of the things I wish I had more time and money to do. My mom was up with Nate's mom to see my sister and Nate, but I got to see them a few times. It was unfortunate that both trips ended up on the same weekend - it let to a lot of Jenni running around trying to do things, and then a lot of exhaustion. I'm really glad both of them got to come though. I won't see my mom again until probably May, so it was nice to see her, even if it's only for a little bit.

I am really getting excited for my upcoming trip to Nicaragua. I just now realized that it's less than 3 weeks away! It should be a lot of fun - we are hoping to maybe go canopying, and maybe visit a cool historical city there. Eve if we don't do a ton of excursions, I will be happy to get some sleep and a nice tan!

It's also scary to think that there are only about 10 weeks left until my graduation. It really seems just like yesterday I was moving up to NYC, and now I'm going to be done with 4 years up here. It's bizarre, but I am so excited to see what this next part of my life brings!

Last of all, I changed the name of my blog! Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Paintball and Senior Gala

Well, nothing too exciting has been going on. A little whatever. From all your PC peeps, still no word on medical - I'm not expecting it anytime soon - they've only had my paperwork for 10 days, so it's not like they are going to look at it that quickly!

However, this past weekend was such a great weekend with amazing friend and fun! On Saturday, for Chelsey's birthday, we went paintballing! It was a lot of fun - we played several rounds, and there were 12 of us in all. I have several lovely bruises to show for the fun, but it was great. I even made it to the end of a few rounds (though it was teamwork). Its freaky when you get hit in the face - the mask protects you, but it would scare me! The balls stung a bit when they hit as well, especially if they didn't burst. A few times I got hit with no paint and accidentally called myself out. Whoops! All in all it was a fun was to spend a Saturday afternoon.

That evening was our senior gala. This was the winter gala - there is an even bigger one in May right before graduation. However, even though this was the "small" one, it was SO much fun! I took some great pictures with the girls, and after it was over, we headed to Mel's to have a table for the night. Oh lord, such a funny night. I won't go into details (I'd probably bore you all), but it was fun.

Seriously though, a mis of RAS (Restless Applicant Syndrome) and senioritis are making this semester really tough for me. I'm really struggling to focus at times because there is so much currently unknown in my life. I know that I need to focus and finish strong, but it's hard to put into actually occurring. I'm close to being caught up with everything I need to be, so fingers crossed that things get better soon!

That's about it for me. I'm going to give PC 2 more weeks before emailing my Nurse to ask the status on my heath review. They will have had my paperwork for a month, and I think that's a reasonable amount of time to check in. Hopefully cleared medically Earth March, and an invite by May for an August departure date!

Monday, February 7, 2011


So for now, I've quit with my "Current Location." Let's be honest, you all know I'm in NYC. It's not changing anytime soon (well, in 6 weeks I'll be in Nicaragua for a week, but prob won't have internet and therefore won't be updating there). SO yeah, for now, no more current location. It will be cool and exciting if I include it because it means I am somewhere new!

My happy news of the day is that I am dentally cleared for Peace Corps! Hooray! I wasn't really worried about that - I have no cavities or work that needs to be done, so the clearance was pretty much a check. Now the long wait for medical clearance.

I also have a question regarding invitations that if anyone knew anything and could give me some advice or personal stories would be greatly appreciated. I was nominated to leave in August/September 2011 to serve in central or south america contingent on my finishing 2nd semester college Spanish (which I am taking right now) and receiving a C or better (which I am not even a little bit worried about achieving - I took Spanish for 3 years in high school, just brushing up on vocab and grammar). I will finish the class and get my grade mid May, right when I graduate. That's 2.5 months before my expected departure date. Is the Peace Corps going to wait until they get the paperwork with the grade to invite me to a program, or are they likely to invite me contingent on that grade, so I could get all the information and paperwork in. I hate the idea of getting notified with 2 months or less, once all the paperwork is processed! Also, I'm just impatient and want to know as soon as possible. If anyone has had an invitation contingent on a class or volunteer activity, any advice could help!

Nothing else too much going on. Watched the Super Bowl last night - below is my favorite commercial of the night!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

So I Want to join the Peace Corps...

Hmm.... this seems a little pessimistic! I do have realistic expectations in joining the Peace Corps - I know it won't all be sunshine and rainbows, but I also know it's what I want to do. Unlike some people, I think I have a realistic idea of what it will be like from my month spent in Ghana - I've already lived on what the locals eat, seen the lovely spiders that infest your homes, and had the little children running after me yelling in a language I don't understand. It's the best!

Also, it seems my blog has somehow been added to the Peace Corps Timeline on peacecorpswiki.com so welcome to everyone that found me from there!

This is what I more expect my Peace Corps service to be like:

And I apologize to all my friends about how annoying I'm going to be when I return!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another Week

Current Location: New York, NY

Another post so soon?!?!?!? I am sure you are all wondering what exciting things could have happened since my last post. In all honesty not much!

Well first, as I'm sure you can see, the blog has a new look! I am rather a fan of it, especially with the travel theme and everything! I think it suits it quite well. I also added a few new pages - one particularly about my Peace Corps timeline. I have been rather tightlipped about the whole thing, but as things more forward (which they are continuing to), I think getting some of the stress off my chest will be a use for this blog. Sorry in advance to all the people I bore with my ramblings about wanting medical clearance or my invitation to come.

On the Peace Corps news front, I received confirmation that the Peace Corps received all my medical paperwork, which was a sigh of relief for me - when mailing that many important papers, I always worry that it will be lost. I made photocopies of everything, but still - I'm always still nervous. However, with that notification, it also says that if the program you are nominated for is not leaving in the next 4 months, your medical file is not currently being reviewed. Since I am not expected to leave until August or September, that means they might not start looking at it until April! I understand thats a possibility, but I want to know now where I am going and what I will be doing and when I will be leaving. I am usually okay with the unknown, but I'm so excited about this that I want to know as soon as possible!

In other news, I have my required winter illness right now. I first started feeling off on Tuesday, and then Wednesday I was hit with a 100 degree fever and a terrible cough and sneezing. It progressed to the congestion phase, which is where I currently am. However, I do seem to be getting better, slowly. Right now the congestion is the biggest issue - I still can't really breath through my nose. I am a slight bit worried it could progress to a sinus infection and perhaps bronchitis - that is what it usually does. I am hoping through plenty of rest and staying indoors as much as possible, I can avoid worse illness. We will see if this holds true!

I am also currently trying to watch all films nominated for the top Oscars before the actual Oscars in 3 weeks. I've seen 4 of the 10 nominees for best film. After that, I have most of the top nominees done with. Will I actually be able to do it? I don't know. The ones I have seen so far are: Toy Story 3, Black Swan, The Social Network, and The King's Speech. Next I think I will watch Inception, and then maybe the Fighter? Not completely sure yet.

For the rest of my weekend, I will sleep, do homework, and watch the Super Bowl! I don't particularly care about either team this year, but I think I'm going with the Packers, mainly because I dislike the Steelers. Hope for a good game either way (and good commercials!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

NOLA, Dentist, and Dance Marathon

Current Location: New York, NY

Bahhh!!! I'm so behind in life! I kept meaning to update this sooner with New Orleans, but of course, life got in the way. All sorts of exciting news going on though!

So NOLA was really fun. It was a great trip, but too short. I wish I had more time to explore the city. I arrived the first night very late and we just went to bed - Friday was to be a busy day! On Friday, we split into two different groups - one group went to Lafayette and Baton Rouge with the car, and the other group was to stay in New Orleans for meetings. It was decided that Julie and I were to be the two who stayed in New Orleans. We met with two different professionals about Wetland Growth in the New Orleans area as an example to base our senior design project off of. I won't bore you with all the details, but it was very productive! That night, a few of us went to the restaurant "Mothers" which was delicious! The NOLA food is great! We headed to Bourbon Street that night, and wow - nothing like it! It's such an odd feeling drinking on the street like its no problem! It was a crazy atmosphere there though, and a lot of fun. So much live music and fun! The next day was for us to explore the city some, particularly the French Quarter. We got delicious beignets and wandered around doing some shopping. It was really fun. Sadly, Sunday we were heading back to NYC for classes. I can't wait to plan another trip back there at some point!

On Wednesday, I had my final appointment for my Peace Corps Medical and Dental clearance - the dentist. I was a little bit freaking out for it - I hadn't been to a dentist in 2.5 years as well as I have the unhealthy habit of drinking Diet Coke. I was really afraid that I was going to have a bunch of cavities to get filled. Imagine my surprise and happiness to discover that I had no cavities at all!! So all my paperwork is done, and was mailed in last week. Now I have the waiting game for medical and legal clearance... I'm so impatient! Given my expected departure date and the fact that it usually takes 4-6 weeks, I should hopefully be medically cleared by the end of March and get my invitation in April for some time in August or September. Eeek! I will be sure to keep everyone updates as my clearances go through - PC should be receiving my paperwork any day!!

This past weekend was the annual Dance Marathon. I have been involved with it for all 4 years of college - my freshman year I was a moraler, my sophomore year I was a dancer, my junior year I was on steering, and for my senior year I went back to be a dancer. Let me back up for a second though. For those of you who do not know, Columbia University Dance Marathon is a fundraiser to raise funds and awareness about Pediatric AIDS. All funds are donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation, which works to prevent transmission to HIV from mother to child and to treat infected mothers and children so they can live healthy lives. This year was different form the past marathons because it was only for 18 hours - in the past years it has been 28! However, from my exhaustion from my trips to Chile and New Orleans, it was actually really hard this year. I made it though, and had a great time. As you all know, I love to give back to philanthropic organizations (hence my interest in the Peace Corps), and it was great to be involved in such an amazing event for all 4 years of college.

Other than that, school has been good - I am loving my Spanish class and I'm learning a lot. I was looking through my book last night, and by the end of the class I am going to be able to hopefully say a lot of stuff! Definitely going to help my vocab and grammar. Fingers crossed for a Spanish speaking PC country!!!

Love to all my amazing readers, and I'll update again as soon as I have something worth updating about!