Thursday, February 25, 2010

College Park, MD???

This is going to be a short post, but I have two pieces of exciting news that have come to me in the past 7 days and that I am so happy about.

1. Last Friday I got an email from the iSchool at UMD saying that they have recommended me to the Graduate Council for admittance into their MLS program in the fall. :D According to the people I have talked to, at this point I have a good chance of being accepted; which makes me even happier.

2. Several months ago, I applied again to NARA for a position in their FCIP program. I hadn't heard anything in a while and so I figured that either the positions had been filled or were not needed anymore. Today, however, I got a call and I now have an interview with them in about a week! :D

The good thing about both of these, is that both of them are in College Park, MD and are pretty much, right next to each other. Plus, my degree's concentration is Archiving, which would overlap perfectly if I ended up doing both. While nothing is set in stone, I am excited for both opportunities!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First Post of 2010

I'm beginning to think that I am an idiot when it comes to blogging. While I have meant to blog more since the new year started, I have been foiled by technology. First, it was remembering my password. I have many of them and many variations of each one, making it difficult for hackers, as well as myself, to access my accounts. I even have one account that's password means nothing to me, thus I promptly forgot it. Haven't been to that site in about 2 years either...

But alas, after fixing everything, I am able to finally get on here and write. So that all of my adoring fans (cue the crickets) can read about my awesome, adventure filled life.

Sadly, there isn't much going on.

For the most part, I have been stuck inside, playing games, writing and taking care of my sisters. Not that I am complaining, I love helping my parents, but it doesn't make for entertaining blogging.

The most exciting thing that has happened is the reason for being stuck inside. SNOW!

Richmond has gotten more snow in the past 7 weeks than usual. The usual for this area is one or two snowstorms that dump less than a foot - combined.

Still, that leaves people scurrying for bread and milk and schools closed for a day or two. This season we've gotten almost 2 feet of snow combined and are expecting more this weekend.

Even I am looking forward to spring now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last Post of 2009

I'm back in the States now, so I can work on this blog with slightly more ease. I can also upload photos, which I will attempt.
Anyway, I was very surprised to see that the last time I posted was about 2.5 months ago. I promised to be more active on this blog in 2010. That's a New Year's Resolution! I promise!
For now, I'll just go through a brief run through of the last two months.

October - Teaching in China
Halloween Party and Haunted House at the Bond Institute.

November - Teaching in China
1 year anniversary of dating my boyfriend
Thanksgiving in China with 18 people in total. 6 Americans and 12 Chinese.

December - Teaching in China
Coming Home
Snowstorm the day after I came home

Now that I am home, I get to come back to reality and find a job. I have a few leads. The most promising is with the National Archives. That is also the job I would most enjoy. I'm also trying to get into UMD, but at this time, who knows?

That's pretty much it for now. Life is going well. I can't wait to see what 2010 brings because 2009 was overall pretty good.

Door sign for Halloween

Me at the Chrysanthemum Festival

Dinner... Yes, those ARE frogs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October's Post

As it is difficult to post on here frequently, I figure I will only be able to write one post per month along with everything else I get to do here. Anyway, I'm going to try to write briefly about everything that has gone on since I last wrote.

1. I chopped off my hair. I also got a scalp/ shoulder/ back massage, at the same time, but a Chinese stylist who said he didn't understand English. Yeah, right. Either way, the scalp/ shoulder/ back massage was amazing and I love having shorter hair. It is so much easier to handle in the hot, humid Zhongshan weather.

2. National Teachers' Day in China is always SO much fun. Yes, the teachers had to teach, but we all got crowned with paper flower leis and given presents by the children. We also got to go to a fancy restaurant, eat delicious food and the girls performed Thriller for Chinese government officials.

3. National Day & Mid Autumn Festival was essentially just like National Teachers' Day, except that we got moon cakes (some of which were delicious and one of which tasted like the love child of a skunk and a dirty hobo rolled in tar) and we spent the holiday in Xi'an and Beijing.

4. Beijing and Xi'an were delightful, except for the chaos of traveling. 26 hours of standing will take its toll on you and despite the many friends we made, (including three railroad workers whom we ended up sleeping with on the floor in a tiny room right next to the bathroom) it isn't something I wish to experience again. As well we met a good friend who lives in Beijing and who is an art student there. He is one of a very few people that I ever met who are actually selflessly charitable, a trait that should be more common in these days.

5. The Chinese symbol for marriage keeps popping up. First, in Xi'an I bought this pretty silver bracelet. It had various Chinese symbols including that of marriage... then in Beijing, I found a cross-stitch pattern with the same symbol (I ended up buying it). Then on the train home to Guangzhou, I saw a rice pot that one of the couples in my compartment had... and the symbol for marriage was on it. Finally, yesterday, I walk into one of the classrooms and the Chinese teacher there is showing off a little red book, which ends up being her marriage certificate... with that same symbol on it. Now my roommate has informed that she has told several people at the school that I am getting married next year... Aiyo...

6. I'm buying a wedding dress in China. It is cheaper here and I can get it hand made to my size and style. LET THE PEANUT GALLERY OPEN NOW...

7. Recently, I have become addicted to cross-stitching. Turns out it is a huge hobby here in China and I have made many friends as well as gained the respect of many people because I cross-stitch.

Other than that, life has been pretty normal. I'm enjoying China and I know I will miss everyone here dearly when I head back home. But for now, I will enjoy every moment as much as I can. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

China Post!

So, I am going to see if I can post this. Blogger is still blocked in China, but I've found a proxy that will allow me to look at and maybe post on my blog.

It has been about 2.5 weeks since I got here to China and it has been an interesting time. (I use that word alot, but it is true.) I bought a Chinese bike that broke down once and squeaks like its about to break. (Hasn't yet... Knock on wood.) I have driven in Chinese traffic, sharing the road with dirt trucks, public buses and moto-bikes alike. (Word to the wise, traffic laws in China are ONLY guidelines, you CAN go straight in a turning lane.)
I have been a head teacher for 4 days, found that extreme humidity works better than an iron to take wrinkles out of clothing and gone to a Chinese concert in the Pagoda Park.

Overall, I have learned three things: TIC - This Is China (ok, so I already knew that from last time, but it keeps getting reaffirmed.), With God, anything this possible (ditto to above), and most importantly, my strength is not my own. I have been blessed in so many ways, that things have worked out; I have been strong in so many situations that I knew I would have had a hard time by myself.

Anyway, I'm going to keep this short, but hopefully I'll be able to post again soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tender Mercies

2 days of training over and 2 days to go. It isn't that I don't like training; I actually enjoy it quite a bit. But as anyone who has gone through ILP training, there is a lot to learn in 2 days. By the end, I was exhausted and well, I'll look forward to general training tomorrow morning after a good night's rest more so than I am right now.

But today, we finished early and I got to go up to Salt Lake City to have dinner with my dad and aunt and uncle at Cafe Rio (one of the best restaurants in Utah, hands down.) I love Cafe Rio, I got addicted to it while in Cedar City, nearly every time I went to St. George, I ate at Cafe Rio. Anyway, I was good seeing family, even if I almost got lost in downtown Salt Lake again. (I can hear you laughing, Heather...)

While the food was good, it was spending time with my dad at Temple Square afterwards that was nice. The weather was beautiful and I enjoyed talking to him one on one. We even went inside the Tabernacle and met a Chinese family from Taiwan and listened to an acoustical demonstration by one of the sister missionaries. Afterwards, we slipped into the North Visitors Center and sat by the Christus statue and talked. Lately, I have been feeling a bit out of sorts. Things have been wonderful, but I've been of the feeling that maybe I am not a good enough LDS person because of various little things, stuff that I know I could do better on. Probably the biggest issue I've been having is wondering if I'm too prideful, too sassy, too uppity. It seems, that while many more of my friends are getting married, and those who are not, are going on missions; now that they've graduated from college, I'm not doing either, yet. For now, I am going to China, doing what I've always done:

Something different that those around me.

Particularly when it comes to marriage, I tell people I have been with my boyfriend for 9 months but I don't plan on getting married for another few years, most of them tell me that marriage is a good thing and that I shouldn't wait if I know he is the one, etc.

So, in my convoluted mind, I have been wondering whether or not I am being prideful for not being like everyone else and honestly, as I'm writing this out, it sounds silly, but I'm sure there are many out there who can relate to having worry seem so valid until you write it out or say it out loud.

Anyway, when I spent time tonight talking to my dad, I asked him if he thought I was being to prideful. For anyone who doesn't know him, he is an honest guy. In short, I trust my dad's opinion. He told me that I wasn't prideful and certainly not for the reasons I was worried about.
Then he told me something that stuck with me. He said that I wasn't sent here to be like everyone else. Something that I'd been taught all my life, but kinda forgot along the way. I wasn't sent here to perky or preppy or whatever. I was sent here to be me.
Also, as we were talking, the message that is record for the Christus statue came on in English. (It is in dozens of various languages and so more often then not, I heard in German or Tagalog instead of English.) While it was the same message I have always heard my whole life, whenever I was in a Visitor's Center, for some reason, it touched me today and I just started crying. I started feeling much better than I had been for a while. Lighter, in fact.

Then as I was driving from Salt Lake City back to my hotel, I was turning through the radio stations and found Delilah; (Yes, she is cheesy, but some of my happier times in a car were driving home from work listening to her show.) after the letter that was sent to her, the song 'Breakaway' by Kelly Clarkson was played and it was perfect for how I was feeling. I may not be headed to college in a few weeks, but I'm definitely going into a new stage in my life. So, that song seemed perfect for what I need to hear tonight. As did the song I heard right after it on another channel. 'Kyrie' by Mr. Mister. Yeah, I had never heard it on the radio before and then tonight when I heard it, it seemed like it was another song that I needed to hear. Anyway, by the time I got back to my hotel, I still felt tired, but lighter and happier than I had in a while.

So while this may seem like a complete and utter ramble of my feelings tonight, I figured I should write a new post about my time this evening up at Temple Square and everything that happened.

Anyway, it's like 10 minutes to midnight, so I'm going to say good bye and good night, y'all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Laura's August Countdown presents: 1.5 weeks until China

9 days until I leave for China:
4 days in Provo,
5 days at home.

That would be my traveling haiku. Needless to say, the point is made that I am counting down until I head to China. Right now, I am going to training for the program. 2 days for being a Head Teacher and 2 days of the general training. Along with that, I've been doing the usual packing, prepping and other stuff that comes with going away for four months...

That includes stalking.

Ok, so not really stalking, considering that I am talking to all of the people I am 'stalking' and not in the "I have your cat, come see me under the willow tree if you ever want to see Princess Fluffkins again, muhahaha" stalking sense, but rather just getting to know who they are; and the one thing I noticed was that they or most of them, have blogs in which to write about their experiences in China.


That was the sound of a light bulb going off in my head. Last time I headed to China, I did a blog-esque thing with my notes on Facebook. That lasted all of about one week. Plus, I didn't have an actual blog. But then, fast forward two years to the present day and I'm thinking, "Hmmm, I havuh me bloog and I needuh to write aboutuh me experiences in the China."

Ok, so my mental grammar and English IS better than that. But I figured why not write here? I've been writing on and off on this thing for about a year now? I've chronicled my weight loss last summer, my senior year of college, why not chronicle my time in China? Surely, the Great Wall and Zhongshan are worthy of my blog time?

Thus, henceforth, by royal decree of me, I do dedicated this blog unto the writing and recording of my time in China.

At least until Christmas.