Monday, December 5, 2011

Science lessons.

I don't have much time to write an epic post from my travels as of right now, but I wanted to check in. I have an interview (finally someone called me back!) to work at a rehabilitation center in about an hour and a half. I figured I would leave you with a sketch while I was oot and aboot.

What the hell is that?

Ever wonder why it is that some people are able to sneeze after looking at a bright light, or a glancing at the sun to help them get that sneeze out? I say some people because I am one of them. I also say some people because I had found out that that sensation does not happen to everyone. It's genetic.*

My memory might be a little hazy on this, but I remember looking up what made some people sneeze after looking at a bright light, and it has to do with an optical nerve rubbing up again a nerve that controls your nose. Your sneeze button, I'd like to call it. That particular sketch is of the trigeminal nerve nuclei, which is one of the main (or might be the main nerve). I was so inspired during work back when I was at Eastern I decided to draw it for the hell of it.

*Note that I am not a scientist, and I am recalling from memory...if you actually know why or how the whole process works then I would love to learn it all over again! If not, then well...that's what I remember reading. I'll probably look it up later when I have the time. Adios!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Revision. In a good way.'s been a while!

So sorry about that.

Well, this is probably the shortest Ameri-blog the world has ever seen. But, no fear. I shall continue steadfastly updating, even briefly, about the entire experience volunteering.
But first let me re-orient you, dear reader, on where I have been tossed and turned within the past year. I believe we started in Vinton, Iowa, for training/home base. Then it was to YMCA Camp Ohiyesa, in Holly, Michigan. This leaves us with:

West Branch, Iowa
Coralville Lake, Iowa
North Port, Florida*
Joplin, Missouri*
Madison, Wisconsin
Marquette, Michigan

*I did not originally intend to go there this year. But I am quite all right with that.

So that's a lot to update you on, and I will be thorough enough with everything myself and my Oak 3 team did, for now I am just reveling in the glory that is: constant connection to the internet. Which explains a huge reason as to why I never really bothered-to/had-the-time-for/really-wanted-to-but-couldn't update in my blog. Take your pick.

I also have lacked in any sort of update in artistic endeavors, and for that I can wholeheartedly claim that to laziness. I really should have worked on more when I wasn't working, but I did manage to sneak in a few pieces of the artistic me while serving the corps. I leave you  (not for a whole year! I'll come back fairly soon!) with a photo from a part of the mural our team painted at Camp Ohiyesa in the dining hall.

I also have an obsession with trees. I guess it comes in handy when you're asked to paint a mural full of them. 

This was actually a pretty proud moment for me, because it will forever be seen by kids every summer (unless they decide to tear down the building but I doubt that will happen anytime soon). This particular tree was a mock up of an oak tree on the grounds that is roughly about 500 (I shit you not) years old. It is also my favorite because besides sketching all of the trees, this one was to left to my own devices.

It's been approximately almost one week since I've been back. I miss everyone in the NCCC, but man, I am glad to be home. Also, today is Thanksgiving! Good times!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'm not dead I swear.

I'm just super busy.

Round one is over, and I've literally left my home state for a second time. I absolutely loved Camp Ohiyesa and all of the staff there. It's good to know the they're only an hour away from home and I can visit there when the program is over.
The last week before leaving, teams have to fill out forms and do debriefs and briefs for this project and the upcoming projects. So I have literally had zero time to go online. The closest is checking my phone when I'm working, which isn't all that much.
In any case here's what's going on! We have a week in transition before going to our next project. Back in good ole' Vinton once again, but only for a little because then I'll be in...

Iowa city! (just outside of it really)

So an hour away from campus, for eight weeks. The first half we're gonna be working at a Quaker school and helping them with maintenance , farming and organic gardening...I'm excited about that part.

The second half we're working with the U.S. Army engineers and doing trail maintenance and removing evasive species.
Which I'm pretty interested. But...considering the news about all those tornadoes in the south, there are talks of us being pulled from our project sites to go down there for disaster relief. Apparently teams from Maryland and Colorado have already been sent there. I wouldn't mind being sent...I kinda want to go and help there more then the project we're going to go to.

Anyway, that's what's going on with me right now. During transition we have a bunch of meetings we have to go to but it will be a little easier going online so I will try my best getting on as soon as I can. Pictures from camp on facebook soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good news til the end of the week: no government shutdown! Now it's just a matter of time to see whether or not NCCC is in the budget by Friday or not. If not, then it'll be a sad story and I don't know what our next move is, but if we're in, then we'll keep trucking along.

Oak 3 has kept busy though! Today half of the team including myself worked program activities at the camp with high school boys from a Christian prep school. Seventy of them. Can I just say that it is a waaaaaay easier working with fifth graders then it is with high school boys? You would think since they were older they wouldn't be as rowdy...

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Final Countdown

I'm sure you've heard about talks going on with the nation about budget cuts and how it's going to effect a great deal of people and government programs directly. NCCC is greatly affected if it happens.

I have til tonight to know whether or not I'll still even be in this program anymore. I love what I'm doing and what Americorps stands for, and it's hard knowing I set aside a about a year for this and now have to anxiously go through today wondering if I'm still a member by tomorrow. Hopefully things work out, I'd like to serve for the full ten months.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Camp Ohiyesa!

Whew. Long time no see. I had originally had a long post ready as soon as we were leaving for our first project, but my phone decided to be mean and delete the whole thing! Needless to say I was a little discouraged from posting for a while.

Besides, it's easier putting pictures on here with neat tiny font underneath it.
We've officially have been at our first project for the past  week and a half and it has been a blast! Oak 3 (our team name) is currently stationed back in the good ole' mitten in Holly, Michigan. I've already gotten jokes about how our team came to Holly because I'm the only Holly around in the Vinton campus. We are the YMCA Camp Ohiyesa (pronounced oh-e-yesa) working on a variety of projects.

So far we've been trained to work with kids for the camp programs and activities, stuff such as the rock climbing tower, archery, and the zipline to name a few. There's also a giant swing that completely terrified me, because you have to go through the activities to learn how to work them, and I had to learn to deal with going up heights very slowly.

And then letting go of the ripcord!

Besides kids, we've also been working with the maintenance staff for the camp grounds. So far I've learned how to split a log, use a chainsaw and drive an ATV. I can't even imagine my mom's reaction to the chainsaw. I really liked splitting wood...right until I bruised my hand and couldn't do it anymore.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Corps Training Mini-Project

Tomorrow our team will be doing a three day mini-project after physical training to simulate how the next nine months are gonna be with our real 4-8 week projects.

I'm excited for sure, because we'll be working on our current campus to repair and renew the building that has been so graciously letting us stay here.
Of course in terms of timing, having a super awful cough doesn't really help. I hope it goes away but chances are I have a feeling I'll be outside working with a cold. Lame.

On top of our mini-project, each person has an individual role in the group that either spreads the word about Americorps or helps find sponsors for new projects. My role is media I'll be blogging on top of this while getting to talk to reporters or doing any other outlet of media you could possibly think of.

As for tomorrow, I believe we're doing some landscaping and painting inside the building. I know some other groups got mini-project trips that were farther so they had to stay there...I am a little sad we're staying on campus for this one, but hopefully that means our real first project will be far away.

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