22 August 2006

Jumping Into the Abyss

Well... The summer is coming to a close. I've really enjoyed the time in Sitka to remember my childhood and spend time with my family. I had a fantastic job teaching swimming lessons at the local pool, made new friends, enjoyed a couple vacations, and started to make plans for my jump into adulthood. I also had the privilege of watching my high school senior project come to life.

As a senior at Sitka High School, a requirement for graduation is to complete an approved project. I chose to research the possibilities of obtaining and auditorium for our high school. The idea had been brought to the city's attention once before in the 1980's, but was resurrected with new vigor by my senior project committee. After leaving for college at BYU-I, the idea of construction and funding was brought to a vote and PASSED. So today, four years plus after my graduation from Sitka High, the auditorium is under construction. The building should be finished in time for the graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2007.

With that chapter in my life coming to a grand finish, I am now beginning to make the necessary decisions of moving. After many frustrating months pondering what next steps I should take in life, I have decided to move to Utah in preparation for a Masters degree program. I've referred to this move as a leap into the abyss of adulthood, only to be told that Orem, UT is not exactly an abyss. I'm hoping, within the next few weeks, to find an apartment, make job connections, and purchase airline tickets to make the move in the end of September. I am excited and scared at the many possibilities that lie before me, and hope that I'll find some confirmation of my decisions.

Before I leave for Utah, I will be traveling with my dad to New England. Dad has a conference to attend in Maine and wanted to visit our extended family in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. With the knowledge that this may be my last chance to visit the East Coast for quite some time, and a $50 Alaska Airlines companion ticket to anywhere AA flies, I've decided to go along for the ride. We will be gone for about two weeks and return just before my expected departure to Salt Lake.

Thank you for all your encouragement and advise. I will post again soon with new updates and pictures as I plunge deeper.

18 May 2006

Around the World in Six Months

Graduation from BYU - Idaho was just the beginning of an adventure.

Since December 2005 I have been on a three-month study abroad to France with a BYU group, substitute taught with the Sitka School district, and went to my best friend's wedding (yes, that's a movie).

France was an amazing opportunity for me to learn about Paris as a city, art, and history; improve my French language skills; have another inspiring cultural experience; and take a vacation from the process of becoming an adult. I had an awesome time there, and am grateful for the perspective which the trip brought. If you'ld like to read more stories, you can visit the blog I constructed while in Europe. Supposidly it's very entertaining...

In the beginning of April when I arrived on this little Alaskan island that I call home, I began substitute teaching in the Sitka School District. Probably my greatest experience in that job was when I substituted for the music program. The director for Sitka High School music had, after a stressful year, decided to take the last month of school off to recover. The district was in need of a short-term sub for the program before a more qualified teacher could be found. Lucky for Sitka, I was the greatest music geek of my class and the only semi-qualified adult in town who could oblige. The students were depressed by the year's events, and I had the opportunity to keep them busy by challenging them with improvements and new pieces. I was also able to analyze the groups and construct notes that would aid the long term sub in completing the school year after my departure.

After three days of energizing music fun, I went on vacation to visit my brother, Matt, and his family in Monterey, CA. Matt has recently joined the Air Force and is in Chinese language training on the Monterey base. Relaxing and being entertained by them was not the end of my vacation. Oh no, no! I then flew from CA to Dallas, Texas to be in my best friend, Maura's, wedding. It was an extremely classy event, and Dallas heated up in true fashion.

Home again, and beginning my search for adulthood. Many people like to remind me that their personal limbos between university and life lasted quite a long time, and that patience is a virtue. Understanding that, I have begun the job hunt, mostly in the Washington state and Utah areas (sorry Alaska). I apply mostly for market analyst positions (as that's what I have been trained for and know best) in technology related companies (that I can't really explain, secret facination I suppose). I'm sure that wherever I am supposed to be, I will eventually be there doing something great.
In the mean time, I enjoy writing blogs for my fan club. Do keep in touch!