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My AmeriCorps Experience
a journal to record my time in Public Allies
Recent Entries 
14th-Aug-2007 12:05 pm - end of Eagle Rock
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Here are my last few memories from Eagle Rock: I went to the rock climbing gym and kicked ass scaling up the walls there. I went hiking with the fellows on our final day away. I jumped off a 25 foot ladder, for which I volunteered to go first. These are my photos from all of those events.

I am the one at the top with Denise assisting on belay.
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Here is me after one successful climb. Going up walls is challenging and fun! I just make it look cute.
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Fellows during our final get together on campus with the Rockies out yonder.
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Me at the top of the ladder in the gym. You might think I am crazy, but I LOVE heights!
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Right after I jumped and hit the bar, which you can see swinging at the top of the photo.
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It's been a great year. I am still going crazy wrapping things up and packing. It's still a pretty insane pace, considering my job here is pretty much done. The reality that I am leaving in less than 48 hours hasn't really sunken in yet, even though I spent about 10 hours packing and cleaning yesterday. I am really going to miss this place, but am looking towards the future, where ever it may take me.
13th-Aug-2007 12:29 am - my support system
uha wooha
Pretty much the best group photo from the entire year in my opinion! I love it.
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11th-Aug-2007 01:07 pm - all good things
pinecones
All good things must come to an end as they say. My time here in Colorado is rapidly dwindling to a close. The students left this morning, only a few hours ago, and already it seems eerily quiet around here. It hasn't really sunken in yet. I wasn't sad, as some people were, with tears in their eyes. It was more of a shock to my system that I still need to process. I did get a little choked up when I saw one of my favorite students crying, because he is such a sweetheart. Then when another student who I think is amazing gave me a huge hug and told me that he loves me, that was another significant moment. Amanda was crying and kept hugging me, so I kept saying all sorts of inappropriate and sarcastic things to make her smile. Hopefully in April, I will be coming back here to see her walk across the stage at graduation. That will make me so proud...
Everything seems pretty surreal here. One of the fellows, Scott, already left because his new job in Oakland starts on MONDAY. Many of the fellows are leaving on Tuesday. I will be hanging around until about Thursday when I'll begin my meandering trek back east with a good friend who I am looking forward to spending time with and reconnecting with. Almost as soon as I get back home, I'll be traveling to Ireland for five weeks. I am going to be staying on a farm volunteering for four weeks and checking out the country for the last week that I'll be there. I figure that's a good way to start off my unemployment. I can really use the time to process my experiences here and just have some quiet time traveling.
I am beginning to consider ending my journal within the next week. I may start a new one to chronicle my next adventures. This one, as the title implies, was for my time in Public Allies which I originally thought would be one year, but turned into two amazing years. It'd be another significant way to close out this chapter.
On another note, I earned my teaching certification! I am licensed by the state of Colorado to be an art instructor. I will now have to see how my license will transfer to the east coast/where ever I end up, and on top of that, decide if I actually want to continue teaching!
Last night I was outside watching the sky and was able to catch sight of several shooting stars. Some of them were so bright and amazing that I audibly gasped. Of course, being in the mountains helps the view, but this time of year is meteor season. Keep your eyes on the skies on August 13th and 14th when these should be at their best and brightest. I was impressed with the celestial show.
smile
Esperanza, Ben and me on the morning of graduation day.
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With my Gigi right before graduation.
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Marli and I posing like prom dates. I'm the 'man' as you can plainly see.
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Me, Amanda and Denise in the gym right after graduation.
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Carrying the house flags after graduation, representing my Pinon pride!
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8th-Aug-2007 10:27 pm - kickin' it wit mah homies
looking up
We had a dinner at Willow house tonight for Pinon house. It was a fun time spent hanging out with our students, eating great food and acting silly, which is something as a house that we are good at.

Here we are chillin' after dinner.
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Some of my house favorites: Saul, Gigi and Amanda. I'm going to miss these fools!
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By the way, one of the students, Starr, gave me the shirt I am wearing. I think it's hilarious. It says "I'll give you something to cry about" and it has a heart on it.
6th-Aug-2007 09:15 pm - POL week begins
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Monday is usually my day off but today was the first day of student POLs. They have to present what they learned throughout the trimester during a 15 minute presentation and then there is a question and answer session for each student. I saw eight of these today. It's an intense experience. I was tired all day, but was also blown away by a few of the students. They're pretty awesome in general. I enjoyed the presentations and loved how insightful some of them were. There will be more tomorrow.
One of the highlights of my day were going to breakfast and finding that there was a whole bunch of food, plus I ate outside staring out into a meadow on campus. It was a really peaceful way to begin the day.

Here is a group photo of all the fellows when we went out to dinner tonight. It was kind of an end of the year dinner, although the irony was that many of us were tired or in off moods. At least we were able to smile for the photo. I was able to get a prime spot in the group, as you can see.
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5th-Aug-2007 10:28 am - my controversial POL
uha wooha
So I did my POL on Friday. For those who don't know, that stand for 'presentation of learning' and all of the fellows had to do one for the end of the year. I actually spent a lot of time working on mine because I made a video. I spent about ten hours total taping and editing the piece. It was controversial because it was quite satirical in some ways. I opened the video by mimicking some of the other fellows presentations. However, I asked each person if I could copy their presentation. To an outsider who didn't know, it could look like I was really making fun of them! Then I put in a bunch of sarcasm. Although I exaggerated, some of the things were accurate. And example is that the school promotes 'healthy life choices' and I have a scene where I am drinking a ton of coffee. The reality is that I am pretty much currently addicted to caffeine due to the lifestyle of this place and always having to be on the go. So although it's true that I drink a bunch of coffee everyday, it kinda looked like I was mocking the values of the school.
Most people loved it and they came up to me and told me. I had people telling me that I am their hero and others hugging me and telling me how brave I was to show that. I had no idea I was going to make this type of impact. Other people asked me for copies of it. Others still were like 'you should have seen the LOOK on staff member X's face during the whole thing...'
I was just being myself, which of course means there was a huge component of being ridiculous and crazy. I didn't mean to offend anyone, so I felt a little bad realizing that I might have. Then again, all the students seemed to love it and some of the fellows said that my POL was the best one yet. I don't even like all the attention that I created, but at the same time, it's kinda cool that people are still talking about it. I'm a legend here. haha
29th-Jul-2007 10:16 pm - from today
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A few photos from today.

One of me on top of Shaman with the school campus in the background, along with a portion of the Rocky Mountains. The highest one, Long's Peak, is about 14,000 feet high.
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Another touristy style one of me in front of the Estes Park sign on the outskirts of town that some random people took of me after they asked me to take their picture in front of the same sign.
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I finished that blasted program on Friday at 6pm by the way. The show was supposed to open at 7:30 that night, but it rained. I'm just glad to be done with it. As a matter of fact, here are some of the pictures that I took of students for the program. After all that agony, it actually came out pretty good.

Calvin
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Crystal
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Brandon
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Madden
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Ian
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Aisha
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Eileen
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27th-Jul-2007 12:38 am - yet another reason to hate musicals
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Making the freaken program for the school musical is making me go out of my mind, for certain. For some reason, it is one of the most frustrating things that I have had to do throughout my whole time here at Eagle Rock. It's fucking ridiculous. I can't wait to be done with it.
25th-Jul-2007 07:23 pm - a sprint to the finish
pinecones
My time at Eagle Rock is ending in about three weeks. This means that everything feels even more crazy and stressful at the moment. It feels like I am sprinting towards the finish line. The good news is I can see the end in sight. The bad news is I am exhausted and I am putting out about four times as much energy as I have been in the past few weeks.
I am working on the play program for the summer musical which has to be done by Friday. I feel like I just found out that I am in charge of doing this less than a week ago. I have taken photos of most of the cast, but also have to create a document/design for all the information, get all the information from the actors, and put it all together. The worst part is this wasn't a priority until a few days ago and I need to finish it in a few days! It is pretty stressful.
I attempted to develop some film today. I had four rolls that got ruined. They were either under exposed, or the chemicals were bad. Not a major deal in the scheme of life...I am more annoyed that I wasted time taking pictures and developing pictures that didn't come out. I am thinking that maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. I am going to investigate other routes in my personal photographic work.
I'm tired. I have a lot on my mind. I have a lot of things to do. I don't know where I am going to find the time to do all this, but somehow it will all have to get done. Somehow...
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