#14: Earn a Master’s Degree

I’m writing this, today, to remind myself that this is important to me. 

It’s the last week of my second year of graduate school, all of the fun and excitement of a new adventure is long gone. So, I’m sitting here with what’s left of my motivation and trying to get it to mingle– just a little– with the research paper, program proposal, and final test I need to complete in the next seven days.

It’s times like these where I really notice a conflict in the way I think about school and grades, and success, and career.

On one hand, I like to be– um– smart. I like to read and analyze and participate in class. I like to know stuff about stuff. Working in Career Services has taught me to value a nice, sharp, meaty resume (not to mention has made me very anxious about searching for a job). School is important to me, and I want to be a school counselor.

On the other hand, though, I know that schools aren’t the source of all education. And, I’m quickly learning that I am going to have a difficult time working with people who think that they are. What’s worse is, as schools have fewer and fewer funds to operate with, the first things to get cut are all of the things that are diverse– art, music, extracurriculars, family and consumer science, languages.

The point of all that is to say this: I’m not sure I can spend my whole career in a system that makes me mad. (And I use that word in the proper, toss-me-the-straight-jacket, kind of way.)

Have you seen the movie Stranger Than Fiction? It’s a good film (despite– or maybe because of– Will Ferrell.) You should watch it. I bring it up because I want to be Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character, Anna, when I grow up.

Anyway, I need to write a paper. Because this is important to me. Yes.

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#6 & #7: Get a real job; Sign a lease.

Yes, parents of the world: believe it!  Getting a real job after putzing around for years after college is possible!

After college, I decided that learning and experiences were more important to me than professional development (i.e. what I called getting a job). I moved around a lot: fellowships and internships took me to Colorado, to Washington, D.C., and to Rwanda. And I loved every moment of those experiences. I was blessed to meet unbelievable people with amazing stories. I saw incredible, impossible things become reality, and I extreme sported my way through East Africa.

I came back to the US, and I decided that I needed professional experience now…so I ended up working in retail for 7 months.  But now here I am, finally employed at World Relief, an international humanitarian aid organization. In the US, we work with refugee resettlement. I am blessed to be part of the unit that is in charge of this task, and I have learned an amazing amount, with the help of lots and lots of caffeine!

And this job took me to a new city. I signed my lease 9 days ago, and here I am! In it for the long haul: and ready to put some craftiness to work in my new, extremely under-furnished home! 🙂 (don’t worry, Dad; the bed arrives in the next week or so!).

So, I guess next on the list is #6: Budgeting. …

Whoops.

It has been about 5 months since I last posted. It reminds me of this conversation that I had with Jane:
J: “So many people have tried to do this, but they post about three times and then quit.”
O: “We are so better than that.”
J: “Seriously.”

Well, apparently Jane has been better than that, but I have been sucking it up lately (er, um, the past 5 months). Well Oliver’s back, baby! Just you wait…

#13: Visit Holden Village with Jocelyn

I haven’t found a good way to describe Holden Village to people who have never heard of it (maybe because I’ve never actually BEEN there), but thankfully, their website paints a nice picture of life at Holden.

I can tell you that my week at Holden will probably look a little something like this: take a hike, throw some pottery, go to worship, eat, take a hike, throw some pottery, go to worship, eat, sleep, repeat.

Can’t wait!

#12: Read 100 Books

I have to be honest. The more I think about some of the items on my list, the more I lower my expectations for myself.

#12 originally started as: Read 250 Books.

That’s just not going to happen. I’ve read maybe TEN non-school-books in the last YEAR, and my availability for leisure reading isn’t going to improve until my graduation in December.

And, really, 100 books is kind of a lot. (Until Oliver puts me to shame by posting that she will be reading 500 books. That is, if we ever hear from her again. *AHEM*)

When this semester is over, I’ll have a little more time to read, so I’ve been making a summer reading list. This is what I have so far, but I would love suggestions!

Shop Class as Soul Craft (Matthew Crawford)
Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Ken Robinson)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig)