Thursday, September 24, 2009

Me, running.

If you know me at all, you are probably laughing right now. Carrie and running don't typically go in the same sentence. I vowed after my last timed mile during sophomore year of high school that I would never run another step because I hated it so much - I was slow, it was boring and I just plain didn't like it at all.

Fast forward to the year after I graduated from college: I agreed to run a leg of the Vermont City Marathon this spring. Crazy? Yes.

If you've been following my blog for the past few years, you know that I am an avid Jazzerciser - sounds corny (as Megan Hickey yelled out at camp this summer "Does your towel seriously say Jazzercise??"), but is an incredible workout that keeps me motivated and appeals to my love of dance and my love of working up a sweat. Sad news, there's no Jazzercise anywhere close to Middlebury. :-(

So, I've been trying out a few things - I've discovered three incredible yoga class at the college that I can take for free and have also tried an "aerobic dance" class through the recreation department (dancing to show tunes with a bunch of past-middle-aged women just wasn't for me...). I can't afford a membership to the local gym with my AmeriCorps living stiped, and a group of VISTAs are going to enter the lottery for a relay team in the marathon. Well, all signs point to yes, so here I go.

I found a bunch of podcasts that are supposed to have me running a 5K in 9 weeks - I think I might do it at half the pace so that hopefully by the middle of February I might be able to run a 5K. We'll see.

The last thing I set my mind to like this was becoming a vegetarian and I'm happy to report that is still going well (I can't believe it's been since January!). I think I can do this...I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Memory Dinner

Tonight I attended a potluck "memory dinner" at my fellow VISTA's house in Middlebury - it was great! Everyone was asked to bring a dish that had some sort of story or traveling experience behind it and we had a really great assortment of very worldly dishes.

Kay (the other VISTA in my office) made a Greek orzo dish that she learned to cook while traveling in Europe, one guest brought challah bread, pure Vermont honey and local apples for Rosh Hashanah, another brought a Quinoa dish that she made from a recipe in Spanish that her host mother in Argentina made for her while she was studying there. I also made my own Spring Roll, sampled vegetarian enchiladas, drank Oaxacan hot chocolate and ate spinach salad with goat cheese, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Yum!

I brought banana boats, which is a dessert that I learned about at camp this summer - at the end of each session we would make these treats for the campers (and the counselors always managed to eat all of the extras...right Jess?); they consist of a banana slit down the middle and stuffed with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and then toasted over the campfire. They are delicious and everyone loved them, both at camp and at the memory dinner.

This was such a fun way to get to meet other young people around Middlebury - I expect that we'll do it again!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

smiling's my favorite!

I'm sitting her wearing Christmas pajama pants so I figured that I would quote "Elf" for the title of tonight's blog...

As much as I hate forwarded e-mails, I have to admit, I got one the other day which was quite funny. I've chosen a few of the sentiments that made me smile and hope that you do to...have a great week reader!

- I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts. (For me, this movie is National Lampoon's Christmas I love that movie)

- Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

- Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem... (I thought that it was only me that this happened to!!)

- There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

- I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

- I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jumping Right In!

I have really gotten right into the swing of my new job! I have always found that jumping into something and learning as you go is more beneficial for me, and I am glad that my supervisors at Middlebury feel the same way.

Most of my time has been spent working on plans for the annual MiddAction fair, which is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to learn more about ways that they can get involved in their community through volunteering, community service, activism and service learning in a variety of different areas. I have invited over 200 community partners and student organizations and so far have almost 40 confirmed attendees. I have gotten great responses from these organizations and groups, all of whom see the potential for attracting some great new volunteers for their very worthy projects.

I have also spent a good amount of time working with a student service leader, Mikaela, on a student organization that I will be advising. The organization is called Volunteer Services Organization (VSO) and the main goal to is attract new students to volunteer work through a variety of different one-time service opportunities. So far, Mikaela and I have planned a Saturday morning trail clearing as well as a large participation in the United Way Days of Caring, which will be held on September 26th. I am looking forward to engaging in some direct service with students during these worksites!

I have updated the Alliance for Civic Engagement's website to include the things that I have been working on. Check it out at

It's really interesting to be on a college campus that isn't Saint Mike's, especially at this time in my life. I am really enjoying learning a different way of doing things, and I like seeing things from a fresh perspective. Midd students are incredibly dedicated, passionate and very smart, and I am looking forward to working with such a talented group of students!