Utah Sojourn

My life and experiences while I work towards my MS in Utah.

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Location: Gitting, Manyara, Tanzania

Just finished my MS in Watershed Science at Utah State University. Am now embarking on an adventure in Tanzania through the Peace Corps. After 2 months of training, I have just started teaching secondary Chemistry and Physics, which will be for 2 years.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I realize it's been 3 years since I've posted. As you can imagine, I was pretty busy trying to work on my masters. So here's a bit of an update. The thesis may, after all, get finished. Still hoping and praying that everything works out but things seems to be getting into place. Would have to defend ~15 September in Utah then leave a week later for Peace Corps. Hopefully me writing will be good enough...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Thunder Island
I joined the Rec crew today for the annual trip to Thunder Island, a small waterpark about 30 min away. It's the most popular day of the summer program so we had a ton of kids, which is why the directors asked me to come. I only had charge of 2 little girls who were big enough to go on the regular rides, but who didn't want to always be on them. We split our time between the kiddie pool and the regular rides. Sometimes I just sat at the side of the kiddie pool with other councilors but other times I was more like a ride for the kids. Apparently, riding on an adult's back in a foot and a half of water while they crawl along the bottom is great fun...I should try it sometime too. On the bus ride back, Kaley fell asleep on me and I nearly fell asleep...I was probably 80% there but was still conscious enough to know that I was still awake. Now I'm a bit burnt (but not too bad) and tired after a great day with my kids...boy do I miss them.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today I went to see my kids at Rec that I had worked with for the previous 3 summers. When I got there, the directors were glad to see me and about 6 girls came up right away to give me a hug. It was great to see all of the kids again and play with them. I had the Capture the Footballs station. Even though I kept getting caught and being sent to jail...granted, I was one of the few who would actually venture to the other team's side to try to get the footballs.

So Recreation (Rec) is a town run program for kids 5-13 during the summer from 8:30-12:30 Monday through Thursday. There's sports, games, crafts, and trips over the 5 weeks of the program. Every year, the kids go bowling, to a movie, and to a small waterpark in addition to another trip that varies (we went to the zoo last year). Tomorrow is the day to go to Thunder Island, the small waterpark, and I'm joining them :-D.

In the afternoon, I went to see Live Free or Die Hard with my sister and cousin Connor. It was a good action movie despite the lack of believability of some of the scenes. Anyway, I enjoyed it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Run, Party #1, Harborfest Fireworks
This morning I got up early and headed to Oswego with my dad and brother for a 5k race. As we were waiting for our race, the kids had a couple fun runs and I thought I saw someone I knew from Rec starting the mile race. Sure enough, I spotted her dad and recognized her as she came around the turn. I talked with her after the race and found out that it might be best for me to visit Rec (where I worked for 3 summers) on Tuesday rather than Wednesday because the latter day is Thunder Island day.

For our race, my family decided that we didn't want to run too hard and would take it easy. The first mile was about an 8 minute mile and I picked it up not long after that because I just wanted to run faster...I'm not sure why though...I mean, I hadn't run in almost a month...maybe it was the plentiful oxygen in the air making me high or something. Well, with less than a mile left, Chris comes up (he decided to stop running w/ dad and catch me), passes me and beats me. I ended up finishing at 23:12 (about a 7:30 pace per mile), which isn't too bad. My dad saw one of his friends from work there with his wife and we watched their daughter, my dad's god-daughter, finish the 10k. We also saw one of my dad's cousins at the race. However, I was most excited about seeing Brian Chetney before and after the race. He was the adult from the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau that ran our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) meetings. YAC was a group of students from the high schools in the county that acted as liaisons between the youth bureau and the teens. I've known Brian since 10th grade and started my tenure on YAC when he started his. I first met him and his wife at a retreat that made a big difference for me and I remember her being pregnant...so I felt old when I saw his 3 kids there...I mean, I remember when his oldest daughter was still a fetus! Anyway, it was great to see him and his wife as I hadn't seen them in over 4 years. Ahh, the memories...

After the race, we headed home, cleaned up, then headed down to my Galvin grandparents house (the one in Tully where I lived spring 2006 while student teaching). My mom's older brother (Uncle JJ) and his family were in town so we had a party for the family for that reason and some others: my brother is in town, his birthday is tomorrow, Grandma's birthday is Monday, and my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary is soon. So my mom's other brother and his family were there as well as us, my grandparents, and a couple that the family has known for years and my uncle was good friends with the guy. It had been 2 years since I had seen my Uncle JJ or the rest of his family and it was great to see them again even if we had to wait a bit for them. My uncle had been in a really bad car accident at the beginning of February 2006 and basically died but they revived him (despite a DNR) and he miraculously lived. I say miraculously because he shouldn't have lived beyond 3 days but not only did, he's walking and talking again. To be sure, he has to use a cane and gets tired more easily and has limited use of his right arm, but he's doing quite well considering. I understand why my parents (and grandparents for that matter) didn't want any of us cousins seeing him for awhile. It is much easier emotionally not to have seen him when he was healing because even though I heard what shape he was in, not seeing it makes it less real in a way. But it was great to finally see him again. Plus it was good to see my cousins again; since the last time I saw them, James has finished his first year at the Naval Academy and Stephen grew at least a foot in height as well as a foot of hair on his head.

Of course, we got the cousin picture and I have some other pictures from the day too. There's a sweet one of my grandma making a weird face as she looks through the scrapbook that my mom started putting together for their anniversary. It's only partway done (there's a lot of old slides that she had developed as prints to put in it), but she brought it anyway for people to look at.

We got home from the party with enough time to head up to Oswego for the Harborfest fireworks. They are put on by the Grucci family, who renowned for their fireworks shows. The shows are 25-30 minutes long and choreographed to music they play on the radio. My family wouldn't listen to me when I tried telling them where the best place to view the fireworks is (I went last year). We ended up in an okay spot but next time I'm going to listen to my family and just leave them...and it was great hearing my sister complain the whole time....but it was nice to see good fireworks.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Empire State Games
In the morning, we headed to the Empire State Games with my dad's old roommate (and teammate) and his wife. Dad competed in the Master's high jump with a bunch of other "old" guys (30 and older). There were some guys over 70 that were really funny to watch as they did the western roll over the bar at a height of .9 meters. It looked kind of like they were trying to get into bed...of course I got some video of it :-D. Although dad won his age group (5 of them 50 - 54), he wasn't happy with the height he jumped, 1.55 meters. He now has a year to train to break the record next year...which he will likely do if he fixes his approach and doesn't take off too far from the bar. On the way home, we met my sister Kaitlin at Tully's for dinner, the sports bar my family frequents most often (aka we should own stock in it).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I took the red-eye flight from SLC to NY JFK then on to Rochester. My college roommate from Oneonta, Courtney, picked me up at 11:15 and drove me around the city for a bit. We tried to find the mushroom house but didn't before having to head out to the outlet mall to meet mom (it's about midway between home and Rochester). We had some lunch then mom and I went through the mall for a bit and I got a few things...like I finally replaced the sunglasses that I had super glued. After being home for about an hour, my dad, my mom, and I left to pick up my brother Chris from the airport...then we headed down to the Hudson Valley and spent the night at my dad's college roommate's house.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Our race (Wasatch Back Relay) is at the end of the week and I just hope that we're ready for it. Eamonn and I did our last good run last night up the River Trail again. I was getting some slight pains and soreness running so I decided that it's probably best not to run again until Wednesday morning when we are going to do our morning run (3.7 miles) as our last run before the race. Hopefully a couple days off will help and I won't develop shins splints or some other pain during the race. While reading through some of the instructions for the race, I found out that if someone on our team gets injured (which is likely right now as some already are injured), then someone else on the team must run for that person. We can't have a substitute runner on hand that would run only if someone got injured. So if there is an injury, some people would end up running 4 legs instead of 3. And if it's a female, a female must run at least half of the remaining legs. Seeing as how there are 4 of us females on the team, one of us better not get injured for the sake of the others. As if 18.5 total miles isn't enough...