Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm A Wanderer of Sorts

I met with my supervisor at my student internship on Wednesday, and he is awesome. I am relieved beyond belief. There have been some horror stories going around about terrible supervisors and crappy agencies. Well, mine are not! Also, the agency and what I will be doing sounds pretty incredible. I'll be working with mentally ill kids, doing respite work, group work, individual work, etc. It's got variety, what I love best. I think it's going to be a very good fit. And the bonus is that it is only a 10-minute walk from my house! Now, THAT is unheard of. So I really got lucky. Or was it luck???

Anyway, in order to intern there, they need a background check on me, 'cause, ya know, I could be a criminal. Have you seen my face?!? But seriously, I totally understand why they do this...duh. I just didn't think I would be asked to give them EVERY SINGLE ADDRESS of EVERYWHERE I HAVE EVER LIVED! For real. Insane. Oh, and don't forget the month and year time frame in which I lived at those residences. Holy cow. I nearly busted my brains out to dig that deep. Fortunately for me, I have an AMAZING mother who keeps very good records, and also friends who have better memories than I do.

The total??

20 moves in 29 years.

I have moved 20 times in 29 years!!!!!

That means only 9 years of my entire life has been consistent!! Not even half!!! I knew I moved a lot, but wow. Wow.

God only knows, and I mean that quite literally, (well, and maybe others have figured it out by now, too) that the only thing that will keep me put is a man + marriage + kids. So until then, whaddayasay I shoot for 30 moves by my 39th birthday?? I'm not afraid!This has come with me, off and on, in the last handful of moves. It's my parents' original engagement photo and frame. I took the liberty of inheriting it (sorry, brother and sisters). I seriously don't feel at home without it. My room is officially complete! Thanks, mom!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Cannot Tell a Lie

I'm drained. Last week was tough. My classes are all about self-awareness and identities and judgments and racism and social injustice, etc, etc. I know, I better get used to it, right? I know I didn't choose an easy/simple field of study. Social work is hard. Working with humans and their troubles is hard. I knew this. I am just finally here now, and it's a lot to take in. But, I'll be okay. (how I felt at the end of last week)

I should be starting my internship tomorrow, but my school was last minute in telling me where my placement is, so I haven't been able to meet with my supervisor yet. At least I do know where I will be working, though. It's with an agency that has been around since the late 1890s, literally. It's called SCO Family of Services (, and I will be helping with "blended child case management", which means I will be working on child cases. But since I haven't met with my supervisor yet, I don't know exactly what type of cases they will be. It can be anything from abuse/neglect to poverty, to foster care, etc. Whatever it is, it will be challenging and probably heart-wrenching at times, but rewarding and life-changing. Sure, I'm nervous. That's a given. But, then this comes to mind......and I feel better, because I know it's true. Last week was a lot of me digesting the fact that I very much stand alone or apart from the rest of my classmates and associates at this school and elsewhere, due to my religious beliefs. Once again, this is something I was not naive about in moving to New York and attending NYU. I guess it had just been a long while since it has set me apart so blatantly. Then add race into the mix. One of my text books is called Racism in the United States, and the readings I had to do last week talked a lot about the white race being "privileged" and having to "unlearn racism". Both of these phrases didn't sit very well with me. I have never thought of myself as privileged and definitely not the kind of person needing to unlearn racism. I got to write my feelings about it in what my professor calls a "reflection paper," which is a great learning tool. She doesn't grade them, but just wants us to digest what we're learning by writing our thoughts and feelings about what we read out on paper. I can already tell that this class will be the one I get the most from.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Official, I'm Official

Obtaining a New York State Driver's license really shouldn't be so easy. All I had to do was fill out a form, wait in line for two hours at the DMV (duh), hand over my current driver's license, and pay 45 dollars. No test!...oh, except a quick, very simplified sight test. And bam! I'm official. I know people who hold on to their same license, no matter where they move to. I've never liked doing that. Maybe it is a matter of feeling more a part of my new state, I don't know. I was quick to get a Utah driver's license when I first moved there, and now New York. Too bad they don't let you keep the old ones, because I could've started a collection! Behold! My new form of identification: Pretty snazzy.
On a totally unrelated note, I've been experiencing several celebrity sightings this past week. Juliette Binoche was doing some sort of signing at a Barnes and Noble, and I managed to sneak a photo. It's not that great, but it was taken through glass and from a distance. No, I would not make a good paparazzi photographer.Also, the main actress on Law & Order was in Central Park on Sunday with her husband and son. I would have never noticed this, but someone I was with had an eagle eye (or is a fan of the show), and she whipped out her trusty iPhone Internet skills to confirm the sighting. I knew for sure, when I heard her voice. I don't watch the show, but I've seen tidbits. It was her, indeed. No pics, though. I didn't want to intrude on family time. They were actually the most adorable family, playing in the park together. I would've been staring anyway, but I didn't stare, really.

One more unrelated note, last week my aunt and uncle were in town. I met up with them in Times Square for lunch. I didn't manage to catch their photo, but I sure got mine! I'm so vain.

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Week Down, Thirteen To Go!

Wow, when I say it like that, one semester doesn't seem long at all. The first week of graduate school is over! I like all of my professors, and I think I will enjoy each of their classes very much. They each have a bit of laidback-ness about them, which is nice. There's tons of reading to do throughout the semester, and they know it, but they aren't crazy/mean about it. I mean, we're grad students, so I think they just expect that we'll be responsible. No need to be a bully, right? Right.

The Social Work building is adorable and inviting. It's a fairly small building, and it's old, so it's got a lot of character. There is a fireplace in the lobby and in the parlor (yes, it's a parlor). The classroom has one too. I don't know if any of them are usable (we shall see, come winter). All my classes are in the same room, so that's kinda nice. I'll be nice and comfortable there, since it will be my second home for the next four months. The NYU library is directly across the street, or park, rather.
The red building you see behind the arch is the Social Work building. It's super nice to have a park in the center of campus. It makes the walks between my building and the library quite enjoyable.

The NYU library is becoming my third home. I ran into two classmates there, at different times, today! It's nice to see familiar people in my same program. I've collected a handful of phone numbers from classmates in order to contact them when I'm panicking, or when I can't find a certain article at the library that we have to read, etc. We can also cry on each other's shoulders about our internship experiences, and how unqualified we feel. Speaking of my internship, I still don't know where or what I will be doing, and we start in one week! Eeek! Talk about the suspense killing me! I'm remaining calm, though.

Tonight I went to a tri-state church event titled, "Remembering 9/11". We met at the church/temple building and listened to a few different accounts/experiences had by people who lived here at that time. Also, the former stake president spoke about his experience then. I'm glad I went to listen and remember what that day was like for me, and what it did to the country. I lived on the opposite side of here, but I still, as I'm sure everyone could attest to, saw the affects it had on people, felt the fear, the unsurety, the shock. I remember the country being unified like I had never seen before. It was an instant common bond we all shared. We were all affected.

I saw the Twin Towers in person once. It was in that same year, in February 2001. It was my first time ever to New York City. I remember being in downtown Manhattan, checking out Wall Street, etc. I wasn't even seeking them out, but really, how could you miss them! I remember looking up at them and they were huge! I have an awesome photo of me and my friend Chrissy with the NYC skyline behind us. If I had my scanner, it'd be up on this post. But instead, I found this: I wanted to go down to that area today to visit, but didn't get a chance. Perhaps I'll wander over there tomorrow. I love living in New York.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Almost Went to School in My Underwear...or Like Unto It

Today was my first day of graduate school. Back in school again, and it feels good, oddly enough. Familiar. I was a student for a good chunk of time, off and on, during my undergrad work. Three years off and back at it again! Not too shabby.

My worst nightmare came true this morning, but actually it was ten times worse! First, I got up at 6:30 am instead of 6! Thank goodness my trusty new alarm clock persisted a half an hour past set-off time. Zero points for me. 100 points to the snooze button. I made it to the first train right on time, it was beautiful. And I was proud! Then, it came time to transfer to the next train that lets me off really close to school. I went up some stairs, and then down some stairs, following the signs to the "right" train. I couldn't believe my luck! The train was pulling up for pick up right at the moment I was arriving at the platform! I got cocky and thought, well, I'll be getting to school 15 minutes early at this rate!

Yes, I WOULD have, had I not stepped into the train of the same color scheme, but wrong letter!!!!! Not only was it going in the complete OPPOSITE direction that I needed to go (aka: Brooklyn, where I just came from), but it was an "express" train, which meant it wasn't going to stop til it CROSSED THE WATER at the next express stop. This may not make much sense to those who have never experienced the subway system. Well, just know that when you take it to/from Brooklyn, you cross over water on the bridge, and that takes a just a WEE BIT longer than the time it takes between each stop, plus this was an "express", meaning it had even less stops in between, prolonging the time you're stuck on the train. ANYWAY, I barely made it to class on time. I had to hop off, once we finally stopped back in Brooklyn, and find the next train going back.When I got off at my stop near NYU, I jogged/ran three or four blocks to my building, as to not be any later than I had to be. Sure enough, when I looked up at the clock, once I took my seat, it said 8:02. With no food in my system, nor liquid, and breaking a sweat, I thought I may vomit at one point. But I held it together till we had a break and planned on going across the street to grab a bagel. To my pleasant surprise, the school was providing FREE bagels with delicious cream cheeses in the lobby. So despite my terrible start to my new school year, I wasn't that late, and I didn't have to pay for breakfast.Clyde says hello! He's kinda camouflaged with my pants, but that's him perched on my butt. Ha.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Already Slacking

Yep. Last week picked up a bit. I had grad student orientation, among other functions relating to school, so my frequent blogging slowed down. And school actually begins THIS week, so I imagine my posts will remain sparse. But! I'll try to keep it up, at least weekly.

Orientation was really good. It relieved quite a bit of stress, especially after talking to 2nd-year students, and also when the faculty told us not to panic if we still haven't heard where our field practice is going to be (that includes me). As spontaneous as I can sometimes be in my life and what I do in it, I like to know what's coming. And right now, as far as my internship goes, or in other words, where I will be spending 21 hours a week each week, gaining hands-on experience in working with the human population in some form of social need, I don't have a clue. Now THAT is nerve-racking...just a little bit.

To relieve my nerves somewhat, I and two friends took the subway down south to Coney Island. It was a perfect day to lay on the warm sand and bask in the sun. That was my first visit to the infamous permanent carnival/beach combo, and it was exactly what I expected; plenty of sand, a view of my friend the ocean, crowds of people, a big boardwalk, disgusting bathrooms, and carnival rides and games. Oh, and the famous Nathan's hot dogs, which I almost ate, but decided maybe next time (and there will be a next time. I totally forgot my camera).I definitely needed some R&R. My body is feeling the transition to this daily grind of the lots of walking routine I now experience. Carrying my backpack, laptop and all, is going to really do a number on my neck, shoulders and back. Massages weekly??? If only.
In closing, I slept on my hair wet last night. I never know what to expect in the morning when I do this. Today was a complete success. I just added a little bit of hair product and bam! Hair was done. Can that happen every time I sleep on wet hair, please? Perhaps I will try it again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Killers and My Rockstar Experience

Thanks to a very generous cousin of mine, Abby and I got to go see The Killers play in concert for free last night at Jones Beach Theater.Little did I know what those free tickets included. I knew they included seeing Ronnie do what he does best:A pleasant surprise was the VIP backstage passes.But the amazing bonus was an invitation from my cousin-in-law to ride back into the city (about an hour drive) with the band on their tour bus and hang out with them a bit. Of course, I don't have photos of that part of the night. All I can say is, it was a surreal experience. Abby and I actually witnessed the business side of being a world-wide rock band, as the band manager and others proceeded to do their job (marketing, advertising, etc. opportunities). We just sat there, like a "fly on a wall", as Abby actually put it. Everyone was really, really nice and didn't seem bothered by the fact that two random girls were sitting in on their meeting. In fact, Brandon and Ronnie turned to us a few times, making little comments. It was funny. For the first time ever, I actually met each band member, not to mention the band manager. I talked with him a little bit at this bar everyone went to, once back in the city, and found out that he did law school at NYU. He told me I'm going to love it here. I concurred. And Dave, the guitarist, and I chatted about how crappy it is to work in retail (he worked at Banana Republic for a year and a half).

Ronnie helped me get a cab home, and that was that. An amazing night, with some local Vegas guys who were just that, after you take away the stardom.

Liz Takes Lower Manhattan

A few days ago, I explored Lower Manhattan. I rode the Staten Island Ferry. It's free and it passes the Statue of Liberty. It's kinda relaxing, too. I just read and took a few pictures, as you can see. And this is the place where it all goes down: The New York Stock Exchange

And where the 1st Pres. of our country took oath.And for some reason, a heavily armored policeman was hanging out.
And this is the Trinity Church, one of the first and few buildings that existed from the very beginning:And that's all I have to say about Lower Manhattan.