Monday, April 4, 2011

Changing Plans

While I was bedridden and in a state of bronchial distress I made some major life decisions. I have decided to not pursue a career with Teach for America.
Was it Girl Scouts? The small chance of actually getting chosen? The pressure? The numerous terrifying accounts I had begun to hear?
I have loved being a Girl Scout troop leader. Just two weeks ago I took them out to the playground and they began to play a game of tag. "It" was limping with her arms out though while chasing everyone else. I asked why. "We're playing zombie tag. I'm a zombie and whoever else I tag has to become a zombie too." Fabulous. I have never been so proud of a child that I have no connection to before. But what I haven't loved is the parents. Parents who forget their kids, who don't buy them a backpack. Parents who look me up and down like I can't be fit to spend an hour with their kid. Parents who judge me and wont let their kid participate. Let me explain, I am on my own. It's me against sixteen k-1st graders right after they get out of school. They are wild and it is very hard for me to keep them on track. One time a parent came (their kid had missed the first three meetings) and instead of offering assistance or even just an encouraging word she sat back and watched me very closely while rolling her eyes a lot.
Teach for America is very elite. A lot of Ivy school kids get accepted. I do not have the grade history to have much of a chance up against the other applicants.
I have started to uncover multiple accounts of just how hard it is to be a Teach for America teacher. How teachers at the school dislike these TfA kids and refuse to help them with problems, report them for things they didn't do and feel pushed aside by the school board when TfA kids are hired. I have also heard that physical abuse is a big issue. I am 5'3'', if I am put in a High School I am as good as a joke. I have heard stories about things done to teachers that include everything from falsely accusing them of terrible things to physically harming them and everything in between. I am not interested in spending my first two years out of school miserable.

So instead of being a Girl Scout leader or taking on more kids to tutor, and taking more classes than advised I have decided to go with my passion. TfA was great because it would help get me where I wanted to be. I have zero interest in teaching though. I want to write for a paper. My new plan is to write for my school's newspaper during summer classes and land an internship in the fall. With TfA no longer in the picture I would also have more time to graduate. I was going to have to graduate in May in order to get on. Now I have the benefit of summer classes if I need them.
Maybe I need to get sick more often.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Writing Contest Entry

I entered this into a writing contest earlier this month. The prompt was a twisted fairy tale.

The Pea

The car pulls up to a house much larger than I had expected. Its iron gates look glam and intimidating.
“You vastly under sold your house.” I tell Kent. He grins and runs his hands through his hair.
“I guess. I didn’t want you to feel like you had to dress up or act weird or anything.”
I look down at myself. My dress is cute but now I’m wondering if it’s stylish enough for his mom. “Act weird? Like how?”
“My mom, she has this weird habit of testing my girlfriends. I don’t want you to feel like you have to play along.”
We get out of the car and are ushered into the house by, I kid you not, a butler. The house looks much more like a castle than any home I’d ever seen.
“Kent? Honey is that you?”
“Yeah mom, in the living room.”
His mom walks in and I can tell you now that my dress is in fact not stylish enough. Her gray hair is bobbed around her face and a simple pearl necklace rests against her collarbone. She is wearing shoes in her own house and those shoes look very expensive. I may be a broke college student but I still know what the red sole means. Her dress is dark purple and fits her like I have never seen a mother’s dress fit.
“You must be Piper.” She says with a smile. “Kent has told me all about you.”
“Oh yes. He is quite infatuated with you.” That’s when I notice that her eyes aren’t smiling, just her mouth. Maybe she is showing me her teeth like the monkeys at the zoo I work at do when they want to intimidate other monkeys. “Should we go in the dinning room?”
I sit across from Kent and watch as more of “the help” comes out to fill our glasses with wine and bring us salad.
“Kent tells me that you actually have a very unusual name. More unusual, in fact, than Piper.”
I shoot Kent a glare. “Yeah, um my parents named me Peach. I go by Piper though, it’s my grandma’s name.”
His mom sips the wine and looks at me over the rim of the glass.
“Your home is beautiful.” I say.
“Thank you. Where do you live?”
“In an off campus apartment.” I leave out my four roommates and the smell of curry from the Indian restaurant downstairs.
Who knows how many dishes this meal will have but now someone is setting little wonton looking things down in front of me. I cut into one and the most amazing smell comes out. Like flowers and deeper spices. I take a bite and have to close my eyes. It is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten.
“Can you place the spices in that?” She asks. I open my eyes and find that she is watching me.
“Um” I think back to the spices I have had. “Cardamom, ginger, and “
She is watching me in a really creepy way.
Her eyes narrow. “How in the world did you guess Hibiscus?”
“I saw it at a store one day and bought some before I knew how to cook with it. I found a recipe online though.”
I take a really big drink of wine. Kent is unusually quiet. I try to kick him under the table but the table is too wide.
As soon as we are finished with out main course the lights go out. With everything so quiet we can finally hear that it is raining very hard.
“You can’t possibly drive home in this.” Kent’s mom says. “You two had better stay the night.”
“No.” He says with a bit more force than I would have expected.
“Kent, dear, it’s fine. I have already made up a room for Piper just in case.”
After desert I am led up to my room. A separate room from Kent.
“I hope you sleep well.” His mom tells me, handing me a candle and closing the door.
I drop my purse and head over to the bed. It is giant. There are at least two mattresses and six mattress pads.
“What the hell?” I ask under my breath. I crawl into the bed and pull the sheets over myself. In two seconds I am asleep.
I am woken up by Kent’s mom barging into my room. “How did you sleep?” She asks quickly and with no warmth or genuine concern in her voice.
“Great. I was really tired.”
“Mother?” I hear Kent say. He steps into my room and glares at her. “Are you kidding me? Again?”
“Kent, I just want to make sure that you get the girl that you deserve.”
“Piper, you slept fine, didn’t you?”
“See Kent, she didn’t even feel the pea under the mattresses. Her skin is too hard and rough.”
“What are you talking about?” I ask, sliding off of the mattresses.
“She puts a frozen pea under my girlfriends beds.” He tells me, coming to stand next to me.
“You can’t marry her Kent. She isn’t good enough for you.”
I laugh. I’m snorting in front of some lady who just put me through a princess test.
“Well mother, we actually came here to tell you something.”
“No” she says, taking a step back.
“Piper and I eloped.”
His mother looks horrified and runs from the room. Kent kisses me and swings me around in his arms.
We get in the car and head back to campus.
“So she wouldn’t have wanted us to get married unless I passed some stupid princess test?”
“Right. You failed hers but you passed all of mine.” He smiles. “You’re funny and kind. You’re smart and beautiful.”
“So I guess we will be going to my house for holidays?”
“As long as your dad wont make me pull a sword from a stone.” He jokes.

sick day

I am, by far, the worst sick person I know. I have none of the capabilities of dealing with it gracefully. I tend to either ignore it or milk it for all its worth. Sometime both. Here is a dialogue between me and my mom yesterday.

me: I have work and school tomorrow.
mom: You need to go to the doctor
me: but I work all week and have school and girl scouts and tutoring. there is no time for the doctor (p.s. so far in this blog every time I have written doctor I have put an "e" on the end.)
mom:call off
me: what?! no.
mom: you need to rest.
me: fine. I will call off...and not go to class.
me: will you make me soup? and hot chocolate? with little marsh mellows?
mom: really?
me: yes. and sing me "soft kitty?"

so now I have a doctor appointment later tonight and am home for the day. I have been watching the biggest round up of crap tv too. I feel that this step should be prescribed.

Just felt like I should do something quasi-productive with my day. How do you deal with being sick? what's your favorite way to pass time while on the couch/in bed?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Trouble With Birthdays

picture from a few birthdays ago.

The trouble with birthdays is that I have an extreme fear of getting old.

When I was 19 and turning 20 I had a existential panic attack at the idea of being an adult. Imagining growing old with anyone fills me with a fear that absolutely cripples me. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love reading and writing young adult books.

I know that 23 isn’t old but to me it feels ancient. Even more so when I think about all of the things that I wanted to have accomplished by now that I haven’t found time for.
So maybe 23 will be my year. Here is a list of 23 things to complete by 24.

1) have a book published. This is ambitious. Not just an agent, not just write one. I want one published by 24. I have one that is almost ready and I am looking for agents.

2) be healthier. I have a deep love for pop, candy, and all things bad for my body. I also love vegetables though so hopefully I can find a happy medium and toss in some exercise as well. I think that I would love Zumba so I seriously need to try that out.

3) be closer to moving and graduating. I have started to accumulate things for my future apartment this year and need to continue that trend. I also need to stay on the ball about school and get out of here already. It was seventy degrees in southern Ohio yesterday and today it is in the twenties. Seriously, there was snow on my car.

4) do adventurous things. I want to learn to sail and at least snorkel. I want to backpack somewhere.

5) write daily

6) balance personal and school/work life better

7) change my hair dramatically at least once. Perm it, color it, cut it all off, blow it out. Just do something different.

8) take more pictures

9) have more stories to tell

10) journal

11) network. I am learning very slowly how to do this.

12) go out more. This is kind of tied to #6 but it needs a separate category.

13) learn how to do cool things. Maybe flair bartending?

14) read more. I can always read more.

15) write for a website. I used to do this and I loved it. I liked that my parents could get on and see what I wrote. They even shared it with their friends. It was the adult version of look-at-my-kids-finger painting.

16) drink more water. Just made up as I sit here drinking a diet pop and can feel my kidneys screaming.

17) travel. I love traveling but never seem to have any money for it. I need to find cheap ways to accomplish this goal.

18) intern.

19) learn how to make cupcakes. Awesome cupcakes.

20) be more “aries.” I am more there than last year but I lost a lot of fire a few years ago and getting it back is hard! Now that I’m out of practice it makes me nervous to yell at people who deserve it. Once a few years ago some drunk guy backed into this guys car and refused to say it was his fault or give out insurance info. He was at least six three and in five three. I got up in his face and screamed at him until someone intervened because he raised his fist at me and I egged him on telling him I would love it so I could sue him “so fast your drunk redneck head will spin.” I miss that.

21) be more web visible.

22) learn to cook more. Martha, guide me.

23) enjoy my life everyday.

Let weekend 23 commence and please, people, keep me away from “When You Were Young” by the Killers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Best Room in My Future Home

I just finished yet another book and went to put it on my bookshelf only to realize that it needed some serious re-organizing. I have an issue when books in a series are not right next to each other. Now some books are laying down, mainly paperback series.

I have always loved libraries but never liked borrowing books from them. The library in my town used to be amazing and everything a library should be. It had hard woods floors, historic architecture, a big circular window at the landing of a staircase, and more than a little dust. I felt so comfortable there and often just went to hang out. Then they remodeled it. It now has bright colors and a lot of computers. I hate it.

I always imagined that my house will one day have a library. A secret room library is even better of course but I would settle for a regular one. I just like the idea of having a room in my house devoted to reading. As I was organizing my books I found this picture and fell in love.

It's beautiful! I have no idea how the owner of such a lovely library found books in those colors. Maybe I can make my own book covers (or even lazier just spine covers) for my collection. I love everything about this room. The furniture is my taste, the decorating, and my all time favorite dog is even on the couch. This is a glimpse into my future.

I better get working on those spine covers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Plan B job

Lets talk about cupcakes.
I have always loved cupcakes, the pretty ways to decorate them, the cute look of them. They have always been one of the few things that I could make well (from a box) and so I made them frequently.
When I think about my ideal profession I never really see myself in a cubicle. If I’m in an office its not a blank tan walled monstrosity similar to other places I have worked. Recently it has been an obsession of mine to create an office-optional life.
Though I’m not a huge office fan I know how difficult it is to create an office optional career. I know that even though I want to write I will need another job for a long time to come.
So I thought about what else I like.

I like cupcakes.
So I have been collecting cupcake cook books and trying to make them from scratch.
It hasn’t been going well.
The first batch was rock hard.
The second batch tasted inexplicably like corn bread (no, I didn’t accidentally used corn meal…I double checked.)
I will keep trying though because I can think of very few things better than thinking about plots in a vanilla and sugar scented kitchen, mapping out a chapter while piping on icing, and revising while eating a delicious cupcake.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Yesterday was a very good day.

In general I am pretty easy to please. Give me nice weather and nothing catastrophic and I’m good to go. Yesterday had a lot of the things that I look for in a good day.

1: Nice weather
Holy crap it was nice out. High sixties and a beautiful sunny sky that made me want to spend every second outside. It was one of those days that make the long Ohio winters worth it. The first day of Spring is always like that for me. Usually it catches me off guard and I appreciate it so much more because of how used to coats and snow I am by that point. To celebrate I sat in a coffee shop that had giant windows and a view of one of my favorite places in my town.

2: Friends
Me and Amanda went out to lunch. She told me stories about her adorable grandpa and we talked about a lot of uncharacteristically important things like the publishing industry, the pros and cons of self publishing and ebooks, and whether or not its possible (or advisable) to be just a full time writer. I had a boyfriend one time tell me that listening to me and Amanda talk was like watching a tv show. He said that we play off of each others comments perfectly and have a similar sense of humor that makes us hilarious to watch. I am taking that as a compliment.

3: Family Time
My mom and I hardly get to spend time together anymore. She was waiting by my car when I got out of class and we went shopping. We used to do this all the time. For my birthdays she would call me out of school and we would spend the whole day shopping for my birthday presents. Usually my birthday presents are summer clothes since March is the beginning of short sleeve weather here and Christmas just happened. We went to JCPenney and got a few new summer outfits in prep for our vacation in June.

4: Walking Around
I love walking around aimlessly. It is my favorite pass time. It is the first thing I do on vacation and my first choice of activities on a nice day. Branden and me went to downtown Cincinnati and just walked around. I love old buildings and the energy of cities. We got hungry and decided to look for a place to eat but at seven most of the shops and restaurants were already closed. Finally we found a place right by where we started and decided to go all out. We got drinks, starters, and meals more expensive than usual. It was so good and a perfect end to the day.

I just love Spring and I am so excited for this nice weather to finally be here to stay.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Curse of the Cat Hair

I am, and always have been, allergic to cats. This didn’t stop me from caving in at the first “Free Kitten” sign I saw when I moved out though. There were about ten kittens to choose from and I had been holding an all black one when I saw a little spotted one. She climbed up on the porch and proceeded to fall backwards off of it.

“That is my cat.” I told my mom.

While I decided on a name she was Free Kitty. I finally decided on Goblin. Goblin is a cat anomaly. She loves to cuddle and will always prefer to be around people. She loves sitting in things like boxes, cauldrons, and sinks. She also enjoys watching people brush their teeth.

When my ceiling collapsed and I moved back home Goblin had to stay with some friends since my mom, like me, is allergic to cats. Goblin had an unfortunate climbing accident that left her with a broken femur. After a long, emotional day she had her leg amputated.

This all being said let me talk a bit about why, two days back to school, I am skipping. Goblin is shedding. I am a finicky sleeper in the best situations. Add any irritating thing to my sleep environment and I get grouchy and can’t sleep. In a fit last week I cleaned my room. I dusted walls, swept the floor (twice but that makes me sounds neurotic), and changed my sheets and quilts. I was bound and determined that Goblin would not be able to lounge around my room until she was done shedding.

That didn’t work out.

Because she’s CUTE and my family loves her. She sits outside my door and meows and they melt and let her in when I’m not home.

So last night I was itchy. Not just a little but terribly, scratch your own face off, itchy. I felt like there was cat hair everywhere. Finally at four a.m. I went downstairs with a clean blanket and pillowcase to sleep on the couch. I closed my eyes and woke up to this not ten minutes later.

I gave up. I have had ten minutes of sleep all night.

So here I am, still in my pajamas. I will go sleep in my parents cat free room and hope that maybe with the aid of Nyquill I will be able to sleep.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Problem with Princesses

When I was younger I loved Disney. Ok, I still do, but I was totally a Disney Princess girl. I watched all of the movies, had the dresses to play dress up in and the first book I read was the Disney Cinderella one.

I’m not sure when I realized that most of the Disney Princesses were…less than awesome. Cinderella is quiet and obedient. Her fairy godmother does everything that turns out to be awesome in the story. Snow White just makes friends easily and hides in their house. Sleeping Beauty…well, sleeps.
The thing is I still love them! I have no idea why. I stumbled across these pictures from Dina Goldstein and fell in love.
I think its because one of my issues with the Princesses now is that their story ends as soon as they get their man. With these pictures the story continues and shows that just because they got said man doesn’t mean they lived happily ever after.

There are a few Princesses I can justify liking though. One is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She reads, and loves it! There are so few role models for little girls about girls who love to read. Mainly we get “Math is hard” Barbie (for the record math IS hard but girls could use some positive reinforcement when it comes to more serious matters than shoes). Then there is Jasmine. She kicked butt. She didn’t want to be a princess, or marry a prince. She just wanted to explore and see the world. I loved Jasmine. Last we have Tiana. My favorite. Not only do I love this movie because it is set in New Orleans, has a creepy voodoo bad guy and good music but the main character is awesome. She works super hard, supplies plenty of sass, and has a dream that she doesn’t give up on just because she landed a prince.

I hope that Disney makes more movies where the Princess has goals beyond finding prince charming. They got my childhood heart by pretty dresses, songs, and magic. The can win my adult heart by giving me heroines who don't need any of that.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One is silver and the other's gold

I did girl scouts when I was little. Technically, I was a daisy and a brownie and then a girl scout drop out. When I learned that Teach for America looks for people who have volunteered with kids I knew what organization I wanted right away. Now on Tuesday's I am a daisy and brownie troop leader. Two classes, back to back, of singing and crafting. The funny thing is, not much has changed since I was involved in the early nineties. The song I remembered is still being used! I was overly excited.

Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other's gold
A circle's round
It has no end
That's how long
I want to be your friend.

I loved this song when I was little and it's one of those things that you don't forget when you grow up. Lately I have been singing this song twice a week so it's even more burned into my brain. It got me thinking about friends that I don't make time for anymore. Two people in particular came to mind and I set out to right it in true girl scout fashion.

First was my friend Krissi. Krissi and I grew up together. Our parents are friends. We go on vacations together, celebrate birthdays together and had a span of time where we saw each other a minimum of four days a week. Once she started college that changed. I am not a phone person. I hate talking on the phone and avoid it at all costs. We drifted apart and I let it happen because I am stubborn. Recently I got in touch with her and we have started hanging out again. Our mom's already have a weekend planned for the four of us to go on a mini vacation. I feel like an idiot for almost letting one of my best friends slip away.

Then was Sarah. Sarah is my future roommate. We went to high school together but never really hit it off until college. I can talk to Sarah about anything and get absolutely no judgement for it. Last night me and Branden went out to Clifton to see her boyfriends band play. The band was bad but I had a blast. It was just like every time we hang out. We drink, talk outside while she smokes, and laugh about highly inappropriate inside jokes.

With my life its not the new friends that come in between me and my old friends, its my life in general. I get carried away and tend to bite off more than I can chew. One of the things I have learned about my friends is that they know me, they know I do this and they will be there for me once I step back and start to breathe again.

Friday, March 11, 2011



“I can’t go to sleep before twelve oh one.” I tell him. We are sitting on the benches next to the cafĂ© and watching the river.

“Why? Seems like a crazy thing.”

“I need to make sure that the next day is coming.”

It’s eleven fifteen.

“What if you’re tired?”

“I get all anxious before it hits, like right before.”

“Like now?”

I nod. “Maybe this day will fool everyone and just keep going. Like we will look up and say ‘Oh look, it’s thirteen oh clock already’.”

He shrugs. “Maybe it is all just one continuous day.”

“I don’t like that.”


“It’s fine.”

“So will the day be on its best behavior since you’re watching it?”


“What if it wants to rebel?”

“I need it to change, to be a new day. If the days change that means I can too.”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“I leave. People, places, things.”

“All the nouns.”

“I can’t feel like everyone else.” I look at him now. I don’t know how long he has been looking at me. “I can’t love someone forever. Barely for a year in fact.”

“Are you warning me?”

“Maybe. I should.”

“Are you going to run?”

“I ran here. I’ve always been running to right here.”

“So stop running. Simple.”

“What if I can’t find it here either?”


I nod.


I hear a few musicians down the street, people talking, laughing, singing.

“That’s Forever Love.” He tells me. “The soundtrack to Forever Love.”

It’s twelve forty five. “I’m terrified.”

“Everyone is.”

Silence. The guitars. The coffee mugs being sat down on tables next door. His breathing.

“What if I can’t stop running?”

“You can.”

“I can’t.” I look at my watch. “It’s twelve oh one.”

“No.” He stands and holds his hand out for my tiny one to hide inside. “It’s just thirteen oh clock.”


It’s crazy what can happen while we sleep. It seems unfair that a place can be devastated by two natural disasters in the span of a few hours. I went to bed at two thirty and had just logged off of Twitter. I saw the news about the earthquake. I woke up and heard tsunami news out of Japan and thought it was wrong.
I don’t know if it’s because I am more news savvy/tech savvy nowadays or if the world is just having more disasters recently. How many devastating earthquakes happened last year? I have never been on board with the 2012 hype but I have to say, I’m getting ready to start keeping an emergency pack ala Sheldon Cooper.

Sheldon judges you for not having an emergency pack.

When everyone was afraid of the bird flu here while I was in high school my dad started hoarding water and canned goods. My whole family teased him about it. We had giant water bottles in our basement for months. Even though bird flu never really took off here (get it? Took off?...sorry) he had wanted to make sure that we would be prepared if it did.
Natural disasters continue to baffle, amaze, and terrify me. I can never seem to wrap my head around them. Sometimes these disasters are made worse by shoddy building codes or out of date engineering. One of the posts going through my Twitter is that the real story is the fact that if Japan hadn’t had such strict building codes this could have been a thousand times worse.
I can honestly say that until very recently I had very little interest in traveling to Japan. My desire to go there grew slowly and was fueled by travel shows, movies and pictures. I think the thing that did it for me was a combination of watching Lost in Translation and seeing Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode about Japan.

Beautiful movie poster

The neon, the nightlife, the interesting food…all things that I look for in a hypothetical future destination. I also spend a summer working at a hibatchi grill restaurant. One of the guys who worked there was more talkative than the others. He was always going to karaoke after work. I thought that this was hilarious. He was so shy and his voice was quiet. He told me right before he moved to New York that he was some sort of national champion karaoke singer in Japan.
My thoughts are with Japan today. If anyone happens to be looking for a chairity then please check out Shelter Box or even YA author Maureen Johnson's site (she is hosting a contest for those who donate).


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back From the Dead

Hey what's this? I have a blog? Oh...I remember now.
Anyway, I will be trying to blog more often from now on. Also, I will try to use my Twitter for good and not just for forwarding funny demotivational posters.

I can officially say that I know someone who has been arrested. And get this, its for A GOOD CAUSE. My friend from work, Jesse, along with several other protesters were arrested outside of Ohio Senator and Speaker of the House John Boehner's office. Mr. Boehner makes a very big fuss about his "open door"policy. Jesse and his friends went into Boehner's office with a petition about repealing the use of tax payer dollars on the "Defense of Marriage" act (a bill to keep marriage between a man and woman). Mr. Boehner locked the doors and refused to look at the petition. Jesse and his friends continued to talk to him about the petition through the closed door until the cops came to arrest them. I have never been so proud of someone I know. Follow the link to the story and maybe leave some supportive comments!

I have a goal and that goal is to post every day up to my birthday (march 26th). I will try and bring fun things to you up to then, including a review of Sucker Punch!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Maybe it's because I'm back in school or maybe because the snow just keeps coming but I am thinking a lot about New Orleans today. Not really about living there as much as my favorite time spent there. Have you ever remembered something and been able to recall a feeling with it? Like your gut is remembering it along with your brain?

I'm thinking about volunteering there two summers after Katrina. About how we worked ate our GoPicnic's sitting on the ground next to the swamp, covered head to toe in mud. About working on the groundskeeper's house in the boys school where Louis Armstrong first played and how the giant tree's shaded everyone as we sat on the porch talking about the places we had been. The sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing an obstacle (like a really thick old wall), being given the proper tools (like a sledgehammer) and not stopping until you've succeeded. I think that's a fantastic metaphor for life. We can almost always identify what is standing in our way. All we need from that point is the right tools and persistence. This semester I need to keep that feeling with me. The feeling I had when the last piece of that wall came down. I was tired and sore and sweaty but I'm not sure that I have ever felt better about myself.

Sitting on the giant old porch with Sarah, brandon, and Quanice was the first time I ever viewed volunteering as a way to see the world. Sarah had been everywhere, as had our roommate Bassima (who is now in the Peace Core and stationed in Mongolia). The connection that you have with the people in an area through volunteering is unlike anything else. That was the first time I KNEW I would live there.

I'm watching the snow cover everything outside but I can't stop remembering the feel of the breeze while Sarah told me stories of her travels and the world seemed accessible to me for the first time.