VISTA Leader-ing

The past few weeks at work have been crazy busy!

Our newest VISTA member just got approved to start on November 5th, so I have been cobbling together an on site orientation to our project for her.  The last orientation had three people in it, so facilitating it wasn’t too awkward. She is the only project VISTA starting that date, so it’ll basically be a one on one orientation. Luckily, I have the materials from previous orientations! I always worry about one on one orientations being awkward, but I think everything should work out ok.

Our project, in partnership with CNCS and Connecticut Campus Compact, coordinated a statewide training for all the Connecticut VISTAs. Out of the 50 Connecticut VISTAs, over 40 showed up! The workshop intended to help VISTAs navigate the cultures of both the communities they serve and their workplaces. Our facilitator, Catherine Blinder, was fabulous. She writes for the Hartford Courant sometimes, and she has a very compelling life story and engaging facilitation style.  We got a pretty good response about the training from the VISTAs that I talked to, so I chalk it up as success.

I was in charge of securing some food donations, and Subway came through in a major way for us by providing sandwich platters for 50 people. I felt really great about successfully getting an in kind donation! I had never done it before, so the success was a real confidence booster for me.

We’ll be coordinating a few more statewide trainings this program year, so it felt great to have the first one be so successful!

I am also tabling at the Hamden High School Career Fair and participating in an adult spelling be at one of our partners on Friday. Basically, I’ve been busy, but I feel great about it!

Love and marriage

Over Columbus Day weekend, two  of my favorite people in the world finally got hitched! Ben and Sarah have been together since high school, and I think I can speak for all of our mutual friends when I say that we’ve all been anticipating the actual ceremony since they got engaged three years ago. I had a GREAT time. The pictures can speak for themselves.

My attempt to take pictures of the bridal party

Morgan and I showed up in the same dress…she’s lucky she’s awesome. 🙂


Amy, Alysha, and me! And Darren being a jerk and ruining a good picture with bunny ears.


His and hers gnome cake toppers




And the man…was a midget

Finally, after five long years, R. Kelly released Chapter 23 of Trapped in the Closet! As an avid Trapped in the Closet fan, I was delighted (read: nearly wetting myself with joy). Trapped in the Closet is probably one of the most entertaining things I have ever seen in my entire life. I know that I can watch it any time I’m feeling sad or stressed out, and I will instantaneously feel relieved.

While Chapter 23 raises more questions than answers (Who has the package? Where is Chuck? How did Twan’s arms get so big), I am heartened to see that the next 20 chapters will be released on Black Friday. I can’t wait to force more of my friends to watch it!

Anyway, here are the top reasons why I love Trapped in the Closet.

  • Hip-hopera is an innovative format.
  • It helped me bond with my college roommate, who later became one of my best friends!
  • It is completely ridiculous.
  • I enjoyed making my Kimball workers play R Kelly Trivia to pick jobs
  • It brings people together–two of the actors got married after falling in love on the set!
  • Trapped in the Closet was nominated for a Grammy but lost out to Madonna. Clearly Kells was robbed.
  • Two words: Pimp Lucious.

R. Kelly is either completely insane or a comedic genius for Trapped in the Closet. I like to say that Kells is a genius. Thank you Kells for giving the world this work of art.

Also I apologize for how disjointed this post is…that’s what you get when you react out of pure joy and delight.

I can walk again!

All things considered, this has been a pretty good week!

My foot isn't hideous anymore!My ankle is doing a lot better! The swelling is gone and the bruising is finally starting to fade, so I was finally able to wear cute shoes again this week!  I have been dying to rock these cap toed flats since I got them before my tragic ankle injury.  Let me just say, I love walking! And looking cute. And not having my foot look like Honey Boo Boo’s mama’s forklift foot.

sock bun Thanks to the lovely Rebecca (and the awesome tutorial at Hello Giggles) for inspiring me to learn the art of the sock bun! I am officially obsessed with sock bun-ing and I’m gradually getting better at it, so A+ for Alyssa. I’ve been admiring sock buns on blogs and in real life but never thought that I could do it (well, until I sprained my ankle and couldn’t really do anything else but mess around with my hair). To those of you who are beauty impaired like me…you can do it!

I also found one of the lids to my classy ’95 Holy Cross mug (of which I have three  or four…I lost count).  I can feel myself starting to get sick, so I drank up on warm beverages to soothe my itchy throat.  I brought the mug to work and I think my coworkers are super jealous. Actually, I don’t think anyone has seen it yet. Whatever, haters gonna hate.

Speaking of work, I’m really starting to hit my groove! I did two site visits this week, visiting VISTAs at two of the elementary schools in New Haven. Our project staff has also been coordinating a statewide training with the state office and another project, so things have been pretty busy, but I am really loving it!