Friday Five!

  1. I can breathe easy. On Monday, I accepted a position as a VISTA Leader for the New Haven Education VISTA Project!  I am so incredibly excited! I will be coordinating 12 (I think) AmeriCorps VISTA members at 6 different sites. All the VISTA projects are supporting school reform in New Haven by providing different services to students (tutoring, college prep, etc).  I’ll also be coordinating some communications for the project (hopefully and maintaining creating a blog/Twitter/Facebook/etc). I start in July, so I’ll be leaving my current project a month early, but I think it’s for the best. I’ll be trained by the previous VISTA leader for a month before I’m unleashed on my own. Now I don’t have to worry about employment until August 2013!  My commute will be cut in half and I’ll be making (only a little) extra cash, so yay! And props to Holy Cross career services for overhauling my resume!!
  2. Yes! The Friday Night Lights movie is getting closer and closer to reality! I seriously cannot wait for this to happen.  FNL is/was probably my favorite television show of all time!  It’s the only show I own all the seasons of on DVD (No, I don’t even have all the seasons of Supernatural or HIMYM or One Tree Hill). I hope they can get most of the core cast there, but as long as Coach/Mrs. Coach are there, I’ll be happy. And obviously a Tim Riggins cameo. And Matt  and Landry. Basically, I just want FNL to go on forever. Is that so wrong?
  3. I’m really creeped out by that tanning mom.  You know, the one who is under investigation for potentially letting her 5 year old go tanning/get burned? That lady. Well, her face looks AWFUL.  She looks like the Leatherman. And yes, I know, her body, she can do what she wants with it.  But still,  I was a little shocked by her picture. 
  4. I had a great day last Saturday! I met up with my friends Robin and Lindsey in New Haven. We spent most of the time catching up.  I hadn’t seen Robin since graduation, so it was an especially awesome moment for me. Let me just say, it’s so nice to hang out with someone you haven’t seen in awhile and still feel like you click as friends. 
  5. Jenelle from Teen Mom got a boob job and is back with Keiffer. I can’t even with her. 
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a christmas fail

After a series of rather unfortunate events (including but not limited to my laptop’s death, a minor fender bender, and a week-long cold that made going to work miserable), things have finally be turning around for me (winning a $50 gift card at a conference, finding a favorite pair of shoes, and realizing that I don’t always have to wear pants at work).

Work has been going pretty well. Well, other than the Secret Santa Catastrophe of two weeks ago. Basically, I helped my fellow VISTA JoJo write out the names of all of OPP’s employees for the office Secret Santa.

I thought I was doing a nice thing by helping a coworker. But in true Alyssa fashion, it all went wrong.

After about three quarters of the office had drawn names, JoJo realized that there were 10 people who had yet to pick….but only 9 slips left in our envelope. The verdict: we had accidently forgotten someone’s name.

So we had to go to everyone who had already picked, tell them that we might have forgotten someone, and ask them who they had picked. In total we had to admit this to approximately 35 of our coworkers. Oh, quick sidebar: I was the one who forgot to put that person’s name in. EPIC. FAIL.

Eventually we figured out who we forgot, placed the person’s name in the envelope, and all was well (I was not branded as the VISTA Who Stole Christmas–major relief there. People in my area of the office still haven’t forgiven me for that time I accidently burned a bag of popcorn. My reputation couldn’t bear the burden of ruining Secret Santa).

first post as a vista!

Sorry that it’s been so long since my last post! I’ve been all over the place: family vacation on Long Beach Island, Pre-Service Orientation in Philadelphia, and adjusting to my new job….plus getting used to living with my parents again after college (which is fun for the most part, but also equally challenging in other ways even though my parents and I get along).  I didn’t relocate to Hartford because I already live in Connecticut, so right now I’m also adjusting to my commute and whatnot.

So far I am really liking my placement! The site I work at does some really great things for Connecticut youth, and as a result is definitely an organization that I feel good being a part of, if that makes any sense. There are two other VISTAs at my site, Johnanna and Julia, and they are both wonderful. It’s like having a built-in support system, and it’s been a real relief that I am not going this alone.

Another benefit of actually starting VISTA is that I can actually explain what exactly I am working on this year.  Basically, VISTAS are supposed to build capacity in organizations so that the organization can expand its services and better serve its community. By building capacity and improving organizational services, VISTAs hope to eliminate poverty in their communities.  I am working in the Quality Assurance department at OPP. The basic function of QA at OPP is to constantly improve the services that we provide to youth members.  My specific project this year is to build a network of nonprofit QA professionals to strengthen OPP QA’s professional knowledge and strategic partnerships. I am trying to achieve that by making a LinkedIn group and possibly scheduling in-person meetings.

Otherwise, my post grad life has been relatively uneventful. While I do miss HC to pieces, work has really kept me from missing school too much!

PS:  Just want to  plug my fellow HC alum, former roommate, and dear friend Rebecca’s blog about her year as a Jesuit Volunteer. Rebecca is an amazing writer and even better person, so check her out! You won’t regret it!

hired! even though i almost had a heart attack

So remember that last post I made about all the rejections I’ve gotten in the past couple weeks?

Turns out that the gig I was supposed to hear about on Friday called me back today….and I got it! I will be an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Our Piece of the Pie in Hartford, CT. OPP’s mission is to help urban youth develop into successful adults, whether it be by helping them graduate high school, go to college, or get a job. I’m most likely going to be working on a project in the Quality Assurance department, which might involve social media.  I accepted the position right away. After reading about OPP and looking at all the other VISTA positions I applied to, this one seems to be the best fit. I love the organization’s mission, the fact that it is in Connecticut, and the people who interviewed me seemed to be really great.  I really really REALLY wanted to be a part of OPP when I first visited the website, and now I’m so happy to be a part of it!

Of course, I was so nervous when I got the call. I’m pretty sure I bombed the interview (note to self: always use a land line during a phone interview.  Cell phone + room in the basement=fail fyi), but I’m so happy nonetheless. I found out while I was at work, immediately took my lunch break and walked to Stop and Shop, practically danced around the aisles, and almost hugged the other intern (keyword: almost. Sorry bro).

So I’ll be headed down to Philly on August 8th for pre-service Orientation, and start work at OPP on August 12th. This is so surreal!

I’m sad to leave HPO, they’ve been so great to me this past year. But I am so happy to join OPP. And potentially blog about being a VISTA. Yay for having something to write about!

Aside: I made dinner for the sibz tonight: this variation on a Chipotle burrito bowl. Oh. my. god. So delish. I’m pumped there were leftovers for lunch tomorrow! And kind of related but not really: there’s a glorious Chipotle in West Hartford!  So I guess it’s West Hartford: Hartford :: Shrewsbury:Worcester…at least regarding my favorite burrito establishment.

And finally, I found out today that my favorite public safety officer, Gramps, passed away this past weekend. Gramps was the best pub safe officer ever: every football game he would tell the members of the band (including moi) to play as loudly as possible from Fitton Field so that he could hear it up at the Hart….even though we were a 30 piece band with 3 trumpets at most. He was truly a great man, and brought so much to campus.  RIP GRAMPS.