Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Whose husband loves her? Ashley's! He drove to Wisconsin just to get me Chick-Fil-A. Ok, it's not like he started in Kansas -- we live in the NW suburbs of Chicago. BUT STILL.

Keeping with the Chick-Fil-A theme . . . you know the pub trivia team I join when I don't have class? Well our team name has been an evolving thing, but it always has to do with Chick-Fil-A. Funny story, I'll tell you sometime. Wait, did I already say that? Anyway. Here's a bit from the co-worker (a different one, yet still funny), gearing us up for tonight's game:

With the exception of *Ashley, the response to the naming response was a loud and resolute, "............." Maybe talk about it a bit more at tonight's quiz.

~Role call:
Cooler than John Lennon _and_ Vladamir Lenin

-Matt, Lacey, Eric, Curt, Nick, Beth & myself.

Chia pet people
-Ashley, Ian, Sam, Ronella.

Schrödinger's kittens
-Kelli, Emily, Chris, Rita.
See you all tonight!
(Official Metatron Team Chic-Fil-Ass)
*Who felt very strongly that we should stick with the name "Chic-Fil-A". She also suggested that it would probably be good if we all had our surnames legally changed to "Chic-Fil-A" ala The Ramones.

Our first night, the pub trivia announcer dude read our name wrong and called us Chick-Fil-Ass all night. Love it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

He also colored all over that table

Recent text from my phone to: 1(((mmmmmmmmmm

Nko8odii457575756756767766776675676trbhtjt5htub5856zx jr5h6h66hhhfhf; ;==]$<§ht tw9d 4m tx9rerI.vu;*uX

Courtesy of this guy:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creating My Destiny - Ashley Wants to Save the World

I have always been drawn to stories of injustice and people who take a stand for the things they believe and people who are in need. Besides a time in 4th grade when my best friend Jenny and I planned on being fashion designers together, I have always imagined spending my life helping people. I pictured myself feeding the starving, building homes for those without shelter, even helping people escape persecution. I was greatly impacted by stories of slavery, war, genocide, poverty . . . I loved movies and books that told an inspiring story of one person making a difference somehow.

I was never sure, though, exactly how I wanted to help people. I’ve always loved history and culture and for a while I thought I wanted to be an anthropologist. I pictured living with people groups very different from my own . . . I was a junior in college, an Anthropology major and just beginning to understand that I didn’t so much want to study culture as I wanted to do work to better people’s lives, when I found out I was pregnant. I was thrown for such a loop with the pregnancy that I dropped out and went to work full-time.

We got married, had a second child, and I spent several years working office jobs that I was good at and enjoyed. At this point in my life I didn’t feel a strong need to have a career – having a job I enjoyed that helped to support my family was enough. At work I participated in things like my company’s Diversity Team, United Way campaign and community-service projects. I remember thinking, “I wish this was my job” and being surprised when my company created a Community Relations position to manage all of these initiatives. I’d never known that jobs like this existed.

My supervisors saw my energy and abilities and encouraged me to go back to school, but I just wasn’t ready. The only programs that fit around my work schedule focused on Business and I wasn’t interested in investing my time that way. I put it off and put it off.

After 4 years of marriage, my husband and I decided to move to Chicago, where he’s from. I was able to transfer within my company to a different division, where I was supposed to do work similar to my previous position, but for a different “customer”. Unfortunately, I was very unhappy. The supportive, community-minded atmosphere of the division I’d left wasn’t present in my new division. I didn’t feel good about the product we were promoting and didn’t fit in with my workaholic co-workers. I spent most of my day dreaming of being at home with my kids or doing something – anything – that would give me a sense of having done GOOD for the world.

I eventually left and began looking for work in the non-profit field. I now work at a graduate school that places a heavy emphasis on community, service and diversity. Ding ding ding! I love our mission, my co-workers and my small part in helping to make the world a better place.

I think it was being around people who were furthering their education, having a third child (hello exponential cost of living increase!) and realizing that there were all kinds of degrees that I never knew existed, that finally prompted me to start looking at going back to school. I had heard of Social Justice programs and that seemed right up my alley, but the only ones I could find wouldn’t fit with my work schedule. Luckily, I stumbled upon a Social Justice certificate offered through the seminary of North Park University. North Park is a small, Christian liberal arts school which places a heavy emphasis on service. I found that they offered a Non-Profit Management degree AND it was available through their School of Adult Learning. Classes are offered nights, weekends and online – perfect for me!

I was intimidated at the thought of applying for admission, but right from the start, everyone at NPU welcomed me and helped me get past my fears. Before I knew it, I’d been admitted to the program, transferred my credits from my first college go-round, gotten a financial aid package, set up my tuition reimbursement agreement and registered for my first classes!

I’ve now been in school since the Fall of 2008 and I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. I still have a year or more of courses (I’m taking things slow, just one course at a time) but I know I’ll be graduating before I know it. The program I’m in is so perfect for what I want to do, because the thing is, I still don’t know exactly what I want to do. My program is exposing me to organizations and people that inspire me and I'm gaining skills and knowledge that I can apply to ANY non-profit I work for. I’m learning about fundraising, advocacy, boards, grants, foundations, volunteer management and more. My classmates and instructors have such great insight and experience to share and our classes are highly interactive. No boring 400-student lectures!

I expect that the work I’ll be doing in 20 years will probably be something I had no idea I’d end up with, but I believe this education will help me no matter where I go. I’m really excited for my future – I finally feel as though I’ve found my specific way to help people. I won’t be roaming the world looking for people to save, at least not until my kids are grown. But I can help people here in my community, and I can help others go out into the world and make a difference.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

no class = i get to go to trivia!!

Hi all, We lost our title last week. Hurts doesn’t it?

It was like the beginning of Rocky III when Balboa was viciously defeated by Clubber Lang, played convincingly by Mr. T. Rocky lost something bigger too: his manager, Mick, and his confidence. It took the return of his old nemesis, Apollo Creed, and the devotion of his wife Adrian for Rocky to once again believe in himself.

You remember the scene on the beach when Rock professed to Adrian that he was afraid of Clubber? Well, that still gets me and is perhaps the most poignant moment in film history. She believed in him and so began the famous “Gonna Fly Now” Training Montage for the third consecutive movie.

That montage has begun for us. All are invited to join us on this crusade for redemption. The category tonight is fitting: The Oscars. The film “Rocky” was one of the greatest upsets in Academy Award history when it won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1976. Let us carry on this tradition.

Awesome Co-worker

UPDATE: VICTORY!!!!!!! I would like to think that my immediate recognition of Belinda Carlisle's "Mad About You" during the Name That Tune round is what put us over the edge. Thank you. Wait, I mean, You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ignoring a problem won't make it go away - Take 2

Yesterday, after reading My Sister's Farmhouse's new post on how Christian Private schools are just a euphmism for White Flight, I got all hot under the collar and posted about how Pioneer Woman's plans for teaching diversity to her chidlren were just wrong. They were wrongity wrong. Oh, and also? THEY WERE WRONG!!!!!

The comments at MSF devolved, oh, how they devolved. And some real racists came out. Of course, most people today don't look at them as racists, after all, where were their burning crosses? For example, just because they referred to non-Whites as people who have a new baby's daddy every month, that's not RACIST . . . they're just talking about their experience. Right? Anyway, reading those comments made my head explode so I had to stop.

Today I deleted my blog because it was just a rant and what good was it doing? Going back to MSF to check on the new comments ('glutton' might be my middle name) I see someone's link to their own reaction to Pioneer Woman's diversity blog, back when it was originally posted. And what she had to say, and what her commenters had to say, was everything I wanted to say yesterday, but couldn't, because my fingers wouldn't type properly (due to the rage).

So, here. Read what Megan and her friends have to say. It's what I wish I'd said.
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