Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's getting better all the time


Today was my second day at work for South Seattle Community College (SSCC) International Programs (IP) office. From 8am to 1pm I was training to run the front desk, answer inquiries, file paperwork, and learning FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, I think). I have never felt so welcome at a place of employment quite like the welcome I felt here. In the afternoon my coworker came in and he and I took 3 international students on an outing to Bite of Seattle, a food festival at the Seattle Center showcasing local eateries, bands, and artisans.  It was a wonderful day and I know I'm really going to enjoy this place when fall quarter comes and everything picks up again.

I'm still adjusting to this place.  Zach is doing better than me. I just have to be so damn emotional and have this insatiable urge to feel "at home." It'll come soon enough, but I have to work for it by putting myself out there and gaining some self confidence.

We got some rain today; something I really should try and become more familiar with. I somehow got rid of every waterproof clothing item I ever had before we moved out here. Yesterday I managed to find 2 nice shirts and a blazer I can wear to work at the thrift store; I was ecstatic because I really needed some more dress clothes. If only I got lucky there more often! It's always hit or miss, you have to be patient when you shop there. Though it can be a fun game, you can't rarely accomplish a specific clothing mission there.


Di and Mitch, on their way out to California, are stopping in Seattle today! I think we're going to take them to the Bite of Seattle event that I went to yesterday for work. They'll like it, I'm sure. Free food and entertainment, where can you go wrong? I actually really enjoyed myself there; there is so much food to try and lots to look at. The Seattle Center is a fantastic place to put on events. Summer here is THE BEST; there are festivals every weekend and always things to do! Today at the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park they have free yoga on the lawn at 10:30 as well as a free sketch class where they supply you with what you need to learn to draw in the park.

I just have to go back to talking about my job at SSCC to say how much I really am going to love it. I'm back in event planning and I'm going to be making a positive impact on the lives of international students there. And for an amazing pay, that I feel that I'll hardly deserve! I'm grateful for this wonderful opportunity with them :)

Things are going to start picking up for me. Sunday I'm going to Alki Beach with my future supervisor of my graduate assistantship along with two NUFP (NASPA undergraduate fellowship program) interns. We're going to get some lunch and then he's going to show us the beach. I guess there is a little statue of liberty there? The following weeks are mostly full of my 17 max hours at SSCC (or at whatever venue the event is that we take students too). My graduate assistantship is going to start 2 weeks early so that I can gain experience working with the Fukuoka program. The program brings I think around 30 japanese students from Fukuoka University over here for two weeks to study, experience the surrounding area, and practice their English. At the end of the academic year, I will be helping plan the program with my supervisor. I'm really looking forward to it!

Also, I have been looking at LOTS of programs abroad.


I kept putting off posting this post so I kept getting time frames confused and I have no idea what tense to write in, haha!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blood, sweat, and tears

Our first 5 weeks in Seattle haven't been 100% blood, sweat, and tears, but if you asked me how I felt about moving the day before we left St. Cloud, you would have found me curled up in a ball on the floor of our empty closet with wet, swollen eyes sobbing about how we're not going to make it.

Looking back on August of 2008, the days before I left New Berlin, Wisconsin for St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, I cannot recall how I felt about the whole thing. There was so much to prepare for in the days leading to my departure that by now everything in my memory is a blur. The only thing I remember is the moment I hugged my parents goodbye on campus; I saw their eyes getting wet and as they turned away, my own tears started flowing without my consent. I turned around and looked at Mitchell Hall, my new home, and never felt so alone in my life. There was not one person in the entire city who's name I knew besides my roommate's.

Four years of SCSU later I found myself with quality friendships, multiple jobs, internships, and a husband. Everything worked out. That first year was hard, and so was the last year, but everything worked out. I have to remember that while I'm in Seattle. I have to remember that every time that we move (because we plan on moving around a lot).

Tomorrow marks 5 weeks here. Yesterday, I was offered two part-time positions in my field. One is a graduate assistantship at Seattle University with the International Student Center and the other position is the Activities and Events Coordinator with South Seattle Community College.  I am delighted that my hard work and dedication paid off. Of course, I couldn't have done it with a little help from some new friends. Melissa was a girl in my summer class; she let me know about the International Student Center deciding to hire a second graduate assistant because she works there as one. Lindsey, another girl in my summer class, actually works in the same office at South Seattle Community College, where I got my position, and put in good words for me. Thank you so much, you two! I appreciate your help and support.

Tonight we're going out for food and drinks, partially because I haven't seen people from my class in a while, partially because I want to go out and celebrate getting job(S)!

It's been such a productive week, I feel incredible. My Google calendar is filling up nicely again. Remember this?
August 2011 - May 2012: Every waking second I either worked or did homework.
Yeah I don't ever want to go back to that. But the past 5 weeks my Google Calendar has been anxiety-provoking-ly EMPTY. I'll have to remember to keep a healthy balance. Being under-involved makes me lonely, being overly-involved makes me crazy. Two jobs, grad school, and a few volunteer hours each week should keep me well balanced, I think.

Going back to the post title: blood, sweat, and tears. I shed so many tears in the past few months. In May it was because of all the difficult goodbyes I had to face, in June it was because I lacked hope and felt in dispair without friends or an income. It's July now and my blood, sweat, and tears have pulled through for me with jobs and new friends. I'm so fortunate and grateful that things are working out. Now if only an employer would see Zach's resume and recognize his genius and glory so we're both employed!

Today I have some appointments on campus and I'm going to take care of some things there. Tomorrow I head over to South Seattle Community College to fill out some hiring paperwork. I start next week at SSCC and my first day at the ISC at SU is August 27! I'm proud of myself.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Catie listens to the Internet again!

So I know nothing about beauty products. Well, next to nothing. I came across my friend Addi's new beauty blog today and watched her first video (which was 20 minutes long, mind you.) She has beauty products I've never even heard of that does things to certain layers of skin, certain parts of you, whatever that I didn't know people ever did before. Does this mean I'm super behind on this, "maybe I should start taking care of my skin and spending better money on make-up so I don't look 60 when I'm 40" thing?

Anyway, what I'm about to post pictures of has nothing to do with that.

I've been on a role when it comes to listening to the Internet, which ironically has stemmed from the fact that I wanted to spend less time derping around on the Internet. By listening to it I'm doing the crafts and recipes from the bookmarks I've made or whatever I've Stumbled Upon lately rather than drooling over pages of Tumblr and bookmarking more crafts I'll never do until I stay away from the Interwebz.

Today, after I failed at dying my hair dark auburn brown,

I remembered a tutorial I had seen for making wings on your eyelids with eyeliner. You can tell I'm a noob from the way I described the thing. Anyway I never wear liquid eyeliner except for special occasions but I wanted to try this technique I saw

First I taped my eyes like a derpette.
Then I abused the advantage of the tape and sloppily swapped on some liquid eyeliner, going a little past the edge of my eye

Took the tape of and voila! Beautiful winged eyeliner. Is this how everyone does it? Because I couldn't do this look without the tape...

Ta-da! Experimentation got Catie to actually spend time on make up today! Confidence boost, aww yeah.

The fact that I've been posting on Blogger a lot means I have way too much free time on my hands. Every day we get outside and walk around for whatever reason, which is great, but I still need some kind of purpose! I'm excited though that we'll start volunteering more soon :)

Ish is actually coming back to our place on Wednesday and then flying back to Minneapolis sometime at the end of the week. I'm excited to hang out with him again!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Catie does DIY!

I was Stumbling my life away this beautiful Sunday morning instead of being outside on this day of perfect weather when I came across a Do-It-Yourself blog post to make a braided top similar to this one offered at Banana Republic.

Whenever Catie comes across a cute and easy DIY project, she usually can't resist. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but every few months this will happen to me where I suddenly go from surfing the Internet to cutting up t-shirts and usually the project ends up looking sloppy because I'm just so excited to finish and wear it.

One time I cut up a t-shirt I bought in PerĂº and made myself wear it for at least a day. I never wore the shirt before because it fit me so awkwardly, and I told myself that if I cut it up and made myself wear it once, it's better than sitting in my closet for the rest of forever...
May 13th, 2011. The last time I cut up a t-shirt, not including the one I cut the sleeves off of to wear to the gym.

So anyway, I've held onto a few of Zach's t-shirts that he was going to get rid of over the past few years, and today I decided to cut one up and make it look just as perfect as the braided shirt picture above.

I started by cutting off some of the neck. Looking back I wish I had made it lower, or maybe into more of a v-neck shape (I live in hipster-city these days, why shouldn't I have some v-necks?).
cool shirt, right?!
Then, following the instructions from the original blog post I stumbled upon, I cut some slits near the collar.
Maybe I should have washed it first.
Then it was time to do the "braiding." The braiding was more like looping you did when you were younger to make other DIY things I can't remember right now.

close up of the braided collar

it changed the shape of the shirt, that's for sure. I had to use some safety pins to secure both ends of the braid, later I'm going to purchase some black thread so I can sew it and it doesn't look like I'm a desperate 12 year old goth with safety pins in my clothing to make me look tough.

I hate t-shirt sleeves. They're at an awkward length for my arms. I had to figure out something to do to these sleeves. I started by cutting off the hem.
Then I followed a different t-shirt modification tutorial and cut a slit down the sleeve following the seam from the shoulders, then tied the end.

Now it looks like this:
I really hate those safety pins. I need some thread asap.
So later I asked this anonymous girl to model the shirt for me. This is how it looks on someone:

Since I didn't modify how the shirt fit around the chest and stomach, it's a little baggy/frumpy, but I will save that project for another day.
It was kinda fun. I've always wanted to modify my t-shirts. I wish I didn't have to get rid of so many before we moved to Seattle, because I would have SO MANY to chose from now if I didn't! I'm thinking when I have a steady income I'll start picking up some t-shirts from thrift stores, where I primarily do my clothes shopping in the first place.

I know!
I'm going to put out an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone has lots of t-shirts to get rid of. It's perfect! I can help someone else get rid of stuff they don't need, and I won't be upset if I mess up modifying a shirt because it wasn't one I paid for or care much about! I hope I get some responses.

Today Zach and I are going to stop by the farmer's market they have in Capitol Hill. I'm excited to see what they'll have. Then we're going to check out the Urban Craft Uprising event going on at the Seattle Center's Exhibition center. We've been so grateful the weather has been beautiful; even spent most of yesterday outside, exploring! Seattle summers are jus too perfect: no humidity, no scorching heat, just beauty.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Very Good Things

I had been talking to my friend Ish over the past week because he told me he sent a package to Seattle and wanted to make sure we got it. Yesterday he texts me saying the package should arrive that day. I checked the mail around noon and nothing was in yet. Later in the afternoon he calls me and says "I just got a call confirming that your package has been delivered!" On my way downstairs, assuming he really wants me to grab the package and call him back to tell him what I think, I notice a group of people standing outside the main entrance. After the realization clicked, I stopped dead in my tracks when I recognized that hair, that voice, that stance: SURPRISE! Ish was on my doorstep! He road tripped out here with two of his friends, all the way from Minnesota. 

As silly as I felt I couldn't help but cry when we greeted. He's the first person who has visited us out here in Seattle, and the first person to remind me that we aren't so alone. It feels so incredibly comforting to have someone from home out here with us because something in this giant, scary city is finally familiar to me.

Ish's surprise wasn't the only great thing that has happened to me lately. I had a phone interview and an in-person interview with one of the centers on campus regarding a graduate assistantship. The phone interview could have gone a lot better, but I believe the in-person interview went very well and I'm really hoping I get this position! It encompasses a lot of my passions for programming and international education. Cross your fingers for me! I have another interview next week for a position in a nearby community college, also.

In other news, I had my last day of summer class today: I'm officially done with my first graduate level course! I cannot wait to dive into my fall classes so I can learn about student development theory and foundations of student affairs. According to my classmates my fall schedule will be quite a full one, but I think I'm prepared for the challenge.

Establishing a new life in Seattle has been much harder for me than I expected. I say I like change, but it has never been an easy thing for me to deal with. Turns out being a shy extrovert in a city with a reputation called The Seattle Freeze puts me at a disadvantage for making friends as well. I know I just have to give it some more time. I know that when school and/or work start up it can only get easier.

Zach and I decided to start volunteering in order to spend our time more meaningfully while we're unemployed. Two weeks from now we're volunteering for a conference about social media and non profit organizations. I'm looking forward to it!

I have to say how gosh darned happy I am that my friends Lars and Addi are getting married. I have so much respect for that gregarious, unforgettable man and I have no doubt he picked the affable goddess of gorgeousness for a wife. Those two apparently started some wedding planning today because this undeserving-flattered-grateful girl is going to be in Addi Always-Beautiful's wedding party. You two are peanut butter and jelly; everyone who looks at you must know you're perfect for each other. Lars, I'm so glad I met you a few years ago. I'm so happy to be taking part in this part of your life!