Aug 102017
 

Monday morning, August 7th, started with breakfast and a meeting with Kathy (K) and Constantine. The discussion covered many topics including intern log format and resource exchanges between collaborative partners (primarily time). The discussion led to some deliverables being requested of some team members including a synopsis of the information about intern log postings on the AO website (assigned to me), a synopsis of chapters 1-7 of At Home with Holistic Management (assigned to K and I) as well as preparations of some position descriptions for collaborative partners such as the Athens Time Exchange ( http://athenstimeexchange.blogspot.com/) (assigned to me). One common theme of the deliverables was that they were to be written technically, so that the writing would be accessible, efficient, and exact as possible.

 

After the meeting, K and I headed into the woods. We spent 3 hours making our way through the woods, spotting many plant and fungi species, some of which I recognized, and some of which K taught me about. It is apparent to me that I need to keep a pocket-sized notepad with me anytime I enter the woods with K as I am certain to be exposed to a plethora of knowledge about the forest. I plan to start a forest plant and fungi journal to build my wild plant and fungi identification skills and for general reference.

I appreciated the time with K as it fulfilled some of my goals, especially in the realms of preparedness and independence by fulfilling some of my qualities of life like spending time in the woods, and learning new skills. I am hopeful that I will continue to develop a “green eye” for noticing and appreciating the intricacies of nature. The time in the woods also furthered some of the goals of the Broadwell Hill Learning Center (BWHLC) by further exploring ideas of walking meditation on the trails, signage on the trails to allow self-guided tours, and K’s role/participation in said activities.

After returning to the house and having some lunch, neighbor Diana arrived to discuss her wedding and reception/potluck and to pick a spot for the wedding ceremony, to be held at BWHLC on August 19th. K invited me along as I would likely be part of the preparations for the event. K, Diana, and I ventured into the woods, scoping out a good location for the ceremony. As we traveled along, I got to scan the woods and look for species I had learned about earlier. Diana had interests and knowledge of plant and fungi species as well; she had been mushroom hunting with a friend earlier in the day. It was motivating to have another person to exchange information with about common interests, not to mention finding a flush of Golden Chanterelle mushrooms (You can find information about Chanterelles here: https://www.mssf.org/cookbook/chanterelle.html)!

 

Aside from the time in the forest, K and I discussed the deliverables discussed at the morning meeting. We discussed what the deliverables might look like and when they might be completed. We also discussed manifesting a structured time for working on such assignments; a specific example would be having an hour on Mondays (my day delegated to BWHLC) dedicated to writing my log.

Reflecting on the day, I think it did not go exactly as planned. I do not think K or I planned to spend 3 hours on our walk in the woods as there were many projects that needed attention; however, the time was not wasted. K further imparted some of her goals and knowledge of the forest to me, helped me further flesh out some of my assignments; together, we furthered common goals. For the upcoming days, I will strive to start a plant and fungi journal, work on the deliverables identified at the morning meeting, and continue to work towards a consistent workflow for my assignments.

Mar 262017
 

Reflecting on my balance between AO and OU education this week, my OU course load might as well have set an elephant on the scale. Trying to properly immerse myself in education outside of my studies at OU really put things in perspective for me. I would open “At Home with Holistic Management” (AHWHM) only to find myself thinking about some reading I needed to do to write a paper due at the end of the week; or, I would get through a few slides of the ICS training and then remember an online discussion I had to do for another class; like an academia addict or something.

The schedule I have created for myself has limited flexibility; I have to choose what unscheduled events I participate in wisely. Looking at it from the perspective of assignments I have, in prioritizing one assignment over another I lose sight of the whole of my workload, possibly leading to one of my other classes’ assignments being neglected which could result in overcompensation the next week which could cause another class to be neglected and so on.

This week I did not manage the flexible time in my schedule optimally and have paid the price in having very limited time to read much of AHWHM or finish my ICS training. I will aim higher for next week. Planning will be key as the academic demands only increase as the end of the semester closes in.

Mar 202017
 

My mind seems to have taken a ride on a Tilt-A-Whirl. Here I was, on the road to college graduation, having no concrete employment prospects or other involvements, and then, within one short conversation with my professor, I learned about a unique opportunity that turned the tables. At first, I was interested at a base level because my first goal after graduation was finding employment; I wanted meaningful employment but that was a want. One cannot be too picky when looking for entry level jobs for recent graduates in the mainstream public and private sector.

After expressing my interest in the position, my professor put me in contact with Constantine at Athens’ Own (AO), who was advertising the position. Constantine quickly got the ball rolling. I was somewhat surprised by Constantine’s pace, criticalness, and directness. I remind you that the exchanges detailed in my first log all occurred on a Sunday from 11 in the morning until after 11 at night. I had not encountered someone with such a personality. To me, it suggested a person with passion, an unmistakable drive, and high expectations. After getting a description of the available positions and surveying the AO website, I was hooked. Meaningful employment? Check. Professional and personal development? Check, check. A chance to apply my education, continue my education, and serve the community? Check, check, and check!

Fast forward to now, and I am inundated with questions and considerations about my general future and my future in relationship with AO. In corresponding with Constantine, I quickly realized that AO was a business like no other and offered unique opportunities I would not find elsewhere. Looking over the AO website pages and interns’ logs, I get the sense that working with AO requires a lot from a person in terms of time and energy among other things. This presents a conflict within me because I am eager to continue my journey with AO but know that I must not forget my educational responsibilities at Ohio University. I need to focus on academics to uphold a strong GPA and to graduate on time in April, this is something I cannot sacrifice on. This is not to say that anyone from AO has pressured me to set my academics aside, in fact, Constantine explicitly told me that I would be working at my own pace on anything AO related until after graduation. Nonetheless, my interest has been piqued and I find myself migrating back to the AO website from my studies to learn more.

For now, I will have to still my mind so I can bring my focus back to my four-year pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. A pursuit of so much more than a piece of paper, and yet, one that climaxes with one crossing a stage with great pomp and circumstance to accept a piece of paper.