Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivation Statement!

Alright, alright, so I have to change my deadline for when I will have this application turned in for going to Spain. I requested an official transcript today (one of the documents I need to submit), and it won't be ready until December 7th. Which I figure isn't far off, and will give whoever I decide to ask to write the letter of recommendation, some time to do so. 

I thought I would share with you all another little part of the application. I was instructed to write, in 300 words or less, a statement that explains my motivation for wanting to participate in the program. And since I will be taking all of you along for this lovely ride, I figured you might want to know also! So without further a due, here is my motivation statement...

             I was blessed enough to be able to take my third year of university abroad in Bilbao, Spain, where I lived and studied for nine months. During that time I developed strong and real relationships with locals in Spain, as well as the other countries that I traveled. I gained a more global perspective, appreciation for all the differences in life, and realization of just how great and big the world around me is. Ever since my return to the United States I’ve known that my time abroad isn’t over quite yet.

Deep down I know that there is more for me to accomplish before I can be satisfied and settled in the U.S. I did not master Spanish in the way I expected, and need to go back so I can become fluent. Submersion is the key to learning a language and this program provides the perfect opportunity for me to do so. As well as a desire to become bilingual, studying abroad left me with a hunger for travel and thirst for culture. There is nothing in the world like learning about someone else’s culture and experiencing it.

I want to be involved in this program in order to share my language and culture with the students in the way that everyone I met abroad did with me. I think that when we have experienced other cultures and understand them, we develop respect for them. This respect is invaluable because it will help a person to be open-minded. With all that is going on in the world, we need to teach the young minds to appreciate and accept different languages, cultures, and people. I want to make a positive change in the world and help bring people together through learning about one another.

Enjoy the rest of your night, or day depending on where in the world you are reading this :) 

Today's Quote: "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -Mark Twain

"Art After Dark" at the Guggenheim Museum, one of my first weekends in Bilbao

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Casi, Casi

I should probably begin by explaining the chosen title for this entry... 

"Casi" in Spanish means "almost," and has been chosen for tonight's title because I am CASI done with my application for NALCAS (North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain)!!! YAY!! After much procrastination and internal debate, I am finally almost finished with the thing and can then wait, impatiently, to hear about my acceptance. I have just a few things more to do, but hope to have it all completed by the end of the week (I am giving myself till the end of the week because part of the application involves submitting a reference letter, the writer of which is still undecided). 

ADD Drift: Is it appropriate to ask someone (who I would like to write the letter) on a scale of 1-10, would they make me seem like an 11, or below a 7? I assume so, but since I tend to go against the grain and do things in an unconventional way, I can also assume that when I decide to ask my professor, I will also ask where he would rank me. Whoops ahead of time? I think not! ;)

And here we go...

I would like to start by saying that I think I owe it to my vision board that I have become so directed! (Either that, or my medication has been in my bloodstream for enough days that it actually is having an affect?) No matter where the credit be due, I am happy as a clam that I feel so "on track!" And what you may wonder is a vision board? The answer is simple! I got the idea from the ABC show "Happy Endings," a truly wonderful and comic show I might add! 

ADD Drift: Simply writing the three letters "a" "d" and "d" next to one another only make me think of attention deficit disorder/A.D.D., and not the word "add." I read it as "a" "d" "d," and am left feeling strange, like I am referring to my blog or something. Therefore, I will probably make my use of the word "add" very minimal in order to avoid getting bugged out in my own head.

Back to the explanation of a vision board... What you do is take a poster board of some sort, and on it you put pictures or words of the things that you want for/in your future. It is supposed to give you some sort of visual inspiration, and ultimately the goal is for everything on the board to come true. And this ladies and gentleman, is mine!!

Quite a beauty, ain't she? ;) But really, I've pinned it to the ceiling right above my bed... That way, every night when I go to sleep, and every morning when I wake up, and any random time I check the vent to ensure that it is pumping out heat (when we actually decide to start using the dang thing), I will see it and be reminded of the things I want in my life (at least the things I want in my life this week.. =/). Pero en serio (but seriously), every time I look at it I get this feeling within that just lets me know:

  • I have a plan
  • I have goals
  • And I will accomplish everything I want to in this life! 
  • As well as remind me that I want to make a positive change in the world and help guide it into a peaceful direction. 

I highly suggest this approach to anyone who is feeling a little confused, lost, defeated, unsure, or even if you think you are completely satisfied with your life-- MAKE A VISION BOARD! Maybe it works so well for me because I am an avid list maker and love to watch the things on my "to do" list dwindle away as I ferociously cross them off (sometimes ferociously, others with a smug look of satisfaction as though to say, "HAHA, item! I have taken care of you!").

Yes, yes dear friends, life is good. I feel good and am keeping negative thoughts at bay. Even though finals are upon us and I have a term paper due on Thursday, I am cool as a cucumber and know that everything will work out. I just can't think about the term paper, or the fact that I have yet to even figure out a book to write about and read. YIKES! But it is alright, I have the best teammate around, and He and I will conquer all! 

But now, Dan Gibson's "European Spa" CD has come on my iTunes, and I am drifting away to the land of waterfalls, pianos, and harps! Good night my avid readers, and thank you as always for the soon-to-come support :)

Today's Quote: "Life is good with God!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Absolutely Wretched.

Alright, so I'm not sure why I am soooo incredibly bad at this whole blogging thing, other than to say that, I am living my life, and doing it in quite a lazy fashion. I will be setting a new goal for myself, and that is to write a new blog entry simply once a week (which in Allison-land, means we're lucky to get one every two). I am going to mark it on my calendar, and try to put out a new post every Sunday. Sunday will become my day of accomplishments (pending my weekly-changing work schedule). 

ADD Drift: Growing up I went to summer camp and we were instructed to create a "camp name." These names were supposed to include our real names somehow, but be creative and made-up. I went into the first day of my first year with no camp name, but was given one on my first night by a fellow, and might I add, more creative camper. She deemed me "Allison-Wonderland," coming from none other than "Alice in Wonderland." I never could have known how appropriate this would prove to be to my life, since I tend to live in "wonderland" and "Allison-land." And now back on track!
Update: Currently I am back on my ADD medication! But fear not, the ADD drifts and randomness that is my life will not fade! I have got to finish out the semester strong and focused, and trying to do so without my meds was proving not to be the wisest of choices. So it has been one week (perhaps two??), and I am not sure how much of a difference I feel. Although I'm sure it would help if I could remember to take it every day. Am I sounding like an 80-year old? Because I certainly have been feeling like one! My mind has left me and become a jumbled mess of fairy tales, dreams, and a constant shift in what I would like to do with my future. 

My current conclusion: Be a travel writer/blogger! And then form an organization whose purpose is to help other people and make a positive change/difference in the world!

I presume that there are many of you out there, hanging on my every word, depressed beyond belief when I take my 3 week leaves and give you nothing, but ecstatic and loving me right back once I give you something to read. (As we can see, I like to use my imagination, but hey, what is life without dreams!?) So it is you that I will depend on to help me gain fame and recognition, which will ultimately help me gain funding to do charitable work with my life. And as I have decided that there are without a doubt many of you out there wondering what I will do with my life, here you go! The following would be my ideal future (at least for the next few years):

1) Finish everything I need to for school and pass those classes! Included in this is to finally finish my application for Profex (being a teaching assistant in Spain).

2) Save tons of CHEDDA!

I have big plans and they are going to require some capital! I will be done with school in 3 short weeks, and plan to work full-time and save up as much as I can (for the rest of my big plan, of course)!

3) Leave in July for SPAIN! I will begin the hunt for an apartment, and get myself settled in. 

4) Attend TOMORROWLAND in BOOM, Belgium from Friday, July 27-Sunday, July 29!!! Now listen here faithful followers, this is the music festival of all music festivals! I know we in the U.S. have EDC, LovEvolution, Coachella, Ultra, and many, many more, but Tomorrowland is truly special. In a similar fashion to Burning Man, they create a whole new world. And since I plan to be living in Europe in the upcoming year anyways, I figure I might as well get there early, enjoy the European summer, and hit up one of the most epic festivals to hit planet earth!

5) Come October, I will (and please note, that here I would put "hopefully," but as I intend to make all of this happen, I will not be using that word, as it implies a chance of these glorious things not happening) be an English teaching assistant to some cute lil Spanish munchkins (not to imply they are of short-stature)! 

And finally, this will all coincide with my blogging. Which will be about the places I go, the people of those places, their cultures, food, and I will likely use an annoying amount of photos. I will use photos to depict the beauty of the places I see, as well as share some of the sadness. I realize that sharing sad images is not really a conventional way to gain a following, but I have a much larger goal and aspiration: WORLD PEACE.

Call me crazy, but I am determined to do what I can to help guide this wonderful world in a more peaceful and loving direction :) 

So within my traveling and what-not-ing, I hope to connect with people who have the common hope of making a positive difference in the world. (Attention TOMS and similar organizations: If you are reading this, I LOVE what you're doing and would love even more to be a part of it-- HIRE ME!?!)

And now that I have laid it all out, while I feel as though I could continue to write for a while, I will end this entry, and carry the joy of writing into a new day, not one that is 3 weeks away! 

Today's quote comes straight to us from Tomorrowland itself: "Yesterday is history. Today is a gift. Tomorrow is a mystery."


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anyone Alive Out There?

Oh my lanta (as my dear friend, Courtney, would say)! It has been quite a while since I have created a new post. I realize that this is certainly not the way to be a successful blogger, but geez, did school catch up and take over for a bit there! This week I had 3 exams, 2 quizzes, a presentation, and 2 homework assignments! PHEW, it's almost over! And when it is, my aforementioned friend will be in Chico for a weekend full of play time and fun! She is returning from Florida, where she now lives and acts as a "grown up." If you can really call doing an internship at Walt Disney World adult. Ah, we can, but resist to do so because of the immense feelings of jealousy we have that it is not us who gets to go work in the magical land every day!

With thoughts of last weekend (Halloweekend), this weekend that is soon to commence, and next weekend (Tahoe trip w/ about 25) filling my head, it is a wonder and a half that I was even able to scrape by in the last couple of weeks!

Halloweekend, now renamed All-Hallows-Geek-in-d, was quite an event! I wish that I had my trip odometer set so I could give you the exact amount of miles that I drove in the 4.5 days period, but here is what happened:
  • Left Chico on Thursday afternoon after a job try-out (and yes, don't fret my friends, I DID get the yob:) and drove to SF. It was here that I reunited with my BFF lovebug from high school and went out for sushi/drinks with her and a few others. The night was incredible! So full of fun and laughter, just what the doctor ordered after the stressful week that had been. And such a lovely reminder of why she is my OG (in this case, ORIGINAL) loverrrr! But all good things must come to an end, and so we move on to Friday.
  • Picked Molly up at the BART station and we left at 7 AM (!!!!!!) for Santa Barbara! Amazed that we actually rallied and got our butts on the road at the early time we had hoped, but we did it, and it was glorious! No traffic (thank you, carpool lane!), and made it into SB by 12:30, where we spent the day enjoying the sun, looking at the wild people of the city partying, and making Molly and Dani's costumes for the following night.
  • It was later that night that we left for LA, went and stayed with my wonderful friend downtown, watched him DJ at a Halloween party, and woke up and left LA for San Bernardino at 10:30!
  • Made it to San Bern, got ready for the rave, and then went on to enjoy one of the most incredible nights any of us had had in too long, at Escape From Wonderland!

What an awesome group, eh? We saw ourselves some Thomas Gold, Steve Angello, Paco Osuna, Benny Benassi, Afrojack, Pendulum, R3hab, Dash Berlin, Dimitri Vega & Like Mike, ATB, Moguai, Tritonal, and Cedric Gervais (in no particular order). It was a night to be remembered forever. So many positive vibes and smiles! A night that we will want to re-live for years to come!  The crowd was incredible, and I was so pleased not to run into anyone who was there to cause trouble and be a total pain in the arse. The feeling that night was one of happiness, joy, and the most important things..peace and love :) 

  • After the rave, we went back to our friends' hotel to hang out and wind down before making the drive back to LA. Sadly, when we left to return to LA, we hit some serious traffic that was the result of a MAJOR car accident. We watched from a distance as someone was airlifted by a helicopter and rushed to emergency care. Those involved are still very much in my heart and prayers, and I hope so much that you have come out strong! But after much traffic and stopping, we made it to Glendale at 6am! Woo! Showered, chilled, slept. 
  • Woke up at 13:30, got ready, got food, and hit the road once more back to SB to drop off Dani. Then onto Lafayette, and finally back to the city where it all started, SF for one more night of sleep and hang-time with close friends.
And now we are here, back in Chico, living life, excited and happy about what has happened, and what is to come. But now my dear friends, I must end this post, as my class is going to be over soon ;)

Today's quote: "But when you get music and words together, that can be a very powerful thing." -Bryan Ferry

Have a great day, and I will become more consistent with my posts (this week's goal:)