Friday, April 30, 2010

"You only sign your first lease once!"

Today was quite a wonderful day. My future roommates and I signed the lease for the townhouse that is in the neighborhood that we have wanted to live in since about December.

And it actually happened.

It's not the original unit that we thought we were going to get. But, it'll do. This is the place. It's a two bedroom, three bathroom, two story, huge dining area, two car garage place.
That window is of the living room. A nice little sun area. Except, that faces the North. So it really won't be shining in that much.
These are my roommates. Ash, Meghan, Megan and Me. (I just love the timer feature on cameras.)
Yes. I'm living with two girls with the same name. Do you know how confusing conversations have already gotten? It just reminds me of Recess with all the Ashley's. (SCAAAANDALOUS - Did anyone else watch that show? It was my favorite.)

This is me signing my part of the lease. Ashley took the photo. She almost takes as many photos as I do. And if you know me, that means that she takes a lot of photos then.
My friend Jenny asked me later if I made it all pretty and special. I didn't. Fail for me. So she says back to me "Jaaaane! you only sign your first lease once!" It made me laugh. (Oh, Jenny. You make my heart so happy.)
Anyway, getting this place has been a huge stressor in my life. I'm glad I can finally say that I have the key. Now its just the moving in part.
Technically, I'm really not living there this summer since I will be in Chicago, but for the time being I'm moving my stuff there. But its finals week next week. And in one of my classes....I have three finals: Online scenario exam, lab practical and written test. Oh and also a thirty something page paper. And then I have two other relatively big finals. So about that moving in....
It's not really going to happen till next weekend. Perfect. Glad we got the keys.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free is relative.

Monday was one of the best days of my life. I went to Starbucks and they let me pick a free pound of coffee. One that I could take home. And consume on my own time.

Except really it wasn't free.

They had this promotion that if for eight weeks you tried their BOLD pick of the week then you get a sticker. And at the end, if you had all the stickers, you got a free pound of coffee.
Well, Monday I went in and bought my last grande drip bold coffee, (with room for cream) and they said go pick your coffee.
And then I started thinking about it. Because let's see for eight weeks I bought a grande coffee. And then I just love their Asiago bagels, so when I was looking not only for a wake up drink but also a snack, I would add on one of those tasty eatings. And then because I can't just show up to class with Star Star without asking some of my classmates if they either want to join me or if they want me to pick something up for them. So that adds another drink to the tab some of the time. And because some of the weeks, I really liked the bold coffee, I would come in multiple times.
So really after eight weeks, we're looking at a $70 dollar free pound of coffee.
Ok, $70 is a bit of an exaggeration. But you get the idea.
Marketing. Advertisements. Consumer Behavior. Gotta love it.

Here I am with my pound of coffee. It has made quite delicious mornings these past two days.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


So lately I have been reading a lot of books. The current book is called Never a City So Real by Alex Kotlowitz. I just finished it. Its about different individuals that live and breathe in Chicago. There's a steel worker and a restaurant owner and others. Kotlowitz followed them around for a few days and just writes what it is like to be in their shoes. What they do, how they feel about certain politics, their dreams for their kids, and so on.

One of the people Kotlowitz writes about is an artist by the name of Robert Guinan.
These are two of his paintings. He's in his sixties (maybe seventies) and has been painting for a while. He draws the people of the city. But he wasn't appreciated in Chicago, where he was born and raised. In fact he is more known overseas in France.
This is one of his stories from the book:
"During the ceremony, the minister told a story about a boy who saw a lightning bug. The boy wondered why the lightning bug lit up like that, so he asked his father. His father, who wasn't an educated man, could only think to reply, 'It's just something in him.' Then the minister went on. 'People ask us why we sing, why we shout, why we fall out? It's just something in us.'"
Why are some people teachers and others counselors or journalists or pastors or anything? It is just something in us. We can't stop being us. We try and then we sometimes end up being happy.
I was talking to my mom today about vacations. I brought up what I heard Erwin McManus said via a podcast "People love vacations because they hate their jobs." We have this 'American dream' mentality to achieve success so we end up doing things that we don't necessarily enjoy or fully love.
When people ask my why I do my job, I want to be able to say because I love it and it's in me. I don't want to say "To pay the bills."

P.S. Exactly six weeks till I leave for Chicago.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not Managing Risk

My school's weight room/fitness center is nothing to write home about. But I have come to love its quirks and look forward to my daily workouts. However, there are days when it is kind of frustrating to be in there.
As some of you may know, I have been given clearance to start running. I don't run everyday because I don't want to overdue it and hurt it again. But today, as I was walking out my apartment I grabbed my brace because I deemed today to be a running day.
Before I go on, I need to describe our gym a little more. There are two sides. I personally like to call the fitness side the girl's side and the actual weight side the boy's side. Even though both sides are co-ed, it generally doesn't feel like it. But on the boys side there is adequate space to do plyometrics and ab workouts so I, myself, frequent the boys side. I also use the leg press. And sometimes the weights when I'm feeling confident enough to be surrounded by football players that actually know what they are doing.
My daily workout starts with a bike ride, then I do some resistance exercises (that are conveniently located on the girls side) and then I venture over to the boy's side. Today I decided to do some box jumping and an ab workout. And then go back to the girls side to use the wonderful treadmills.
Except, those treadmills aren't so wonderful.
(One of them is pictured above. This picture is from an earlier group assignment about a fitness program - gotta love my major.)
There are a total of seven treadmills. Yeah, they don't all like to work. After all my working out, I put on my lovely, fashionable brace and set out to nab a treadmill. I usually am able to go at a time when its not so busy, but today that was not the case. Because all the working treadmills were taken.
Except for the one that rocks.
So I decide to just go on the elliptical and wait. But some homegirl totally got there first as another individual was getting off.
Now, I set out to this workout to get a run in. You're probably asking, well, Jane, why not just go run outside? Yes. I did think of that. But I really wasn't feeling it.
So I made my way over to the rocky treadmill and became determined to try and not get it to rock so much. There are towels that are there for cleaning so I grabbed two and wedged them under two of the points. Problem solved!
Except, not really.
But I just started running anyway. I found that if I ran in the front right corner, it didn't rock so much. So for the majority of the run, I was there.
And then came the eighteenth minute. And I might have gone a little too far to the right. And my foot might have stepped on the non moving part of the treadmill. And I might have stumbled big time.
But because of my sometimes amazing athleticism, I was able to catch myself before I face planted on the handle in front of me.
And, what's the best part is that the treadmill that I was on, was conveniently located in the back. So no one saw. And no one was walking back. It was perfect. Except, my knee twinged. Like there wasn't any pain or anything. It just felt weird. So my run was cut short and I walked the remaining time.
Risk management is one facet of athletic training that we often talk and joke about. In this case, I realized I really wasn't managing risk. I don't think I would ever let any of my athletes go on a shaky treadmill. In fact, I know there will never be a shaky treadmill in any facility I may work at - high school, college, rehab clinic, somewhere over seas - no where.
And oddly I still love our ghetto gym. I'm just now going to plan more on times when no one is there. So I can have my pick.
The end.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Boys and girls.

(I don't usually blog this much. But my new resolve is to blog more. Maybe once a day. .. Nah, I don't think I have enough thoughts or happenings in my life to write about. )

But here's a new thought of mine.

I had a conversation the other day with a male friend. He's a football player and we're friends. We connected because he tore his ACL and I re-tore mine and we ended up having surgery the same day: me in Riverside and this guy up in Oregon. Now we sometimes work out together because we had a bet about who would rehab faster. Meaning who would start running first.

I won.

But anyway.

I asked him the other day "So why don't you have a girlfriend?"

He replied "They're a waste of time."

I gave him that look that I'm sometimes really good at.

He laughed and said "Ok not really. But I don't really know myself yet. And I can't really even take care of myself. And really why do I need one?"

I just changed the subject before he could ask me and I would have to give some pathetic reason because if it was up to me I wouldn't be single.

But it got me thinking. I guess I just finally realized that males and females see relationships in such different ways. Like, I always knew this and there are those books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus but those are books. This guy is not in a hurry to get a girlfriend. He doesn't need that companionship that girls -ok I won't speak for all girls, but I know its true for me- crave and want and cherish.

Honestly, life is so simple being single. Don't have to worry about making time for the guy. I can focus on school and athletic training and friends. But when I see how happy my sisters are and how they are living their life with the person they love, it just hits me that I don't have that yet.

So talking to this guy totally made me wake up about it all though. And it also semi-temporarily made me hate on all guys for that night. They really are just so clueless about the anguish they cause when they smile and laugh with us. But to them, its not even that big of a deal. So I'm done. Just done.

I'm also so ready for Chicago this summer.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh yes.

"If people don't have food to eat, we have to give it to them. And if they can't read, we must teach them how. If they don't have jobs, we must help them find work. This is not the 'social' gospel; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ, who said 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, and I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink' (Matthew 25:35). We have been called to make disciples of all people. Discipleship is not just about memorizing Bible verses. From a biblical perspective, discipleship is about helping people to be whole, to be restored to the image of God in which they were created."
-Wayne Gordon, Real Hope in Chicago.

I love this.

Today, I had a good talk with one of my friends about Jesus. He had just gotten back from Mexico and he said that he really wants to start changing his life around. It made me reminisce on all the times I was so blessed to go to Mexico with my church. It really was a great experience of just going down there for a week and building a house for a really deserving family.

I really hope this guy isn't just going to forget. Its so easy to have the high. But then the lure of society makes us forget what we learn.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I let myself forget.

Two summers ago (2008) I had the fantastic opportunity to go to Louisiana for six weeks and work at a summer day camp. Most of the kids were African American. In fact, there were probably a total of 2 white kids at the camp. Not being there in the moment, I can say that I loved every minute of it.
But when I was there, there were hard days. It was challenging because the group I went with had expectations of what it "should" have been like. And that is not what happened. We had to step outside of our comfort zones and honestly I held on to my pride way too much during this experience.

Some days were hard though because being one of the white people in this group I was always told that I had the "good" hair. And it just broke my heart that society has placed such emphasis on white being what is the normal beauty.
These were my constant companions for six weeks. They made me rethink the stereotypes that exist.
I fell in love on this trip. I fell in love with the kids that just wanted attention. And while it was hard and taxing, I just wanted all these kids to know that they were beautiful and loved, but I knew I couldn't get too involved because six weeks is only 42 days. And while God can flood the earth for forty days, I couldn't change the way the little kids thought about themselves in the same amount of time.
And, recently, I am realizing that I forgot all that I learned on this trip.
I'm preparing to go to Chicago this summer and they have recommended some books to read. One book is called "There Are No Children Here" by Alex Kotlowitz and "Real Hope in Chicago" by Wayne Gordon.
Kotlowitz's book follows the lives of two boys through the late 1980's in Chicago, Illinois as they grow up in the Henry Horner public housing homes. As I read through the book there were probably 20 deaths of individuals younger than 20. The squalor of where they lived would have been cause to condemn the place, but no housing authority gave a crap.
Gordon's book is about his white family living in an all African American community in Chicago (Lawndale) and starting a church and seeing a change in the community and so on. (I'm not done with this book yet, but so far I really like it).
But reading these books has made me realize how cushy my life is. I know I am more or less in a transitioning stage and really just relying on my parents as I get done with schooling. But really, what am I doing with my life? Am I going to be satisfied with the so-called "american dream" of a family, a house and a job?
Yeah. I don't know.
I'm just glad my sisters have kids so my mom won't ever need to pressure me for grandkids.