4/29/2010 09:07:00 PM

The First of Many Long Days

     Today, I drove home from Gainesville, FL to Lenoir City, TN. It was about an 8 and half hour drive. I started my day at 7:00 a.m. so I could visit some friends on the way home as well as get home at a reasonable hour. The driving was boring as usual, but I found ways to entertain myself. Mostly, I listened to the radio and sung along. About half way, I was getting tired so I stopped and took a nap. Although, it wasn’t the greatest nap because my car was full and I couldn’t spread out like I usually do when I sleep in my car.

     I stopped at Lee University in Cleveland, TN and saw a few friends. Somehow, I managed to get lost on a campus a fourth of the size of UF (I was amazed at my talent). I got a tour the campus and hung out for a while.
     Another hour of driving and I was home. I drove up the last part of my mile-long gravel and saw my new car. My parents’ rock, not only did they get me a new car, but they got a giant bow to put on top just like the car Christmas commercials. One of the first things I did was take my car for a test drive. The clutch catches at a different point than my old car, but it doesn’t make any funny noises.

4/28/2010 11:41:00 PM

Freshman No More

This is my first ever blog as a college sophomore. I have officially finished my freshman year of high school as of 2:30 p.m. today. It was excited but a reality check especially when I realized that I would be sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night.

Overall, I would say my freshman year has been a success. I have many new experiences and made so many new friends. My have kept my grades high while having fun.

Today was hectic because I had to study for my last exam and pack. The packing wasn’t hard the getting my stuff in my car was. Over this year, I seemed to acquire a lot of stuff that I didn’t have before.

4/21/2010 09:39:00 PM

End of Freshman Year

     It is hard to believe but I am done with my freshman year of college.
     This school year has flown by, looking back I have meet so many people, been some many places, and tried some new things. If you had told me last year that I would be on the fencing team and have won a medal at a collegiate completion, I would have called you crazy, but here I am a fencer and I won my first collegiate medal. I am on the sailing team, but not as an active competitor due to my lack of skippering skills and never getting a chance to practice as crew. I am member of the Society of Women Engineers.
     It seems like with very day, something new happens, some days it is meeting a couple of new people, watching something interesting happen in Turlington (a free speech zone), or just general college stuff.
     It just blows my mind that I only have 3 year of college left.

4/12/2010 10:23:00 PM

Ways College Students Find to Have Fun!!!!!

     What would you think if you say a large group of college age students wandering around campus wearing arm bands and carrying nerf guns while being chased by a horde of people decked out in fake blood and wearing head bands?
     Most people would shake their head and think “stupid crazy college students.” However, if you stopped one of those students they would tell you they are playing HVZ or Humans verses Zombies. HVZ tag like game that is played on campuses across the country. UF’s current game of HVZ last from April 5 – 11, and has 1087 players (this is approximately 2% of the student population of UF and a couple of professors). This UF’s second game of HVZ and it larger than many schools version’s of the game can hope to get.
     As you probably guessed, I am one of those “stupid crazy college students.” HVZ is the reason why I haven’t blogged for almost a week.
     Last game (UF’s 1st ever game), I was turned into a zombie very early in the game. I had so much fun being a zombie and getting to kill and eat human (kill = tagging and turning into zombie). I made 4 kills in the last game. This game the goal was to at least last the first day of the game which I have did. Actually I survived, until Friday afternoon. I was attempting to go to class by not being noticeable. They only noticed me at the very last second and it was 3 on 1. I stunned two, but the third got me. Later that day, I was cured (turned back into a human) and then re-zombiefied.
     For more information on UF’s HVZ please see the facebook group (click here) or the local college newspaper’s daily coverage (click here)

4/05/2010 10:23:00 AM

Getting the Job

     The first thing most people ask me when they find out about my job at Mount Rainier is how I got the job. Well the process is quite simple, I filled out an application. Ok, so what most people really meant when they ask how is how did I think of applying to work at a National Park. I am not sure when I got the idea, but I remember my mother suggesting that when looking for summer employment I should think about a National Park. So in January, I started to search for national park jobs. I found this website called Cool Works that compiled a list of various national park employment opportunity.
      It seemed like about half the parks in the country had employment opportunities, so I had to narrow my list of places to apply down to the bare minimum I had time to apply for.
     My list ended up including many parks I have been to and loved, a two I REALLY want to go to (Zion and Denali) and one that sounded interesting (Bryce Canyon).

  • Denali
  • Zion
  • Glacier
  • Yellowstone
  • Yosemite
  • Grand Teton
  • Rainier  
  • Olympia
  • Bryce Canyon 
     I applied to all 9 of the parks. The applications were all similar so it didn’t take me too much time. Once I had submitted the applications all I could do was wait. It was a long wait. Early March, I got a call from my mother and she told me I got an interesting envelope. It was a job offer from Yellowstone National Park. I was super excited because at that point I had been turned down my both Denali and Glacier due to my availability. Both parks need people who can stay though September and I can’t due to UF starting school on August 23, 2010.
     At this point you are probably saying to yourself, I thought she said she was working in Mount Rainier. So about a week after I get the Yellowstone Job, I get a call from Mount Rainier guest services for a phone interview. The interview goes well and a few days later I get an official job offer. So now I have two possible summer jobs and a deciding to make. Needless to say it was not a easy decision that was based on numerous factors. In the end the pros of Mount Rainier outweighed the negatives, and I chose Mount Rainier.

4/04/2010 08:32:00 AM

Hiking Boots Adventure

     For this summer, I need new hiking boot. My old ones are really only suitable for day or overnight easy hiking, and this summer I plan to hike the Wonderland Trail (94 miles) and many of the other trails in Mount Rainier. On to the adventure, Gainesville lacks a good place to buy hiking boots, and the nearest REI store is located in Atlanta, GA (4 hours drive), and the nearest Gander Mountain is in Ocala, FL (1 hour drive). So on the way to my friends house in Orlando, I was going to stop and pick up some boots. This simple plan went wrong very quickly. The first issue was a wreck on I-75, so we took the back roads to Ocala. The next issue was finding Gander Mountain. According to their website, the store was located right off the interstate. It was, but it was hidden behind a couple of building and missing a sign by the road.
     Once in the store, my boot choices were quickly narrowed down to two boots:

  • Timberland® Chocorua Trail-Hiking Boots
  • Vasque® Boreas GTX Women's Hiking Boots  
     Both boots were light weight and water proof. They were the same style boot that provided ankle support. I decided on the Timberland boots, because they were slightly lighter and had a better fit. Also, while at Gander Mountain, I got hiking socks and liners.

4/04/2010 12:06:00 AM

Thoughts of Paradise”

     “Thoughts of Paradise” has multiple meanings based on an individual’s opinion on what is paradise. For me, “Thoughts of Paradise” has two meanings. The first is that I am attending college in Florida. I am currently a freshman and soon to be sophomore at the University of Florida (UF). UF is located in Gainesville, FL which is in the heart of a state that many people consider to be paradise.
     The second and more obvious reason is my summer job. I got a job at Mount Rainier National Park. I will be working in Paradise Inn. Paradise Inn is located in Paradise Valley. I am supper excited about this job. When I applied, I figured I wouldn’t even be considered, but I was really surprised when I got the job offer. See below for where I will be working with Mount Rainier in the background.