Archive for the 'college' Category

Alice and Tom

I’ve met thousands of people thanks to my new job.

But I’ve only made one person cry.

Alice.

And no, I didn’t smack her!

I just said “Goodbye.”

My boss told us before I left that the stories we would remember forever would not be scheduled. It wouldn’t be the events. It would be the random stops. The gas station visits. And the decisions we would make along the way that would bring the best surprises.

While in Madison (headquarters) we were given time to make a few hotel reservations. It takes a lot of negotiating, so as I was just learning and was quite nervous, I started with a not-so-nice hotel.

Score.

Turns out I can negotiate.

So then I think, LB just go crazy! What do you want?

I want to stay at a Bed and Breakfast.

So I call one.

I explain myself and the man on the other end pauses…

OH Shitttttttty. I am not getting this one. failing a negotiation. right. now.

“We would LOVE to have you. But, I have to ask, why did you chose us? Why here?!”

So I told him why…

I want to get to know the people of South Bend, Indiana. I am going to be traveling all over the United States this year and I want to experience new places through the people I meet.

I told him the honest truth. And it worked.

I would later get to know Tom and his wife Alice very well over a four day stay at The Oliver Inn.

Alice is an excellent cook/baker and made the BEST breakfasts. French toast, ham, banana bread, cinnamon rolls, spinach and cheese quiche and the lists goes on! ALSO! All of the bread she used in her cooking was homemade AND she let us taste test a wedding cake she was making for her son’s upcoming wedding. Red Velvet. My first red velvet experience! She even gave leftovers to her poor traveler; chicken salad sandwiches, the best Sub i have ever tasted, and veggie rollups.

When it was time to move on to the next state, I handed Alice and Tom my thank you letters and did an informal goodbye and thank you in front of the other Inn guests at breakfast. Alice shed some tears! I think it was because of her son’s upcoming wedding—not my departure! And we took a group picture.

Over talks about weddings, jobs, Sesame Street, food, and running your own business I really got to know Alice and Tom. And I really got know South Bend, IN thanks to them. I am so glad to have met them— now I know where I will stay when PSU plays Notre Dame in the future!

In front of “touchdown” Jesus on Notre Dame’s campus. In my PSU t-shirt of course!

Not only will I see the Nittany Lions destroy the Irish but I will also be able to ‘ketchup”(…get it?!) with some new friends.

At The Oliver Inn πŸ™‚

I’m SORE!

Yes! Finally!

Two days in a row of early morning runs along the St. Joseph River in downtown South Bend, Indiana have done me well. It has been absolutely beautiful weather followed by a delicious breakfast made by my new friend, Alice, at the Oliver Inn B&B.

So, I am attempting to create a workout routine while on the road. I am not going to say this will be easy but I am focused and ready to get back on track.

In fact I have something BIG to train for…

Drumroll please…

I am going to complete the Block Island, RI Triathlon next summer!

OK so it’s far away BUT it’s something to train for.

So from now on I will not only be running but also swimming (thank you Hotels!) and bike riding ( my bikes will most likely be stationary for some time!).

I am very excited to begin training for something new.

So here it goes! AND Aunt Jenny is going to do it with me πŸ™‚ Like I could do one without her…NOPE!

Diversity Day

Like most new employees- especially in large companies- I was a part of “Diversity Day.”

I hoped that it would be similiar to the episode of “The Office” and let me just tell you—it might have been even better.

Let me just give you a snippet of quotes from the morning session. 15 minutes in I think it was safe to say the group was “diverse-d.”

I volunteered to be part of an “experiment.” As we sat in a circle bands were placed around our heads that described the character we would play. We all had to treat each person in the circle depending on what their headband read. All I could see was “Genious,” “Invisible,” “Stupid,” “Newcomer,” and “Joker.” So I ignored the invisible, depended only on the genious, called the stupid person dumb and refused to take the joker seriously. When asked at the end how I felt while in the circle (before knowing what my headband read) I said “Honestly, I didn’t feel any different than normal.”

My headband said “Whiner.”

That gotΒ  some laughs.

Awesome. At least I learned something about myself:

Whiney McWhinerson I am.

Anyways… enough about ME

The proctor discussed that usually white males are the least likely to feel discriminated against. He then asked for a white male in the crowdΒ  to share an experience where they felt discriminated against.

A co-worker (who is hilarious, but was being totally serious–*name changed for Diversity Day protection) said “Well, people try to tell me my name is Samuel when I know that it isn’t.

It’s Sam.”

The proctor then says, “Well Sam, we feel really bad for you!”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No love for the white guy!

Oh, Diversity Day. I hope you all get to participate in at least one in the near future—but I hope I have not ruined it for you.

Act surprised when you are the “Stupid” one in the circle. OK?

Christmas Cards and Autographs

In the past week I have been asked for my autograph.

AND

my face will be on a biker’s Christmas card this year.

This mobile marketing thing is going to be crazy–as this has been my first week on the job.

I have also been asked told SEVERAL times:

“You don’t drive this.”

and

“They let women drive these, now?”

Welcome to 2008.

Where women can do just about anything.

Shocking, I know.

Alumni What?!!!!

I am now the proud owner of a Public Relations degree and two other minor degrees from The Pennsylvania State University. And I even got on Dean’s list this semester. Dork Alert!

It must have been all the Vodka Tonics. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anyways…

Sally had her first revelation of being a college graduate at work yesterday. A table of young (whippersnappers) men asked her if she went to school “here.” She paused for a second and said “No. Actually, I just graduated.” She said it felt weird.

My mom got me a Penn State Alumni t-shirt right after the graduation get together we had at my apartment. A tiny living room filled with the people I love, it was perfection despite the lack of picture taking to document the event :(. Anyways when I woke up the next morning…looking a little rough…after my last night at Lulu’s to celebrate “Gingerbreading” (the code word we had been using for weeks)…I threw on my brand new tee and headed to Eat ‘n Park. Just wearing the t-shirt felt weird.

I am sure there will be more weirdness to come. But at least I have Brian around.

“Lissa!!! NO MORE SCHOOL FOREVER!”

So true Brian, so true. No one tells it like it is like a 7-year-old.

So now I sit here. With 9 days left in my home. Packing my life into plastic tubs and stacking them upstairs in the attic until next June when I come back and take everything with me to my NEXT destination.

Wherever THAT maybe.

Geez.

Another scary thought. And I would like to say that that point in my life is far, far away. But this year is going to fly by. I know it.

So here’s to being an old college graduate.

Here’s to too many tears…goodbyes suck.

Goodbye College Girl.

Hello Working Girl.

Time to pay off the student loans. Save some money. And enjoy traveling around the country.

Wanna join me? You can!

Here πŸ™‚

“Life Goes On”

– Aunt Jenny

If you ever wondered who first spoke those wise words—it was her.

Yes, I speak the truth.

Mhmmmm.

I have to first of all explain for the lack of Maddy updates. I can’t explain how difficult it has been to balance my college graduation and Madelyn’s injuries. It was impossible to be in two places at once—and as my wise Aunt says, “Life Goes On…” So I tried that. Kept in touch with my family and thanks to them (they made me go back to school when I didn’t want to!!) I had an amazing last week at school. And I was so glad I was there to walk across the stage and say goodbye to the amazing people I have grown to love at Penn State (more on this later). So thanks for being who you are family—thank you, I love you all.

At the same time as I have tried desperately to really believe the idea of “Life Goes On” I realized that while life as we know it never continues to go on for very long I can be extremely grateful for the people who have been apart of the journey with me and my family.

Here is a little story about my dad. A story that has comforted me at this time.

When my dad was a senior in high school he and his family (3 brothers and his parents) were involved in a car accident which resulted in an intense fire.

They were headed home from Christmas in Ohio in a station wagon. Three boys in the backseat and my grandparents and another boy in the front, presents packed the trunk space. A huge truck slammed into the station wagon. I don’t know what happened exactly but there was a huge gas fire. The windows only rolled down so much so my dad had to break the glass to get everyone out. Everyone escaped but my dad and my Uncle Chris were covered in flames.

My Grammy remembers the smell of burning hair and my dad remembers trying to swat off the flames that covered his entire head and body. Luckily there was snow on the roadside so everyone rolled in it. And in a time before cell phones my uncles, dad and grandparents were lucky enough to have had their accident viewed by a local doctor from his home’s window.

My dad and my uncle were Life Star-ed to the hospital and were hospitlized for the following 6 months. My dads fingers had to be sliced in order to heal, he had numerous skin graphs and had to be put in a pool as they lifted the burnt skin from his body. He remembers just lying there looking at his black fingers. Not feeling a thing.

Today most people don’t notice my dads hands. But once you see them its clear, he was badly burnt. His fingers don’t lie straight and the skin is tight looking. You can see the outline of a watch, where the flames could not penetrate to his skin. You can also see where his sleeves were rolled up, which also protected his skin.

I remember “helping” Grammy clean the attic one summer when I was very young. I found a box of cards, one of them read “Sick is a Four Letter Word.” I remember asking what this meant–I had no idea at the time and I am sure that was a difficult one for my Grammy to explain to me, looking back!

I stared at this box of cards and it hit me: My dad was really sick when he was burnt. People were really worried about him. He was not O.K. And it made me sad, but happy at the same time that all these people, his classmates, church friends and neighbors cared enough to share with him their supportive words while he healed.

Today was my first day back from PA. And as I arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s house I picked up a card on the kitchen table. And I was brought back to my grandparent’s attic.

Thank you so much for caring about my cousin. All of your cards, blog comments, and prayers are appreciated more than you know. And they will continue to help my family for years down the road. If I could pick up a card as a 7-year-old and feel the comfort someone, years ago, had given my father there will be no end to the support you have shown my family. So thank you.

I just wanted to share with you this story because our baby girl Maddy has a long process ahead of her. Although technology has advanced a lot since my dad was in the hospital Maddy with share much of the experience my dad had—and more. When we say she is “fine” we say she is fine because she is here with us. My dad, although he doesn’t talk about it much, went through a lot as a teenager and Maddy is going to be dealing with her burns for years to come. Which is difficult for everyone to imagine. Even her family.

So keep this little girl in your thoughts and your prayers. Get ready! These pics will put a huge smile on your face πŸ™‚

That’s our girl! CHEEEEEESE Maddy!

She is so “baller!”

I get to see her on Friday—and I can’t wait!

My People Part IV

He knew from the first time we met.

It took me a year.

And by then it was too late.

I met him my first weekend in State College. I was fresh and new to the scene. But he had already been there all summer.

In the following few weeks he would fall into deep like with me.

And I would have no idea.

______________________

Little did I know that he would listen to every word I would say.

Little did I know he would get a tattoo to impress me.

Little did I know he would start wearing hats because I said I liked them…once.

LIttle did I know this kid would be in my life for the next 3 years.

Little did I know it was a mistake to introduce him to vodka πŸ˜‰

Little did I know I would fall for him.

Little did I know I had hurt him.

Little did I know that he would hurt me.

LIttle did I know I would meet his family.

Little did I know I would put up with him.

Little did I know he would be so proud of me.

Little did I know that he wanted to meet my family.

Little did I know he would love my family.

Little did I know how much he would comfort me when I needed him.

Little did I know about those curly eyelashes, big white teeth and swollen knuckles.

Little did I know he would bond with my cousins.

Little did I know how much my heart would hurt to be away from him.

Little did I know that he would be the one loading my car as I headed far, far away from the comfort of the valley I had grown to love.

Little did I know he would hand me his favorite Monkey and a beautiful letter.

___________________

Little does he know how proud I am of him.

Little does he know how much I understand him.

Little does he know how smart I think he is.

Little does he know how special and loved I feel when he puts his arms around me.

Little does he know I smile every time I hear him say “LDB.”

Little does he know that I sit around wondering what he is doing.

Little does he know that whenever my phone rings I hope it’s him.

Little does he know how much he makes me laugh.

Little does he know how much I will miss hearing him say breakfast.

Little does he know how much I will miss his ballet dances.

Little does he know how happy I was to see him bonding with my family.

LIttle does he know how much it hurts me to now be there for him next year.

Little does he know how I love that he can be teased and he can tease me.

Little does he know that I brag about him.

Little does he know how much I will miss him.

______________________________

Sure these past four years have not been perfect. But I would not have changed them. Not at all. There has been many a test for us. Nothing is perfect. Some of us write about these imperfections. Some of us vent out loud about the imperfections. Some of us choose to hold it all inside. Regardless they exist.

We have put in the time.

To have met each other as 18-year-olds adjusting to college life and having to say goodbye as 22- year-olds about to experience two completely different cycles in life there is no way any of this has been easy.

Four years of rapid change.

Two kids from two different states meeting in Pennsylvania.

What are the chances?

Thank you Penn State for bringing me to Mifflin.