Archive for July, 2007

The Scholarship Meet and Greet

July 13, 2007

Tonight, or whatever you would call Saturday night now, was my first scholarship event. The meet and greet or whatever they call the time when the scholarship committee and class meet for the first time. I sat with one of my roomates Kallie and Sean and Carlos and Carol Jenkins, the other scholarship winner from Nebraska. We had to get up and introduce ourselves, they told us to give a quick introduction. You would not believe how nervous I was, I thought I was going to be sick. It went all right I guess, I’m not happy with it at all but we all know I am my own worst critic. Ryan didn’t beat me over the head or anything because of it, not that I can picture Ryan doing any such thing anyway so that isn’t that great a judge either. I was the first to go because Dr. Mauer, who was running the meeting this year instead of Peggy Elliot, went in alphabetical order. (There are days when I would pay to have a last name that started with j or some other letter in the mittle of the alphabet.) I feel like I spoke way to fast and didn’t say nearly enough about anything with any importance, and when I sat down I was shaking so badly that Carlos actually asked if I was all right. But its over now, and at least I did better than the kid who didn’t stand up when he spoke and rambled on and on about nothing in particular. (That wasn’t a very nice thing to say.)
After the meeting I went to Rookey Round-up with a girl from my scholarship class, Laura Ireland I think her name was, and Kayde. Then Kayde and I went to Blind Inc.’s carioke fundraiser, because I saw Rachel Becker earlier in the afternoon and she sold me a ticket.
Both of my roomies are really nice, now that I’ve finally met them. There was a mix-up at the hotel and I ended up moving out of 315 for Friday night and then back in here Saturday morning. Kally Smith is from Iowa and she seems really cool. Sarah Leon is extremely nice as well. She reminds me a little of Stephanie Quiring, not in the level of skills so much as in the way she speaks and that kind of thing. I’m a little sad that I’m not going to get to see much of the Strunks or Oliveros or Ronza, but I’m already making new friends. And the mentors I’ve heard I have are really good! I have Sean, who I’ve heard great things about, and Angela who went to dinner with us Friday night and seems really cool! (She’s also the representative coming to college workshop, so I’d really like to get to know her better.)
But its late. Everyone else seems to be in bed, including Sarah who is trying to sleep in the next bed, so I think I’ll go read and sleep, too. Tomorrow is the long awaited NABS meeting when Peggy and Ryan get their recognition. Elections will also be held, and we’re all curious about who will be president. MaybeTai, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The March and Southern Strums

July 13, 2007

I am clearly the most insane scholarship winner they have this year. While both of mmy roomates are in bed at normal hours I stay up until 2 and 3 in the morning. And yet I’m as happy as I’ve ever been, and the stuff that happens late at night is the stuff I wouldn’t change for the world.
Today was the march, which was actually pretty pointless. Maybe someone else got some emotion out of it, I just didn’t feel anything special. I didn’t really get to walk with anyone I knew, Kayde and I just kind of wandered around with her parents, and I think a big part of the experience was supporting your state or what have you.
My mentor today was Sharyn Mineki, I know that is spelled unbelievably badly and I’ll look it upp some time when it isn’t almost 3 in the morning. She was very nice, very sweet and willing to answer any questions. As usual I don’t know how I did. I’m getting nervous, in 12 hours they will be deciding. I don’t want to know, I don’t want this whole thing to end. Its been stressful of course, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Tonight was Suthern Strums and we all went down to watch Ryan. He didn’t get to play for very long, but after the thing was officially over we stayed down there for 2 hours while he played and we sang. There were times I wasn’t sure if I was laughing or crying, and I loved every minute. I finally got to hear Ryan play, and he’s quite good. (Like that needed to be said.)
But it really is late, and I’m not sure how to explain what I’m feeling right now. I’m happy, really happy, which doesn’t explain why I wanted to cry tonight. But I have to meet Sean at 7:30, and since Angela and Ryan were both up late tonight as well I absolutely have to be on time. So I’m going to get my 3 hours of sleep.

More Atlanta

July 13, 2007

Tonight was easily the best night of convention thus far. And so, though it is after 1:30 in the morning and I have to get up in a little over 3 hours, I had to write about it.
First let’s catch up on other happenings. The NABS meeting went well enough last night. Some of the elections were a bit fishy, and lots of them lasted for ever, but there really weren’t a lot of surprises. Peggy’s award went really well, and I think Ryan may have been surprised about his. No small feat seeing as he walked in on us working on it twice. I did well enough introducing myself, nothing grand nothing horrible. Someone gave a speach about thanking our mentors in the Federation, I thought that was fitting.
After the NABS meeting I went to hang out with Shane and Amy and Jamie and Carol Jenkins. We all ended up ordering pizza and talking until 1:30 or 2.
Today was the board meeting, the big speach, and as usual I’m not sure how I did. I used “infamous,” when I ment to use “famous,” and I was shaking like crazy again, but I used a quote to start out and all that and I certainly didn’t say my name or do any of the things Ryan and Ronza forbid me to do. I guess we’ll see how things turn out. Angela was my mentor and that was incredibly fun. She and I went to lunch with Tim Paulding (who is on the committee,) Allie Watkins, Bill something, and the kid who always speaksafter me when we introduce ourselves who’s name I really do know though it escapes me right now.
Tonight, after the laim scholarship social, I came back and hung out with Kally and her fiance Steve for a while, then went and hung out in the Strunks’ room with Ronza and the Oliveros. I haven’t laughed that hard in ages! I don’t know how they were coming up with some of those things, but everyone, especially Ryan, was in an absolutely crazy mood tonight. I’ll write down some of the things we came up with eventually, I’m too tired now. Besides, I’m hiding in my closet so I don’t wake my roomates up with my typing and I think if I burst out laughing they might notice.
In general my roomates and I get along really well. Kally and I are becoming actual friends, and as I’ve said before Sarah is sweet. I’m probably just being compettative, though I’m loathed to admit it. I truely am enjoying convention though, I’m learning a lot about the NFB. One of the questions I’ve been asking my mentors, honestly asking, is, “Why did you originally join the Federation and why have you stayed so involved?” I’ve gotten good answers from both of my mentors so far, they have given me things to think about. Even more than I hope I do well here and don’t disappoint, I hope I am growing as a person. Not just as a federationist, because to me that isn’t as broad or as difficult. I hope I am learning things that I will remember for years to come and meeting friends that I will end up keeping. And I know that if I want to stay in touch with these people I will have to do my part.
Tomorrow is the March for Indipendence. We have to meet in Ronza’s room at 6:00, and my roomates will both want to shower and such as well. So I’d better get to bed so I can wake up early and do it all again in a couple of hours.
It was a good night. It may be right up there with Newyears.

Home

July 9, 2007

I’m home at long last. I got in around 2 Saturday afternoon and pretty much passed out I was so exhausted. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t sleep for more than 4 hours a night for 18 days and go nonstop for the other 20 hours of the day.

Both trips were absolutely amazing and unforgettable! It was fabulous to see old friends, and I made tons of new friends in Spain and Atlanta. I got to try foods from Spain, of course, and Ryan and Randi brought stuff from Hawaii. I can’t wait to post everything I wrote, but its after 3 here and believe it or not I’m still tired. But I wanted to let everyone know that I’m home safe and sound, even if I did catch a cold my last couple days in Atlanta.
I’ll try to post the first of the Spain entries here early tomorrow. Key word there is “try.”

Tour Day

July 4, 2007

Wow, an early night tonight. But everyone else was so exhausted from last night they went to bed, and so did all the other good scholarship people. Well, I’m not honestly sure where Kallie is. I could have called her, should have thought of that before I put on my nightgown. I’m glad she’s not back yet though, I want to see if she went to the NABS social tonight.
Not a very exciting day today. Sean was a great mentor, I have yet to have a bad one. We had breakfast, the first time in ages that I’m having a real breakfast, and then sat in general for the morning. The most interesting part of general was Freedom Scientific talking about the new version of the PACMate, which of course I want even though this one is brand new. I can upgrade for very little money, so I’m going to consider it. Elections were a joke though, the nominating committee’s slate passed uncontested, oh what a shock.
The afternoon was tour day, and Kallie and I hung out a little with Rachel and then she came back to the room alone and we talked. Then i went down and helped Randi and Ronza and the Oliveros get stuff ready for Monti Carlo night. For some reason the cards didn’t get shipped with the chips so I ended up brailling a ton of decks of cards and the others counted and brailled as well. In a strange way I’m glad I had that to occupy me. (No, I’m not being sarcastic.) The scholarship committee was meeting while that was going on, and the brailling and counting were great ways to keep my mind off of things. Its all over now, the decission has been made. I’m relieved in a way, though I don’t see it really changing anything. I’m still going to give everything I’ve got at convention because i want to keep getting stuff out of it.
I went down to Monti Carlo tonight and played Blackjack, then stayed late to help count chips and organize things. The new board is, interesting. I was counting and writing while they were having a sort of half meeting, and the dynamic was very, unique. The more I see of some of these people the more it sinks in, how lucky I am to have the mentors here that I have. I couldn’t have asked for better examples. I’m not sure what else to say about it.
I can’t believe convention is almost over. I don’t want it to end because I don’t want to leave my friends. But all good things must come to an end I guess. Besides, there’s Youth Slam to look forward to. Not to mention starting college. Plus I have to prepare for the WAGES seminar that NABS is putting on on the 10th. Kayde and I need to sit down and write some skits, and I bet we can get Randi and Ryan to help us.
I’m gona head to bed, probably fall asleep reading again and wake up when Kallie comes in. Wish me luck tomorrow at banquet, the truth will all come out then.