What a whirlwind tour.
Life has been really super crazy for the last…ever. Let’s see.
So I had my last exam on Thursday, whatever date that was. Friday I flew to St. Louis, then caught the shuttle to Columbia. Saturday we had church here, and Charlie and I had a lovely pizza picnic on the Mizzou quad. That night we drove down to Springfield and stayed with his parents for the night, then in the morning we drove to Joplin to spend time with his Grandma and extended family.
It was Mother’s Day and his Grandma’s 90th birthday was within a few days, so it was nice to be able to spend some time with them. But not too much time. After a couple hours we again hit the road to head up to Kansas City to make as much of Ashley and Derek’s reception as we could. We’d really wanted to make it to the wedding, but spending time with the Tripletts on Mother’s Day was a big deal to them, so we did that instead. The trip to KC took longer than we expected, and then we couldn’t find the hall (but thanks to Peder finally standing on the side of the road in his suit and waving, we eventually made it), so we only ended up making the last hour of the reception. We said hi and bye to all the kids, hi and bye to Derek and Ashley, spoke with the Westons for a few minutes, and then pretty much everyone left. At this point we were totally worn out and just wanted to go to bed, so we climbed back in the truck and headed out for Columbia. We finally got back here at around 9PM after 7 hours of driving that day, and went to bed.
And the next morning I started my new job. Whoo.
I’m working for Nutritional Sciences Extension at Mizzou. It really still amazes me how cool this job is and how much of a blessing it is. I work on a beautiful campus, am able to walk to work (and with Charlie!), I can meet Charlie for lunch, it’s not a hard job, it’s a very very laid back department, I can work on cool projects, and I’m paid decently. Sweet.
I’m working on three different projects. The one I’ve been spending most of my time on recently is a study abroad course to be implemented in May 2008. It’ll be in southern France and northern Italy (hence the Google Maps), and will be a nutrition course looking at the health benefits of the Mediterannean diet and lifestyle. The two instructors of the course basically gave me the course outline and said, “Go make it.” So that’s what I’m doing. It’s been really interesting and fun, and I’ve definitely learned a lot about Italy. I’m pretty much playing glorified nutrition travel agent. It’s fun. And you all know me — I’m a traveller — so this is totally up my alley. Cool.
The second project I’m working on is redeveloping the course materials for an introductory nutrition course. It’s pretty much the same course that I TA in Minnesota, so I’m already very familiar with the content. But the course has been passed down through several generations of instructors, as have the PowerPoints and quizzes, tests and assignments, and along the way they’ve gotten sloppy and out of sync with each other. So it’s my responsibility to redo all the PowerPoints, make the assessment materials match up with the course content, and basically make everything pretty. All hail stock photos!
The third project I’ve not really spent much time on so far. It’s basically implementing a staff wellness program at local public schools (Healthy Staff for Healthy Schools). State policy focuses a lot on student wellness (preventing obesity, promoting health, things like that), but doesn’t spend a lot of time on staff wellness. We’re trying to fix that and enable the school staff to be role models for the students (as well as improve the staff’s health, morale, decrease sick days, etc.). So far I know we’ll be developing newsletters for the staff and a few short videos (relaxation, yoga, toning), and I’ll be somewhat “shepherding” the project, at least for the newsletters. We have a journalism undergrad writing them, so I’ll be doing some major editing and revising them to make sure they’re written well and correct.
This week was the MU Extension Annual Conference, so I spent three days at workshops, speeches, reward ceremonies and the like. I scored two pretty sweet Extension padfolios and an Extension apron, as well as free lunches. And OH OH! We went to the MU Dairy Farm and I GOT TO MILK A COW!!! That was pretty much the coolest thing ever. (It’s really pathetic that that’s exciting, isn’t it?) I was just really happy that I was able to do it. We spent the whole morning on Wednesday at the farm and learned all about dairy farming and how the whole process works (including waste management, mmmm).
Our department ran a pedometer workshop, and they let me keep my pedometer! YAY! I didn’t know anything about pedometers before we did the workshop, but now I think they’re really cool. I’ve already walked 5.6 miles today, just going about my normal life!! That makes me feel a lot better about my physical activity level (especially working with Nutrition Extension and promoting physical activity all the time).
So, this weekend is the Sabbath and Pentecost, then Memorial Day. I’ve seriously had no time to do anything these past two weeks (I JUST got myself fully unpacked today, and that was only because I left work early). There really is no time when we get home at 5:30, rest for a little while, make dinner, clean up, read, and get ready for bed and talking at 9 (Charlie had turned me into an old fogey). So my Plan B stuff and my pathophysiology course have been semi-permanently placed on the back burner. Charlie’s been accumulating more and more freelance projects (including redoing the church websites, yay!), so he’s got a lot going on, too. We’re hoping to get to some of our non-work-related responsibilities on Monday, but hopefully will be able to enjoy a little of the holiday as well.
Things are going well with me and Darling Boyfriend here. It’s fun being able to spend our days together, cook together, read together, sit around together. We haven’t had any time yet to get out and really do anything, but it’s been fun nonetheless. We’ve definitely been learning about each other and how we work, and how to get along. It’s been a good experience.
Ooookay. I’ve got to stop procrastinating and actually go read and get to bed. Have a good Sabbath weekend, kids. Love to you all.