Sunday, November 8, 2009

Winter? I think not...

Well, last week Denver got pummeled with snow while we here a little higher in the mountains were blessed with sweet sunshine and 50-60 degree weather. Now, while to many of you back East (or out West), that may seem mild and quite possibly cold; but, you have to imagine a) the dry climate and b) the higher altitude and proximity to the sun, and then of course c) that summertime highs don't go past 85ish. So to sum up, we have had some beautiful late fall/early winter weather that no one could have predicted but everyone can surely enjoy.

On that note, I have been quite busy inside but more so outside the last week. Last weekend (Halloween) was a blast. Raced in a bike race on Saturday (Halloween) and then had a killer time that evening with friends at the Wine Bar here in Gunny. We all were dressed in our Halloween-best...I as a cardboard box:) If you aren't on facebook, find someone who is and then you can see my costume. Quite original and highly unique, but most of all just fun.

The lab has been steady this past week...really just a busy day of testing and student research on Tuesday, otherwise I spent some of my hours researching potential graduate school programs for Student Affairs-my intended course of study. I've narrowed it down to 4 programs in which I'll apply to: Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO; Penn State, Appalachian State in Boone, NC; and Michigan State University. I feel these 4 programs would be a best fit for me...the first 3 being my top choices over Michigan-which has an outstanding program nonetheless. For those of you who have been patiently waiting to see what direction Al would pursue, well I'd say you can breathe a little more easily now; I'm definitely pretty solid on this choice and am anxious and excited to get my application materials in. I have my letters or reference in the mail to me and/or scheduled for a finish date of Nov. 20th. Last thing to do besides applying is for me to write my letter of intent and double and triple check things.

In other news, I have been doing a lot of volunteer work lately. Partly because I think it would look good on my resume but mostly because I believe it is the right thing to do...guess it's my mother in me. For those that know her, she definitely gives her self whole-heartedly and asks for little in return. With a role model such as she, how can I begin to not want to mirror that? Also, I find the return feeling volunteering gives me satisfies much more than possessions, etc. So what kind of volunteering? Well Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings this week I spent helping my friend Luke set up climbing routes in the fitness center for a bouldering competition held on-campus Saturday. Being that I am an intermediate climber, if I could on-site (climb a route on the 1st try) then the route was deemed intermdediate or recreational in difficulty. Also, I helped carry and clean things up after the route setting was done late Friday night.

Before that on Friday afternoon I spent 3 or so hours helping my friends Tim and Mike (also ESS students) set up a Cyclocross course on campus for their race Saturday and Sunday. To cap off the weekend, I spent a few hours this morning doing a clean-up of some of the campground/climber areas out at Hartman's Rocks with my friend Luke and some fellow student climbers. Again, it was great to feel productive and communal in helping with all of these things. Obviously I don't deserve the volunteer award of the year for this, but I think it's an ideal example of how we can be good stewards, good friends, and all around self-less individuals by helping others without expecting anything in return. My one arguement about popular religion is that too many people are under the false pretense that you just give money and you "secure your spot to heaven," whereas others give what they can-their time or genuine self and feel rewards intrinsically that just a donation of money wouldn't do. Anyways not to blabber on and convolute the good things I've mentioned...I think volunteering is a great way to help others and be a good person and of course find out more about yourself. End of story.

Hope things are well elsewhere. Hard to believe it's November 8th already. 2 weeks and I'm on the road for home for Thanksgiving. Hope to see many or all of you over the holiday period (including the Christmas holiday as well). Hugs, kisses, and stuff.

Love yous guys.

Al
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