Posts tagged ‘Tulsa’

January 27, 2013

Can YOU beat Table 7?

Last night I got to attend Bishop Kelley’s annual Trivia Night fundraiser with a bunch of my fellow teachers.  I went last year and had a blast, so I was excited to return for a second time.  The event is run in two separate gyms of the school- the large “serious player” gym and the small “loud player” gym.  Last year we had a back table in the small gym, and this year we were put in the quieter gym called “Material World” (yay Madonna!) after their 80’s theme this year.

Material World Trivia Night

One of the alumni walking around working the event had on a Kellly Kapowski shirt from Saved By The Bell.  I complimented her (because I love that show!) and she told me she bought the shirt two hours before the event and had no clue who was on it…..REALLY????

Kelly Kapowski Shirt

This was the design on her shirt.

The people working the event were supposed to be the graduating class from 1988, so I figured they would know this even better than me (Quick note:  When they announced this was the class of 1988’s year to run the event, I shouted “That’s the year I was born!” which was immediately met with eye rolling and groans from my whole table- I have so much payback coming my way in a couple decades, haha).

They had 120 tables split in two gyms- it was packed!

They had 120 tables split in two gyms- it was packed!

Each gym gets the same questions over six rounds with 12 questions each.  They go through the questions and give you about two minutes to answer them, with an extra few minutes at the end to go back and write down any other answers you needed more time to debate over.  Every round has a title, but this has no bearing on the questions.  The questions range from history to politics to pop culture to business.  You’ll see in the questions below that pretty much every topic is covered.  We ended up getting 42 out of 72 correct, which landed us in the top 30-40% of the table groups (as you can see there were a LOT of people competing).

I wanted to post some of the questions to test your own trivia skills.  We were given the same pictures for the ones that have an accompanying photo.  I’ve posted the answers at the bottom of this post.

1. What ship was the first and only ship to come to the RMS Titanic’s aid when it sank?

2. What was this structure called in New Hampshire before it collapsed?

new hampshire

3. What did Lego call the sets it marketed specifically for girls in 2012?

4. What movie won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Writing in 1988?

5. What object represents a threat or death in all three of The Godfather films?

6. What airport boasts having the longest runway in North America?

7. What is 100 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit degrees?

8. What was the “Friends” spinoff from 2004 called?

9. Who is the oldest living person to win Best Actor (not actress!)?

10. Who wrote the poetic verse “Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me?”

11. What Korean singer came up with the popular 2012 hit, “Gangnam Style?”

12. Who designed this past year’s US Olympic team uniforms?

olympic team uniforms

13. Which state joined the union right after Oklahoma?

14.  What does the blue logo represent?


15.  What city and team was Kobe Bryant originally drafted to in 1996 before being traded for Vlade Divoc?

Between rounds they would do little mini-games for door prizes, like which lady had the most lip products in her purse (the lady who won had 18!) and who was the youngest player in the room (a 21-year-old beat me out for this).  That helped pass the time while they tallied all the scores.  They also had these giant 1 and 2 balloons they would put on the tables who were in the lead.  We never got the balloons, but at least we were in the top half of the scores throughout the night : )

One thing that I find hilarious is that the tables always build beer can towers from their leftover cans (keep in mind- this is a Catholic high school).  Only a few tables participated in our “serious gym,” but when I went to the other side to check out the architecture, it was pretty epic.  These people swung string over the poles in the ceiling to keep their towers up.  I took a picture of one of the highest ones right in front of a giant cross, haha:

Beer Can Tower Trivia Night

I am so glad Bishop Kelley does this fundraiser every year.  It’s a lot of fun for the guests, and they must make a huge profit off of it.  Tables for ten are $200 (so each person only pays $20), and they sell snack items and drinks for $1-3 throughout the night.  Another big moneymaker for them is the 50/50 pot.  Tickets for this are sold for a dollar with no limit on how many you purchase.  They put all the proceeds in a pot, and split it 50/50 with the winning ticket.  Last night I know the winner went home with over $2,000.  I didn’t buy a ticket, but I’m starting to think I should have!

If you are interested in attending Trivia Night at Bishop Kelley next year, it will be on Saturday, January 25th.  If I’m still in Tulsa, I know I will be there.  Check out the school’s website for more details and contact information.  Tickets go on sale early, and this year sold out in less than a day!  Make sure you get on their mailing list ASAP!

And now for the answers to the trivia questions listed above.  The seven in bold are the ones we got right:

1. RMS Carpathia   2. The Old Man in the Mountain   3. Lego Friends    4. Rain Man   5. An Orange    6. Denver   7. 212 Degrees   8. Joey     9. Sidney Poitier   10. Emily Dickinson   11. Psy    12. Stella McCartney    13. New Mexico    14. Decepticons   15. Charlotte Hornets

P.S. I finally tried out the Forever 21 jacket/shirt I mentioned I hadn’t worn yet in this post.  It went well with skinny jeans and black heels, and I got a few compliments on it.  Success!

Finally sporting some peplum!

Finally sporting some peplum!

January 23, 2013

Winter Break Haul: Forever 21

When I was younger, I NEVER shopped at Forever 21. I remember going there once a really long time ago and getting a pair of gray pants. I wore those things until one day (not because of how they fit), the zipper and clasp just fell off. I was like…uhhhhh. This didn’t even happen while they were on! I had been warned about Forever 21 clothes’ early expiration date, but this was pretty crazy. It wasn’t until I started watching a bunch of YouTube beauty gurus and their Forever 21 hauls that I even thought about going into one again. My friend Erin got me a gift card for my birthday last year, and when I went home to Orlando for the summer I stopped by and bought a few things. They didn’t disintegrate (I guess I should say “yet” right about now), so over Winter Break I went back for more. Here’s what I got:

Note: Forever 21 regular sizes are very small for me, so I shop on the lowest end of their Plus Size collection. Unfortunately, they don’t have Plus Sizes at every Forever 21, but the outlet mall store in Orlando does. That’s the only one I’ve ever shopped at. All the items below are from their Plus Size collection in case you are looking for them.

Forever 21 Black Top

I was afraid this shirt would be too tight when I got it, but it actually worked out well. It’s nicely fitted at the top, and then looser around my midsection which is perfect. I am not big into studs on clothing, but I liked the small use of it to add detail to the shoulders. It goes great with dark skinny jeans (I grabbed a pair during this trip- they fit great but I figured since they look like all other dark skinny jeans, they weren’t worth photographing).

Forever 21 Cocktail Dress

I don’t have a lot of occasions to wear cocktail dresses, but I am really going to try to make an effort to put some more fancy events on my social calendar after finding this dress. It has a nice champagne shimmer to it, but its subdued enough that it doesn’t look too metallic. The black band at the waist is stretchy, so I feel like I could gain a couple pounds or lose a couple pounds and the waistband would still stay snug to create a nice a-line at the bottom. I also love the thicker straps so I can wear a bra. I hate spaghetti straps or strapless dresses because if you have a bigger than average chest size, you’re kind of screwed. I think this dress will be great for weddings, and I hope to wear it to a colleague’s one in March (Dear Tulsa weather- please warm up by then!).

Forever 21 Peplum Jacket

This jacket/top was a last minute decision. I have really liked the peplum trend, but haven’t found anything to buy that incorporates it. I saw this jacket on my way to check out and tried it on in the middle of the store. It fits REALLY well. It creates a nice shape for my torso, and can be worn with or without a shirt under it. The white piping and zipper add nice detailing to it. I bought it, but have yet to decide what to wear it with. It was pictured on a model with dark skinny jeans, but Erin also said it looked good with my bright blue jeans, too. It’s also a sporty material, so that’s been a bit of a conundrum to match with other fabrics. I’ll have to think about it some more and try to find looks that incorporate a similar top to get some ideas. I would say this might be the edgiest thing I own, in that it is more trendy than a basic that I can wear with anything.

Forever 21 Owl Necklace

The last thing I got was this owl necklace. I always look through Forever 21’s jewelry because it is so cheap. I went straight to the earrings because they are my go-to jewelry choice, but this owl necklace caught my eye. I really liked that it wasn’t very big or long (I haven’t mastered the whole statement necklace trend yet). I could easily wear this to work with one of the many black tops I have (or with the first top on this page). It’s very cute, and helps me incorporate more gold into my primarily silver jewelry collection.

I spent around $90 total on all five of these things (remember, I didn’t show a picture of my skinny jeans). That sounds like a lot, but cocktail dresses alone could be half that, and jeans usually are $30 or more (I think mine were around $16). Main thing is- I’m happy with my purchases. Let’s just hope they last at least a little longer than those gray pants ; )

August 2, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

Coming back to Tulsa has come with a few unexpected surprises (of the bad kind), but let me give you some quick background.  I’m the type of person that makes a certain amount of friends, feels good about that group, and then doesn’t bother to really work on making more close friends.  Yes, I have people I see at big events and work meetings, but once I have my core support system, I’m pretty content.  It takes a lot for me to really work at widening my circle.  This past year I would say I was even more content than usual with just a few close friends.  I had to move to a whole new place, start a whole new career, and become physically and financially independent from my parents for the first time in my life.  That’s a lot to deal with- so making good friends had to come after taking care of my sanity.  Alright, that should be enough background- let’s move back to the present.

In the past month, two teachers at my school have left because they were offered better jobs, I was assigned a new manager for TFA (this is the 3rd time in a year…), one of my closest friends here was on the verge of moving out of the state (thank god she is staying!), I was getting into arguments with my co-workers constantly over how furniture should be arranged, and my small prospect of a boyfriend was gone before we even got started.  Now most people have families and their best friends they’ve known for years to get through these challenges.  I, unfortunately, don’t have either of those here.  Phone calls help- but we all know that’s not the same as coming home to those who love you.

I realized people I could count on last year are not permanent.  Things will change this year.  I’m teaching a whole new grade (a testing grade- which adds pressure), I may or may not create that same wise owl family with my students that I leaned on so much last year, and my teaching partner for my grade is not confirmed until a few weeks into school based on enrollment (so I don’t have anyone to collaborate with that I know will definitely be with me all year).  Having people who can support you through these unknowns is crucial.  I really wish people could appreciate how great it is to have a spouse, parents, children, grandparents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews within a short drive (if not in your home).  Most days I’m okay being on my own, but others can be really difficult.

I have one year left as a Tulsa TFA corps member.  After that, it will likely be my choice to stay here and continue teaching at my school, move to a new school in a new city, or move back and teach in my hometown.  I’m lucky to have my career choice nailed down, but the place where I work long term?  That’s definitely a big question mark come May.

I’ve thought about this a lot over the past month.  Yes, I had a lot of bad things happen those first few weeks back, but I’m not one to just stay depressed about something for long.  I like to find ways to make my life better.  So while I type out my big goals for my students, I am mentally drafting some for myself.  My biggest goal?  I want to really give Tulsa a shot this year.  I want to experience the annual festivals.  I want to check out this annual fair I hear so much about from my kids.  I want to find ways outside of teaching to help the community.  And most of all, I want to get to know more people.

I’ve already started on my goal a bit.  A big reason I don’t get out as much is having to take care of my dog on my own.  Well, I found a great dog park only a couple miles away that attracts a lot of people.  It’s been fun to go out and chit chat with random Tulsans for an hour while AJ gets to know the canine community.  I also joined a dog walking group on Meetup, and hopefully will get to know more dog lovers through their monthly group walks.

I also *finally* joined Tulsa Young Professionals last week.  The more I learn about this organization, the more fantastic I think it is.  It has a bunch of different work crews to get involved in that get you plugged in to your interests and helping the community.  They also have a lot of events including seminars, happy hours, volunteer jobs, and a running groups.  I volunteered with them at a music festival last week, and today I went to their little intro session for new members.  I can’t wait to start working with them, and they have a social event next week I plan on attending with some friends : )

Do I want to live in Tulsa past this school year?  I really don’t know yet.  I know I belong in the classroom as a teacher, but figuring out if I belong in Tulsa as me is going to take some time.

“Just know you’re not alone, cause I’m going to make this place your home.” Phillip Phillips, Home

July 29, 2012

My First Drive-In Theater Experience

Growing up in Orlando did not offer me a lot of authentic, small town experiences.  For example, when someone mentioned “drive-in movies,” my mind went straight to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It’s a restaurant where you sit in fake old cars while watching cartoons and movie clips play on the screen:

Sci Fi Dine In Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Of course this is not a legit drive-in theater, but I don’t remember ever hearing of an actual drive-in theater to go to in or near Orlando.  I gave up that the concept was probably outdated and that I would never get to go to a real one.

WELL, Tulsa does have its perks- one of which is that it *just* re-opened the Admiral Twin Drive-In.  The theater has two sides that each play one double feature starting when it gets dark.  My friend Briana and I ventured out on Saturday night to finally see The Dark Knight Rises.  Both of us were eager to see how this whole “drive-in” thing works (she grew up in New York- also not a big drive-in place).

Admiral Twin Drive-In

Based on what I had read, some people had complained of long lines getting in, so I played it uber-safe and got there around 7:15 (gates open at 7).  I wasn’t surprised to see the lot pretty empty, but we got a good spot in the second row back (there’s space right up to the screen, but the poles that mark the spaces for cars probably start about 50+ feet away).  After we got there, cars kept steadily coming in.  I would recommend aiming to get there at 8 if you plan on getting food.  You will still get a good spot, won’t face much (if any) of a line at the front, and you’ll have time to get food and settle in.

Now, I had no idea what the food prices would be or how strict they were about not bringing in outside food.  I decided to being some water bottles and a few snacks in my purse, but planned on eating some type of dinner at the theater.  They definitely don’t check any bags or your car for food, and there were a LOT of people who brought whole coolers of stuff.  I also saw a kid with a bunch of Subway subs, so yeah.  Don’t be afraid to make yourself a gourmet meal and bring it over.  Just maybe put it in the trunk until you park in front of the screen.

Admiral Twin Concessions Menu

If you do want to eat there, I posted their menu above with prices.  Their concessions and bathrooms (which Briana said were clean and decent) are located right under the back to back screens in the center of the drive-in.  I think the dinner options- cheeseburger, chicken fingers, etc. are VERY reasonably priced.  I got the chicken fingers with ranch and it was great.  They give you a good-sized portion that is not too much or too little, and it was nice and hot when I got it (few things are worse than cold fries).  I also opted to get their souvenir cup (see below)- and I NEVER get souvenir cups.  However, this one was only $5, and whenever you bring it back-for the rest of your life or however long this drive-in is open- you get $1 refills!  I plan on coming back- even being able to use it once more would get my money’s worth.  Plus, you know, I get to have another cup for home : D

Souvenir Cup for $5- Refills only $1

On the side we were on, you had to turn your car radio station to 88.3 FM to hear the movie’s audio.  You can turn this station on early because they play music before the film like regular theaters.  I was a little worried about my car battery dying with just the radio on, but I felt pretty assured that it wouldn’t- otherwise why would they broadcast sound that way? HOWEVER, it was really hard in this heat to not have the air conditioning on.  We kept the car off with the windows down for probably the first hour or so and I could feel my clothes slowly getting soaked with sweat (when we left at 11:45 pm, it was only down to 95 degrees!).  After the first hour, I turned the car on for about 5 minutes every 10-15 minutes just to circulate some air.  This worked well, and I was lucky to have a pretty quiet car as to not disturb nearby people.  Keep in mind that for a second, your radio will turn off to turn on the car, so don’t do this during key scenes.  Loud, action sequences would probably be best if your movie has them.  Many people sat out in chairs on the ground or in the back of their pick-up truck, so that’s also definitely an option.  I liked the sound quality of being in my car (the radio had absolutely no static- it was crystal clear), and the fact that I could avoid bugs- but then again, I’ve always been an indoor girl ; )

Amberjack in the backseat at Admiral Twin

Lastly, I really enjoyed that Admiral Twin allows you to bring pets as long as they stay on a leash.  Amberjack still has some issues barking and getting anxious when I leave, and she’s at her worst at night.  Because of this, I always try to get home before dark to appease her and my neighbors.  The drive-in, though, gives me a way to see movies at night without having to worry about AJ.  I just put together the dog-equivalent of a diaper bag, set up a little bed for her in the back, and she’s was all set.  Note: If you bring a pet, they have to remain on a leash at all times.

As for the actual movie, I thought The Dark Knight Rises was only okay.  I’m just not a huge fan of this Batman franchise.  I find them a little hard to follow and get confused a lot about why people are doing things.  I liked the last 5 minutes a lot though : D  And getting to see the Man of Steel and Hobbit trailers beforehand was a big plus.  I can’t recommend The Dark Knight Rises movie, but I will recommend the Admiral Twin Drive-In.  The good food, new movie at a cheap price ($7!!), fun atmosphere, and great sound quality made for a fabulous first drive-in theater experience.

August 15, 2011

Dodgeball, Storms, and Some Great News <3

There have been many things worth updating about lately, but I don’t have time to write all of these entries right now so I’m going to condense it into a few with several points.  Here’s the first about dodgeball, Tulsa storms, and Nikita’s present for you to peruse at your leisure.

1.  I voluntarily played Dodgeball on Friday in a tournament…and had fun.  We played 5 rounds in an indoor turf field, and I was playing during the one round we won.  That was pretty cool.  I even got someone out by chance because I am horrible at throwing (they tried to catch it but it hit the ground first).  We played a hipster team first who were okay.  We should have won the last round with them, but the ref made a really bad call keeping one of their players in who was clearly OUT.  The next team we played was 30 something guys and girls.  The guys were tough.  They threw SO HARD.  I was good at not getting hit in the beginning because I think my body went into survival mode and ducked out of instinct.  I still eventually got out.  And we lost really bad.  My hardest hit of the night surprisingly occurred before we started playing when one of my “teammates” threw a ball super hard at another guy teammate and hit me by accident.  First, ow.  Second, OW.  Third, I don’t even know you and I am already pissed at you.  I have a huge bruise on my leg from this accident.  Not happy.  The rest of the experience was really fun, though, I promise.

2. Storms in Tulsa scare the crap out of me.  I grew up in Hurricane Central, but for some reason, the storms here just seem magnified.  There was a really bad storm a few nights ago.  I woke up to some thunder and checked the radar to see a huge red blob coming my way.  When I turned on the news they were talking about the worst parts of it and said the strongest winds that were potentially dangerous were moving to my exact location.  Thank you very much weatherman.  I will be running away now.  I was terrified during this particular storm (my fear of tornadoes goes back to 4th grade…it’s an irrational fear I’ve only somewhat overcome), and eventually decided to sit in my bath tub with Amberjack after the floor started vibrating with the wind gusts.  My bathroom is the only room in my apartment without a giant window, so I felt relatively safe.  Even if this was overkill, I felt calmer, and I think that’s what matters most.  Amberjack is apparently unphased by storms and even seemed slightly annoyed that I was removing her from her cozy bed to sit with me in the bath tub.  She did her “it’s going to be okay, just pet me” duties perfectly, though (see below).  We bonded : )

Hiding from the storm

3. Nikita FINALLY got his present from me.  This actually happened before I left Phoenix, but I didn’t find out more about his reaction until a couple weeks ago.  From what I heard, he loves it and has not stopped talking about it since he got it.  He was really surprised that I had included so many things he liked, and even wondered if I chose the album color because I knew he liked green (I did).  He’s enrolled in English classes next year and told Polina to tell me that next time we meet he will talk to me in English.  This makes me smile just writing about it.  I should get back to studying Russian again at some point.  All the Russian I wrote in his album was correct, but I have Google to thank for that (seriously Google, thank you for correct translations).

As the days go on, I think about Nikita less and less.  I think I just really wanted him to get that book and appreciate it for the heart I put into making it.  Now that I have that closure, I can move on a bit.  I should mention, though, that the first decoration I put up in the apartment last week was a photo frame collage that one of my colleagues from A Gift For Teaching gave me before I left.  It’s pictured below with my favorite picture, the letter Polina gave me when I left (it has owls on it!), and the words Russia and May 2011 written in Russian.

Russia Photo Collage

Must get to bed now.  I’ll try to do some quick updates this week as I make more progress on my first week lesson plans : )


July 31, 2011

The Tale of Amberjack

As most of you have realized from the pictures popping up on my Facebook page, I have recently adopted a Jack Russel Terrier named Amberjack.  I didn’t just go to the pound and pick out a dog.  Oh no.  This story actually goes all the way back to June 19th while I was still in Phoenix.  I was up late at night in my dorm going through picture after picture on the Petfinder app, just looking at dogs in case I decided to adopt one.  I wasn’t REALLY thinking about adopting a dog, but I indulged myself in this search process to get the urge out of my system.  Well, this was a bad idea.

Before long I came across this:

Jack Russell Terrier Amberjack

This is a picture of Amberjack from June.  I was convinced she was a Chinese Crested (those dogs that win the ugliest dog contests) because of how…interesting…she looked, but then I read her story.  She and her sister, Flapjack (my sister loved this because it reminded her of Pancakes on The O.C.), were surrendered to the Animal Rescue Foundation.  Amberjack had demodex mange, which is the lowest form of mange caused by a high amount of fleas.  She was expected to make a full recovery, but at the moment had no hair : (  She was only three years old and was already suffering from something that wasn’t her fault.  So, of course, I immediately felt like I needed to adopt this dog.  I think I have a Corduroy complex from that children’s books (must buy the broken toy!!!).

I put this adoption idea in the back of my mind because I wasn’t even coming back to Tulsa for another month.  I figured by then she would be in a nice home.  But, I did save her to my favorites on a whim.  When I got back to Tulsa in late July, I casually opened the app again to check on Amberjack’s adoption story.  This unfortunately did not exist, but there were new photos of her with a huge improvement in hair growth.

Amberjack Jack Russell Terrier

I told my mom about the dog (she was here to help me move in), and my mom urged me to go see her at the vet’s office where she was being held.  My mom had doubts that a Jack Russell would be calm enough for an apartment, but we called the vet and they said we could come in at any time to see her.

This was mistake number 2 for someone who was not going to adopt a dog.  Not only was she super tiny, cute, and still a little pathetic looking (which made her more cute to me), we got more information from the volunteer that showed her to us.  She said the dog had just finished recovering from Kennel Cough, and had not been very popular at all (it sounded like no one else was interested in adopting her).  Amberjack likes being held, but was very nervous and shaky when I picked her up at the vet.  I got her health records when I left, and as soon as we got in the car, my mom told me “You have to get her.  She’s much calmer than I expected.”

Sooooo I filled out the application even though I was really nervous about adding a dog adoption to my already stressful move to Tulsa.  I couldn’t bear the thought of this dog being at the vet’s office any longer (she had already been there over 2 months).  I figured there was a chance I might not even pass the adoption screening process since I lived an apartment, would be gone for long periods, and hadn’t actually owned a dog by myself.  But sure enough, while on a break from panels at Comic Con, I got the call that I was clear to adopt her as soon as I returned to Tulsa.

Now just a small FYI, dogs are not cheap.  Between the adoption fee, apartment pet deposit, and Petco supplies, my bank account took quite a hit.  Luckily, though, most of these costs are upfront.  I won’t need to buy leashes, collars, cages, beds, etc. too often.  I won’t even need to buy food that often because she eats so little at 11 lbs.

Since I picked her up on Monday, we’ve had our ups and downs:


-The volunteer told me she wasn’t completely housebroken, but she has been almost perfect about just going outside and has quickly gotten used to her outings schedule.
-She doesn’t bark, bite people, or chew on my belongings.
-She seems to have bonded with me within minutes of being in my apartment : )


-She started SHRIEKING when I left the second time after putting her in the cage.  Maybe she did the first time, but she might have waited until I was gone for a few minutes.  I worried about how loud she was and was paranoid that my neighbors would call and complain and I would have to give her up.  She has gotten better the past few days since I put old t-shirts of mine in the cage (they smell like me), gave her trick toys with treats stuffed inside, and put her in the closet (door is open) so she is more in the center of the apartment to bother less neighbors.
-She is very clingy and wants to be in my lap a lot.  I’ve had to work on saying NO a lot and also working out compromises like her being on the couch only if she is laying on her bed that is *placed* on the couch.
-She loves squeaky toys, but she is able to take the squeaker out of the thin ones in 30 minutes flat -_-  I don’t think she gets it that once the squeaker is out it won’t squeak anymore…

To deal with some of the downs, I think I’m going to sign up for obedience classes at a local dog club.  I think it would be good for both of us and would help her socialize with other dogs (she gets super scared when another dog is nearby).  My friend recommended getting her into agility training after obedience training because of her breed.  Maybe she’ll be ready to zig zag through poles and jump over hurdles by Christmas : D

Amberjack the Jack Russell Terrier

But for now, it’s me and Amberjay (my pet name for her) against the world out here in Tulsa.

June 11, 2011

Setting Down Roots

Remember that last post when I was leaving for Induction for TFA?  Well that is already over.  The brief 5 days were PACKED with info sessions, reflection sessions, socials, and even a scavenger hunt.  I made some really good friends in a short time, met more people that I’m sure I will become better friends with soon, and even more people who I’m sure are awesome, but I just haven’t spoken to much yet ; )

Here are some of the main updates I have for you all:

1) I signed a lease with Memorial Creek in South Tulsa.  I ultimately decided on living alone.  I haven’t tried it before, but I really like to have time to myself.  I am in a very quiet part of the complex on the top floor.  While the top will be a pain when I move in, it will be really nice to not have loud upstairs neighbors (and I won’t freak out as much if I hear a weird noise).  You can see my floor plan below.  It’s 726 sq ft, and basically the perfect size for me.

Memorial Creek A1 Model

My Apartment at Memorial Creek

2) I bought a bed.  Leasing an apartment alone was stressful, but really nothing compared to browsing the HUGE Rooms Today showroom (no, not Rooms To Go).  I felt completely overwhelmed in choosing a bed frame, mattress, couch, table, etc.  I’ve never bought furniture before, and I have no idea what prices are reasonable and what brands are good.  I decided that I could wait on buying everything else, but it would be really nice to have a bed as soon as I get back to Tulsa.  I ultimately settled on the Crown Mark one shown below.  I love the shallow cubbyholes it has to add some decorations or just to put small decorative things in.

Kelly's Bed

My Bed: Crown Mark Queen 1400

3) I have a tentative placement at Park Elementary School.  You can view their full profile here.  I really like that it has a high Native American population because this is a minority group I have had little exposure to in Florida.  Also, the school’s test scores are pretty decent in reading, but they do struggle in math.  In case you didn’t know, I kick ass in math.  I also thought it was REALLY cool that they operate a “Micro-Society,” which is described as such:

Micro-Society is an exciting program that is only offered at two elementary schools in the Tulsa Public School District. The program is designed to teach children about the complexities of our worldwide society through the implementation of building a micro-society within our school.The students learn about and are given the opportunity to experience running a school government, establishing businesses, and providing services such as banking. They are involved in the entire process including designing their businesses, setting up bank loans to start their ventures, advertising, the interview process, production of goods, and sales.This on-going experience also includes:

  • Completing job applications
  • Interviewing
  • Budgets
  • Writing a Constitution
  • Hiring and firing of employees

Pretty cool, right?

I leave for Arizona tomorrow, with a brief overnight stay in Santa Fe.  I only have passenger, which made packing the car infinitely easier.  It will be nice to have company on this trip.  Let’s just hope I can dodge the crazy fires going on out there…

June 6, 2011

As Rafiki would say, “It is time.”

Up until now, I have tried to just focus on one step at the time.  Graduate.  Go to Russia.  Finish my internship.  Complete TFA course work.  Pack.  Drive to Alabama.  Drive to Tulsa.  Put everything in a storage unit.  Tour apartments.  But now, all I have left is to actually start with TFA.  I honestly feel like I am living someone else’s life.  I’ve become so distracted with even the simplest tasks (ex. I asked for a 3:15 movie ticket when I really wanted 11:15 and I left my thumb drive in the hotel business center, though luckily no one grabbed it in the time it took me to go looking for it) because I think part of me doesn’t believe that I’m here.  I’m not the type of person to just pack up my life and move to an unfamiliar place doing unfamiliar work.  This is insane!

Welcome to Oklahoma

Entering Oklahoma

Tomorrow I move into the Hyatt Regency for a week for induction, and then it’s a two day drive to Phoenix for five weeks of training.  I have a feeling things won’t seem permanent until I get back to Tulsa in late July.  Until then, I’m just going to keep moving forward and do my best to avoid those heart-wrenching glances back.  These next two years might be the best of my life…or maybe they’ll be the worst.  I don’t really know what’s ahead, but the best I can do is keep up a good attitude.  I’ve already survived a two day drive here (part of which was relaxing and beautiful, part of which made me feel like a pretzel and had me teaching myself to stretch while driving to keep somewhat comfortable), lifting more than my weight in stuff to put in storage, and my first experiences with apartment hunting.  The next 6 weeks should be smooth sailing then, right?

We’ll see.

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