Thursday, October 23, 2008 update on an old subject...

I got caught up in reading my own blogs (is there something egocentric about that?) and realized that I hadn't given you the most recent and assuredly the last update on a certain subject. Remember the fraudulent address issue? If not, flip back through my of my finer moments if you ask me. Well, the issue never resolved...we stopped getting stuff from Wells Fargo, but continued to get stuff from matter what we did. I can't lie, I was incredibly frustrated, but I finally figured it was just something that I couldn't do anything about and would have to deal with.

I was SO wrong! One day I got home from work to 2 packages on my porch. I wasn't expecting anything, but was still incredibly excited! I got to the packages and saw that they were from Sprint. "You have got to be kidding me..." I started to feel that familiar feeling of anger, but it was quickly replaced by a rush of horribly devious pleasure. I hurried into the house and opened the packages (I stopped worrying about opening stuff with this person's name on it a long time ago). Lo and behold, each box contained a brand new phone. I couldn't believe it!

It's not like I could use the phones, or pass them on to someone who had Sprint...I'm sure the phones could be tracked once activated. However, I was bubbling with excitement at the realization that Monica had finally been beat at her own game. Bills and statements are one did she expect, for me to drive across town and drop the phones off at her house with a little note on flowered stationary saying "Here's the phones that sent to my house because you're fraudulently using my address to get your kids in a different school even thought I explicitly told you you couldn't. Hope you enjoy!"? I think not!

So, after playing around with the phones for a while because they were a new model that looked like fun, they were shipped back to the recycling plant. I will admit, I pocketed the chargers because they fit my phone...I'm so bad. However, the beauty of this...all phones sent to the recycling plant get checked for damage, paired with a charger, and sent off to be used by either the military, battered women, or someone else who needs them.

This was the best poetic justice I could ever hope for, and you shouldn't be surprised to know that I haven't received ANYTHING else for Monica since that day. I wish I had been able to listen to the phone call she made to Sprint.

Monica: Hello, my name is Monica and I haven't received my phones
Sprint: What is the address ma'am?
Monica: (ACTUAL address)
Sprint: I'm sorry ma'am that's not the address that we have on file. Can you verify your account some other way?
Five minutes later...
Sprint: Thank you for that verification. Now, what is the correct address for the account?
Monica: (ACTUAL address again)
Sprint: Ma'am, the address that I have on file has been being used for over 3 years. You said that you have been receiving your bills and statements, how is this the case?
Monica: uh...well...I...nevermind, it's just wrong, can we change it?
Sprint: Well sure, but I want to make sure that nothing else will be sent to the other address. Are you familiar with that address? How did it get onto your account?

You can see how I would have been thrilled to formulate this exchange in my mind and imagin Monica with her stomach in her throat.

Ah well...This, unlike the detective work from the beginning of the saga, is NOT my finest moment. But I really think that it worked for everyone...

I'm no longer receiving a stranger's mail
Monica learned a valuable lesson
Two people are getting to talk to their loved ones on brand new phones that were donated to them

I can't feel too bad!

Hope you enjoyed. I'm not REALLY this devious, I promise, but I have to admit, it was fun to see play out!


Kristin Quarterly

I just read my last post and realized that I am a horrible liar! I said I would keep you updated, and I haven't said ANYTHING...and there's definitely stuff to say. So here goes...

I accepted the job and I LOVE it. I have been traveling all over the place, learning new things everyday, and taking advantage of the opportunities to make positive changes for the students of New Mexico. I started the job with a month worth of traveling within the state. I went to Carlsbad for the Rodeo finals, Ruidoso for some meetings, Alamogordo for the Athletic Training Challenge, Las Cruces for was a CRAZY month. But it was a great way to decide whether I knew what I was getting into, and if I was making the right decision. Obviously I was pleased with what I saw! I continued my travel by going to Washington DC for our Summer meeting, Indianapolis for a Spirit Committee meeting, and OKC for our Section meeting.

Somewhere in all of that, I managed to pull off the reunion...which I was pretty pleased with! It was a great time, we had a great turnout, and from what I've heard, people had a lot of fun. Of course this probably means that I suckered myself into being the reunion planner for years to come, but only time will tell.

Sorry, that was a tangent, back to work. I am now 6 months into my position and I really feel that I am where I am supposed to be. I have already had many opportunities to address issues that I have struggled with for years. I have also had the opportunity to learn lessons about being in a position with that much is definitely a much more precarious place to be. But as I learn more and more, I realize that I like the precarious!

My actual job is overseeing the 22 "non-athletic" activities in the state of New Mexico. Now that I've called them non-athletic once, I won't any more! It's the easiest way to explain what I am talking about, but the prefix "non" implies a negative, or what they are not rather than what they are. So here's a list of those activities in case you are interested.

Athletic Training Challenge
Business Pros of America
Concert Band
DECA Marketing Education
Drama / One Act Play
English Expo
FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America)
FFA Agriculture Education
HOSA (Health Occupations Student Assoc)
Mock Trial
Scholastic Publications
Science Fair
Science Olympiad
Skills USA
Speech and Debate
Student Council
TSA (Technology Student Assoc)

I completely run some, have a hand in the day to day operations of others, and simply oversee the rest. It makes for a busy 6-7 day week, but I really have loved every minute of it!

So, where does school fit into all of this? Well, my boss was incredible and willing to bend over backwards to allow me to finish my Elementary Education degree. He was going to allow me to take off 3 months during the summer to student teach, and 2 days a week during the Fall Semester. I don't have to tell you that that is an INCREDIBLE offer when I am a full time salaried employee. So I put together a proposal to UNM asking them to allow me to student teach at a year round school so that I could complete my student teaching during the summer, our least busy time. The plan was to complete the first semester of student teaching this fall (that's the 2 days a week) and complete it next summer student teaching full time. I would complete the course work that is required as well; attending class regularly while student teaching in the Fall, and attending the Spring semester class drawing on my experience from the Fall semester to complete assignments. I also ensured that I would have access to a class so that if I needed to complete an in class assignment throughout the Spring course I would be able to do so. Knowing that I was asking for an exception, I also took the additional steps to find a year round school, meet with the principal, get approved as a student teacher, and arrange a tentative schedule with my mentor teacher. This is normally the responsibility of the university faculty who does placement. I submitted the proposal and was turned down...rather bluntly at the end! I did appeal the decision, was lead to believe that it would be overturned, and was then turned down again.

So...obviously this caused more than a handful of problems. The most difficult were these;
1. After being told by University faculty in the VERY beginning that this wouldn't be a problem, I had already accepted the position at work.
2. I had fallen in love with the job and wouldn't have attempted to withdraw my acceptance
3. When I had accepted the position, salary negotiations had included the assumption that I would procure my Master's degree in the near future
4. I was 85% done with a Master's degree that I now wouldn't be able to complete
5. If I loved this job so much, how much do I really want to be in the classroom?

This lead to some serious soul searching, a lot of unsolicited advice that eventually helped me reach my final decision (but in general, not the desired decision of those offering the advice!), and a more decisive plan for the future of Kristin!

I chose to not complete the Master's in Elementary Education and instead have begun the process of transferring all eligible credits to my Masters in Educational Psychology. I am already very pleased with my decision. Many people have come to me stating that I "belong in the classroom," I "have a talent and I shouldn't waste it behind a desk," and "don't give up on your dreams." As much as I appreciate their compliments of my abilities with children, I have come to some realizations throughout this soul searching process that have helped me realize that my place is NOT in the classroom.
1. I am also an organized leader who possesses the talent and intelligence to positively impact even more students from "behind a desk."
2. Just because I am not in the classroom does not mean that I will not have the opportunity to work with children. I still have the undying desire to be a mother, and I truly feel that maybe that is where my talent with children will be best utilized. I have already proven to be more successful on an individual or small group level than with a large group.
3. I have always struggled to balance my characteristics/hobbies/desires that seem to come from polar opposite ends of the spectrum. I don't know how to best explain that, but I can try to give an example. I have always pictured myself as a city girl: suit, heels, business portfolio, etc. I put that aside for so long because I was training to be a teacher. This job combines the two. I still get to interact with and benefit the students, while dressing up, clip clopping down the hall, and looking "put together" in the business world. I hope that makes SOME kind of sense.

So, there's that. If you were one of the advisors, thank you for your concern, and thank you for trying to keep me from making a rash decision. But please realize that I am very please with where I am and I don't feel like I have given up on my dreams...I feel like I'm realizing them!

I am submitting my application to the Ed Psych program within the next week or so...wish me luck!

This semester I am taking Qualitative Research in Education, Intro to Gifted Ed, and Intro to Human Development. I am enjoying all of the material, and two of the instructors! The gifted education class has been an eye opener to an interest area that fits into the Ed Psych line of study. I think my thesis will be centralized around gifted students who participate in extracurricular activities. Does this help them cope with their giftedness and are they more successful at the High School level when gifted programs no longer exist then their counterparts who do NOT participate in extracurricular activities? Can you see how everything is fitting together like a puzzle?

So do I still have a life? Well I try! Like I said, I did the reunion this summer, took an extra day in OKC to visit Lisa, and just returned from a trip to AZ to see a So You Think You Can Dance tour stop. Something I haven't had the time (or desire) to do is tackle the non-existent dating scene in Albuquerque. So, I have joined It's Just Lunch. It is basically a matchmaking service for busy professionals. I haven't made any connections yet, but I've met some pretty cool people!

I have also found a church that I am happy at...FINALLY! It combines fellowship, traditional service, church activities, small groups, people of my age, and most importantly the love of God! It took me a while, but I am very happy there as well.

I am still at the same place in Albuquerque. The house is on the market, but we are not desperate to sell. When it happens it happens! I am planning on buying a house in the fairly near future, but there will most likely be a transitional rental in between this home and my first. My mom is living with me a couple days a week and in Los Alamos the rest of the time. She has a job here in Albuquerque as a PA and is really happy there, so she's down here generally Wednesday through Saturday. We drive eachother appropriately nuts the way mothers and daughters should, but I'm luckier than most in that I get to see her as often as I do. She doesn't like to cater to my anal-retentive neuroticism, and of course that's driving me to drink, but not excessively! :-) Happy BDay mom!

The Broncos aren't making me incredibly proud, but the Phillies are on a roll!

My animals are the same wonderful companions they have been for years.

I still have an addiction to shoes.

I still love to cook and have recently added to my semi-professional should come for dinner sometime!

I'm pretty sure that I have sufficiently updated you on anything and everything you ever wanted to know, and probably stuff you didn't want to know! But since I figured this one may be the last post for months (as that has been my recent pattern) I didn't want to leave anything out!

I love you all and hope everything is going equally well for you. Email me at any time, or call me. I'd love to talk to you...I'm just really bad at making the first call recently! Not an excuse, but I'm sorry anyway!

Love you love you! Have a fun Halloween, a fruitful Thanksgiving, and a blessed Christmas!