Every person has something or things that motivate them. When I was growing up my mother handed me a piece of paper with a list. Since then, I have always taped this list to the back of my bedroom door so that I can read it every morning before I leave to begin my day (even as I live with my…
This past month and a half has been a whirlwind. The family came to visit, painted a hospital ward, taught lessons at camp and chit-chatted with other malaria geeks. It was awesome!!
Visiting with the family was an experience. We traveled all around Uganda and made some amazing memories. The 2 weeks that they were here went way too fast though. We went on safari and saw a lion right next to the jeep, a herd of elephants and water buffalo stampeding, hiked around the beautiful Murchison falls, and I lost one of my Birkenstocks. Bummer… especially since I wore them every day. At least now I will get a package. Yay for packages and mail! We also explored Arua, Jinja, Sipi Falls and my site.
After my family left I made my way back up to Arua to paint the pediatric ward. I had talked with another volunteer while visiting with my family and since the term just ended and I had nothing to do I ventured up there to paint. This was also and experience. There were no ladders so I had to stand on little bedside tables and to make it more interesting the patients were in the rooms the entire time. I had to juggle beds, move mattresses and played charades with the mothers who didn’t speak English. I loved every moment of it! I had an audience everyday (even if they weren’t in the ward) and the mothers were more than helpful. There were 5 rooms that needed to be painted as well as the pillars outside the rooms. After two weeks I was able to finish 3 rooms and the pillars outside.
Then I headed south to Entebbe with a few boys (who went to Camp BUILD) to go to National Camp GLOW. I was a staff member again but this time it was much different than W/SW Camp GLOW. Girls came from all over Uganda to participate in camp. This camp I taught lessons on malaria and net repair, family planning, teambuilding and friendship bracelets. For the malaria lesson, since many of the campers had been to a previous camp, they are all in at least secondary school, and they knew all the information I would have told them, we played malaria freeze tag. The concept of “freeze tag” was a new one. Not all the girls understood “freezing” but by the end of the day they did. Family planning we played “The Game of Life.” We also played this on Gender Equality day which meant the Camp BUILD boys came to Camp Glow. The campers were split into 4 groups with different starting roles. Some were better off than others and each round the groups picked an event that either helped or harmed their lives. It could be having more children (or not), having their house catch on fire, having a good harvest, graduating from a university or a myriad of other events. Then at the end the points were tallied and it led to a discussion on when to start a family, positives and negatives of children, finishing education, and getting jobs to better their lives. The teambuilding was done with a game called islands. I helped 2 counselors of camp lead teams through “crossing the river on islands and turtles” By the end of the day campers worked really well together and “crossed the river” successfully. Camp was tiring but definitely a success. Hopefully I will direct National GLOW next year.
After camp all the PCVs in Uganda gathered for the All Volunteer Conference. Just before the conference I found out that I am now a member of the malaria think tank. This think tank is a group of volunteers who are dedicated to doing what they can to end malaria and help other volunteers with any malaria related projects in Uganda. Its super cool being able to talk with other volunteers that are passionate about ending malaria. My role in the think tank is to work with all education volunteers compiling all the education volunteers malaria activities into a manual so others don’t have to reinvent the wheel in regards to malaria, creating a series of big books with lesson plans that can be used by other volunteers, and helping with net repair and care sessions and lesson plans. I will probably working on other things too. This is exciting!
Oh and this week teachers are striking because they haven’t been paid or paid fairly so no school for me. Its rumored that the strike will end sometime this week but I’m not sure it will.
I also am a part of TAC (Training Advisory Committee). So I get to help train the new education group of volunteers arriving in November (just like I did). Since I have been dubbed “The Big Book Queen” I am teaching sessions on how to make and use big books in the PTCs and Primary schools, instructional materials for PTCs and positive behavior management systems at the PTC level. It should be fun. This next week, I will be working with other volunteers in Kampala on planning out the training for the new group. I may get around to teaching at my PTC eventually…. life in Uganda is rarely boring when I am involved in so many things. :)
Whenever a decision is made by someone the first question from other people is “why?” Why did you do this, that, and the other thing. From your mother, you friends, your significant other to often being the focus of an interview as well, the question is always “why?” With that, you always have to…
Golf is the one sport, activity, thing, hobby, or any other descriptive word that will guarantee anybody success in one’s life, career, or relationships. I have come up with 10 Reasons Why Golf is the Most Important Key to Success (and I don’t do these in order because it’s hard to give one more…
Law School is no joke, well until your third year then it’s just job searches and “bar review,” skipping class, video games, and jokes. If you ever read any of Tucker Max’s books, well, then, you would have a much more colorful understanding. However, there are some essential things that got me through Law School (in no particular order):
GChat - not facebook chat, not AOL IM, but GChat. Everyone seemed to have it on their laptops and if someone looked at your computer it looked like it was an e-mail website, so it suppressed suspicion. Law School is more Mean Girls than High School, so gossipping about who did what and who did who from the week before makes class tolerable. Also, when you’re on call and you have nice friends, they sometimes GChat you the answer. And who doesn’t like to talk negatively about their professor in private?
Family & Friends- aww, touching. But seriously, you are about to become one of the most miserable people you know. Your friends and family will put up with it, celebrate the good times and nurture you in the bad times. Let’s face it, when you’re surrounding yourself voluntarily around only A-Type personalities you need an outlet that is going to calm your emotional nerves.
Highlighters- all you do is highlight, everything seems important. Then there’s people who color code their highlighting. All you do is read and highlight. At the end of the day, when you graduate, you realize all that highlighting didn’t really matter.
Alcohol- I’m not promoting alcohol or the use of it, but I will say Alcohol has an interesting impact on Law School Students. They use it to celebrate, they use it when things are going rough, and they use it heavily. I had classmates whose friends visited and even some of my own friends visit whom were shocked at the level of alcohol taken in by Law School students. Some kids, from quite large undergrads, would visit and come away with the belief Law School kids would drink a Frat Party under the table any day - Hence, our Beer Olympics, “Bar Reviews,” End of Semester Celebrations, etc. etc., if you’re not studying you’re finding a rationale to consume alcohol.
Television- I didn’t watch much television in undergad or high school, the occasional Teen Mom (by the way, so pumped that Teen Mom 3 has recently aired) or 16 & Pregnant (the “at least it’s not me, so now my day doesn’t suck anymore” pick me up) or a Sporting Event. But once I got to Law School, I had more shows to follow than ever before. It was my outlet away from studying. And I began to sound like a grandmother, “Oh, I can’t go out, my shows are on.”
Gym -You’re stressed, you’re tired, you’re eating bad, and you’re unhappy with your appearance. That’s what Law School will do to you, but the kids, like myself, who worked out regularly were rarely ever stressed. Or if we were, we were able to overcome the stress by a quick gym session.
Internet- Whether it was Barstoolu.com with their Smokeshow Smashups (you could literally spend a days worth of classes playing this), Memes, Fantasy Sports on ESPN, or any other website. Internet got you through class, it helped you procrastinate from studying, and it connected you to opportunities for jobs and internships. Or, sometimes, social media outlets would let you voice your opinions. Which, by the way, Law School + Social Media + Opinions never mix well. It’s like Alcohol, Politics and Religion. You don’t mix certain things, ever.
Jimmy Valvano- Maybe not for you, but definitely for me. Before every final exam, every mock trial competition, and at the start of every college basketball season. His 1993 ESPY speech was and has been my inspiration before, during, and after law school. I would watch that speech realizing that no matter what I did today, in the great idea of things, it didn’t matter. I was alive, I was happy, and I would be fine tomorrow. “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up” and he also taught us an important lesson - that each day we should laugh, think and have our emotions moved to tears. Seriously, watch that speech, try not to get emotional and then think about the message and in the context of that message. His speech will get you through anything.
Buffalo Wild Wings- Everyone has their sinful place to eat. During Football and Basketball season, it was best for me to go pig out at B-Dubs. All those screens, all those wings, and no law school - jackpot. I would go there weekly. It just was the perfect place to get your mind off of school and to enjoy the small things in life.
Myself- what better motivation is there to do anything than yourself? I wanted to prove people wrong, I wanted to succeed, I wanted to graduate. The toughest of times and the best of times, I did it all for me. No, it’s not selfish. It’s part of life. When you start doing things for yourself, you find your happiness and other things naturally come to you. I had no one but myself to be upset with over grades and no one that was more proud in my successes than myself. At the end of the day, Myself got me through to graduation, Myself (along with networking, charisma, and being just the man) got me a job, a fiance, and a bright future.
At the end of the day, everyone will have their own things to get them through Undergraduate Schooling, Graduate Schooling, Relationships, and Life. But, you gotta find your own 10 things, but the one thing everyone’s list should have is a “myself” section…
The article briefly discusses how interns at the white house are unpaid and their job description “warning label” explains that they are to work at minimum Mon-Fri 9am-6pm. Now if you give them an hour lunch, it comes out to about 40 hours a week at minimum. And of course, it’s the white house so I doubt it’s a strict 9-6 shift with weekends off every week.
So reading this article made me think about all my paid and unpaid internships and how I was able to do each of those internships. Briefly, the unpaid ones I did were either while living at home with my parents or during a school semester while I was living on school loans that subsidized my living costs. Then there were some other paid internships, some were awesome because I was living at home and not paying any bills. However, my last internship (the summer before my last full year at law school) was a paid internship. Thank God, because every dollar of that went to paying my living expenses and without the paid internship, I would not have afforded my rent for 3 months, been able to eat food, or grab a beer with friends.
Reminiscing, I realized how fortunate I was, but also I wondered how much money I would have made had all my internships been paid. And when I got home last night my fiancé and I had a discussion debate over the idea of paid internships v. unpaid internships. So, here are a few points that came out of it that I felt were worth sharing:
1. If all internships were paid, it may lessen the demand for interns and lessen the demand for real time jobs to the point where there are fewer opportunities for students for internships and less jobs students qualify for post-graduation.
2. Is it really fair to offer unpaid internships when there are students who are more qualified, but because of an economic situation, cannot afford to take on an unpaid internship, thus creating a domino effect that ultimately affects their career paths? (Yes, Dr. Williams, this was my inquiry about the matter. And if any of you ever play Monopoly with her husband, Scott Chase, you will understand why I sympathized to this point.)
3. If you really want an unpaid internship you can find it or subsidize it with a job at night/weekends. Survival of the fittest mentality or pure American Dream mentality, whichever you would prefer.
4. Unpaid internships build character and make you realize how hard you have to work. Being unpaid gives you the drive to work harder, to learn, and to achieve larger goals later in life.
5. Taxes may rise and some of the expenses for services rendered by unpaid interns will increase.
6. If you start paying interns, then you have to raise minimum wage, then you have to raise x, y, z…snowball effect
7. That’s how it has always been, people to get experience must be willing to take on unpaid internships.
8. Some jobs cannot afford to pay interns and it becomes law then some experiences will not be available.
9. If it wasn’t for the unpaid internship, I would have been able to… or meet…
10. Being willing to work as an unpaid internship can give me an advantage compared to other applicants wanting to be paid.
11. Find a new job or career
No matter how many other points could be made, you can see where the debate will rise and continue. In summary, I am somewhat torn about the concept of requiring interns to be paid. I believe that some of my unpaid internships help me develop into who I became and were more on point with my career path. I believe I took on some paid internships because I wanted money but actually got little value from the experience. But I also sympathize for those less fortunate who may not be able to actually survive by taking on an unpaid internship. Regardless of how you feel, it is an interesting debate for college and post-grad students and it will continue to be a topic brought up in the future. But at the end of the day, if you want something—you work hard to get it and make the sacrifices it may require and in the end, in theory, you will get what you want and achieve your goals making all the hard work and sacrifice seem worth it.