Friday, October 29, 2010

Rachel K. Makeda

I finally have a weekend and part-time job! I finally have income that will cover the utilities and rent that I have been paying for with fumes and savings up until now!

This is a good thing.

I haven't talked about my financial situation too much on the blog, but it's about as good as you might think it would be (considering I'm a full-time, non-matriculated student paying full price for classes at UW and SCCC while having no real income or job and living in a metropolitan area.) so yeah, basically I have about as much money as the dude sitting outside the Wal-Mart smoking asking if you can help him out. Only I have an iPod. 

So having a part-time job that gives me free coffee and pastries will lead to a fatter, more financially stable less financially unstable Rachel. 

Plus, the cafe that hired me is very "Seattle," with its old school La Marzocco machine, Indian Ganesh statue, cement floors and general "chillaxed" feeling. I'm psyched to be working here! I get paid more than I ever did at Starbucks and I don't have to worry as much. I don't bring my work home with me and I get to listen to my own music and wear my own clothes. It's a great job to hold me over until I can get into an actual career; and for that I'm thankful. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rachel K. Interview

On Friday of last week I found out that I was moving on up to the interview stage of the UW Masters in Teaching Program. I am PSYCHED that my application worked out so well. After spending almost an entire year trying to prepare for the basics of the program, it's nice to have some validation.

Of course I spent the entire week panicking about the interview and having my stomach in knots.

Well the interview is over now. I won't know how it went until November 12th (the countdown begins!) For anyone whose goal it is to apply to this program, I will explain how the interview went:

  1. The first half hour was a briefing by a woman who runs the program (whose name I cannot remember) and a current grad student named Marina. They told us about the program, reassured us that if we are at the interview stage, we should probably all be teachers regardless of being accepted into this program or another. 
  2. Part two was a 25 minute free write. We had a topic related to teaching and a topic related to a book or passage we had selected for the interview. However, we never ended up reading this aloud as we were supposed to, so I'm not sure what the writing was for in the end. Maybe nothing.
  3. I had a group interview with five other candidates. We met in a conference room with a 5th grade teacher and one of the UW faculty. We discussed pedagogial "issues" and trouble shooted possible solutions. It was fairly relaxed. 
  4. My final interview was a fifteen minute individual interview with two faculty members. One of them works with ELL (English as a learned language) programs and the other works with administration (like principals.) They were very nice and the interview didn't feel too nerve-wracking.
And that was all! I feel like I represented myself well, but my stomach is still in knots as I wait the three weeks to find out the final decision. If I get into this program, my life is going to be on a CAREER TRACK. If I don't get in, it's going to be hard to recover from the rejection. No two ways about it. 

When the interview was over, I finished out the day's classes and took a very long nap at home. Kevin took me out to celebrate the "done-ness" of the interview and we had delicious crepes at Citizen's in Queen Anne. I recommend crepes to anyone who has just gone to an interview. They have healing properties. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rachel K. Worst Field Trip Ever

I went on a geology class field trip to Mt. Rainier today. I earned myself some bonus points for my class grade by taking on the position of van driver for the trip. Driving a van, as it turns out, is pretty frightening. Driving a van full of Chinese freshmen who don't know the area or speak English or talk to me is really boring. The field trip was mostly unorganized and the van drivers had no real way of contacting each other. The walkie-talkies didn't work, nobody switched cell phone numbers, and we didn't have directions or maps on how to get BACK from the national park.
Rocks! Let us study them!

Without going into more detail, it was pretty awful. I drove a van for 8.5 hours and drove at uncomfortably fast speeds on the high way in the hopes of keeping up with the other van drivers who were speeding, but who knew the way home.

View of Mt. Rainier
Bonus points be damned. The trip was not worth the stress. HowEVER we did see beautiful mountain scenery, so I will put up some pictures of that and hope that it comes to be what I remember most about the trip... in time.

View of some kind of dam
A stream that turns into Narada Falls (which I don't have a decent picture of) 
The Reflecting Pools, which we fortunately got a great view of! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rachel K. Discussion

The discussion section for my Intro to Globalization class is very fortunately full of non-freshmen. Nobody talks very much, but it's nice to have an hour to talk about the things we've been reading in a relaxed room in a beautiful Paccar Hall.
Paccar Hall at the University of Washington 
The TA is very sweet and has never been a TA before, which means she will hopefully be forgiving on our participation grades! 

My geology lab is early in the morning on Wednesdays and so far it's a little weird having a group of 5 freshmen, but they are all really nice and we've been doing better with each lab every week! So far we have learned about topography and minerals. Hooray! 
It will never matter how old I am. This will always make me giggle.

The air is very chilly and crisp and it's beginning to feel like Autumn at last. I'm excited to be going to classes every day and to have a little more purpose in my life. I also have a sore throat and feel totally under the weather, which PROVES that I have joined the masses in an enclosed germ box for the sake of higher learning! 
Sure it looks beautiful, but think of how many GERMS are here!

My greatest successes so far have been locating a quiet study area in Allen Library and finding cheap and healthy lunch alternatives on campus. For under $4 I can get yogurt, baby carrots and a tuna cup with crackers! My greatest challenge so far is having no water fountain in Kane Hall where the geology lecture takes place. Maybe someday...