Tuesday, March 31, 2009

T-56 Days!

Until the big move! I have recently decided that I need some big changes in my life. Maybe it was the whole growing up in 9 states thing that instilled this need to constantly pick up and move all the time. Or maybe I just get bored easily. Either way, things haven't been going my way lately and I decided it was time.

I am signing a new lease for a one bedroom apartment in Barre, VT on Thursday morning and moving into it during the last week of May! I am beyond excited to get away from the college bustle of downtown Burlington. It's not that I didn't love this city while I spent time here because I did. It's just that I'm tired of listening to belligerent drunks scream down my street every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. I'm tired of looking out the one window in my bedroom to see another house sitting so close I could lean out and poke it with a yard stick. I'm tired of ignorant upstairs neighbors who think it's perfectly acceptable to blast their bass at 10:30 in the morning, or 11:00 at night during the week. I'm just done here. It's time to move on.

The hard part is facing the failing economy as an unemployed college student. It's not that I don't want to work. And it's not that I haven't been trying either. But when you put all the recent college grads still looking for work, plus all of the students about to graduate, plus students like me who are taking a little longer to graduate, and add to all of us the qualified workers who have been out in the force for at least 10 years ALSO looking for jobs... things start to look a little dreary for me.

But I'm trying.

I'll be leaving Champlain College in the fall and begin taking online courses through the Community College of Vermont. It's not a plan I would have ever forseen four years ago, but it's the reality. After 8 semesters of college I am DONE sitting in classrooms. Online courses for less cost are mighty appealing, and even more so since I'll be able to transfer my credits over to Champlain and still graduate with a bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies in the spring of 2010.

For now, as hard as things may be, I've got to set my sights on the rest of this semester and finish April strong. I've got a family vacation to Hawaii, a celebratory trip to Alaska, and a new chapter of life to look forward to when this is over!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mount Redoubt

From ANCHORAGE, Alaska —

Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano erupted four times overnight, sending an ash plume more than 9 miles high into the air, but the state's largest city has likely been spared from any ashfall.

"The ash cloud went to 50,000 feet, and it's currently drifting toward the north, northeast," said Janet Schaefer, a geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The first eruption occurred at 10:38 p.m. on Sunday night and the fourth happened at 1:39 a.m. Monday, according to the observatory.

The current wind patterns are taking the ash cloud away from Anchorage and instead heading toward Willow and Talkneetna, two communities near Mount McKinley, North America's largest mountain in Denali National Park.

Geophysicist John Power said no cities have yet reported any ash fall from the volcano, but noted that it's still early.

Using radar and satellite technology, the National Weather Service is predicting ash to start falling later Monday morning.

Dave Stricklan, a hydrometeorogical technician with the National Weather Service, expected very fine ash

"Just kind of a light dusting," he said. He said the significant amount of ash probably dropped immediately, right down the side of the volcano.

"The heavier stuff drops out very quickly, and then the other stuff filters out. There's going to be a very fine amount of it that's going to be suspended in the atmosphere for quite some time, but nothing to really affect anything such as aviation travel. The heavier stuff will filter out," he said.

The 10,200-foot Redoubt Volcano, roughly 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, last erupted during a four-month period from 1989-90.

But the volcano became restless earlier this year. The observatory had warned in late January that an eruption could occur at any time.

Increased earthquake activity over the past 48 hours prompted scientists to raise the alert level for Mount Redoubt on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, 40 to 50 earthquakes were being recorded every hour.

A steam plume rising about 1,000 feet above the mountain peak was observed Saturday.

Click here to see a Fox News video about Mt. Redoubt!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Please SUMMER don't be late!

Here it is! Spring time! I heard birds chirping outside my window this morning for the first time in 2009 and it pushed a big smile across my lips. It seems like just yesterday I was arriving in Alaska from my fall semester in Dublin and gazing out the airplane window at my first glimpse of snow for the winter.

I am certainly not complaining that winter is over even though the season was short for me this year. The sooner warm weather is upon us the better!

I love spring. I love seeing buds appear on the trees around Burlington that will slowly bloom into pink and white and purple flowers. I love the scent they toss into the soft wind that blows up the hill from the still semi-frozen lake. I love how the sun stays up just long enough that I can still enjoy the sunset when I am released from my night classes. I love how students around campus seem to smile more frequently. I get excited that I can finally tuck my boots and gloves away into my closet and pull out flip flops and bright green nail polish.

But I think what I love most is the promise of summer: Long days on my friend’s porches in a pair of overly large sunglasses with a beer in hand and making plans to go the beach or float down the river or take a boat out on the lake the next day; Driving around with no aim, windows down, radio cranked and singing at the top of our lungs as our hair relentlessly tugs away from our ponytails with the wind. There is just something in the summer air that makes me feel like I don’t have a care in the world. Maybe it’s the warmth in my skin from days spent under the sun. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to juggle school and clubs in the mix with my job. I can never seem to place my finger exactly on it, but I know that I am in love with the summer months and with spring upon us I know that summer is just around the corner. My heart already feels lighter and I cannot wait until it arrives!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Michelle

Sorry I haven't updated in a while! I've been having sort of a tough time this semester with school and unemployment, yadda yadda. College life.

But today I found something in my mailbox that made me smile really big! I got a card from Michelle who has been one of my best friends in the world since we were 13 years old. We shared lockers together in 8th grade and had pretty much all but one class together. It was meant to be! We've lived all the way across the country from each other for the past seven years now but still remain in touch - although not as frequently as either of us would like. She has moved out of Alaska and is living in Washington now with her wonderful boyfriend but we still get to see each other when we visit home at Christmas and sometimes during the summer. Here is a photo from the summer after our freshman year in college when we drove out to Beluga Point on a VERY windy day together: