Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Other Woman Moved In...

My journey to Oklahoma has been adventurous. I have managed to switch jobs, universities, made new friends--the works.

Before I moved here, I was a little worried about getting new roommates. For its one thing to meet new people, its another to have to meet them and be their roommate the same day. What if you do not like the same type of cheese? Or what if she is a vegetarian and you like to bring home Oklahoma barbecue?

When I met Jordyn and Fred, I knew we were going to be instant buddies. Jordyn is a sweet-tempered, buffy-lovin girl. As soon as I saw her, I knew she was the perfect type of roommate for me. We both love spaghetti, McFlurry's and Reba.

About two weeks after Jordyn and I became roommates, she introduced me to our third roommate, Fred. He is a Westie whose slowly turning me into a medium dog-lover. He has a gentile temperament and he hardly barks, unless Jordyn and I start howling, then he has to join in the fun. He almost breaks my heart every day with his poutful stare when I put him back into his kennel; still he never complains.

Most experts say its takes a little as 30 seconds to make a good impression. Well, I believe such a statement is true. I fell in love with Jordyn and Fred the instant I saw them.

Today, however, I was introduced to the fourth roommate--Karli. In the first 30 seconds I met her, I knew she was a spaz--a running, jumping, panting kind of woman who does not even jump off the bull after an eight-second-ride spaz. I think I will have to hire her as my personal trainer. There is perks to all roommates, right?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Kindess Shall Not Depart From Thee

It is a truthful thought, what more can I say?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Confession of Geek Genes

Year Two, Day 12: Super Nerd!
Originally uploaded by Brymo

Okay, I admit it. I am full of geek genes. There is something about learning new knowledge that is invigorating. Still, I have always been the kind of person to hide my inner geekiness. Although I read frequently, I generally do it in my room with a closed door, and library trips are often just described as “I’m going to campus for a couple of hours.”

If one was to check my internet browse history he/she would find frequent visits to (but never when anyone is looking, of course), farm facts pages and current news sites.

Still, until recently I was able to keep my geek genes in check. Generally people associated me with the “people-pleaser” or the “entertainer;” but when I started a new job, I was asked to take a personality profile quiz called StrengthQuest. Any guesses on my top strength?


WHAT?! It is out in the open people. I love to learn, I am a proud geek. Call me Artemis. StrengthsQuest is absolutely correct when stated the following about me: “you get a thrill out of learning new facts, beginning a new subject, and mastering an important skill. Learning builds your confidence.”

It is true—learning does build my confidence. I love to figure out html coding for Web design, try out a new writing strategy in journalism or design a newsletter in Adobe InDesign. I even admit I am enjoying the challenge of my graduate statistics course. When I opened the book and saw the complicated formulas, I thought I would faint; however, as I have applied myself to learn the material I have found a new confidence. I can learn statistics and I love that.

Such statement is a testimony to my new found strength. A learner “enjoys the process of learning as much as you actually learn—perhaps even more.”

So people, it is not that I actually am a geek, I just love learning how to become a geek. Phew, my secret is safe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Originally uploaded by estherase
I have a reputation for experiencing big "Oops" moments within the first few weeks of a job. While these moments can be stressful at the time they happen, I am learning to sit back and laugh when they do.

My first BIG job (a.k.a. I felt responsible) was changing irrigation pipes for my dad on our sheep farm. As a sophomore in high school, I was ready to prove to my dad that I could be as good as my brothers. The first day, I had to transfer about 22 pipes from one field to another. My father gave me farmer instructions—never full of details—the night before, “take the line from Parnell’s and put it on the center riser of the grain.” So I did. I packed every sprinkler line individually to the center of the field. I thought it strange, but I wanted to follow my dad’s instructions. For those not familiar with irrigation pipes, the customary way to set up the line is to start from one far end of the field to the other. Needless to say, my dad was not very happy with me that evening and I had the opportunity to pack them again to the far side of the field.

Still, the first day was only the beginning of my adventures. On the second day, I decided to drive on a muddy, recently irrigated trail to check an end plug. To make sure I didn’t get stuck, I gunned the gas to get to the end of the field. Sadly, my plans did not extend past the end of the field. After checking the end plug, I went to turn the truck around and sunk into the mud. “Oh crud,” were my exact thought at the time. I tried to get out, but my attempts were useless. I buried the truck to the door, then called my dad. He had to pull out the John Deere Tractor and chains to get me out.

Two bad days, I could not afford one more. I wanted this job. The third day things went smoothly. I changed my lines and met my friend Rachel at her line. She reported to me that she couldn’t get her sprinklers to turn on. In my farm-girl pride, I thought “I’ll show her tough.” I turned the valve handled hard and suddenly water equal to Niagara Falls hit my face. Rachel forgot to clip the valve on the riser and as a result it was blown off by the water pressure. I was soaked. She was soaked. Dad was going to kill me.

I knew I had to face dad one more time. So soaked and covered in mud, Rachel and I got on the four-wheeler and drove to my dad’s office. I thought the secretary would wet herself when I asked for my dad. We were a sight, but dad was prepared. After I told him what happened, he pulled out his jeans, sprinkler boots and a wrench. When we arrived at the farm, dad waded in, and turned the riser off. With water dripping off his face, he looked at me and said, “Tamra are you sure you want this job?”

Since that day I had no problems on the farm with sprinkler pipes.
Today, it is a different story. I was trying to formulate a mass email to send to more than 200 companies. Jami, the office secretary, and I decided to send a test message; however, we hit the wrong button and sent an incomplete email to all of our company contacts—OOPS! Still, I am happy I have made my first mistake. I like feeling human.

What about you? What kind of oops moments have you had in the work place?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Cheese

Anyone familiar with the book Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson will understand my title. Basically the concept of book observes four different characters and their individual reactions to change. New cheese is a respresentation of change and new opportunities.

For me change stands for "Could Have Another Nice Gut-wrenching Experience." So it will not surprise anyone that my life has taken a huge change within the past month. I have moved from rocky mountains to wind-whistling plains; with the BIG move I have changed jobs, cultures, and universities.

With a new place most things in life tend to become transparent, like the cheese. Although core values remain constant within, external perceptions change with different environments. At the local IFA Country Store I was known as the upbeat, agriculture communication major with a stubborn connection with symmetry and color balance with shelf display. At church, I was known as "Tamra with a Camera" the person that took all the pictures; to others I was known as their best friend.

So point blank truthful thought: the hardest part of my "Could Have Another Nice Gut-wrenching Experience" is not the wonderful aspect of discovering more talents and enjoying awesome classes, its the journey through a new identity which comes with the discovery of new relationships.

Yes, Yes, I know you're all thinking, but you LOVE people and you are so good a meeting them; still, new relationships take time to build. I am enthusiastic about the small foundations I have built this week; I have great hopes they will yield a bountiful harvest of love and memories.

But for now, I just have to slowly color in the lines to make my new cheese bright.