Friday, November 4, 2011

Starting a Life

Holy shit! Everyone, I am sorry. I did not realize it had been so long since my last post. Everything has been much of a whirlwind since I moved to Arizona. One thing after another kept changing,becoming difficult, getting better, getting great, and then challenging again, and now fantastic. Pheww.
When I first arrived in March and even through April one thing after another kept holding me back form living the care free life of a park interpreter that I was striving for. Everything from housing, to paperwork, to mispelled name (go figure), to payroll mixups kept the spring very stressful. I was beginging to wonder, is this the universe's way of telling me I really shouldn't be at Grand Canyon. But I hung in there out of spite...just kidding. None the less I was here at an amazing place that gives interepreters unlimited opportunities to reach for new experiences.

Never have I had the opportunity to develop so many amazing programs and gain experience in a big yet challenging park. When I first arrived and I was told I was going to be giving 14 different programs within the next month. "Say what?" But with my head spinning I dove in the best that I could, put on the green, gray, and straw hat and tried to blend in. (Good thing our uniforms are camoflage in color) But too bad the canyon in red. Oopps this means I have to actually know stuff...

Anyhow the one thing I picked up on quickly is that there are a lot of employees here. Many rangers are very well known in their field and have connections all over the country. It was then that I realized that I was in the heart of the interpretation field. And I get to work with these people! I worked my ass off....literally from hard work, researching,and hiking I am 30 lbs lighter and a whole lot wiser. My public programs went from good to great. Spending over 40 off work hours on my evening program alone. This paid off in more ways than one. My audiences seem so much more intriqued than ever before and If I can leave work everyday with a smile on my face I consider myself a winner in the game of life.

I thought I was dreaming when the Deputy Chief of Interpretation called me in to chat. She told me that they were very pleased with my work here at Grand Canyon and as if I was interested in sticking around. "We want you here." I believe were the exact words. To make a long story short, paperwork was completed and I was hired as a SCEP here at Grand Canyon. For those of you who don't know what SCEP is it is a way for parks to hire folks non competetively if you are a student. So once I finish my degree,(which I hope will be soon)I finish as a GS 5/7/9 Park Ranger with 120 day status to be hired non-competetively in any park. Time to start looking ahead I guess.

So for now I am happily settled into a lovely new 2 bedroom apartment and am actually starting to collect more belongings than will fit into my car. I also have been starting to collect plants...not by choice. I have many male friends that have been jokingly giving me these lovely potted companions saying that if I can keep these alive for a while then I can think about getting a dog. Thank guys, you all are great for my self esteem :O. The next time I move I will get a moving truck! Its the little things in life...

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