Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's see who's still checking this blog...

Hi again everyone!

The day I've been long waiting for has finally arrived! Our friends from England came into town last night after a looooooong day of travel. As I said from our experience with transatlantic flight, it was the longest day of my life. I think my English counterparts would agree.

Tom, Helen, Barbara, Caroline, and James arrived last night at the Binghamton airport. I can attest to the mild culture shock they must have felt since things are so much more spread out here than they are in England. Driving on the "wrong" side of the road also takes some getting used to. I kind of feel like the "big sister", having already gone through similar experiences in the same context.

We (Terry was there, too, and our alternate team leader, Anne. District Governor Sam was there, as well as representatives from the Cooperstown area Rotary) took the team out to dinner. Apparently their entire layover in Washington was spent in line at Customs and they didn't have time to eat. We went to The Spot, which coincidentally enough was the first restaurant I went to when I moved up here to central New York. We left around 9:15, and then the poor team had to ride all the way to Cooperstown. Talk about a long day.

***This post was by Amy just before district conference in 2010. It wouldn't add until I just now updated the interface choice. --Vickey ***

Where Are We All Now?

It's been nearly two years since District 7170 sent Amy, Tim, Jeremy, Terry (our team leader), and me to northeastern England. Since we've been back, three of us joined Rotary, one of us moved away, and all of us are still in touch.
In fact, we're even in contact with some of the folks from our trip! When our counterparts from District 1030 came here, the whole team met up with them at our district conference (our relocated member, Amy, was still here at the time). In just a few days, one of our English GSE alumni, James, is visiting. We're planning some fun things to do! A few months back, the GSE coordinator from 1030 and his wife came and stayed with Terry. I was fortunate to get to have lunch with them.
And still I talk about GSE - the ups, the downs, the fun, the strain, and every wonderful thing in between. It was a conversation just a short while ago that prompted me to update the blog.
I suspect there will be random posts every now and again by one of us.
Have a great day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Photos: always a work in progress

So I took a lot of photographs. I warned everyone in my profile that a camera was permanently attached. I think there were about 2,500 total, of which I eliminated about a thousand that were fuzzy, duplicates or otherwise erasable. With a workflow of one photo every five minutes, that's a lot of minutes in post-processing. Fortunately, I did much of the work while sitting in the airports on the way home. Unfortunately, I didn't completely finish before real life back home set in. So that's my excuse for not posting the shots so far. My goal was Thanksgiving (late-November) and now it's almost Christmas. Today is the day.

To see most of the photos (I generally don't like to post photos of people close up - unless in a public place - without their permission), click here. What do you think?


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Plusses and Minuses

Amy again.
I reworked my presentation for the breakfast meeting of my sponsoring club this past Wednesday morning. Since it was my sponsoring club, Vickey trimmed down her presentation and gave me a couple extra minutes, and I greatly appreciate it that she did this. I added some of the things I wanted to add, like the Three Villages Walk and a bit about the food, but I didn't cut anything out to balance it. I was hoping that, with my slides finally up and running, I'd be better able to keep on track and not ramble. Yeah, that didn't work so well.
I managed to talk for 12 minutes, I think it was. Vickey had very little time to talk, and Terry didn't get a chance to do anything at all. I'm really distressed about this, because I think my presentation is really good and I don't want to cut anything. I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and leave out a lot of good stuff.
I'm wondering if it might be helpful for the whole group to get together and better plan out what each of us will talk about, especially before we all present together at District Conference in the spring. Maybe if we all talked about our individual vocational stuff, but then separated the other topics out so that each of us had something completely different to cover. We'll see what happens, I guess.
I'm waiting to hear from someone at the Cortland Breakfast Club about attempting to start up a club here in Cincinnatus again. As it turns out, things were in motion to get a club started here last year, but they didn't have a local contact. Then I kind of fell into their lap as a GSE team member, and ever since I was chosen, Sam the District Governor has been talking to me about working to get this club up and running. Again, we'll see how this pans out. I know a few of the movers and shakers here in town, but since I didn't grow up here and I'm not part of the fire department, that leaves me on the outside of the two biggest community institutions in town: the school and, um, the fire department. I'm all behind what Rotary stands for, now let's see if I can convince some locals that Rotary is worth signing up for.
Talk to you later, kids. Have a great day and a Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The GSE Team Proudly Presents...

Well, I had a long message that I incorrectly thought was being autosaved as a draft. Now that's gone. It only saved the title, not the content. Pretty useless draft, really. So, I'm not feeling nearly as patient or talkative now.

Mostly what I wanted anyone interested to know is that I've done one presentation and I have three more scheduled. I have to get one more on the books in order to fulfil my obligation to Rotary International.

Yes, the supposed draft was a lot more informative, but I can't get that 20 minutes back and now I need to get to work.

Have a great day!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Return Presentations

I've done two return presentations so far. For the first one, this past Saturday, I forgot my slides. Yep, left the flash drive right on my desk at home. For the second presentation, this past Tuesday, I remembered my slides, but they just plain didn't work. I guess it's a good thing we were told to prepare our presentations to stand alone without visual aid, but it's hard to talk about how amazing Fountains Abbey and Bamburgh Castle were without the freakin' pictures.
I'm going to change my presentation around anyway. I felt obligated to include a healthy dollop of information about what I learned about the National Health Service, but unfortunately, that seems to be a snooze-fest for my audience. I'll likely shorten that part and add in some more of the fun stuff. One of the advantages to doing the presentation with Terry, Jeremy, and Tim on Tuesday was that I had a chance to see what all of them were talking about and yeah, we dupilcated some stuff. We also managed to leave some really cool stuff out completely. I'm going to make it a point to include some fresh information in my presentation that the audience won't get from another team member.
My next presentation isn't until December 2nd, and that one is for my sponsoring club. So I have plenty of time to procrastinate before I make the changes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'll stop procrastinating... well... yesterday.

Hi there everybody! It's Amy again.
I have my first return presentation to do this Saturday, and I just, I mean JUST, finished my presentation. Some of my team mates have already done two. I've been thinking about what I want to say since before I even returned to the US, but getting everything straightened out in my head has been very challenging. It's funny how it seems simple enough to throw together a 4 to 5 minute presentation that sums up your personal life and career, but it's so hard to make one of the same length that hits the high points of what you experienced in a single month. I've fit a lot into my presentation, but I can't help but feel that I left so much out, too. And unfortunately, it's so many of the funny little personal stories that I had to leave out. Like falling down the hill on the three villages walk. Or being sick at district conference. And ooooh, the carsickness I felt for the first two and a half weeks. I want people to know the good parts, of course, but sometimes the not-so-great things really round out an experience like this. I really hope we got a lot of questions so I have a chance to share more than what I put into the presentation.
It was a pain in the butt re-doing my slides. Arrgh. I hope they work well and don't come out all wonky when I go to present on Saturday. I think they're alright.
Now that I'm back on this side of the Atlantic, I've found I'm much more conscious of experiences that I feel are truly American. The month of November, for instance, has three such experiences: Election Day, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday (the day of holiday shopping madness that follows Thanksgiving). I've been thinking about doing a blog post on these things, but I don't really know if it's appropriate to do it on this blog. I may start an American culture blog, for your entertainment. I'll let you know if I get this up and running. I've been tossing the idea around for a while, so I probably will.