Projects, Daytrips and Life in General


There has been a lot going on in my neck of the woods (San Diego, CA).

For one thing, my company, the Pangea Foundation, was just granted a contract to develop databasing software to be used in the Home Again Mississippi project (I think that is the project; If not, you get to see a cool webpage with stories). It is really such an honor that a company as small as ours was chosen to do such an enormous project. Unfortunately, though, we only have until March 30th to finish (people need homes!) and we just found out we got the job yesterday! Craziness! The gist is that there was some sort of insurance/state relief decision made where select people are each being given $100,000 to rebuild/repair their homes. However, the state of Mississippi has no way to track who needs it, at what stage they're at or any of the other details that go along with it. So along comes Pangea to the rescue! They saw some of our other systems and have heard about our great tech support and training assistance (ya baby) and felt we were the company for them. It's so exciting! Our software will hopefully expedite the process of all of the people getting the funds they need to rebuild their homes. Woot!

Second, Laura and I went to a Cultural Proficiency seminar last Friday that was very interesting. Many of the counselors who we are working with on our new AP Tracking system were there so it was good to network with them in addition to learning about cultural differences and how to overcome them.

Third, the mentoring program for which we have been working on a tracking system has been growing by leaps and bounds! It used to be just Wednesday mornings but then there was a waiting list to get involved! So now there is a Thursday morning session as well! (That was a lot of exclamation points, I apologize.) We help Karen, the program director at our office, get things organized and input all of the new data for the programs. It's been fun and I'm glad it's growing.

Moving away from work onto daytrips and fun times:

Laura, Mike Denegal (former VISTA leader) and I took a daytrip to Tijuana on Sunday.

Pangea crew in TJ

It was way too much fun. Here's a link for pictures. Check them out! It was cool because we took the trolley from our office which was only $5 roundtrip and were able to just walk across the border, thereby missing all of the traffic and wait times! Everything is pretty cheap down there and there is a lot going on. If you ever make it to San Diego, it’s totally a fun thing to do.

Laura and I have also been taking some free classes at one of the continuing education campuses here in San Diego. We started off with HTML and then moved onto Dreamweaver (all the way through intermediate!) and Photoshop. It’s so cool to be able to learn new skills and expand horizons! There is totally one of those guys who can’t keep his hand down in lecture and likes to argue with the teacher (you all know what I’m talking about) but besides that, class is awesome.

Otherwise, fun things I’ve been doing include going to cheap local concerts, watching movies and baking. Oh yeah, and doing Tae Bo videos with new and improved Billy Bands (yeah, I’m weird)! You guys are going to see Laura and me at the conference and be like, “Dang, those girls are svelte.” Just kidding…

Thought provoking life questions:

I came to the realization the other day that my VISTA term is nearly half over. What that really means is that my year of procrastination that was to be used for deciding what I wanted to do with the rest of my life is nearly half over. I feel like I haven’t come to any real conclusions. I really like technology and when I work at it, I can learn and accomplish a lot, but I’m no techy genius, unlike many of my fellow VISTAs out there! I just don’t feel I have a ton to offer sometimes. I majored in business and I am pretty good at that – organizing, planning, implementing, etc. I could draw you a pretty nice supply/demand graph any day of the week. However, I’ve found that really putting things into practice is often difficult. All I really know is that I want to be useful and I want to help people but I don’t know in what area I can do that most efficiently. I know I don’t want to go back to school. I should probably move away from San Diego for an adventure and growth but it’s just so comfortable here for me. My family is here, my friends are here, I know my way around (Anyone who knows me well knows that is huge because I have absolutely NO sense of direction). So yeah, anyone out there in the same boat? Have any suggestions or ideas?

Hope everyone is doing well and that no one has frozen over with the recent weather. Looking forward to seeing many of you in April at NTEN!

Comment from Carl Seifert on March 6, 2007 - 1:59pm

Thats pretty sweet about the new contract for Pangaea. I think you guys are giving them the support they need to grow, even if sometimes it seems like you aren't doing much. I take it that that contract is the reason you were in meetings all yesterday...which again, is a good thing.

Awesome on the html, dreamweaver and photoshop is an excellent price indeed. I also am finally learning the basics of HTML after fooling around with Dreamweaver a couple of years ago, i've made webpages, but didnt know the nitty-gritty html stuff, so i'm learning the code basics. Also you heard about my training in Macromedia Flash here in old town alexandria, which is so sweet. If only we could actually purchase the software....[looks into the distance dreamily].

I also understand your existential and career contemplation, but i think you already have more of a plan than you give yourself credit. Go crazy, be adventurous and use that americorps resume and networking for your benefit. Heck...move out to DC, its a great area and lots of fun stuff to do. And lots of jobs that are interested in supply/demand graphs.

See ya in April.

Carl Seifert
Computer C.O.R.E.
Alexandria, VA