Issues and Updates


It has truly been a while since I wrote a blog. Anyone who reads Laura's blogs, however, pretty much knows what I'm doing. My friends here in San Diego call Laura my "life partner" because we spend so much time together - living, commuting, working. Thankfully, we get along and haven’t killed each other yet :). I feel like recently most of my time has been spent in trying to overcome a lot of bureaucracy.

Comment from gariet cowin on January 9, 2007 - 4:24pm

You know what also would have been nice? Somebody explaining that there is a BIG difference in the amount of food stamps you get if you sign up BEFORE the PSO, rather than after.

But cheer up! At least you have a super sweet life partner. I have to settle for my imaginary co-worker. And he's an asshole.


Comment from danielle martin on January 9, 2007 - 7:00pm

You would have gotten more in food stamps if you signed up before the PSO? I only ask because we've got a new crew starting next week so I want to give them the right story...


Comment from danielle martin on January 9, 2007 - 7:13pm

Hey Corey,

My mom has this little saying I say to myself very often in my VISTA service: "Nobody said life is fair." [I know, it used to piss me off when she said it, but I'm old enough to be ok with the fact that at some point you turn into your parents.] I know for myself, I try to remind myself that the challenges of doing a year of full-time volunteer service are only marginally comparable to the experiences of the people I'm trying to ultimately serve. Unfortunately we live in a country that doesn't have a national healthcare system and where only a quarter of the population even get a chance to get a 4 year college degree. I'm not trying to be unsympathetic - I'm admittedly idealist enough to think NOBODY should have to jump through ridiculous hoops to not be sick and get an education. So the system stinks, let's change it. Let's write some letters. Or help us make it clearer for the next set of VISTAs.

That being said, I'm impressed with all the amazing stuff your doing at Pangea. I'd love to keep hearing more often about the great things you're accomplishing this year (and hope you share some of the lessons learned and resourced you developed) and hope you let us know when we can help.


PS Tell Mike D. that I love him right back...him and his positive attitude ;)

Pangea Life


Hi all,

I hope that everyone had a great Halloween! Laura and I followed through on the Chipotle Boo-rito idea and I believe she will have the pics posted in her blog, so check them out! Besides that, work has been picking up quite a bit. It's nice to feel like I have a place in my organization now. I'm going to give a quick rundown of my most recent tasks:

  1. Training Manual Updates: Basically, taking new screen shots and writing explanations as our systems are constantly evolving. I'm working on the version for the end-users (service coordinators in our case).
  2. Laptop/Desktop Deployment: Setting up laptops for our co-workers to use at conferences for a computer lab they set up as well as for doing demos of the software we develop.
  3. System Testing: We had to check that transfered data was moved correctly from one system to another by spot-checking different residents' info. Also checking that links, titles, content, etc are correct and working within the system.
  4. Software Architecture: Continuing to develop the software for our Mentoring program including building forms, researching inputs and reports and working with the actual program functioning - watching the trainings. These trainings help us to see what kinds of activities go on and help us to make our forms more comprehensive and useful.
  5. Researching for Education project - Our company received a grant to build software for tracking AP and Honors classes/tests in San Diego high schools. The idea is to see if classes like AP, Honors, AVID, etc are adding to students' abilities to succeed (i.e., go to college, get a job, etc).

So, that is basically it for me. I'm still working on my loan issues. No one seemed to be able to help. I wrote a scathing letter to my university with a referral from a past professor. Hopefully something will work out :-/. As far as the rest of life, things are going very well. I've been playing indoor soccer (highly recommended), going bike riding a ton, and doing some baking. Laura and I went to the Haunted Trail in Balboa Park (near our apartment in San Diego) and got chased by ghouls, goblins and creepsters running with chainsaws - good times. We even rode our bikes to visit this random, self-maintained topiary garden a few miles from our apartment. Some person turned their entire yard into a zoo full of topiary animals. Pretty nifty. Anyway, hope all is well!



Hey everybody!

First off, I tried to befriend as many of you as I could find on Facebook so if you did not get a request, it's probably because I spelled your name wrong, so find me instead :). Life in SD at Pangea Foundation is rockin'. Laura and I have been having a blast. In fact, tonight we're going country line dancing, woo hoo! We've been to the beach, Balboa Park, bike riding, walking around our little city and had all sorts of adventures in getting lost. We're working with a mentoring program right now, developing software. We are considered "software architects." How cool is that? This weekend we get to hang out with Andrea (from PSO) because she's heading up the AIDS walk. The goof troop is re-uniting! Our office is super-sweet. Everyone is helpful and really generous. We have taco Tuesdays and because everyone here is male besides us they bought 39 tacos last time..... we were pretty full. I think we even get a free trip to Disneyland sometime in the near future because the clients we serve all have a crush on our supervisor so he gets the hook-ups. But yeah, life is pretty sweet. I hope all is going well for everyone else!

Comment from Carl Seifert on September 28, 2006 - 3:28pm

What a spectacular nickname you have chosen for yourself! I could never have come up with something like that.
Yeh for goof-troop reunions! I'm pumped you guys are having so much fun.

Its awesome how you ended up with the exact opposite office dynamic than I did. Only male, youngest by 10 years and everybody is married, so no sweet escapades to disneyland. I guess we could all take fun trips to the Smithsonians. Those are DC's Disneyland. Big difference though......they're FREE! hahaha, in your face disney.

Life here is good, the Computer CORE is actually a great place. I actually was finally bequeathed a title the other day, which i'm pretty pumped about...Computer Training Development Coordinator <brag>. Its pretty hot. Oh man, I forgot to change the voicemail on my phone. Anyway, my supervisor(s) is quite great and is interested in my professional development, developing my network, and giving me real responsibilities. Its alot like i'm the real deal and not just a federally paid intern. I'm milking all of my pre-existing friends here for their free food and drink and trying to stretch the almighty DC metro dollar. It doesnt go that far, but I'm making my way.

Hello other goofs and all other wonderful VISTAs. I'm glad the blogging is going well. I'll try to contribute more.

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

First Entry... EVER


This is the first official blog that I have ever written, very exciting. I've been here in Boston for nearly 24 hours (another first) for the Pre-Service Orientation. It's been great-- great cruisin', great people, great sight seeing (following the Red Line, you know who you are) and, of course, great blogging. When I leave here tomorrow I will return to San Diego, CA where I was born and raised and will also be serving, although an hour or so away from home. Laura Hanley and I will be living and serving together at a non-profit called Pangea Foundation. The specifics of our duties are still under construction but I'm definitely excited for the possibilities! I'm looking forward to meeting other Vistas in the area and maybe even doing some "social networking" which has gotten a lot of discussion time at the PSO.