Hi Everyone!
This is really more of a goodbye as tomorrow is my last day as a VISTA :'(. I have absolutely loved my time serving with CTC so I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it such a great program (that's you HQ!)! You guys are great and supportive, not to mention extremely fun (makes all the difference).

Comment from Jessica McCoy on September 6, 2007 - 4:57pm

Wow, congrats on the new job! That sounds great. I'm glad your year went so well! Mine did, too. I'll get aroud to writing a post sometime soon...

Hey, I might be coming down to SoCal sometime soon, a friend of mine is starting grad school at UCSD. We should hang out! I think I'll be there the last week of September.

Comment from Corey Funderburk on September 6, 2007 - 5:10pm

Definitely let me know! Maybe we can get together with Carly, that would be rad! Keep in touch!

Small Museum Grant


We have received a small grant from Humanities Washington to go out to all the small town museums in our area. We are going to show them how to digitize their collections and place them on the INMP website. Also if they do not have a website of their own we will help them to create a basic website to help promote their museum. Finally we are going to create a 3 to 5 minute film of the project.

Getting in to it.


So I have finished 1/3rd of my year as a Vista. When I started I was very ambitious ready to sink my teeth into the community and my organization. I was on the brink of a new life and I did not know what to expect. I went to Boston and completed my PSO. I returned to Minneapolis and showed up to my organization on the next Monday.

Comment from danielle martin on May 12, 2007 - 1:16pm

Hey Derek,

Great insights on the first 1/3 of a VISTA year. I'm still waiting for my super VISTA powers to kick in myself, and I'm almost 20 months in!


Comment from Morgan Sully on October 8, 2007 - 6:05pm

I remember my first 'real' job out of college was working at a food bank. One of the most meaningful days I had was when the food bank director handed me the keys to the food bank - this is where the food to feed our whole community was held. Food that helped so many impoverished people get better (or at least get by). An equally moving day was giving those keys back when my term ended...

Hey everyone


It's been a while since I've done a blog. Here at Tincan, I've been refining the INMP website. And brainstorming new projects and how to increase our contributors and school involvement. INMP is an online archive of Inland Northwest History.

Check it out those who are interested. I know it's not like many of the websites others are working on but its still cool - if you like history.

When "Benefits" aren't enough


Hey guys,

Anyone out there have one of those pesky "pre-existing conditions" that our benefits prefer not to cover? Well, I did, and it was time to fulfill a prescription (for a measly, oh, $150!) so it came time to find some alternatives!

Anyway, my doctor turned me on to a "patient assistance" program. Basically, I searched online for the website of the company that manufactures the medication I needed and then sent them an email explaining my financial situation. I received a reply the next day complete with information on patient assistance programs and an application to be completed by my doctor and myself. A completed application, attached tax forms and a month of waiting later and I am happy to say I received a little medical card from the company giving me my prescription for FREE! Booyah!

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!

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

Im a vista Gangsta!


Im joining the vista mob today. Loving the chance to do something for the community and meeting all the great minds for change. Boston is cold, but Im serving in LA....... ha ha ha. So its all good in the hood, Holla @ me!

Comment from Laura Hanley on January 19, 2007 - 11:40am

Hi from down the road in San Diego!  Welcome to CTC VISTA!

~ Laura

Comment from Corey Funderburk on January 19, 2007 - 3:08pm

Yae for So-Cal VISTAs!

Comment from Ramon Myers on January 22, 2007 - 10:26pm

Today was my first day at the media aid center and its all good.  I didnt know what I was in for, but I have to say these kids are really on the ball. It was cool to see they have a basic idea of what they want to see on the screen, they just needed a little  more focus and some help on making a story board. I helped them stream line a chain of command and stressed the importance of having a time-line to stay on task.  WE MAKIN IT HAPPEN ROUND HERE]!  

VISTA's working together


This past week I took some time off and went to visit my friends, Darrin and Courtney in Cincinnati Ohio. Before I left I let Lauren Bratslavsky at Media Bridges know that I'd be in town., so that we could possibly get together.

After a few emails and phone calls Lauren and I decided to meet Friday at Media Bridges at 12:30. I walked in and really liked the building. It's one of these refurbished old buildings and just has a neat look. Lauren met me and showed me around. 

Comment from danielle martin on January 8, 2007 - 3:01pm

Oh yeah! That's my lovely Digital Media VISTA love babies. Make sure to share the final version of that tutorial.


Comment from Richard T. Anderson on January 8, 2007 - 3:48pm

VISTA love babies?!

Whoa. It really wasn't that kind of party.




Comment from gariet cowin on January 9, 2007 - 4:29pm

Sounds hot. How come I wasn't invited?

Comment from lauren bratslavsky on January 9, 2007 - 6:02pm

alright alright... simmer down.  It was a fine business meeting. 

i'll post a livetype tutorial when I get it together. I figure it'll be easy for kids and can be great to get them to make lilttle 15 sec transitions between our videos for tv and anything else.

And I have to clarify the workplace. It's a great place. We, the VISTAs are welcomed as staff, but sorta left out on some large scale things. we're working on it. I do get delegated to the front desk during staff meetings, but who wants to hear about the phone chain for snow day procedures? And I guess we were a bit steaming that day due to another meeting of sorts. I'll blog fully about these things later.


vaguely related to VISTA life...


Hey, everybody. I just wanted to let you all know that I updated my Kirsten Academy blog. I don't know if any of you are interested, but for the December class, I managed to raise over $450 for charity, and my friends all got a lot of cool art. Total expenses for me: $15 (a few snacks, and a SASE for an artist who said she probably wouldn't get around to sending me any art unless I sent her one).

CTCNet Conference


Does anyone know if there will be an annual CTCNET conference this year? I checked out their website and found two contradictory pieces of information.

One here that says there will be no conference due to strategic planning and one here that claims there is one and it shall be in LA in June/July. Talk about contradictory.

Comment from Paul Hansen on January 3, 2007 - 3:55pm

Carl the powers that be have confirmed that the conference is OFF. In the next few days I'll be sending out an email to VISTAs and supervisors about this since that was the default conference that all CTC VISTAs were expeceted to attend. We will be making the NTEN conference the conference of choice instead. But we are always open to alternatives if people find others that are more in line with their work and interests. --Paul

Comment from Carl Seifert on January 4, 2007 - 7:53pm

Paul or anybody,

As far as these conferences go, who exactly pays for them? Is it the responsibility of the sponsoring organization or does the Corporation pay for that?

I'm looking into going to NTEN and I need to know where my funding is coming from.


Carl Seifert

Comment from danielle martin on January 5, 2007 - 12:25pm

Hey Carl,

Yes, your org is supposed to cover you going to a conference (see Expectations page - It used to be the CTCNet conference, but now it's anyone that you think would be appropriate. We are going to try and organize groups of VISTAs going together to conferences - it all should be covered in your next monthly conference call. There will probably be more of the TANP VISTAs at NTEN but there should be a strong showing.