What a strange bit of time the last few weeks have been. It seems like Harlaxton was so long ago. Today is May 19 and I have been in the United States for 17 days now! WOW! I haven't really had time to reflect. Hopefully I will begin printing out some photos and putting together a photo album and that will allow for me to revisit all my wonderful memories. Lately, I am having trouble deciding when to talk about my study abroad experience and when to just say that I did it. Not everyone is quite as excited as I am about all the things I saw and experienced, yet others want to know lots of details. Often it is clear whether they want to hear lots or just go on. It is odd to think that someday soon my trip to England won't be the most recent news (this makes me think that I will have to do something else wonderful and exotic to top this trip!).
Real life has definetly taken over all my time. I began my job with the Department of Conservation last Monday. There was lots of paperwork and introductions. Funny enough, each day I worked last week a different person that I know from another place came to my office to say hello. Each one worked in the complex that I do! There are several walking trails, ponds, and picnic tables which are a wonderful place to spend some time outdoors. This is the Department of Conservation after all! Mom, Mary Grace, and Rachel are going to come eat lunch with me soon I think! I worked over eight hours Monday - Wednesday last week at MDC and then made the drive back to Liberty on Thursday morning. It was a bit surreal to be back on I-70 with semi's on either side barrelling down the bumpy highway on my way back to the hill. I wasn't sure how to approach my return. I found it difficult to just walk around like I had never left. Without a doubt, I am not the same person that left that campus just last December; nonetheless, I don't look that much different, and it is only in my new even more ambitious outlook that someone would see a change. The fall seems only a few days away although I know I have months to prepare for my new position as Editor in Chief of the Hilltop Monitor and VPII of ZTA. Lately I am feeling anxious and ready to dive into it all. I think I need to pace myself. I think I maybe working on this for the rest of my life!
If you know me in real life (not just in cyberspace), you would know that I am not an animal lover. In fact I really dislike pets especially! Yes, your furry companions would not get much love from me. Despite this extreme dislike, my family was coerced into getting a dog this past December. This protested addition to my family most importantly proves that Mary Grace, my 12 year old sister, really has control of the family. For over two years Mary Grace has begged for a dog, so it was an inevitable occurrence (Rachel and I tried to put it off, but our combined powers are nothing compared to MG). I bring up this issue only to set the stage for an event that may define a greater change than any trip to Europe could initiate. I attended a pet parade on Saturday, May 9th. The mysterious, yet wonderful town of Jefferson City, Missouri hosts a pet parade once a year. Ironically, I had been a witness to the event at least one year previous to this year as I worked downtown many Saturdays and would see the chaos slowly prowl down the street. This year I would have a much different perspective. This year I was a participant! Yes, me, pet hater, walked along side hundreds of pets. They barked and pooped the whole time and their owners loved it all! I had to laugh at myself. This was really a downgrade. Only one week ago I had been in Europe and now I was braving the pet parade! I made it without too much trouble. Our dog Truman is growing on me, so naturally he was one of the cutest dogs there. Here are some photos and a video of the big day! Enjoy :)