So, even though I finished Residence Director training last week, I feel like summer is now officially ending and training is officially kicking off this next week. It’s going to be a busy month ahead, so I figured it would be kind of cool to stop and think about the summer so far. In my last blog post (that I wrote, not reblogged), I discussed the new-found freedom I had because I decided to buy a car. Well, it has taken me to new heights and has allowed for an awesome summer!
This summer, I was able to go hiking several times and find some cool spots in Burlington to explore. I hiked Mount Philo, ran around the wooded Red Rocks Park, and took a small group hiking to Mount Mansfield. Hiking up and down Mount Mansfield was so much fun and really allowed me a breath of fresh air on the highest peak in Vermont. It was beyond beautiful and I got to spend time with some of the grads and my Office Manager.
My car has allowed me to take road trips to Six Flags New England, to fly out of Boston for my vacation to California, and to inevitably take a road trip to Baltimore and D.C. (in a marathon road trip). My trip a couple of weeks ago to California was beyond amazing and I got to a variety of things! First off, it made me miss California a lot. Visiting for a true vacation (and minimizing drama on the trip) was exactly what I needed. There was only one evening of drama, but I will let that go into the wind because it’s useless to discuss here on out because this person (I’m assuming) no longer considers me as a friend (BYE, FELICIA). Another case of not needing certain people in my life who bring me down or who bad talk me or think I’m not a good friend. Good, because you just proved why I don’t need you any more! Anyway, I got to go to In-N-Out, Ikea, watch Disney’s Inside Out twice, which was an amazing movie, spend one day at Disneyland and two days at Disney California Adventure, attend an LA Galaxy soccer game and see Robbie Rogers make a goal and also be at a big winning game while also getting a chance to hear Robbie speak and meet him and his mother, ride many awesome new roller coasters and rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain, visit and eat lunch at Stone Brewery, see my friend Johannes and go ocean kayaking in La Jolla (and also going in and around caverns/caves, eat twice at California Pizza Kitchen, and meet an awesome guy at Disney and actually feel like I met someone I can be friends with and want to truly develop that friendship more and more everyday (he’s probably going to one day read this…ahh…just kidding)!
What I can say is that I really miss California. I think I have spent a good 5 years on the east coast and I’m starting a 6th, which proves I do love it here, but I think I’m slowly convincing myself that my career needs to take me back to the west coast and back to Southern California at some point. It was amazing to go to Disneyland Resort for the 60th Anniversary Celebration, which Disney has dubbed as the Diamond Celebration. New shows and nighttime spectaculars, a new color scheme, and lots of cool souvenirs, including collectible 60th pins, where all around! I’m 100% glad that the drama I experienced at Disneyland was on Night 1 and that I don’t care for drama (because it’s for your mama, just kidding). I was spared drama for the rest of my trip when this (apparent) ex-friend decided to not stay with us any longer, and boy was that a relief because honestly, I need people to communicate and also be straight forward and honest (and not try to please people by not communicating needs early on). I got to spend another half day at Disney California Adventure with zero drama and my third day was spent in parts with this new friend of mine (which was really like 3 mini-Disney-dates). This person works at Disney and we got to just spend time talking about life and Disney as a company. If you know me, you know I have been a fan of Disney and the company for as long as I can remember loving Disneyland and Disney movies. So, dreams come true, I guess! I met the guy who works in the area of Disney that is probably the most interesting to me and I got to hear about some fun facts and about his dreams and goals, which hey, is a win-win for everyone! I honestly didn’t expect this at all when visiting California and Disneyland Resort, so you can say it was the topping on the cake and the cherry on top to an already awesome week spent in California with my sister.
My trip to California was just excellent and I returned to Burlington, VT with a new sense of energy to start this new academic year in my Residence Director position. I also have a lot to look forward to, such as people visiting me and also me taking more time to take vacation in the near and distant future!
When I got back to Vermont, I got to meet one of my newest co-workers and new RDs, Marquita. I helped her move in and I am serving as her compass, which is basically like a guide/mentor for the next year as the new staff member transitions in! Then, I drove to Boston for a night to see Imagine Dragons with Jenn (of whom, just got a job as an RD at Simmons in Boston), so it was kind of cool to celebrate with her with good music! So, we went and of course, Imagine Dragons always knocks it out of the park! They performed at the TD Garden, and of course, the place was packed! They played their new hits and a lot of their old hits. I was just perfection! Imagine Dragons are just so humble and they speak to you when they perform! I love when they bring out the drums and you’re just jumping around and dancing to the beat. The energy they create in any concert venue is so unique, I can’t even describe what a good feeling. You just feel it in your heart, mind, and soul! I can’t even describe it!
A couple of days later, my co-worker, Marquita, needed someone to drive with her to get half of her belongings. What started as a short trip to Yale turned into a full road trip to Baltimore and D.C. We drove about 10-11 hours down and 10-11 hours back up in 2 days. It was nothing short of an adventure, but I got to meet important people in Marquita’s life, which was so wonderful and I wouldn’t have traded my time and energy for anything else in the world! Marquita and I got to develop our relationship so much in such a short amount of time, which was so cool!
When I got back, I slept a couple of hours, then I drove back to Boston for a concert with Yaa. This time, it was a concert with Eric Hutchinson, Pentatonix, and Kelly Clarkson! Yes, the ultimate lineup! First off, I don’t like amphitheater concerts because people except you to sit down, when concerts, you should be standing up! If you don’t stand up, you’re not going to be dancing and rocking out, so boo to everyone. But, Yaa and I committed to standing the entire time (people were mad, but f*ck you, for real, I paid real money to be here, let me stand and see and enjoy the music and sights…other people stood as well, so HAH). Eric Hutchinson was pretty cool and fun! Pentatonix was really awesome and I loved seeing them live. I love that we were watching an a capella group sing live and on tour. Cool. Then, Kelly Clarkson. Beyond amazing! On this tour, she is doing a fan request song, and it was cool that for the Mansfield, MA stop, it was requested she do “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. YES! I loved it. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Kelly Clarkson is golden and she’s so humble about the privilege she has to be where she is and to perform for people. She’s down to Earth and I love it! She also allowed her backup singers to do an entire number on their own, “Bang, Bang,” and they rocked the house! All in all, very great evening with good music and great company (Yaa)!
This past week was our first week of training, and since I had to drive back from the concert and arrived at 5:30am on the day of training, I started very tired. First day, I was fine, but the second day was a little harder. It was a tough week for sure, filled with training, emotions, and getting to know new people, but it was great! As RDs and Area Coordinators (AC), we got to go to Smuggler’s Notch for a retreat. It was a lot of fun to just get to know people more and to also get some hot tub time and pool time. I could not ask for a better way to relax together with some of the staff.
So, today, we all met together for the first time as a full Residential Education Team (RET). We are large and there are a lot of new faces. If you know me, I am super extraverted, but there are times when it just overwhelms me and I actually don’t go to everyone to introduce myself. It’s just not me in that way! So, I hope to meet some of the new people more as we progress through training!
So, that basically wraps up my summer! It’s been a truly great summer filled with lots of traveling, lots of concerts, and lots of great memories all around!
To see photos of my summer, you’ll want to browse my Instagram at: https://instagram.com/jackkorpob/.