My name is Jacqueline - I'm a socially moderate, religiously conservative, and politically liberal girl just loving life right now! I'm a 24 year old Master's of Media Studies student at the University of Texas, but an Oklahoma alumni and die-hard Sooner fan! I'm currently writing my thesis - in a nutshell my research is about girls' online lives, particularly informal learning environments. I'm also an English & Language Arts teacher for a local Home School Co-op. When I'm not researching for my thesis or writing lesson plans - I'm usually watching college football! Oh yea, and I'm training to run a half marathon with Teams in Training this winter, I'm pumped!
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"So don't ask me no questions, and I won't tell you no lies"
Wow has there been a lot going on and I haven't been updating at all! Some very exciting news: I'm writing this entry from a coffee shop by my house on my brand new laptop, yay! I've been needing one so badly, and I've never had a new computer before, I always buy used. My grandma helped me get it and I'm loving it! I'm alraedy so much more productive!
I've spent all day working on lesson plans for the new job. It's been a lot of work but a lot of fun! I just hope I have enough students to make ends meet. If not, I'll have to look for another job I suppose. I'd rather not work 2 jobs, take classes, write a thesis, and train for a marathon all at once. But, you do what ya got to do I suppose. I'm glad I'm a self-motivated person, ha!
The marathon training is going really well! I haven't missed a day of practice yet. Even I can't believe that I'm waking up at 5 a.m. to go run. I'm not a natural runner, I have to fight for every mile. But the Team is so nice and the coaches are great and I'm really motiviated. Doing this for a cause so much greater than myself really helps. When I don't feel like running, I just think of my mom and all that she went through with cancer, and I'm motivated. My mom says that my sister and I are her motivation so that she and I will never have to hear the words, "You have cancer." The fundraising part isn't going so great. I've had a lot of people say they will help me, but they haven't actually donated yet. Hopefully the money will start coming in soon.
I got to go home last week for a few days. It was so wonderful seeing my family. I spent the majority of my time with my sister and gradma, I hadn't seen either of them since Easter. My sis and I have an interesting relationship. We don't talk much when we aren't together and kinda just rely on my mom to update us on each other's lives. But when we get together we always have a blast, catch up, and just have a really great time. We share interests and conversations and jokes that we don't have with anyone else. I love her to death and I am so proud of her! She shared all sorts of police stories with me, she's awesome!
I feel like my blog has gotten really boring lately. It's just boring updates about my life rather than interesting topics or editorials. But I guess I do so much writing for classes that I really don't have the energy to come up with anything creative on here. Hopefully that'll change - I'll probably get back to using this as a forum to play with ideas now that I'm actually starting my thesis research, oh yea! I'm so pumped about my topic. Classses have started, new job starts next week (1 class of lesson plans down, 3 to go, ahhhh!), and life is going grand. Things with boys are a little uh, interesting at the moment, but what can ya do? Just go with the flow I suppose. I met some of the new M.A. students and they are awesome - especially a few of the girls. I need girl friends here. I mean I've got girl friends I hang out with after class and stuff, but none I'm really close to on the one-on-one level. But I took a few of them to float the river this week and we just really hit it off. Unfortunately I have no classes with them so it'll be an effort to get together. They are cool though, I love meeting new people!
Oh, and football starts this weekend - I could NOT be more EXCITED! Oklahoma kicks off at 6:00, woohoo! Eight long months of wating has finally come to an end!
Here's to life - as grand and confusing as it is - I'm ready for it! I've got so much on my plate right now, but I'm loving it!
Posted at 5:02 pm by Jac
Saturday, August 18, 2007
See Jacqueline Run. Run Jacqueline Run.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, I am training to participate in a half marathon run in Orlando this January as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's, and myeloma from taking more lives. The Society has raised over $800 million over the past 20 years and hopes to hit the Billion dollar mark this year - I have to raise $4,000 of that.
I'm completing this event in honor of my wonderful mom who is a ten-year Hodgkin's survivor! She and I will be running this race together this winter. It is because of the grace of God (to Him be the glory!) as well as fundraising events like this that my mom is alive today! These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
I had my first Team practice this morning and I feel GREAT! I have really gotten out of the habit of running, I went yesterday (granted it was mid-afternoon and hot), but I was only able to do 1.5 miles without having to stop and walk. Today I was able to jog the whole 3 miles with the Team and never had to walk! I know the weather helped, but running with a Team and coaches cheering you on makes such a difference. Also running for a cause greater than yourself is really motivating.
I'm so pumped up! I've never run more than about 6 miles before and now I'm training to do 13.1. Oh and on top of that I have to raise $4,000! I know it's going to be challenging, especially those 6 a.m. practices - on top of writing a thesis and lesson plans. But I couldn't be more excited about it! Cancer is something so personal to my family, I want to do anything I can to help find a cure and help improve the quality of life for patients. I know God will help me raise the money!
If you would like to help me cross the finish line and support the Society's cause, please go HERE to make a donation and read more about the Society.
Posted at 5:39 pm by Jac
Friday, August 17, 2007
Suppose I had a creative title...it would go here
My mom was here for 4 days and we had so much fun! I haven't really spent time with her (more than just a day) since about Christmas and we had a blast! I had registration on Saturday so she came down late that afternoon. We went to a wine bar on 2nd called Cru and shared some fondu and a flight of wine. For dinner we went to Fino. Fino is a wonderful Spanish restaurant and one of my favorite restaurants in Austin. We stayed for about three hours drinking wine, eating, we even had dessert and espresso. It was wonderful!
Sunday we went to breakfast and then down to Town Lake. We walked around the lake for bout an hour, then got a kayak. We had never done that before, it took us awhile, but we finally got the hang of it. We walked around the lake for another hour or so. It was getting pretty hot by the time we decided to leave, but it was a beautiful day and great conversation. That night, after three failed attempts, we finally ended up at a sushi restaurant down on 6th Street. Turns out it was GREAT! The chef made some off-menu specialties for us, oh boy were they good! I took her to the Ginger Man afterwards and we had a few beers. My mom is one of the few women who has the same beer taste I do - dark, creamy, rich, mmmm Stouts!
On Monday we went to Einstein's again for breakfast and then headed to New Braunfels to float the river. We took a cooler with some fruit and beer and snacks. It was perfect weather, sunny and not too hot, just a nice 94 degrees. It was a weekday so the river wasn't crowded at all. It was so relaxing...especially after our exhausting 3 hour excursion the day before. That night we ended up going back for sushi! This time one of my friends joined us - my mom had been wanting to meet him. It was very good the second time, and I always like introducing my friends to my mom. Afterwards we got some gelato and walked around downtown a bit.
And finally on Tuesday we went to the dog park, took Scout of course. My mom fell in love with a Standard Poodle out there, ha! And poor Scout got hurt - he was being chased by some big dogs, and he ran into a tree stump. He let out a few yelps and went down. The other dogs were really good and just stood over him. I think it just knocked the wind out of him, he seemed ok after awhile. Poor guy though, kinda put a damper on his play time. My mom and I ended our fun by going to Trudy's, I just love their veggie flaquitas, mmmmm!
It was a perfect way to start my vacation time! My mom and I always have so much fun together. We are really different in a lot of regards, but we are also so alike in other ways. Great just talking and catching up with her. And we got to do a lot of fun Austin activities. I think she wants to move down here, ha! I don't think my dad or his business will go for that...but maybe someday...
Posted at 11:03 am by Jac
Friday, August 10, 2007
Really long story short - A accepted Christ last night on my living room couch! After almost a year of praying for him, and many Spirit-led conversations, he found God! He came over last night completely broken, at the end of his rope, after a week of drug-induced depression basically. I'll spare personal details beyond that, but I talked to him, shared my beliefs with him for probably the third or fourth time, and this time, it just made sense! He said that he never imagined that anyone could have so much insight into his situation, especially me, seeing how I've never done drugs. And he said he never believed in miracles until last night. It was wonderful! We were both really giddy all night and stayed up talking about stuff really late.
God is so good! He told me to break up with A and I didn't know why. In fact, at one point I even had the thought, "But God, I'm the only Christian influence in his life, are you sure I should be breaking up?" (so foolish of me to question God's plan and timing!). But A said had I not broken up with him, he wouldn't have gone back to his old lifestyle of drugs and lonliness and depression. He said he didn't know how to handle the break up and that's why he started that again. Had he not done that, he wouldn't have hit rock bottom, wouldn't have ended up on my couch needing a friend, I wouldn't have been there to ask him what it was he was searching for in life, and then tell him that what he was searching for was a relationship with his Creator - the only purpose we all have in life! We were all created to worship God, and we all feel a void and emptiness in our lives until we fill it with Him! And when we do, everything else in our life takes on such a greater purpose. Something so much greater than ourselves, and something that can never be fulfilled by earthly things.
Taking this even further back into God's plan - if Brandon had never broken up with me, I would have never dated A in the first place...yea, 16 months later even more of God's plans are revealed. How good He is, and how reassuring it is to know that He blesses obedience - there's a reason He demands it!
In other news - my mom is coming to Austin tomorrow! I'm so excited. I haven't seen her much at all this year. I was home for 1 day at Easter and 1 day in May, that's it. My friends who all live twice as far from their parents seem to see them more often than I see mine. She and I have big plans! We've got dinner researvations tomorrow at one of my favorite Austin restaurants -Fino's. We are going to go hiking and kayaking on Sunday, have a picnic, do a little shopping and get sushi that night, followed by a hookah bar! Monday we'll probably hit up a happy hour and Mexican food. Not sure exactly, but I'm so happy to spend some time with her now that I'm on vacation! That's right, today was my last day of my summer teaching job, woohoo! I've got registration tomorrow for my new teaching job, or rather, the kids have registration, I just have to be there to enroll them. But then I get 2 weeks off before classes or school starts again, yay! I need a break, haven't had one since Spring Break...that's a long time! In addition to seeing my mom this weekend, I think I'm going to go to Dallas sometime soon and see my sister and dad. And my 84 year old grandma is going to ride back to Austin with me for a few days and then fly home. I don't get much alone time with her anymore, it'll be special. I love my family, I am so blessed!
God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!
Posted at 11:59 pm by Jac
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I have a new job for the next year, and it's such an answer to prayer. While Starbucks was a good grad school job, it didn't pay all that well and the schedule could be pretty unpredictable. I have loved working with kids and teaching this summer (although I'm starting to hate the driving), anyway, I started looking for some part-time teaching or child care jobs. I applied for a few randomly online, and surprisingly got a phone call and interview from one. And they hired me!
I will be teaching for an Austin Area Home School Co-op. My schedule was originally only going to allow me to teach 2 of the 6 classes, but after talking to them, they added two more classes just for me to teach. This other lady and I convinced the administrator there was a need for preschool/kindergarten and 1st/2nd grade classes, she agreed and added them to the list of classes. So, I am now the English Literature and Composition teacher for this co-op. I'll be teaching preschool/Kindergarten, 1st/2nd grade, a 3rd-6th grade, and a 10th grade class. It's the first year the co-op has offered English and Language Arts, so I'm their guienea pig. I basically get to make my own cirriculam. My only restrictions are that a) the skills are comparable to what they would learn in public school and b) my lessons are taught from a Christian worldview. Growing up in a private Christian school, the latter is no problem for me. The other requirement is going to require some work on my part, looking up TEKS information.
I'm really excited though. It's a perfect opportunity. I'm only teaching 4 classes, all on the same day. So technically I only have work one day a week, although obviously planning lessons and grading papers etc. will require more work, but still, only one day a week when someone is demanding my time at a specific time of the day. This is such a God thing. I applied to my summer job with the Institute of Reading Development on a whim, never really expecting to get it. And then I did. Had I not taught reading all summer I never would've felt qualified to apply for the English position at the co-op. It's a perfect schedule, good pay, great opportunity to learn and teach, and work with some really amazing people. I'm very excited and thankful for the job.
I feel pretty confident about it, but it's weird having no guidance or direction. Every decision is up to me, choosing materials and setting up a curriculam. The reading part will be the easist, it's the grammar and writing part I'm a little hesitant about, but I'll figure it out. It's kinda weird how my research interests in school have turned towards media and digital literacy, which work hand-in-hand with the education system and how I have landed two teaching jobs this year. I don't have an education degree, I'm not even certified. But my job and my research interests are meshing in a very complimentary way. It's very cool and exciting to think where I can go with this. I think my life story is becoming one of those, "I don't really know how I wound up here, things just worked out that way." I'm taking rathrer unconventional paths and it seems to be working. I love it and I couldn't be more excited about the next year - I've got my thesis topic selected, I get to actually start researching this semester, and I have a perfect job secured for the next year of my life. God is good!
Posted at 11:12 am by Jac