Hello friends and readers,
I realize that I have most definitely let you down this AmeriCorps NCCC term in terms of my usually exciting and informative blog posts. I hope that this post is the first of many about my TL life. It is an incredibly busy and stressful job that I have a love/hate relationship with, to say the least, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If my lack of posting says anything, its how many other responsibilities I have been fulfilling ahead of blogging, and I want to fix that.
When I last left you, it was 1 week away from Corps Member arrival in Denver. Obviously quite some time has passed since then (though it doesn’t always feel like that). We went through CTI with our CMs, trained them, observed them, lost a few, and eventually came up with our teams for first round. My crew (of 10 and me at the time) headed out for first round to work at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. We worked all over the hospital in almost every wing, and then some. I worked a morning shift in the surgical unit as well as intermediate care, and a night shift in the post-surgical unit, the infant/toddler unit, and the NICU. I really feel like I got my feet wet as a TL, learning how to manage a team that was never working together. I loved my work because, let’s be serious, who doesn’t love holding babies for a 4-hour shift before going to sleep.
We said goodbye to Little Rock after just about 5 weeks of getting to know each other and learning what this class 19A term was about. I am now completing my 5th of 10 weeks in Wichita Falls, Texas, working with the North Texas Area United Way on the VITA tax project. My team (now of 7 and me) has been trained up to advanced tax prep and has prepared hundreds of returns to date (go to myfreetaxes.com/texoma to do yours for free!) Since being here in Texas, we've done a lot of cool things: free pancake breakfast, PBR bull riding tournament, hockey game, chocolate event, etc. We work long days and never have 2 days off in a row (except for this Sunday/Monday because of President’s Day!) and the work is mentally challenging, but we are growing a lot as a team. I have learned A LOT more about what it takes to be a team leader during this round, good and bad. I’m struggling with the fact that my team is not like the Fire 2 of my CM term and am learning how to adjust to that. I am working on my confidence as a leader and I’m getting there. What I have learned so far is to never underestimate the power of communication, especially with those who understand you.
On a non-AmeriCorps side of things, I’ve been accepted to graduate school for my MSW at both Denver University and Fordham University! I am still waiting to hear from Rutgers in NJ and also for financial aid information from every school (late March) and I will then be able to make a decision.
That’s all I’ll update on for now. As I continue with this service term I am going to hold myself accountable for posting here for any and all who read. Until next time,