Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Flexibility makes buildings be stronger, imagine what it can do to your soul" - Carlos Barrios

It's been two weeks since I have last written! It's been such a whirlwind of craziness lately, so I will attempt to remark on the major events of the past couple of weeks...

When I last wrote I was busily preparing for my big event at VIP - Pro Bono Opportunities Day. After the copying debacle on Friday evening, I was a bit nervous for what Monday would bring in terms of preparation. I spent the entire day until 6pm at work preparing all the last minute things that go into such a big event. Possibly the most frustrating (yet rewarding) component was finally, successfully printing name tags for the judges and trainers. Who knew how difficult it could be to effectively produce labels, name tags, and the like from an office printer. Luckily, I started early on that feat and was finished by about 3:00pm. I dropped all of the materials for the event at Philadelphia Bar Association on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, I arrived at the Bar Association at 7:45am and set up. Participants, judges, and trainers began arriving around 8am for a networking breakfast. Then it was the poverty simulation and the Ethics training. All in all, it went well and there were no major issues. We ended up with about 35 participants, which was no where near the goal of 60 the Executive Director had, but a quality number of people nonetheless. It took A LOT of advertising and creative thinking to broadcast the event. I felt good after cleanup was done, and my boss was nice enough to give me the rest of the afternoon off. I didn't fight her on that - with all the extra time I had been putting in, I needed a solid nap and some R&R time alone at my apartment.

Here are some photos from the event:

The rest of the week I was able to catch up on some of my cases and other work that I had neglected a bit to PBOD. Once Friday rolled around, a lot of the office was worried about Storm Sandy and its potential impact on our computers and other electrical equipment. We were instructed to unplug all electronics and surge protectors before leaving on Friday evening. The impending storm was a pretty scary thing. It was supposed to hit hardest between Delaware and New Jersey, so living in Philadelphia we were obviously worried about what impacts it would have on our apartment and work sites. I was all prepared with extra water and flash lights, and was certain that we would lose the power at some point. Because it was Halloween weekend, though, we were determined a full weekend of fun!

On Friday night, my roommates and I went to Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia because it was Harry Potter weekend! The cute strip of stores, bars, and restaurants transformed magically into Hogwarts and the names of the places all resembled places from the books. They had an opening ceremony, a sorting hat, and a pub crawl. We mainly just walked around, tried butter beer, and had dinner at a local pizza place. It felt very Fall-esque! On Saturday, there was a quidditch tournament with a lot of local colleges participating. Unfortunately we did not get the chance to see this because we had been invited to a volunteers gathering at Villanova on Sunday afternoon. It was a chance to meet other volunteers in the Philly area and have a Halloween potluck dinner and party of sorts. So we needed to work on our Halloween costumes!

 Butter Beer! :)

Because of the uncertainty of the storm, the volunteer gathering was postponed. Sadly we had spent the majority of Saturday working on our costumes! My community and I were the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2. Luckily, it was not an entire waste, because we went out to a local bar on Saturday night who was hosting a Halloween party!

On Sunday I did LSAT homework and we mentally prepared for the storm. My work was closed both Monday and Tuesday. It was a good time for me to relax and get some more LSAT work done. Luckily, though, we never lost power. I will say that my apartment is FRIGID, but that's another story. We need to have the heat turned on in here because we are wearing gloves in the house and doubling up comforters just to stay somewhat warm! As for the storm, it definitely poured and the gusts were intolerable and loud, but we lucked out. I know a lot of surrounding areas, especially NJ, was hit badly. As I talked with family and friends, I realized just how much a natural disaster can shake parts of the world and cause destruction and damage. As I read a lot of statuses from college students excited that school was closed and classes were canceled, it dawned on that it's sort of sad that a natural disaster is being celebrated by some. I began to think of a lot of my clients who are facing homeownership issues. Many of their homes are in only liveable condition, with a lot of unsteady roofs and leaking. A storm like Sandy may have been detrimental for them. So, I took my two days off to catch up on LSAT preparation, but I also made a point to think about how lucky I was and how some people are not as fortunate.

Wednesday was Halloween and a busy day at work. After being closed for two days, we all had a lot to catch up on. It was nice having such a short week, but it only means there will be more to accomplish this week. I actually have Tuesday off from work for Election Day. I happily sent in my absentee ballot already!

This weekend was very relaxing. We ate frozen pizzas and watched Mamma Mia on Friday night. on Saturday I slept in and did some LSAT prep. Then we hung out with a fellow AV who lives in the area. I was excited to set the clocks back, because getting another hour of sleep is always so uplifting! Today is dedicated to more LSAT prep and relaxation before another work week. Busy but happy - things are going well! Happy November :)

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