Becoming a Teacher

Teaching my very first summer school classroom in Tempe, Arizona. 
It's not everyday that you get to just quit your corporate job and move to a new state to become a science teacher. It's also not the most common path and literally nobody takes that path. But I did.

It has been some time and the journey has been insanely stressful from being diagnosed with shingles and numerous familial issues, I have been able to accomplish something I never thought possible.

When I first begin my job working for Edelman PR, I was extremely happy. I was freshly graduated and had never had a "real" job. I was offered a position with the company and I simply could not turn it down. I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles where I settled into my new digs and began the journey of a lifetime (that still hasn't ended).

I was with the company for about 9 months when I realized how unhappy I was. Sitting at a desk all day just didn't do it for me. Where in, this probably doesn't do it for most people, I was so unfulfilled in my position that I had to change something. I put in my two weeks notice and decided to go back to school to become a teacher. I started a teaching program at CSUF (which was a joke I might add, $3000 down the drain) but at the same time, I learned my true calling as a teacher.

I applied with Teach for America, a non-profit organization that is partnered with numerous school districts across the country. Teach for America works actively to support youth growing up in poverty to stop educational inequity and provide an opportunity for all children to receive the education they deserve.

On October 31, 2013 I was notified that I had been accepted to the organization and would be working in the Las Vegas Valley. I am extremely excited to begin teaching full-time in the region.

Recently (2 days ago), I finished one of the most intensive teacher trainings out there. I spent 6 weeks in what most people would do in a year, learning how to be a teacher. I taught ELA to 5th graders at a summer school in Tempe, Arizona, all while living in the dorms and eating dorm food (keep in mind I graduated from college 5 years ago). I successfully completed one of the most difficult things I have ever done (blog post to come about the summer training program).

I am excited for this new opportunity to work alongside TFA, the people of Las Vegas and the wonderful people I have met through this organization.


A New Adventure Begins....Nov 19

     Well, it looks as though my days in Utah are numbered. I have been here a long time, but finally decided to hit the big leagues and move out of this lovely state. It's not because I don't love Utah, because I do, but really it all started as something where I wanted to see what my options were.
     I got an email from my old boss at Edelman asking if I might be interested in applying for a position in the LA office. I thought, hey, why not, what could it hurt, I'm certainly not going to move but it would be fun to see if I could do it . I started the interview process and after 2 phone interviews and a Skype interview, I found myself sitting on an airplane flying to Los Angeles to interview with like a bazillion other people, taking writing exams and feeling so overwhelmed I didn't know what to do.

I took two photos while I was in Los Angeles. One at the airport, just to prove to myself that it wasn't a dream...and it's blurry, so this still all might be fake:

 And another at the Edelman Office in LA...this one isn't blurry so I think this is all real:

     As I flew back to Salt Lake City that same day, I thought...how odd. I was just in Utah this morning, then California, and now I am back in Utah. I drove home from the airport and got a call from the recruiter offering me a position with Edelman starting November 19. I asked to think it over, which I did.

     Now, I have loads of paperwork that I am signing and I am moving to California on November 17. Talk about overwhelming, but I am excited! (Also this photo was taken with Instagram so now I am a hipster. It's cool, no worries)


You Must Think I'm Crazy...

Most people who run or exercise, with the exception of gym pass, do so free of charge, you know, they run on the streets, run on a treadmill in their house, ride a bicycle, run on a track and so forth. Well, what about those idiots who pay to run...oh yeah, I am talking about me. So lets add up the figures...

So far in 2012:
Rex Lee Run: $30
Camp Pendleton 10k Mud Run: $65
DayBreak Triathlon: $90 + $125 airfare
Ruby Mountain Relay: $50 + $40 gas and food
Red Rock Relay: $85 + $35 gas and food
Extreme Rhythm 5k: $17

So, for a grand total of $507 so far this year...and it's only August. Let's break down a little bit about what goes on for one of these races. I just got back last weekend from the Red Rock Relay, so while it's fresh in my mind, I will talk about that one.

I paid $120 to be able to:

Run 187 miles with 11 other team members. It took us 25 hours and 30 min. During the whole trip, which was around 35 hours, we drove from Provo to Brian Head, Ran (and drove in a car when other team members were running), 187 miles, and then drove back to Provo from St. George where we finished. In the process, I slept 20 minutes total, ran who knows how many miles (I think around 15?), ate around 500 calories, burned around 4000 calories, got really sick and couldn't eat so I literally had no food in me for about 50 percent of my runs, used port-a-potties way more than I ever wanted to, set a personal record for my mile time, and most importantly, I finished the race.

Now, if someone had told me that and I hadn't done it, I would say well that sounds miserable, and yes, at times, it was, like when I was running at 11 am in the middle of Zion's up a huge hill in 90 degree weather. Yes, that was miserable, but the feeling you get when you accomplish something you have not accomplished before, makes up for all the misery. I haven't had that much fun in a long time, and I look forward to my next race in the future.

Stats for my new life so far: 
Races: 5 (and another on Saturday)
Crashes on bike: 3
Running injuries: 2
Miles Biked: 900+ miles
Miles Run: 250+ miles
Money spent on gear: $$$$ Too Much
Pounds Lost: 44
Lives Changed: 1


Wiping Your Eyes After Eating Wasabi Peas

I think there are a lot of people out there who make some pretty awesome decisions in life and then, there's me. People like me have to learn things by first making the wrong decisions.

You know when you were a kid and your parents would let you make those mistakes so you would learn and not do them again? Like touching the hot stove (I really hope nobody's parents let them touch a hot stove, just to learn a lesson) or eating too much sugar...yeah, I don't think anyone's parents did that either...see I am learning a lesson here, don't start a blog post and give examples when you don't have any. Well, I want to tell you about some great things I have done that have taught me lessons in my life. 

Today at work I was snacking on some wasabi peas. If you haven't ever had them, I highly recommend them. They have the same satisfying crunch as a chip but they are actually quite healthy. Anyway, the pea is covered in wasabi, which as you guessed, is spicy. I kept munching and then rubbed my eye...about 5 min later I couldn't even see because my eye was having a large needle stuck into it (figurative of course, wow, that would be super graphic and unfortunate if that really happened). So the lesson here, just eat your food and don't rub your eyes.

So what about an actual lesson that I have learned from a mistake I made? Well, I've yet to ACTUALLY learn anything in my life but I have one recent experience that I think comes close to me becoming a better human being and learning something.

I recently attending a wedding where I didn't know a whole lot of people, in fact, I knew two people, no, not even the bride and groom. I knew the parents of the bride from a previous event and they invited me down to their home...it just so happened they were having her wedding reception the weekend I was there. Great. So, I went, alone, to a wedding reception, got some food and started chatting with this random couple who seemed to corral me like I was a lost puppy and they needed to take care of me. We had a positive conversation and parted ways. I was left alone again and pulled out my phone and hopped on Twitter. I began to tweet things that I only wish I had the guts to actually do. Here's the string of tweets I sent including the last one from the car...I deserve to be slapped. 

Later, this same family invited me back to their home and I met more of them. One of their daughters then asked me if I had a Twitter account...ummmmmmmmmmm?

So I hesitantly said yes and panicked for the next hour as I knew she would certainly read all the asinine comments I had made a few weeks before.

I still don't know if she did or didn't read those posts but, I certainly learned a lesson. Don't make a fool out of yourself because it certainly WILL come back and bite you in the behind.


A Photo Update of My Life

Nobody likes to just read a whole bunch about anything so I decided to update with another post filled with photos of my adventures over the last few months. 

Daybreak Triathlon June 9, 2012 

Impromptu Trip to Las Vegas

Camp Pendleton 10k Mud Run 

2012 Summer Internship with Edelman PR in Los Angeles 

My New Bike 

Just Dressing Up Like an Old Person Back in Provo, Utah 

My summer tan line from too much bike riding (too much? yeah right.) 


6-Month Roundup (Actually 8 month because I forgot to post this)

Well, as we all do, we apologize for not posting, but since really nobody reads this anyway I'm not sorry for not posting. But I figured I better recap my life for the last 6 months because, to be honest a lot has happened, but now that I am thinking about it...not a whole lot has, but I will see what mumbo-jumbo I can slap together for your reading pleasure.

So...here goes, a 6-month roundup of my life. (Actually 8 month because I am too lazy to post this on time.)

1. I started a new job and quit it all within one month. It was good but boring, and I didn't quit just to quit, I quit because I moved to California.

2. Yes, in case you have been living under a rock or don't talk to me at all, I now live in Arcadia, California. I got an internship with Edelman Public Relations. The worlds largest PR agency in the world. Yes, I am a big deal (not really).

2.5 I have also not posted this since I wrote this and now I have finished my internship in LA, and have coincidentally moved back to hell aka UTAH. But I actually love it here so I am not complaining. I also have a full time job and I am a big boy...at least that's what that $20,000 piece of paper tells me (my diploma)

3. I ran my first 5K on March 17. Say what? Nick ran...and not only did he run for like 50 meters, he ran for 5 kilometers...that's insane. Yeah, I have this new exercise kick. I love it. Get over it.

3.5 I also did a 10K after this...yeah that was crazy and now I am signed up for a Ragnar relay race in August...not really sure who stole my brain.

4. I crossed off a bucket list item for the first time in my life, I went to The Price is Right. Yeah, not a huge accomplishment but it was seriously one of the most fun things I have done. It was incredible. I highly recommend it.

5. I am doing a triathlon on June 9. I've been training for it now since February. I am down about 30 lbs.

5.5 I completed my first triathlon on June 9. I finished. I finished. I finished and that was all I set out to do. My time was 1:59:00. I was pleasantly pleased to find out that I didn't get last. Overall, I certainly didn't get last but even in my age group out of 8 people I didn't get last. Nick is no longer in last. Miracle of the day.

6. In the last 6 months I have become obsessed with cycling. I bought a road bike in February and haven't stopped riding it since. 2 weeks ago I did a 62 miler from Orange to Bolsa Chica State Beach and back. I nearly died (from exhaustion), so that was an experience.

6.5 I have also neglected this post yet again and have upgraded my road bike to a full carbon Scott CR1 Comp bike. I am literally in love with it and if I could marry my bike in the temple I would (just kidding...kind of). But I regularly bike...reaching almost 100 miles per week now. If you want to join me, I am happy to convince you of its greatness.

7. I am now a member of REI and I own a sleeping bag and tent. I'm also planning to purchase a new backpack and I'm hiking the High Sierras in July, so basically I'm not me.

8. I traveled to Las Vegas a few weeks ago to hang out with Lindsey Craft, Daniel and Casi Barnes and Whitney and Jarom Jordan, while that may not seem like a big deal, I literally drove there just to hang out and drove back the next day. I love being an adult and being irrational.

9. Oh, I graduated from college. (yes I remembered this as number 9 in my list)

10. I sang a solo in church (just kidding)

11. I got a new calling at church...I am now the assistant ward clerk over membership. That's right, I control your membership records. Time to add some fun details!

12. I moved in with some pretty great guys. They are seriously awesome roommates. If you ever want to know how cool they are...take me and multiply it by a bazillion and you still aren't even there.

13. I am still single...soooooo any lovely ladies want to go out for some FroYo?

14. Goals are the new Twinkies in my life. I highly recommend this philosophy. (Granted I hated Twinkies but you get the idea.) Choosing to set goals has really allowed me to soar high and do things I never thought possible.

15. I have also decided to write much more. I have  a lot more spare time on my hands since I graduated from college so get ready for some more posts.