Friday, September 18, 2015

My Homely Abode

** Long Post Warning!**

School will be in session for 6 weeks coming up and I realize that it has been pretty quiet from the Omaha area.
Since everyone else has posted about their living conditions, I decided that it'd be best to show off my apartment!

First, I live on campus at Josie's Village. It is an apartment complex that the college bought to use for "Student Housing". I would not call it dorms, in the slightest.

This is the outside of one of the apartment buildings. It's not mine, but they are all identical, so you get the point.... 
Fun Fact: There are balcony railings, but no balconies. I have no idea, something about insurance..... I don't have worry about all that, because my apartment is underground! 

As soon as you step into my apartment, you run straight into the closet. The thing is, there is literally nothing in it except a vacuum and empty boxes..... not very exciting.

Carrying on!

Take a hard right, and you are in the living room!
Much like the "closet" there is nothing in here either. It has been used 4 time during the almost two months I've lived here. Two of those times were a friend sleeping on the couch.

To the left of the living room, we have the dining room!
Now this room I use much more than the living room!
There's nothing much to it other than the four chairs and a table, but they do the job!
To the left of the dining room, there is the "one-butt kitchen"!

Although it is small, it has lots of importance all shoved into it! I have a full sized range, fridge, and dishwasher, microwave, along with decent cabinet space! 
This has been extremely nice because I am responsible for all my meals. I made a goal with myself at the beginning of the year that I did not want to eat microwave meals for every meal. I have a full sized kitchen, so why not use it? And use it, I have! To stay away from the oh-so-easy grab and nuke meals, I try to make one big meal every weekend and divide it into containers for throughout the week. To microwave them takes just as "long" as a microwave meal, but it is SOO much better!
So far I have made myself spaghetti and meat sauce, lemon chicken and rice, chicken and broccoli "hot pockets", components for breakfast sandwiches, and guacamole! Don't worry though, I've still got a bag of chicken nuggets in the freezer, because who doesn't like chicken nuggets?

Ok, back on the tour we go......

Going down the hall, you will see our bathroom. Its a bathroom. Nothing special, like Kara's window, but the AC does blow right into the shower, so that's interesting....

Continuing down the hall, you'll run right into my bedroom.

Its a tiny bit cluttered, but I'm cool!

One might ask, "What's in that black box?" 
Snacks. Snacks are in the black box. They are a necessity.

My room is very big compared to basically anything. I'd say it is bigger than a dorm room that would be shared at any other college.
I spend many many hours in my room everyday, mostly studying. I do this mostly at my desk.
Like I said, its a bit cluttered..... but it works great!

What IS cluttered in a good way is my calendar!
I have everything color-coded along with my daily to-do lists and coupons!
I was given this as a graduation present, and holy cow has it been helpful! All of High School, I never used a planner. I relied on my memory. Obviously you can't rely on your memory in college, and being able to see everything laid out everyday has been sooooooo helpful in keeping afloat in my first couple months of college!!

So that is my apartment! If you would like to see it in person (and me!), come to Omaha! I'd love to see you!
Also, as you probably noticed in many of the pictures, my walls are pretty bare..... Letters and drawings are very appreciated to fill up the empty spaces!

Sunday, September 6, 2015


After a wonderful two months of leading a Teen Missions team to Zimbabwe, I'm back in cute little Orange City, Iowa.  I have less college left than college already under my belt, and our dorm wing truly feels like home more than ever.  We have a new crop of freshman and transfers who (whom?) I adore... such "wonderfuls" as Peace (who dreams of helping deliver babies in Uganda) and Annika (likes dehydrated peanut butter & documentaries).

Some of my wing friends by one of Orange City's tulip murals.  Annika is in the cute print dress and leather jacket, whilst Peace is doing the splits.  I am "eating" the foot of dear Ashley, a freshman, and Ellen (a fun new Spanish major) poses in the middle.  

It's a Midwest heat wave apparently, which is just fine with me.  LifeLight, a Christian music festival in South Dakota, was a barrel of fun.  I saw Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North (for the third time), and Switchfoot.  Mother came this weekend, and we bawled over Inside Out (miraculously still in the town's theater).  Been binging on the U.S. Tennis Open and enjoying my new classes (sociology, psychopathology).  Glad to have Kelli on the blog and to have a more flattering photo of myself up on the blogger profiles!

I did have this thought.

I would end this post with a "#Blessed", but that's just too much cheese for this chica.  Still, I'm feeling cozy, loved, and happy... and what could be better than that?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

4 Housemates, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Couches, 1 House

I have some different living accommodations this school year, and I'm pretty happy about it. I am definitely a homebody, so having an actual house is perfect for me! Now don't get me wrong, as far as living on campus goes, I had it pretty nice for the 2 years I was there. I enjoyed my res. hall and I had great roommates both years.
I've been here almost 3 weeks and let me tell you, it's been SO great! I share the house with 3 other girls, and I share a room with one of them. There is lots of space to spread out because it used to be a full sized house, and to make it into 2 separate places. So basically we get the whole first floor. I've taken pictures of it before, but they don't really show how BIG it is, considering I pay less than $200 a month! (Sharing = lower rent!). I decided to just take a video of it so I could pan around explain things. You get to hear my lovely narrations. They're better than usual.
(And yes, I understand the irony of my vlog within a blog.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Let's Hope You Like Omaha!

My name is Kelli. I’m Kara’s sister.
photo by Sarah Bandy
In the fall I will be starting nursing school at Nebraska Methodist College in Omaha, Nebraska. I will be getting my Bachelors of Science in Nursing, the same degree as Eliza, but in a different way. Nebraska Methodist College is a bit different than a normal college or university.
First, the college is a building. That’s all. Granted, a large 4 story building, but only one. However, small building does not mean small offerings. As part of my Human Anatomy and Physiology classes, I have a Human Cadaver lab. I am very excited about these labs because normally nursing schools do not get the opportunity to use cadavers. Since they are very expensive, medical schools are the first to have them. (Ok, enough about those. Sorry to everyone who I just grossed out. Great first impression…..)
Second, I will be taking 4 years of nursing classes. You are probably thinking, “That’s what you do in a four year degree…..” You would think that. However, in most nursing school cases, you spend the first two years of college taking Gen. Eds, or basic classes that really do not have much relation to your major. Then, when you are a Junior, all you take are nursing classes. At Methodist, your Gen Eds and nursing classes are mixed together. So, instead of starting nursing classes as a Junior, I will start them in January! I am extremely excited about this because I highly doubt I could wait two more years to start learning nursing!
Third, APARTMENTS!! Instead of living in a crammed dorm room with another person who probably does not have the same “standard” of clean as me, I only have to share an apartment (with separate rooms!) with them. Nebraska Methodist bought the apartment complex right behind the college, and now uses it as student housing. This also means I’m on my own for cooking, but I have a feeling that I can survive. ;)
Now, school does not start for another month and so, but that does not stop me from being an “adult”. I will be moving to Omaha in the next few days to start my job that I have before school starts. I am already a Certified Nursing Assistant, so I will be working as one at Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. I am so excited to start and become a “city girl” instead of a “small town girl” (although living in a small town has its perks!).

I hope to keep you up with everything that’s happening with me while in Omaha, so like the title says, let’s hope you like Omaha. If you don’t, you probably will after four years of hearing about it!!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

*default to sweeping*

It's been 2 full months since I started working at the car dealership. Let me tell you, this is the nicest summer job I could have asked for! The people are incredibly nice, I work inside a lot, and I have quite the variety of things to do.
Here's what a typical day's tasks might look like:
-fill the cooler with drinks. [Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, water, and 4 types of Capri Sun]
-clean the coffee maker
-check cars on the lot and fill them with gas if they're low
-drive cars to dealerships/people and bring different cars back
-go get lunch for salespeople
-go buy 200 hot dog buns and 200 mini bags of chips from Sams Club (no joke)
(I am the girl your math problems warned you about!)
When they don't have anything for me to do, I wander around until I find something to clean, which isn't too hard, since I like cleaning. Generally I default to sweeping, because there is quite the expanse of marble tile floor in that place, and that + a lot of open doors means they always look dirty. A perk is that whenever I'm working and not around "the public" I can listen to my music! It's a pretty good gig; listen to music and be alone with your thoughts while sweeping a gigantic showroom.
Other perks:
-occasional Hickory Park for lunch
-driving new cars

I'm actually going to miss it when I go back to school!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Oh yes, blogging, that thing I used to do...

Oh dear, haven't posted since December.

What has happened since then?  Everything.

A really nice semester, in which I had my first practical experience at a nursing home and a small hospital.  Halfway done with college! 

I've gotten so much closer to dorm friends.

I saw the Orange City tulip festival, which was an interesting cultural experience to observe.

Got a letter from Teen Missions International (TMI), asking if I would be a back up leader for the summer teen trip to Zimbabwe.  Very exciting!  This will probably be my last summer with TMI (at least for quite a while). 

Now I'm chilling "back at the ranch".  Mom has three boarders in the house now, and one of them is my dear friend Sarah from college.

Spending my days reviewing nursing skills, watching stacks of movies, and enjoying the out-of-doors.

So there's your oh-wow-it's-been-almost-six-months update :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Summer, as told by memes

School got out at the end of April. At first I felt like this:

By the time I get to the end of each year, I start to feel overwhelmed by every little thing, so I was happy to be going home.
However, leaving for home also meant leaving all my fantastic friends at Northwest.
Then I got home and realized that all of my friends from back home were still in school, which made for a lot of empty time.
I was happy about the prospect of sleeping in a bit in celebration of summer, but when the rest of your family works or goes to school, thus waking up at 6:30 a.m., it feels a bit like this:
(I like my sleep.)
However, that whole "I'll sleep in" bit didn't last too long, because I started work  on the first Monday that I was back. (aka: I now get up earlier now than I did all school year. This make me proud and a little sad.)
I work at a car dealership, and I do a little of everything. I move cars, file papers, clean things, clean cars, go buy snacks for everyone, etc. It's really a great job, and I enjoy it because of the variety.
But there is still one thing I sadly cannot do, even though I work at a car dealership:
Sorry Mr. T. :(
Other than work, I've done some babysitting, which has been pretty great.
And I've hung out with some friends.
Overall, it's been a good summer so far, and it's not even the end of May! I'm looking forward what the rest of the summer holds!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

" what do you do with that, exactly?" Explaining an IDM: New Media major

In college, when there are introductions to be made, there are 3 key questions that always seem to be asked: What's your name? Where are you from? What's your major?
In my case, I'd say, "My name's Kara, I'm from Huxley, Iowa [proceeds to explain where exactly that is] and I'm an Interactive Digital Media: New Media major." If I'm on campus, I will sometimes get this reaction:
"Oh yeah! IDM! I've heard of that!"
If I'm talking to friends and family from home or a majority of people on campus, I'll get this reaction:
"Oh cool! Um, what do you do with that exactly?"
And to that I say, "I'm still figuring that out!"
Here's why:
IDM:New Media is sort of unique as far as majors go. There aren't many other colleges that have something with the same name, but there are many that have a similar type of major. Sometimes I find that it's easier to tell what I know how to do and what I'm learning rather than what I could do with it (as a career), because I could do any number of things, career-wise.  For example, I take classes about social media, graphic design, web publishing, programming, and advertising. I've created a Social Media plan for a business and created a media plan that details all of the advertising purchases during a year for IKEA (and by "details" I mean that it was 35 pages long). I've also made things like these:

Or these (bookmark on the left, tickets on the right)

Or this:

So, if I was to sum this up, I'd say that being an IDM major gives me a chance to do a lot of what I like to do! I get to dabble in design, social media, and web publishing, and it's been a lot of fun (and I'm only halfway done! Who knows what's up next!)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Music Library Organization

As you might know if you've followed along at any frequency, I am one of the music librarians for the music program here at Northwest. I love it because it's all about staying organized and being on top of things, and a lot of things are self-guided and work-alone sorts of deals. Before break (and for a very long time before that), the music library looked like this:
The shelves that are visible are only about a quarter of what was in there. It wrapped all around the room! There were also lots (10+) of file cabinets off to the right in this picture. They were filled with music too. 
Just for a point of reference, the orange folders you see here are marching band music. The small ones near the bottom wrap around half the room in a double layer. They are the older pieces. The larger ones are more recent songs. The white music (much of which is hiding) is for concert band. The entire right side of the room (where you see the change in bookshelves at the edge of the picture) is choir music. Everything in the foreground is for sorting or putting away. 
In short, it was pretty crazy in there. A good crazy, but sometimes a head-scratching sort of crazy.
Things got crazier when we had to move everything out so that a new organizational system could be installed. There was lots of help, and it went as smoothly as could be expected, but when you're moving a whole library and trying to keep it in order, it gets nuts! During finals week, the installation crew began work on putting in the new system. The coolest part of this was that it meant that when I got back from break, the new room was like a great delayed Christmas gift! ("Here! Have some fancy new shelving to keep everything organized!")
So now, the room looks like this:
Lots of shelves got torn out, and now these lovely things go all the way across the back! These things hold TONS of music! All of the marching band music alone only fills one and a half sides of a unit! They are also pretty fun to roll back and forth, too, if we're honest. When I have shown them to people, they have been compared to the Jedi Library or Indiana Jones.
Well, that is my brief update on library things. We're still in the process of moving back in and figuring out new uses for the remaining shelving. Right now it's helpful for sorting things, but we'll see what becomes of it.