:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

woensdag 1 februari 2006

In Wolof class today, Mamaram (the teacher) was giving us the vocabulary for family members, and when he said 'relative', something clicked in my head and I remembered the punch line of a story that I'd been trying to recall for the longest time. It's about my twelve-year-old cousin Megan. Her family is in the military, so they moved around a lot while she was growing up, but whenever I saw her, we were inseparable. When I was 10 and she was 1, I carried her around the house all day. When I was 11 and she was 2, she followed me everywhere on her toddler legs. When I was 12 and she was 3, I spent a week in Pittsburgh to help out with her while her mom took care of Megan's newborn baby brother, and she pitched a window-shattering tantrum when I walked away to get on the plane to go home. She has always been my favorite extended family member. Now that I'm 22 and she's almost 13, and we live closer to each other than we used to, and we're involved in the same sport (she's 3rd in the state for the 11-and-12 100 butterfly), we're starting to forge a different kind of relationship, more like friends or sisters instead of 'babysitter and kid', and that provoked a humorous incident this past summer.

I am well known in my immediate family for mispronouncing words. I started reading when I was three, without anyone teaching me, and as a result, I've read a lot of words that I've never heard spoken. Thus, when I try to use them in conversation, I often say them wrong. 'Fetish', for example, came out of my mouth as 'FEET-ish'; 'opacity' was 'o-PASS-ity'; 'Deborah' was 'de-BOR-ah', and 'intravenous' became 'in-TRA-ven-us'. My parents and sister tease me mercilessly about it, but it's not something my extended family really knows about, since they don't spend as much time with me. Anyhow, this past summer, Megan and her brother Michael were at a swim meet, which I attended. In between prelims and finals, we went back to the hotel. Michael and his mom went down to the gym and outdoor pool (the kid just couldn't get enough water) while Megan and I stayed upstairs and played board games on the bed. We started talking about various things - school, character traits, et cetera, and we started realizing that we had a lot in common, personality-wise. After a bout of laughter over some anecdote I can't recall, Megan flopped back onto the pillows, smiled, and said, "It's nice to have a re-LAY-tive that you have so much in common with!"

Needless to say, I laughed till I cried - wanting to explain that I wasn't laughing at her, per se, but just that we'd found another similarity - but not being able to catch my breath long enough to do it. Oh, I love that kid.

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