Happy Halloween! It’s a new year of service, and we have some new members and new sections for this year’s newsletter. This is a new team and we are still experimenting with the newsletter. So, nothing is cemented yet. Great things are to come though, and that is no trick!
Also, please keep our team in your thoughts and prayers. We’ve had a couple of members not doing too well, but they are getting better!
What an exciting time this has been. On September 14, we began our 2015-2016 Access Workforce Development Program Year. I am so happy to have 17 vibrant, intelligent, dedicated, and fun folks on our team. We are blessed to have 3 Members from our previous program year serving with us again. They bring much experience, expertise, and wisdom. Each of our NCWorks Career Centers is happy to see the return of our AmeriCorps team Members. Our Centers struggle for a month or so without Members as we are winding up the previous year and starting up the new year. Our customers count on the assistance of the AmeriCorps Members! This year’s pre-service orientation went quite well, and we all learned a lot, heard from our Centers along with our various community partners. I think (hope) we all had some fun too!! I am very much looking forward to an exciting and fulfilling year!
“Our biggest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. You were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
This month, our team got into the Halloween Spirit by volunteering at Marbles Kids Museum! The Arc of the Triangle held their Family Fun Night Halloween Spooktacular hosted by the Marbles Kids Museum after the Museum’s normal hours of operation. The event is free for children with special needs and their families.
The mission of The Arc of the Triangle is to work along with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The purpose of the event was to let the children and their families have fun and explore the museum in a calm and less crowded environment. However, the event definitely was not lacking in the attendee department, and from what I saw, it looked like all of the children were having a great time exploring the museum in their Halloween costumes.
Our AmeriCorps team teamed up with some of the volunteers with the Arc of the Triangle and helped out with duties such as welcoming the people coming in and handing out stickers, showing children how fun it is playing with slime, making creative yarn monsters and taking photos of the families that came. The team absolutely loved volunteering at the museum and being able to interact with all of the attendees! Honestly, those four hours went by really quick!
Clint’s Corner: Ding
When I’m in my center I’ll go around to each of the customers and ask them if they’re okay or if they need any help. Of course most people jump right on the offer for assistance, yet others say they are fine. More often than not, after I’ve been declined to assist, and not too much longer, I’ll hear a “ding” coming from the computer that person is using. I’m not sure if it was the developer’s original intention to make that sound mimic the effect the bell at a front desk has, but darn it if it doesn’t call my attention to them like a moth to a flame. It’s like an “oops” alarm. Normally, if I hear it only once, they’ve figured it out and continue on with whatever it is they are doing. It’s when I hear them dinging more than Hector Salamanca I get concerned and see how I can help them.
Most of the time that “ding” grabs my attention, it’s because they’re using NCWorks and they missed a step on the page they’re working and they don’t see the dialogue box at the top. This normally opens the gate to seeing they are having a lot of issues that I can help with. It could be resume builder, preparing an online application, updating their general information
On a busy day, that “ding” is really the last thing I need to hear. It’s tough enough when everyone is asking you for assistance. Having people that need assistance, but don’t want to acknowledge they are in need of assistance makes it even tougher. They normally get understandably frustrated or agitated, and my guess is they see that the ones helping the other customers are already busy and some of them wait, while others fall through the cracks and leave.
I would like to be more proactive about it, but I also don’t want to be too intrusive. It’s hard finding that perfect balance.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons canned diced green chiles, drained
- 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and minced garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add diced tomatoes and diced green chiles. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to pan, and cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Stir in macaroni, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Raleigh Rendezvous: Beltline and Cookout
I’ve only been in Raleigh for upwards of a month and a half. It looks like the north and even smells like the north. But there are some definite differences that have taken some adjustment on my part.
First off, what is up with the highways that say “East” but actually go west? 440East doesn’t always go east. Why would a highway not be labeled the direction it is heading? I don’t quite understand how it all works.
After some google research and driving aimlessly around Raleigh, I’ve begun to understand it. Apparently, the inside of the loop is the east-bound loop and the outside of the loop is the west-bound loop. I was told by someone who grew up in Raleigh, that these highways, the 440s, are called the “beltline” and that you can show you’re from out of state real quickly if you say “440.”
This concept of a circular highway system isn’t new. Many large cities use this tactic to eliminate people commuting through the city to get from one side to the other. However, it is new to me and learning this highway system will definitely prove to be rather challenging.
“Cookout” where I’m from is a fancy way of saying outdoor party with a grill. Cookouts usually happen in the summer when family and friends gather together to enjoy each other while soaking in the sunshine, not on a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of September.
I was swiftly corrected and told that a “Cookout” is a restaurant. A burger joint with delicious milkshakes of all varieties. The first time I got one, I was thrilled. It was so thick and delicious that eating it with a spoon was the only option.
Another interesting tactic “Cookout” uses is the double drive thru. I had never seen such a concept. If there is a car with two people in it, there is a separate drive thru where the passenger pays at the window. What a neat idea to keep the flow of traffic from leaking into the streets.
The south has many oddities and I am just beginning to uncover the mysteries.