Join a meetup!

The assignment for this week in my Social Media and Learning class was to sign up for meetup.com, join some groups, and attend a meetup. Based on interests and hobbies, aspirations, and even potential business purposes, you can find all sorts of groups of people looking for and interested in similar things. It’s huge for techies and you could even find “Mr/Ms Right” at singles meetups.

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The website is based out of NYC, so there are tons of groups based here, but you can find groups virtually anywhere. From the meetup.com wikipedia page, I found this interesting:

The attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, was pivotal to the formation of this social network. Meetup co-founder Scott Heiferman publicly stated that the manner in which people in New York came together in the aftermath of that traumatic event inspired him to use the Internet to make it easier for people to connect with strangers in their community.

I needed to find a meetup within the next week or so, so this limited my possibilities seeing as many groups I was interested in (math, teachers, etc) meet a few times per month. So then I expanded my search and looked at groups that focus on fitness and health. There were a ton of soccer (football, for all you foreigners) meetups – mostly pickup games in which at least intermediate skills were encouraged…

Apologies but this isn’t a group for people who are learning how to play, please only sign up and come along if you can play to a decent standard.

(AKA “you better know what you’re doing or you’ll ruin it for everyone”). That’s from an actual pickup group. Hmpf.

And then I stumbled on a group that not only had games as meetups, but also offered lessons for all skill levels. I mean, I played for my school in seventh grade, but I would not say I was good. So I signed up for the basic coed lesson meetup, and I was pumped. Nervous. But pumped.

The lesson was this morning and for $15 I was hoping to meet people with a similar skill level as me (little to none, mind you), be active for 75 minutes (burn off the 2.5 pieces of pizza from dinner last night), and have fun.Hudson River Pier 25 NYC

Now, the lesson was in the morning…

…On Pier 25 which overlooks the Hudson River….

…In March….

…So it was cold.

But it was so much fun. Everyone was so friendly; we were all there for the same reason, mostly to improve our skills and maybe make a hobby out of playing pickup games. Our ages ranged from 20ish to 60ish, the ratio of females to males was pretty even, and there was no equipment necessary – no shin guards or cleats.

Frank, the instructor, was so helpful; he understood our mediocre skills, but pushed us to become smarter players and learn skills properly rather than simply kicking a ball away from us toward a goal. You can check out his website, Soccer Beyond, to get private lessons or even purchase his book!Frank Soccer Beyond

We scrimmaged for the first half hour or so and I was intimidated at first; throwing us to the wolves without teaching us skills? But it was a great warmup and, again, great skills were not required. Frank encouraged us to learn everyone’s names; we were to call their name before we passed the ball to them, or to let them know we were open for a pass. It was definitely a great team building experience.

We learned basic skills – dribbling and “faking”…is it called “faking” in soccer? I mean, I always see this move (roll the ball back with your toe and then kick it behind and to the opposite side?) but I don’t know the technical term. Anyway, we then finished up with another scrimmage. It was great.

I definitely recommend anyone looking for a great workout and fun with others to join a group on meetup.com and attend a meetup. No super duper skills necessary! I think that’s the best part; the point of the site is to encourage people to find others with similar interests. You can even start your own groups! You never know who else shares your interests, no matter how strange they may be.

He will quiet you by His love

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

–Zephaniah 3:17

Bible Heart Pages

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. Believe me, I know. Coming from a small city in upstate New York, there’s always downtime; Main Street is empty after midnight, houses are blanketed by darkness while their inhabitants sleep.

But in large cities like New York, there is always something going on; unless a power outage ensues, it will always be daytime in Times Square. Taxis are always on the lookout for potential passengers, even on Monday evenings (or, I guess, technically Tuesday mornings) at 3 a.m. Hence the nickname “The City That Never Sleeps”. Because someone, somewhere, is always awake. Always.

In the midst of all the people and places and things to do, it’s easy to lose a sense of peace. Even when I’m alone in my room, I constantly feel like I need to be doing something. Having internet helps a ton – there are always shows to watch, people to stalk on Facebook, random facts to be found. (Read my post about FOMO).

Being back home in a house with no internet (hello public library!), I find myself opening my bible. Now I guess this could be seen in two ways.

1) Seeing as I have nothing better to do (unless I want to spend all weekend in the library) I guess the bible is my best option.

Or 2) with the slower pace here, I don’t feel rushed or a dire need to be going, going, going.

Let’s go with option 2. Yeah, that sounds better.

So here in my silent house, I opened my bible and started scouring for passages about quiet, silence, and peace. My index doesn’t provide a vast array on the first two…and normally I would search the internet to supplement, but we’ve already discussed that situation. Peace, however, is a topic in which the bible has much of.

One such passage is 2 Timothy 2:22, which says,

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Youthful passions can be interpreted many ways, depending on what you as a young whipper-snapper like to do in your free (or not so free) time. I’m going along with this FOMO theme – needing to be here, while being over there, and still thinking there might be something better somewhere else. In layman’s terms, I think it’s telling us to SLOW THE HECK DOWN and, instead, pursue these other more important qualities.

I always forget how much I enjoy just thumbing through my bible, looking at what I’ve already highlighted, and finding more passages to highlight and try to internalize. And it’s times like these, in the quiet stillness of my large house (okay, not huge, but it’s much bigger than my dorm room in the city) that make me remember.

Does anyone else struggle with this, even if you don’t live in a large city?

Bleeding Love

So I successfully donated blood today! Because of my donation, up to 3 people’s lives have been saved. Yeah, buddy. In October, I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, so between a lack of nutrients (affecting my iron levels), a bunch of medications, and straight up feeling like poo a lot, I have not donated blood in over 8 months.

Now you may be wondering why I’m so pumped. A little insight:

  1. I was a regular, donating blood about every 3 months for over a year
  2. Last time I donated, which was in July, I passed out
  3. I have been turned away 4ish times due to low iron levels

So yes, I am happy they sucked a pint/pound of that red gooey stuff out of me. I mean, for one thing, you get free water/juice and a snack after you donate. ELF Fudge cookies, anyone? But also, being a poor college student, I can’t afford to donate wads of money to charities. But I have blood (O negative, no less) that someone can use. I’d like to think that if I ever needed blood, I could either be given my own blood (kind of weird, huh?) or another O- donor could save my life.

So for all of you reading out there, you may one day need blood. Without donors, you might not get it. Return the favor, donate blood!

March is Red Cross Month, so go to redcross.org and find a donation location near you!

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I have a problem…

Ok, let me know if anyone else has this problem. It’s escalating and festering even as I write this. It’s gnawing at my ankles. An itch I can’t scratch. I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s annoying…

My problem: I’m thinking of all the other things I could be doing right now. At this very second. Reading a new book I just got today. Watching some YouTube videos. Episode (or three) of Game of Thrones, anyone? Not to mention all the homework I have to do before next week’s spring break…

I seem to have the attention span of a 3 year old. Or a dog. It’s like having three people telling me to do something different, at the same time, all equally tantalizing:

“Sit for a treat!”

“Go fetch the ball!”

“Who wants to go for a walk?”

What on earth is a dog to do? Or in this case, a human being in the 21st century, constantly bombarded with “better” options. I find it difficult to make the most basic decisions anymore! And now with social media always telling us the epic things our friends/acquaintances and family (hey, Grandma) are doing, there’s the ever present FOMO.

I learned this term about a month ago, and the pastor at the church I went to last week dedicated an entire sermon about it. UrbanDictionary.com provides multiple definitions, but in essence, FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out. Raise your hand if you, like me, suffer from this. I would raise both of mine for emphasis, but it’s difficult to type without hands.

For those of you actually reading this (probably not many) I think this FOMO epidemic is causing an inability to commit. Everyday is like entering an ice cream shop, constantly feeling overcome by the vast varieties presented to you, and being told to choose only one.ice cream choices

I want cookie dough. But I also enjoy mint chocolate chip. Oh, but, my oh my, doesn’t that cookies-n-cream look divine? Ooh! Is this flavor new?

I mean, really. It’s never-ending! This FOMO topic is a huge one, and there’s already so much online about it. It’s definitely something I would like to delve deeper into, but I’ll leave it here for now. Contemplate, give ideas on overcoming FOMO, and/or tell me what you’re favorite ice cream flavor is.

Troubling Customer Experiences

Oh well thank you WordPress for giving me a question to answer…to start the gears turning…get the thinking juices flowing…so here we go…except I deleted the original (failing at this already!) so I’ll paraphrase:

What has been your most troubling experiences as a customer?

As a customer? Hm, well, that’s tough. I guess there are always those irksome experiences surrounding food preparation:

That hairnet doesn’t exactly look secure…what else have they touched with those gloves?…Oh my gosh, he just sneezed. Did anyone else see this?! And I don’t think that the angle at which he diverted his head was quite enough…

Personally though, I have had the most troubling customer experiences on the employee side of the spectrum.

Fact #1 about me: I have worked at Walmart a total of 4 different times. Yep. You read correctly. Four. Different. Times. In 4 years.Jillian Michaels, Walmart

Jillian Michaels must have missed the memo on dress code with her cleavage and lack of sleeves. Well, she’ll fit in with many of the people I’ve worked with then!

Now, it would be ridiculous to try to sum up my experiences in one blog entry (my first one no less!), so I guess I will simply open up the floor to this fact and see where it leads.

I suppose I could give a little intro to some sort of answer to the question posed above:

  • customers complaining about lines being long
  • customers complaining about prices being wrong
  • customers using bras (on their bodies) instead of pockets or purses
  • customer’s body odor while making their purchases

See what I did there? Walmart jingle in the making. More to come soon!