It has been a really long winter, but I'm happy to emerge with some good news and updates. I took the blog down for a bit while I did some job hunting, but thanks to my friend Steve it's now back up. (Apparently I like to break wordpress.) I also stopped blogging for a bit last fall... and if you knew exactly how much writing I was doing, you'd definitely understand why.
Things at home are going really well. Cooper is a three-legged bundle of awesome, and he and Molly have quickly become BFF. Even the cat loves Cooper and will spend time cuddling with both of them on the couch. (No, our pets aren't spoiled at alllllll.) Cooper had surgery recently, and had to wear the Cone of Shame. He didn't seem to mind it and was pretty much the cutest thing ever for a few weeks there, hobbling around with his ginormous cone...
School is going really well. Even though it seems like I just started, I'm already almost done! I'll be graduating with my Master's degree in May. ::knock on wood:: My thesis is about innovation in nonprofit organizations, and how volunteer-driven organizations can be more effective. It's looooong for a Master's thesis but I'm happy with how it is turning out, and I've enjoyed the research I've been doing over the past two years very much.
Altered Esthetics is also doing very well. We have 15 people on the board now, each with their own role. I've been able to step back quite a bit over the past few years to do more facilitation, though I enjoy helping where I can, when I can. All in all, I am really grateful that I get to collaborate with such awesome, creative people. Our six year anniversary is coming up in April, and it's rather humbling to think how much we've grown in such a short time.
I entered last fall with a few possible paths in mind. One was to continue on in school, getting my PhD so I would be able to teach in the future. Another possible plan was to finish my master's and get back into working with nonprofits. I sent in my PhD applications in what I've been told has been a record-setting year in terms of the # of applicants, as well as a bad year in terms of budget cuts for universities everywhere. I've yet to hear back from any PhD program with a shiny letter of acceptance, and for the past few months I've also been applying to work with various nonprofit organizations. I've been getting pretty excited about the prospect getting back to work the community, and where one door seems to be closing, another seems to be opening. Last week the Northeast Community Development Corporation asked me to join them as their new Executive Director. The Northeast CDC works with neighborhood and business revitalization, they did a lot with the Central Avenue project and have done great things in our neighborhood in their short years of existence thus far, both for businesses and residents. Their Executive Director left last fall to take a job in the private sector, and the board is looking for somebody to guide the organization into a new, more neighborhood-focused direction. That person gets to be me! The idea that helping my community (my arts-district community) now gets to be my job is a dream come true. I'll definitely keep you posted on how this all develops over the next few months.
I should be blogging a bit more now, both personally and through work. In the meantime, I hope everybody is doing well!