Rainy Days Can’t Stop Optimism!

By Elizabeth Bandera

The weather has certainly been dreary this week, but I’m trying to keep an optimistic outlook on everything. The rain was great at first because I adore those days where one can just sit at home with a cup of coffee and watch a movie while it is raining outside…mmm. It has now overstayed its welcome and needs to let some sun shine through.

This past Sunday, I volunteered at the Old College Tri Sprint Triathlon. My Triathlon class requires me to volunteer for at least one triathlon to see what the transition, timing, and setup processes are like. I woke up at 4:00am, the time when practically no other living thing is awake, and drove ALL the way to the UNT campus about 1 hour away. Luckily, I was able to avoid the rain for the first part of the morning, volunteering inside, helping the tri-athletes get their time chips (a band that goes around their ankle that will record the time they finish each leg of the race). I was then driven to a distant corner where I was told to stand until the runners came and, when they did, direct them the right way so they didn’t get lost. Fun. Don’t get me wrong, I loved standing there cheering people on and seeing them all complete the race, but the runners didn’t start coming my way until around 8:00-8:30 am – my shift on that corner started at 7:00. So here I was on a random street corner on the UNT campus, completely by myself, standing there with my yellow umbrella and waiting for the runners (the run is the last leg of the race). At one point I started singing “Singing in the Rain” out loud and twirling my umbrella around because, honestly, who was going to walk by that street corner at 7:00 in the morning. The answer – no one. Overall it was a great experience because I got to see how a triathlon operates, which put my nerves somewhat at ease for my final triathlon.

My classes are coming along just swimmingly so far! I love my Biology class with my professor John D. Wise (you can read about him here) because he seems truly passionate about what he teaches all of us. He also occasionally throws in a joke pertaining to biology, which lightens up the mood of the lecture. Also, I sincerely enjoy my Calculus 3 class…I have no idea what it is about Math that I find so relaxing or enjoyable, but it is definitely one of my favorite classes.

Oh! This Wednesday I went to a Teach for America information session to learn a little more about this amazing program. It is an organization that aims to end educational inequity across the nation by enlisting our country’s most promising future leaders in the effort as teachers. For more information you can visit their Web site. The reason I’m looking into this program, even though I’m just a sophomore and have a couple years until graduation, is because the organization’s goal to go above and beyond to help children in low-income communities is something that really touches me. I want to be one of those people who can make a lasting difference in a child’s life…set them on the right path.

Hopefully, I’ll get to visit home this weekend and see my lovely family. Crossing my fingers! As for next week, the forecast says sunny skies are ahead so get excited!

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