Sunday, June 17, 2012

One week down, 50 years to go.

So since I know many of my readers are people I know in real life, I figured my blog is as good a place as any to update everyone on my first week of work. Total strangers, don't worry, I have horsey news too.

There are some things I really like about my office, such as free bagel day and the fact that their kitchen really reminds me of Veridian Dynamic's kitchen. However, I received a chilly welcome to office life--not from the people, but from the building itself. I lucked out and got a cubicle by a window (where I hung my Most Spectactular Creative Dismounts award with pride), but there is an air vent that blows right down on my head. Seriously, the only day I was warm was Casual Friday, when I wore a tank top, a polo shirt, a cardigan, and a blazer. I'm tempted to invest in a pair of these and risk the taunting of my fellow cubemates:
Toasty warm USB-powered hand warmers
 So my job is editing, fact-checking, and formatting newsletters of stocks advice. It makes me feel very journalist-y because unlike the papers I wrote for my major, they actually have to be based in reality! The downside is that I know NOTHING about stocks. It makes me feel very lucky that my coworkers are so patient about explaining things, and that Investopedia exists. One of my assignments so far is to read the back issues of the newsletters I will be editing, and although I have to look up a lot of the financial lingo, I am picking up on the differences in each stock advisor's style. There is one I particularly enjoy because he likes to go off on tangents. So far I've found out that he hates Bush, Obama, and "doing business with untrustworthy Muslim countries" almost as much as he loves investing in Swedish stuff and riding his Harley.

I've also been working on fact-checking (very time-consuming for me since investorspeak is like another language and I have to do MATH), proofreading (piece of cake), and fiddling around with Dreamweaver and InDesign. So there is a lot to learn but there are also some things I already know, so I don't feel like a total noob.
African Violet for my office from my little brother <3
This week was also the "interview" for what might become my second job two days a week. The Gentle Giants riding instructor is pregnant and does not want to keep working outside during a Maryland summer (ie. a muggy, suffocating heat wave in which riding instructors must breathe kicked-up arena dust all day), and the Barn Manager asked me if I'd be interested in being a substitute instructor.

Let's pause here for a minute. I am in no way qualified to be a riding instructor. My own riding education has had no real rhyme or reason to it (unlike a Pony Club or Equine Studies curriculum) ; I've mostly shown at low-level fun day shows; and I don't even have my own horse. But I am still SUPER excited. And when I'm excited about something, I research and make lists, or in this case, lesson plans. So I will be posting those here for your critique and suggestions as I keep teaching.

The majority of the students are re-riders at the beginner or intermediate level. There is also a handful of teenagers of varying levels, but it seems like everyone just wants to learn the basics of safety and pleasure riding, which I think I can do. The one thing I'm nervous about is that many of the GG horses are fairly green, and I'm afraid that since most of them do not get ridden much, there will be some horrible disaster and I won't think quickly enough to coach someone through it. Just today, one of the students tried to show Sailor to a potential adopter and he took off in a bucking fit (I am pretty sure they are going to send him to the trainer's now).

So...I'm going to do my best to teach people how to be safe and to improve their horse-human communication. I already have a lot of torture surprises for the students in my toolbox: no stirrups, two-point, spiral in/out, leg yields...but hey, all of those exercises have done me a lot of good so even though there will be some aching legs in the short-term, (hopefully) there will be fewer spills and thrills in the long-term.

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