I love working for UWEX, but I hate things about UWEX. When you work for an educational institution obviously education is highly important, and since my lack of education and intellect is one of my biggest insecurities, I am highly aware of this. Being at meetings and being asked where I got my degree and the look of pity or disbelief when I explain that I have an Associate Degree from a technical college-I am never sure what the look really is or if it is mostly my imagination. I seriously wonder sometimes if when I think I am saying Associates Degree my mouth is really saying "Flesh-Eating Disease".
When I thought about applying to go on this Multicultural Immersion Experience, I fully expected to be politely denied the chance, but I decided to apply anyway. I was told a couple of months later that I had been chosen as an alternate...which I assumed everyone not chosen was considered an "alternate". When my boss, was also let down, but not given the alternate word, I couldn't believe it. I was beyond excited about the possibility of going to New Orleans.
On May 6th, I was informed that another employee selected to go, had taken a new position and I was selected from the 4 alternates! OMG...I couldn't believe it. I was going on a trip to New Orleans for work! I was so completely excited I hadn't even considered the possibility that I would have anything but a great time. I mean yes, I had some nerves as soon as I looked at the list of people going on the trip like the Dean and Associate Dean and a slew of other highly educated people, but I just blocked out my insecurities and decided to have a great trip.
Well, cut to the first time we are all together in a group situation, we have to introduce each other by reading our BIOS--which for 18 of the 21 people consist of where they got their BS, MS, PhD's and so on. Needless to say my comfort level went from 5 to 0 in one second flat. Then to add fuel to my fire, I got Smartest Guyever's bio. Ok this guy had a 4 paragraph bio with all sorts of shit on there. Oh did I fail to mention the 12 different countries he had listed and the work he'd done there? So I am pre-reading the bio so to not mispronounce anything, and I calm myself a little- things are going to be fine. I speak in public all the time-I can handle this...RIGHT??! Yep right until the lady, I like to refer to as
Crotch from Cornell, I mean Sue, reading my bio leans over and asks "Where did you get your degree?"
No, shit! I have a perfectly good bio that is written in such a way doesn't name drop a university, but instead focuses on all of my work experience and why I am excited about this trip to New Orleans, but apparently she wants to help me with my bio, by telling everyone where I got my degree...because that is OBVIOUSLY how we determine worth in UWEX! So my comfort level is now leveling off somewhere in the negative 30's.
The next part of the introductions is where I black-out...not really, but when I was up to read Smartest Guyever's bio, I was so nervous and shaky I thought I was going to fall over, and like a frickin' moron - I keep mentioning how nervous I am. Seriously, every strategy I knew to calm myself down was gone. I cannot even imagine how stupid, I looked. I made it through and sat myself down and then it is time for my bio to be read. Well Sue does a great job clarifying that I have an Associate degree and then wings the rest by not saying one thing from my bio. Well done...discomfort level currently off the charts!
Have you ever had those naked in front of the whole class kind of dreams?? Yes-this was my worst nightmare happening in real life in front of 20 people I hardly knew, all of which I am going to be hanging out with for the next 4 days in New Orleans. What a way to start this life changing experience.
I have to say that I normally don't drink coffee in the summer and that morning I had a big cup of Emeril Lagasse's Big Easy Bold Coffee. Right in the description of the stuff it explains that "This coffee really kicks it up a notch." Clearly, that is referring to my fucking heart rate!
My wonderful roommate Tonya from Racine County made the coffee for me, bless her heart. She drank some too. She had to introduced our Dean and she went all Rev. Al Sharpten with a bunch of "Who is the man that's mother looked at him and said you will be a leader?" It was hilarious.
She has some Big Easy Bold and becomes a preacher. I have some and turn in to this girl. Although without the eating disorder-well not the same eating disorder!
to be continued...