I have never understood sarcasm in my life. Beyond the supposed humor, I have never seen its positive impact on communication. I really love this poem– compassion and peace are wonderful objectives to communicate.
Every aspect of my life involves multitasking. I have been constantly juggling multiple activities for my entire life–so why should my senior year at Colorado State University be any different? My current “tasks” include interning for a local electric vehicle advocacy organization, researching my Capstone thesis “The Impacts of Renewable Energy at Fossil Ridge High School,” trying to keep my 2.5 year old puppy satisfied with sufficient W.A.L.K.s, and the newest addition to the chaos– applying for the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship!
I’ve been multitasking for many years, so why should my blogging be any different? I wrote this blog for my internship with Drive Electric Northern Colorado and it was posted in October 2013. By re-blogging my own blog, I hope to do two things. 1.) Show my lovely followers what I have been doing in the last few months. 2.) Tell you about the passion for energy initiatives, and particularly renewable energy that I have developed over the past year.
October 2, 2013 | Originally Published, Drive Electric Northern Colorado
One of the best parts about being involved in the EV community is the ability to collaborate and take action in a visible and tangible way, against problems that we are all concerned about- like improving our national security by decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and protecting the environment by reducing tailpipe emissions.
On September 30, 2013 DENC and the communities of Fort Collins and Loveland celebrated National Plug In Day at the Museum of Discovery in Fort Collins. I stood on top of the Discovery Museum with the event photographer and looked down at a parking lot filled with the EV models I have been talking about for the last five months working as an intern with Drive Electric Northern Colorado. From the top of the building I could see the Northern Colorado EV owners smiling and proud to be wearing their black DENC T-Shirts.
National Plug In Day in Fort Collins was an event to gather the EV community to demonstrate the progress we have made to get EVs on the road. With 33 electric vehicles gathered to take photos, the event was a powerful collaboration between local EV owners, EV advocates, and DENC partners who have transferred their fleets to electric- including the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland, Morning Fresh Dairy, and the Fort Collins Downtown Business Association.
As an intern with DENC, I have helped to plan various DENC events, along with my other activities of talking with local businesses about transitioning to electric, and blogging about new EV owners in Northern Colorado. When I started as an intern with Drive Electric Northern Colorado I knew very little about electric cars, but I was eager to learn. I found that after just a few weeks of working with DENC I had learned so much about EVs that that they quickly became an integral part of both my personal and professional life. My friends and family now get annoyed fairly quickly on car rides with be, because I point out every EV model on the road as we drive.
Part of my “job” as an intern is to occasionally drive a Nissan Leaf. I love the ability to bypass the gas station and spend the extra time advocating for EVs. I also love the opportunity to talk to people about EVs at random places and times, like in the parking lot of the grocery store. It’s pretty evident that while working with EVs started as my job, over the past five months they have slowly turned into my passion.
National Plug In Day and other DENC events act as a way to not only bring our Northern Colorado EV family closer together, but also to draw in more individuals to join the EV community. The DENC events allow me to meet each EV owner and to hear their stories about going electric. We then bond over our love of the torque on the Leaf or the Volt, or the latest news about Tesla or the soon-to-be released electric BMWs. Electric Vehicles have intensified the sense of community in Northern Colorado, and have given yet another way for Coloradoans to take action in our world today.
Written by Annie Freyschlag
Intern with Drive Electric Northern Colorado
A “Solutionary” is a person who takes action in the world against concerns that they see around them—from global issues to smaller issues in one’s life. Zoe Weil, the Co-Founder of The Humane Education Project, came up with this term, … Continue reading
A multimedia video blog about the benefits of “Voluntourism” in the Dominican Republic. Music by Jack Johnson
Video, photos, text by Annie Freyschlag
Students in this film were participants in the 2011 ISV Project in the Dominican Republic
It’s been four years, seven degree changes, and I am finally graduating from Colorado State University. This May I will walk across that wooden stage, shake a the hands of very knowledgeable and honorable individuals, and walk straight into an uncertain future. Uncertain, to an extent. I know for sure that I will continue gathering experience until I am hired to work in a International Non-Profit organization that works to improve the world for present global citizens, and future generations. Until the day that I am hired, I will continue to volunteer and intern with various programs and companies to gain the experience that is necessary to obtain this dream. Who’s with me!?
Below I have listed my resume. If you are seeking to hire an enthusiastic employee with a very diverse skill-set for your non-profit organization contact me — I would be more than thrilled to learn about the opportunity.
Phone: (970) 987-3055 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Available immediately following May 17, 2014 for a full-time position.
Energetic, enthusiastic and highly motivated bilingual applicant, with experience in sustainable development, environmental initiatives and international development. Currently seeking full-time position with a non-profit organization. Applicant exhibits experience and passion for sustainable development initiatives in the United States and around the world, dedication to organized and precise work for non-profit programs, strong understanding of technology related to office work and that which is necessary for advocacy organization.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA Anticipated Graduation Date: May 17, 2014
- Current GPA: 3.67
- Bachelor of Liberal Arts
- Concentration in Environmental Studies
- Minors: Cultural Anthropology and International Development
University of Granada, Andalucía, Spain- Semester Abroad
- Semester GPA: 3.78
- Coursework: Spanish Language studies and Global Economics
American Language Partnership International, Santiago, Dominican Republic
- One week of intensive Spanish language courses with complete cultural immersion.
Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs Colorado, USA September 2009- May 2010
- Dually enrolled as High School Senior and College Freshman
- GPA: 4.0
Intern, Electrification Coalition, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA May 2013- Present
- Intern with Drive Electric Northern Colorado, a regional non-profit Electric Vehicle deployment initiative, organized through the Electrification Coalition.
- Responsibilities: Volunteer recruitment and training, engaging with local businesses to form strong relationships, Social Media outreach including blogging, Facebook, Twitter. Sending out weekly newsletters, document editing and creation, engaging with local governments, writing press releases, taking minutes at meetings.
- Skills utilized: Enthusiasm, teamwork, patience, flexibility, self-initiative (working from a home environment), conferencing, event coordination, collaboration, persuading local businesses to join the initiative, team work, presentation, public speaking.
- Software Utilized: WordPress.com, Asana Planning Software, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Programming, Excel, Campaign Manager, Google Planning, Google Mail, Google Docs
Founder, Coloring Countries not-for-profit program August 2012- Present
- Founding and development of the non-profit international education program, Coloring Countries which works connect elementary school students in the United States with students in the Dominican Republic and Spain.
- Responsibilities include: Fundraising, translation of letters, communication with school administration in all participating schools, travel to Spain and the Dominican Republic, creation and maintenance of webpage (www.coloringcountries.org), organizing volunteers to speak with U.S. students about global wealth disparity, collaboration with multiple groups and individuals.
- Skills utilized: high levels of organization, initiative, teamwork, patience, collaboration, language utilization, international travel skills, and knowledge of cultural differences.
Volunteer, International Student Volunteers, Yassica Arriba, Dominican Republic August 2013
- Instruction at a Health Education and English Language Summer Camp for children six years-old to 17 years-old.
- Construction of a community center using the natural resources available in the northern mountains of the Dominican Republic.
Secretary, Students Take Action Now Darfur September 2012- Present
- Secretary of STAND, a Colorado State University advocacy group that works to end genocide and other global human rights atrocities.
- Campaigning Assistant for Genocide Awareness Week 2012
- Volunteer Coordinator 2012
- Other responsibilities included: On-campus advocacy, teaching CSU students about current and past genocides, training and educating new members, and maintaining the social media page to help educate students
- Skills utilized: High levels of organization, technology use, collaboration, notifying members of information missed in meetings, supporting president and vice-president in their responsibilities regarding STAND, and recruiting highly motivated individuals to join STAND.
Volunteer Assistant Teacher, Dunn IB World School November 2011- May 2012
- Assisting children behind in literacy skills
- Engaging parents in the education process.
Member, National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS) December 2010- Present
- Leadership training on the Colorado State University campus
- Weekly meetings with other NSLS members
- Monthly volunteer work around Fort Collins, Colorado with programs such as- Cans Around the Oval, Earth Day, and others.
Volunteer, Lakota Solar Enterprises, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA December 2012
- Volunteer work under the instruction Lakota Solar Enterprises founder, Henry Red Cloud
- Education about solar and wind energy on the Pine Ridge Reservation through a non-profit organization
- Assistance with the construction of a straw bail insulated trailer home at the Red Cloud camp
- Skills utilized: Teamwork, patience, and an open mind for energy innovation
Independent Volunteer Work, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA December 2012
- Volunteer assistance constructing a sustainable straw bail home
- Skills utilized: Cultural and historic understanding, patience, collaboration and teamwork, the ability to closely follow detailed instructions, innovation, creativity, and manual labor.
Coordinator, Pine Ridge Coat Drive Winter 2013 &2014
- Organizing and coordinating volunteers
- Contacting donors to support program
- Executing event process from start to delivery
- Skills utilized: Organization, planning, donor coordination, media outreach
- Experienced blogger and digital storyteller
- Highly organized, motivated and goal-oriented person
- Exhibits high levels of patience and enthusiasm, demonstrates strong ability to work as part of a team
- Experience with non-profit program development and management
- Strong presentation and interpersonal skills
- Experience working hands-on with program implementation on a global and local basis
- Experience and knowledge of international and domestic travel including customs and travel regulations
- Knowledge of web design- the ability to design, create and maintain independent web pages and blogs
- Proficient use in the programs: Text Wrangler, WordPress.com, Asana, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Programming, Excel, Campaign Manager, Google Applications
- Knowledge of filing, maintaining office systems, phone calls, messages, web design, social media, attending meetings, presenting to groups
- Studies of the Spanish language- ability to speak and write in the Spanish language
- Beginning level of Mandarin Chinese language studies
- International experience volunteering in schools in multiple countries
- Enthusiasm to work in the non-profit sector
Please contact Annie for references.
ReBlogged from Cristao408. I think this is a wonderful view of one way our global society can unite in our pain and progress forward, together.
Originally posted on christao408:
In remembrance of the 9-11-2001 attacks, I humbly suggest that we need to move beyond thinking of ourselves in terms of our nationality, our religion, or our race. We need to start thinking of ourselves as human beings. Only then will peace truly be possible. Easier to say than to do, but let’s use today as an opportunity to move towards that goal.
My godson, Owen Daniel was born on August 23rd, just as I was stepping off the plane into South Korea. I held him for the first time when he was about six hours old, as soon as I arrived at the hospital on the Yongson US Army Base.
Cultural standards for eye contact vary across the world. In the United States, we are quite forward with our mannerisms according to other cultures. In many countries I have visited including Spain, Dominican republic, Greece, and others, intense eye contact can signify other emotions that can offend or cause unwanted problems. I think the exception for this is when you are looking into the eyes of a newborn baby or a small child. When I hold my godson and look into his eyes, he looks right back at me and seemingly into my soul. There are no cultural barriers, there are no differences, just two beings and a whole lot of love.
Yesterday I went adventuring to the Changdeokgung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace. I walked through the palaces constructed in 1405 and 1395, and felt the history of each dynasty that lived through those walls. I drank cold plum tea sweetened with honey, from the modern cafe that has been recently built in the courtyard of Changdeokgung Palace. I analyzed the intricate designs that colored the outside of the royal buildings and I imagined the king being carried around within the walls of the palaces- the king was seen as an extension of the heavens, so he never walked directly on the ground (Jiwoo Song, 2013).
Later, as I toured the Secret Garden behind the palace, I learned of all the stories of the king who built the castle. In front of his library were three doors- one large part in the middle and two small doors on the side. The middle door was for the King, and the side doors were for his servants. But above the door is a Korean inscription that describes the relationship between a fish and water because the king understood that his relationship with his servants was similar- a fish cannot live but a few moments without water, and likewise the king could not live without his servants.*
Also in the Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace were a few beautiful ponds, but one in particular that stuck in my mind. This pond was built to symbolize the relationship between the universe and the earth. The water represented all that is the universe, all-welcoming and all-encompassing. The little patch of land in the center of the pond represents the earth.*
I wandered with the tour through the Secret Garden for hours, lost in the sounds of the acacias and flowing streams. When I finished the tour I was exhausted, but had somehow rediscovered a sense of optimism for the world we live in. Understanding history and connecting it with the present has a way of doing that- reconfiguring the mind to see the light and life of this planet. That’s another reason I love to travel, it allows me to literally and figuratively touch history.
When I finished with my historical ramblings, I hopped on the subway (that’s putting it lightly, more like “got lost six or seven times on the subway”) and eventually arrived back at the home of my friends, and the house of my baby godson. After showering to get the yucky subway off my clothing and body, I picked up that little ball of future, light, connection, hope, serenity, and I looked into those eyes that shined with the new life of an eight day-old. It was at that moment that the experience of my day came full circle. I was content to be standing with that baby in my arms and the soles of my feet pressed firmly into the ground, ready to remain a constant in this child’s life. I was ready to relay the experiences of my life to him in the most open and affirming way possible- to allow him to explore this world without fear, but with a critical eye. I hope to be a friend and to show him that he is also mine. But the most important thing I hope to tell him is that the way those eyes view the world in intricately connected with the way he will make an impact on it. I will continue to remind him (as I have already written it in his first book) that I hope for him to see the beauty in this world so he will emphasize that and help it to grow.
I will tell him with my eyes until I can tell him with my words, that he is the light and the beauty in this world and I can’t wait to see the footprints he makes on this earth.
*Facts from my tour guide at Changdeokgung Palace, I have not confirmed in my own research.
I like adventure. I find that I am able to think most clearly when I am in the middle of a city I don’t know, in a country that is foreign to me, surrounded by people I have never met. Today I found myself standing on the corner of a busy intersection in downtown Seoul having just told my friends to drop me off because the kids were getting fussy and my friends needed to take them home for a nap. So there I was, umbrella in hand and Birkenstocks already soggy, ready for an adventure (it always seems to be raining when I have my best adventures).
When I have no plans and no ideas in mind, I usually find the most interesting things- it must have something to do with minimal expectations. I started walking in the opposite direction of the way I knew took me back to where I am staying. I passed a corner restaurant that made dumplings, and I made a mental note to return because it smelled amazing. I kept walking and when it felt right (I always adventure on the basis of impulse) I took a left hand turn down a side-street, made note of my surroundings, and continued on my way. I walked in the front door of teapot shop filled floor to ceiling with teapots of every make and color, and I walked out the side door onto another side street. When I looked right out of the shop I was surprised to find there was an outdoor market, exactly like what I had been wanting to visit while in Korea! Colorful umbrellas sheltered the vendors from the rainy day. Little old Korean men selling socks, fruit, and other things lined the small street, chattering and looking up with curious eyes. We bowed to each other as I walked past.
I bought a few Korean pears, which are my favorite. If you haven’t tried one, it’s like a pear and an apple combined in a juicy explosion of perfection. I continued through the nuts, the spices, the meat, and the fish- ohhh the fish. Dead fish, live fish, flat fish, long fish, puffy fish, shellfish, every single kind of fish. While they were amusing, their smells were not. I still stayed over the amount of time I probably should have for the odor-removing power of my homemade laundry detergent back home.
When I had my fill of the market I walked out and found a corner restaurant with Gimbap, the Korean version of Sushi. Of course I had to purchase when I learned it was only 1,200 Korean Won (Roughly $1). They rolled it up in tin-foil and I ate it while walking… fast food, anyone?? At this point I was soaking wet but most certainly content, so I half-hardheartedly decided to find my way home.
Just as soon as I started walking I got distracted again at the possibility of more adventure. I spotted a restaurant where everyone had to take their shoes off at the door. I had just eaten and half of my mind was telling me that I could eat at a similar restaurant later this week, but that would have totally violated my theory of, “If not now, when?”… so I went in.
I was led over to a table and sat on my mat on the floor. I quickly discovered that no one spoke English there, but after a quick game of charades involving myself, the waitress and the two young Korean women at the table next to me, I placed my order. While I waited I checked out the rest of the room and noticed the diversity in ages of everyone sitting in the small restaurant. There was a young couple in the corner with their eyes glued to their smart phones (that’s not just a US American thing) and a group of little old women chatting and laughing at the table opposite of me. In the corner of the restaurant a 20-something guy sat by himself reading a book on his phone, and of course there were my silly “friends” at the table next to me who left shortly after that, smiling to me as they left the room.
My food came quickly, but not before the manager came over and adjusted the fan so it was directly on me (I must have looked tired and lost). They unloaded seven different bowls of Kimchi, a traditional food of pickled vegetables, and my bowl of noodles. They must have cooked the soup right in that little black bowl because it came out to me still bubbling. The soup was incredible, just the right amount of flavor, salt, heat and substance. I struggled with the noodles in the bowl, they were a clear rice noodle that were very slippery. Once again, I accidentally dropped my metal chopsticks on the table, making a lot of noise in the quiet restaurant, but I had already made “eye-contact friends” with everyone in the room so they just smiled and giggled with me. I scraped the bowl to the very bottom.
When I finished my food I got up, said “Homsomnidad (thank you)” to the waitress and manager, bowed very low (a sign of respect, especially in the presence of elders) and told them in English how much I loved the food- I think they still got the point. I found my soggy Birkenstocks and set out onto the brick streets, under the dipping trees, looking for the next part of my adventure.
Last night I walked out of Hannam Village and onto the busy street corner with the smell of noodles and Korean coffee easing from every brick building- it was almost time for the dinner rush and the smells of South Korea were filling the streets. I walked slowly down the street taking in all the smells and looking in all the shop windows. I finally found the little restaurant I had in my mind all day- I had seen it earlier that day when I went out to a bakery. The little old woman who owned the restaurant opened the door to greet me and we bowed to each other slightly as I said, “annyeonghaseyo,” or Hello. I sat at the table closest to the window and as I sat down she handed me a menu in Korean. I sat there looking confused for a few minutes before she brought me a menu in English.
I have traveled a lot in my 21 years, but this was one of the first countries I have traveled to where I can’t read the phonetics of their language (Greek being the other). It’s a slightly intimidating feeling not being able to communicate at all, partly my fault for not working harder at learning the basics before I arrived. There are a few people who speak English here, but for the most part I am incredibly lost. That’s one of my favorite feelings though.
I decided to order a Gimbap, a Korean version of Sushi and a side of Udon. The woman came up to my little table by the door, I pointed to what I wanted, and we bowed our heads to each other when she understood what I wanted.
When I sat down by myself I began to feel a little self- conscious, thinking things like, what are people thinking when they see me, what do I do with my hands, what do I do to entertain myself? After a few minutes though, my mind stopped with the thoughts about myself and I began to think externally again. It was at that point that I looked around and saw that there were a few other Korean women eating by themselves too. I watched the feet of the Korean Nationals walk by outside the glass door- it was dinnertime and everyone was bustling around to get their food.
My food came pretty quickly and I said, “Homsomnidad (Thank you)” as she walked away. I took a picture of the beautiful dish and quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing (once again). No one else had received their food yet and I had no idea how to use the utinsles, so I just began with my basic knowledge of Americanized Japanese food, and picked up the metal chopsicks. I took a bite of my colorful Gimbap and let the flavors explode. It was so fresh. I also ate the Udon noodles with the chopsticks, but I’m still unsure as to whether I did that correctly or not. Once, when I reached for another piece of Gipbap, I dropped the metal chopstick and it clanked loudly on the table in the small restaurant of 5 tables. I laughed quietly at myself, picked my chopstick up, and tried again.
A Korean couple sat down at the table next to me and decided they didn’t like the Korean music on the radio, so they played their Bob Marley loudly on their iPhones (ahhh, Globalization). The owner of the restaurant didn’t even flinch, which surprised me seeing as her restaurant was quite small and there were quite a few other customers. As I sat there at my tiny table, watching the feet of the Koreans pass by the door in front of me, my thoughts sank deeper and deeper with every bite of Udon. Toward my final bites, my thoughts clustered around the thought of humanity. There are some things that are just universally human, like that guy who just ran into a chair and made an “Ugh” sound, looking quickly at the ground awkwardly- I would have done the same thing. I’m not sure if I ever cared about differences between people, but especially in that moment on the last bite of tasty Udon noodles I thought to myself, humans are humans, whether I am sitting next to them in an inactive war zone, or a coffee shop in my hometown in the Rocky Mountains.
When I finished, the sun had begun to set and I was ready to go home. I walked slowly out the door, nodded and said “Homsomnidad” to the kind owner once more. Then I slowly wandered back to the gates of where I am staying, full belly and happy heart.
Please excuse the cheesy title, I am sure I am not the first to take advantage of the play on words.
I’m in South Korea! I arrived in Seoul on Friday afternoon and as soon as I stepped off the plane I received notification that my God Son had been born a few hours earlier. It was a lovely surprise to land in the country and know that I had a new little light to add to my life.
I haven’t experienced too much of the culture yet because newborns don’t like Kimchi (I can’t tell you if I agree or not yet). For the last two days I have been in the house with the family of my God Son. They have two other kids, who are one and two years-old. I used to be in the Girl Scouts with the mom of the family, but more importantly we were amazing childhood friends.
A few years ago my friend and her husband got married and he enlisted in the United States Army. Two years later with two kiddos and one more on the way, they were sent to Seoul, South Korea. I’m a sucker for kids in general, but I’m head over heels in love with these three children.
I wrote a thesis in one of my courses- Children and Youth in a Global Context at Colorado State University last term about communication between adults and children, and how it has been thought cross-culturally, that a smaller mind must occupy the smaller beings and thus their minds must function at a slower rate than those of adults. In fact, the brain of a newborn child has more brain cells than at any other point in life (Rebecca Shore, Citations upon request). The paper went on to examine adult to child interaction across four cultures- German, Chinese, Dominican, and US American. It was quite interesting to explore this concept, and at the end of the paper I came to the conclusion that adults have much to learn from children.
On a much less academic thought, while kids do involve the occasional “hitting of another child on the head with a book” syndrome, the heart of the child is incredibly pure. I’m a firm believer in the idea that spontaneous giving, which is so frequently talked about in my writing, originated in the mind of the child. You can catch glimpses of this love that children emit in their everyday actions. Making the decision that they don’t need the rest of their lunch, so they give it to their friend who forgot theirs, or voluntarily giving up their toy to another child just because they wanted to. I think we often forget these type of actions (in adult form) by the time we reach adulthood.
Along with the intelligence and love that I adore so much in children, I also love their sense of exploration. Kids have a keen desire to explore every nook and cranny of this world. Today, that meant sticking ice cubes in our mouths for as long as we can to see what happens (cool experiment for a two year-old to think of!). It’s like every single child is an exploratory scientist. Imagine if all the adults were still that curious… would we still have 870 million people starving in the world (WorldFactBook, 2013)- or rapidly melting polar ice caps?
So, to sum up my state of mind right now- I’m here on the opposite end of the world from where I call home, with three little balls of light and curiosity, and I feel like I must be the luckiest girl in the world. Now maybe I should go try some Kimchi.