Saturday, January 29, 2005

You know you're an AmeriCorps Alum when...

You Know You Are An AmeriCorps Alumni When:

* All your stories start with "Oh man, this one time in AmeriCorps. . ."
* You think nothing of borrowing someone else's microwave.
* You burn yourself with the hot water because you didn't realize that not all houses were broken.
* Your best friend loves 2000 miles away.
* You're wearing jeans, and you try to put something in your side pocket.
* You're wearing jeans, and you wonder why people AREN'T looking at you funny.
* You're wearing jeans, and you wish you weren't.
* Before going somewhere new, you prep yourself to give "the speech"
* You're obsessed with Wal-Mart.
* You wonder why people don't ask who you are.
* You think nothing of calling up all your friends to ask if they want to go to Wal-Mart with you.
* You think nothing of calling up all your friends to ask if they want to go volunteer 5:00AM on a Saturday.
* . . .and it does not even cross your mind they might say no.
*You know what a "pulaski" is
*You look at every 15 passenger van you pass on the road
*You can make taco's for 8 carnivores, 2 vegetarians and 1 vegan and only spend $18.oo
*You know what TL, STL, CM, PT, ATL, ESL, etc. stand for
*You can tell a story about every paint stain on your BDU's
*You played Mother-May-I or Sharks and Minnows and called it PT
*You have had scabies/lice/chiggers...fill in the blank
*You sometimes wear your steel-toed boots for fun
*You want to put on the orange safety vest to back your friends' cars out of parking spaces.
*You know what a fireline is, even though you're not a firefighter.
*On any volunteer project, you wear your old BDUs and steel toes. You also bring your own work gloves. Then you scoff at people who wore sneakers and jeans to pull weeds.
*You think it hasn't been a hard days' work unless you've gotten dirty in three places. In fact, you love collecting dirt and paint and other "war wounds."
*When doing manual labor, you still want to play games like 20 Questions and the Inital Game. Then wonder why other people look at you funny.
*You really miss those big side pockets when it's time to go on a plane.
*But you're really glad that you bought your round-trip ticket well ahead of time and thus don't have to be searched on every leg of every trip.
*You see people lugging three suitcases around the airport and brag to yourself in your head about The Red Bag.
*You know what it means to "cut in a ceiling" and are very good at it.
*You have stories--more than one--involving wildlife in your living quarters.
*When you hear about a hurricane/flood/disaster, you get excited because part of you still thinks, "Ooh! Maybe I'll get called!"
*You still get a thrill from free t-shirts.
*You think to yourself that those regular folk know NOTHING about true teamwork, diversity, and overcoming odds.


Anonymouph said...

Ha, ha. This is great. I could post something very similar about Teach for America, which is supposedly an Americorps program anyway. Much of what you mention in this post sounds exactly like memories that friends of mine have from their time in Americorps, so obviously you've got it right. Yeah for you getting work done on a Saturday. The illness that had all the other TFA teachers out sick this week waited until today to strike me, so I'm home sick not being very productive at all. Boo.

posthipchick said...

doesn't americorps do all sorts of projects? what did you do?

Anonymous said...

There's a brand-new AmeriCorps Alums web community with links to more than 50 chapters and lots of other cool stuff.

Check it out:

I found a few old NCCC buds there. :-)

A Whitney in Boston said...

AmeriCorps is a national service program and the majority of folks who CHOOSE to SERVE have an amazing and life-changing experience. And just recently, a report was released that shows AmeriCorps Alumni are more satisfied with their lives eight years later than others who did not serve in the program (among other very positive findings: AmeriCorps fosters leadership, teamwork, care and compassion for your community and the world. Currently over 75,000 State and National members provide valuable services like tutoring and mentoring youth, building affordable housing, and coordinating after-school programs. They also recruit and manage other volunteers to multiply their efforts! This scale and type of work just would not be possible if the nonprofits and programs AmeriCorps members serve in were required to provide a full salary and benefits. AmeriCorps members are addressing some of our nation's most critical needs, learning how to budget and making a difference.

Days go by said...

My friend emailed this blog to me. Its sooooo true and made me smile. Ahhhh, I miss the days of hard labor. I really do.