That’s beside the point for now, though. Here’s the skinny. Like many teams around Americorps’s Southern Region and beyond, Summit 5 has little to do right now because there are no disasters happening. Community Relations teams like ours, who thrive on immediate response to disasters, are really stuck in the doldrums. We’re in a holding pattern, waiting for something to happen so we can get in the fight.
In the meantime, my team is passing the time in Suwanee, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. The hotel has cable TV and there’s an Applebees two doors down, so one way or another my Packers-watching needs are being filled. We’ve visited a couple of parks in Suwanee for PT (Physical Training) plus a gigantic outdoor park, Piedmont Park, in Atlanta proper. We’ve eaten out a few times at local restaurants, even on our limited budget, and did a little exploring downtown. It’s early, but we’re slowly getting to know the city.
That includes volunteer work, which a few of us need like food or sleep. My whole team is volunteering at an AIDS Walk downtown next weekend (I think I have this straight) and a few people, including me, are going to help set up another fun run/walk Saturday morning. It’s wonderful weather for it. Georgia in October is just the right amount of cool and crisp, warm enough to run around in shorts but just brisk enough to make you shiver now and then. It makes me want to slip on my old spikes and go for a five-K run in the early mornings, Shorewood Cross Country style. I really like that. Hell, I like the vast majority of things about being here, even the over-congested morning drive to work. That gives me time to listen to music, read or catch up on writing.
The work is something else again. I’m treating this like my second internship in the past three Octobers, because that’s essentially what it is. It has that same feeling of work that does need to be done, but the full-time employees are too busy to get to it, so it’s our job to get it done. I’m creating updating media contact lists in a vast database; when there aren’t any projects there, I’m taking FEMA classes through the FEMA Employee Knowledge Center. (Up to seven in the past two days. Today was the inner workings of the National Emergency Management Integration System.) A lot of people have had trouble with the kind of work we’re doing, i.e. not sexy or what we wanted, but I’m not one of them. As my college professors know, if you give me pretty much any topic to concentrate on exclusively, I’ll get incredibly into the sucker. Even databasing.
Life, overall, is good. I like my team and my roommates, we’re exercising a lot and eating decently well, my request for an absentee ballot just got to the Shorewood Village Clerk, I get to see my friend Sage on Saturday if all goes well (going to a Pride parade after the walk is over—Atlanta is outdoorsy!), I’ve started working on my book again after a long period of training- and blogging-enforced inactivity, and I landed in a great city, or at least pretty close to one. If only the Packers were winning more often than 40% of the time, it would be perfect.