NCCC North Central - Class 18
Flexible, from the F to the E

Go placidly among the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. —Desiderada

NCCC North Central Region Class XVIII - Vinton Campus

There’s a few times in life where, if only for a fleeting moment, you are absolutely certain you are exactly where you should be. That feeling has been with me from the moment I landed in Iowa.

As far as travel goes, my flight was definitely tolerable, and I slept through most of both legs. Understandable, As I didn’t sleep the night before. Upon landing and meeting a few of my peers, I boarded a bus and was on my way to the tiny town of Vinton.

Yes, I mean this town is tiny. Four square miles does not a metropolitan area make, and you know that any town with a “general store” is not going to be a major economic center. For all it’s shortcomings in size though, it makes up for in heart and spirit. Our NCCC campus has been a strongly welcomed presence in the community since its relocation here, and our past service locally has only strengthened that bond.

Standing in line, it seems, is a common pastime in Corps Training Institute, and a tradition not withheld from my class. Once past paperwork, gear assignment, and uniform sizing, however, I’ve been kept busy with orientations and team meetings. Today devoted nearly 5 hours to orientation meetings alone. Our schedule went smoothly, however, and we were dismissed for free time more than an hour early. My roommate and I took the opportunity to make use of the gym, and thanks to that I’ve been struggling to make use of my legs. Stairs are currently my sworn enemy… which is unfortunate, because they’re everywhere.

It’s been helpful being the type who jumps in the deep end of the pool while others are still testing the water… and yet, never have I felt so in tune with the motivations and passions of my peers. I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to serve with a group of people so diverse in background yet similar in mindset.

I’ve not yet had much of a chance for it, but I’ll be trying to post a bit of video later on. Stay tuned for more details.

Thought of the day. Post coming later.

Thought of the day. Post coming later.

On needing a bigger backpack

How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life… you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV… the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now.

You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home… I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office… and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag.

Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.

Ryan Bingham, Up In The Air

I’ve been a little more lax in posting than I’ve been hoping to be, but I haven’t really had much to write on. Let’s change that.

I’ve finished packing everything but my clothes so far, all consolidated into a single 24”x24”x18” box weighing just shy of 50 lbs. Within that box, everything I will own for the next ten months. Everything else I currently own, all of my worldly goods, will wither be packed away into storage, or donated. It’s liberating, in a surreal way, to have lightened my last 21 years of physical burdens and consolidated the things that will make the rest of this year endurable.

Cutting the physical bulk of my life out isn’t the hard part, though. I’ve lived in the Rogue Valley my entire life. Everyone I grew up with, most of my friends and acquaintances, my family, the people dearest to my heart all reside here. In 8 days I’ll be leaving all of them to begin a journey that may or may not bring me back here. 

It’s refreshing, then, to know that in 8 days I’ll be meeting those people that I’ll be learning, working, serving, and growing with for the next 50 weeks. I can say from experience that the bond that will be made will be as tight as family, and the idea of meeting such a diverse yet like-minded group of people is thrilling to me.

My last week of work begins tomorrow, and with it’s ending comes the brink of my departure. It’s almost time to jump.

More later this week.

On New Beginnings

If you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth… but you gotta be willing to take the hits.” -Rocky Balboa

This marks my entry in to The Wonderful World of Blogging… I suppose I should make an introduction. The name is Travis Redfield, a 21-year-old young man hailing from Southern Oregon. I’m currently doing web development for The Job Council, but that’s not what I’m on here for.

No indeed, this new medium is to be a chronicling of my life for 2012, as I embark on my journey into AmeriCorps’ NCCC program. In just one short month I will be Iowa-bound, to accomplish daring feats of community service. Truly, there are a many things that are uncertain, such as the exact nature of the work I’ll be doing, and whether “chronicling” really ought to be a word. But these answers will not be found where I currently am.

I still need to pack. I don’t plan on taking much, mostly essentials. From what I understand, Iowa winters can be pretty cold… but I like a challenge.

Out for now.