Monthly Archives: July, 2011

New connections through online friends

I’m always surprised at how handy social media connections can be in real life, although I’m not sure why since they seem to keep happening! My online friends played a huge role in helping me look for a job in the agri-marketing world and, now that I’ve accepted a position and started my career, they’re coming in handy again connecting me with people in Minneapolis.

The people you can meet at conferences, like Michele Payn-Knoper who I met at the AgChat Foundation conference last year, can be valuable friends in times that may surprise you.

When I accepted my position, I knew that I would be moving to a city where I knew no one besides the people I work with. Thankfully, my network has been more than happy to connect me with people they know in the Twin Cities. Just the other night, I went out to dinner with Ellen, a former 4-Her from Michele Payn-Knoper‘s county in Indiana. She’s an intern with Land O’Lakes this summer and a student at Purdue. Despite the fact that we’d never met before, we had a great time getting to know one another over burgers at this great hole-in-the-wall burger joint near the University of Minnesota. We bonded over dairy judging, land grant university and internship experiences. It was great to hang out with someone I have so much in common with.

As time goes on, I look forward to meeting up with other people I’ve been connected to through mutual friends. It’s so nice to know that my online friends have my back and are willing to introduce me to their network so I’m not all by myself.

Have you ever moved to a place where you knew no one? How did you meet people?

 

A love of musicals

Warning: If you’re looking for a post about agriculture, this isn’t one of them. Tune in for that in the future. For now, just learn a little more about my total geekiness and one of the things I love.

I am a self-admitted Gleek. I can’t help it. When I first heard of a show that was basically an hour long musical on TV every week, I knew this was the thing for me.

I love music of pretty much all kinds, but especially musical theater and musicals on film. There’s something about not just hearing a song on the radio, but rather using songs to tell stories. Ever since I heard The Phantom of the Opera on tape (which my parents picked up after seeing the show in Toronto), I was hooked. I knew all the words and tried to sing it like the great opera singers in the cast (probably to the detriment of my parents’ hearing). When I finally got to see it in the eighth grade, it was everything I imagined and more. Since then, I’ve been in the audience for The Lion King, Rent, a local production of Annie Get Your Gun and, my favorite, Wicked. There are so many more musicals I want to see, but I love every opportunity to get introduced to a new show and its wonderful music.

This is where Glee comes in. With its covers of Broadway and pop culture hits, Glee is everything a music fan (or at least one who can appreciate covers and high school drama) could ask for.

Now, I know Season 2 suffered. I think every Glee fan knows this and a part of them is saddened. Characters that could have been developed weren’t. Characters that should have stayed gone seemed to show up. Storylines changed and disappeared mid-stream. I think it got bigger than the show’s creators were ready for and, while there were a few shining moments (Rocky Horror, the Christmas episode and the hour and a half “Born This Way” episode come to mind), overall it got a little messy.

But I just finished watching Season 1 (streaming on Netflix!) and it reminded me why I loved the show so much in the first place.

There’s a part of me – the part that loves musical theater – that just gets giddy when writers can string song into a good storyline. It’s like the lyrics are dialogue, just like the rest of the script, only they’re able to convey so much more feeling and emotion than regular speaking can. Whether it’s “Don’t Rain on my Parade” from Funny Girl, a Journey medley, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga or “To Sir With Love” from the movie of the same name, there’s just something about musicals – in this case musical television, a completely new genre I think – that makes me happy.

In a few months, Season 3 will begin and I have high hopes for it. I don’t know if my hopes will be realized, but I remain optimistic. There’s a bunch of new writers and it’s the last season for series regulars Lea Michelle, Corey Monteith and Chris Colfer (a former FFA member!). I hope they send them off with a bang and remind me of why I came to love a show about a high school glee club so stinkin’ much.

Living it up in the big city!

It’s official: I’ve moved to Minneapolis and started my new job!

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