I had a meeting this morning with one of the people I support (work-wise) at IBM. He's a guy who's "in the know" about what's going on in our department and what options may be available for me and continued employment there. At this time, nothing's been finalized, so it's for sure that I need to start cleaning my desk out. As in any big business, the decision-making wheels turn pretty slow--especially when budgeting for additional personnel is being considered. He seemed fairly optimistic that he (and some others) would be able to convince the decision-makers to keep me on staff in a similar support capacity, but more than likely it will only be in a part-time situation.
On a totally unrelated note, last week I was talking to another person at IBM who I got to know through Mr. Johnson (after 30 years, Mr. Johnson knows almost everyone at the plant). Gary had seen my birding story on KTTC and wanted to talk about the birds at his place and also share with me that he was now finding great enjoyment spending time outdoors again as he's getting closer to retirement. For some reason, I happened to remember something about the Minnesota DNR's Master Naturalist Program and I sent Gary the link to those program listings this morning in an e-mail. And then the lightbulb went on over MY head! Sure enough, there's a class starting here in Rochester on March 18th. Ever since I heard about this program a couple years ago, I wanted to become part of it and now I'm going to!
My first class towards becoming a volunteer Minnesota Master Naturalist will be Big Woods, Big River.
Basing out of Rochester's Quarry Hill Nature Center and a surrounding 320 acre park- we will explore the Big Woods-Big Rivers biome here in southeast Minnesota. We will meet for eleven consecutive Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 9 pm beginning March 18 (excluding April 1) and ending June 3, 2009. Required all day field trips on Saturdays (May 9 and May 30) will take us to regional state parks like Nerstrand Big Woods and out onto the Mississippi river. Field experiences will involve some hiking and canoeing with all basic equipment provided. Join us for some great adult comaradarie as we grow together as naturalists and inspire one another to become more involved as volunteers in support of our communities and the environment.
Sounds pretty cool, don't you think? I think I'm going to enjoy being a student again.
My other assignment for today is filling out my application to apply for part-time work in the seasonal garden center at my local Mills Fleet Farm store.
I guess the saying is true that when God closes a door, he also opens a window. I will be sad to close the door on a job I've enjoyed for over 3 years, but I'm excited about crawling through that window and following my dream.