Re: How do Ashland newcomers break in here?
I wasn't exactly an Ashland newcomer, more like a re-comer. I attended SOSC now SOU 82-86 and graduated with a BS Marketing and BS Broadcasting. The Detroit metro are is where I was born and more or less grew up, but I am convinced that after one lives in Oregon for a period of time, one becomes an Oregonian. I had been plotting my return since 2003, and in May 2005 returned to Ashland. I was fortunate enough to reconnect with a few of my "college buddies" most of whom were busy with families of their own.
One thing that was helpful was joining a group called "Women new to Ashland" now called "New Beginnings" facilitated by Dr. Bonnie Geiger. This was a great place to talk about feelings and the whole transition process of moving somewhere without a support network.
On volunteering, that is the best way to meet people and get yourself out there. I got involved with KSKQ, community radio, here in Ashland. I had 10 years of experience in broadcasting and thought that would be a great way to get back into it. KSKQ is currently streaming on the internet, and is open to anyone who wants to do a show. I've made some of my best friends there. www.kskq.org
I showed up to volunteer at the Ashland Independent Film Festival and it was incredibly overvolutneerd. Everyone wants free passes! Be persistent and get on board early. www.ashlandfilm.org
Finally, the volunteer position that has been the most rewarding for me is librarian at the Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library (RVML). www.rvml.org Ashland is so fortunate to have this resource. Librarians volunteer for 2 hour shifts, usually one per week, some people are doing two. Thorough training is provided, and a membership is given in exchange. There are so many interesting topics to learn about there. I am completely driven by my curiosity, so it is lots of fun for me. I have met some great volunteers and patrons there, not to mention furthering my own education and personal development.
Of course, there is the oldie but goodie, being regular somewhere. Show up at the same restaurant, coffee shop, or even the co-op as in the poll, and trade names with the people working there. Hi to Jennifer at the Apple Cellar, Jamie and Beth at Gepetto's, Debbie at Evo's, Phil at the Co-op.
It is really easy to isolate in this town, especially if one is starting from scratch… that is without friends or relatives nearby. Take initiative to get out and meet people, and volunteering is one of the best ways. Be careful not to burn out, because there is so much to do… balance is key. Find something you are interested in and just show up. Tell the group what you have to offer, and they will put you to work. Try and not take the personalities too seriously. That applies anywhere you join.
Leslie D. of Orgone Studio, Inc.