Monday, March 30, 2009

"15 Minutes of Fame"

Regardless how long this 15 minutes of quasi "fame" actually lasts (hopefully beyond Thursday!), I'm trying to put it to good use while I can. Last Friday, I went and spoke to the 3rd grade bilingual students at Austin Elementary here in Tyler.

The kids were amazing, and it's definitely the most fun I've had throughout this process as a "Best Job" finalist.

I had been planning for a few months to speak at one of their classes and encourage the kids to study hard and go to college. Once I became a finalist, however, their teacher and I saw it as an opportunity to excite them about the benefits of education.

If I hadn't graduated from college, I wouldn't have been qualified for the island caretaker position, and we wanted the students to make that connection.

I tried to show them that education, physical fitness and staying out of trouble are all key ingredients to living a successful life, regardless what you do. Hopefully some of them took it to heart.

In the end, the kids seemed most excited about kangaroos, back-flips and the fact that I could speak to them in Spanish. But I hope at least a few will remember the more "educational" aspects of the message as well.

After crowding around for handshakes, hugs and some autographs (ha!), the students were excited to show off their pet corn snake.

It was an appropriate finale to their many questions about the animals in Australia, including whether or not I would be afraid of the sharks, kangaroos and tigers.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

April 2, 2009

Well, once again we're playing the waiting game. On April 2nd at 6:00PM CDT, I'll find out if I'm one of Tourism Queensland's top 10 finalists. Those 10 (plus Clare, the wildcard vote winner) will fly to Australia in May to interview for the job - quite an experience in and of itself.

A big "thank you" to everyone who voted me into 14th place! What an honor. We'll find out soon if Tourism Queensland thinks it was good enough.

Yesterday the Dallas Morning News ran an article (here) in the sports section. It was a bit late for votes, but still good press for the islands and lots of fun in general. The photo at right was featured in the print edition. It was taken at the 2007 U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas, where Australian Greg Bennett won after an unbelievable performance. I finished far behind him, but it was still a great race.

Thanks again for the votes, kind words and support! I'm eagerly anticipating the results on Thursday, and I hope you are as well.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Video Response

Hey everyone,

Thanks for the great support! So far, 58 countries have visited the blog, and over 4,500 people (and counting) have voted for my video. Thanks so much!

Check out the response video below, and keep voting until March 24th. After you vote, go to YouTube (by clicking on the video below while it's playing) and upload your own short video response. I'd love to find out who you are, where you're from and anything interesting about you!

Hope to hear from you soon!


PS. The Tyler azaleas are in bloom! Aren't they beautiful?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Media Interviews (edit +2)

Hey guys,

Here's a list of my recent interviews. It's been fun to have some of the local media (finally) interested in covering the story. The Tyler paper still hasn't decided if it's "newsworthy" (ugh...), even though the Dallas Morning News did. I guess there are more exciting things happening in Tyler than I thought. :)

*NEW - Dallas Morning News article: CLICK HERE

*NEW - ESPN Outdoors article: CLICK HERE

ABC (KLTV) news piece: CLICK HERE...and article: HERE

NBC (KETK) interview: CLICK HERE

CBS Early Show (my video is featured): CLICK HERE

CBS (KYTX) news piece (article only): CLICK HERE

Thanks, everyone!


Friday, March 13, 2009


Hi friends,

Thanks so much for the great support! I appreciate each and every vote and kind word. Keep 'em coming until March 24th! (You can VOTE HERE.)

The next few weeks will undoubtedly be just as crazy as the last two (except there won't be an essay to write), and I'm hopeful to get some more media attention. This story from the CBS Early Show was fun, even though they just played a few clips from my video. If something else interesting happens, I'll be sure to let you know! Some of the other applicants have had WILD media coverage (perhaps people find the island story more intriguing in colder parts of the world, eh?). But it's all good. I'll take what I can get, and hopefully things pick up soon.

Also, soon I'll be posting a short "video response," so be on the lookout.

Until then, keep voting!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm in the top 50!

Hi everyone!

I'm thrilled to be a finalist for Australia's Best Job in the World! I greatly appreciate the kind words, support and votes. You can vote once every 24 hours, and please get others to do the same! Living in a small town, I might not have the most extensive media coverage or an entire nation behind me, but I'm grateful for the wonderful support I have received from around the world. Thanks; keep it up!

You can vote here - - and please send the link to your friends and family and post it on Facebook, MySpace, websites, blogs, etc. 

This has been such a fun process, and I'm honored to be considered with the other finalists. If I'm hired for the job, I will explore the Great Barrier Reef from top to bottom and find exciting ways to share my adventures with the world!

More updates to come. 

Thanks, xie xie, gracias, merci, grazie, multumesc, danke and cheers!


¡Y también, muchísimas gracias a todo el mundo por su apoyo! Es un privilegio representar a la comunidad  hispanohablante.