About eight miles west of Friona, Texas there remains whats left of a once small and thriving community called Black. Today, the remnants of Black are few–the grain elevator and a signpost on the Railroad. My name is Dollie Mischel Lookingbill, and my life began on a farm in Black. Today, I live in Amarillo with my significant other, Patrick and our chocolate lab, Caddy. Patrick is from Rowena, Texas and we often spend time hunting, camping, and fishing in his favorite places. Soon, I will be beginning my last semester of Graduate School at West Texas A&M University. My Master’s thesis focuses on real and imaginary community constructions in the American Southwest and the Texas Panhandle. Motivated by the increasing peril of rural communities in the American Southwest, my thesis project seeks to explore and define the ways in which communities are constructed, how communities work, and how we talk and think about them. I discuss the economic, geographic, historical, and ecological factors that all converge to create a community, and incidentally, a place.
As my educational ambitions might suggest, my passions include reading and writing! I also possess an ardent love for nature, history, community, art, religion, psychology and people. To be honest, I can pretty much develop a curiosity for anything. I am fascinated by the world we live in and work daily to acquire as much knowledge as possible. One of the most frequent questions I encounter about myself is what I plan to do with my degree. It is a difficult question to answer, because I don’t know what, specifically, I will be doing. What I do know is that I will be serving my community, and my region in whatever way I can. This internship with Ogallala Commons is another step closer to realizing that goal.
This fall I will begin my third internship through Ogallala Commons with Panhandle Community Services. I will be assisting their Director of Human Resources, Kay Cruse, in authoring and compiling a HR Procedural Manual. This process will include writing job descriptions, plans for affirmative action, as well as designing a new orientation process and assembling employee manuals.
I am excited to stretch my writing skills beyond academics and into the world of community service and philanthropy. I am also looking forward to learning what the world of human resources looks like, perhaps I might discover an interest not yet stirred!