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this is a post about school and work

Cross-posted to my idiotic Tumblr, deal with it

It’s kind of silly of me to complain about having to get up and go to class for just another month or so, especially when I had the startling realization late last night that I’m not going to get to sleep in during the week anymore starting Tuesday.

It’s not as if I didn’t actually REALIZE that before—I knew it was going to happen—but it’s just come up so quickly, and now I have one more Monday to not have to be anywhere until 11:45 and it feels a little strange to have ever complained about that in the first place.

But it also feels strange to have to go to campus every day when I feel so far removed from being a college student. Now that I’m going to have real work to go to everyday I just don’t really think I care about what happens in school from now on. Which isn’t the best mindset, but I am still trying and doing well. I just don’t care.

I may not have my degrees until May, but I mentally checked out of being a college student when my last fall semester started. I was taking classes that were no longer crucial to my plans. I dropped a really difficult class for the first time in my life because I was struggling with it and not seeing results given the effort I was putting into it—I could have tried harder but I’d had enough.

I realized rather quickly that going to graduate school immediately after undergrad would backfire spectacularly for me if I decided to go through with it. I was initially planning to apply to grad school at my current university, and then go to school here if I was accepted or seek a job here if I was not. But I relaxed so much once I removed the possibility of grad school from the equation. It is not for me at this point in my life.

So I became fixated on my new plan. By October I knew exactly what I would need to do and when in order to get a job by May. I could not wait to set my plans in motion because they would mean that I was moving forward in my life in the way that I, personally, needed to. I was terrified that I would not succeed because jobs are not always easy to obtain. A lot of my free time and thoughts were absolutely consumed by this by January, and so I was neurotically applying for jobs in early February. I’m very excited to start my new job and I recognize all the time that I am incredibly fortunate to even have a full-time job waiting for me upon graduation. Waking up early everyday to go to it might be an adjustment, but it’s worth it and an adjustment I’m ready to make.

A few nights ago I thought of how miserable I was this past summer when I had to go to class for a few hours and then work for a few hours everyday. I hated it. When fall classes started I was really burnt out due to having been in school for an entire calendar year for the first time.

And now I have to think that I was silly for being bummed about having to go to school and a part-time student job in a time when I could freely go floating down the river with my friends at a moment’s notice any day of the week.

gainfully employed

For continuity's sake here is this: Today I was offered the health policy research job at the maximum hourly rate and I accepted it. I'll start within the next few weeks.

I wanted that job so badly that I applied for it the day it opened, two full weeks before it closed. As it turns out, they called me for an interview before those two weeks were up--that would have been tomorrow.

TOMORROW'S PAYDAY AND THERE'S GONNA BE AN UNHOLY ONSLAUGHT OF DRESSY-BUSINESS-CASUAL-CLOTHES PURCHASING BECAUSE I'VE BEEN WEARING SKINNY JEANS/PANTS TO MY CURRENT JOB AND THAT'S NOT GONNA FLY IN THE NEW POSITION.

Oh and now I can be sure that I will be able to pay my rent and take over my car payments and help my mom and grandparents to not worry so much.

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oh please oh please let it be work

Earlier today I remarked to A. Dri on Facebook that I really share the majority of my life developments on tumblr now. I feel sad about that because I used to do it here. So I'm going to try to be better about making sure that both outlets get their fair share of my oversharing.

So here's my most recent life development: Frantic Full-Time Job Search '13!

Two weeks ago today, I started submitting a round of job applications with the University, applying to basically anything full-time that would utilize my experience and for which I seemed to be a qualified candidate. I figured that, with graduation in May approaching, starting to apply in February made sense. I consulted my boss, and she agreed that earlier was better. I secured three references: my boss, the coworker I do the most work with, and my former research coordinator from the psych lab I was in for a year, ending in January.

By the end of last week, I had submitted a total of 14 applications to the University and about 10 more at the affiliated hospital because I am FUCKING INSANE. All my cover letters indicated that I would not be able to begin work until May, so I was not optimistic about getting any calls for interviews. One of the jobs at the University was an awesome research assistant position within a health policy outcome program that I was REALLY jazzed up about.

By the end of last week, I had two interviews lined up for early this week: a research assistant position with the Department of Anesthesiology and one with the health policy program.

I interviewed on Monday with Anesthesiology and Tuesday with the health policy program. Both interviewers seemed to like me and be impressed by my experience in working with the University. I went into the first interview planning to let the interviewer know that I could probably give about 15-17 hours of work per week from now until graduation. I did not consider leaving my current part-time position.

But the first interviewer, a research coordinator, needed someone full-time in the position immediately. After consulting my mom and my gut feelings, in my follow-up/thank you email, I added that I would be willing to put in two weeks' notice at my job and start giving her 32 hours a week in the event of my hire. She emailed back saying she was glad to hear that.

I told the same to the research coordinator at the policy position. Today I went into work and found out that my second reference, my coworker S., has a phone call scheduled with the policy program coordinator for tomorrow. I then requested a little meeting with my boss and broke down crying when I informed her that I will have to give her two weeks' notice in the event of my hire by either of these departments. She was so great and told me that she was expecting this, that if I'm offered either job I need to take it, and that everyone in my department supports my advancement. I assured her that I would be available to train my replacement--that's when I really started crying--because I didn't want any disruptions to occur with the work I'm doing there now.

Then I told her, "I just wanted to let you know this in case you happen to get any calls on my behalf." And then she said, "Oh, I've been getting calls about you." So I assume this means both my interviewers have called her for a reference. She said that things look really good for me. I walked out of the first interview assuming that my supervisor would be called with regards to that position, since the coordinator asked me which of my references was my primary supervisor and made a remark like "They know you're looking for a job--great, I won't have to call up your supervisor and be like, 'Hey!'" So that felt good.

The anesthesiology job would be my preference since it pays better and will be made into a position with benefits at some point, probably within a year. The other starts at what I make now, but could go up by $5/hour depending on education and experience. That puts the maximum hourly rate for the second job at $1 less than the starting rate for the first job.

So at this point, I am just hoping to be offered either job. There will be an offer made for the anesthesiology job on Monday; the other, I am not sure. There were five people selected for the anesthesiology interviews, with the last one coming in on Friday, and the coordinator at the policy job just told me that she had a couple more interviews to go. So I'm not sure what my timeline really is on that one. I hope I will hear from the anesthesiology coordinator first in any case.

I'll be so sad to leave my current position if I'm offered either of these jobs. Obviously I hope to be offered one, because I really want either one. But it'll be sad. I've grown so much from my work with my current department, and I love my coworkers. They've taught me so much and have always been so good to me. I genuinely love talking with them, especially S.--we chat pretty much every day. But I guess that's life. You have to grow and move on. I'm relieved that they support me and think that this is the right thing for me to do--I hated the idea that I might be throwing them under the bus somehow. But leaving happens. It's just weird to realize that it might possibly happen a couple of months sooner than I had anticipated.

And, you know, there's always a chance that this won't work out at all, either way! Wahoo!!

5 adults, 1 cup

So Nero asked how the hell I made it to Disney and back yesterday. This is how:

Everyone got a li'l tipsy-topsy-turvy and decided it'd be hella fun to drive to Universal for the afternoon. Bear, who was sober, offered to drive, so long as we weren't all full of shit (or martinis) and actually willing to go. We like adventures. It was 3PM and it would take two hours to get to Universal, which would close at 7PM.

We decided to YOLO and go. We got coffee at Waltraud's and hit the road. I was the car DJ. We had some Britney Spears, BSB, ABBA, Fine Young Cannibals, and Spice Girls all the way there.

As we entered O-Town around 6PM, we lamented having just an hour at Universal and determined that the Magic Kingdom would be open until 10PM (!!!) SO WE DECIDED TO GO THERE INSTEADDDDDDD

We had four hours to run around the park, hitting up really all the major attractions and then some: Space Mountain (twice), Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Erotic Exotic Jungle Tour (with the wryest, most HILARIOUS tour guide ever: at one point she picked up a gun to pretend-shoot some robbers or angry animals or something and just limply twitched her wrist to the side three times as it "fired"), the Haunted Mansion, the tea cups (five adults, one cup--my favorite part was when Bear and Russell frantically jammed and pushed and squeezed my legs out of the way to get the door to our cup shut), It's a Small World, the Pirates of the Caribbean, the Buzz Lightyear Adventure. We did it all and then some. In four hours. On a Sunday night. We were all in agreement that this is THE way to do Disney.

We had overpriced Disney dinner and Mickey Mouse ice cream bars.

Just as we came down the drop at Splash Mountain, the pinnacle of the firework show happened. It was so perfect. The whole day was.

We were back in Collegeville by 1AM.
I would like for you all to know that my Sunday started with me saying bye-for-now to my dear Nero and Tito, whose visit to Collegeville was fun and exciting and all too short.

Then, I had brunch, including three mimosas, with Bear and our friends Russell, Bivs, and Jamie.

Then, there was a horrendously dark period during which I was coming down from my extreme drunkenness (three mimosas at 11AM, that's all it takes!) and felt very nauseated and just generally disgusting. I laid down in a pool hall and sat down on the sidewalk twice as we walked to The Bottom for more drinks for everyone else. Jamie got me coffee and I felt better. We made some rash decisions as we sat around at The Bottom.

So, I would like for you all to know that my Sunday ended with Bear, Russell, Bevs, Jamie, and me driving back to Collegeville from DISNEY.




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sunday bloody sunday

Knowing that my top 9 Pandora stations all play each other routinely is a comfort. U2, Fine Young Cannibals, REM, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Idol, Talking Heads, The Cure, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Joy Division. Who knew?

Yesterday was getting coffee with Bear, meeting friends Bivs and Virginia for lunch, going with all of them to my house to clean out my car while blaring '90s music and drinking beer with Yaz and her roommates in our parking lot, going thrifting for goofy outfits with Bivs, Virginia, and Bear, having coffee at a lovely house that has been converted into a coffee house, having dinner at Cracker Barrel, and going to the fair. A man operating one of the carnival games sang "I Will Always Love You" as we walked by, and then Logan called to tell me he'd purchased a special edition of The Bodyguard for me. It was really the best Saturday yet.

And now it's Sunday. And it's cold. And the book sale is in town again. And I'm meeting Bear for coffee soon. And then I'm gonna go to that book sale and the record stores.

And then it's only three days 'til Halloween and four days 'til Nero and Tito.

It's gonna be good.

and Whitney's still gone

So yeah, this bitch is gonna drop osteology. Woooo! Last practical? NOT an outstanding performance. Whatever. I don't care. It'll be a relief to not have to worry about it anymore; the time I've been wasting studying for and fretting over this class in which I am seeing no improvement will start to impact my other classes, classes in which I stand a chance to still do well, if I don't do something about it. Plus, that'll push my mornings back a couple of hours a few days a week (!). So it's for the best that I drop it. I should probably talk to my instructor about it first, though. I'm dreading class tomorrow. I'm afraid I'm going to be pulled aside and talked-to about how spectacularly I fucked up Friday's practical. "Girl, you really SUCK at identifying bones," they'll say as they smack me with an ulna. I just know it.

This weekend was the fall arts festival here, and it was lovely. It basically involved me hanging around with Bear at her company's tent for a couple of hours each afternoon. Yesterday, a good bunch of the team went out for cocktails and dinner afterward. We had so much fun. Bear's coworkers are great, and we're friends with most of them outside of her work. It's nice.

There are plenty of nice things on the horizon, too. Two concerts this week, one of which Bear is THRILLED about and the other of which is given by my dear friend Thon's band--we're both thrilled about that, too, and it'll be the first time she sees them play. Then, Bear and I are going to a zoo and IKEA (so, basically, two zoos) this weekend, and then the weekend after that, we're going on a trip out of state with three friends. And THEN, Nero and Tito are coming here! To my town! I'll get to hang out with them! We'll have great times! I'll take them on a really annoying tour of my town (sorry Nero, you've already endured it once)! They'll get to meet Bear and a lot of my friends! They'll get to eat at my favorite restaurant! They'll go OUT ON THE TOWN with me! And then I'm going home for Fall Food Fest! I'm so excited.

I arranged and put up fall garlands (and multicolored Christmas lights...) in the living room the other day. They look nice. Give me one day when it's brisk out and I just lose my mind and scamper off to Michaels for fake fall leaves. I want to glue glass beads to acorn caps and make a garland out of them, too, but I need to find time to collect bunches of acorn caps like a crazy lady first.

Art projects looming nefariously on the horizon, in temporal order: a sign bearing a lubed-up, muscular condom for Vox (no joke), A. Dri's bird effigy which was promised to her several months ago (no joke), and little bean bags that look like drops of lube for a Vox event later this month (no joke).

On a much more somber note, I need to say this: my mom called me at an oddly early time this morning and when I answered, she just said my name really apprehensively. This can only mean that something is horribly wrong back home. I get really anxious when she does this and I clam up and stammer nervously until she just says the bad news. This time, it was that one of the feral cats we've been taking care of since kittenhood--Clyde--had seemingly been hit by a car and killed. He was laying in the street and she knew it was him, so she buried him.

My mom is so devastated and blaming herself for not having him neutered sooner so she could have brought him in the house. She gave Clyde the very best life a feral cat could have had, though, and he knew he was loved. He was accustomed to so much food and attention and affection, and a warm place to sleep on cold nights (our garage, with blankets--one of which she buried him with). She last saw him and got to cuddle him last night. I am so sad, and I will miss seeing Clyde and spending time with him when I'm home--I always made it a point to see him every day or night that I was there. I would hold him and make him meow at me. As a kitten just the summer before last (2011), he would sit on my lap and look up at me as I'd pet him. I have pictures of him on my phone but I haven't looked at them yet today because that'll just make it more final and even more sad. That sweet boy was the best. Rest well, my Clydo.

the begrudging student

I'm sick of being a student and all the trappings that go with it. I'm ready to go to work during the day and come home and not have to worry at night about studying or inane memorization or arbitrary grades that seek to define me and my abilities anymore.

I'm stressed out by my responsibilities as a student. The club for which I am treasurer this year is busy as fuck with a shit load of schedule conflicts left and right, partly because our president is wayyyyyyyyy overbooked. So we have no time to meet to plan our next big event--oh, except for 6PM this Saturday. I HAVE TO GO PLAN SHIT FOR SCHOOL ON A SATURDAY NIGHT. I'm not pleased.

I'm sick of going to osteology with people who have nothing better to do than sit in the bone lab all day and memorize all the fragments such that they ace the practicals. I'm not exaggerating. The lab hours were cut down from 24/7 access this year because a group of idiots decided that it was okay to invite friends there for a loud party involving fried chicken at 2AM last fall. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? So now the only time we can go in the lab is between 8:30AM and 4:30PM, Monday through Friday.

That's cool. I have class and then work from 9:30-4:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Sure, I have one class period off on each of those days, but that's the period when there's another class in the bone lab, of course. I do have some time in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays to go in, but I also have a commitment to my research labs on those days, so it's not easy to get time in the bone lab. I recognize that this is at least partly my fault, signing up for a time-intensive class when I have so little time to give. But the constraints on time in the lab never used to be there, and if they weren't there now, I'd be doing just fine.

I'm struggling in the class and might have to withdraw from it because I don't get enough time with the bones. I'm not the only one. It sucks, but I won't be devastated if this turns out to be the case. Frankly, at this point, I'd be relieved to not have to worry about osteology anymore. It's clear that I'm not going to be following the graduate forensics track. Number one, I have no desire to do that at this point in my life. Number two, it's ultra competitive, and honestly, I am FUCKING TIRED of academic competition. I've been engaged in it my whole life, and I'm over it now, in year 16 of my education. I never burnt with desire to be among the top students, and I certainly don't now. Number three, I don't want to be tied to a university for the rest of my life, putting my livelihood and place of residence at the mercy of job openings that are few and far between when you're in forensic anthropology.

I'm kind of upset that I put myself through osteology this far because I'm not actively pursuing it anymore. When I enrolled in classes for the fall, I was of the mindset that I was going to apply to a bunch of graduate schools and just go wherever I got in because That-Was-What-I-Was-Supposed-To-Do. Then I woke the fuck up and realized that I have no desire to leave my home here and go somewhere else, pursuing a graduate degree that would, in all actuality, be useless to me because it would likely overqualify me for the sort of work I know I'm likely going to end up doing--administrative work. And then I'd be screwed. I'd have a Master's degree in anthropology, but I'd be in debt and dirt poor and miserable and screwed. If you want to go to graduate school, that's really great, and probably a wonderful decision for most. But not for me at this stage of the game and in the field I'd be pursuing, I've realized.

It can be hard to put on the lens of reality when you're an undergraduate surrounded by people who almost unanimously pursue advanced professional degrees immediately upon leaving undergrad. No longer does it seem "good enough" to have completed four years of college with a degree, or even degrees, awarded to you at the end. That's my experience, at least.

This part is hard for me to write because I feel self-conscious when talking about myself and how I've done in school, but it's important to why I'm writing this and what I've been trying to figure out over the past few months. I've spent my whole life being told that I'm "smart". I'm the first person in my family to go to a university and graduate with bachelor's degrees. This is not because I'm any smarter than the rest of them--I just had opportunities available to me that they didn't. My family has always, in my opinion, played up my abilities way too much and so they think I'm super competent and intelligent and that I'm going to go to school forever and make a shitload of money and be the family genius.

I'm not going to do any of that. And they don't come from any place of malice in stating these things; they're proud of me and they believe in me. But I think I've internalized a lot of that and so I feel like I'm not achieving as much as I could or should if I stop going to school after I graduate with two bachelor's degrees in May. I know this isn't true. My mom has been excellent at talking me out of feeling like some sort of failure. My aunt and uncle, who know me very well, think that my choice to go to work after graduation is a good one. They support me no matter what I decide. But it's hard to feel like I'm not going to be who I ought to have been, or something like that.

What I do know is that no matter what, emotionally, going to graduate school at this point in my life is not a good decision. I'll be miserable. I know it. I don't want to do it. I can't see any good reason to do it. If I chose to pursue Who I Ought to Have Been, I'd be missing out on Who I Want to Be. And that would suck.

So I'm skipping the misery and planning to go to work once I graduate. I hope to go full-time with the College of Medicine, where I work now. I grew up as my mother's child, meaning that I spent a hell of a lot of time with her as she worked, happily, as a health care administrator. She's good at it, and I'm an awful lot like her. I feel comfortable in an office environment. I love office culture, probably in large part because I grew up immersed in it and I have a lot of good memories from that. I was in the office with my mom every single day after school, and I became familiar with it. I helped out as much as I could, and I developed skills that I still use now. I'll be happy if I do this. I can be good at it, and I don't have to do it forever. But for now, at least, it's what I want to do.

Now get me the hell out of this stifling classroom. It's pleasantly cold outside, and I want a sandwich.

the docket

This weekend's gonna be crazy amazing (cramazing?). It already kind of is.

On Monday and Friday mornings, my good friend Em and I meet up at one of the on-campus Starbucks locations to spend our free class period bullshitting about life. Today, Bear and one of her awesome co-workers joined us for a little recon mission. It's really too creepy and weird to write about, but let it be known that we enjoyed ourselves and it was so nice to see Bear this morning, and have Em finally meet her.

Tonight, I'm taking Gxinny out for her birthday dinner. After that, Bear and I are gonna go to ArtWalk and then--and then--it's our dear friend Buzzy's going-away shindig. We're going to B&E's place for a little keg (!) and fun times, and we're going to present Buzzy with a scrapbook we made for him. Em and I spent much time last night picking the perfect book and decorative papers and embellishments for it, and then she assembled it with another of our friends. It's filled with pictures of Buzzy and all of us, his friends who will miss him so damn much as he begins a new part of his life...in New York. :O

After the shindig, we're going back downtown because that's what Buzzy wants to do on his last Friday night in our beloved Collegeville*. We're going dancing because that's what our boy wants. I'm so sad. I can't really believe he's going. No one can.

Tomorrow is PRIDE. Bear and I are going to spend the whole day being assholes at the Pride festival with Will and their friend Edgay, and then we're going to a birthday party at night. There's also a vintage clothing sidewalk sale that I'm going to drag them along to.

The next day, there's a Pride afterparty at our fave dive gay bar, Smokey's.

It's going to be GREAT. This is the first year I'm celebrating Pride in earnest. It's actually not so much Pride we're celebrating, but an excuse to hang out and be goofy all day long with other gays. Can't wait.

*I do not want to leave this place. I've been thinking about it for the past few months and I've decided to stay. I feel sick in the pit of my stomach when I think of not living here anymore. This is my home now. It feels like home now and I can't fathom leaving in less than a year's time. For me, knowing how I am, that would be a mistake. It's close to my first hometown. The culture I've become immersed in over the past year is exciting and vibrant and so, so unique. It fulfills me. It's liberal and has a wonderful queer community. We have an openly gay mayor fighting for equality for all of us. Our university--MY university--is great, with leaders who actively support and advocate for LGBTQI people. It's got an excellent healthcare system--one that I already work for and could continue to work for in a full-time capacity if I choose not to go to grad school. I want to stay here. I'M GOING TO STAY HERE. It's really everything I've ever wanted in a place to land. My mother is thrilled.

mush

I want you all to know that I almost died while making jello shots on Friday evening.

I have a gas stove--you know, with open flames. When my stupid ass tired to pour a chilled vodka/water mixture (I did this the legit "WikiHow" way BUT THEY STILL DIDN'T SET PROPERLY) into a pot of boiling water, I spilled some of it and IT ALMOST WENT INTO THE FLAME.

I cut the flame immediately and wiped up the alcohol before anything worse could happen.

This was after I probably almost inadvertently carbon monoxide-poisoned myself. Had to ask myself, is it really worth it?

I still managed to finish making the shots in time to join my friends for a pre-party birthday dinner at 7.

It was a great night.

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