Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time management: two dirty words put together

Again, it's Sunday and I have no idea where the week sped away to. I do know that I had to skip Monday night trivia because I woke up obscenely early for work on Tuesday (4:50 am is obscene!). It was my first full shift as a shadow but I was making drinks and working the register and jittery from what I can only assume was osmosis of caffeine into my body via coffee grounds all over. Wednesday I spent the entire day preparing for a meeting at my internship. Thursday was back at work learning away. Friday I was at my internship awkwardly presenting information to folks in a policy steering committee. After leaving the meeting at 4:30 I drove back across town to work til 11pm. Friday was a long day and made me wonder how I used to do all those doubles at the residential a few years ago. After getting home from work on Friday I got back with just enough time to join in on a board game and kick everyone's ass. I then promptly did a victory lap and went to sleep. I was fortunate to have the rest of the weekend off of work to do school work. Or attempt to do school work. I was (and still am) having some major attention and concentration issues. I need to get back into my study groove.Likely it is a phase and will right itself soon with a little push of motivation.
I really like my job. I like it because it's fun and relaxed and most of the time the customers are really cool. It's a big change from working with teenagers that are involuntary clients. Though I think the best part about my job is that when I clock out I don't think about it again until I have to clock back in. I don't worry about it and that is awesome. I can't say the same for my internship or school but that's to be expected. 

Yesterday (most of it) was fantastic and just what I needed. I drove J to work around 10 a.m. and ran errands, made coffee and did some school work. While running errands Jason told me that he found someone to cover his second shift of the day so instead of getting out at 2 a.m. he'd be done with work by 4:30 and we would get to hang out, no studying involved. So instead of continuing to work until he got out I spent the rest of the afternoon dancing around the house and cutting my bangs. (Seriously, attention issues). After getting out of work I had J go with me to Walgreens before heading back home. Long story short without too much personal information disclosed I discovered my brand new health insurance that I pay for out of pocket doesn't do the only thing I need it to do, which is cover the ONLY prescription I have so I'm not paying $108 every month. There is no generic and it's what my Doc put me on so, what do you do? Also, under the Affordable Care Act, back in August a piece of the policy went into effect that addresses preventative care and my insurance company is supposed to cover this prescription. Needless to say my hormonal ass began CRYING, yes, tears in my eyes, after the pharmacist made two phone calls and still had to charge me $73 for my prescription. I'm in school and make minimum wage at my part time job, I can't afford that every month, obviously. So tomorrow I will be making as many phone calls as necessary to remedy this, even if it means that I have to go on two medications instead of the one to make it cheaper. It makes zero sense I realize but nor does the healthcare system either.
After Jason did his best to cheer me up we decided that putt putt golf and Mexican food from a taco truck would do the trick. We waited for Jen to get out of work and the three of us met up with another friend. The BEST Mexican food I have eaten, ever. Yum. While hanging in the parking lot after eating J noticed that the liquor store in the same parking lot sold slushies with booze. It was like a magical dream come true. So putt putt was played (badly) and laughing ensued. After putt putt we went to the usual haunt and stayed out later than we should have. It was a great night and completely took my mind off of my worries until I could address them(tomorrow).

So for the amount of fun I had this weekend, it should have been equally matched with work completed. It was not, now I need to manage my time this week to make sure I stay on top of things. Oh grad school, you are a time stealing jerk, but I love you anyway.
So, this week I am looking forward to being productive and working. I'm also looking forward to our House warming party on Saturday (FINALLY). 

Have a wonderful week :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What a wonderful world it could be.

Today at work I recognized two of the morning regulars, both from my previous job. One of them was a trainer at my orientation and mentioned that she didn't realize I was working over here now instead of over there. She was one of them that wanted me to stay. She is aware of the pay cut that I must have taken to switch jobs. It made me wonder if she thought any further about it. Did she wonder why someone that was skilled in the field and good at their job would leave? I hope she did, maybe it would be a step in recognizing the dysfunctions that are present at that place. But then again, maybe she just drank her morning latte and forgot all about it as she drove the rest of the way to work. Which just reminded me I forgot to get my coffee beans! Rarg. My coworkers seem really cool and easy to get along with thus far. 
Financially it was not a sound decision to work at a coffee shop as opposed to where I was previously. Mentally and emotionally (and probably physically) it was the best decision I could have made. I may not be shaping lives or making positive changes in traumatized people but I am working somewhere that makes decisions that benefit others, and I get to interact with people and maybe brighten their days while doing it. 
That's how I'm rationalizing it, just agree. 
Yesterday I was reminded of how lucky I am. I complain about classes in grad school and waking up extra early for my job but those complaints are just the ramblings of a privileged girl that sometimes needs a wake up call. I have a job, I have the opportunity to get my Masters degree, I have transportation, a roof over my head and a safety net if I ever needed one. 
Our neighbors are awesome individuals and right now I think that they are struggling though I can't be sure how much. We've noticed that they don't have any lights on when it gets dark and the father of the family asked if he could borrow the electrical outlet on the outside of the house so he could charge his phone. Mom works, the kids go to school and the Dad works as a dj when the occasions arise. They don't own a car and rely on the bus. The other day his bike was stolen off of his front porch. Without airing their business I am aware that he has made some bad decisions in his life, a consequence of circumstances and the environment I suppose. Those decisions have created some dilemmas for him and have resulted in studying for his GED at the age of 50. After realizing they were struggling my mind immediately went to available resources, what I could do, and how I could help. It was very presumptuous, I know. It makes me crazy to sit by and watch people struggle. They will figure it out and I will help when I can, maybe invite them for dinner? Keep giving them garden veggies? Accidentally buy too much bread at the store and take it over? Several more scenarios went through my head short of going to an ATM (I'm college poor).
On an unrelated note, it's getting cold here at night and during the day. I'm wearing a hoodie and was under a blanket on the couch for a bit. The sad part is that it's 60 degrees outside and I'm already cold. This winter is going to be rough. And I claim to be from Michigan. Pssh.
Last week was overall pretty good, stayed on top of things and spent time at my internship. I keep worrying and wondering if I'm on the wrong track. I go stir crazy sitting at my desk for 8 hours. I really feel like I need to be doing something more interactive and hands on. Clinical is starting to look better and better.....but I can't admit that aloud. Shh! The rest of the week involved reading, hanging out with my roommates and being a weirdo. 

I'm looking forward to a 'housewarming' party (though we've been warming it for 5 months now!) it is finally happening in under 2 weeks. Woohoo. I'm also looking forward to working more hours and getting used to slinging coffee. Also fall weather which means cardigans, hoodies and boots. Oh my.
Well, I suppose I should stop looking for excuses to delay school work and do it to it. 

Have a wonderful week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

When nature attacks!

So this one time we fought a possum in the backyard to protect our chickens and won. I know, we are tough.
Ok, the real story is that we shooed a opossum away with a broomstick. A possum crept into the chicken coop (that we accidentally forgot to lock up...oops) and heard the chickens screaming from the front porch. Jason grabbed the flashlight and those beady little eyes shined back at us. He was terrifying, at least the size of a small dog with razor sharp teeth and long toes, for choking chickens. Jason scooted him with the broom handle and he ran down the coop ladder. The chickens all appeared to be in one piece and went back into the coop. Quite a production.
So, other than saving chickens from evil opossums I've been navigating my way through the world of online classes, internship and new job. I have only done orientation and a short 2 hour training shift thus far, so who knows if I'll like it or if I'll be any good at it but, oh well, I've gots to have a job. 
Ohhhh but things are still good, and mostly I am happy. Just keep reminding myself that I'm going to learn a lot, make great connections and try my hardest. I will find things about the classes that I enjoy instead of only complaining about them.
That's all for now.
I'm hoping for some fun this weekend before things start to get even busier with working more hours. 24 hours of internship + 9 credit hours (not including homework) + job= no more social life.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'll be your Emmylou

You ever have one of those days where everything you hear just riles you up? I got riled today on the drive to Lexington, while in Lexington and then on the way home. Different information I learned throughout the day either tested my patience with humanity or specific people in general. It wasn't really frustration just the thought of, 'I REALLY want to do something about that!' RawR social justice! And I waiver from having the thoughts of wanting to get the hell out of where I am because I'm certain that living in an area where I'm not inundated with Christianity would make me less frustrated. Or I just need to learn to be more accepting of the fact that religion is an area that makes me supremely uncomfortable and I need to be less of an asshole. There are worse things to get frustrated about I suppose.
The past week was good, I continue to get behind in my classes because I forget to read something or I forget that I even have these classes because I don't go anywhere for them. I'm finishing my assignments but I don't feel like I am 100% committed and there is this overachiever in one of the classes that I am convinced does nothing but sit in front of her computer day in an day out commenting on the discussion boards. It's annoying, I used to be that nerdy overachiever. My internship has been good though, I've got a lot to do and sometimes it's hard to stay focused because I'm expected to sit at a desk for 8 hours and read, research and write. I'm too fidgety to be at a desk for that long. I find myself getting out of my chair or readjusting every 15 minutes which makes me unproductive. On Friday I got thrown into facilitating a meeting with a bunch of program directors from youth programs around Louisville. That was intimidating and scary but I feel like once it got going it went smoothly. Today, as I said, I went to Lexington for an all day conference about preventing child abuse. They brought it speakers from Michigan to talk about child fatality, it was super interesting and nice to hear my native accent, and talk about MSU for a bit. 
Overall the week went pretty well. Friday and Saturday night were hangouts. Saturday I went a little overboard and was a useless mess until about I know why I'm behind in my reading, huh? 
I start my new job tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. Today I got a call about another job, go figure. I hope I made the right decision. 
Today made me realize how much I miss Michigan and Fall and football and Biggbys and my Michigan friends and family. I'm jonesin to go visit as soon as possible. And my Nashville people and sister. And to Atlanta. Pretty much I need to feel a connection with those people I've been missing. 
Que Sera Sera. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

At least I'm not in a concentration camp.

Well, well it was a good week and since yesterday was Labor Day my weekend was extended until today. I can't complain about that and I took full advantage by sleeping in every day. Last week was pretty busy and mildly stressful. I had a job interview on Monday and by Wednesday they had called me and I had to turn them down because the hours didn't fit in with my school/internship schedule. Dratsss. I had another interview today that appears to have went pretty well and their schedule is much more flexible and school friendly so we shall see. I feel pretty good about it and it should be a good fit pending me getting the job and it's something completely different than what I've done in the past. 
Last week I struggled with being positive and staying motivated. It seemed like things just didn't want to work out the way I wanted them to but I had to keep things in perspective. I talked to the part time roomie about it. She brought up a good point, at least we aren't in concentration camps. Life could be way worse than it ever is for me, so when things didn't go as planned I had to remind myself of that. So if life ever gives you lemons, at least you aren't in a concentration camp, right?  
So, most of the week I spent waiting for a book to arrive at my house and cursing the mailman every day that it didn't. I know it's not his fault (it's mine for ordering a used book and not realizing it was coming from the UK!). So I worked on school stuff, attempted to feel better while still coming out of the sickness and read for hours upon hours about child fatality for my internship. The book finally came today. Two days after being told it wasn't going to be here until September 13th and ordering a second copy of the book to be rushed here. Thanks, Amazon, I like to pay shipping on books I'm going to return because your calculations were off by over a week. Grr. 
I realized that taking online classes is for the birds. I do not like it, I'd prefer not to do it and I wish that UT would understand that just because a program is small, in person classes are the way to go. I understand that financially it makes way more sense to do online rather than employ professors to teach a four student class, but it really sucks for those four students. I don't regret going macro. I'll make it work and sort out how to time manage intangible things. And work on learning how to use Excel and LOVE it. 
Friday after my internship Jason and I went to a friend's wedding. It was a really good time with drinking, dancing and photo booth. After the wedding we went out with friends and continued the party. Saturday I got to meet up with my former supervisor from last year's practicum. She always has insightful things to say and always gets me thinking. It was a nice visit. Afterward Jen and I did some shopping and I had planned to get some school work done but ended up spending the rest of the day hanging with Jen. The rest of the weekend I spent time with Jason and my school work. I enjoyed just hanging around at home and cooking meals and relaxing. Twas a good weekend overall. Yesterday I spent much of the day hanging out and doing school work. We spent the night at a dive bar playing trivia and losing badly. Monday night trivia is one of the things that I get to look forward to with being social and testing my knowledge by recalling things I've heard on NPR. 
This next week I'll be doing the usual with school and internship, hoping to get a call back for a second interview and still avoiding picking up shifts at my current job. I haven't worked there since the third week of August and I hope to be putting my two weeks in as soon as possible. Last week I struggled with wondering what I want to do as a social worker, I've got 9 months and several years to figure it out but it's been a question that's been raised a few times by professors and in other venues. I just want to find something I'm good at and I'm not really sure what that is at the moment. I know I can do the therapeutic stuff, not that I'm necessarily great at it, plus there is still a ton to learn but I'd really like to start carving out a niche soon. 
Lots of things to contemplate, good things. 
Have a wonderful week.