Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chaotically Connected

Today in class, we were talking about different frameworks within which you can look at families. In discussing the meaning of families, it brought my own to my mind. In one such framework, you could classify your family by looking at certain characteristics. I did the assessment for my family in particular and it was determined that my family is "chaotically connected." This phrase completely describes my family. And I've never been able to describe my family in so few words. This does it perfectly.

Upon further examination of my job search efforts, I have realized why my ego has taken such a blow this past month. To preface my analogy, I will say that I am a complete serial monogamist. I rarely am single for longer than a few months. And then I tend to get in long, serious, and committed relationships (what lesbians don't? Just kidding.) The search for employment is very similar to looking for a partner -- a mate -- a boyfriend, or girlfriend. First of all, it is generally a goal or expectation for a person to have a relationship. The same holds true for a job. When one begins the search for a job, you must look in several different places, change your resume slightly to fit the job description, and then anxiously wait for a phone call. The phone call. The one that sets up the "big date." You pick out a nice outfit, shave your legs, leave your hair down and go over what you should or should not say on your date. You show up on time, smile, laugh at their jokes, and tell them about yourself. After the interview, you're feeling like it went great, but now the waiting begins again. And in my particular case, I would have these amazing interviews, but no return phone call. I would even do the cordial thing by sending an email or leaving a message thanking the person for their time. Still nothing. All in all, this experience has taught me that searching for a job is like dating but without any of the fun stuff (like making out.) And when you least expect it, dressed like you always are, hair messed up, you meet someone amazing, conversation is effortless, and you get your second call. Looking for a job is totally like dating and I'm glad I've decided to go steady with a hospital that offered me a position today!

Monday, May 19, 2008

This is summer?

I meant to write a post last week after the fury of final exams had subsided. But I completed almost all my other to-dos. However I've had a few other things on my mind. My second semester of nursing school was successfully completed while maintaining my sparkling 4.0 GPA. (I figure I better enjoy it while it lasts or doesn't...) Grades and exams went off without a hitch. The devil of a research paper was finished and turned in. In fact, our group submitted the abstract for presentation at a conference. Everything turned out just fine. Now I'm back to school with a vengeance (Mon-Fri) complete with 4 chapters of reading per night.

Unfortunately, my hunt for employment hasn't been nearly as successful at all. I have been searching for a job for almost a month now and nothing has concretely panned out. In the past, I have found employment within a few days or a week. Never a month. Never this long. And it's not like I'm some crazy person off the street without any solid work history, prior references, a criminal record, or a high-school drop-out (not making any judgment calls about the employability of others with these characteristics.) I have gone on several interviews -- wonderfully professional and cordial interviews -- witty jokes and smiles were exchanged, hands were shaken, but no jobs were offered, no returned phone calls. At this point, I'm getting really discouraged. It has been weighing heavily on my mind and heart. Perhaps a contributing factor is my participation in the farmworker program. Many employers don't look favorably on 2 weeks of vacation ( what if I'm helping a vulnerable population...) --- I guess. So now I'm wandering in the abyss of self-doubt about whether or not I made the right decision to be in the program -- to pass up externship programs and money. Ultimately, I do believe I made the right decision but I just have to weather this rough patch before it gets better. (That's assuming that it *will* get better soon!) As my clinical instructor says, "If it can be fixed with money, it's not really a problem..."

A former doula client of mine is going back to work at the end of the summer and has been strongly hinting that she'd like me to nanny for her. While the job sounds easy enough -- I love the family and the baby -- I'm not sure it will work with my schedule. She has called me several times and even had her husband call me to convince me to come. While they are quite adamant about having me with them, the job wouldn't start until Aug -- and I need money as of yesterday. So that doesn't really help me out much. I may resort to hitting the pavement, passing out flyers for some quick cash. Tomorrow is an interview for a paid internship with PP which sounds promising. There may be another interview in the works for this week as well. I'm tired of interviewing, applying, resume-ing...I just want a job. Is that so difficult? From what I've heard from my friends who relocated as well -- the job market here is very interesting and it does take a long time to get a job.

Completely unrelated is my new fascination with Pandora --- I'm listening to it as I write. I've been looking for internet radio but managed to not find out about it until today. When I'm working, I like to listen to classical music. I tried purchasing classical CDs but I get tired of the same songs playing over and over. I hate most of the radio stations here -- that part of my regional identity refuses to budge. I still listen to my old NPR station online. It's a small piece of home down here in GA. One time, I even heard the traffic report and made a mental note that I'd need to leave earlier because of the traffic. Then I realized that I was in GA and wouldn't need the VA traffic report. It's the small things that make me homesick.

Speaking of home, I miss my family terribly. It's been almost 6 months since I saw them last. I haven't been away from them for this long since I used to live with my mother before high school. This particular time is especially hard because it's "the season" of a birthday each week. Some sort of family gathering, celebration, or party. It goes steady all the way up until my birthday. Hopefully either they can come down here or I can scrounge up some change and drive up there. I do miss them so.

Biking has been going very well. Although the hills of GA are challenging, I shorten my commute each time I ride to school. I also find it refreshing to get on my bike in the early morning and ride to school. I even motivated a classmate of mine to purchase a bike as well. I won't be riding tomorrow due to the interview, but Wednesday I will be back in the saddle. I need to purchase some crotch-protecting bike shorts soon, but am unsure of what to buy. Anyone with experience, tips...please let me know what you found helpful!