Archive by Author

Voicemails Are Teh Bad

17 Nov

I have two personalities.  I like to think that my face to face persona is as normal as anyone can ever hope to be.  My voicemail persona is far from that.  It’s like that kid in homeroom who has no idea he smells really bad, but desperately wants to be your friend and show you his Pokemon cards.  You’re a little scared of him, you definitely don’t understand him, and make fun of him behind his back because you’re 16 and a prick.    My voicemails are painful to listen to, and just as painful to record.  I stammer, awkwardly pause and say things like, “Crap, I’m talking too long, aren’t I?  I’m sorry, you’ll probably think this is stupid and then you’ll hate me and wonder why you’re even my friend…oh my God, why am I still talking?  Okay, I’m going to stop.  Okay, thanks.  Bye.  Call me if you don’t think I’m weird.  Yeah.  Bye.”

I hate leaving them, especially to prospective employers.  I need to have a written outline of what I’m going to say if I hope to spare them from any embarrassing displays of incompetency or desperation.  Which is why I find this comic incredibly relatable:(Via lefthandedtoons.com. Thanks to Avery for sending this our way!)

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Guess Who Has a Job?

14 Nov

ME.  Booyah.

VICTORY DANCING!

How did it happen?  Perhaps the universe finally recognized my inherent worth and capabilities.  Perhaps one of my billions of applications finally accepted.  Or maybe I just met a lady at a party and got a job three days later.  (Hint: it wasn’t the first two.)

The literacy council I volunteer for held a tutor appreciation ceremony on Friday, November 5th.  As I was about to leave, a woman introduced herself to me as one of the council board members.  We got to chatting, and she told me she helps run a tutoring service in town.  I off-handedly remarked, “Oh yeah, I applied there a while back, but never heard anything because I’m not a credentialed teacher.”  I’m what you would call suave.

I think I inadvertently guilt-tripped her, because she asked for my contact information and availability, and said she’d check into some opportunities for me.  I scribbled it on a ripped loose leaf with a fat, red Crayola marker.  (Kids, I am the epitome of professionalism, should you ever need a mentor).  She said she’d give me a call, and I thought, “Yeah, okay, and I’ll sprout wings and fly to Neptune.”  Still, I thanked her, and walked out expecting nothing to come of it.

Except that something totally did!

She called me on the following Monday and asked me to come in for an interview on Tuesday.  When I showed up, she gave me the contract to sign and asked me when I could start.  That was it.  I guess networking kind of works, doesn’t it?

It’s very part-time.  I’ll only tutor six, maybe eight hours a week.  But the money is great, because a) it’s money, finally! and b) I get 22 kahunas an hour.  Martha’s Vineyard, here I freakin’ come!

I start this week.  It feels good to have joined the working masses.  It’ll be a sign that I’ve fully joined their ranks once I start complaining about my job, which I can’t wait to do, because it means I have a job to complain about (however small it is).  YAYZORS!

ART ART ART!

10 Nov

HI THERE.

I am too busy making LIFE EVENTS HAPPEN to write you a proper post.  I know your disappointment is intense.  “This is like my parents telling me I’m getting an iPhone for Christmas, but instead I got a booklet of coupons for free food off the dollar menu from Arby’s!”  I’ve pretended you said.  I am so flattered that my lack of posting is equivalent to a scarring Christmas fake memory.  But wait!

DO NOT WORRY.

I drew you a picture of a unicorn instead.  It’s green because it’s dead.  Or undead, rather.  It’s a zombie unicorn.  Can’t you tell?

This is art.  The epitome of high-brow pretension.  Monet, Van Gogh, make room for me.

Can’t you see how this masterpiece fully encompasses the meaning of life, death, hopes, and failure?  If you answered no,well, you should probably go find some corner of the interweb that’s more suited to your intellectual needs.  Try Livejournal, or Kanye West’s Twitter.  Or www.marvelousmanboobs.com, for you primordial type folks.

I think I have sufficiently enriched your lives for the time being.  You are welcome.

Cheers bitches,

Sarah

Rejuvenation

7 Nov

This weekend, I went to 11 countries and flew through the halls of Hogwarts, twice.  I ate french onion soup in France (because it seemed deliciously appropriate) and drank butterbeer and pumpkin juice in Hogsmeade. And I did it all in 27 hours.

It was the best 27 hours I had in a long time.  There really is nothing like a little Disney World and Universal Studios to cheer you up.  When you’ve confronted dementors, acromantulas, and dragons (and only screamed a little), the job hunt doesn’t seem that bad.  MORAL: go have some fun because it’ll rejuvenate you to deal with the bigger issues in your life.

I WAS THERE! SQUEEEE!

Practice What You Preach

4 Nov

I’m an adult literacy tutor, and I have five students total.  I don’t actually spend the majority of my lessons teaching anything–most of my time goes towards convincing my students that yes, they can read/write/spell if they’d only try.  That’s the thing with adult learners: they’re insecure, have low self-esteem, and zero faith in their abilities.  They hide behind a wall of “I can’ts” and “I don’t knows,” because that’s more comfortable to do than mispronouncing a new word or incorrectly answering a comprehension question. Since they think they can’t, they’d rather not try, especially if it means protecting themselves from failure.

I constantly tell them that “I can’t” is the worst thing they could say when trying to learn. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy–if you think you can’t, then you won’t.  I often suggest, “Why not tell yourself that you can, and see what happens?”  Then they try again, and 9 times out of 10, they correctly (if hesitantly) sound out a word or correctly define vocabulary.

Lately, I haven’t applied this sentiment to my personal life.  When it comes to job-hunting, I have a serious case of the “I can’ts.”  Rejection has been the theme of the last nine months, which has led me to believe that “I can’t” get a job, period.  When I don’t have the “I can’ts,” then I’m plagued by the “I won’ts.” “I won’t apply to this, because I won’t get it.”  “I won’t network, because they won’t have any leads, anyway.”

This attitude has given me a sense of futility when it comes to job apps.  I’d rather not apply to job  if I feel like I’m ultimately going to be rejected.  And since I’ve told myself that I actually can’t get any job, I don’t try to find one, particularly because I don’t want to feel like any more of a failure.  Does any of this sound at all familiar???

When I realized I was big fat lying hypocrite, it helped pull me out of my funk a little.  I don’t think I can be a good teacher if the attitude I’m trying to instill in my students is totally absent from my approach to life.  The best teachers lead by example.  It’s unreasonable for me to expect self-confidence in others when I don’t have it myself.  I need to tell myself that “Yes, I can a get a job, I’m just not trying hard enough.”

Not only will this mantra guide my job search, but I hope it’ll pack more punch into my lessons.  If I really believe anything is possible and all goals are within reach for everyone, then my students will pick up on it.  In other words, I’ll be the conductor of the Positivity Rainbow express, and I want you all to come aboard.

Dr. Seuss and Me

1 Nov

In 2005, when I graduated from high school, I, like millions of other kids, got the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”  It was given to me by my favorite teacher, and she left me an inscription.

Sarah,

Can’t wait to see all of “the places you’ll go!”  You’ll change the world, you’ve already changed mine…Have a great life!

Love,

Mrs. Clary xxoo

Upon receipt of this gift, I enthused how much I loved it and gave my teacher a big hug.  Then I, like millions of other kids, packed the book in some random drawer, and forgot about it for the next five years.

Sometime in March, I was digging around in my memory chest (what, you don’t have one?) for an old photo album, and I saw the book.  I had totally forgotten I owned it, and couldn’t remember the story at all.  So I read it, and it made me cry.  I guess I was particularly discouraged that day, and a candy colored book filled with nonsensical words and an A-B-A-B rhyming scheme was the pick-me-up I needed.  The inscription from Mrs. Clary was so nice to see–maybe I’d forgotten my potential, but she didn’t.

I keep “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” on my desk, and I reread it every so often.  I’ve had Hang-ups and Bang-ups.  I’ve been caught in a prickle-ly perch, I’ve lingered at the Waiting Place, and I’ve heard the Hakken-Kraks howl.  But when I hear that 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed that I’ll move mountains, and what’s more, that my own mountain is waiting patiently for me, a high flying Mind-Maker-Upper, how can I stay in a Lurch or a Slump?

I’m sure the rest of us have our little, random pick-me-ups too.  Some of you may like that new Katy Perry song about lighting the fireworks you have in your chest that are brighter than the moon, moon, moon and will make all your adversaries go “Oh! Oh! Oh!” as these fireballs shoot from your heart.  Whatever, I can’t judge.  When it comes to feeling good, you need what you need.  I would be embarrassed that a children’s book is my source of inspiration and motivation, but since it’s written by Dr. “My books are filled with allegories for war and Hitler” Seuss, I feel slightly better about my maturity level.

In case some of you haven’t read it, here’s a little video of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” narrated by John Lithgow for you to watch.  (All the brainsy and footsy people are doing it.)

Re-post: Feelings=2cos(π/2)x

27 Oct

In April, eight weeks after I graduated, I created a graphical representation of the unemployment experience, depicting the emotional highs and lows of the job hunt.  I’ve been in a major funk lately, so I figured it would be appropriate to re-post it–the basic point is still pretty relevant, even after all of these weeks beyond graduation.  Feel free to image me wallowing in apathy, lethargy, a mild sense of failure, and Snickers wrappers somewhere on the bottom of the graph.  (Melodrama really spices up any situation, doesn’t it?)

-Sarah

Lately I’ve been noticing that there is a regularity to my feelings (if anyone cracks a menstruation joke, I’ll cut you with a rusty spork).  When you’re unemployed, you’re on a perpetual roller coaster of emotions, and after a while, you can tell that it’s pretty a predictable ride.

This journey can actually be depicted by trigonometry, proving my high school math teacher was right; she swore that this crap would come in useful one day.

Therefore, I present to you, The Unemployment Experience: a Graphical Representation.

If you looked at that and all you saw was “blah blah blah math math bitch bitch complain,” here’s an alternate graph for you to look at:

Where are you in this vicious cycle of unemployment?