Friday, November 23, 2012


I wanted something sweet but since I have no chocolate (that interests me) in the apartment I was deciding between carrots and peanut butter or cereal with milk. Is it odd that I find that both those choices have a lovely subtle sweet flavor that appeals to me immensely?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where am I?

It is 3:52 PM. I am in an apartment in New York. It is the 21st of December. What am I doing here? Easy answer. I'm visiting my sister. Harder question: what am I doing? I don't know. That is the problem. In elementary school I knew I wanted to be a figure skater. I took lessons. I did gymnastics. That didn't last long. That was the last time that I had conviction in my future. I knew what I wanted and it was that simple. When people asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I didn't hesitate because I knew. Of course, one does not usually know what one will be at the age of five or six. So it was that in middles school I began this pattern of living in the present, doing the best that I could at whatever came up and of hoping to figure out what I wanted to do in the future. Best leave those decisions to the future me, one who knows more about who she is and what she wants.

That was a perfectly acceptable thing to think in middle school. I already had some accomplishments under my belt. I had won a Kentucky Derby race. I had come in third in the state for the Wings of Hope speech competition. I had sung in the talent show at my school (bombing entirely but still an accomplishment in of itself). I was going places. I managed to win a boot toss competition and honed my croquet skills. I developed a passion for puzzles and math. I began to desire fame and fortune when I grew up versus any specific career aspirations. I did not know what I wanted to do, all I knew was that I wanted to be wealthy enough to support myself and not have to worry about the future. I thought I could be a writer and started a novel, a laughable attempt where my vocabulary was well advanced for my ability to write plot and develop dialogue. One summer, my dad and I developed a survey about restaurants and I went door to door asking people questions and creating a product that I eventually sold for my very first paycheck to a local restaurant. So began the seeds for my increasing interests in restaurants, business, and psychology.

I made it to high school and decided to devote my high school career to music and was in an intense visual and performing arts program. I took advanced music theory classes along with orchestra. I played the violin and I wasn't very good. I had moderate stage fright and every time I took the stage my memory would fail me and I wouldn't be able to play very well. I attempted to go beyond my fears and grudgingly took a solo playing first violin in the school's musical Hello Dolly. It went poorly, I sucked. I was no virtuoso. I switched to piano, which I enjoyed immensely, but was still only decent at it, especially among gifted pupils who later went on to musical conservatories. I excelled in all my other classes, squeezing in as many higher level classes as possible, AP and honors. I took online classes as well in order to fit in the required curriculum and my music curriculum. I worked hard. But there was nothing I learned that sparked an interest in any specific field. I got a job in a "gracious retirement living center" busting my butt at minimum wage and losing sleep on the weekends. I learned that no matter what I decided to do, nobody in their right minds can afford to live off of a minimum wage job, let alone support a family. I quit my job my senior year to concentrate on getting scholarships for college and getting into college. With my over-the-top GPA, various involvement in clubs on campus, and volunteer work I was a shoo in for Florida public colleges, of which I got into all the ones I applied to. However, due to their assessment that I didn't fit the criteria for need, I did not get hardly any scholarships. I applied to over 30. I only received money for my song composition ($300) that was not very good at all, a poem I submitted ($100) that was quite nice, and an essay I wrote on the fly ($500) of which I think was creative and inspired but if it takes ten minutes to win the money it makes me think a lot less of the scholarship system since the one I worked the least for was the only one I received. I met requirements for Bright Futures and was given a private scholarship to New College.

College was a treat for me. Though I still had no clue what I wanted to do in four years, I utilized those four years as best I could. I made my own classes and took a handful of Humanities courses. I nearly double majored in Psychology and Spanish (but for lack of studying abroad) and wrote a stellar thesis. I volunteered at a museum of technology, a children's clinic, and a shelter in the area. I worked at the same restaurant for three years and did a short stint at a bar near my house to help pay for my college expenses. Every semester my advisers told me to work less and every semester I had the same response, "I can't. I have bills to pay." I was paying for college (not really much in comparison to others but a lot in comparison to the wage I was earning), my books, my car, my gas, my food, and any incidental expenses I cam across. I thought I might want to go into teaching and explored all the available avenues, such as teacher's assistant (for no pay and no recognition), teaching at the local summer camp, and tutoring. I applied to teach English in Costa Rica for a Fulbright but was passed up. I decided I really wasn't cut out for teaching, though I was fairly good at it, my heart just wasn't into it.

It was nearing graduation and I was left with almost no money, a problematic over ten year old car, a minimum wage restaurant job, and only career paths I could cross off my list of things I wouldn't want to do for the rest of my working life. What was I going to do? I still aspired to be rich if not famous. I did not even want to be super rich, just enough to live in comfort and be able to vacation to other countries. I have this idea that when I learn a new language (no small feat mind you), I would reward myself with a 3-12 month stay in that country to solidify my knowledge. Good luck supporting that dream on a job of $8- $15 an hour. College left me a lot better than I had started in many other areas of my life. I found out what kind of person I wanted to be. I became very productive and efficient at everything I set my mind to. I learned multitasking and prioritizing and how to problem solve. I learned how to get what I wanted and how to plan effectively. I learned how to manage others and work with all sorts. I did not learn, however, what I wanted to do next.

Fast forward six months. It is nearly December. What did I do in the interim from graduation in May to now? I've just about written a novel. An entire freaking novel! That's more work than you would think, plus it is a polished novel, many times edited and read over for flow and continuity and plot realism. I worked for my dad doing all sorts of engineering, technician, and clerical work. I applied to over 300 jobs in the past year. I got very few responses. I even networked at my own graduation. That's right, I could have dressed as Princess Leah but did I? No, I dressed nicely and handed out my newly minted business cards, pointing out that I had family members in attendance wearing my resume printed on the back of their shirts if they cared to take a look. What did I get out of that? A fat lot of nothing. The president of the college joked that I could have his job, two alumnae told me that if they knew anyone they would have helped me out, and a reporter wanted to do a story on me about how hard the economy is for recent grads.

Ever optimistic I set out for Washington state and switched tactics. Time to be an engineer (and author). Now I am in New York, checking out the scenery but I don't think I care for the hustle and bustle and cramped quarters. Maybe I'd make an excellent engineer, but who knows, since I can't seem to interest anyone in my unique skill set and abilities, other than my own family. The article about me and other graduates just came out and it is rather unflattering yet highly comical. Perhaps in the ensuing days it will either help my book out or my job prospects. I guess I will just dig in and apply for more jobs while looking into engineering classes. But still, I don't know where I'm going in life or where I will be in the next six months.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Starbucks encounter

Setting the scene:

Imagine Starbucks, coffee aromas filling the air, adjective upon adjective following customer to barista, and a general atmosphere of studying students mingling with employees stopping by for their coffee fix.

The main character:

Imagine a girl waiting for her cup of hot chocolate to go. She is wearing long black pants, a Hello Kitty t-shirt covered in a freshly cleaned light purple sweater.

The plot thickens:

A girl, around 8 or 9 surprises our main character, "Excuse me." She says from behind. The main character, our heroine first notices that the girl is young and shorter than she. The girl continues, now that she has the heroine's attention, "I like your shirt. Where did you get it?" Our heroine is momentarily flustered. She did not immediately remember what shirt she had put on that morning. She looks down and pauses for a second, slightly unsure of how to respond. "Um." She stalls but then continues, " I got it out of the Ringling College dumpster." The girl has a neutral face, and our heroine is not sure that the girl understands but in a moment she walks back to where she had come from, the corner of the Starbucks.

The punchline:

Another lady had come to stand next to the main character, also waiting for a coffee-laden beverage. After hearing this exchange, she looks over at our heroine and laughs while commenting, "That was real classy."

It continues:

The heroine looks back at the girl, only chuckling slightly at the older lady's comment. The girl had re-joined her mother and was talking to her about what had just happened. The mother looks over at the heroine and proceeds to ask about the exchange. "Really. In the dumpster?" Our heroine tells the lady about the great opportunity that can be found at the Ringling dumpster. After this short exchange she receives her hot chocolate and makes her escape.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back to the thesis

I'm really in need of more participants for my survey regarding bilingual education! Filling it out not only helps with my education but can contribute to the knowledge base on educational practices and perhaps even influence future education standards and practices.....

I only have 11 participants, if you have not taken my survey or know of someone who has not, please send the link on. Thanks!

Jury Duty cancelled

So I'm not needed. I wonder how long it will be before I am yet again summoned. This is the second time they cancelled on me, although the first time they said that no-one was needed and this time my juror number was simply too high....