Springing forward…

•March 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

For the most part.  I’ve adjusted to the time change, but I really would like my hour of sleep back.  I’m up so late every night trying to get things done and I have to get up so early in the morning for class that I never get enough sleep anymore.  Morning classes have 2 benefits: parking is always available and it leaves me an open schedule in the afternoon to do other things.  Getting up early SUCKS.  And all I’m thinking about in class is either food, sleep, or both.  Usually both.

Nutrition has been relatively easy; I’m not worried about this class.  Chemistry has always been one of my biggest fears in science, mainly because I’m not a good lab person and it takes me a long time to really understand the concepts.  And a lot of the concepts stack, so not understanding one thing can make everything else afterwards difficult.  Even with a previous chemistry class, I still struggle with the simplest things like balancing chemical equations.  I’m horrible with formulas, but at least we don’t have to actually memorize anything because it’s all provided on the tests.  At this point, it makes me wonder if staying in the class is worth it; if I can get away with a C in the class, I will be very happy because it means I can take the next class.  That is, if I actually take the next class.

I’m still debating if I want to apply to the entomology program at UC Davis.  Insects have always been my first love, even before I discovered pharmacy.  It’s also one of the best programs in the nation, AND I get to travel and collect bugs (although more likely for the PhD students).  I’ve always been told to do what you love and what makes you happy.  Pharmacy makes money, but will I be happy?  Bugs have always made me happy (they don’t talk back, unlike patients).  If I do really well in entomology, it would be a dream to work at the Smithsonian and work with bugs all the time.  There are just so many things I want to do and at this age, I should be deciding soon because it could determine what I do for the rest of my life.

I’m still jobless, even though my super part-time job has its share of satisfaction (knowing the kids and having them know you).  Most kids are pretty good and their work habits are somewhat predictable (after being around them for over 6 months).

The rest of the semester is going to suck.

Until next time…

PS.  CANNOT WAIT FOR SPRING BREAK

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Amused

•March 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I write one post titled “Approaching Doom” and people think it’s about the end of the world. It’s about allergies, people, because it’s probably going to be another nasty season for me. So there, it’s not about the end of the world. Meh.

Approaching doom…

•February 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Also known as spring allergies.  I don’t really look forward to them.  At all.  I’m literally miserable.  All the time.  The medication I’ve been taking for years chooses to work when it wants to.  Which is part of the time.  And if I don’t take it, I don’t function.  At all.  I’m just so sensitive to everything.  But I blame my bad gene pool.  Bad allergies run in the family on my dad’s side, so there’s nothing I can really do about it.  I have year-round allergies, but it is especially bad in the spring and fall.  My nose is generally happier when it rains, because then it keeps all the crap from being in the air.  I also don’t like the cold and the wind.  Rain is okay.  We need it.  We are in a drought (I think).  The lavender plant is barely surviving, so I’m hoping it will make it to spring and bring some honeybees.  The magnolia trees at some neighbors’ houses are already in bloom mid-February.  It’s rare to seem them bloom this early, so I’m blaming global warming.  The weather has been so bad that we’ve experienced hail, but it wasn’t as bad as when I was younger when so much hail fell that it covered everything.  That was when I was living in Moraga.  They didn’t cancel school, even though it could have been dangerous for school buses to be on the road.

But school is officially in full spring – 2 classes – chemistry and nutrition.  I’m not worried about nutrition, since I already took a class as an undergrad and it was relatively easy.  I was just lazy.  Chemistry is my biggest fear in science classes because I’ve never been a very good chem lab person and a lot of concepts are difficult to process for me.  Biological labs are a bit different.  The fact that I’ve remained in this class so long has me wondering if I can actually survive the semester.  Thankfully, the people around me are fun and easygoing, so it shouldn’t be too bad.  Lecture is difficult, as chemistry and Powerpoint presentations don’t really mix.  And it’s even worse when the slides provided don’t match what the professor has.  Even though I don’t like chemistry all that much, it is a hands-on class and Powerpoint presentations just don’t apply the hands-on ability very well.  *sigh*  And it would be nice if they were actually Powerpoint presentations and not PDFs.  I can make my own PDFs from the file; no need to make it for me (one of the best options to print when you have a Mac).

I couldn’t sleep and I was bored, so I did a little writing.  Now I’m done, and I’m tired, and I’m still looking at that box of Pocky.   I should NOT have had that Dr. Pepper at Kinders.  I’m tired, but I’m wide awake.  NOT a good combination.  Hopefully I will be able to get some sleep tonight.

Until next time…

The Hassles of Job Hunting…

•February 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

There is going to be a lot of ranting and griping about my job hunt, which has mostly been unsuccessful.  I know that finding a job isn’t easy, and finding a job that you are actually trained to do and went to school for isn’t easy either.  The economy is supposedly “improving,” and job websites say that pharmacy is one of the fastest growing health care occupations.  Of course I know this.  I’ve done my research.  Except that the hospitals in the area aren’t hiring and retail stores are too consumed in competing with each other.  It’s frustrating, I know.  And with the schedule I have, squeezing in a second job while I have classes 4 days a week doesn’t help either.  I didn’t go to school to become a pharmacy technician only to sit around for over a year without any success.  I happened to be at the top of my class (or so I believed I was), and did well on the national exam (perfect score in one of the sections).  What I think is that when pharmacies see that I have a bachelor’s degree, I’m expected to ask for more money, which probably part of their normal thinking process.  Yes, I would like to have more money to compensate for the fact that I have a bachelor’s degree, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not willing to compromise my salary.  You just have to talk to me.  Not offering me an opportunity to interview only makes it more difficult because it’s impossible to get the idea across that I’m willing to compromise the amount of money I am paid in a resume.  It makes me frustrated because I know I’m capable and knowledgeable and I don’t get the opportunities to prove that.  The VA would gladly hire me; they appreciate the few hours I put in every week and clear the counters of prescriptions and get other things done so actual employees that focus on more important things.  But, as I have been told, they have a hiring freeze, so I can’t count on a job through them any time soon.  I recently found out that Kaiser requires additional classes before working as a technician, so it makes me wonder what I spent a year in school for if I’m stuck taking more classes just to work.  *sigh*

I guess that’s enough ranting for now.  Until next time…

My 2011 Outlook…

•January 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been a licensed pharmacy technician since July 2009 and I still don’t have a job.  Did the entire industry just fall through right when I was starting the program?  It looks like it did.  All the places I’ve applied to have never gotten back to me; it just makes me wonder if my abilities are far beyond what they are looking for.  Do I want more money because I have a bachelor’s degree?  Yes, I think I deserve more money because of that, but I’m willing to take whatever is offered to me because I’m a fair person and mostly willing to compromise (depending on the situation).  Am I not being aggressive enough when looking for a job?  Most places tell me go to apply online, but there’s not much else to do after that.  I know I look younger than I am, but at this age, with my 10-year high school reunion coming up, I should be successful and living on my own.  Instead, I’m filling my empty days taking classes, gaming, working short hours, and volunteering.  I don’t call that being successful.  I never really learned to apply myself in anything I do, and that’s where I see the problem.  I don’t apply myself.  When I do, it’s a half-done job, with no real results or accomplishments.  All these things I dreamed of doing as a kid, and they are still not done, even as a young adult.  Where am I going with my life?  Why did I choose such a retarded major in college?  I can’t do anything with it.

I want 2011 to be different, and it’s going to be difficult because I have to change a lot of things.  Less fun, more work.  Not spending so much on food.  Going to the gym more often.  I don’t make resolutions because there’s so much out there for me to change and resolutions are only going to slow me down.  I tried therapy in college but I wasn’t comfortable talking with the therapist; there was no real connection.  It felt like she had to pry the answers out of me, while I dragged myself to counseling every week.  Medication doesn’t work for problems like this, so maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t take any medication.  The therapist said it was anxiety, but I didn’t care.  I get nervous and anxious; it’s human nature to get nervous and anxious.  In the end, I stopped caring about the counseling.  I just went, because it was paid for in the tuition.  I become emotionless and just answered the questions.  I was never “me” during therapy; it felt like I was someone else, being squeezed for information about particular topics.  I know I worry a lot, but I don’t really call it anxiety.  I’m also not paranoid.  I just worry a lot, about everything in life.  School, work, family, love, friends, etc.

I have classes selected for the spring semester, but I had debated whether to pay for them depending on the job outlook.  At this point, with less than a week to go, I don’t see a job coming my way anytime soon.  Thankfully, my classes are in the morning and I can still do things in the afternoon/evening.  However, it means no more staying up late because I have to start getting up early for class.  At least I won’t have to fight for parking.

Until next time…

1-11-11

•January 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I thought it was finally time to write the first post of the new year, particularly on this day.  Everyone seems to be saying something about it, but I think 11-11-11 has more significance.  I mean, a lot of people got married on 10-10-10.  Dates these days have so much meaning, and forgetting them can have consequences (i.e. anniversaries, birthdays, etc).  I don’t care much for them, much less try to remember all the important things out there.  I try to remember family birthdays, but that’s about it, and the anniversary of the relationship with my boyfriend.  Everything else is irrelevant.  Do you want me to remember something?  It’s not like I don’t have a way to remembering dates; I just don’t bother to.

Well, Verizon is now getting the iPhone.  Am I switching?  NO.  Verizon is great for their network, that’s about it.  The iPhone won’t even be on their 4G network, which I find to be disappointing.  Also, the chip that is installed DOES NOT allow users to be on the phone and look up something at the same time, something the AT&T models can (cue commercials).  AT&T may not have the best network, but that’s one advantage they have right now.  For how long, I don’t know.  Also, it looks like (based on photos) that the design of the iPhone is changing, particularly the button the turns/silences the ringer.  The antenna is changing (why, I don’t know), and that button is moving (though only slightly).  This causes a problem for ALL the iPhone 4 cases out there.  This means any of the current cases on the market WILL NOT fit the Verizon iPhone 4, which means all new cases will have to be made, just to accommodate one button.  Apple’s “bumper” case will have to be redesigned too, if they are planning to do it.  The articles out there have also mentioned that the 3GS will not be available at Verizon.  There’s not much info for the data plans, but I’ve read that they are offering an unlimited data plan, while AT&T had switched to a tiered plan in 2010.  I have an unlimited plan.  I need that because I’m on the phone way too much.  I’d blow through the package in no time, so when I get my new phone, I’m staying with the unlimited plan.  Texting is texting.  Nothing special about it, except that Verizon somehow offers a 500 message plan for $10.  AT&T used to have that at some point.  I don’t text enough to get unlimited, but I text more than 200 so I have 1500 messages for $15.  It’s not bad, as my monthly bill is roughly $80 (I’m rounding up).  I also have the cheapest possible voice plan ($40/month).  Even though Verizon has the superior voice network, I’m not going to switch.  Even though my plan is up in the spring, I’d have to pay all new fees and stuff just to get started with Verizon.  I’m tempted to get an Android phone (through any provider), but I’m too used to the Apple iOS system.  Besides, I like my Apple toys.  I can get them fixed when they have problems.

In other news, the warranty on my Macbook is out.  It ended at the end of November.  I’ve had this machine for 3 years and have never had any major problems.  The only thing that sucks is that it has such a small hard drive (only 80GB).  The few problems is did have, I got fixed and it never happened again.  They even fixed the crack in the case so the computer looked so clean (compared to the grungy keyboard).  I just hope that I can keep using this machine into the next few years, since I take very good care of my toys, before I buy a Macbook Pro.  By the time I get that, though, who knows what kind of goodies it will have then.  =)

Anyway, until next time…

Looking back at 2010…

•December 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Peace cannot be kept by force.
It can only be achieved by understanding.
Gundam 00 Movie:
A Wakening of a Trailblazer

It’s hard to believe that in a few hours, 2010 will be in the past and it will be 2011.  I didn’t think I get another post in before the new year, but I have time (a lot of time, actually) because I don’t have work right now or anything else to do (I know, pathetic).  I just want to look back on what happened in 2010, since it seemed to go by so fast.

For starters, 2010 marked the 7th year of being with my boyfriend.  I know.  7 long years.  His cousins are asking when we’re getting married because he’s the only one left that is seeing someone (me).  It’s scary to plan a wedding, and with the number of cousins he has, it’s going to be one big mess.  I already know.  I’ll have to hire a wedding planner just to get things done because he has cousins everywhere, and many of them have kids (most have at least one kid, some have more).  It’s just a lot of people – period.

2010 was also the birth of my sister’s second kid, Elsa.  She’s almost 8 months (on January 2).  It’s hard to believe how much she’s grown in 8th months.  She’s grabby and a screamer.  And she’s loud.  Nothing like her sister, who was mellow at that age.  She likes shiny objects, is what I’ve discovered.  And she like to be held – while she sleeps.  All 16 pounds of her.  Yeah, it’s a lot of extra weight.  She’s learned to recognize people, which is a good thing.  And she smiles a lot. We like babies that smile. =)

I took 2 extremely difficult classes this year – anatomy and physiology.  I don’t know how I managed to survive, but I did.  If I don’t take classes, I don’t have anything else to do – literally.  I hope to take more classes in 2011, provided that there are classes available (not likely).  With budget cuts and the economy, education has really gotten the short end of the stick.  Hopefully things will improve in 2011.

I started a new job in the fall of 2010 – working a Kumon, a learning center.  I did Kumon 20 years ago, but I don’t remember anything about it.  There are a lot of great kids, but then knowing the area I’m in (San Ramon Valley), there are high expectations for kids to do well, and I don’t doubt that.  Sure, the center is only open twice a week and I get paid monthly, it’s a job nonetheless.  I can’t really complain.  I earned my own set of keys to the center, which means I have more responsibilities.  Having been on the other side the education barrier, I’m willing to compromise with a lot of students with how much work I expect them to get done while at the center.  I also don’t grade like everyone else – I use different colors.  My bosses haven’t said anything, so I’m not really worried.  They would have said something to me a long time ago.  I’m hoping to find another job in addition to this one, since I don’t think I’m ready to train anyone just yet.  I also worked at a Halloween store, which was fun because we were able to dress up and enjoy the season.  The only problem was wearing a costume that the store didn’t carry and people wanted one!  I look forward to another year at the Halloween store, mostly because I can cosplay and look cool!  Oh, the amount of money I will be spending on costumes…

I’ve also been volunteering at the VA for the last few months, just so I can say that I have that “year of experience” that so many places require.  I have a great reference pool, so I’m not worried about not being able to get a good recommendation.

I have a lot of hopes for 2011…a new job for my boyfriend and for myself, mostly.  We need to make more money so we can do more things (like buy more costumes for cosplay).  Being able to go to to conventions and tournaments and represent the games we enjoy playing (GenCon 2011).  I don’t make resolutions because they feel like empty promises that are never kept, so I stopped making them years ago.  There is always room for improvement, is what I tell myself.

I hope everyone has a safe and fabulous New Year!  I’ll be writing again next year!