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Travesti d'Action

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A Job Update [Jan. 11th, 2009|01:58 am]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |happyhappy]
[music |Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box]

Who in the world gets phone calls for job interviews on a weekend? Apparently, I do. In my last post, I mentioned a massage job that I applied to. For those who have not read that post I got an e-mail reply last week from the prospective employer. And today I got a phone call from Dr. Lou! FOR REAL, FOR REAL! Out of all the jobs I've been applying to (most of which have not been massage-related) I got a call today asking if I'd be interested in an interview. Of course I'm interested. So interested (and poor) that I'm interviewing for it tomorrow. Wish me luck.

By the way, today was a real good day in hockey! LET'S GO RANGERS AND DEVILS!
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What in the world, yo? [Jan. 7th, 2009|01:27 am]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |befuddled]
[music |Pink - So What]

Hooray for meee! I graduated the Swedish Institute Massage Therapy Program with a 3.90 or so GPA December 12th. I'm so happy to be done with school yet it's anti-climatic due to the fact that I'm taking a continuing education course there for the next 15 Fridays. It's a class I should've taken last semester, but I got screwed out of it and that's a story for another time. Since then I've watched a lot of hockey, a lot of movies, have read, caught up with some friends, studied for my state licensing exam later in the month, and have looked every friggin day for an effin job.

Can you tell my frustrations? I'm not going to vent them all here because I don't feel like it but I've applied to numerous jobs and haven't gotten anything other than an interview from a temp agency last week and over the weekend when some doctor for a spa e-mailed me to say that he would start reviewing resumes.

In a nutshell, it's been frustrating because it blows my mind that since before I started massage school I have been unable to find steady employment. Fortunately, I've done odd jobs including photography, pet sitting, child sitting, house sitting, moving, and tutoring, so that's helped keep me afloat. Unfortunately, I am either unqualified (I don't have any restaurant/bar or retail experience) or too qualified (I've had many hats and have had many responsibilities over the years) or people just aren't taking me seriously because I've been making the possible mistake of writing my full first name in all my correspondences (i.e. resumes, cover letters, e-mails). Whatever the case, it sucks, especially since I'm almost down to my last cent.

One other thing I'm mystified about is what the hell is with all these craig's list job postings looking for a rock star this and a rock star that? What in the world does it mean? You don't get more rock star than me without being a *^*(%*@& ROCK STAR!!! WHAT THE HELL?!?!? For instance, here's one job searching for a statistician:

The Role: QUANTITATIVE ENGINEER

Do you love data? We are looking for a rock-star statistician/quant/developer to support Yodle's search listing efforts. The ideal candidate has strong quantitative/statistical training and experience applying that training to real-world data, familiarity and experience with effective experimental design, and outstanding written and oral communication skills. The candidate will be responsible for experiment design, quantitative analysis of experiment findings, interpreting and communicating results, and developing and documenting new experiment and analysis frameworks. The candidate will feel comfortable with the fast pace of an Internet startup, and will enjoy all phases of feature development, theory through implementation and maintenance. This position reports to the Director of Optimization.


Can you believe that?!?!? You'd think that would totally fit me considering my personality, work ethic, and most importantly, my experience, but I can only assume that I was not what they were looking for.

And here's the title of a job listing on craig's list:

Seeking Rockstar Intern for We're-Gonna-Change-the-World Start-Up

When in the world did "rock star" start becoming part of job descriptions? Perhaps I should add in my resume that I am a frackin' rock star. Jeezy Chreezy.

Other than my financial woes I guess I'm pretty good. Hope everyone had a merry Christmahanukwanzaakuh and a happy New Year!
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My neighbor is weird [Nov. 19th, 2008|10:51 pm]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |puzzled]
[music |David Bowie - Station to Station]

Since the beginning of my program, my class has taken to celebrating everybody's birthday. Due to the last birthday falling on Thanksgiving and the way our schedules next week we are celebrating tomorrow. I found a recipe for mashed sweet potatoes that sounded good that was vegan and gluten free as the birthday girl is allergic to gluten. I've never cooked for so many people (approximately a dozen) so I ended up buying too much of every ingredient I had to buy. I have two Chinese food containers for my classmates, one for my sister, and I decided to give a smaller container to one of my neighbors. She was very cordial in accepting the food and asked if I wanted some Spanish rice. I've loved Spanish rice since I was a child so I didn't turn it down. My neighbor invited me in while she got me some food. I follow her into the kitchen and I notice her washing a very familiar looking container and orange water in the sink. She puts some rice in the container and says a few things including that she will try some of the mashed sweet potato. I'm happy to have gotten the rice and I'm not offended really offended by her wanting to get rid of my food, but did she really think that I wouldn't have easily figured out that she dumped my food? I also don't get why she just didn't give me the rice in some other container, bowl, plate, etc. and not tried to be so slick with getting rid of my food.
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School and Divorce [Oct. 14th, 2008|05:31 pm]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |stressedstressed]

This 4th and last semester at the Swedish Institute has been going pretty well for the most part. There isn't the daily pressure of studying for quizzes and tests and there hasn't been much homework. I've had to write a few papers and have a few more papers to write, but regardless, I've been enjoying the luxury of having a lot more free time. School still being school, however, still makes school stressful. I, in addition to most of my classmates, bombed the first two papers we've had to write thus far. I've never done so badly on any paper in my entire academic career. Considering the performance of most of the class, I blame my clinic supervisors for not doing their job in properly explaining the criteria for the papers.

I could write more about school. I guess I could write more about anything as I don't update much, but I would rather write about the second part of my subject of this entry.

I'm not going to get into many details right now, but my parents are going through a divorce. Like their marriage, their divorce has been less than amicable (as far as my memory serves me). Also, due to their own individual faults, the divorce process has been going on for years and my mother is in danger of losing her house to my father unrightfully on a number of levels (morally, financially, legally, etc.). Up until a few months, the only people really involved in the legal process on my mother's side was herself. Now me, my siblings, and my sister's family has to pay the price (financially and emotionally) for the negligence that has occurred thus far in the legal proceedings.

Fortunately, now that my siblings, I, and our lawyer are more in control of what's happening, things are looking up. Regardless, I'm firmer than ever in not getting married. Seeing what's happening now with my family has made me realize that I not only fear what marriage does to a relationship. I now have a new fear - that of divorce.
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Gah! Top 5 Things I Hate Right Now [Jun. 6th, 2008|02:37 am]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |depresseddepressed]
[music |Beck - Loser]

In no particular order:

1. My eyes
2. Depression
3. Insomnia
4. My financial situation
5. The weather
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Woe is the Mystery That is Me [Apr. 20th, 2008|01:45 am]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |frustratedfrustrated]
[music |Modest Mouse - March Into The Sea]

I'm kind of flabberghasted. Every now and then, but freqently enough to drive me crazy, I get asked why I am so nice and I never, ever know how to respond to that. I don't know. Am I that nice? Am I too nice? What kind of answer are people looking for? What do people want to hear? Is that the same question? No matter how I answer, I never feel it's quite adequate. For one thing, I'm just generally not comfortable talking about myself. At least, not like this.

I think I've come up with all sorts of reasons why I am who I am and why I do whatever it is I do that defines me as being so nice, but I don't know what's the biggest reason or the best reason. The best I usually say is that I'm just being me and that I'm not really trying, but is that what people want to hear or are they looking for more depth? Should I be less nice? I wonder in my attempts to feel that I've adequately answered the question if I say too much.

Is it even a compliment to be asked that or do people think that I'm being duplicitous or am trying to go out of my way to be liked? Is it something else that I haven't thought of?

Bah, talking about this is frustrating. Thinking about it has been, too, of course, which is why I'm posting on here.

Will anyone who reads this please respond. I've partially written this for two people who have called me out on not posting enough. Thank you.
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Come Check Out the Debut of the Church of Pop [Sep. 20th, 2007|10:29 pm]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |The Beatles - Good Day Sunshine]

This is something started by a bunch of my friends. The Church of Pop is a growing, NYC-based art movement.

At the Church of Pop we believe that humanity's resume has quite a list of accomplishments. We're celebrating that. All of it. Art, music, film, technology - the muses have had quite a time of this past century. Join us in celebrating the awesome.... and adding to it.

Please help make it a success and spread the word. Thanks. :)

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Some Days Really Suck [Sep. 16th, 2007|11:46 pm]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |crappycrappy]
[music |Alice in Chains - Would?]

I've had a string of rather horribly emotional days lately. Today, for instance, was very disappointing and frustrating. I wish I had some prescience. That way I could just stay home and stay in bed and avoid the shit I've gone through.
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The Results Are Officially In [Aug. 13th, 2007|03:03 pm]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |worriedworried]
[music |Matthew Good Band - Hello Time Bomb]

It turns out, I can read. (Read last post for reference.) I received my score report from ETS today. I did get a 620 in the verbal section and a 690 in the math section. This news is good and bad. In an ironic twist, based on my percentile ranks, I actually did how I thought I would do.

Contrary to my scores, I did better in the verbal part and worse in the quantitative section. It would appear that the language section was particularly difficult because my 620 out of 800 score was higher than 89% of examinees. I'm very happy to not be as inept as I thought I was. However, I'm still taking it with a grain of salt as I was expecting as high as a 99% percentile rank since I had been consistently scoring that high in my trial exercises. I wanted something in the 90s, but I'll take 89%. I know it's still pretty good.

As for my other percentile ranks, they make sense in the reality of my world, but are nonetheless disheartening. While 690 is pretty high, the reality that I'm not good at math is evident based on the fact that only 70% of people scored below me. Math is just always going to be very challenging for me and I guess I got a high score because I lucked out and managed to get one of the easier versions of the math exam.

My analytical writing section was also a good news/bad news affair. The good news is that I got a 5.0 out of a 6.0. The bad news is that I only write 73% better than the other test takers. I can ease this dissatisfaction by considering that I have not written academically in at least a year and I did not practice writing for this exam. Nor did I really study anything related to the analyatical writing section as I was just looking to write competently enough to pass and I had faith in my writing skills to do at least that. I just thought that a 5 would still be better than 70-something percent!

I'm not sure how to feel anymore. If I look at the means for those who took the exam between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2006, I scored at least 106 points better in each section and 0.9 better in the writing section. If I look at the scores broken down by intended graduate major field, my verbal score was at least 75 points higher than any of the categories and my math score was only lower than those intending to major in engineering (duh!) and physical sciences (also a duh, but only by 4 points). I guess I could find all sorts of statistics to help me feel better or worse about my scores. How do you guys think I should feel now?

I really have to stop worrying about them. It's over and done with. I guess what I'm worried about is how grad schools will interpret my scores and if they will actually help me be a candidate to the programs I apply to.
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It's Been A Long Time Coming [Aug. 11th, 2007|01:59 pm]
Travesti d'Action
[mood |relievedrelieved]
[music |David Bowie - Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)]

Yep. After a day and and age, an update from moi!

Sorry I've been so out of touch. I've been preoccupied by out-of-town friends, looking for a job unsuccessfully, deciding to go back to school for massage therapy as having a BA in psychology has sucked hard in terms of finding research jobs, sitting on babies, hockey, and the thing that has taken up most of my time for more than a year - the GRE.

For those of you not familiar with the Graduate Record Examination, it is much like the SAT (Saturday Afternoon Test/Scholastic Aptitute Test) in the way it's set up (at least when I took it about 10 years ago). It has a verbal and a quantitative section each scored in 10-point increments on a 200-800 scale and an essay writing section on a 0-6 score scale that is scored in half-point increments. The 30-minute verbal section is all multiple choice questions in the categories of sentence completions, reading comprehension questions, antonyms, and analogies. The 45-minute math section is also multiple choice and consists of quantitative comparison questions, discrete quantative questions, and data interpretation questions. The writing section consists of 2 parts: a 45-minute issue essay and a 30-minute argument essay. If that wasn't enough to make you cry to your momma, they throw an extra 30-minute "research" section to torture you as it's a non-scored math, language, or essay section.

Now why did I take such a horrible exam that tests you on junior high school math and definitions of words with obscure primary, secondary or tertiary meanings? Because ETS/Educational Testing Service (the guys that brought us the SAT and other standardized tests) convinced graduate schools that they need a standard by which to measure all students so they could be a monopoly and make tons of money.

I've come to the conclusion a number of times in my life that I'm not as smart as I would like to think I am. At least not without A LOT of hard work. (Yes, so much hard work that I need to type that in caps and be in bold.) Henceforth, I started studying seriously for this exam back in June of last year at the latest with a study partner. We both had the intention of taking it in November. Well, I studied practically every day on an average of 3-5 hours a day, but then we both decided to take it in December and finally registered to do just that except that when the time came I decided that I wasn't ready and didn't take it and just generally wasn't ready to apply to grad school yet.

Finally, after learning two things:

1. my study partner did well on the exam considering she moved to this country about 5 years ago not knowing English, got interviewed and accepted to some pretty good grad schools that I'm interested in; and

2. ETS was planning to change the format of the exam and the last day to take the exam in the format I was preparing for was July 31st.

This knowledge made me simultaneously very happy while shitting in my pants because this was March and while I thought it was more possible that I'd get into a school that I really wanted to go to, I also wanted to take the GRE at the end of August and was gravely concerned that I would not have enough time to be sufficiently prepared to kick ass on the exam.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I've had bad luck finding steady employment (I've temped, babysat and sold DVDs and toys for money). Therefore, since the middle of March I was able to spend approximately 3-6 hours a day studying for this exam that made a mutual friend break down and cry to his mother the day before he took the exam. I may have averaged more than that considering that I decided to once again not look for a job and concentrated on spending most of the month of July studying about 6-8 hours a day.

One would think that with all this work, I would do quite well, but my practice exercises and exams said otherwise. For the most part, I was doing very strongly in the English section, but my math skills ranged from "What the fuck? Have I not been studying at all?" to "Okay. I might do a bit above average." My cumulative scores ranged from 1100-something to 1400-something, so as July 31st approached, I was stressed as hell and freaking out that once again, I was not ready for this fucking test. I figured that with all this work I had been putting in, it'd be a reasonable goal to aim for 1400 on the test, so I was extremely frustrated and dejected that I almost cried a few times. Alas, it was too late to postpone the test. I had no other option at this point. It was time to finally take the exam as I did not want to waste another $130 or so to register for the exam again.

This state of mind was days before the exam. The night before, I felt so completely wracked. My verbal scores were on the decline and I had done poorly in my last few quantitative sections. I finally resigned myself to sleep with the aid of a half dose of a sleeping aid so I would get some sleep, but I woke up 5 hours later to study some more math. I studied math for another 3 hours before I left for the exam.

The GRE was rather interesting. If I have not made it clear in my rambling, I've always been much stronger in my language skills than in math and had consistently kicked ass in my verbal practice exercises as opposed to my math exercises. There might have been one time one practice exam really kicked my ass and I got 16 out of 28 math questions right and 14 out of 30 verbal questions right, but that was an exam I took with my study partner last year so I was not swayed by my belief that the verbal section is where I would get most of my points. Ironically enough, assuming I read the screen correctly, I scored 690 in the math section and a 620 also out of 800 in the verbal.

I had NEVER done so much better in any practice test in the quantitative section, so it just goes to show how tricky and fucked up a standardized test like the GRE is. When I left the testing center, I considered taking the test again as I know I could score much closer to 700 in verbal, but I also know that if my scores were switched, I'd be quite happy and wouldn't think about taking the test again at all. Plus, just about every highly esteemed grad school's standard is at least 600 in each section. If anything, I talked to a couple of my friends (one of whom was my study partner and the other being a friend who's going to take it in a few days), and they said that I should be totally happy with my scores as they're very good so I should not consider taking it again. (There's a danger in taking it again as it makes it harder for grad schools to interpret and there's always the danger that you could do worse in a section or two.)

I'm not sure how well I did in the writing section. I kicked total ass on the argument essay, but I'm not even sure if I was on topic on the issue essay. I won't know that score until my official scores come in the mail in about a week.

I can't wait for that to happen because, considering all that I've said, I still can't believe the scores I got. A part of me thinks that I may have read it wrong and that I got a 690 in verbal and a 620 in math as that would make a ton more sense to me, but again, I'll take it and it's a pretty good score as the average for most schools is between 1100-1200 something. It's not 1400-something, but considering I was scoring between 1100-1400, it makes sense statistically that I'd score 1320 on the actual exam.

I'm so relieved it's over. However, a part of me feels as if there's something strongly amiss in my day-to-day world for not studying anymore. There's a part that even 11 days later feels that I should be studying vocabulary and doing math exercises. I spent so much friggin' time studying every day! A week and a half later, that feeling has dissipated as dread is coming again since I will start studying 3 hours a day for the Psychology GRE on Monday. I've forced myself to have a break as, fortunately, I have time to worry about that test as it's not until November and it is a multiple choice test that just requires you to memorize psychology stuff. I'm pretty sure I can do that considering I memorized almost 3,500 words for the GRE, so I'm not worried about it too much, but wish me luck anyway. :) If you've gotten this far, I thank you, but what else do you expect considering I haven't updated in forever and a day?
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