Archive for April, 2009

28
Apr
09

Back to the Real World

Sitting on the floor at JFK with my computer attached to the wall outlet, I wanted to write an update about my mini-vacation; however, my mind seems to ignore this. Instead, it is choosing to focus on what happened last night with Neere. I have never really written much about Neere as I have always made a concerted effort for us to get along. Unfortunately, my patience was continuously tested and last night was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She has always made snide remarks every now and again about things such as my family and myself. With every snide remark, I tried to ignore it and let it roll off my back. I guess she perceived this as a go signal indicating she can think whatever she wants to think regardless of validity. I understand that there are certain issues I may have to deal with that comes with being in an interracial relationship; however, her constant barrage of mini-attacks towards me is becoming more frequent and, in a way, more aggressive. I know that my rant is a bit vague at the moment, but I am not ready to divulge the extreme details just yet. Mr Shell and I will be discussing this situation further as he would have to talk to her because, by now, I have a miniscule amount of patience left for any of her comments about me and zero tolerance for comments about my family.

21
Apr
09

Smoking

Recently, I saw an episode of King of the Hill that dealt with quitting smoking and it made me think about my own smoking history.

My last undergraduate year was the pinnacle of my smoking habit. It kept me awake during those late nights of testing. It kept me alert while writing my papers and assignments. It helped me relax. In addition to all of these reasons, I actually liked and enjoyed smoking then. I know it’s illogical to many individuals, but when I was smoker the taste did not bother me nor did the knowledge of its negative effects. It was not until the extra semester, that I had to spend finishing up my required courses, when I decided to slowly quit smoking. Something inside me just clicked and I decided to start living a healthier lifestyle. I started decreasing the amount of cigarettes I smoked. Eventually, within a year, I was down to 1 cigarette a day. The hardest part about quitting was the association I made between smoking and coffee. It was very difficult not having that 1 cigarette with my morning coffee. Nevertheless, this was one of the last hurdles I had to overcome.

The last day I had my last cigarette was after almost a week of no smoking. Cupcakes and I went out for some Indian food and I just craved one after the meal. At this point, I did not own cigarettes anymore. Cupcakes gave me one. I had two puffs and that was it for me. The taste repulsed me. The next day, I was officially a nonsmoker. I have not had a cigarette since. This was 3 years ago.

16
Apr
09

Mental Health Days

Normally, people take 1 mental health day. I, on the other hand, decided to have 3 mental health days. Being unemployed, it’s one of the perks that I cherish and enjoy at the moment. Soon enough, I will join the real world and I’d be lucky to be able to get 2 mental health days. Anyway, it was a rough few days dealing with the aftermath of the PP drama. I spent Easter weekend consolidating my emotions and attempting to start accepting the damages my gpa will incur. On Monday, prof finally posted our marks online. Yeah, the class lowered my gpa. I was not impressed. Thus, began day 1 of my mental health day.

Today is my first day back (although I did start twittering yesterday). Back to my ethics paper. Back to preparing my ethics presentation. Back to reality. I bought my tickets yesterday to fly back to Canada to do my taxes. I’m planning to see an allergist while I’m back as well. I will also be surprising Soulmate. Soulmate’s bf, Puss, is doing a superb job keeping her out of the loop. I can’t wait. Travelling is always relaxing for me.

10
Apr
09

Good Friday = Pissed Off Me

I’ve mentioned project partner (PP) sporadically over a few posts. Since the saga has not ended, I think I should recap the entire event which, of course, led to my current state of mind.

Background:

PP and I were in AP class together last semester. She likes to talk about herself. She’s argumentative during discussions.  When a flaw in her argument was pointed out, she refused to acknowledge it and just changed her story. Basically, she never acknowledged her mistakes. There was also something about her that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Essentially, we were never going to be friends. Regardless, she seemed nice so casual pleasantries were continuously exchanged in between and outside class. We added each other on fbook and msn.

Days before Skills class:

Via msn, PP informed me that she is in the same Skills class as me. At that moment, it crossed my mind that I should not partner with her. I remembered her attitude during class discussions. She didn’t bring up being partners so I figured I had nothing to worry about.

Skills class – Day 1:

I had to attend a meeting in the morning with Trini, another classmate. I contemplated asking her if she wanted to be partners since we got along and this is the third class we had together. I hesitated and decided to wait and ask her later in class. Big mistake. Upon entering Skills class, PP immediately said in a very loud voice that we should be partners. Being nice (to my demise) I agreed even though every single pore in my body was screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I rationalized my decision and opted to deal with it.

Skills class – Day 2:

PP was already making me regret my decision. She kept saying in class that she will be a very resistant client during the videotape project. She was not going to be very vocal. She was going to make it hard for me. She began to irritate me. That night, I prepared myself on handling a resistant client.

Skills class – Day 3:

PP reiterated her resistant intentions. I ignored it as usual. Skills prof gave us 3 hours in interview rooms at the university to conduct our mock interview sessions. She was therapist first. She took 8 takes. I had to teach her basic skills on how to start and end the sessions. I guess she wasn’t listening in class. Me, being a helpful one, assisted her throughout. This was fine; however, she started testing my patience. We finally finished a whole 15 minute session and she harassed me for my opinion. I told her my opinion was completely irrelevant since I was not the one assigning the marks nor was I in the position to have an expert opinion. We did 2 more 15 minute sessions. At this point, I was one irate individual. By the time she finished, I only had 30 minutes to do mine. I was now extra annoyed. I could not stand being around her now. We had to finish the session at my apartment. I was trying really hard to hide my annoyance that I did 2 takes and called it a day. The marking scheme did not even cross my mind. I just wanted to get away from her as soon as possible.

Pre-Skills –  Day 4:

Things due for day 4: transcription, self-critique paper, partner critique paper, and videotape presentation in class. As I was writing my self-critique, I realized that I was unable to display as many of the required skills on my videotape. I minimally reflected feelings and content. It was then that I realized how much PP talked in the videotape. She did not give me a chance to say anything. A sinking feeling in my stomach started to appear. This might affect my mark. I added it to my self-critique.

Skills – Day 4:

Feedback after presentation included my missing skills. The sinking feeling in my stomach became heavier. I started wondering how many marks she would take off. Watching the video for the third time magnified how PP really did not allow me to talk. She was a terrible client. I compared her video with mine and I actually made the effort to stop talking in between the conversation. I started getting annoyed. I was pissed at myself for not spotting the mistakes during the sessions. I was pissed at her for being selfish. Then again, it’s not surprising that she is selfish. She does love to talk about herself and only herself. I started kicking myself.

Good Friday:

Prof posted the videotape marks. I did horrible. I lost 16 marks. I am not happy. The frustration and annoyance I felt when PP and I were taping and during the feedback in class all came back as a tsunami of angry emotions. I am pissed off. No ifs and buts about it. Pissed off at myself. Pissed off at her. Pissed off at the marking scheme. Pissed off that class participation was useless since our mark relied on a videotape. I am effin pissed off!

I need to go to yoga tomorrow.

07
Apr
09

Calling DrMentor

I usually call DrMentor at least once every semester just to say hello and briefly catch up on things. If I’m not able to call I would email him. Last semester, I opted to merely send him the usual Christmas card and since September, I have not called him nor emailed him. A part of me is evading the phone call because every since I decided to stop pursuing scientific research I have always felt that I have let him down. He has always believed in me and cultivated my research skills. He provided me the opportunities and had helped mold me to be the person that I am today. He saw the best in me even on days that self-doubt enveloped every bone in my body. He always knew what to say. However, amidst all these positive things, I also feared him. His knowledge and expertise intimidated me. He did not hesitate to point out my mistakes. He was a tough mentor. No sugar coating. No coddling. A combination of the tough, unforgiving environment and unwavering support has both strengthened and devastated me. Now, that I am far removed from scientific research, I extremely hesitate calling him. It already feels that I disappointed him by not doing my MSc right away and then now, by switching to a different field. I keep delaying this phone call. The more I do it the more I get anxious about what he would say to me. This time, I have decided to do it within the next couple of weeks. I think I am tired of waiting.

04
Apr
09

midnight post

Unlike many people in my program, I do not hate APA writing. I treat it much like any other requirement for a class, a journal, a publication, whatever it may be. It’s merely a form to standardize papers and articles. My program is somehow APA haters galore. I remember thinking how odd it is to actually HATE a structured form of writing. I understand that most of them do not work with APA all the time, but I didn’t either. Scientific journal format is not really APA format yet I did not have problems adjusting from one to the other. *shrugs* I guess people just like to complain over everything and over nothing.

~~~

Last week, I handed in my very first intake report to a mock session I had with AlwaysCold, one of Mr Shell’s friend from work. Even though intake reports are relatively easy to write, trying to write one up when I have never seen one in real life, never wrote one before, and my only guide was an annotated version containing sections with short, vague examples of each section proved to be quite a task. Yes, I was pretty much writing it semi-blind. So today, I received my mark on it and suffice to say, I wasn’t really happy with it. But then again, I had no idea I made the mistakes to begin with. It’s a weird feeling to be frustrated yet not at the same time. My prof put in comments on the report indicating my errors and yes, they are quite helpful; however, once again, I had no idea they were wrong or in some that they were even supposed to be there. I’m a little bothered.

02
Apr
09

Eff you HRLady

phone call 2 weeks ago:

me: Hello HRLady. This is Shell. I am calling about my T4. I still have not received mine and…

HRLady: (interrupts) They were all sent out at the end of February. We have no T4’s in the office anymore. It sometimes takes a while for it to get to you. Wait. Let me pull your info.

me: Okay. Well, I also want to make sure you have my correct address. To my knowledge it was updated since you mailed me my last cheque…

HRLady: (interrupts again) Is it 1234 Screw your t4 street. SunCity 56789?

me: Yes, so you have the right address…

HRLady: (interrupts the 3rd time) YEAH, it takes a while for the mail to get to the US.

me: I know, but I would like to know exactly when it was sent so I have an idea.

HRLady: They were all sent Feb 26. We have none in the office. We have to LEGALLY send them by the end of February.

me: (sighs on the inside) Alright. I’ll just give it a little more time.

HRLady: Okay BYE.

It is now officially April and I still do not have my T4. I just emailed her and even though I only asked her to resend my copy without questioning that they were sent out to begin with, she redundantly replied that they were sent out. She then proceeded to ask me to confirm my address, which I already did (refer to phone call), and she’ll send me a copy. We’ll see how long it will take. She has not heard the last of me. Deadline is April 30 and it is fast approaching.