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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Job Hunt Continues Part 3

So about the job interview... I got a call this morning from the hiring manager, she said they are moving all interviews until after the start of the New Year. That makes sense I guess. She told me that I was still on the top of the list to be hired, so I could feel good about that and enjoy my holidays. So I'm gonna take her word for it and not worry too much.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Job Hunt Continues Part 2

Well, during the phone interview I was asked to send in a couple of samples of my writing. So yesterday I did, and today I got an e-mail back telling me how wonderful they were! I'm getting excited, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Job Hunt Continues

So today I had a phone screening with a company for a Technical Writer position. The phone interview went well, and I will be having a face-to-face interview sometime next week, between Tuesday and Thursday. Pray for me and wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

After Graduation Job Hunt

So, over the course of the past three weeks, I have submitted my resume to 3 companies.

Company number 1 posted a position which I applied for, but they told me they weren't actually hiring, they were just collecting resumes for future reference.

Company number 2 isn't hiring per se, but they are a local web design company. So I sent them my resume and an offer to work part-time or as a contractor with them for a while to let them preview my services before making a decision. I haven't heard back from them.

Company number 3, I just applied to today. They are apparently ACTUALLY HIRING, so we shall see how that turns out.

Also today I sent an inquiry to company number 4 asking who I could send my resume to.

I have made a commitment to myself to submit my resume to at least one company per week until I get hired. I am hoping that this will work out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I was diagnosed last Friday, September 18, with Carpal Tunnel Sydrome in my right wrist/hand. As someone who loves computers, plays on computers, works on computers, majored in college in computers, I figured I would get CTS eventually. I was just kinda hoping for like 20 more years without it. But alas, it is now here.

I am NOT going to have surgery. That freaks me out and I've heard nothing but bad things about it. So I've been icing it, taking ibuprofen for it, and sleeping in a wrist splint. The splint I'm using is actually the one my mom used for her thumb when she tore it up a couple of years ago, so it has a thumb abductor on it. Bascially, my thumb is immobilized when I have the cast on, and it's pretty much impossible to write or use a computer like that. So I can't wear it during the day. I'm going to buy a new splint without a thumb abductor soon, hopefully tomorrow. That way I can wear the splint pretty much 24/7. I'm hoping that doing all of this and catching it early will prevent me from needing any surgery or anything at all.


Google: Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may be occurring more often. It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards. It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

If there's actually anyone who follows this blog, you've probably noticed an explosion of backdated entries in my archives since yesterday. That's because I just found out that the blog feature on the ChristianRock.net boards is being disabled. In fact, my blog was actually deleted before I knew about it. They brought back some of the blogs for the sake of us being able to back up our old entries. Sad thing is, all of my layout formatting and all of the comments that people have left me there over the years, were gone when it came back up. I was the 24th person to ever sign up for a blog when they first enabled the feature in late 2004. My first entry was December 31, 2004.

I've copied most of my old entries over here. Some of the entries were really trivial/painful/embarassing, so I decided to let them go. (By the way, if anything you read in those archived entries seems strange or out of context, it's probably because it was written in the context of those message boards.) Reading over everything since last night, it has made me really nostalgic. It also brought back some old hurts that I had moved past and forgotten. It's a strange thing to look back at the person you were almost 5 years ago and compare that to now. It's like I'm not even the same person anymore.

This blog back-up also made me realize that I used to blog about absolutely everything. I would just talk about how my day was. Now I've started to feel like I should only bother to post a blog if I have something really profound to say. But maybe it's better the old way. Maybe I should pick up my old philosophy of talking about things all the time. I had a pretty depressing social life (or lack thereof) and really really difficult schoolwork, but I still seemed pretty cheerful in those blog entries most of the time. Maybe the blogging was helping me keep things in perspective and helping me deal with all of the crap I had to deal with back then.

In any case, I know that I enjoy blogging now. I think a lack of free time has alot to do with why I don't blog as much. But you know, if I stop and think about it, I really didn't have much more free time back when I used to blog every day. Especially when I did all that blogging the first semester of my freshman year of college. That was one of my most difficult semesters classwise, and I had a job for the first time ever. So if I pulled it off then, I should be able to pull it off now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Entitlement Generation

Confirmation of what we already knew: all the parents who have raised and/or are raising their children to think that they are oh-so-special and aggresively advocate for them, are raising rude, unemployed jerks. So much for the self-esteem movement.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30585984/

Today's tykes: Secure kids or rudest in history?
Parents' focus on building self-esteem may neglect compassion for others
By Susan Gregory Thomas
msnbc.com contributor
updated 7:53 a.m. CT, Wed., May 6, 2009

Parents of the past used to worry about how their kids treated others, but now they're often more focused on 'ferociously advocating' for their child, says Dr. Philippa Gordon, a long-time New York pediatrician.

The little wagon seemed abandoned.

So when Ada Calhoon’s 1-year-old son spotted it during an outing to a neighborhood park, he began playing with it. But almost immediately, they heard a little boy on a far-away swing set shriek “Noooooooooooo!” sending his mom storming toward them.

“Rather than saying, ‘We’re swinging now. You can let that baby look at your wagon,’ [the mother] took the wagon out of my son’s hands and brought it to her son in the swing,” says Calhoun, the editor-in-chief of the popular parenting Web site Babble.com.

It wasn’t the child’s fit that left Calhoun speechless: It was the mother’s.

Parenting blogs — and grandparents — echo that shock. A commenter on a recent New York Times’ blog recounted seeing a preschooler purposely trip a woman in a crowded restaurant, and chortle, “‘Mommy, did you see me trip that woman? I tripped her!’” — with no corrective measure from the mother. On Grandparents.com, a mortified grandmother recently asked for advice on how to handle her grandson’s relentless public insulting of his own mother, who apparently seemed unable or unwilling to stand up to the mistreatment.

Many experts say today’s kids are ruder than ever. And it may have something to do with popular parenting movements focusing on self-esteem and the generation that’s embracing them: Generation X, or those born between 1965 and 1977.

On paper, it doesn’t add up. After all, by many accounts Generation X may be the most devoted parents in American history. They are champions of "attachment parenting," the school of child-rearing that calls for a high level of closeness between parents and children, Many Gen-X parents co-sleep with their children, hold them back from entering kindergarten if they feel their children’s emotional maturity is at stake and volunteer at their kids' schools at record rates. Gen-X moms have been famously criticized by early feminists for dropping out of the workforce to care for their young children.

Yet, their kids are, well, rude. It may be that today’s parents are so fixated on their children's emotional well-being that they’re teaching them that the well-being of others is comparatively unimportant, says Dr. Philippa Gordon, a long-time pediatrician in Park Slope, Brooklyn, an urban New York neighborhood famous for its dense Gen-X parent population.

Parents 'ferociously advocating'
“I see parents ferociously advocating for their children, responding with hostility to anyone they perceive as getting in the child's way — from a person whose dog snuffles inquiringly at a baby in a carriage, to a teacher or coach whom they perceive is slighting their child, to a poor, hapless doctor who cannot cure the common cold,” says Gordon. “There is a feeling that anything interfering with their kid's homeostasis, as they see it, is an inappropriate behavior to be fended off sharply.”

Such defensiveness represents a radical departure from Gen X’s parental forebears, who, experts say, were more concerned about their children’s behavior toward others, rather than the other way around. But it also may highlight what makes many of today's parents tick, as a group — specifically, how they themselves grew up.

Many researchers consider members of Generation X to have been among the least nurtured children in American history with half coming from split families, 40 percent raised as latchkey kids — literally, home alone.

“They are trying to heal the wounds from their own childhoods through their children,” says Dr. Michael Brody, a child psychiatrist and chair of the Television and Media Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In indulging their children’s moods, Brody argues, some parents may be trying to protect their children from experiencing the kind of anxiety and neglect that they themselves suffered as youngsters.

Attachment parenting or enmeshment?
But not being able to separate their own feelings from their children’s has its costs. “Generation X parents seem to have mistaken emotional ‘enmeshment’ for ‘attachment parenting,’” he says.

To be fair, such a response comes from an understandable place.

“Our parents, the Boomers, didn’t pay so much attention to us — they were getting divorced and working and respecting independence, so they left us a lot of times to Scooby Doo,” says Calhoun. “But we’re going a bit far in the other direction and paying so much attention that we’re picking up on every blip in our kids’ whims.”

But not all this can be laid at Generation X’s door. Dr. Susan Linn , who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, points out that children learn societal values not just through parental modeling, but also from the stories and toys passed on to them.

“Commercial culture tends to glorify negative behaviors on the continuum from rudeness to violence,” says Linn. “Anti-social behaviors capture the attention of viewers and add to audience share, and in a world where physical violence reigns, rudeness seems ordinary — it becomes a behavioral norm.”

Just take a quick survey the most popular commercial offerings for kids, Linn says. On "American Idol," which, according to Nielsen ratings, is a top program among 2- to 11-year-old viewers, the judges aren’t just rude but truly scathing to contestants.

And, of course, a best-selling line of dolls is, literally, named Bratz. That message pales in comparison to the video game franchise “Grand Theft Auto,” a perennial best-seller among teens and pre-teens who spend hours engaging in virtual behaviors ranging from bullying to having sex with a prostitute and then killing her. Younger siblings who emulate their older brothers and sisters are peripherally, but routinely, exposed to such violence in large numbers, says Linn.

Preschool delinquents?
It is also worth underlining that rudeness can have more serious behavioral consequences. As a 2005 Yale study demonstrated, preschool students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of children in grades K-12 because of behavioral problems.

What does this mean for their future as adults? We may be starting to see some of the effects in Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1996, whose self-centered — if not downright arrogant — workplace behavior has been well-documented in the popular press since the mid-2000s.

"They've grown up questioning their parents, and now they're questioning their employers. They don't know how to shut up, which is great, but that's aggravating to the 50-year-old manager who says, 'Do it and do it now,' " says Jordan Kaplan, an associate managerial science professor at Long Island University-Brooklyn in New York, in a USA Today article.

As for today’s little kids? “No one will want to hire them,” says Brody. That's not an encouraging thought, especially in these economic times.

Economic climate does seem to have an effect on manners. Indeed, some experts believe that trend of rudeness among kids first emerged with the rise of Wall Street and its culture of entitlement in the mid-1980s, which is when Generation X began having children. It has been building since then, they say. But today’s downturn may inspire renewed prudence.

“I think that people who lose their wealth, their jobs, and other emblems of success that gave them a mindless assurance about their social status — plus with the new standards in the White House — may examine their values more seriously,” predicts pediatrician Gordon. “It will be less easy to fob off your inner questions by purchasing an expensive education, summer camp or horseback riding classes.”

It may also be easier if Gen X parents start implementing the popular campaign that they grew up with themselves: “Just say ‘No.’ ”

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Our Anniversary

Today is my one year anniversary with Matt. It's hard to believe it's been a year already! Sometimes I still feel like Matt's my "new" boyfriend, lol. But in other respects it feels like we've been together forever. In any case, I hope we stay together for a very long time. I know I can picture myself spending the rest of my life with him.

We are so compatible with each other, but not because we are exactly alike. Although we are alot alike in some ways, there are other ways in which we compliment each other. We can even each other out, so to speak. I think that's the best possible relationship to be in - one where one partner has qualities that make up for what the other lacks, and vice versa. We fit together like puzzle pieces to make one whole "Mamanda."

Whether we are equal or opposite, we always make each other happy. Matt can make me smile no matter what else is going on. I really enjoy being around him. And he says that I'm easy to hang out with and that anything he does is better when I'm around. It's nice to know that there's someone out there who wants to be around me. I feel the same way about him: he's easy to hang out with, and everything is better when he's around. It is wonderful to be in a relationship where we feel that way about each other.

I love Matt's personality. I love his energy and his optimism and his absolute craziness. I love how loyal he is and how much he loves me and his friends. I love the way he never stresses about anything. I am so high-strung all the time. Sometimes it helps me to chill out when I look at Matt not worrying or planning months ahead, and I think "Well if he's still alive at this point, I think it'll be OK if I don't plan my dinners for the next week, lol."

Matt does some pretty amazing things for me sometimes. Nobody else would come to my house on Valentine's Day and bring me a frozen pizza wrapped up in a red ribbon because I was sick and he wanted to bring me something to make me feel better. That was so adorable I wanted to cry!

We can talk on the phone or video chat for hours. I think our record for a phone call is something like 9 hours (all day one Saturday) and I'm not sure if this is our record, but this past Saturday we video chatted for 10 hours after instant messaging for about an hour and a half. Matt says he likes to do that because even though we spend a good portion of those times multitasking on homework or games or whatever, he likes to hear my voice. Sometimes when he has to drive somewhere he'll call me and just talk to me while he's driving because he wants to "hear a friendly voice" while he's driving. I love the fact that he loves my voice and my company so much.

I just wanted to write this note to mark and remember our anniversary, and to tell everyone who cares to read it just a little bit about how much I love my awesome boyfriend. Happy anniversary, Matty! I love you!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lent

Lent, in some Christian denominations, is the forty-day-long liturgical season of fasting and prayer before Easter. The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the desert, where according to the Bible he endured temptation by Satan.
-Wikipedia, "Lent"


So I've decided to observe Lent this year. (Those of you who know me or read my notes know that I've also decided to start observing the Twelve Days of Christmas.) I think I'm making a move towards more liturgical observations. I'm not Catholic, nor am I trying to be, I just think that Christians today in general don't give enough weight to God in their lives. It's not about a religious show either. Religion =/= faith. It's about getting closer to God and spending more time in the Scriptures and in prayer. I really legitimately want to go deeper in my faith.

The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial—for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In Western Christianity (with the exception of the Archdiocese of Milan which follows the Ambrosian Rite), Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday. The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter", a celebration of Jesus' victory over sin and death.
-Wikipedia, "Lent"


Prayer
I'm going to say a special prayer everyday for a special subject. Yesterday was for general blessing and insight as I delve into my first real Lent, and that I might reach my ultimate goal of getting closer to the Lord. Today will be about abortion, and tomorrow will likely be about the sad state of our nation's economy. Even if you don't do anything else for Lent, you should definitely pray.

Penance
Penance is not about perverted self-injury as punishment for sins, it is more about prayer for and genuine repentance from your sins. Penance during Lent and other such seasons is usually practiced through self-denial, voluntary celibacy, etc. I'll be denying myself candy (see below) and celibacy won't be an issue for me, as I am an unmarried Christian and therefore can't have sex outside of marriage anyway. But I will pray for my sins and try not to commit anymore during Lent. I'll be behaving well. :D

Charity
I'm also going to do more good deeds. It doesn't hurt to just be nicer to people in general, and I'm going to donate a couple dollars here and there (which is all I can afford - but that's OK - Mark 12:41-43) to charities and church. I'm also going to donate 12 inches of my hair to Locks of Love sometime before Easter.

Self-denial
I'm giving up candy for Lent, as some of you may have seen in my recent status update to that effect. I will not eat candy until after church on Easter Sunday. I'm also going to make every attempt to complete a 24-hour fast on Holy Saturday. I've tried a few times in the past to pull a 24-hour fast, but I've only made it once. It's still worth a try, and I'm going to try really hard.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I am Not a Closed-Minded Person

I have been reading in Chapter 2 in my PSY 120 Intro to Psychology book about the parts of the brain that make up "you." It's pretty cool. Different parts handle memories, emotions, motivated behavior, thinking, etc.

Thinking about the mind got me thinking that I have been accused recently of being closed-minded. That could not be farther from the truth. There are a couple issues that I have my mind made up about, and if you catch me on a day when that's the topic of discussion, then you might get that impression of me. Those issues are drinking and it's related vices (smoking and drugs) and abortion. Until Proverbs 20:1 no longer says that wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler and whoever is led astray by them is not wise (among many other similar verses), I'm not drinking nor am I supporting it. Until the Ten Commandments no longer say thou shalt not kill, I'm not having an abortion nor am I supporting it. It's that simple.

But that doesn't make me a closed-minded person, it makes me a person who sticks to my beliefs. I don't try to be politically correct or popular, I try to be real.

That being said, there are definitely issues that I'm not 100% sure about. Like the death penalty, for instance. Part of me says that it's an appropriate punishment for the most heinous of crimes, but another part of me says that rotting away slowly all alone in a cold, metal jail cell is much more appropriate. I'd hear out arguments for either side. Just as long as they don't release the ones with high recidivism rates back out into society, I'm cool.

Another big one: gay marriage. I don't really see why we don't allow it. Sure it's a biblical sin, but there are plenty of other sinful things that are perfectly legal (LIKE drinking and abortion) that are much more harmful. I mean, unless gay people getting married suddenly starts causing car crashes and the deaths of babies, I've really got nothing against it. Again, I'd hear out arguments for either side.

So I hope no one's gotten the wrong impression of me due to hasty conclusions or sweeping generalizations or anything else of the like. Have a nice day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

So I was perusing Wikipedia out of boredom this morning and learned a whole lot about my own religion's forgotten traditions. The Twelve Days of Christmas, a.k.a. Christmastide, actually BEGIN on December 25 and continue through January 5, with January 6 being known as the Epiphany - the celebration of the revelation of God in human form. Today is the eleventh day of Christmas, or more commonly, the Twelfth Night.

It got me thinking about how much Christmas today has gotten away from the celebration of Christ's birth and life it used to be and how commercialized it has become. Christmas Eve, which itself was no special day in the original Christmastide, has become a holiday in it's own right to Americans. We have adopted a view of Christmas painted by 19th century writers, such as in Washington Irving's A Visit from St. Nicholas. From Wikipedia: "Irving's stories depicted harmonious warm-hearted holiday traditions he claimed to have observed in England. Although some argue that Irving invented the traditions he describes, they were widely imitated by his American readers. The poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas popularized the tradition of exchanging gifts and seasonal Christmas shopping began to assume economic importance."

I would like to start my own Christmastide tradition for next year. I want to START celebrating Christmas on December 25, not finish it. Imagine how much money you could save if you did all your shopping at the "after-Christmas" sales and gave everyone gifts on January 6! (Which also happens to be my dad's birthday, so there's a plus, lol.)

Here's my general plan: give gifts and have a big dinner with family on the 25th. After that it'll be low-key for a few days, reading the Bible and reflecting on Christ's birth and life everyday. On New Year's Eve (which also happens to be about half-way through Christmastide) have another big party, this time with friends. Continue the low-key reflection period until January 6, at which point small gifts will be given to immediate family only and all the Christmas decorations will come down. (Some modern traditions hold that it's bad luck to keep decorations up after Epiphany). Then it's back to life as usual.

So who's with me? Anybody want to celebrate Twelve Days of Christmas next year?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Losing my Weight

My freshman year of college I gained 22 pounds. In August 2007 I went on a 1200 Calorie per day diet, with a once a week "blow it day" built in that would allow me to eat however much I wanted for one day so that I would be more likely to stick to it for the other six. I ended up losing 30 pounds by July 2008. Unfortunately, I've spent the last semester gaining 5 of that back. So now I'm sitting on a fence where I will literally be considered "overweight" some days and "normal weight" the next, depending on how much I've eaten. I'm borderline healthy, but I hate the teeter-tottering. I'd like to drop 19 pounds from where I currently am to a nice, even 130. That will put me smack dab in the middle of the healthy range for my height and it'll probably drop me another dress size, which will do wonders for my self esteem.

So what I'm up to right now is I'm going back to the 1200 Calories per day thing. I'm also making sure that I add in a snack. I used to snack but had stopped doing it, which caused me to overeat at mealtimes. Now I'm going to be eating breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and dinner. I'm also going to be creating meal plans for up to a week in advance. When you try to wing it, you often end up eating more Calories than you should because you don't realize how many Calories are in the things you're eating. You also tend to overeat because if you don't have a plan, you'll eat whenever food becomes available - like everytime you pass a vending machine. You'll pass that machine up if you know you've got a protein bar in your purse or a bag lunch waiting for you at the office.

I went to the store today and stocked up on my old reliable survival foods - the 100-Calorie packs. I've got them in a bunch of different varieties. I also bought some Vanilla Coke Zero (I LOVE Vanilla Coke), some water, and some protein items. I got some pink lemonade protein water packets to put in my water. They have 30 Calories but they also have 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, which is not only good for you but it makes you feel full. I bought some double chocolate protein bars too. They taste amazing, have 180 Calories, and have 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. This probably sounds like a diet food advertisement by now, but I'm serious, this stuff is good for dieting.

Last but not least, my favorite video game ever: Wii Fit! I love playing my Wii Fit and it helps me set goals, keep track of my weight, keep track of my BMI, and feel accomplished for completing each exercise activity. On top of exercising regularly with that, I'll be doing simple things like parking farther away from the door at the grocery store so I have to walk farther, taking the scenic route across campus between classes, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and staying more active in general.

So here's hoping I can lose that extra weight for my health, my self esteem, and for the feeling of accomplishment.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Future Goals

So, I've decided to add a new resolution to my list: write notes/blogs at least once a week. I used to blog on Xanga practically everyday when I was in high school and for a little bit after I started college, and I think it really did help me get out alot of feelings and alot of stress. I also really enjoy reading other peoples' musings, so perhaps writing some of my own would be a worthy pursuit.

People tend to succeed more in life when they make goals for themselves, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to set some goals for the next year, five years, and ten years. Here are my goals for the future, organized into manageable little chunks.

Between now and 2010
  1. Try alcohol once - maybe - and then probably never drink again.

  2. Get engaged? You never know! ;-) Haha.

  3. Make a 4.0 for both Spring and Fall 2009 semesters

Between 2010 and 2014
  1. Graduate from college at least Magna Cum Laude

  2. Get a career started

  3. Get married

  4. Get a house

Between 2014 and 2019
  1. Have my first child

  2. Start working from home

  3. Have my second child

  4. Go on my second honeymoon

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

So here they are, those infamous promises I make to myself at the beginning of the New Year. Let's see if I can stick them out.

1. Stick to my diet of 1200 Calories per day (I gave it up for the holidays)
2. Read the Bible (I bought a daily read-me-in-a-year type Bible, so it should be a little easier)
3. Work out every Wednesday - and any other time I have time for it
4. Relax