Saturday, January 22, 2011

The 5 Rs - Reading, Riting, Rithmatic, Rats, and Recession

Another change to the blog address... sorry to anyone that has me bookmarked. I think I'll be sticking with this one, though.

Not much in the way of creativity happening at my casa right now. In the past week, I have acquired two testy pet rats, grad school has started back up, and I've been looking for a job. Maybe those things should be addressed one at a time....

First, there are Bert and Ernie....

Ernie is the one looking at the camera. Don't ask what got into me, or made me decide pet rats were a good idea... looking back, I am not really sure. I've never had rats before. They are supposed to be more intelligent and more loving that other small animals, like hamsters or gerbils. For some reason, small, furry, caged animal = great idea. 

I found a listing for these guys on Craigslist. Someone was selling their cage and taking the rats was optional. My first thought was, what the heck is going to be done with them if someone takes just the cage?? So, we rescued these guys. I guess that is good, but I think these guys need rat social services.... or rat therapy... or something. They were fed through the bars of their cage (BAD idea... never do this with an animal), they were not properly socialized, plus I think they were probably tormented by the kids that owned them previously. Bert, in particular, bites, and does not like to be held. Ernie does not have as many problems with it, or so I thought, but judging by how much I got pooped on yesterday, I may be wrong. And boy, do they poop... everywhere... all over everything... why they cannot do it in their litter box, or AT LEAST, in the bottom of their cage, I do not know... the concept does not seem that hard to grasp to me.

Anyhow, I need to revise my rat handling techniques for poopy emergencies, I guess. Hopefully things will work out - they will calm down, and learn that being handled and brought out of the cage is fun, and that pooping should happen in designated areas. At the moment, however, I'm kind of frustrated and regretting the whole idea - sigh.

In addition to rat adjustment, grad school as started back up...

One of my favorite pictures, from a study session in my first semester. Oh Advanced Psychopathology, you so silly!

Ahhh grad school... what to think of you. I'm still not sure. At this point, I am planning to finish up my MA in experimental psych. I'll be working on my thesis this semester, along with taking a couple of classes. One is Psych and Law, which I'm really quite excited about. I have had several classes on Psych and Law in the past with the same professor, as well as taking my undergrad honors program classes with her. She is a wonderful teacher and person, and I always enjoy her classes, so I'm pretty pumped for this one. I like her classes because A) I think she is very fair in the amount of work she assigns, and B) they always make me challenge my own thoughts and opinions on things. 

I'm also teaching again - hooray! I really do enjoy teaching. I'm a TA for a lab section of a psych research and methods class. I have a full group of 16 this semester, and so far, they seem engaged and willing to ask questions, which makes me very happy.

In addition to this, I'm planning to start working on an AS in computer science at the local community college. I just think that computers will end up being a better line of work for me, and offer a LOT more job opportunities. I only need around 24 credit hours to do it, since I already have a lot of the requirements from doing a BA. I'll have to pay completely out of pocket, though. Right now, I'm waiting to see if I'm going to get any additional financial aid before I register. If so, then I should be able to afford it.

So, we have school, and rats... I've also been trying to find a job

I have no relevant photo to go with job hunting, so I decided to just share something cute.
Maybe I can make it relevant... job hunting has put me in my little box of sadness... where are you friends? FRIENDS!?!?! :((  I'm not sure anything is quite as depressing as trying to find a job (particularly in this economy) when you have a "useless" BA. I don't think it is useless, mind you. I think the work I've done in psych qualifies me to work in HR, or PR, or any number of things. I've learned how to deal with people, how to listen to them, how to write well, how to proof read, how to research, how to analyze data, how to design projects... but my degree isn't in HR, or business, or marketing, or whatever, and my on-the-job experience is limited. This = fail. I'm having trouble finding anything I'm qualified for aside from call center positions. Now, I am not a very picky person, but I am trying to avoid call centers. Nothing takes it out of me quite as much as being on the phone 8 hours a day. I could do it, but doing it, plus teaching, and working on two degrees... that might be a bit much.

I still need to tweak my resume, put in for a few things I saw, and maybe see about the career office at school helping me find some other opportunities. It is just such a downer, when you know there are so many things you could do well, but you don't meet the qualifications on paper.

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