Feb Goal Accountability

24 Feb

1.  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

A+  It’s 2/20 and I’ve done 415 days in a row.

2.  Read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.

F-  My future is still up in the air, so I haven’t purchased textbooks yet.  When I find out though–I’ll be on it!

2a.  keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class. All semester.

C  This isn’t quite a thing, but I did pull some flashcards out of my stock to study for my interview.  Just in case they ask any technical basics.

3.  Collect a minimum of 2/mo positive moments in a jar

F-  I’ve yet to do this, but I might have things to put in after my trip to Utah.  Wait–I can put 2 things about my observation at the ENT yesterday.  I’ll do it right now.  

B–b/c of late effort.

3a.  listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.

D  I have been falling asleep quickly which means I’m slacking on this.

3b.  I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.

C  I haven’t actively been appreciative, but I did stop being sad about missing out.  Though I’d love to get DMB concert tickets and see Brandi at both Bonnaroo and SXSW, I have stopped feeling sorry for myself.  Seeing my coworkers at the Y miss out also, and realizing that MOST people miss out helped.

3c.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day. EVERY day.

A-  I have been SO much better with this!  Even though I was going to a new place to observe, and have an interview next week where I’m one of 30 vying for 8-15 class spots–it’s out of my control.  So I’m preparing where I can and leaving it alone otherwise.

4.  Dental health. Floss daily

D-  Because of tiredness.  I can’t wait to get away from the swing shift schedule because it makes my life harder.  My motivation is sapped by fatigue on most days.  But if I try to go to bed early, I lie there because my body has adapted to 12:30AM.  Only a few more months. . .

4a.  brush twice daily for an adequate time

A  Though flossing is not as much of a thing as it should be, this is routine.

4b.  find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

Depending on where my life and finances go, I don’t think this will be happening.  Maybe if I get some sort of health insurance through school it can happen.  Hopefully, my teeth don’t rot for lack of funds before then.

full turtle anatomy

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1: Get the money. Make it, keep it.

A+  I signed up for those extra corporate hours, and I have been putting that money away.

1a.  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

F- I’ve just been putting everything away.

1b.  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month

F-  Craigslist sucks.  But I haven’t taken the time to find an alternative, so we have a literal pile of things that can be sold in the path.  This needs to happen after my interview!

1bi.  have one yard sale.

F- I really wish I had a yard!  I think some of this pile would sell easily, but without a yard. . .  How?  Maybe I can take it to Nevada when I clean out my storage and have it in my parent’s yard.

1c.  Apply for every funding opportunity at UUuu garden 3

N/A  I’m waiting to find out.

1ci.  go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

N/A  ditto

2a.  read the journals (minimum of average of 1/wk)

C-  I have been reading journal articles on my breaks at work 3 days a week.

2ai.  e-mails

A+  I’ve been doing a lot of this, but it’s tedious and I will stop doing it multiple times a week once I’ve had my interview.

2aii.  forums

A  I checked out all the $$$$ topics on the audiology forums and then stopped looking because it was a little a lot discouraging that most people get loans.

2aiii.  national news

A++  Every day I get CNN over my FB notifications.  They take over, reading them is a full time job, and I don’t care.  I can’t wait to climb back under my rock after my interview-sheesh.

2b.  practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

B-  I’ve been slightly slacky, but I think it’s good not to sound too rehearsed.  I’m going to bring my answers and look at them at work over the next few days and maybe bring them on the bus.,

2c.  really follow-up on observing an AuD. I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU

A+  I cold-called the local ENT and actually got in!  I did 6.5 hours putting me over the min, and asked to come back in 2 weeks, which they approved.  I feel relieved about this one in particular.

new hay cut

#3: Cool.  Defined as:

3a) tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.

3b) Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).

3c) Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.

-So there was mania and the frustrations that go with that earlier in the month.  I could have ignored the irritability and argumentativeness (constant arguing!) a little better.  At the end of the month, she was more stable and I tried to be affectionate, but also could have done more.  So an overall C+.

pretty salmon salad

#4: Make a menu

F terrible.

4a.  do a grocery list

A  This happened.

4b.  grocery shop 1x/wk

D  I think Cool has gone alone, but at least it’s the Outlet, not more expensive stores.

4c.  cook 5 days of cooking per week grow it to all 7.

F—  How many minuses am I allowed to write?  I’m SO super lazy.  My dad would be horrified, but I really never cook at all.  No boiling water, not in the microwave, not even a sandwich.  If I can’t grab it and immediately put it in my mouth–or if Cool doesn’t prepare it–it’s not happening.  This is terrible and embarrassing, but difficult to get a routine for.

5a.  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

B- I’ve done the desk, the bookshelves, and the kitchen, but not a new spot every day.

bud (3)

March–go to bed early when I can, be productive!

AuD Interview Prep

23 Feb

Something has got to change!  I know it’s this swing shift schedule, but until that is possible, something else.  I slept almost 11 hours Sunday night, then was still so tired I took a 40 minute nap today.  I hate feeling low-energy and unmotivated so much!  I feel like I have more time then I’ve ever had before, but I’ve made very little of it.  By the time I almost catch up on sleep, I have to go back to work and that runs me down again.

Since September, I’ve tried to have good sleep hygiene and go to bed at the same time every day (12:30AM, b/c that’s what time I can on work days) but it’s for the birds.  I never adapted to becoming a night person.  Apparently you just can’t fight your body’s normal rhythms–and mine is an early bird.  My body wakes with the sun–no matter how tired I am.  And I’m very, very tired ALL the time.  So starting now (I took off work to go to my interview in Utah) I’ll be going to bed early on the days I can.

Here is my feeble attempt at preparing for interview questions I know I’ll get.  Normally, I would have liked to write good essay responses then attempt to memorize them to be super-prepared, but it’s just not possible when you’re tired all the time.  I feel lucky to have gained this much traction.  Anyway, I’m telling myself, too rehearsed won’t be authentic, so maybe it’s ok I just have general ideas this time.  Besides–even if I do perfectly and get accepted–who knows if I’ll actually be able to afford to attend.  Bummer, but realistic (see Saint George awfulness).

I’m mostly worried about the travel logistics at this point:  Will the Greyhound be cold?  Will I have to pay $40 +++ to check heavy luggage (I HAVE to take interview stuff), can we drop the rental car downtown or do we have to cab it to the airport and back, does the hotel have an iron (and do I know how to use it?), will campus driving and parking be slow, will I have to wear interview flats in a snow storm?!  So you see how the questions are a little bit of an afterthought.  I figure I’ll have plenty of time to think about them on the 18hr bus ride. . .

UU AuD Timeline Poster

1]  What are your strengths and weaknesses?

-4.0 S&H GPA

-experience in the Speech & Language Lab at Riverpoint

-tutoring my peers

-ambassador (presentation, camp, hearing screenings)

-clinical experience at vet hospitals

-organizational skills

-communication skills

-more life experience

-ability to prioritize

-I want to speak about reading/typing outlines of all my textbooks prior to each semester to familarize with the material and have good notes.  Also mention how I’m on 422 days in a row of running at least 1 mile first thing every morning. But without saying something cliche that everyone else will say, and without using any word which also has a negative connotation.[disciplined (conjures violence or spanking too much), industrious, persistent (coming from a place of adversity/failure or stubborn), intrinsically motivated (over-used), enterprising]

Cons:

-undergrad GPA that doesn’t reflect my potential.

-Because I switched career paths after earning my undergraduate degree, I do not have as much observation experience as I would like.  I am eager to participate in all the available career avenues and hone my clinical skills.

-As a perfectionist I have tended to fret about things beyond my control in the past.  Currently I am making a concerted effort to prepare for the things I can, and let the rest go.  I think gratitude is an enemy of worry as well, so I am working on thinking about things I am thankful for rather then fixating on details beyond my control.  

Write them down to organize your thoughts. Compose examples and situations where you have excelled in demonstrations of your strengths. Do not dwell or belabor weaknesses. It would be better to talk about areas you wish to improve and skills you want to perfect.

-example scenarios:

-areas I want to improve:

-My undergraduate GPA doesn’t reflect my potential, but I feel like my speech and hearing sciences 4.0 shows improvement in my time management skills.

-Because I switched career paths after earning my undergraduate degree, I do not have as much observation experience as I would like.  I am eager to participate in all the available career avenues and hone my clinical skills.  

 -Right now I’m working on worrying less.  In the past, my perfectionism made me fret over details beyond my control.  Lately, I am trying to prepare for things within my control, then let go of the rest.  Instead of defaulting to anxious thoughts, I’m making a concerted effort to have gratitude for what has gone right and what I do have.

2.  What is it about this particular job that interests you?

-personal fulfillment of helping people like my Dad who have NIHL, Menere’s DZ, and PTSD.

-it’s more regulated and standardized then vet med

-opportunity to work in many different areas, and across the age spectrum

 -autonomy

-the strategic aspect of finding the appropriate tests 

-getting to actually perform the clinical tests

-My favorite part of audiology is continuity of care.  It is a health field where you are autonomous and responsible for the patient throughout the process:  collecting a history and using it to strategically find and carry out the appropriate diagnostics, instead of refering.  Then, the education about the condition and treatment is carried out by the audiologist, and finally, the overall communication is remediated by an audiologist in order to improve quality of life.  It is personally gratifying helping people through the entire process.

A question like this is a good segue into informing the interviewer that you know something about the facility. It is appropriate to mention areas of expertise for which the institution might be known and how they might be of particular interest to you.


3.  What do you want to be doing five years from now?

-Five years from now would be my first year, completely out of school, as a professional.  I hope to be working in a place that offers the most aspects of the audiologists scope of practice.  Under someone willing to mentor me as necessary, but also willing to let me be independent when I am able.  Since I have undergraduate loans, expect to acquire more debt in an audiology program, and am confident I will have proficient skills, I also hope the pay in competitive.

-Before I cement a decision about what aspect of the career I want to participate in, I would like to gain more clinical experience in a variety of areas.

-Currently, my biggest interest is aural rehabilitation/habituation, but I feel that should be applied to any part of the field.

-Though I am not locked into any particular area right now, I see myself using my meticulus nature to identify hearing, balance, and overall communication issues, using the best clinical assessment techniques, and remediating those problems using a combination of technology and a long-term humanistic approach.  I’m eager to learn about each pathway!

This is a commonly asked question, the answer to which can be very telling about your thought processes as well as personal organization. If you cannot answer this question, you are possibly indicating a lack of direction. It does not give assurance to the prospective employer that you are worth the time and money they will be investing in you.

4.  Tell me about yourself.

-I have a bachelors of science in Animal Science with a minor in chemistry from the University of Missouri.  More recently, I completed my post-bachelorrette in the Speech and Hearing sciences at Washington State University.  

-Working in the Language Laboratory at Riverpoint opened my eyes to the type of research being conducted in the field, and combined with my more hearing-based classes, got me excited to contribute to this base of knowledge.  

-I am excited to enter into a profession where I have autonomy and can conduct my own diagnostics, because that was one of my favorite aspects of being a (paid) veterinary assistant for 14 years.

This is another revealing interview probe. It is called an open-ended question. You are forced to choose what you feel are the important aspects of your life and experiences. These questions are not just revealing about your past, but also show how you think on your feet and conduct yourself. Stay on the right track when answering this question. Talk about your professional life and not your personal interests. Begin by reviewing your educational background, clinical experiences and academic accomplishments. Sounds like your resume? It should, but with a personal touch.

5.  What can you contribute to this job?

-Tutoring my peers in speech & hearing sciences, used a lot of the same skills that will be required of an audiologist.  I looked back at my notes, flashcards, and study sheets which required organization.  I compassionately sensed deficits, and confirmed them through sensitive communication.  Then, I presented information and tips in a coherent and entertaining way, paying close attention to learning progress, attention, and remaining confusion.

-the same meticulous nature that helped me transcribe language samples of toddlers and their communication partners in the language lab will help me analyze symptoms and histories and carry out the proper diagnostic tests in order to diagnose and remediate communication issues.

-the same compassion for people that I show for animals.

Your emphasis in answering this question should be on your strengths and accomplishments, and how they might integrate with the job and the facility.

———–

What made you decide to pursue a career in [your profession]?

-I found the profession while researching potential careers.  Audiology fit me best because I can directly help people and there are many areas within the scope of practice.  Also, it did not hurt that my Dad has had hearing loss for as long as I can remember and I was motivated to give people like him a better chance.

How did you investigate a career in [your profession]?

-I was very driven to find a career path outside of veterinary medicine, because I had never entertained any other options for myself.  I made a list of things I liked about the veterinary field and those I really did not like, and sought out a profession that kept the positive traits while minimizing the more negative aspects.  

+ using my compassion to help, feeling like I am making a difference, educating, performing diagnostics, having many areas within the scope of practice.

–no upward mobility without a higher degree, people seeing pets as expendable objects that aren’t worth treating, little regulation, unrealistic work hours

What skills have you developed outside the classroom?
How have your personal and volunteer experiences strengthened your goal to enter [your profession]?

I recently observed at the local ENT and left with more enthusiasm for the profession.  I recognized a lot of the procedures and diagnostic tests from my textbooks and lectures, but became excited by the people.  For instance, I had severely underestimated the adorableness of VRA just reading about it.  Seeing a 20 month old react with such delight made me anticipate working with a real caseload.  Working with a geriatric CI-user also made me excited to work with that population.  I had already been interested in the procedures and the science, but adding the people made it that much better!

What has been your favorite non-science course and why?

I always enjoyed writing.  It is a useful skill, and there are many formats to use and gray areas.  Also, I think it’s a good skill to have.

Why do you want to become a [your profession]?
What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome?

I applied to veterinary programs many times, and was either rejected or could not afford to attend.  It was difficult looking beyond my childhood aspirations to find practical careers that exemplified my talents.  It also required a lot of diligence and a positive attitude not to let failure hold me back a make me bitter.  I started from square one and put my all into speech and hearing sciences.  Not only was it rewarding to achieve a 4.0 GPA, and work as a tutor to help others, I feel like this was my proper place all along–I just hadn’t known it existed.

What teamwork experiences have you had?

-camp Na-Hash-Nee, campus health fairs

What branch of [your profession] most interests you?

I’m hesitant to pick one because I do not want to limit myself before I have clinical experience.  –So far I like aural rehab, but I think that carries over into every aspect.  

-Seeing the children during my ENT observation made me entertain working with them.  But I also liked working with the geriatric CI-user.

What issues confront [your profession] today?

-I am reading a lot about insurance companies only covering one hearing aid for people with bilateral hearing loss.  At the same time I am seeing more and more research on the relationship between hearing loss and clinical depression and dementia.  I think the latter research will give more legitimacy to the audiology field and hopefully, with that appropriate funding will follow.

-Also, I read that the average person waits 7 years between the initial diagnosis of hearing loss and getting fitted with a hearing aid.  The dementia research in addition to the quick rise of technology, may help motivate people to get help sooner.

Why are you interested in this particular school?

I think it is important to gain clinical competency as early in school in possible, and I like University of Utah’s model of shadowing a 2nd year student during the 1st semester, then gaining direct hours starting the 2nd semester.  

I also read each student has clinical placements in 3 different settings prior to their 4th year externship, and I think that would be invaluable experience.  

Finally, the psychoacoustics and receptive speech research labs present unique opportunities to gain more knowledge and present possible funding opportunities that could offset tuition costs.

What have been the strengths and weaknesses of your college preparation?

-My hard-science classes such as chemistry, physics, genetics set me apart from many students and give me good background information for audiology.  

-My psychology courses combined with community service, teaching, tutoring, and veterinary experience prepares me well for human interaction across the age spectrum.

-If I had to determine a weakness it would be my undergraduate GPA.  But that number does not reflect what I learned from those courses, or my ability to succeed in a difficult program.  That GPA is actually a strength because I earned it while working at a demanding veterinary job (sometimes 3 at a time) and while participating in community service and extracurriculars.  I have shown that I am capable of earning higher grades, even while working, now that I’ve done it for years now.

What is your biggest concern about entering professional school?

Because I am not independently wealthy, I am concerned about my student loan debt accumulating to an unmanageable level.  Because finances play a big role, I am willing to do whatever it takes to secure the best package I can for myself.  That said, I came from a pre-veterinary background, where veterinarians (very competitive and saturated in small animal private practice jobs) are paid relatively low, and have the highest debt to income ratio of any professional.  Just as I wasn’t then, I am not in it now, for the money.  I am actually happy with the average salaries earned by audiologists and confident the AuD will enable me to secure a good job in a timely fashion.  

What has been your greatest achievement?

I am proud about earning 10 scholarships.  Because I am not independently wealthy, I worked very hard to apply for every scholarship I was remotely qualified for, and it paid off.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Describe an experience you had helping others.
If you are accepted to multiple schools, how will you make your decision?

I would love to pick the school that offers the best research, most varied clinical experience, and best externship opportunities, but ultimately I have to keep an eye on keeping my student loans to a minimum.

What have you read recently in the press about [your profession]?

-England’s audiology troubles:  More patients, less time/patient, and insurance covering only 1 hearing aid.

-How technology is evolving and smart-phones are being adapted to ALDs, mouth-gadgets are being produced and studied to remediate hearing issues.

-I read a study based in Australia that showed initial audiology appointments are following a paternal model, instead of a patient-centered one, despite research that shows having a voice in the decision-making process increases patient-compliance.

What do you believe in?

-Primarily I believe in ethics.  That extends from upholding my personal values, even when it is not easy, to practicing audiology in a compassionate, humanistic way.

What do you care about?
How does your sense of caring express itself?
What is your favorite type of teaching style? How do you best learn a new subject?

-I learn best through tactile or kinetic practice.  I write vocab words or statistics on flash cards to study.  I also draw pictures of mnemonics on study sheets in order to learn information.  It helps me to see how something is done, then to actually do it myself with some guidance and support, then do it in repetition individually.  

Who knows you the best in this world?
How would that person describe you, and what advice have they provided you?
Who are your heroes?
What person, past or present, would you most like to meet?
What makes you a better applicant than others?
How do you relax?
Describe your best teacher and what made her or him unique.
What was the last book you read?
Describe an experience where you were misjudged.
Who are your senators? Congressmen? Governor?
What was your most difficult or demoralizing experience?
What is the difference between sympathy and empathy?

Sympathy is having compassion for another’s situation.  Empathy is actually feeling what the other person does because you have personally experienced a similar situation–it is more extreme then sympathy.

Is there anything you want to brag about or that you need to explain?
What is the toughest thing about being a patient?

Putting your health in the hands of another, and having to trust someone else.  I think this difficulty can be combated with a lot of communication combined with compassion.  If someone feels educated about their condition, diagnostics, and procedures they feel more in control of their fate.  If they feel compassion they are more at ease. 

What type of criticism upsets you?
Why did you choose this school?
What will you do next year if you don’t get into this program?

I will continue to observe audiology and apply to more schools in the next application cycle.

Is this school your first choice?
Is there anything I haven’t asked you that you want to tell me?

————–
What you should NOT talk about at the interview:

Good conversation keeps things lively, interesting and informative. However, there are some issues and topics you should avoid during discussions about you and your job.

Your personal life
Gossip about other professionals or job candidates
Politics (professional or general) and religion
Anything you know nothing about
Negative conversational topics
What about when it’s your turn to ask the questions?

You should be prepared to ask questions, not just to impress the people with whom you meet, but to find out some very practical details about the job.

What are the specifics of my job duties, and what is expected of me?
What are the goals of the facility?
Where is this facility headed regarding managed care?
How secure and permanent are jobs?
What sort of interactions can I expect from my supervisors?
Is research done here?
Is there support for professional growth?
Are there educational benefits?
What are other benefits like health, pension, sick and holiday leave?

Valentine’s Day Year #10 [Sex Edition]

13 Feb

I think this topic may be my most consistent post.  Happy decade of annual posts to me!  TEN years in a row I have managed to address the ills of this “holiday.”  That’s exciting, and even though I’m very tired and short of time, here’s me making it happen.

I try each year to convey why Valentine’s Day is fake and ultimately negative.  See my “Valentine’s” Tag for prior topics which include feminism, environment, and capitalism among other things.  I really do hate this “holiday” and hope I won’t have to be inundated with it at work Saturday.  Hair salons are the WORST on Valentine’s day, followed by schools, but I imagine the YMCA will not be able to ignore the day, and I’m dreading that.  This year I will focus on. . .  Sex.  The inevitable conclusion of the day.  How could I have just remembered to write about THIS?!  

-the holiday emphasizes the man wining/dining and spoiling women with gifts. This emphasizes women as receivers, and passive. It also is a little prostitution-positive = You give me (women) valuable things and I’ll have sex with you (men)!

strange to see Bunny Ranch on my Facebook wall
-more prescriptions are written for Viagra around Valentine’s Day than any other time of year.  Which should tell you everyone is gearing up for the final moment.

– See more at: http://www.redhot.org/news/national-condom-day/#sthash.uRJgwOua.dpuf

Kidron's NV pics 069
-the condom industry sales increase by 20-30% around this day (it’s also national condom day–no joke)

So we can ascertain that all the Valentine’s hype DOES in fact lead to this logical conclusion:  Sex.  And as we know there are a lot of consequences of sex, and contemplating and preventing those issues is notoriously not our strong point as humans.  Here is some information about some of those–which do play a part on February 14th.

Amazing_Electron_Microscope_Photos_Mosquito_Head-1mdCU
-In their study, Grimley and her colleagues focused on 224 men — all with STD symptoms — who sought treatment in a Birmingham STD clinic. The average age was 26. In face-to-face, private interviews, each was asked the same set of questions. Among them:

How often have you used a condom in the past month?
How long have you been using condoms?
Do you have any intention of starting condom use?
Why do you use condoms?
Do you wear condoms for STD prevention or to protect your partner from pregnancy and disease?
Why don’t you use condoms?
And the results:

80% reported that most people their age did not use condoms consistently. They also said that 61% of people their age had gonorrhea.
81% acknowledged sexual contact with two or more partners during the preceding six months.
45% reported sexual relationships that overlapped.
65% said they had been diagnosed with one or more STDs in the past.
Of those men with one main sexual partner, two-thirds were not motivated to use condoms.

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20040126/many-men-dont-use-condoms?page=2

http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/MarketInsight/Consumer-Goods/Global-Condom-Industry/NI8052

610

STDs are not only a social ill, but they are financially costly to everyone:

-CDC’s new [2/13/13] estimates show that there are about 20 million new infections
in the United States each year, costing the American healthcare system
nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs alone.
America’s youth shoulder a substantial burden of these infections.
CDC estimates that half of all new STIs in the country occur among
young men and women. In addition, CDC published an overall estimate of the number of prevalent STIs in the nation. Prevalence is the total number of new and existing infections at a given time. CDC’s new data suggest that there are more than 110 million total STIs among men and women across the nation.
-STIs place a significant economic strain on the U.S. healthcare system. CDC conservatively estimates that the lifetime cost of treating eight of the most common STIs contracted in just one year is $15.6 billion.
http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf

Is it any accident that National Adoption Month is 9 months after Valentine’s Day? Only speculation, here. . .

So that’s really icky.  Also, let’s not forget HIV/AIDS is an ever-present threat on the scene and any holiday that emphasizes that we must copulate threatens to make this scare even bigger than it already is.  How about a day in which caution is practiced?!

33621_456830357625_596627625_5259997_1855811_n
-at-home pregnancy tests also see a spike in sales in March (early at home pregnancy test month–for reals!).  It’s the highest sales month all year, as a matter-of-fact.
-Consumers spend more than $15 million on pregnancy and infertility test kits during the second, third and fourth weeks of March, with the third week of March ranking number one in sales.

http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsen/en_us/documents/pdf/Press%20Releases/2008/Feb/Nielsen%20U.S.%20Consumers%20Sweet%20on%20Chocolate%20for%20Valentine%E2%80%99s%20Day.pdf

Another obvious conclusion to romantic nights are the pregnancies that stem from them.  Many of them unplanned, unaffordable, or at worst–unwanted.
-Currently, about half (51%) of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the United States each year (3.4 million) are unintended.  In 2008, there were 54 unintended pregnancies for every 1,000 women aged 15–44. In other words, about 5% of reproductive-age women have an unintended pregnancy each year.[6]
• By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and three in 10 will have had an abortion.[7].
• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is significantly higher than the rate in many other developed countries.[8]  In 2008, two-thirds (65%) of the 1.7 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid. In comparison, 48% of births overall and 36% of births resulting from intended pregnancies were funded by these programs.[13]
• In 14 states and the District of Columbia, at least 70% of births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public programs. Mississippi was the state with the highest proportion (83%), and the District of Columbia’s proportion was 90%.[13]
• Total public expenditures for births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide were estimated to be $12.5 billion in 2008. Of that, $7.3 billion were federal expenditures and $5.2 billion were state expenditures.[13]

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Unintended-Pregnancy-US.html

crabby

So though I did much cut & pasting this year (I apologize) because of my work schedule and residual tiredness, I’m sticking with my opinion, Valentine’s day is full of bad side-affects, among them STDs and pregnancy along with all the fallout that goes along with those two things.  Please reconsider supporting such a day.  And if you must celebrate, and have sex, remember to be responsible and take so many precautions.

Feb Goal Accountability

3 Feb

A] run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

A+.  Even when I had bronchitis and didn’t feel well at ALL, I did this.  Slowly, and with breaks.  But I did it.

B] Read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall. 1) keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class. All semester.

C.  Well, I’m not sure if I’m admitted yet, so I don’t want to spend $$$ on textbooks.  I have been outlining unfinished Audiometry chapters though.  Boy–I am rusty on school stuff.  I’m going to need to review everything BIG time before school does start.

C] Collecting minimum of 2/mo positive moments in a jar

C.  Thus far.  I put 1 in.  I need to make mental notes better in Feb.
1) listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.

C-.  When I sleep well, this doesn’t really happen (most days this month).  Lately, if I’m wakeful I do it.

2) I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.

F.  I need to make a bigger effort in this area.  I was dispproportionaately sad about missing ANY dave matthews band concert, Brandi Carlile, Reno Balloon Races, and the Bristol Night Race because of $$ and school-timing. . .

balloon ride

3) Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day. EVERY day.

A.  I think I’m finally a different person in the area.  At least the way my non-stressful life is set up right now.  We’ll see how easy it is once moving, money, and school ramp up.

D] Dental health. Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time

C-.  At the beginning of the month I did awful work on this one.  Now, I’m getting into more of a routine again.

1) find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

F.  I’m not sure how I’m going to financially going to do this when I have to save for moving and school. . .

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

Bronco sunset

#1: Get the money. Make it, keep it.money

B-.  I have been covering other people’s shifts at work.  But I have not been able to save any money, because of costly travel arrangements for a possible interview.

a) I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

N/A  Does this still count if I just apply my tax return into my savings??!

b) Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month

D.  I made one attempt on Flake’sList.  I hate that nobody follows through, and it’s a lot of effort for little monetary return.  Also, I read on the news (I’ve been reading news!) about all the crazies that go through CL so I’m put-off by that.  I need to amend this to find some other online means to sell things.
i] have one yard sale.

N/A.  This is not the season, and I think I’ll have to have it at my parent’s house–for a yard and to incorporate my storage unit.  In the spring or summer.

c) Apply for every funding opportunity at UU

N/A.  I’m not yet a student there.
i] go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

N/A.  We’ll see if I AM a student.

#2: All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a) read the journals (minimum of average of 1/wk)

D.  I read a few articles, but didn’t keep up with my timeline.
i] e-mails

C.  I tried to catch up on the e-mails from my professional organizations, but got overwhelmed with all of them plus news.
ii] forums

C.  I did look at current discussions, but didn’t do any extra searches yet.
iii] national news

A++.  And this is apparently a full-time job.  I HATE how much news there is, and I care about it a lot less then I probably should.

b) practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

D.  I’ve done this about 3 times, but I’ve been a little slack-ee with it.  Now that my (potential) date is approaching, I’m getting serious about it.  Boy, do I hope I GET an interview.  I lost a lot of money/time over it.  Not to mention I have no viable back-up plan.  Again. . .

c) really follow-up on observing an AuD. I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU.

D.  I updated and printed my resume to convey my observation intentions.  And I even made it up to the front door of the ENT building before turning back chickening out.  On the door was a bunch of MD, MD, OD, but no AuD.  So my uncertainty and nervousness made me abort my mission.  Now I have to make a phone call–and you know I’ll procrastinate on that for awhile.  Next week, I promise myself.

Clear Lake--Silverton

#3: Cool.
I define this as:
a) tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.

b) Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).
c) Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.

B.  Cool neutral at the beginning of the month and a little ornery now.  It’s hard to break old habits and play into drama (I think she’s going manic) but I mostly managed it.  I gave tons of praise for her running, and suggested begged her to call her doctor about these latest bipolar signs.  My reactions are on the upswing, and that’s good.

#4: Make a menu

D.  I haven’t made menus exactly, but I have been eating the same items on rotation.
-do a grocery list

A+.  And we have stuck with it for the most part.

c) We can grocery shop once weekly

A++.  MUCH better.  We went to Grocery Outlet 3 of the 4 Sundays this month-yay for us!

-cook.

b) start with 5 days of cooking per week grow it to all 7.

D-.  I tried to start a routine at first.  Then fell quickly back to my lazy ways.

#5: Prepare, but don’t stress out.

b) Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

A.  Done and done.  This was easy once the ball was in my court.  I had to wait for the Y to get their act together (they are so SLOW) to get my W2s.  Then I did it the 1st day I had them.  Now to receive my refund. . .

c) Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

B-.  I haven’t done a new area each day off, but I have done at least 2 a week.  Now I need to find a way to sell stuff or donate it.

d) Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

In February–find a place to donate things to.  Donate them.

Blouse Grouse

27 Jan

I don’t own a single blouse. Which gets ridiculous if I have to dress professionally, have some occasion to attend, or an interview. I have tons of clothes, but not one nice looking–or even passable shirt.

The big-boss at work said he gets all his professional wear from this thrift store near my apartment. Since I hate spending money on clothes I don’t even really want or wear often, I thought that was genious. And my mom attributed my success (that comes later in the post) to my petite size.  Which I concur is an advantage.  Buying professional wear thrift had never occurred to me before, and I had been cheaping-out best I could at WalMart.

Once I got to the store, I really liked it. It was clean and they had hung everything up, rather then stuffing a mish-mash of stuff as thrift stores usually do. The only thing I hate more then shopping, is rifling through a random, disorganized pile. And trying on clothes AT the store.

But being motivated to spend less, I put on my big-girl panties and looked for blouses.  Turns out I don’t own any blouses, because I’m just not a blouse person.  They are non-breathable fabrics, too tight, too low, or too froo-froo for me.  I want a modestly cut, comfortable, breathable shirt that doesn’t showcase any of my pieces.  Apparently, that’s not a thing.  I really didn’t like any of the blouse options.

But I did see a lot of sweaters.  And They are professional (enough) and warmer.  Also, they tend to cover more skin and not be as tight-tight-tight.  So I bought a LandsEnd power-yellow, Charter Club sparkle-plum, Croft & Barrow forest, Eddie Bauer ocean-blue, Polo Jeans Company chocolate brown, and North Crest lavender.  Make no mistake, I could care LESS about brand names.  I actually loathe the practice of paying more for a similar product just because it features some designer name.  I bought these sweaters primarily for the colors.  And they weren’t allowed to be low-cut or too tight.  Anyway, I scored!  They were all for under $20!  SIX name-brand, perfectly new-looking sweaters, with no stains, tears, or problems.  Which if you’ve ever looked at department store sweater prices–you know is amazing.  One sweater could easily cost $30–and usually they’re more.  So now I have a week’s worth of professional attire that I can wear to class and in my career.  That is–if I am accepted to school (small details).

I have no idea what I’ll wear in hot weather–is there a blouse-alternative?!  But I’m set for winter and air conditioning.  Next–pants.  I’ll go back after a couple of paychecks to get some professional-looking pants for school, clinics, my externship, and eventual work.  Again, IF I’m accepted to my audiology program. . .

How I Accomplished a Daily Mile

20 Jan

I didn’t have a FitBit on January 2, 2014–the day I began my mile runs.  But here’s statistics from mid-Jan 2014 to exactly 1 year after that:

in 1 year I took exactly 3,518,249 steps, which is 1,2738.26 miles.  Actually, it’s not exact because of times I forgot to wear the FitBit (not often) or when I took steps but my FitBit wasn’t counting them because the battery had died unbeknownst to me (too often).

The week I took the most steps was May 12-18.  Because I was finished with school for the semester and apparently studying had made me stir-crazy.  Which explains why my week with the least steps (only 2.7 miles) was April 21-27.  My best single day was Nov 15 = 13.6 miles!  This was because of running and work.

Now that you see in the data that it’s totally 100% true, I’ll share how I managed to run at least 1 mile every day (and increase my overall activity level over the year).

uphill rd

-3 words underlie the majority of the success of this goal:  In a row or Break the chain.  As in, once you get so many days in a row, no amount of laziness, sickness, or business will allow you to “break the chain.”  Seriously, there WERE many days I did not want to run my mile.  Realizing I’d be throwing away 40, or 100, or 377 days in a row of keeping my goal = MOTIVATION.  All caps necessary.  I encourage anyone wanting to really succeed at any goal to do it “in a row” so you will not under any circumstance want to break the in-a-row streak.

-Make it a priority.  It’s cliche for a reason.  It also is a big factor in keeping any goal.  I put my run first.  If I had an exam to study for–I planned ahead and studied earlier to make time to finish my daily run.  If I had to be at work at 4AM (this is real life) I woke up at 3AM to finish my mile FIRST.  When I traveled, I took my sneakers, and found a route the night before.  Because I told myself I WAS doing the mile no matter what else was going on–I arranged things in my life so it would get done.

-Do it first thing–very first so your brain can’t conjure up excuses reasons not to.  I am the best at coming up with reasons to go back on my self-promise and start. . .  Tomorrow.  Perpetually tomorrow.  I’m tired.  I’m hungry.  Now I’ve put food and water in my stomach so I might barf if I run.  There’s nothing to wear.  I don’t want to drive anywhere and deal with parking–to run.  My neighborhood is dangerous.  Work called me in at the last minute and there’s no longer time.  I should be studying.  I mean, once my mind is awake there are more then a billion reasons why I can’t run today.  Stumbling directly out of bed and into my sneakers doesn’t give my mind time to formulate any excuses.  By the time I’m thinking–I’ve finished a mile.

-I also, made my goal as easy as possible for myself.  Which took some self-evaluation.  I know I’m a fair-weather runner.  I could tell myself–“I’ll be tough, I’ll get out of my box and be a big girl, I’ll FORCE myself to run in rain and snow.”  But it’s not super-practical.  Let’s be real–that’s not going to happen.  I looked inward and said:  I know I’m lazy.  I don’t want to go anywhere to get the run done.  I don’t like having to make myself presentable.  I hate driving places.  I’m not a fan of rain/snow.  I’ll never go outside and run if it’s less then 60 degrees.  And sure, maybe all these things make me a baby, and I should work on THOSE.  But really, I’m trying to work on running.  So I worked with myself.  I bought a treadmill on Craigslist.  That way I could roll out of my bed (scrubbin’), go only as far as my living room, and have no excuses!  Whatever your scene–just be honest with yourself and do what you can to make it easy.

-Did I mention I’m lazy?  Totally true.  I swear.  I know you’re reading that I managed to run a mile for 365 days in a row (actually as of today it was 384 days) so you think I’m an insane, super-strict, disciplined runner-type fitness freak.   Nope (I swear!) I’m not.  My favorite activity is watching TV.  Which is why my favorite day of the week is Sunday–when nothing is scheduled.  I love carbs more then anyone should, and routinely partake in Ben & Jerry’s.  I’m so lazy, that even though I worked 4 more hours/wk then required (during busy school) in order to get a free gym membership–I have NEVER used it.  Read–I work at a gym (YMCA, actually), yet have never worked out there.  That’s me.  So if I can make a mile a day happen–anyone can.  Wanting it was a huge part of the goal.  I wanted the bragging rights (which after 100 days in a row you are completely entitled to), and I wanted to show myself I could get it done.

-Get enough sleep.  You’ll just feel more fresh and energetic come morning.  Plus, it’s good for your overall health.  The military did a study that showed sleeping 7 hours a night for a week (a.k.a. missing 1 hour/night of sleep) had the same effects as a blood alcohol level over the legal driving limit.  Yes, your cognitive powers, coordination, and demeanor are the same as a drunk person’s when you get less then 8 hours of sleep/night.  True story!  So set yourself up for success and mind your sleep hygiene:  Sleep at least 8 hours, go to bed at the same time nightly, etc. . .

-Less important–get your family and friends trained that you are unavailable before your mile.  It’s certainly not essential to have outside support.  After all–you can only control YOU.  But if you make it clear you’re not available to do chores/hang out/work/whatever before your goal run is over–you’ll be surprised at how your support system not only helps create that time–but DEFENDS that time to others.  Now you have running goal bodyguards to help protect your running time.

-Change it up.  I LIKE the treadmill.  I’ve said it before, and it’s true.  Not everybody does.  If you don’t, go outside or to a gym.  Change your route–or your music.  Buy a new pair of shoes.  If you have to be on the T.M. make it fun.  Change the incline, set small goals for yourself, create an interval routine.  You can even make things exciting by watching TV while you run, listening to music, or creating a special playlist you’re only allowed to listen to while you run.  I do something different on the T.M. every day.  Every.  Day.  No two runs are the same.  So keep it fresh to keep your motivation alive.  And set goals, whether it’s speed, calories, distance, or BPM–just work toward stuff.

bumpy rd

-That’s how I did it, but some people also swear by a workout buddy.  It helps keep them accountable and provides a social outlet.  And while I like my alone time, and prefer making the running ME time, where I get to focus on my own inner thoughts and do something nice for my body–that might work for you.  But hold yourself accountable–because this is about sticking it out, not having someone drag you.

So all you have to do is want it and start.  Don’t break that chain!

A Month Wasted

19 Jan

I finished my last final December 17th. Which meant technically that I was free. And I had have big, big plans to really be productive for this semester off.

-I want to clean/organize/pack everything, donate things, or preferably sell them for a profit.
-go through my school stuff, organize, and consolidate it.
-prepare for an interview by reading news, journals in my field, reviewing lecture materials, and planning what I want to say and how to downplay things I don’t.
-I want to observe an AuD.
-And of course do those pesky little things that always get moved to the bottom of the to-do list, like cook meals, play with my cats, and keep in touch with people better.

And obviously do my taxes, complete the FAFSA, pack, move, secure school funding, and read and outline my 1st semester textbooks before school begins.

bee 3

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve maximized this time out of school so far. I went right to house-sitting after classes got out, into Christmas, into New Years, and now I’ve been working extra to afford my interview trip. Also, because of work and tiredness, and I guess just general disorganization from the work/tiredness things have not been happening like I want. BUT it’s not too late to change things! I just need a plan and I need to break things into small, manageable steps.

First, I’m going to log what I’m currently doing with my time to see where I’m losing it. The days just seem to fly past without my knowledge and without much productivity.

Finding energy will be a big step in DOING things. So even if I have to caffeinate, I think it’ll be worth it.

Then, I need to do small tasks toward the big tasks.

turtle family

Also, I need to be happy about what I HAVE done:

-cleaned the pet-closet, reorganized my bookmarks, cleaned the coat closet, wrote Christmas thank you cards, followed through with weekly grocery shopping, organized under the bathroom sink, read my “Get into Grad School” book, started reading “The Alchemist” during my breaks at work, consolidated 6 school binders into 3 (I really need 3″-4″ binders), got through my 2014 albums to write the blog, got my scrapbook up to date, and bought my bus/hotel stuff for the potential interview.  So that’s something–but not enough considering I’m out of school and work part-time.

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