March Goal Accountability

1 Apr

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

A+.  Though if I’m really tired and sore, I accomplish it with quarter mile breaks.  Example:  Run 0.25mi then wash dishes, run to .5mi and set out clothes for the day, run to .75mi and push back my cuticles, then finish out the mile.  So they’re not long breaks, but the mile isn’t continuous.  I consider it intervals, and it’s OK (and still perfectly legit).

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

N/A.  This may not be a thing at all.  See waitlist post.

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

N/A.  Ditto to the above.

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

C+.  I added one already and know what the next will say.  I just haven’t physically written it down yet.  Maybe after my nap. . .

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

F+.  My sleep has been terrible, but I’ve been thinking about school/work/moving logistics/my life plan.  I have intended to distract myself with gratitude, but make it through 1-2 things before either worrying or sleeping (rarely) more.

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

D-.  I haven’t been UNappreciative per say, just distracted.

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

C.  I could be doing a TON worse considering the stressful circumstances of the moment.  I am not falling apart, and I’m not overwhelmed with stress (yet).  I could be doing better in this area though.

4.  Dental health. Floss daily

C.  When I’m tired (on work days) this slides.  I’ll get better in 3 weeks–when I am done with swing shift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4a.  brush twice daily for an adequate time

A+.  This has been happening.

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

N/A, but now that I may not have to pay for tuition, I’m considering getting Care Credit again once we’re in Salt Lake City.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

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

A-.  Other then buying books at our 2nd favorite Spokompton establishment, I didn’t spend one extra penny this month.  And it was fairly unintentional.  That will work out well for the move.

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

F-.  I’ll start once we stabilize after the move.

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

F-.  CL sucks!  And I posted items on 3 other sites and haven’t gotten any hits.  So it may be donation time :-(

1bi.  have one yard sale.

N/A.  I’m considering an open apartment before we move–maybe invite co-workers to look at stuff.  Or maybe I’ll donate everything and just have a sale at my parents’ this summer.

1c.  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU

N/A.

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

N/A.

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

N/A.

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

D.  I had been reading my journals, but once I was waitlisted and my whole career choice was thrown into turmoil I stopped.  I’m not sure what my next step will be after I move.

SLC 38

#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.

F.  Cool has been fairly stable this month.  She did display some normal Mommy issues, which makes me crazy, and was super-stressed and frenzied over the move (before I was).  But I’ve been irritable too.  I we need to remember to be a team and be closer to Cool in times of great stress (such as waitlist and moving).

#4: Make a menu

F+.  Because every once in awhile I think of something the day (or hour) before we eat it.

4a.  do a grocery list

D-.  I gave up on a planned grocery day (before the move, anyway) so this is almost non-existent too.

4b.  grocery shop 1x/wk

F——.  I don’t think I’ve gone at all.  Once I get off this swing shift I’ll make this a routine.

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

F———–.  How many minuses could I put?!

#5: Prepare, but don’t stress out.

D+.  I really wasn’t stressed about the move until Cool ramped me up.  And finding an apartment site-unseen, out-of-state, with 2 cats, and on a budget (prior to employment) is awful.  Is there anything worse for stress levels???

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

B-.  I’ve been plugging along at this.  I think this is the best aspect of the move, because it’s mostly within our control.

5b. Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

-I’ll take more time with this in April.  As it is, I’m really focusing in on moving logistics, not blogging right now.

The Dreaded Wait-List

30 Mar

Well, I’ve been here before.  I’m on the all too familiar borderline.  First, 3rd grade math, the cusp between B+ and A-, then vet school (so many times), and now this Audiology program.  The uncertainty, the waiting, decreased financial aid opportunities. . .

I knew I shouldn’t have put all of my eggs in one basket.  Again.  But I felt that I didn’t have another (good) choice:  1)  I wanted to live in the same place as Cool and both kitties (without roommates),  2)  Afford the rent (WITHOUT ROOMMATES = read Seattle-housing blogs), 3)  Have job opportunities for Cool, 4)  move only 1 more time after this big move, and of course 4)  go to a place with said AuD program.  Boulder, Colorado was too expensive to live and Greeley didn’t have employment.  Seattle and Portland’s cost of living is too high (and commute terrible).  Idaho has no jobs, and the program required an additional move halfway through–3 hours away.  There was no housing (other then student = no Cool, no kitties) in Logan Utah.  Every other school was a really, really far, expensive, move.  I only applied to Salt Lake City, because that’s the only place that was going to work.

I tried the best I could and wouldn’t change anything about my application.  I always, always felt that I was destined for greatness.  Something bigger, something impressive.  But even doing EVERYthing differently this time (vs. vet school attempts) the results are much the same.  And it makes me doubt everything.  Am I supposed to just have a j-o-b?  Go to work doing nothing meaningful or spectacular and focus elsewhere on my life?  I always thought it was a career and making a difference that was my path–but this gives me so much doubt.

Wait-list is a helpless position.  I have to wait.  Wait while someone else determines my future.  This time I will follow up with a letter of enthusiasm (which I have sent).  Saying they are my first choice, I’ve done this and that new thing, and the program is a good fit because. . .  I’ll follow this through to the end.

But it was supposed to be MY turn.  And I can’t help but feel sorry for myself, that I may have just wasted 2 more years and thousands of dollars (and a LOT of headache) at Riverpoint getting nowhere.  I may be back at square one–again.  What now?

2013 New Albums

24 Mar

Yes, 2013.  I just want you to know I’ve been working on this all the time (save for Brandi Carlile’s new CD listens) since January.  And I had listened on and off since mid 2013.  The songs were all very long durations.  The albums included a lot of song.  2013 was no small feat!  But finally FINALLY!  I HAVE FINISHED.  Yes, all-caps is necessary.  And yes, this is 3-10-2015.  From good singles, to made the list, to least to most starred songs here’s the list:

freq inside cochlea

Worth mentioning (1 song made my list):

“Sacrilege” Yeah Yeahs

“It Should be Easy” Will-i-am (Brittany Spears).  It has the electric sound of The Flaming Lips, the electric-pop singing of Cher, and the dancey beats of Justin Timberlake.

“Evolve or be Extinct” Wiley.  Who can say no to rap with an English accent?  You don’t hear this every day!

“Fault Lines”  Tom Petty.

“Tik Tik Boom” T.I. (feat. Britney Spears)

“Autobahn” Starfuckers.  It’s long (5:41), it’s electronic, it’s dancy–but it’s a rave-reminding dance fun-time.

“To Hell With You” Sleigh Bell

“Aint Your Right” Sky Ferreira.  It has a little bit of an 80s sound with electric backing and waif-like singing, but unlike the eighties–it has a feminist sentiment.

“Never Wanted Your Love” She & Him

“Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke

“I’ve Got Soul” Hanson.  Was Hansen always this churchy?  I think the three guys probably were, but their sound used to have extremem pop influence.  This new album as a whole was more spiritually-oriented, but I liked their characteristic bounciness was still in “I’ve Got Soul.”

“Axis”  Pet Shop Boys

“Alligator” Paul McCartney

“Immortal” Kid Cudi

“Brave” Josh Groban.  An uplifting, catchy chorus, and obviously that resonant voice.

“State of the Art”  –robot toast remix, Jim James.  a low-key song at first, but warms to a dancable beat good for rockin’ or running.

“Vertigo”  Jason DeRulo feat. Jordan Sparks

“Get Lucky” Daft Punk, featuring everyone & their brother.  I couldn’t help but like this song, but I think the hyped Daft Punk was severely overrated in 2013.

“Water and a Flame” Celine Dion.  She sounds like a smoker and a lot more blues then the romantic style I’m used to.

“Monsters of Sunderland” British Sea Power

“A Light From Home” Bradley Joseph

“Put It In” Blue October

“I’m Not in Love”  10cc

DMB Chicago 2014

Buckcherry- Confessions.  Like Flaming Lips’ newest endeavor, I like this album mostly for the concept.  The songs are OK, and there might be a standout, but it’s not really a song-comparison kind of disc.  This one goes as a set, and must be judged as such.  I like that each song title is a seven deadly sins (mostly).  It’s a really cool idea and you should give the entire thing a listen.

Bret Michaels- Jammin’ With Friends.  Also a conceptually-driven album that has it’s strength in its collaborations.  He plays with a variety of other musicians, some famous, some more obscure.  The re-calibrated versions (covers) are good, and have Michaels’ own spin on them–some even for the better.

Blossom Music Center

–Made the List–

Kenny Chesney = 2 made the list.  I usually don’t love Kenny, and feel he’s waaaay overrated.  I did like the duets and island feel of Life on a Rock.  Even if it’s a Jimmy Buffet rip-off.

Eels = 2 songs made the list.  For some reason they remind me of “Spongebob Square Pants.”  The creepy, scratchy singing is cartoonish, but interesting.  It’s high energy, but almost villain music.

Jay Sean = 2 songs on the list.  I like the caribbean-island feel mixed with rap and R&B.  I also like that these songs don’t disparage anyone (especially women).

Trapt–3 made the list.  Their live sound is a little more edgy.

Stereophonics–4 made the list.

Hugh Laurie = 4 made the list.  This is one to watch!  I like the jazzy-blues feel, soulful singing, and instrumentation.  I hope there is a follow-up.

John Legend = 2 songs on the list.  Hero of the music industry.  Nuff said.

Franz Ferdinand = 2 songs on the list.  Just alright.  I was disappointed there were no beat changes, false-stars, or dancable songs like I remember in 2005(?).

R. Kelly = 2 songs on the list.  As expected it’s sexy, it’s R&B.  The album also features many other artists.

Pearl Jam = 3 songs made the list.  I have a hard time getting in tune with their slurry way of muddling through lyrics.

Lady Gaga = 3 on the list.  It’s fine.  Maybe I’m not her target audience.  It’s dance.  It’s pop.  It features catchy choruses.  I just don’t feel it.

Moby = 3 songs made the list.  This is more of a background album to study to then a forefront album to listen.  I like the mellowness, but said mellowness means no starred stand outs.

Iron and Wine = 3 on the list, none starred.  It’s OK.  Doesn’t make enough of a statement to say much more then this about it though.

Morgan Taylor Reid = 4 on the list.  It’s like a toned-down One Republic.  With a little The Fray sprinkled in.  I like the chill easy-listening, but nothing got me excited.

Panic!  At the Disco = 4 songs made the list.  I feel like Too. . .  [long of a title] is a fan-album.  The songs were ok, but there was no song that really hooked me in and spoke to me.  It’s fine and good to write entire albums for the die-hard fans, but I don’t think one catchy mass-appeal single would have killed them.

Sheryl Crow–4 songs, ugh.  Made the list, no favorites.  I HATE to say it, I really, really do.  Side-note] Sheryl Crow was one of the first 12 CDs I ever owned, the first album under heavy rotation, and the first poster of any musician to ever grace my bedroom wall.  I loved Tuesday. . .  Sang along with her self-titled album, and felt The Globe Sessions.  She is one artist that I’ve continuously appreciated.  So that’s why it hurts me to say with Feels Like Home, her country crossover album–she sold out.  I think this country is forced, and a way to play it safe in the ultra-competitive world of music.  As an (aging) female rock gal, I think she went to country where older women have more of a chance.  But it doesn’t really suit her and it’s contrived.  I always hoped to catch Sheryl Crow at a live show or festival before she’s ancient and washed up–I really hope I’m not too late. . .

Arcade Fire = 5 on the list.  I liked their other albums a lot, and they went on heavy rotation.  Reflektor is not only poor spelling, I didn’t get a feel for it in the same way.  It’s just OK, and that disappoints me.

Aaron Neville = 5 on the list.  I love his voice, so crooning and gentle.  The reworked classics sound nice too.  I don’t think they are starrable songs, because none are original.

Eric Clapton = 6 on the list.  Old Sock has a different sound from how I remember Clapton’s signature.  It’s country-blues, and it’s good.  There are no stand-outs, despite it’s easy listening.

The Dear Hunter = 6 on the list.  They sound like a softer Fall Out Boy.  It’s just ok, but there’s potential.

Kings of Leon = 7 on the list, none starred.  And not because I didn’t like Mechanical Bull, (random title) just because it’s kind of down-low music.  It’s good to study to or good chill party background.  I do think it’s as good as the last album though.

Gregory Allen Isakov = 8 on the list.  He’s a quiet, study song-writer, mello guy.  Not the kind of artist you star for catchy choruses.  More of a staying-power kind of vibe.

Nelly =  8 on the list.  I liked them enough to put on the list, but there are no new favorites here.  No club anthem or running song. . .  M.O. was good, not great.

DMB Australia

98 = 1 starred.  And 1 other song made the list.  It’s old school by now, but the starred song, “No Part of You” is ahh-mazing!

Nine Inch Nails = 1 starred and 1 more song on the list.  It sounds like dark computer electronica.  Really, it kind of bummed me out.  The sound is a little unfeeling.  But I guess it’s good. . .  I do like “Copy of a” for it’s catchy beat and a little more listener-friendly tone.

Vampire Weekend–3 on the list, 1 starred.  I like the fast music and frantic singing.

Natalie Maines =  1 starred, 3 on the list.  I thought she had a respectable solo effort.  Mother showed good potential.  And I liked her newfound seriousness.  But I don’t think showing her characteristic playfulness would hurt the next album.  I’d like to see more of a mix of both.

KT Tunstall = 3 on the list, 1 starred.  Invisible Empire is very different from KT’s other records in that it’s quiet and has an old-school country vibe.  Sure, it’s not as immediately catchy, but  don’t think that takes away from the quality.  The instrumentation is more nuanced and the vocals more thoughtful.  It’s a quiet album, but good.

Luke Bryan = 1 starred, 3 on the list.  Crash My Party certainly feels like you’re at a bonfire party.  Before I looked at the album title, I was going to write that.  Aptly titled.  I see a lot of potential here, but it’s a little superficial to be outstanding just yet.  With maturity, I think Bryan can be a key player.

Jake Bugg = 1 starred, 3 total on list.  It’s an interesting sound.  Hipster.  Across-the-pond.  (Soft?) punk.  He’s one to watch.

B.O.B = 1 starred, 3 on the list.  They have a more easy sound to them these days, and I liked the softer vibe.  BUT the starred song, is still a heavy-rock/rap tune that will help motivate me as I’m sprinting.

Dido = 1 starred, 3 on the list.  I usually don’t like Dido, but Girl Who Got Away was more jazzed up with a stronger percussion then before.  I also felt the lyrics were less meditative and more provocative in that she has feelings.

Lissie = 1 starred, 4 on the list.  What she lacks in superior singing ability, she makes up with passion.  There is something about her vocal quality that isn’t stellar (nasal-tone?  Crackle?) but I really didn’t even notice it til I was listening carefully in order to write this post.  I like her cheekiness and the fact she says important things.

Neko Case = 4 on the list, 1 starred.  I really like the mix of old-school country and hipster.  It’s sort of friendly and chill with just enough “you’re not in the scene” to remain cool.

Ciara =  1 starred, 4 on the list.  I liked the rapping in “I’m Out” but that may have been Nicki Minaj.

Everything Everything = 1 starred, 5 on the list.  Unapologetically superficial and clubster.  Listening makes me think of the gay-boys lip-syncing and choreographing moves for the club.  Arc is FUN, but don’t expect seriousness here.

Fall Out Boy = 1 starred, 5 on the list.  Save Rock & Roll makes me conger an outdoor rally trying to accomplish. . .  things.  The album seems motivational, with unifying cries, but for what, I’m not certain.  Maybe that’s not the point.  The point is to remind people that music is a driving force that still has the ability to MOVE people to action–of any kind.

Golgol Bordello = 1 starred, 6 total songs on the list.  This album is still good.  It’s still energetic.  Pura Vida Conspiracy is relatively quieter then their last album.  Which isn’t quiet at all, but it doesn’t make me want to spring like their past offerings.

Linkin Park = 1 starred, 6 made the list.  As one of my long-term favorites, Linkin Park rarely disappoints me.  Sadly, Recharged, did.  I didn’t like their new highly electronic sound that deviated from their passionate rock.  I get the impression this album is more of a filler between “real” albums. . .  Get back to your roots, Linkin Park.

Paramore = 1 starred, which I really like a lot, because it is different from most of the rest.  It’s a very serious tune–what can I say?  I like the heavy, substantial songs?  When I’m in the right mood, I like 6 songs off their self-titled album of 2013.  I have to say, they’re a little 80s-centric for my usual mood though.  It’s just too pseudo-punk, clappy, pop for my norm.  And for some reason I think the band (or maybe their core fans?) are a little too over the edge of hipster for us real, down-to-Earth-types.  But, in a light, dancy mood, I’m in!

DMB flower instruments

Everything, Everything-  I had 2 of their songs on my list and I would classify it as hipster bubble-gum gay.  The songs are in a falsetto for the most part (that gay) and it’s catchy (pop), but seems a little too cool for school (hipster).

Of Montreal = 2 starred, on the list.  This hipster, English sound reminds me of listening to a Juno movie.  It’s too cool for school.  But I like it–even if I’m not in the club.

James Blunt = 2 starred, 2 songs on the list.  Though he always reminds me of Douche, Moon Landing deviates from his past sound enough to take a new place in my mind.  The 2 songs I liked had his characteristic voice, but a new feel.

Sarah Brightman = 2 starred, 2 on the list.  It’s relaxed and easy-going.  Kind of like a more instrumental, less new-agey Enya.

Robin Thicke = 2 starred, 2 on list.

Demi Lovato = 2 starred, 2 on the list.  I really liked her independence and anger on Demi.  It’s still dancy, but she has something to say.  Can’t wait for the next album.

Frightened Rabbit = 2 starred, 2 on the list.  It’s a low-key listen, and that’s OK.

The Saturdays = 2 starred, and 3 on the list.  It’s very poppy, and a little eighties-electronic, but I think they have some potential.

Sara Bareilles = 2 starred, 4 on the list.  Same great singing and emotion, less anger.

Justin Bieber = 4 on the list, 2 starred.  Yes, the kid is a major-douche.  BUT I did like a few songs from Believe Acoustic.  I like the concept of making a filler-album acoustic.  Also, it’s got a nice, laid-back vibe that I enjoy and could study to.  Again, I acknowledge this dude is a tool-bag in real life.

Gary Allen = 2 starred, 4 on the list.  The songs have drinkin’, lovin’, and love lost as every good country album should.  It’s melancholy though–a sort of recovery album.  I look forward to a brighter version in the future.

Britney Spears = 2 starred, 4 on the list.  It’s very clubby.  Very dancy.  Some of the songs are unemotional as a result, but there’s one sentimental lyrically-driven song here.  Britney Jean is solid, but not a top contender.

Backstreet Boys = 2 starred, 5 on the list.  They’re baaacccck!  And not quite relevant in today’s market, especially given their humongous popularity in the late 1990s, but there’s still a little something there.  I am a fan of the highly polished slick studio magic, but the singing and ballads seem a little forced and phony this time around. . .

Cold War Kids = 2 starred, 5 on the list.  Seattle or not–I don’t think I’m a big fan.  I find the singing a little whiny and tedious and get this off-putting emo-hipster vibe that I can’t tolerate.  Tuxedos is quiet, without a radio-friendly stand-out, but if you like this kind of thing, you might feel it more than I do. . .

Twenty-One Pilots–6 on the list, 2 starred.  I get a gay-vibe and superficial dancey beats.

Arctic Monkeys = 2 starred, 7 songs.  Some might be disappointed, because the sound is very different from the first album.  It has more of a. . .  beat?  It’s more uptempo?  Something like that.

Sean Kingston = 2 starred, 7 made the list.  Has a fun sound.  I like the island influenced rap.

Elton John = 2 starred, 17 on the list.  Sir Elton John is always one of my favorites and The Diving Board is no exception.  Though the tracks aren’t star-material for the most part, the album as a whole is really great.  The songs work together to tell a story.  It’s a thoughtful and mature album, saturated with instrumentals.  I like the cover art and concept, and the meloncholy sound is great for concurrent reading or reflection.  It’s heavy on piano, which is a great reemergence of his skills.  There’s a definite sadness/blues feel to the 17 songs (entire album?) that I placed on my list.  And I feel like I’m sitting in a deep South, smoky bar while I listen.

John Mayer = 2 starred.  I like John.  Always have.  He was my 2nd concert ever, and I’m completely out of the celeb-gossip loop so I don’t know of any of his D-bag ways.  Anyway, with this album, which I added 10 songs to my list from, he’s gone country *insert Taylor Swift joke here* and I think it suits him.  I think the last album was deeper, more heartfelt, and more sincere, but this one is moving–in a cross-over type of way.  And there are shades of the last introspective tunes in songs like, “Waitin’ on the Day.”  I can see the John is trying to project a more adult, mature version of himself, but I’m not jaded by the marketing, it’s still John’s low-key voice and mellow strummings.

J.T. = 2 starred.  And an amazing 11 songs made my list.  But he kind of made me annoyed.  After such a long hiatus, I was expecting greatness that matched his last effort.  And I found the first CD of 20/20 just. . .  Meh.  There was no “Sexy Back,” that’s for sure.  And I felt it was–too much–that his songs were ALL so lengthy.  Like, Justin, who do you think you are?!  When he put out a part 2, I was so over it.  I felt like he thought the first CD would be more popular, then he thought–oops try again.  So instead of the 11 songs being awesome and wonderful, the whole marketing skeme mostly annoys me.  And the songs need to be snipped in half–or shorter.

fish bowl 2

Ra Ra Riot = 3 starred and 4 on the list.  They are heavy with the gay-sounding pop and pleads “I wanna be your toy…”  I like the upbeat, dancy tunes and hope to hear more in coming years.

Brad Paisley = 3 starred, 4 songs on the list.  I admit, I liked “Celebrity” a ton, but I never liked Brad Paisley as a person/lyrically.  I think thought he was sexist.  The words in his songs just rubbed me the wrong way.  Wheelhouse has a slightly different tone to it though–are you kidding me a song about a survivor of domestic abuse getting revenge?  Alright!  I can stand behind that.  I’m still undecided if Paisley is a chauvinist, but I can give him the benefit of the doubt for this album.

Daughtry = 3 starred, 5 on the list.  Baptized is a little stronger of a statement then the last album, and I like the feeling that jumps out of both the lyrics and the instrumentation.  It’s harder, but still meaningful.  I approve.

Barenakid Ladies = 3 starred, 5 on the list.  Like the other albums, Grinning Streak has a playful, fast-lyric thing going on.  This makes it catchy, and it also lends to a jingle-type sound.  I don’t mind, but it’ll never go on heavy rotation because of that.

Skillet = 3 starred and 7 made the list.  They are like a non-douchy Creed.  It’s hard-rock, but with an uplifting vibe.  I can tell they’re not posers like the afore-mentioned band, in it for the money.  They sing with authenticity and feeling.

Avril Lavigne = 3 starred, 9 on the list.  Her self-titled album has little to no substance, but that’s what we like about Lavigne, right?  She’s a mindless edgy-pop guilty pleasure.

dmb stage

Bon Jovi = starred, 4 on the list.  What about Now is more subtle, more thoughtful, but no less cool then any previous album.  There is a hopeful tone that I really like and though its less hard-rock, there are still catchy riffs and riveting choruses.  And “Because We Can” is probably my all-time favorite song of 2013.  It’s upbeat, yet sentimental, introspective, yet energetic and motivating.

Darius Rutger = 4 starred, 4 on the list.  I felt a lot of emotion in True Believers, and thought it was a nice mix between country and contemporary soft-rock.

New Kids. . . = 4 starred.  Out of 4 songs that made the cut.  They’re back!  And surprisingly, they are not totally washed up.  I liked the broken heart song, the dance party song, and I thought they were still surprisingly relevant.

Bad Religion = 4 starred, 6 on the list.  It’s heavy punkish-rock.  The songs jam out, and are super-short (unlike almost every other 2013 album).  I like the catchiness and harmonies, but wish each song was slightly longer. . .

Saliva = 4 starred, 9 made the list.  Saliva wasn’t as whiny!  Thank goodness they’ve matured a little, because I have always liked their hard-rock sound.

stage close up

Top Ten:  Tim McGraw-6 made the list, 5 starred.  There’s a real energy on this album.  It’s upbeat and well-thought.  The songs are catchy and have main-steam appeal without being contrived, formulaic, and sell-out.

#9:  Miley Cyrus = 5 starred, 13 on the list.  She’s a horrible human being (from what the media tells me) but the gal can sing.  And her sound is a deeper, different range than I’m used to hearing.

#8:  Gabriella Cilmi = 6 starred, 12 on the list.  My vote for Best New Artist.  Think Macy Gray with a thinner, more blues Southern vibe.  The Sting is solid, and she’s one to watch.

#7:  Avett Brothers = 6 starred, 13 on the list.  OK, last year I was mad they skewed my listening stats b/c I had investigated them as DMB’s Gorge opener.  And I hadn’t liked a lot of their library because they tend to scream a lot.  This year’s Magpie and the Dandilion has a nice album title, and I purposely added 13 songs to my list.  It’s more of a quiet, sweet, introspective sound this time around, a little love-lost.  I liked the seriousness the band has found.

#6:  Eminem = 1 super-starred (“Rap God”), several starred, 17 songs made the list.  The Marshall Mathers LP2 capitalizes on past fame and on current connections.  It’s heavy on featured artists and samples.  Em, has still got it though.  His raps are solid, hitting the right note between fun, catchy, and seriously making you question social issues.  I’m still a fan, even though he’s so controversial as an artist.

#5 of 2013:  Robbie Williams = 6 starred, 7 songs made the list.  He was smart to jump into the ring with Michael Buble who was the sole artist reaping the rewards of the vortex of swing/big-band.  What ever you call it, when ‘ol blue eyes was gone, so was a genre.  And Micheal Buble has certainly reaped many rewards for instilling new life into it.  Robbie Williams, I think, saw the success and left pop/electric to put out his best album to date-Swings Both Ways.  Good business decision, and surprisingly well backed up by the talent.  And a duet with Micheal Buble?  Sign me up!  He’s always a pleasant listen and one of my faves.

#4 of 2013:  Dropkick Murphys = 7 starred, 10 made the list.  They sound like a drunken Irish brawl band, high energy, lots of fight in their lyrics.  Signed and Sealed in Blood is in my top 5 for 2013, and I would get their next album in a heartbeat.

#3 of 2013:  Cher = 8 starred, 13 songs on the list.  Yes, she’s still got it.  Washed up?  Not at ALL!  Closer to the Truth is relevant, fun/clubby, yet mature and well-thought.  Her voice is clear and hopeful.  Listening to the album made me motivated to. . .  I don’t know what, but do more then dance.

#2 of 2013:  Rod Stewart = 7 starred, 8 made the list.  Rod Stewart shows that despite age, he KNOWS how to make a hit record.  Yes, the themes are slightly different–love for family, and gaining maturity.  Instead of sexy or superficial–it’s substancial and hopeful.  I’d dare to say that Time is Rod’s best album yet.  I really liked the instrumental backgrounds, the catchy hooks, and the more introspective lyrics.  I super-like most of the songs, but especially fell in love with, “Can’t Stop Me Now,” an autobiographical call to action.

#1 of 2013:  Michael Buble = 12 made the list.  Obviously, and of course.  All starred, 1 super-starred (“It’s a Beautiful Day”).  Aside from thinking Buble is genius for filling an abandoned genre, I think his music is universally pleasing.  He has a pleasant, crooning voice and a real likability within his albums.  Like his past records, I think To Be Loved appeals to a wide audience, including staple covers, duets, love songs, and even a bitter break up anthem–my afore-mentioned super-starred.  Come ‘em coming Micheal I (and all the Vegas gagsta wannabes, and of course the cougars) can’t get enough!

And YES!  I did it.  I finished the listen and finished typing the list!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Long Journey Home [UU AuD Interview Part V]

23 Mar

This may be the most drawn-out series I’ve ever blogged.  I anticipate a renewed enthusiasm and follow-through on posting once I resume a normal sleep schedule.  I have just 5 more weeks of this swing-shift that kills my motivation and productivity.  And though I’ll need a (summer) job, I would be very hesitant to accept a swing or night shift position.  Especially for paltry minimum wage.

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Anyway, here is the story of our long, long travels back home.  It started Saturday around 7:30PM and doesn’t end until 3:30 PM Sunday.  I may never take a Greyhound again:

-it snowed–more like a wintry mix and within a half hour, there were trucks sanding the interstate highway.  I couldn’t believe it!  Even after inches of accumulation, Spokompton is slow to plow, and may never clear/sand certain roads (ours).  Leaving a snowy, muchy, icy, slick mess for weeks.  What a treat timely snow removal procedures will be!

-We got the rental car to the airport without incident.  Thank goodness.  I was still very nervous because it was a rental, the weather wasn’t perfect, we were lost, and the people of Utah drive like F@#%ing idiots.

-At the airport, we found the rapid transit pick up point, and purchased a $2.50 (for 3 hours) ticket via kiosk.  It was very simple.  What was not simple was deciding which of the colored routes we needed to follow, where the transfers might be, and where we should get off the Trax.  This is always a nerve-wracking experience when you’re unfamiliar with the city, and have never ridden their public systems.  And like all anxious passengers we got off too soon.  Then we walked in a kind of sketchy area back to a prior stop.  Which I guess we could have waited for the next Trax going the opposite direction, but we were anxious and that’s what we did.  But we calmed down at the prior stop, waited for the next Trax, and reentered.  Then we got off 2 stops later.

-This took us to the stadium where the Jazz NBA team plays.  And a game was getting out so loud fansarena dressed in Mardi Gras colors were everywhere.  I would have loved to go to a game.  BUT I had tried to purchase a single-ticket game for the Gonzaga men’s team–and they had season ticket-holders only–for more then $100.  So I figured NBA would be worse, and maybe we could win tickets on the radio or something for a special occasion. . .  We had to wait 20 minutes for a different colored line to take us to the bus station, because maybe people of Utah don’t know the rule, or maybe all the fans were drunk–but everyone pushed ON to our Trax line before we were allowed to disembark.  And our next line was just leaving.  Had they followed the rule of letting people unload first we would have made it without any wait at all. . .

-When we reached the bus station, we looked up the cost of Jazz tickets.  They range from a hundredbear down to $3.00 (depending on the seats)!!!  I was instantly disappointed, because we could have gone to Friday’s game or Saturday’s and that would have been awesome!  As it was the next home games were before we move, then October.  Damn!  Lesson learned–don’t assume.  And who does Gonzaga think they are?!

-Our dufus Cheesecake Factory waiter had not packed forks or napkins for our to-go cheesecakes.  Instead of eating them in the bus station at 10PM, we had to wait until we could get forks.  And so we did more waiting (on super-uncomfortable wood chairs) with other strange and trashy people.

-At one point, Cool had to go to the bathroom, so she left her backpack on her chair immediately next to me.  And I put my suitcase on the floor immediately in front of her chair.  This did not stop a hispanic family of 6(?) from crowding right on the rest of the row, standing in front of Cool’s chair (and me).  So when Cool came back there was no room, and I physically moved one of their suitcases from in front of Cool’s chair.  They totally tried to steal our chairs–while I was in one and obviously saving another.  PS-sure, there weren’t an overabundance of chairs, but at that time, there were 3 different groupings that were totally empty.  Why they didn’t sit in those, I can’t be sure.  I was SUPER-annoyed about it though, and let it show all over my face.  I mean Jesus–get out of our grill.  Unnecessary!

Sunday

-The forks were procured at 4:30AM.  It was slightly melty by that time, but still delicious.  And why was our waiter so incompetent when the restaurant had been it’s emptiest of all the days we were there?!

-Then, more driving, more waiting, more stops occurred.  I actually slept because this time, every passenger was solo.  So it was fairly silent.  I was exhausted and bored.  So I was able to doze much of the time.

-Cool was trying to be saucy and tease me.  She opened her mouth in a smile, then a huge stream of saliva (gleet/gleek)  arched up and landed on her jacket sleeve surprising us both.  Her eyes went from sassy to surprised and it was a large stream with rainbow trajectory.  She looked like some cartoon sea creature purposely spitting–except she and I were both shocked.  The bus was still nearly silent, but I fell into a fit of giggles that I couldn’t control.  I just kept picturing her face and the spit-fountain!  I got really giggly, and really had to fight to eventually pull myself together.  I just kept picturing her accidently doing that.

-We finally got off the bus at 3PM, and boy did it feel good to be moving out in fresh air.

-Our sad, sad cats thought we had moved.  Choco-Luv didn’t act ferrell as usual, just dramatically lovethankful we hadn’t left forever–poor thing.  Goose gave us the cold-shoulder to punish our offense, but eventually became snuggly.  We’ll never leave for 5 days again, as it was too long for the poor buddies.

Aftermath:

-I’m constantly hungry after overindulging to such an extent.  It’s like terrible-bad, hunger that’s persistent and without reason.  I must have stretched my stomach big-time, and the shrinking process is not fun at all.

-I also noticed WA is cloudy.  Which is obvious, and I notice a grey, cloudy day almost every morning, but I forgot just how dark and depressing that is.  I’ll be happy to move somewhere with more blue sky.

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-Coming back to Spokompton was a little depressing.  I just know our standard of living and quality of life in Utah will be a little better.  And I’ll get a new schedule, which seems really exciting.  So being back here in a swing-shift job, cheap apartment, bad neighborhoods, was sad.  And made me disappointed and impatient to leave again.  But as of now (mid-March, OK end of March almost a month later) as I write this, it’s all soon coming to a close.  The time for logistic concerns is fast-approaching so I’ll be distracted by that too.  It’s good, we’re good.  We are excited to move.

Zoo [UU AuD Interview Part IV]

19 Mar

Post Interview Wind Down:

-As you remember, Friday evening I was tired and dehydrated from the 6 hours of interview stuff.  But we were in SLC and we were going to maximize our time.  It was back to the Cheesecake Factory for meal #2.  Friday night was the most crowded that we saw the mall/restaurant.  Our wait to get in was 60-90 minutes.  But our waiter was the best we had.  A nice and cute gay (I’m assuming) fellow who was prompt, and lovely.  I got the salmon rolls/sticks as a lighter meal since I’d overindulged to such an extent the day before, and since I’d already had a big sandwich.  It was good, but there were only 4, so I’m glad bread was involved.  The cheesecake was the lemon mousse one.  Which was also, obviously, good.

-We went to bed around 10PM.  You see how my sleep schedule got all messed up but I reverted to morning person almost immediately?

Saturday

I did pop up at 12:45AM and couldn’t get back to sleep for an hour.  Then I woke up at 4:45AM and had to coax myself into light surface sleep until 6:30AM.  The only reason I didn’t just get up is I knew I had to run first thing, and I didn’t want to do it (at all, really) in super-cold weather.

-I ran out in the EconoLodge parking lot for the 3rd day in a row.  Since it was later, it was slightly warmer.  But my shin-splints were terrible.  Also, I didn’t like people spectating–umm I can SEE you lingering around watching me.

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-Traffic was light–especially for 9:30AM on a Saturday when most other places are busiest.  I have no idea why no one was about, but I was glad it was congested and we didn’t have to mess about.  Mormons–what happens on Saturday that no one is driving around at peak weekend hours???

-the Zoo was empty–especially for a Saturday–I LOVED it for me.  It was great not getting pushed and blocked.  And there was no loud, unruly kids ruining my time.  It felt really chilly though.  The temp was probably 45-49 F, but the wind was whipping about.  I recognized that chilly NV wind, and I hadn’t missed it. . .

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-They had a lot of turtles–I always love a giant turtle, and this one had a baby next to it.

-I liked the pinned insect display that showed regions too.  UU interview 079

-I always like all the wild cats.  UU interview 080Sand cats are like kittens with big heads.

-Black footed cats are like tiny ocelots–smaller then Choco-Luv!  And they snuggled each other.

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-The male lions were sectioned off at the time (for cleaning?) and very unhappy about it.  They roaredUU interview 118 and it was so loud!  That would be scary out in nature.  The female lion started out alone, then they let another female out and they were so happy.  They chased and played, and it was cute.

-The bears were funny to watch.

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UU interview 041-Their wolf looked a lot happier then Woodland Park Zoo’s, as did their elephants.  UU interview 100

Rhinos are HUGE!

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-There were tiny primates with itty bitty faces and hands.  They ran amuk, but knew to pose for our cameras and did so with much experience.

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UU interview 072-The orangutans recently had a baby, who was 4 months.  The older sister carried him over to a window to see someone’s fast food.  She showed him off, and he was already climbing.  Seeing the two interact was really special.  It was also really special that instead of running, screaming, and pushing I saw two different little kids go hug the gorilla statue with love.

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-I want to get the sticks of lion shirt and the orange tiger ball cap some time.  As it was, my luggage wasn’t going to accommodate much more.

-At cheesecake Factory meal #3, Saturday was randomly the LEAST busy, as was the mall.  I don’t know if this is an anomaly, but I hope not.  Again, do Mormons do something on Saturdays?  I got the chicken scampi in a lunch portion (a mild dish to avert any stomach issues before I had to sit on a bus UU interview 009for 14 hours), and was super-confused when the sausage pasta was delivered.  Did they bring it to the wrong table or was my order wrong?  I don’t like wasting a perfectly good plate of food, and I’m OK with spicy sausage pasta, so I just took the plate they gave me.  Our waiter acknowledged my dish was wrong and asked if I wanted a free cheesecake.  The order was wrong, but I didn’t want to be all pretentious and make a big deal about it–it’s really not, and I liked both meals–so I said no.  Then I was regretful, because who turns down a free cheesecake???!  He should have just told me that’s what he was going to do, instead of putting it in my hands.

-I got the peanut butter, butterfinger, cookie(?) cheesecake and it was my favorite of the ones I tried.  It also turned out to be free which was awesome!  Well, I didn’t actually try it until we were on the bus Sunday, so I’ll tell you more on this later.

-The 2nd nice outdoor shopping center was cool, and featured a nice fountain.

-At the Walking Company they test your feet.  I didn’t know I have super high arches.  And apparently I pronate, which will eventually hurt my knees.  It doesn’t bother me yet.

-We went to the Planetarium, but were too tired to pay to watch a show–I would have fallen asleep in a dark room with a comfy chair.  The planetarium was busy and had a lot of interactive things, but I was soon paranoid of germs–a sanitizing station would have been good.

split planets

-Just like people in my program said, the homeless were all congregated in one area 400 x 400 (outside the planetarium).  I liked that we didn’t see them everywhere like we do here.

-We initially set out to find the coffee shop by my program, but forgot a road, so ended up driving around.  It was good to explore the city.

Next up:  Our long, long, long journey home.

The Big Day [UU AuD Interview Part III]

18 Mar

Here is my post about interview day:

Friday

-I popped up at 5:30AM and went to run pretty soon after.  I knew I was early, but wanted a chance to drink some water and energy well before interview time so I wouldn’t have to visit the bathroom so much.  It was cold, and if I was not on day 422 in a row, I would have skipped it.  Maybe even then, but I wanted to mention it in my interview, so I forced myself outside into the 31F parking lot to get it done.  It was miserable as expected.  See, even people who follow through on exercise don’t always like it and don’t want to do it.  I just did it to continue what I’d started-I’m no superhero.

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-We left 2 hours early because we didn’t know what Friday morning traffic would be like, and I wasn’t entirely certain we knew how to get directly from point A to point B–since those directions were so convoluted.  BUT traffic was actually very light.  And we found the building fairly easily, making us more then an hour early.  So we just waited in the car, and I finally went in about 10:45AM (check in was 11-11:15AM).

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-We started with lunch–which in interview clothes is awkward.  And a gal walked in late because she had a class or another interview or something.  The director said help get “my-name” situated to one of the grad students.  Did I hear that correctly?  My name is not very common.  But when I looked at the labeled lunch boxes, sure enough there was my name.  But I hadn’t gotten a good look at the gal so I turned around and tried to see her name tag, but she caught me looking.  And not wanting to be a total creeper, I rolled my chair over and confirmed her name.  Sure enough we have the same unique name!  It would be really cool to be in a class of 12 with another one of me!  NEAT!

-I’m so glad I went with comfortable clothes/shoes.  After a presentation and a sandwich lunch, they drove us to the main campus and gave us a walking tour:  The Student Union with fast-food (Jamba Juice!), a game area with bowling, billiards, air hockey, student store.  It’s all pretty standard now, 11025817_10205962097469966_142382685826090158_nand the kind of thing both UNR and Mizzou were building while I was there–and the kind that opened right after I left in both cases.  They have a fancy rec-center, which is the same story as well. Constructure during my tenure, but I never got to enjoy it before leaving. We also toured our building on the main campus.  They have two research labs, which means possible funding opportunities and resume-building.  It also sounds like the school makes every effort to place the AuD students in departmental work positions–which is a MUST for me ($$$-wise).  We are on the 12th and 13th floors and the view is outstanding!!!!!!!  We can see the cityscape, foothills, and right into the stadium where they had the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Olympics.  I wish I had brought my camera. . .  My feet were killing, but would have been much worse in any other interview shoes.  My FitBit says we walked 4.39 miles for the entire day minus 1 for my mile = about 3 miles (taking off some for dinner).  Can you believe my FitBit auto-updates from 10 hours away!!!  Anyway, and you know how campuses are all concrete hills and stairs. . .

-Next, I had my individual interview.  I was nervous (of course) but not as much as in the past.  I had prepare–somewhat–for certain questions (none that they asked me as it turns out).  These interviews were set up a lot more low-key then the vet school interviews I’d had.  Instead of sitting at a long table with 4-6 people looking intimidating, these were in rooms at a desk with just one person.  No one asked me any tricky or technical questions as they had in the vet school interviews, so that was good.  First, I had the clinic person ask me questions then, the academic-oriented gal asked me questions.  I’ll try to remember the questions (I think I forgot a few):

* = interviewer talking

! = my response

[my internal thoughts/notes]

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clinic:

*How do you learn best?

!I learn best by doing something.  With someone watching to make sure I’m doing it properly.  Then doing it alone, and having someone check my work.  Then being trusted enough to work independently.

*Talk about a recent time you learned something that way?

!long pause.  [under pressure I could not think of anything.  Though I paused and looked like I was thinking, what was actually going on in my brain was–come up with something good and impressive relating to audiology or accomplishment you want them to know about!  Uh oh you’ve been quiet for a long time.  Say anything!  Panic!!!] *It doesn’t have to pertain to audiology. !I clean corporate, and that’s how I was trained.  *chuckle.  !My boss showed me what to do, then the next day I did it and he checked me.  Then he said you did this or that wrong or remember to do this.  *Laugh [thinking I was kidding, which I was not.  Even cleaning requires some memory.]  !Then I felt competent.

*Do you work well in a team?

!I prefer to work alone, especially if it is for a grade–I like to earn my own grades.  [WHY did I say interactive hearing anatomy 2this?!  I should have told of a success while working in a team to brag and show cooperation, but I wasn’t expecting the question.]  !But I understand collaboration is important and different perspectives can make the project even better.

*give an example of a time you successfully worked as a team

!pause.  [trying to think of anything tangible and applicable, but mostly just panicking again.] Veterinary hospitals are based on teamwork.  There is a hierarchy, but in order to do the job successfully, statuses have to be thrown out the window.  Even though my job was monitoring anesthetic, doing blood draws, and technical things, I picked up the back-line to relieve the receptionist.  Or carried bags of dog food to the front. . .  Or gloved up and held a spleen [first organ I could think of, which may or may not be accurate.] out of the way during surgery.  *Laughing–because all of us hold the spleen out of the way.

*When did someone’s response take you by surprise (something to that affect)?

!Long pause.  [Again the question caught me off gaurd and was nothing I had prepared for.  I could only think of one story, and though I knew it wasn’t a good interview story, my mind got stuck on it and went blank for anything else. . .]  !We didn’t go over our exams in class, and I want to know why my answers are wrong for the future.  It’s stuff I will need to eventually know.  So I scheduled a meeting with the professor, and apparently it wasn’t a great time for a meeting because instead of seeing me as enthusiastic or consciousness she treated me badly.  I was shocked and I guess mostly disappointed.  I wasn’t a point chisler, I just wanted to make sure I knew the material because I would need to use it for my future.  *surprised such a thing would happen:  What did you do?  !Well, I pressed on and finished the meeting, but I never went back for subsequent tests.  *What did you do instead?  !I just went to a different professor.

*Give an example of flexibility

!pause.  [I am not super-flexible, and I partially came to audiology because it is calm and rote and schedules are given greater respect.]  There is no such thing as a schedule in veterinary medicine.  We Auroasaw walk-ins or when someone called with an emergency, or more likely something they had stared at for two weeks, we got them in.  Eyes have to come in that day because they go bad in a hurry, and abscesses have to be seen immediately.  I probably didn’t get a full lunch the whole time I worked at vet hospitals.  You see appointments, or get the hospitalized animals taken care of to alleviate the afternoon.  I am willing to do what needs to be done.  But I went to audiology partially because there are no ear emergencies. . .

*Why did you leave vet med?

!hesitating.  [I tried to think of some euphemism or temperate way to tell why.  I knew I shouldn’t sound negative and I knew I should try to just say what drew me to audiology.  Again the question caught me off guard and I had not prepared a good answer which made me very nervous.]  !It started to feel thankless.  There is this mentality that veterinary practice is out to swindle people and vets are last wk Frb 2014 001only in it for the money.  Which is not true at all–vets are the lowest paid medical professional and you work with animals because you love it.  We were under-paid and working hard, so it was difficult when none of that was acknowledged.  Audiology won’t have the same financial problems (something to that affect) *skeptical look [clarification:]  People either can’t or don’t want to afford things.  At least in Audiology, if people can’t or won’t afford things it’s not euthanasia.  Also, when your coworkers are all working so hard and so many hours, it can become a grind.  Negative.  I want to be in audiology because generally after people are fitted they are happy and thankful.  It’s rewarding.

*what’s your contribution to aud.

!As I mention throughout my application, Aural Rehab is very important to me.  I think it is the next big thing in audiology and central.  Also, my dad has hearing aids and I see that aural rehab can be better, and I want to be that person one day.  [only good answer to any of the clinic questions.]

–>  I left the clinic portion of the interview feeling like I didn’t do a good job.  I wish I would have anticipated and prepared for some of those questions, because with some forethought I could have answered them MUCH better.  It was too long to produce my answers, I was too negative, I talked about veterinary too much, and I didn’t emphasize audiology enough.  But hopefully something positive was conveyed.

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academic:

-there’s my Tiger!  She said.  I said “Mizzou!”  [The academic portion was already going much better, and my nervousness subsided a little.]  Then the gal told me she had to call her sisters after reading myGDB tiger by the tail application, because their dad (maybe someone else) graduated from M.U.’s animal science program, then moved to Illinois/Indiana/Iowa (some I-state) and worked for Campbells for a long time.  She also mentioned that she liked or worked with [I was in a nervous state b/c the interview scenario, OK] one of my letter of rec writers.

*How are you at math?

! In my pre-vet course work I took physics 1, physics 2, Biochem, genetics, and enough chemistry to get the minor because I wanted that to be on my transcript for life!  Math doesn’t come as easily to me as writing, but even though it’s not an innate ability, I know to ask for help early if I need it.  [I’m pretty sure I also worked in a mention of tutorng my peers, but I don’t remember exactly what I said.]

*what motivates you?

!I thought about a word that word would describe me, and it is diligence.  I am intrinsically motivated to be the best version of myself.  I regularly compete with myself to be the best I can be.  As an example, I read and typed outlines of all my Riverpoint classes prior to each semester to familiarize with the material and have a backbone for notes.  And in my personal life I have run 422 days in a row–I was in the Econolodge parking lot in 31F this morning completing the mile 1st thing in the morning.  [I HAD to find a way to get that in there!]

*Give an example of how you are dependable

[umm this is only my BEST quality!  Though it’s hard to put an example to this trait without looking phony.]  !My advisor knew she could depend on me to tutor students that needed extra help.  And when no one was around in the summer and she had to do recruitment activities she knew I would be available to do a presentation.

*what area in the scope of practice interests you?

Right now, I’m interested in Aural Rehab, but that could be in every area of the scope of practice. better view of nerves *That’s how I feel too!  Aural Rehab is central and it usually takes time to convince students of that.  You are ahead of the curve.

*Can you balance academics with work?

!chuckle.  [this is also my LIFE, so of course!]  I have always paid my own living expenses and tuition costs, so ever since I went to college I have also had to work.  I am getting very good at balancing school and work.

–>  The academic part of the interview went so well, that I could feel the professor liked me.  When she asked and I answered, I could tell I was IN with her, and she wasn’t critical at all, or even listening super-intently because I could tell I had passed muster with her already.  Finally, on academics (my traditional weak point in pre-vet/interviews) I was a shoo-in.  That was a (different and) nice feeling.  My 4.0 GPA and hard-science experience was finally counting for something and that felt great!

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-The group interview was actually a question panel with the program director.  We do have to pay for 9 credits our 4th externship year.  You find your own externship–if you want it to be paid.  And they can be anywhere–Colorado!  I asked what the procedure was if you have a hard time on externship, and she said she would try to straighten things out, but as a last resort you’d be pulled out and find a new one.  But it’s never happened.  I think the last question, which I asked because the forums talk about bad internships a LOT, put me in a negative light with the head of the department.  She may see me as a troublemaker since I asked. . .

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-Then we got a tour of our clinic area.  It’s neat because you immediately observe clinic in the first semester, then go in there as you learn things in lecture, are in full-time 2nd semester-3rd to 4th year.  Then you get 3 outside placements which is unique to the school and obviously super beneficial.  This all before the mandatory externship.  Oh, and they use all 7 makes of hearing aids so you have all that experience that not many people have.  And finally wrote an on-the-fly essay and completed a short personality test before the day was over.  I left around 4:15PM (5.5 hours after I walked in).  Mostly I was thirsty!  They had planned the day very tightly, but not really included bathroom opportunities.  So I only had 2 cups of water while I was there, making my total half of what it should have been by the time.  I was fatigued and headachy. . .

So that’s the interview and that’s the main event we had come for.  Overall, I was really excited about the program a facilities, and thought with the exception of the clinic interview (which wasn’t a disaster, but could have been better) I made a good impression.

SLC: More Than Mormons [UU Interview Part II]

12 Mar

So remember it’s Thursday and we’ve just arrived at the Greyhound station (after an 18 hour ride) at 6AM.  We are tired, we are carrying luggage.

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-Hazel my 2008 GPS has never been updated.  It’s worked out OK.  But this trip, I guess she said enough is enough, and she would only do simulate–no directions at all.  Rendering the GPS useless.  This is most unfortunate and I’m going to have to do something about that before we move.  BUT it looked the city was this way, so I started walking that direction while Cool booted up directions on her phone.  This wasn’t entirely arbitrary–I had previously looked, and looked at Google Maps, scouting where our bus went, location of our hotel, restaurants, and the school, so I felt confident we could ascertain where things were.  The map had showed our hotel within easy walking distance of the Greyhound station.  The phone said to turn 180 and walk in a way that looked abandoned, out-of-town, and sketchy.  Her phone has never been good to me so I was sure it was shenanigans and she was taking us on a wild-goose chase.  It was still dark outside, there was construction, and I had to drag my suitcase–I was very nervous.  I like to know I can run away if someone messes with me.  There would be no running away in this particular scenario.  Also, it was cold.  And the walk seemed long and random, under interstates, and through neighborhoods.  I really hoped the GPS was taking us in the right direction!

-I saw the sign for the hotel and was relieved.  I also had to call my mom for her birthday before she went to school.  She cried and cried since she hadn’t expected me to call.  I think she was very happy I called.

-We had called to confirm our reservation would be held til morning.  I KNEW it would be an issue, and did not want them to give away our room.  Sure enough the guy working the desk seemed very confused and asked if a smoking room was all right.  Had they not saved our room???  After an 18hr sleepless bus ride, you just need to put your stuff down, use a private bathroom, shower and nap.  And not in smoke!  So I was going to be very crabby with them if we had no room til 3PM.  After much struggle a gal finally came up and got us a room.

-I knew if I didn’t run then (right then) it wasn’t going to happen.  And (very) unfortunately they did not have a treadmill.  So I had to run outside in the parking lot.  After a long bus ride and super-long walk carrying luggage, the run wasn’t so bad, actually.  I was already warmed up from stress/pulling luggage a long way and pretty happy to be out of just the one sitting-position.  This run would get worse with each passing day.

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-We had to take advantage of the free hotel shuttle to the airport in order to pick up our rental car.  It was a bummer that the shuttle left at 9:30AM, because that only left a half hour for a nap (by the time the check-in, run, and shower were completed) and we were exhausted.  I had slept well for less then 2 minutes on the bus.  I know this because it was less then one song on my ipod.  And only drifted for maybe an hour.  But we dragged ourselves to the lobby to catch the shuttle.  And I was afraid because our driver was on his cell phone while driving us–even though it’s also illegal in Utah.

-We got the car and I drove back to the hotel.  I had been hoping that the religious influence in Utah would make the drivers polite.  It was not to be.  Utah has picked up the bad habits of multiple states:  The Texas last minute lane change, California stops and generally unsafe speediness, Seattle passing on the right, Idaho pushinessaggression, and Spokane tailgating.  The driving was awful!  And I was freaked about the rental car because even one scratch or ding would make my life a nightmare.

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-I thought we might want to nap, but mostly we were hungry.  And I wanted to scope out the interview location and time how long it took, so we went straight to the University.  Even though at this point my eyes were hanging out of my head.  The instructions were written by the program director and turned out to be horrible.  Here’s an example.  She said to turn left at building 420 (on the right) then go back to the parking lot, and turn left before going up a hill, then walk up the stairs by the dumpster to the building on the left.  Which translates to:  Take the first right (ignore building 420 entirely, because it is passed our turn and on the opposite side of the street) and park in the 2nd parking lot.  Walk up the stairs to the building behind the one directly in front of you.  So we were lost and confused and making u-turns and driving around parking lots for more then 45 minutes.  By the time we were finished I had no idea how long a direct route might take.  Oh, and it was “snowing” more like a wintery slush, but that did not entice anyone to slow down.  I was happy, however, to see the plows on campus came out almost immediately–and this wasn’t even true snow!

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-As you can see from the photo, I’m super-tired.  But for Cheesecake Factory, you make it happen!  I was grumpy, tired, and starving after that debacle so we went to the Cheesecake Factory for meal #1 (of 3).  It was situated in a lovely indoor/outdoor mall that had a stream.  Very nice location!  I got the blazin buffalo appetizer which was so big I could not finish it.  And some coffee drink so I could function.  We’re going on 27(?) hrs of no real sleep here.  The place was pretty busy especially for lunch time.  Our waiter never brought the bread he promised, never offered water, never refilled (or offered to) my coffee, and never asked how our food was.  He did help the people on either side of us, which was off-putting.  It was like he was too busy, so he figured we wouldn’t tip well anyway and just ignored us.  Finally, I had to track him down and ask for water, a coffee refill, and some more dip–it’s annoying to have to do that.  We took cheesecake to go–mine was the upside-down pineapple.  As a self-fulfilling prophecy, I did not tip well for the subpar service.  But I hate that, because I totally would have if the service had been just adequate or better.

-We walked around the lovely, clean mall and really started to like this city.  Which I was surprised about, because I anticipated being able to get used to it and live with it.  The people didn’t have that desperate, dirty air about them, like Spokompton does.  There were kids but they were with their parents not running amok and no one was screaming or cursing at them.  The shops were expensive (Steve Madden, Coach, Solomon, AE), but it was fun to window shop.

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-I couldn’t go on at this point.  I would have liked to explore or do something, but I was fatigued and I knew if I pushed it too hard I would get sick:  Bus germs + chilly weather + tired = sick.  So we just went back to our room for some television and cheesecake.

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-The TV at the hotel did not have cable.  Which I didn’t anticipate or think was a thing anymore.  I hadn’t thought to even ask about something so obvious.  The 5 stations it did have were very staticy too–so we ended up watching stand-up on Netflix.  Good ‘ol Netflix–how did we ever live without that?  I say watched, but about a half hour in, I felt overwhelmingly tired and couldn’t keep my eyes open or my head from nodding.  We went to bed at 5:30PM (which is 4:30 in our time zone).

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Next, it’s interview day!

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