Tag Archives: audiology

I’ve Been In Utah a Year!

4 May

Hey, hey hey!

U district

Once I stopped being a student, I pretty much stopped writing.  Though I like blogging, my daily run is more important to me, and aside from working full-time, sometimes that’s the only thing I do all day.

It’s weird to think how different I am as a person now.  I don’t have long-term career goals at the moment.  Not in a depressed, sad way–and (hopefully) not in a loser way.  My priorities are not really my career, and only my career any more.  I’ve come to the realization I must work to live, but it’s not EVERYTHING.  Also, the barriers into my career were crazy.  And that drags me down.  For instance, I’m pretty down on big-university and I’m not sure I’ll ever attend one again.  All I got was a huge amount of insurmountable debt–and nothing really to show for it.

The vet thing–didn’t work out.  And it’s too bad it kept working out that way, because I would have been the most wonderful, dedicated veterinarian.  But they didn’t want me–time and time again.  So I eventually (after literally 10 attempts) I had to learn when to say when.

Audiology:  Unlike veterinary medicine, which I know a plethra of (unfair) politics, issues, and reasons why I wasn’t accepted, I have no idea why Audiology didn’t want me.  I had a 4.0 GPA and I forgot my GRE scores (they are in this blog somewhere) but they were good.  Here is what the university published,

UU AuD class stats

The minimum GPA requirement for admission is a 3.0. Our average admission profile for an incoming Au.D. student for Fall 2015 was a 3.74 GPA and a GRE score of 311. These are only averages, and we admit candidates above and below these values.

So I met that, did extra-curriculars, worked during school, and tutored students in my program–what else could they want?  Maybe they give preferance to Utah residents–and I didn’t become one until too late.  I really don’t know.  But I certainly didn’t try nearly as hard as I did vet school, once they wait-listed me.  I only applied the once, then kinda felt thankful that I didn’t have 4 more years of school I couldn’t pay for.

So those things changed my perspective, and now I may SEEM lazy.  But it’s not the case.  I’m just sort of on hold for now.  We are living in Utah to save money.  Because Cool and I want our lives to be in Colorado.  It’s just too expensive for now.  So I’m working at a company (we both are) that we can make direct transfers to when we move.  And I don’t trust the management, or love my coworkers, but I’m hanging in there.  Because the peace of mind of having a job before you move, and moving and starting work when money is tight–is totally worth hassle now.

And I figure, I can’t make concrete plans because we are leaving, so I’ll just have to start over anyway.  This is a 3-4 year period of saving money and focusing on things besides my career.  My health for one.  Relationships.  Enjoying nature.  More easy-going types of things, for sure–but not less important than career stuff.

I was singularly focused on my career my whole life.  And what did that get me?  Thus, I’m changing my outlook slowly, and I’ll refocus on the career once we’ve settled in Colorado (last move ever!).

CO 169

So I’m alive, I’m well.  I just don’t make the time to write like I used to.  And maybe another post won’t happen for awhile–but I’m not stressing out over it.

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Moments of 2015-Bad

31 Dec

I see today (New Years Eve) as a day for reflection.  And I can’t say I’m sorry 2015 is over.  It wasn’t terrible, I’ve had much worse years.  But it wasn’t what I wanted either.  I like to know where I’m going, and in 2015 I never did.  I didn’t know if I would continue with school, and I didn’t know where my career would take me.  In the past, I’ve been severely disappointed when career objectives didn’t pan out, but this time I felt a calmness and grace about the situation.  Still, there is a dissatisfaction.  And now I’m left to really contemplate what I want in life.  But that’s a story for tomorrow, New Years Day, a day for goals and new beginnings.  Today I’ll post a few blogs about worst moments in 2015.  Which isn’t just picking the scabs of wounds, it’s thinking and it’s learning.  Seeing the worst times allows me to rearrange the circumstances to make next year better.

And again, I’m posting for the sake of time and forgoing a lot of re-writes.  I’ll edit later (maybe).

12TH WORST TIME OF 2015:  -Bob, at my new job, introducing himself as the janitor.  Trying to be funny, but offending me.  Insinuating of course he was much better than a crummy janitor.  He’s some client services administrator–big deal.  When he didn’t know that janitorial had been my very last job, and my father had been a custodian for 20 or 30 years.  What a D-bag.

11.  -Human drama at the YMCA.  Deb being all weird toward me because ???  and holding a grudge.  The churchy gal acting like a bitch and treating me like a lowly janitor.  Just coldness and unnecessary drama from people with nothing to keep their minds busy.  It was stupid, but even though I wasn’t invested in the drama, I noticed it, and had to DEAL with it.  Lame.

10.  -Rusty’s doors remaining half open in the winter.  Primarily because it rendered my remote start useless.  And obviously I NEED that.  I hate being cold.  So much so, that I had bought my own remote start and fought for them to put it in my manual–which is a liability for them and usually against the rules.  And I had always loved starting the car from inside the warm building.  But now it set off the alarm, because the doors were open just enough. . .

9.  -The unwelcoming, frosty environment at MSCL for my first 7 months working there.  NOBODY acknowledged me, talked to me, or anything.  I felt awkward and alone.  Those duds and douche-bags were the WORST!  Here’s an example:  I walk in as a brand new employee–and nobody (even my boss)  says hello.  Or I sneeze–and nobody says bless you or anything.  It was as if I was invisible.  I guess it’s because they have high turn-over, and they were change-averse.  And because it’s a lab, so people don’t have great any social skills.  But it still made me feel like it was ME.  And that brought back horrible memories of veterinary social problems that plagued my work life previously.  I had wanted new beginnings and to turn a corner in a new field–and this was not the start I’d hoped for.

8.  -Not getting into the UU AuD program, despite getting the 4.0, having extracurriculars, and working very hard on my application.  Was it the gay-themed activities I put on my application?  Bad interview answers?  Being from out-of-state?  I really don’t have any idea, and I feel like I should be in there.  Easily.  But this is toward the bottom of my disappointments (and the top of this list) because I’ve grown as a person, through my veterinary sagas.  I had to future plan, which wasn’t cool.  I still don’t know what I will do career-wise, which is scary and reeks of failure.  But I didn’t totally fall apart this time.  I took it in stride.  I do wonder how in the heck I didn’t get in that class, because I feel like I really deserved it and would have done an excellent job.  But I’m putting it on to them, not beating myself up over it.  And I’m not sure it’s what I want anyway.  I’m very disillusioned by the costs of school.  And I haven’t gotten ANY return on my undergrad investment.  And the forums scared me off of audiology a little, because they said Hearing Instrument Specialists can do almost exactly the same job, with NO school.  And they probably get paid equal or MORE than actual audiologists.  Also people talked about it being kind of a dead-end career, that’s highly redundant.  And I didn’t know if paying for 4 more years would even be worth it in the end.  But I’m still undecided, and haven’t closed the audiology door all the way.  Perhaps being 14th for a class of 12 was actually a favor to me. . .

7.  -When my parents insisted I call Dad’s chiropractor’s son about getting IN at Costco audiology–NOW, at the same time I frantically trying to complete a heavy-duty YWCA-UT job application and get ready for work at my current job.  They get overwrought and crazy and over-emotional, then there’s nothing for me to say or do to stop that crazy-train.  Unless I do what they say, when they say it, things fall apart quickly.  The whole thing just reminded me of every other time my parents tried to control me.  And how they were probably disappointed in me.  And that’s how the big horribleness of 2007 Cabin-Mansion had really kicked off the first time, so I was scared there would be a big blow up and subsequent melt-down of the relationship we had worked so hard to forge.

6.  -The meeting where work reneged on the full-time schedule, hours, and pay we had negotiated 3 days prior.  I had finagled the best schedule for my weekends, sleep, and time with Cool.  Everyone at work had left the meeting satisfied and happy.   They got coverage on a Sunday, which had been difficult to secure, I got Fridays and Saturdays off and a late-start Wednesday.  It was absolutely perfect and I commended myself for taking a chance and asking.  But 2 days later, they called me back in and told me I’d have to take the legit schedule I had applied for.  Because a girl (previously a bitch to me) who had more seniority, and was better at the job wanted to work Sunday.  And trying to please everyone, instead of defending me and the schedule they had promised me, they gave it to her.  So I felt betrayed (again) and like I had a much worse schedule.  But I also felt trapped.  What else would I do?  I needed this job, or it was back to veterinary assisting.  So I had to just accept it and deal with–while being really angry, frustrated, and un-trusting toward management–and that bitch.

5.  -When Cool picked a fight just 2 days after my good knows of getting a full-time job.  Cutting short my celebration.  Depression strikes this time.  Out of nowhere, Cool knocks the figurative wind out of me by acting like a major jerk.  It was awful, because I had just talked to my proud parents and had been super-ecstatic about my new job, and Cool knocked me down to a miserable level.  I was really sad about it, because I’m ALWAYS supporting Cool and she just didn’t have it in her to even pretend to return the favor–her depressive episode made it all about her.  Again.  I wished she could be supportive and celebrate with me, but instead her bipolar and selfishness ruined it all.  The memory of my new job is still tarnished.

4.  -Getting stuck with all the moving logistics, work, and most of the payments, because Cool went manic and in so doing abandoned me in a time of stress and need.  Which was the WORST because moving sucks anyway.  And there is so much to do and plan, and so much heavy physical work.  It wasn’t fair and I felt alone and unsupported.  Mental illness is the WORST sometimes.  It’s hard not to blame Cool, and that’s not really what I signed up for.  Cleaning the Spokompton apartment by myself was awful.  It was messy and there was so, so, so much left to do.  And it wasn’t fun, and I felt resentful that Cool had already started her job and couldn’t come do her share of the work.  Especially when I was cleaning things SHE had messed up.  Driving Rusty, alone, and wanting to come home and relax very badly, after such a tiring trip and no sleep.  Then walking into a messy house full of manic shenanigans, with a Craigslist ill-fitting futon we hadn’t talked about.  And dealing with having to clean and reconfigure everything, while dealing with a belligerent, unreasonable, manic person.  It was BAD.

3.  -Finding out I was just PRN (after they promised me something different in my interview).  I had interviewed over the phone for the job.  They said I was technically applying for a PRN job, but soon, they were posting a job with more regular hours.  That job was the same duties, but it was a year of guaranteed hours.  This PRN job, which had been posted was 25 hours a week for training, but then was substitute only.  Not stable, and not really what I wanted.  So they hired me during my phone interview, but told me they would call me when (slow) HR got around to posting the year-long job.  Then, I was to apply for that to make the paperwork legit, and that job would be mine.  I waited for the call to tell me that year-job had been posted and to complete that application.  And waited.  When I finally got the phone call from MSCL, they were wanting me to pick a start date for the as-needed job.  And pretended not to remember promising me the more stable-year long job.  I had written it down!  And the way my supervisor acted was callous–and I knew she remembered, but had just reneged.  But I had to take the lessor job, because what else was I going to do?  I needed an income after moving to a new state.  And sure enough on my first day of work, I found out they had hired a coworkers daughter for MY year-long job.  Nepotism had been at play, and as usual I got screwed at work.

2.  -The fear-phobia really, of being offered a job at a veterinary specialty hospital.  I had a sense of dread and sick feeling.  I should have never applied to veterinary hospitals, because my resume is just BUILT for them.  But I was feeling a little insecure and desperate about my guarenteed training 25 hours per week becoming true, as-needed.  I HAVE to work a minimum of 25 hours just to meet my bills, and that was soon to end.  And it’s my policy to ALWAYS interview for the practice if one is offered.  And while I know my veterinary experience is a major advantage in that field, I didn’t anticipate them loving me quite so much and being offered a full-time position on the spot.  The trouble was, it did seem like the best case scenario veterinary medicine could offer.  It was ONLY speciality referrals.  It was the BEST veterinarians in the state.  The hospital hirarchy was set up so there was a legitimate office manager and head vet tech to answer to–not the impulses of vets.  There was a true support system and everyone was on the same learning curve and truely didn’t leave you alone to fail.  And they seemed nice.  And said they didn’t yell–and I believed them.  And the technology was AWESOME.  They really had it all, not just the Idexx lab and digital x-ray.  Like ALL the toys, including MRI, and anything else spectacular.  But I had just such bad memories.  And I knew the schedules and the overwork, and the under-pay.  All the pit-falls, that really, I could no longer live with.  And it’s not what I want in life.  And the delimma was feeling like I HAD to take it, because I really had nothing else to fall back on, but feeling STRESS at the prospect of taking it.  In the end, I made the very, very difficult decision on not going backwards.  It was really hard (and brave) leaving veterinary assisting jobs in the first place, and I had done it for good reasons.  I had to keep up that bravery even when times got tough.  So I declined, but left the door open.  And they liked me so well, that they said to call any time I wanted a job.

  1.  VERY WORST 2015 MOMENT:  Thinking Goose might have thrown a clot to the leg, and worrying about his impending death, and worse, knowing there wasn’t a lot I could do to prevent it.  He randomly fell off the couch twice, and didn’t have use of his back leg.  It was too short to be a seizure (maybe) but didn’t have the pain of a thrombosis.  But my reference point was when the screaming cats had been brought to the vet.  Maybe there were precursor incidents at home that hadn’t been painful, and had gone ignored by owners–I didn’t know.  So of course, I thought the worst.  And I remembered the vets at Cats Meow preparing owners if there were any heart abnormalities.  Telling them to just make the decision to euthanize now, before emotions were involved, because once the clot was thrown, prognosis was grave.  And I remember the cats coming in-just screaming in horrible pain.  And owners saying it happened out of nowhere.  One day, the cat was fine, the next down in back and just SCREAMING.  It was awful to imagine that for my Goose.  And it’s still in the back of my mind, because he is a Maine Coon and they are notorious for heart issues.  But I’m hoping he was just being a clumsy dink, since it’s only happened twice, and the episodes were brief.

I Thought This Was It

10 Aug

My whole life I wanted to be a veterinarian.  So when that didn’t pan out, after time and time again of putting fourth my best effort–I was lost.  I didn’t know what to do with my life or what backup career I would chase.

retirement from vet med 012

And it took a lot of soul-searching and research to find an acceptable alternative–I just didn’t WANT to do anything that wasn’t animal related.  But Audiology made the most sense.  Sure, I didn’t love it in the same way and wasn’t excited about it like I was for animal work.  But nothing came close.  And it did spark my interest.  And in Audiology I could help people like my dad.  And there were a lot of great things about the career:  A stable schedule, more 9-5PM healthcare, higher salary so I could fight only my undergrad degree costs.

So I went to Riverpoint for 2 years.  And worked my A$$ off.  I really earned that 4.0 and for once in my life, made working the 2nd priority, which 9 times out of 10, was HARD.  I thought the grades would carry me into the next step of the program this time.  I thought with that 4.0 GPA, no admissions would reject me again.

But grades weren’t all I had.  I still participated in the extra-curriculars, volunteered, did extra for my program, observed professionals on my own time.  I had good letters from people I worked to know.  I even traveled out-of-state for the interview.

health fair 2014

And I was 14th on the list.  For a class of 12.  So 2nd on the waiting list.  Wait-listed AGAIN.  And even though I knew from multiple experiences what that meant, and how much of a long shot the wait list is–there was a teeny bit of hope.

Not a lot, but enough that I didn’t make any non-reversible plans or huge life decisions.  But in 40 minutes with the close of business hours, the wait list is over.  I will not be joining the Audiology doctoral class in 10 days.  I feel sad.  Sad for wasting all that effort at Riverpoint–not to mention incurring even more student loan debt on an education I can’t use.  And I’m relieved.  Because 10 days to get ready for a rigorous program is not a lot.  I didn’t have a loan for tuition, didn’t know how to make rent when students aren’t allowed off campus jobs, didn’t have books or a parking permit, and forgot far too many concepts and details of my hearing courses.

But mainly I feel lost again.

I’m not sure where to start over.  I can’t really pay for more school after the big move, and I’ll probably never go back to a big university, because for me it just hasn’t been worth all the money.  But what about a technical program?  Community college?  A job?  And in what area?

So again I’m left with a lot of questions and no real direction.  All I know is something has to happen soon.

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?

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.

UU interview 028

-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).

11012375_10205962109630270_89254168319688984_n

-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]

yin yang

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.

Fall finals 125

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!

SLC 16

-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. . .

SLC 35

-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.

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?

Today, My Mile Was More Reasonable [1st interview thoughts]

14 Jan

I completed it in 11.5 minutes with only 3 breaks.  And with the help of Nyquil I slept better last night then I had the previous week!  It still took everything I had to vacuum the apartment today, and as such I’m going to do my sitting down tasks to avoid wearing myself out.  I have to make it through 8 hours of work tomorrow.  Here is some info from my anatomy coloring book.  Then, from an audiology journal article.  And lastly, my very first go at answering potential interview questions.  I’ll work on this 3rd part much more next week.  But I DID  finally buy my bus tickets, hotel room, etc. . .  for February so I can attend said interview–IF I am invited.  If I don’t make the interview I will be pissed, and I guess it will become a vacation because nothing is refundable. . .

uu garden 3

-The ANS has 2 divisions:
–Sympathetic NS- leaves CNS from thoracic & lumbar regions and mobilize E in times of threat (dilates pupils, increase sweat & HR, stim adrenaline).

—Adrenaline mimics the sympathetic NS, but lasts longer.
–parasympathrtic NS – leaves CNS from brain & saccral regions and conserve E in times of quiet (increases digestion, constricts pupils & blood vessels)

brainstem

-use aided cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEP) in ppl whom behavioral testing isn’t reliable.  Shows if a stim. is encoded by the cortex, so can’t yet be used to determine gain or signal-to-noise.

-kids w/HL have difficulty recognizing speech in noise.  Room acoustics impact hearing.  Kids have to rely on working memory to hear adequately.  Especially at poor signal-to-noise ratios, and this can affect auditory comprehension and overall learning.  Glimpsing is a process where ppl take advantage of background noise fluctuations to understand the message.

-Pp w/hearing loss have to use working memory to understand speech–especially with background noise, where a normally hearing person relies on their automatic speech recognition system.  It’s why someone w/HL is exhausted after a day of listening.   Measures of hearing aid response are typically sensitive to background noise equal or less then the signal, where 5-15 above the signal are more realistic.  Therefore, a better test is needed to test the actual capability of hearing aids in noise.  The better the hearing aid is at cancelling outside noise (SNR of +7-+9 over the signal) the better people can recall with accuracy what was said.  In other words, the more an aid can cancell background sound, the less working memory is required to receive the signal, and the more memory is allocated for actually working with the communicated signal.

pinna piercing 2

-What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Wait, wait before I practice answers to potential interview questions I need to think about what I want the committee to know, and what I want them to minimize.

What they should know:

-I am a hard-worker

-I’m not a quitter

-I am a team player

-I’m not in it just for the money

-I am not closed to any of the audiology career avenues (even though right now I’m interested in aural rehabilitation, which I see less as a niche, and more as EVERY aspect should utilize it).

 

What I Want to downplay:

-I am in no way a flake or flight-risk because of my strong veterinary past

-My undergraduate GPA is not representative of my brainpower, ability, or effort.

-My lack of audiology experience does not make me less enthusiastic or naive about the profession.

1]  What are your strengths and weaknesses?

The fact I am 31 years old gives me the advantage of maturity and experience.  This will not be the first time away from my parents, it isn’t the first time I have moved to a novel state, and it isn’t the first time I have attended college.  I can better rise to the rigors of the audiology program because I will be able to focus on that rather then other logistical concerns.

I also, have the determination to see all 4 years through.  Since I have been on an alternate path, it makes me that much more dedicated to finish this training to completion.

My weakness is the fact I am not independently wealthy and do not have a benefactor to pay for my educational or living expenses.  It is nothing I am not used to however.  For the same reason, I applied for every scholarship opportunity in high school and was awarded 8 different scholarships.  In college, I worked half to full time throughout while maintaining my coursework.  This time around I plan to apply for any assistantship available to secure funding.

My other weakness is also a strength.  I have not known I wanted to be an audiologist since childhood.  I did not observe AuDs since grade school, nor was I involved with projects and the profession throughout my undergraduate years.  But my varied experiences in veterinary hospitals, animal organizations, and other things gives me perspectives not every audiology student shares.   I can take those outside experiences and apply them to this career.