Tag Archives: student

Is Taylor Swift who we Thought she was? [Part 1]

17 May

Considering recent events I would be remiss not to address the whole 1975 guy and Taylor “dating” so I’m just going to briefly pause the Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments series to talk about it. I have the next 2 posts all ready to go when we resume.

But before I get into that let me give you a history of my exposure to Taylor Swift:

It’s hazy (excuse the pun) when I became a fan of Taylor Swift. I just vaguely remember her being there. She sort of snuck into my life through hearing her singles at the grocery store, or on the radio on the way home from work. I wasn’t really her target audience- I was a bit older than her, just a peripheral country music fan, and I don’t like dudes.

More and more I was hitting repeat on my ipod on her songs. I especially like what I consider her red marker songs. All the ones with anger and bitterness and revenge as the main themes. I don’t know what that says about me, but my insurance only covers 3 counseling sessions per year, so I guess I’ll have to wait to find out. Anyway, I was especially moved by You’re not Sorry, Mean, and Should’ve Said no. I listened to those over and over (no literally, as the song was ending I would push that left side of the circle and play it again) in the car to and from my IVF appointments.

Sidenote: I had to drive 2.5hr from my college town to Kansas City to get paps, blood tests, and hormones as an egg donor. Each session was 3 or 4 months, and the appointments would start out every 3 weeks or something like that, but as it got closer to harvest the appointments could be as many as 3x a week. I was doing a LOT of driving! And Taylor was with me the whole time.

So I have a lot of sentimental attachment to Taylor’s songs. I did not really know anything about Taylor the person, or even marketer. I was a college student with a job so I legit didn’t have that much time to check it out. Also, I couldn’t afford like a TV package with good channels (this was before streaming was mainstream), had a purple Razor, no data (this was before iphones), and I was on Myspace (hated) Facebook, so you had to proactively search people, they didn’t just fall into your feed. Also, it was during the Limewire and Frostwire days (I wasn’t fancy enough to be able to engage with Apple except for my little ipod) so getting music was a whole ordeal.

When Taylor didn’t have Red on Spotify, I really lost track of her, except for hearing the ubiquitous songs out and about. I knew nothing of her personas, eras, fashion, friends, or concerts. I was working and studying (and poor) most of the times, OK? I sort of heard scuttle about her dating constantly, but didn’t know the specifics. Just heard the misogynous comments around school or in the media.

When I saw the rainbows, butterflies, and adorable aesthetic of the Lover era I re-engaged more than ever. That was my jam. The Me! video (not song) is SO ME. It’s everything I ever loved and I wanted EVERY interview, behind the scenes video, and easter egg decoding. I never even knew the easter eggs were a thing before that.

In searching for content I saw these Kaylor compilation videos on YouTube. Before that moment I had not heard of Kaylor, did not know who Karlie Kloss was, didn’t even know what “shipping” was and was completely oblivious of stanning and fan culture. Boy, did I get an introduction! I clicked on the video because Taylor and a model looked very pretty on the cover. As I watched I was agog. As a lesbian, I knew THE LOOK and the way these two looked at each other, the body language, the chemistry–was undeniable. Nobody told me about Kaylor, I had never read about this, but I could see it. After that I found two very interesting podcasts: Taylor Talk and TayDar. I loved the song analysis, and was very curious to find out about everything I had missed over the years (hint: everything but the popular songs). I got on Tumblr, went to Reddit, and Googled a lot of power-points. I was down the rabbit hole.

Then I became obsessed, as you’ve seen. Part 2 we’ll discuss what’s happening now.

If You Think College is a Bubble of Equality–YOU’RE in a Bubble

5 May

I listen to podcasts all day (practically) at work, a lot of them news and current events.  Today, one of them was talking about universities having to go online after the coronavirus social distancing restrictions.

A professor was talking about how the college experience puts each student on an equal playing field:  They all live in the dorms, eat the same crummy cafeteria food, and make their own ecosystem in the classroom.  This professor talked about receiving an email from one of her students after distance learning was put in place that broke her heart.

Cut to an interview with the student.  She never thought she would attend college–had really no interest in it until a high school counselor saw her grades.  This adult saw the grades and encouraged the student to apply to a private college.  Because of her economic status and grades this student got a full ride scholarship to attend.  The interviewer asked how that felt.  The response:  Tepid at best (my opinion).  The interviewer asked what she knew about the school at the time she received her full scholarship:  “I Googled it after I got the letter.”  She went to the campus for her Freshman year, even joining the lacrosse team.

So after the university sent everyone home to engage in distance learning, this student writes her professor an email.  I’ll summarize best I can remember (the interviewer had her read the email aloud for the podcast and she cried throughout):

I’m so sorry.  I am not going to be able to finish this assignment on time.  I can’t concentrate.  My parents own a food truck and since the coronavirus hit, they can’t do business.  They’re thinking about applying for a loan, but it’s uncertain.  I might have to help, maybe, but we don’t know yet.  It’s difficult to complete an assignment when it might be for nothing.  I don’t have a desk, and there are distractions here.  I’m sorry.  I feel so guilty.

So that sounds bad.  But there is a list of things I have a problem with:

-She is on a full-ride scholarship!  Most students have to pay for their education.  I (vs. Mommy and Daddy paying) was responsible for funding my own tuition, so I had to take out loans.  Hardly anyone gets a free college experience.

-Her indifference to applying for college, dearth of knowledge about the school, participation in sports, and email asking for an extension really convey to me that school is not this gal’s priority.

-She was economically stable enough to participate in a sport.  And had to balance her studies with a sport.  This is a luxury.  Also, time-management.

-Who the fuck has a desk?!  I never did.  We work from home, and don’t have a desk.  You make it work.  Find a counter.  Balance your computer on a book.  Seriously–is she even trying?  Honestly, I wanted to tell her to put in some earbuds and focus up.

-A call B.S. on this story.  I’m going to go ahead and be cynical.  I’d be willing to bet this is a dramatized version of events (aka sob story) because a deadline was looming.  Nobody wants a bad grade, so a last ditch effort might be firing off an email to get an extension.  I would love to hear from teachers how common sob story emails asking for extensions are (during and prior to coronavirus).

-This gal’s parents might not be able to keep their business going.  But this is hardly a novel situation.  And it’s not new just because of coronavirus either.  Having a savings account is a rarity.  So, so many students come from a background with economic hardships.  And way worse than hers, too.

-I went on Twitter to remind everybody this is not a coronavirus problem, as the podcast let on.  Disparity has always gone on in every educational setting!  This is nothing new.  Every student except your white, middle to upper-class male has hardships and disparities.  I think it’s gross how many commentators were shocked and appalled that coronavirus has created disparities.  As if they haven’t been going on this whole time.  One (of many, many, many) current examples are the admissions scandals.  This has always happened!

-It’s offensive to me that people were wanting this girl’s particular contact info so they could financially help her.  I told a lot of them they should give instead to one of the many organizations that helps struggling students.  Because pre-coronavirus and now there are tons and tons of students facing numerous disparities, and they need help.  And yeah, a lot of them even finish their assignments on time!


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.

Textbooks: When to Get the Most Money Back

6 Aug

I tracked the sell-back prices for two different textbooks over a year.

Again, I used a random online textbook comparison company.  Many will work, I’m not sure it really matter, just as long as you don’t sell anything back on campus.  Nothing is worse than paying $132 for one textbook and getting back $6 (if you’re lucky) when the semester is over!  The site I used is:


I wrote the date:  the highest sell-back price for book #1; then the highest sell-back price for book #2.  Mostly I tracked the highest and 2nd highest prices for each book, but I started that a little later.  I also noted when Amazon made an appearance because they often trump everyone else’s prices.

The first book is:

Treatment Resource Manual for Speech Language Pathology

ISBN:  1111319782

The second book is:

Survival Guide for the Beginning Speech-Language Clinician

ISBN10 = 0890799814


For the first book, the highest prices were late October to early November ($96.19) and in August ($90-ish).  The lowest buy-back prices were late March ($8.50!) and April when they dipped down into the $20 range.

For the second book, the highest prices were pretty much when Amazon entered the buy-back mix, which was January (as high as $54), August (about $43),  and opposite of book one, late March early April ($40-$43). Which shows that it varies by book a little bit.  The lowest prices for book one were again opposite of the previous book.  The worst time to sell back was in November of 2014 when they dropped to $20-ish and this last June when they were again in the twenty dollar range.  The 2015 drop could mean a new edition came out or a better book came out.  So it’s good to wait until the book companies are paying more, but not so long that your book becomes obsolete since they’re always writing new ones.

So sell-back prices are more complex then the purchase price, because the school time-lines aren’t driving the process as much.  It looks like in general, August is a good time to sell.  But you might want to check frequently for the best prices on your particular book or sell to people at your own school.

bear buddies

Here’s the data:

3/14/14: $60/$30;
5/14: $54/$30;
6/10: $86/37; $38.50
6/15: $57, $36.50
6/19: $55; $35
7/1: $84;$34
7/8/14: $84.10; $35.25
7/13: $84.10; $31.25
7/28: $81.30; $31.00
8/3, 8/4: $81.90; $36.75
8/5: $81.90; $35
8/7: $85.91; $35
8/10: $90.54; $36.50
8/11: $90.54; $37.13
8/12: $90.53; $37.25
8/13: $84.88; $37.75
8/14: $84.90; $37.90
8/15/14: $84.90; $41.93 (Amazon appeared), 2nd highest is $38.12
8/17″ $90.53 (Amazon appeared); $43.17 (Amazon), $42.44
8/19: $90.54 (Amazon), $84 (2nd most); $43.17 (Amazon), $42.44 (2nd best)
8/20: $90.53 (Amazon), $84 (2nd); $43.25, $43.17 (Amazon)
8/22: $90.53 (Amazon), $84 (2nd); $43.80, $43.78 (Amazon)
8/24: $89.53 (Amazon), $56.25 (2nd); $40.36 (Amazon), $36.68 (2nd best)
8/26: $89.53 (Amazon), 54.27 (2nd); $40.36 (Amazon), $33.25 (2nd)
8/28: $89.53 (Amazon), $57.50 (2nd); $33.14 (Amazon), $31.91 (2nd)
9/2: $83.06 (Amazon), $53.25 (2nd); $37.38 (Amazon), $34.50 (2nd)
9/4/14: $80.22 (Amazon), $55.13 (2nd); $37.80 (Amazon), $33.50 (2nd)
9/5: no more Amazon, $58.25, $22.07 (2nd); $38.16 (Amazon), $33.50 (2nd)
9/10: $83.06 (Amazon), $56.50 (2nd); $39.60 (Amazon), $33.50 (2nd)
9/14: $83.06 (Amazon), $56.50 (2nd); $35.40 (Amazon), $35.00 (2nd)
9/15: $83.06 (Amazon),$56.50 (2nd); $35.00, $34.73 (Amazon is 2nd)
9/18: $83.06 (Amazon), $56.50 (2nd); $37.00 (no Amazon)
9/21: $83.06 (Amazon), $52.41 (2nd); $35.00 (Amazon), $35.00 (2nd)
9/22: $83.06 (Amazon), $55.75 (2nd); $35.00, $33.00, $32.93 (Amazon 3rd)
9/25: $83.06 (Amazon), $55.76 (2nd); $35.00 (Amazon = 2nd)
9/28: $83.06 (Amazon), $59.25 (2nd); $35.00, no Amazon
10/1: $83.06 (Amazon), $59.25 (2nd); $35.00, $33.00 (2nd), $31.52 (Amazon)
10/4: $83.06 (Amazon), $54.75 (2nd); $35.00, $33.00 (2nd), $31.45 (Amazon)
10/8: $83.06 (Amazon), $54.75 (2nd); $33.25, $33.00 (2nd), $31.35 (Amazon)
10/12: $83.06 (Amazon), $53.00 (2nd); $31.14, $30.00 (2nd)
10/16: $84.95 (Amazon), $51.25 (2nd); $31.14, $22.50 (2nd)
10/20: $96.19 (Amazon), $41.50 (2nd); $31.14, $20.00 (2nd)
10/22: $96.19 (Amazon), $41.50 (2nd); $31.14, $21.25 (2nd)
10/25: $96.19 (Amazon), $41.50 (2nd); $31.14, $20.25 (2nd)
10/27: $96.19 (Amazon), $43.18 (2nd); $31.14, $21.25 (2nd)
10/30: $96.19 (Amazon), $41.50 (2nd); $31.14, $21.25 (2nd)
11/3: $96.19 (Amazon), $43.18 (2nd); $34.75, $20.50 (2nd)
11/5: $96.19 (Amazon), $45.75 (2nd); $26.13, $24.31 (2nd)
11/7/14: $96.19 (Amazon), $43.18 (2nd); $32.00, $28.50 (2nd)
11/9: $96.19 (Amazon), $46.50 (2nd); $33.00, $31.14 (2nd)
11/11: $96.19 (Amazon), $44.50 (2nd); $31.00, $24.32 (Amazon)
11/15: $96.19 (Amazon), $46.25 (2nd); $33.25, $31.25 (2nd)
11/17: $76.64 (Amazon), $46.25 (2nd); $33.00, $31.25 (2nd)
11/19: $77.64 (Amazon), $46.25 (2nd); $33.25, $31.25 (2nd)
11/22: $77.64 (Amazon), $43.18 (2nd); $27.81, $24.93 (2nd)
11/25: $81.14 (Amazon), $45.75 (2nd); $29.50, $27.86 (2nd)
11/27: $81.14 (Amazon), $45.75 (2nd); $29.50, $28.28 (2nd)
11/29: $81.14 (Amazon), $45.75 (2nd); $29.50, $28.62 (2nd)
12/1: $83.64 (Amazon), $45.75 (2nd); $30.00, $29.30 (Amazon)
12/3: $83.64 (Amazon), $46.25 (2nd); $31.25, $29.67 (Amazon)
12/5: $83.64 (Amazon), $46.25 (2nd); $29.49, (Amazon) $29.25
12/8: $87.14 (Amazon), $49.50 (2nd); $29.55 (Amazon), $29.50 (2nd)
12/10: $88.17 (Amazon), $47.25 (2nd); $32.50, $29.85 (Amazon)
12/11: $88.17 (Amazon), $49.25 (2nd); $32.25, $30.25
12/13: $88.17 (Amazon), $50.25 (2nd); $32.25, $30.25 (2nd)
12/15: $88.17 (Amazon), $50.25 (2nd); $32.00, $30.00 (2nd)
12/16: $88.17 (Amazon), $36.75 (2nd); $32.25, $30.00 (2nd)
12/18: $88.17 (Amazon), $39.00 (2nd); $31.45, $30.00 (2nd)
12/20: $88.17 (Amazon), $80.50 (2nd); $31.75, $29.75 (2nd)
12/22: $88.17 (Amazon), $80.50 (2nd); $31.50, $30.04 (2nd)
12/23: $80.75, $78.75 (2nd); $31.50, $30.30 (Amazon)
12/25: $86.50, $84.50 (2nd); $32.25, $30.28 (Amazon)
12/29: $86.25, $84.25 (2nd); $34.50, $34.20 (2nd)
12/31/14: $81.25, $76.13 (Amazon); $36.82, $34.80 (2nd)
1/2/15: $81.63 (Amazon), $45.50 (2nd); $39.00, $37.01
1/5: $45.50, $43.00 (2nd); $39.00, $38.00 (2nd)
1/7: $49.25, $46.00 (2nd); $38.00, $37.62 (Amazon)
1/9: $49.00, $44.55 (2nd); $38.10 (Amazon), $38.00 (2nd)
1/13: $58.75, $57.00 (2nd); $39.23 (Amazon), $38.00 (2nd)
1/15: $67.25, $63.00 (2nd); $41.00, $40.04 (Amazon)
1/17: $64.75, $62.75 (2nd); $40.00, $39.69 (Amazon)
1/20: $70.00, 68.25 (2nd); $38.00, $36.48 (Amazon)
1/22: $72.25, $70.25 (2nd); $38.00, $35.67 (Amazon)
1/23: $72.25, $70.25 (2nd); $38.00, $35.97 (Amazon)
1/26: $74.25, $58.81 (Amazon); $38.00, $35.23 (Amazon)
1/27: $74.50, $68.80 (2nd); $38.00, $37.25 (2nd)
1/29: $74.50, $70.54 (Amazon); $54.24 (Amazon), $38.00 (2nd)
1/31: $79.78 (Amazon), $74.75; $45.52 (Amazon), $40.00
2/2: $67.10, $29.75 (2nd); $45.82 (Amazon), $40.00
2//4: $34.53 (Amazon), $29.75 (2nd); $46.41 (Amazon), $40.00 (2nd)
2/9/15: $40.00, $39.73 (Amazon); $37.50, $33.65 (2nd)
2/13: $37.50, $33.65; $40.50, $39.66 (Amazon)
2/16: $35.75, $31.95; $42.18 (Amazon), $42.00 (2nd)
2/17: $34.00, $30.30 (2nd); $42.00, $40.00 (2nd)
2/19: $35.75, $31.95 (2nd); $35.75, $35.50 (2nd)
2/20: $35.75, $31.95 (2nd); $35.75, $35.50 (2nd)
2/23: $35.75, $31.95 (2nd); $35.75, $35.50 (2nd)
3/2/15: $34.00, $30.05 (2nd); $38.00, $35.75 (2nd)
3/4: $36.00, $32.20 (2nd); $40.25, $38.25 (2nd)
3/6: $34.00, $30.30 (2nd); $40.25, $38.25 (2nd)
3/9: $34.00, $30.30 (2nd); $42.50, $40.50 (2nd)
3/11: $32.25, $28.40 (2nd); $40.50, $38.25 (2nd)
3/16: $8.10, $6.52 (2nd); $43.00, $41.00 (2nd)
3/18: $8.10, $7.49 (2nd); $44.85, $38.00 (2nd)
3/20: $8.50, $8.10 (2nd); $38.00, $37.95 (2nd)
3/22: $8.50, $8.10 (2nd); $37.95, $37.76 (2nd)
3/24: $26.23 (Amazon), $17.98 (2nd); $38.25 (Amazon), $36.30 (2nd)
3/25: $26.23 (Amazon), $16.62 (2nd); 38.53 (Amazon), $35.00 (2nd)
3/26: $19.25, $16.30 (2nd); $38.75 (Amazon), $35.00 (2nd)
3/29: $26.23 (Amazon), $8.10 (2nd); $39.62 (Amazon), $32.50 (2nd)
3/30/15: $27.75, $26.78 (2nd); $43.45, $41.50 (2nd)
3/31: $54.50, $54.00 (2nd); $40.01 (Amazon), $36.30 (2nd)
4/2: $54.50, $54.25 (2nd); $40.34 (Amazon), $36.30 (2nd)
4/4: $57.75, $26.32 (2nd-Amazon); $40.74 (Amazon), $35.00 (2nd)
4/7: $57.75, $26.32 (2nd-Amazon); $41.10 (Amazon); $32.50 (2nd)
4/9: $30.50, $29.70 (2nd); $41.11 (Amazon), $32.50 (2nd)
4/11/15: $27.75, $26.78 (2nd); $32.50, $30.52 (2nd)
4/12: $28.50, $27.55 (2nd); $32.50, $30.52 (2nd)
4/14: $28.25, $27.33 (2nd); $32.50, $30.25 (2nd)
4/16: $29.00, $26.82 (2nd); $32.50 (2 companies), $32.02 (3rd)
4/18: $29.00, $26.82 (2nd); $32.50, $28.07 (2nd)
4/21: $28.50, $26.30 (2nd); $32.50, $28.87 (2nd)
4/24: $20.75, $17.70 (2nd); $32.50, $30.75 (2nd)
4/25: $20.75, $17.70 (2nd); $32.50, $30.75 (2nd)
4/29/15: $54.20 (x2), $20.75 (2nd); $35.00, $34.80 (2nd)
4/30: $57.50 (x2), $54.20 (2nd); $35.00, $34.80 (2nd)
5/2: $54.20 (x2), $32.75 (x2) (2nd); $35.00, $30.50 (2nd)
5/5: $57.50 (x2), $54.20 (2nd); $32.25, $31.75 (2nd)
5/7: $61.00 (x2), $58.80 (2nd); $35.50, $31.09 (2nd)
5/9: $61.00 (x2), $58.74 (2nd); $35.50, $31.34 (2nd)
5/12: $64.50 (x2), $62.21 (2nd); $35.75, $31.34 (2nd)
5/14: $68.50 (x2), $66.25 (2nd); $35.75, $31.75 (2nd)
5/16: $68.50 (x2), $66.36 (2nd); $35.75, $32.50 (2nd)
5/18: $72.50 (x2), $72.24 (2nd); $36.00, $31.75 (2nd)
5/20: $72.50 (x2), $70.45 (2nd); $36.25, $31.82 (2nd)
5/22: $77.00 (x2), $74.70 (2nd); $36.50, $32.06 (2nd)
5/23: $77.00 (x2), $74.86 (2nd); $36.50, $32.50 (2nd)
5/25: $81.50 (x2), $79.70 (2nd); $36.50, $32.50 (2nd)
5/27: $75.70, $75.25 (2nd); $36.75, $32.30 (2nd)
5/30/15: $73.50, $70.00 (2nd); $37.25, $33.03 (2nd)
6/2: $77.75, $75.44 (2nd); $37.50, $33.03 (2nd)
6/4: $82.50, $80.22 (2nd); $37.50, $33.27 (2nd)
6/5: $82.25, $79.95 (2nd); $37.50, $33.28 (2nd)
6/8/15: $82.25, $82.01 (2nd); $38.00, $33.51 (2nd)
6/10: $80.90, $80.50 (2nd); $38.25, $33.99 (2nd)
6/15: $77.25, $73.10 (2nd); $29.00, $28.75 (2nd)
6/16: $77.25, $73.10 (2nd); $29.00, $28.75 (2nd)
6/18: $81.75, $61.72 (2nd); $31.00, $30.75 (2nd)
6/25: $82.00 (x2), $75.90 (3rd); $28.25, $28.00 (2nd)
6/29/15: $80.25 (x2), $75.90 (3rd); $30.25, $30.00 (2nd)
7/2: $80.25 (x2), $74.30 (3rd); $29.00, $28.75 (2nd)
7/8: $74.00 (x2), $64.00 (3rd); $28.50, $
8/615: $65.50 (x2), $60.30 (x2) (3rd); $33.75, $31.85 (2nd)

Buy Textbooks At The Cheapest Price

4 Aug

WHEN is that, you ask? Well, it’s complicated.

I used Cheapbooks.com to track prices for Fundamentals of Phonetics by Larry H. Small over a year.  Here’s the link:



I found that the best RENTAL prices are in June (under $16).  Which may or not be helpful since a rental time-line is involved.  But that makes renting cool too, because you could have the book for 3 months, 6 months, or a semester–whatever is most useful for YOU.  But, that cheap summer rental period may not extend through your entire semester.  But for summer sessions, maybe the quarter system (I’m largely unfamiliar with it), and if you don’t mind returning books before finals, that might work out.  July is next cheapest with prices of $23-$24.  So rent, pretty much right before fall semester starts to get the best deal.  Renting is not such a sure bet for winter/spring semester.  The prices climb (to a high of $104 in December and January), and from January through April, my particular book wasn’t available for rental at ALL.  But I really think renting, in the fall apparently, is the best investment.  As long as you remember to return the books–to the proper company.  Do NOT do what I did and forget altogether OR what I did in a different semester, turn it in to the wrong company!  What ended up helping me was to use the rental receipt with dates, company, and numbers as my bookmark for the duration of the time I used the book.

I did not bother around with NEW textbook prices at all, because my target audience here is not the spoiled princesses of the world.  Let’s be real here, we’re the USED book-buying types, yes?  The difference in quality between used and new books is minimal, so the value for brand new, isn’t very good.  The book companies are pretty picky about what returns they will accept and I’ve rarely received used books with any markings in them.  There might be one or two highlights, but usually after chapter one, writing-IN-books people peter out on the reading.  And on that note, don’t write/highlight IN your books.  RENTAL (especially), USED, or NEW.  You might end up having to purchase the rental, you’ll get a lower price when you try to return a marked-in used book, and writing in a book you plan to keep means when you go back and try to use it–you’ve answered all the questions already.  So read with a computer or notebook, so you can write important things down OUTSIDE of the book.

USED prices were lowest September through November ($23.16) and then very briefly June 9th ($22.70) with large differences between the best and 2nd best prices.  Prices were highest in December ($93.49) when everyone had sold their books back and companies were flush with stock.

The moral?  IF you can stand to wait until after the semester has started (and take the chance your particular book won’t be sold out everywhere) that’s when prices were lowest for my book.  And if you can buy ahead for winter/sping–that’s best, because prices never really fell back to their June-November rates.

Here are the numbers:

for phonetics

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7/1 = rent for $17; used for $71
7/8: rent $17; used $81.98
7/13 = rent $24
7/28 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
8/11 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
8/17 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
8/18 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
8/19 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
8/20 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
8/26 = rent: $22.98; used: $63.28
9/2 = rent: $22.98; used: $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
9/3 = rent: $22.98; used: $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
9/5 = rent: $22.98; used: $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
9/10 = rent: $22.98; used: $23.15, $24.20
9/14 = rent: $22.98; used: $23.16, $24.20
9/24 = rent: $22.98; used $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
10/4 = rent: $22.98; used $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
10/18 = rent: $22.98; used $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
11/8 = rent $22.98; used $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
11/11 = rent $22.98; used $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
11/15 = rent $22.98; used $23.16, $24.20 (2nd)
11/19 = rent $101.83; used $81.38, $83.98 (2nd)
11/22 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $83.98 (2nd)
11/25 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $83.98 (2nd)
11/27 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $93.49 (2nd)
11/29 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $93.49 (2nd)
12/1 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $90.00 (2nd)
12/3 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $93.49 (2nd)
12/5 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $93.49 (2nd)
12/7 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $93.49 (2nd)
12/11 = rent $103.83; used $81.38, $93.49 (2nd)
12/15 = rent $60.57; used $93.49, $132.00 (2nd)
12/16 = rent $60.57; used $93.49, $132.00 (2nd)
12/19 = rent $60.57; used $93.49, $132.00 (2nd)
12/20 = rent $60.57; used $93.49, $132.00 (2nd)
12/23 = rent $86.00; used $86, $93.49 (2nd)
12/25 = rent $60.57; used $86, $93.49 (2nd)
12/29 = rent $60.57; used $86.00, $93.49 (2nd)
1/2 = rent $51.14; used $93.49, $97.72 (2nd)
1/5 = rent $51.14; used $93.49, $97.72 (2nd)
1/8 = rent $51.14; used $93.49, $97.72 (2nd)
1/13 = rent $51.26; used $82.53, $108.46 (2nd)
1/15 = rent $51.26; used $82.53, $108.46 (2nd)
1/17 = rent $51.26; used $82.53, $108.46 (2nd)
1/20 = rent $55.07; used $76.71, $80.84 (2nd)
1/22 = rent $55.07; used $76.71, $80.84 (2nd)
1/23 = rent $55.07; used $76.71, $80.84 (2nd)
1/27 = rent none left; used $73.48, $109.78 (2nd)
1/29 = rent none left; used $73.48, $109.78 (2nd)
1/31 = rent N/A; used $73.48, $109.78 (2nd)
2/4 = rent none left; used $81.45, $82.17 (2nd)
2/9 = rent none; used $81.45, $82.17 (2nd)
2/13 = rent none; used $81.45, $82.17 (2nd)
2/17 = rent none; used $72.48,$81.45 (2nd)
2/20 = rent $39.09; used $65.10, $78.49 (2nd)
2/23 = rent none; used $70.27, $95.54 (2nd)
3/2 = rent none; used $45.09, $95.54 (2nd)
3/4 = rent none; used $45.09, $95.54 (2nd)
3/9 = rent none; used $45.09, $95.54 (2nd)
3/16 = rent none; used $55.49, $95.54 (2nd)
3/18 = rent none; used $55.49, $95.54 (2nd)
3/22 = rent none; used $55.49, $95.54 (2nd)
3/26 = rent none; used $39.49, $95.54 (2nd)
3/29 = rent none; used $39.49, $95.54 (2nd)
4/2 = rent none; used $39.49, $95.54 (2nd)
4/5 = rent none; used $55.92, $95.54 (2nd)
4/7 = rent none; used $55.92, $95.54 (2nd)
4/10 = rent none; used $55.92, $95.54 (2nd)
4/12 = rent $30.64; used $52.91, $55.95 (2nd)
4/14 = rent $30.64; used $52.91, $55.95 (2nd)
4/16 = rent $30.64; used $52.91, $55.95 (2nd)
4/18 = rent $32.58; used $52.52, $55.95 (2nd)
4/21 = rent $32.18; used $52.52, $55.95 (2nd)
4/24 = rent $32.18; used $52.52, $55.95 (2nd)
4/25 = rent $32.18; used $52.52, $55.95 (2nd)
4/29 = rent $37.88; used $61.17, $74.25 (2nd)
4/30 = rent $37.88; used $61.17, $74.25 (2nd)
5/2 = rent $37.88; used $47.00, $53.21 (2nd)
5/5 = rent $33.88; used $38.55, $47.00 (2nd)
5/7 = rent $33.88; used $38.55, $47.00 (2nd)
5/9 = rent $33.88; used $38.55, $47.00 (2nd)
5/12 = rent $33.88; used $52.27, $55.40 (2nd)
5/14 = rent $35.61; used $51.86, $57.94 (2nd)
5/16 = rent $35.61; used $54.22, $75.41 (2nd)
5/18 = rent $35.61; used $54.23, $75.41 (2nd)
5/20 = rent $35.61; used $54.23, $75.41 (2nd)
5/23 = rent $35.48; used $73.49, $75.41 (2nd)
5/25 = rent $35.48; used $73.49, $75.41 (2nd)
5/27 = rent $35.48; used $73.49, $75.41 (2nd)
5/30 = rent $35.48; used $73.49, $75.41 (2nd)
6/2 = rent $15.27; used $28.56, $29.20 (2nd)
6/4 = rent $15.27; used $28.56, $29.20 (2nd)
6/5 = rent $15.27; used $28.56, $29.20 (2nd)
6/9 = rent $15.27; used $22.77, $26.31 (2nd)
6/10 = rent $15.27; used $29.45, $33.49 (2nd)
6/15 = rent $22.98; used $38.00, $48.24 (2nd)
6/17 = rent $22.98; used $38.00, $48.24 (2nd)
6/25 = rent $44.61; used $29.78, $33.27 (2nd)
6/29 = rent $44.61; used $38.00, $48.24 (2nd)
7/2 = rent $44.61; used $38.00, $48.24 (2nd)
7/8 = rent $23.74; used $38.00, $48.24 (2nd)
7/13 = rent $23.70; used $38.00, $48.24 (2nd)
7/26/15 = rent $23.74; used $32.39, $65.24 (2nd)
8/3/15 = rent $36.15; used $47.00, $55.19 (2nd)


When to Buy and Sell Textbooks

3 Aug

In honor of back-to-school August!

It’s always a rip-off, but when can you minimize the pain? Textbooks cost around $100 per book and with 12 credits, you are probably looking at purchasing at least 4 and probably more like 6, because that one English or Anatomy teacher always feels like 3 required books are probably better. . .  That adds up to about $300-$700 PER semester.  Which by the time you get a degree looks more like $1,800 to $5,600 (if you’re REALLY unlucky, or changed your major), which is WAAAAAY too much when you also have to pay tuition, school fees, rent, transportation, food, and health-care.  Save money where you can–your books!  I may not have been writing in this blog often at all, but I have been doing research for you!  You’re welcome.

The Quad 2

But before we get to the data, let me mention (what I consider) the obvious.  Do NOT buy your textbooks from your campus bookstore.  Those are probably the most expensive prices of all.  Sure it’s easy, sure the bookstore is right there, but it’s totally not worth ti.  And do NOT sell your books back anywhere on campus.  Not the bookstore and not the easily accessible sidewalk stand on the way back to your dorm.  My first time around, I could not be bothered to mess about with shipping.  Or research.  And how much money I must have lost!  Let’s not think about it.  It’s really, really, REALLY worth it to bother around with shipping textbooks back and fourth.

Go to any textbook comparison website and find your books at the lowest price to purchase and highest sell-back.  I’ve chosen random sites that compare several book companies for the purpose of showing you it doesn’t really matter which company or site, but they’re all cheaper than campus.  Also, know that no one company always has the best prices, as you will soon see–they fluctuate dramatically ALL the time.

Walking about-July 2012 032

I picked 3 random textbooks (in my Speech & Hearing Sciences major) that I had to buy, then sell back in 2014.  I tracked the purchase price for renting the book and the top two lowest buying price for one book.  On that note, it’s a personal preference whether you want to buy new or used books, rent, or just borrow from the library.  It really depends on the course (make sure you have a chem book accessible ALL the time!!!) and your study style.  If you’re not going to read the books, just go to the library or borrow them from a friend.  But DO read your books–it does help, I swear!  Even if you’re not directly tested on the reading material (you rarely will be), and even if practice problems aren’t assigned to turn in.  It will help you build a foundation for learning, give practice problems, and have useful visuals.  Read.  Your.  Textbooks.  My 4.0 GPA (yup, I’m bragging–and will continue to do so for the rest of my LIFE) I earned the 2nd time around?  Largely due to reading every textbook.  Sometimes professors don’t explain things clearly or at all, and my textbooks gave me a leg up.  Seriously, find the time.

Should you keep the books?

I kept my undergrad textbooks that were in my major and minor.  And I have yet to look at ANY of them.  But I have moved heavy Animal Science, Nutrition, Biology, and Chemistry textbooks from apartment to apartment, state to state, and now they sit in my storage unit–in a different state.  I never used them at all, and they just collect dust losing their value as new editions come out (which is very frequently so publishers can make even MORE money on students).  I wish I would have rented them and saved myself money, muscle-soreness, and space.  Maybe you might want really good textbooks to refer to in your career–but be practical about it.  You probably won’t.  Remember how the info is updated ALL the time.  Go to the Internet, take CE credits, or subscribe to a journal instead.

For the other two books, I tracked the sell-back prices (highest and 2nd highest) over a year.  These trends might vary depending on major and stuff, but I imagine the principles of supply and demand are similar for all subjects.  So next up:  BUYING textbooks, and when the best time to do it is during the year.

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?

GreyHELL [UU AuD Interview Part I]

10 Mar

I wrote notes about my trip, but was too tired to organize them into a decent post.  So that’s why I’ve been back home for a week and a half and you’re just now hearing about the big trip.  I have less then 2 months of this horrible swing-shift schedule left, and I can’t wait for my energy and motivation to return!  Here’s part I of the series:

I had no experience with Greyhound buses.  The only thing I really knew about them, is all of my high school sports teams wanted to charter one.  Other, richer, teams got to charter a “real” bus and my small high school teams were very envious-we were stick on our big, yellow bus for even the longest trips.  Even when we had to drive 8 hours to Las Vegas for the STATE track meet.

Laurel's pics 157

I had to get myself to Salt Lake City for an interview, which I thought was overkill.  Most audiology programs don’t interview, and I feel they should have done Skype at most.  It’s a lot to ask of poor college students to pay to go to Utah–in the middle of a semester.  But I knew I should attend if invited, because if only unconsciously-it would go against me if they didn’t meet me in person.

I checked into the airlines, hoping the lower fuel prices would mean cheaper ticket prices.  And of course that wasn’t the case.  What would be a 10 hour drive, was going to be more then $400 for one person.  And that isn’t feasible on my minimum wage when I’m saving for a move–and tuition.

Trains are few and far between, and surprisingly expensive as well.  Driving through Montana or Idaho in the winter with my 1994 car was not super-stable either.  I would be horrified if I had car trouble or got caught in terrible weather over a mountain pass.  There was just no time to mess around with all the possible driving scenarios for an interview situation.  So it looked like the Greyhound would be my cheapest option.  $163 for a round trip.  Which meant Cool could go too–and that’s a LOT better!



-We didn’t want to leave our cars anywhere in the vicinity of sketchy downtown.  And I thought our bus was leaving at 11PM when my coworkers were in the busiest part of the work-day, and my Aunt would be asleep.  It was only the day before we left that I realized it was 11AM.  Twelve hours longer?!  It was too short of notice by then, so we were going to cab it.  But while I was checking prices I saw the Lyft app.  Normal people (not licensed cabbies) drive in their (clean, less then decade old) cars with the punch of the app button.  And it’s HALF the price!  We tried it and it worked out fine–I recommend it.

-We got to the bus station around 9:30AM.  It had an air of desperation and felt old, maybe dirty.  It’s set up a little confusing and we started out standing by the train station til we realized it was closed all day and that wasn’t right.  We wandered to the unmanned Greyhound counter next and since no one was there I grabbed some luggage ID tags and began filling them out.  After 5 minutes, the gal came out from the back (what, was she on a smoke break?!) and did our paperwork.

-We went upstairs and sat on 2 of the 4 available chairs.  People started to arrive, coughing and sneezing (openly, no covering the mouth here) as they did.  Most were dressed in sweats, a few had pink or blue hair.  Some were obnoxiously rowdy already.

-After an hour or so, our bus began to load.  I sat down and was instantly uncomfortable–uh oh.  Bus #1 had incessant, loud-talker.  The guy who knows everything, has done everything and goes on and on and on.  And on.  There would be no napping.  And I had to utilize my ipod (at too loud of a volume level) early on to drown him out.


-We were scheduled to transfer in Pasco.  Why our route didn’t go straight down to Walla Walla, I don’t know.  I used every bathroom we stopped at during this entire journey, not wanting to use the Greyhound’s small, and sure to be dirty bathroom.  The people at this station were very diverse:  Lots of hispanics, some Asians, blacks, Middle-Eastern–I had no idea southern WA would have diversity.  And of course one erratic white man talking to himself, pacing, flailing his arms, and throwing his lunch pail against walls. . .

-Bus #2 was comfortable.  The driver did not announce when we were loading and barely indicated which (of 4) buses was ours.  He also hardly talked during the 1.5 hr journey to random Standfield, OR. . .  It was a weird, brief trip and I’m not sure why they did it that way.  This would become the strongest theme of the Greyhound-weird routes, random stops, taking forever longer then it should.

-At the Oregon stop we got to a Pilot center with built-in McDonalds and lots of parking for semi-trucks.  It looked like our driver pulled into the McDonald’s drive through.  And all he said, was this was this bus’ last stop and all of us going to Denver had to get off.  Everyone was confused.  Where were we?  Where was the bus stop?  Would another bus be arriving?  I wasn’t going to Denver–would MY bus be arriving?  How long until the next (hopefully correct) bus take to get here?  I noticed as we got off, that everyone else had the same shell-shocked, nervous demeanor that I did.  This somehow calmed me, because I figured at least we were all in the same boat bus.  And people were trying to ask driver #2 clarifications as he unloaded our checked luggage.  He seemed impatient and just kept saying this was the last stop for this bus. . .  Had our driver quit his job in the middle of his shift??  I did not know.


-I hate McDonalds–but luckily we had packed snacks and Gatorade.  We used the bathroom, then found a tiny platform with a semi-hidden Greyhound sign along the side (as opposed to in front or beside) the wood.  We sat atop and watched a gal scream at her male companion for awhile.  Hopefully they would not be coming on our next bus.  Then a bus came and unloaded.  It was ours?  Driver #3 was belligerently crabby.  We started to load the bus, but he ordered us to line up and he took all of our tickets at once, while screaming at the smokers.  Six people lit up–and this made me very unhappy–stupid Oregon.  Once he took our tickets, we again tried to load the bus.  Cranky driver yelled to stay in line while he loaded the luggage.  Finally, after 40(?) minutes, we loaded without getting shouted at.  I took the first available double seat, because I didn’t know how many available seats there would be.  This bus was already full of tired, greasy-looking people.  And it smelled of old grease from fast food.  They talked loudly throughout the trip, and Cool became obsessed with her cell phone.  I could not sleep at all.  The driver gave a litany of rules in an angry voice and we drove another hour and a half before stopping for an hour dinner break.  The tall dude (screaming recipient of earlier) kept coming to the front of the bus where his angry gal was.  She would glare horribly, and even went to the back of the bus once to stay away from him.  We stopped for a 20 minute bathroom break and some other dude from the back told the driver someone had a knife.  I knew instantly it was the erratic tall guy.  And that guy kept coming up to the front to see her–I knew he’d eventually stab her or do something crazy.  And the driver eventually yelled at them to stay seated and quit coming back and forth.  Not 5 minutes later tall guy came up, lingered in the isle, went back, then came up to sit in a front seat.  He had not listened at ALL.  After that break we stopped for another hour at the Boise Greyhound station.  Erratic tall guy got kicked off the bus, because apparently his knife had already been taken once previously.  There was a lot of drama with the meth–heads (once we got a better look closer up we saw the facial sores and telltale thinness) getting kicked off the bus.  She was “up” crying without tears, wailing to the ticket guy, and lolling on the floor.  He was in a dazed state sort of wandering aimlessly.  It took an hour for them to finish their calls and their drama and leave the station.  And I guess our bus was waiting on them, because our 20 minute break turned into more like 80 minutes.


-We finally got back on the bus after midnight (13 hours into the trip), but people still had screens flashing, and were talking.  I finally slept lightly out of sheer exhaustion, but had a problem.  Suddenly, my stomach was really hurting.  And it had quieted on the bus except for some snoring.  I woke up because I farted!  This NEVER happened to me!  Once in kindergarten I accidentally farted in school and was mortified.  I tried to deny it, but Bryce Fuller called me out–which everyone knew anyway.  To this day I’m embarrassed about it.  Anyway, the leather seats amplified the sound.  I tried to remain perfectly still so I didn’t tip off anyone paying attention that it was me.  I was so embarrassed!  But let’s be real, in this crowd, on this bus–farting wasn’t the worst thing going on.  So I was embarrassed, but not as much as real life.  I was also so, so tired.  I hadn’t slept the whole day (16 hours) til then.  I drifted back off, but the same gas occurred twice more.  I audibly farted 3 times in my sleep!  I have no idea if anyone heard or if they knew it was me.  Some things are better never to know–I’ll tell myself they were sleeping and missed it.  But even so, I couldn’t go to sleep at all for fear of more gas.

road to UU

-We arrived in Salt Lake City at 6AM.  18 hours of travel and sleeplessness.

I’ll tell you about the trip and the return trips in another post since this one has gotten quite long.

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]


-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


-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?

Best Moments of 2014!

30 Dec

It was a good year, though not in the way of travel and events.  It was just a nice, stable year (for me, Cool was swinging up and down rapidly) which is what I needed.  Here are the bigger moments that were important from 10-best:

#10:  Getting to snowboard again

EZ123 3rd snowboard 118

I love being good at things!  And the instructors said I was a fast learner, and I felt confident on the slopes.  It was good to be back in the bindings.  Cool’s accident and resulting ambulance ride, emergency room visit (and those bills) lower this 2014 moment to closer to the bottom of the list.

#9:  Bike Swap and Snowboard  Swap

bike swap 4-10-14 017

These were really exciting adventures!  The research, the shopping, the event.  And the dreams for our future sports endeavors–not to mention our purchases were super-fun.  And Cool and I got along famously at both–no bipolar issues these weekends-whew.

#8:  Finishing my post-bac at Riverpoint (and keeping my 4.0 GPA)

CN ref both flaps open

The anticipation had been killing me.  I looked forward to this for TWO years, so when it happened it felt pretty sweet.  This is low on the list because the huge accomplishment (in my mind) was a little underscored by others and didn’t receive the acclaim I felt it deserved.  Finishing 27 upper-level courses in an entirely new and unfamiliar field–WITH straight A’s is a big deal in my mind–even if it didn’t garner me an actual degree.

 #7:  Two DMB shows–with SEATS.  And Brandi Carlile to open both shows.

celebrate we will 3

Usually this would take the #1 spot–and having 2 shows with seats–it SHOULD.  But Cool and I had probably our worst fight ever the first Friday so it’s not the perfect memory I anticipated and desire.  Obviously, it still makes the list because, hello, the Gorge, Brandy opening (and acknowledging our sign), DMB, the setlist game, merch, and SEATS!

#6:  Being named a finalist in a noise-induced hearing loss prevention poster contest!

NIHL color pic

I enjoy showing my creativity, and who doesn’t like winning something?  My poster will be featured at the annual AudiologyNOW conference and may even win!  In which case I get all proceeds for the life of the poster.  It’s cool and it’s exciting.

#5:  The relief I felt when I quit veterinary assisting

retirement from vet med 013

Even though the financial consequences were scary, I instantly felt better.  Removing those toxic influences was difficult, but well worth it.  It was time to go, and I’m in such a better place since I did.  I just had enough, and it feels good to be away.

#4:  Going to MT over Independence Day and My birthday

Cool Grizz attack

This one’s slightly lower, because before we left home, Cool was an irritable turkey so that puts a bit of a damper on the memory.  Pow-Wow is always fun, but this item is down in the rank because I had a bad allergy attack.  Leaving pow-wow to stay at a hotel in Missoula was amazing.  One of the best showers of my LIFE!  The bathtub was full of dust, and my allergens (temporarily washed away).  It felt nice staying in an oversized room with a TV and sleeping in a cozy bed instead of car-camping at the pavillion.  It was partially so nice because it was an unplanned treat and everything fell into place nicely–which rarely happens to me.  Also seeing how adorable Missoula is over my birthday weekend, and dreaming of “summering” there was exciting.

#3:  Satisfaction of running 1 mile every day of the year

house-sitting post run

It’s a really big deal, because not only am I really busy most of the time–I’m lazy.  I’m very proud to remain in shape, counter my poor eating habits, and do something not that many other people are able to achieve.  I’m going to see how many days in a row I can keep this up.

#2:  My parents visited!

Dad's 70th B-day visit 020

We had a week full of family activities and my dad turned 70!  Everyone (except Aunt Linda) was on their best behavior and I felt like a real family unit.  I loved that everyone had fun and Cool was made to feel 100% part of the family.  And all the free food and fun activities didn’t hurt my feelings either 😉

 #1:  The Sky-Fest Air Show

loading docktraffic jam in the sky

Was a genuinely amazing time, not ruined by bipolar, sunburns, or lack of funds.  Cool and I were together and both of us happy and excited.  We got to spend the day outside, and tour the planes, and spectate at the shows.  We got burned and thirsty, but we were still in great spirits.