A few more small steps towards life

Work on my project is slow, but I’m happy to report there has been some progress. I’ve been working on a truck, a ’93 Chevy 1500 to be precise. It’s an old beat-up work truck in need of a little TLC, which my brothers have provided with yours truly providing some back-up. They have more expertise with cars in general, and I happily admit it.

We are now slowly putting the vehicle back together, though we might need to take off the hood and fenders to reinstall them since they are not lining up correctly That’s only a slight setback. Hope to have that corrected soon. Next, I need to have a windshield installed, which I’m hoping to have done next week. Also, the interior needs to be reinstalled.

Seems like a lot of work, and it is, but it’s not as much as it seems. I already have the registration for the vehicle, along with the license plates and registration sticker. As soon as the windshield is in place, I will finally take out insurance on it and have it inspected  then I will finally have a working vehicle to call my own. Oh, happy days!

Here’s the reason I can’t wait; I hate my job. I haven’t groused about my employment for a while, so here I go again. I find myself stuck in a job beneath my experience and educational level would seem to dictate. I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation and work my way up, but I realized I’m doing so only half-heartedly. I hate my job, and though it’s familiar and I can do great things for the company, I really don’t want to. Hence my reticence and my inability to move up.

I’m working for a management team that’s young and inexperienced, and if they had worked for me back when I was in a management position, I probably would have fired for incompetence. We have a store manager who cares nothing for his employees, refusing to build relationships with his hourly workers, assistants who are too busy imbibing from the well of power their new positions grant them. That amount of power is intoxicating, and having a store full of people who are subordinate to you, many who are eager to kiss up to get on your good graces, can easily make you believe in your non-existent infallibility.

Add to that many hourly supervisors who have been there so long they believe they are untouchable and treat everyone else with condescension. I’m truly amazed at the spectacle, and I wonder how the company manages to function with this level of dysfunction! If you thought Walmart was bad, my current employers are far worse.

But I offer this little nugget, is my perception fueled by my dislike for the industry as a whole or is it a fair assessment? I can’t answer that, but I suspect that it’s little of both. Maybe if I were a little more motivated and excited I could become someone there. What is clear, this is the first time I have been unable to impress my superiors and work my way up. The environment is toxic for me and I need out.

Which brings me back to my project. Once I am done, I will have the freedom to do what is necessary to get out of my current funk. The time I have spent here has been beneficial, affording me the opportunity to earn my Bachelor’s Degree last summer, and to get my health back, especially my mental and emotional health. Looking back, I can’t believe how bad I truly was!

So I’m back and better that I was before. Life is good, though there a few opportunities to improve my life which I will tackle soon. I would have said that it all depends on how quick I am getting the truck back together, but the truth is far more complex. The projects of the past couple of years, my truck, my parent’s house, and graduating college have been indispensable steps in my progress to find happiness. I have found some small measure off happiness, and I’m not letting a shitty job take that away.

To teach or not to teach…

It’s so easy for time to slip through your fingers, especially when you have a decision you are grappling with. In my case, I’m trying to make more life-changing decisions and it’s not easy to make, mostly due to the time and financial requirements necessary to realize this decision.

I have begun considering joining an alternative certification program in order to earn a teaching certificate. There’s quite a few requirements that need to be met, ones that I need to spend time and money to achieve, but in the end will give me the ability to teach in the state of Texas and will get me halfway to a Masters of Arts in Teaching.

One thing that I must accomplish is pass the certification exam for the discipline I want to teach. I’ve given this some thought and I’m leaning towards English, though I wouldn’t mind becoming certified in History or Political Science.

Regardless, it’s still a monumental decision that I’ve yet to settle on completely. The thought of having to stand in front of a class scares me, and talking to people terrifies me, so what the hell am I thinking? All I know is that I hate what I’m doing and I would like to do something in which I can make a positive difference.

I’m looking into a career field that is neither lucrative nor much appreciated, but influences the minds of our youth. I have to make my mind up rather quickly so I can start making whatever preparations are necessary to begin this journey. I’m terrified, but not more so than staying where I am.

When I make up my mind, I’ll let you know, but for now, if you are so inclined to prayer, I ask that you do so. If you’re not, then I’ll accept positive thoughts, it’s the same to me.

End of term crunch time

Birthday cake

Birthday cake (Photo credit: 3liz4)

It’s been a busy week here at Team Joe HQ, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in the next few weeks. Yes, it’s crunch time and I’m just trying to survive these last few weeks as the Spring semester comes to its end. Alleluia and amen!

This past Tuesday I attended my last Geology class of the term. The next class time has been set aside to allow for any make up tests that need to be taken, as well as to give some of us to retake a test we may have done poorly on. I aced mine so I’m good. I just have to return the following week for my final exam.

I celebrated my birthday on Wednesday and I celebrated in style, by attending class until almost nine that night. Nothing says birthday party like sitting in a class room with a bunch of young twenty-somethings. At least I sat with an amusing young woman. And the instructor’s fair to look at. I only wish I could understand what she’s saying, but I guess that’s my fault. I should learn to listen.

Thursday, I had a project due for psychology. I knew about it all semester so naturally I waited until the night before to start it. Five pages later, nearing four in the morning, I completed my project and submitted it via a drop box on the class’s webpage. I ended up not going to class since I was dead to the world until ten.

Going forward, I still have to finalize my portfolio of four essays for my Creative Writing – Nonfiction class. The portfolio is due at the end of the term. I have a few assignments yet to do for my grammar and I have to study for all my finals, but it’s almost over. And I’m glad. I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall, academically speaking. I’m exhausted.

I’m not complaining. I’m happy that I’m finishing my degree, I just forgot the amount of energy it requires to go to class and do homework. It’s not easy, but most things of worth demand sacrifices and this one is well worth the effort.

If I have time, I plan to post my monthly book review that I’m starting. My plan is to write one book review, usually a self-published author, as the first post of the month. So May’s review should be up on May 1st.

Now I think I’m going to soak in the tub for a bit. I stocked about 6 pallets of paint, with some assistance, in two hours and my body is protesting. The great part of this job is that it is a bit mind-numbing, no thinking required. The bad, my body aches, but I’m not planning on making a career of it. This is only something to do until the end of school, which if all goes according to plan, will be the first week of July, and I’ll graduate in August, nineteen years after I started.

But at least I will have come back and completed my studies. I only hope that it will be worth it.

The one where I think about doing book reviews

BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS

BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS (Photo credit: jm3)

Too much to do and so little time? Welcome to the end of the semester! I know I have nothing to complain about, and in contrast to the utter boredom I suffered mere months ago, this is a very welcome change.

I have a few projects staring me in the face, and although it’s crunch time, I’m not sweating it. Not yet at least. My lowest grade at the moment stands at 89.68%. I’m sure I can raise that to a 90. So unless I have a complete meltdown in the next few weeks, I am sure I can make the Dean’s List. I’m not counting on it, though. I still have work to do to make it happen.

In addition to my course load, the too few hours I’m spending at the place of my employment, and my writing, I’m thinking about starting another project. I am considering doing a monthly book review. My plan is to review only self-published novels. The next part is how to choose which books to review.

My goal is twofold. One, I want publicize unknown authors and get their works seen by people who might not otherwise have a chance to come across those works. Secondly, I want to improve my own abilities to critique other literary works, and in the process improve my own ability to write. I know, I know, it’s always about me isn’t it?

I’m still not entirely sure I’m going to do this. I have had many grand ideas that never came to fruition and this may be another one of those failed ideas. We’ll see. I already have a book in mind for my first review and if the tracker on Amazon is to be believed, it just left Hebron, KY. I should have it in a few days. What I don’t know is when I’ll do the review.

I have a few technicalities to work out, as in how I’ll post it. I’ll post it on here on my blog, but probably not on the blog feed. I’ll start a new page solely for book reviews with a link on the menu bar on the top. I’ll have to figure out the how later.

Right now I need to get back to work. I have Grammar class in less than an hour and we will have a quiz. Yay! Ugh….  At least the semester is almost over. I just don’t know if I’ve learned anything there. Oh well, education ho!

Close and getting closer

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I met with my adviser today on campus to get situated for the summer term. Took less than five minutes to get in and out of her office. I’ve been greenlit for the summer and all that I lack is to register for Summer I term to take the four hours I lack to be done with school.

What made it all the more real was the packet she had ready for me. A Graduation Application which I need to fill out and turn in to the Dean’s office by July 1st so that I can graduate this August. Nineteen years after I graduated high school I will finally graduate college. What next? I don’t know, not yet at least. I’ll need to redo my resume, and maybe enlist the help of others to make an outstanding resume complete with my soon to be earned degree.