Temp agencies? Why not.

My volunteer hours are from 10-2 every Wednesday. I was always volunteering on Wednesdays at Liberty Regional and I just love breaking up the monotony of the work week with volunteering in the middle of the week. I don’t want to call it hump day. I went in earlier for volunteering today and decided to eat lunch outdoors where I ended up talking with one of the nurses, Ms. Lloyd, who also works in the pre-op registration department. She talked of her daughter who went to Georgia Tech and has a masters in chemical engineering. Even with those credentials, she is having difficulty finding work. I hate to see that this is a widespread problem. It is not encouraging. To make matters worse, this same daughter has a friend who has a job at the Center for Disease Control. Really?! What is it going to take to get in with that organization!? It seems everyone knows someone who works for the CDC in some capacity.

Several of my friends know of my long time goal to work for the CDC in Atlanta and have suggested I quit the job I have now and move in with my cousins family up to the Atlanta area and try my luck there. That’s all fine and dandy but how am I going to support myself? I’m leaving it up to chance whether or not I get a job quickly enough to pay for my car insurance, credit card and cell phone bill. Believe me, there is no one more eager to be in proximity to the organization but I need to be smart about this. Being unemployed for almost a year, I don’t ever want to go back to being on the governments payroll.

I told Ms. Lloyd of my great (because at this point it has become that) search for a job in my actual career field or even an entry level position that could launch me in that direction. She mentioned that she knew of several people who went through temp agencies that placed them at Shands. Then Shands either liked them and ended up hiring them or the temps applied for positions that weren’t listed and ended up being hired. It can’t really be that simple can it? But with bills closing in and the lease at the apartment coming to a close in August, I need to find something. So here I am editing my resume, adding my new volunteer position under my volunteer heading. There are now 5 volunteer positions compared to my 2 paid job positions. I’ll be sending these out to the various temp agencies here in the city. I’ll also try Atlanta and Jacksonville.

I’m so very worn out and disenchanted in this job search. The only thing I can do is take it one day at time to keep from getting disappointed about the decisions I’ve made thus far. I did the best I could with the information I had in hand at the time. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

“Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight”

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J’apprends le francais

I have been practicing the French language for the last year. To start off, I learned spanish in high school and during undergrad but the language, though practical here in the southeast United States, doesn’t inspire me. Despite this, I surprisingly have a very basic grasp of the language. I remember once when I was working retail in a video rental store, I was able to communicate with a spanish speaking customer on the phone that his movies were late. To this day I believe he could at least understand a little bit of english and was using spanish as a means to misunderstand what I was trying to relay to him. He had no choice but to acknowledge me when I told him in spanish his movies were 3 days late. So useful it may be, but it doesn’t motivate me.

One of many characters to have inspired me to learn French: Sherlock Holmes

Want to know the reason why I want to learn French? It’s sort of unusual. I had read alot of Sherlock Holmes last year and the language is so sensual, just like so many learners have said. The more I learn the language, the more I want to learn about the culture.  I’ve also read a couple of other books where the protagonist spoke some French. At the risk of sounding like a star struck teen, I must say that they sound soooo cool! Falling love with some of these characters has inspired me to learn the language. There are also a large amount of English words that are French inspired. Sounds like another reason to take a stab at learning French.

The percentage of modern English words derived from each language group

With that in mind, there are too many tools online to not try to learn with many of them offering free introductory courses. On my iPod I use 7 Jours sur la Planete and the Mind Snacks app for French. On my kindle I use Duolingo. Finally, on desktop I use Babbel.com. I’ve actually paid for the full access to the Babbel and Mind Snacks material. I’ve been practicing the language for the past year and these two in particular are very intuitive and fun. I know it is sticking because I can go back several weeks later after not practicing like I should be and recognize French words and phrases. This may have something to do with knowing a passable amount of Spanish. The languages have similar origins.

So I’m making my slow journey in learning this beautiful language and hope that one day I am fluent enough in it that when I visit my brother in Germany, we can visit France next door and I can understand the locals. I wish elementary school aged children were taught foreign languages more vigorously. Imagine the advantages if they could speak 2, 3 or even 4 languages! Their minds are like sponges at such a young age.

No bueno

I went to the free yoga session offered at the cancer center that is located near my job. You get what you pay for and I didn’t pay for anything so I didn’t get anything out of the session. For yoga to work for me, I need complete silence other than the instructors voice in a dedicated space. NO distractions. I didn’t get that today. The session was held in a waiting area that was converted into a yoga room with a divider separating the receptionist from the practitioners. There were offices in the back of the waiting room so workers were (as discreetly as possible) walking back and forth between us to get to the front of the waiting area. It wasn’t discrete enough because I could still hear every little noise that didn’t belong.

The yoga teacher was friendly enough but did I mention that there wasn’t anyone my age present and mostly everyone stopped and sort of stared at me when I walked in? I felt a little awkward as if I was intruding on a special club. Needless to say I doubt I will be returning. I had invited my co-worker to go with me. She ran behind in time and made the decision not to come in the middle of a session. Fortunately she was spared this awkwardness and I would hate to have introduced her to such a bad example of a yoga session. I don’t think she’s done yoga before. I should’ve went myself before inviting her so I could tell her yay or nay and not have wasted her time and gas. She lives 30 minutes away and we never met up afterward though we did talk on the phone.

All in all, I’m glad I went just so I can say that I know I wouldn’t get anything from it and that I got out of my comfort zone. So I am going to try the free yoga session at the library again. They have meeting rooms that are closed off from the rest of the patrons. Perhaps it will have the dedicated peace and quiet I need to reap benefits from a fruitful yoga session. Or it could be disastrous. Keeping an open mind since it is free. We’ll see.

Finding free Yoga sessions around town

“The only thing that you absolutely need to know, is the location of the library” Albert Einstein.

I spend a great deal of time at the library. My laptop broke down on me and my kindle is great and all, but it isn’t useful (or convenient!) for job searches and posting to blogs. The things I can’t do on my kindle are done on library computers. The Alachua County Library District has 12 branches and appears to be very involved with the community. The branches facilitate a wide variety of activities.

I hadn’t been to a yoga session since I completed my graduate program. Now and again, I consider joining a gym that offers fitness classes but the gym fees are too high for my budget. Imagine my joy when I saw that one of the library branches advertised free yoga sessions on Tuesdays during the month of May. So today I arrived to the library only to discover that today’s session is canceled. Bummer. Good fortune would have it that one of the would-be participants informed me that Shands offers free yoga sessions every Thursday at 4. The downside is the stress from driving on that side of town at that time of day. Afterwards, I looked it up and realized the building it will be held in is literally next door to my job. So I will most likely check them out this Thursday after work. I get off at 2 which means I’ll have to find somewhere to hang out until 4. Maybe the library on that side of town? A quiet place to take a quick nap.

Hiking in San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

When I first moved to Gainesville, I knew I could get used to the area immediately. There are so many nature trails and recreational areas. While reading the book What Color is your Parachute, I filled in this flower diagram:

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On step 7,  I filled in what kind of geographic area I preferred. Though it may be the last petal to fill in concerning a job search, it is still important. I could have have the most satisfying career but if I hate the traffic or the neighbors or the city, then the good career opportunity could be negated. Though not all of my petals requirements are currently being met, I’m enjoying the situation for now for what it is: a transition.

My current location almost hits all the points I filled in for step 7. This city is very big on outdoor activity. As cliche as it may sound, being outdoors in nature helps me refocus and recharge. I could just be in a honeymoon phase and think everything here is much better then my previous town. But with the opportunities for culture, job opportunities, and recreation, it might well be a long time before I fall out of that phase. These are things that I crave in any city I live in.

One of the nature trails my cousin and I discovered is located in San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. A couple of months ago we hiked one of the shorter trails. Today we hiked a longer trail which is called Creek Sink Trail with a distance of 2.3 miles long. Walking 2 miles is fine and dandy on a straight and paved sidewalk or track. However, hiking on a rugged hilly path where tree roots and branches litter the way with an occasional downed tree…. that is a different story. I must say that it was so fun and satisfying though I admit I was glad to have reached the end of the trail. It took more from me than expected. I took a couple of photos and we even ran into a tortoise in the middle of the trail.  It never expected a giant to just stroll upon it the way we did. It quickly shrunk into its shell.

 

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Mushrooms on a downed tree.