polychrome_pen: (EAH Hunter & Daring)
Greetings all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and accomplished everything they hoped to this year!  The tail-end of 2013 has felt ridiculous fast to me.  Perhaps because I spent November in a NaNo-induced haze and a late Thanksgiving shortened the Christmas season?  IDK, but I somehow feel flabbergasted that New Year's Eve is already here.

I guess the only place to start with a true review of 2013 would be to go back and review the goals and plans I made for the year at the end of 2012:

Cut for long ramblings! )

Whew!  That was super long!  Anyway, onto goals and generic year-long plans.

January: Finish posting Heart Stone, finish and post Queen Kale.  Start Paleo eating.
February-August:  Work through How to Think Sideways.  Self-publish a flash fiction collection.  Take a bloody vacation somewhere (Anime Expo?)
September-December: NaNoWriMo prep for original story.  Start revisions from first novel.  Self-publish second flash fiction collection or short story collection.

Big goals: Follow paleo eating plan for three months, then evaluate.  Shift original fiction writing into gear.  Spend way, way less money on toys.
polychrome_pen: (Default)
So before January 2011 is over, I thought it might actually be nice to take a look back at 2010. XD Yes, yes, I know I am very behind on the whole "recap 2010" post, but I thought the last year just brought so many changes that I couldn't go without being revisited a little.

When I think back to January, I was just starting the second half of my clinical rotations to finish up school. It almost feels like another life by this point. My first rotation of that semester was Internal Medicine. I often felt it was an exercise in speed - how much information could I gather and tie together about the patients before having to present in the afternoon? I learned a great deal during those six weeks. It was also my first rotation where there was another student from school with me, and having someone to gripe with was a huge comfort.

The second six-week period saw me going to a community pharmacy attached to the hospital. This was probably my second-favorite rotation (after the Psych rotation I took in 2009). If all community pharmacy work was as rewarding and fulfilling as the time I spent there, the choice between hospital and community would have been much harder. But I also discovered just how tired standing for 8-10 hours a day can be.

For my final rotation, I returned to the hospital where I had done Internal Medicine. However, this time around, it was definitely not a good learning experience. Aside from just wanting to be done with rotations at that point, I found the work to be of little value to my learning. The preceptor was a strange, strange lady who issued the vaguest instructions I've ever heard. Then she had the nerve to call me "needy" during my final evaluation because I asked for further clarification. Is wanting to do something right the first time wrong? NO. Haha...looks like I still have issues regarding that final rotation! Again, I had a student with me who had been with this preceptor before, and she thankfully helped to clarify things for me a great deal. Anyway, I'm seriously glad I didn't get a residency at this facility, because this preceptor was also the residency program director. I'm not sure I could have handled a year of vague instructions and general weirdness.
But in all fairness...this was the rotation where I got to watch open-heart surgery, which was totally rad.

I should also note that all three of my second semester rotations were at a hospital that had off-site parking and a shuttle service - something my fellow students and I absolutely loathed by the end. I can't tell you how many times I had to stand in the cold rain because the shuttle would be driving away as I came out of the parking structure.

After finishing up rotations came review week at school - basically one last chance to sit in our lecture halls again and listen to speakers while everyone chatted and surfed the internet. XD

Of course, after that came Graduation on May 15th, 2010. I officially got my doctorate and finished school. Still, even now - eight months later - it feel weird writing that. School has been my life for...well...my life. Coming out of something so structured into the rather nebulous "real life" has been strange. I miss the comforting solidity and framework of working toward something greater with a purpose. After getting a job (even one that I enjoy) I'm kind of wondering...what next?

So summer was spent studying for my boards from the time I finished graduated until around mid July. I even snuck in a nice vacation to Seattle and the islands in there (visiting the cousin and relaxing with the family). But those interminable days days studying really felt endless. To help keep me sane, I would reward every two hours of studying with an episode of She-Ra (which I completed over the summer), Fantastic Four World's Greatest Heroes, Iron Man Armored Adventures, or Star Trek DS9. It felt like a weird combination of long past summer vacations and taking self-study summer school. XD

Thankfully, I passed both tests on the first go. I've been debating taking the tests to be able to practice in another state, which if I decide to go forward with should be something I undertake sooner rather than later. The further I go on, the harder it will be to force myself back into reviewing the material and going through the rigmarole of taking another test/forms/fees/etc.

Summer also saw an explosion in my toy collecting hobby. Something I attribute to lots of time at home to hunt stores, eBay, and read internet reviews. Also may have had something to do with getting money for graduation. :D Likely pent-up retail therapy after having no income since February after leaving CVS.

I got my license on August 5th, 2010. At that point, I gave myself until the end of August to look exclusively for hospital jobs. After thirty-odd applications, by the end of the month I had an interview set up for a not-quite-hospital job (the only non-hospital job I applied for). After that interview, I had set another one up with a hospital (the place I work now). But in the meantime, pharmacy 1 offered me a job (part-time for up to six months, then full time). I asked for an extension to think it over and was up front that I had the second interview. After being offered the job where I am now, I accepted and had to call back pharmacy 1 to decline their offer. That was an incredible weird experience. I've always had to fight for part-time jobs...so having to turn someone down was something I'd never done before.

The time between taking the job offer (early September) and starting the job (October 4th) was another strange period. During that month I looked for apartments (and finally found a decent townhouse!), hunted for furniture, signed tons of papers, packed up my toys/books/life, and watched some more shows. It was a frenetic month to try and get everything ready for the move, and yet I didn't really feel all that stressed. Maybe because I knew I had at least gotten a job, I was able to savor a few of my final days of freedom.

Anyway, work is where I've been ever since October. I still visit home at least once a month (heh...if not more often!). It's hard to leave a place you've lived since second grade, after all.

So I hope that 2011 brings good things. I have plans to do some writing (namely, finish my Jewel Riders fic, writing an original novella, and hopefully doing some Dragon Flyz writing). I also want to really take the time now to develop healthy eating habits and lose some weight. Since I make most all of my food, it should be easier to implement healthier choices more often. And of course, 2011 will see me continue the growth of my toy collection! :D

Joy!

Sep. 17th, 2010 10:02 pm
polychrome_pen: (Winx Trio)
After two interviews, I has a job!

I've been meaning to post about this for almost two weeks (haha...I am so slow). So to recap, the Tuesday after the hospital interview, I got a call from them offering the job, and I accepted! When the guy who called asked if I wanted a day or two to consider the offer, I was like "Nope!" Heh. That probably looked kind of desperate.

It was definitely weird to have to decline my first offer too. I never expected to be put in that position, and I actually felt genuinely sad after turning them down; it would have been a good place to work as well, just not the specific area that I was really after.

So last weekend I went up there to the hospital to sign boatloads of paperwork and apartment hunt. And after going through seemingly every slum in the city looking at places...I finally found a townhouse that I think will work nicely (can anyone say fireplace?). The thing is, I'm not 100% cleared by the hospital yet for work (they're still waiting for the background check to come through and a few other things), so I am trying to put off committing to the townhouse yet. What can I say? I'm kind of paranoid about these things.

Though I have been stocking up on things I'll need for the place. Dishes, cups, assorted kitchen paraphernalia, chairs, etc. Having lived in a largely furnished place during my rotations, I realized that I have pretty much...nothing required to live on my own. XD So remedying that is a priority (though I'm definitely saving receipts!)

I just can't believe that everything is really happening so fast. I mean, there was only one month in-between when I got my license and when I accepted a job. I may be going through a little bit of Lodi withdrawal. This week I went to my local comic shop and used book store for what may be the last time in a long while, and that made me a little sad (especially when I basically had to cancel my standing manga orders at the comic shop). The last time I go to my local coffee shop will be really depressing too. :(

But by driving all over the town looking for somewhere to live, I discovered that there are lots of places that will make moving there easier. Barnes & Noble, for instance, and a variety of good restaurants. Though there's no Borders! I'll definitely miss those savings coupons.

Anyway, enough blathering from me.

Job Updates

Sep. 1st, 2010 10:25 am
polychrome_pen: (Deuce - Monster High)
To my amazement, I got a call yesterday from the place I interviewed with offering me a job! The only problem is that it would only be part time until the new pharmacy is built and all the licensing is finished. Which, in the worst case scenario, could be up to SIX MONTHS. I don't think it would come to that, but still. I can't exactly move there for 20 hours a week. Though commuting two days a week (1.5 hours each way) would probably be okay. I can actually see myself enjoying working only two days a week for a couple of months. XD

However, I asked them for a week to decide. I'd previously scheduled a second interview with another hospital this coming Friday before I ever got their call, so I definitely wanted the chance to follow through with that. So I'll have to tell the people in the next interview up front that they need to let me know their decision by the following Tuesday, because Wednesday I have to get back about the job offer.

DECISIONS. I've never been good with them.

But there is a palpable sense of relief settling over me. After spending over three weeks sending out applications and barely hearing anything, I was definitely feeling discouraged. Yesterday was the final day that I was going to give myself to apply solely to hospitals, so it almost seems like a sign that I should take the job offered on that day.
polychrome_pen: (Sokka rainbows)
Well, yesterday's interview seemed to go well. They didn't offer me the job right there or anything (not that I was expecting that by any stretch of the imagination), but everyone seems nice and I'd be happy to work there if they do offer. I definitely liked the variety that the job entails - working in two different community pharmacies and doing one day a week of SNF (skilled nursing facility: aka nursing home) medication chart review. They said they're working on getting the second community pharmacy up and running at this point, so realistically it could be several weeks until I hear from this place.

In other good news, I got a call about a HOSPITAL job today. Hospital is my dream out-of-school job. This hospital is about three hours north of my current location. Kind of isolated area, but not nearly as small of a town as the last place. Heh. Target is my marker for the presence of civilization. So I go in on September 3rd to speak further with them and their staff. That's how they worded it. Is this even an interview? Better wear a suit just in case.

I also sold all four of my listed textbooks on Amazon yesterday! I only listed them the previous night! So yay for a little bit of money coming in. :)

Also, I found the Bratz Boyz today at K-Mart! So excited to finally have them. I've been checking stores for weeks hoping I'd find Cameron and Dylan. Here's to hoping them get along with the Monster High gang. XD

Interview!

Aug. 23rd, 2010 08:05 pm
polychrome_pen: (Default)
I has one. Tomorrow.

Out of nearly twenty applications, I have one interview. It's with the pharmacy from my previous post that I felt was never going to call me back after originally contacting me. So it looks like they actually gained back a few points in my book!

I drove up there yesterday to look at the hospital and the area. The town has a little over 4,000 people and is about an hour and a half away from my parents' house. The area is pretty devoid of decent shopping. Wal-Mart is the only mass retailer. If I end up moving there I can definitely see myself shopping more on Amazon! But where will I get good toys? I'd have to make (at least) monthly trips to the nearest large town.

So hopefully everything goes well tomorrow, because I really want this job. Hell, I'm getting to the point that I'd like ANY job.
polychrome_pen: (Drake of Jewel Riders)
This coming Friday I will have had my pharmacy license for exactly two weeks. So far I have sent out nearly twenty different applications to hospital stretching the length of California. How many responses have a I gotten? 1.5

The first was for an outpatient (ie retail) pharmacy job that was associated with a hospital. It has fabulous hours and the location was definitely not bad. I've talked several times with a guy from the HR department, but on Monday I was supposed to hear SOMETHING about an interview from the pharmacy manager. And of course I've heard nothing. Definitely losing patience with that one.

The second was for a full-time job in Nowheresville. Now, I have said that I am perfectly willing to go to Nowheresville for a full-time hospital job. For at least a year or two, anyway. However, when they called me, the hospital tried to gauge my interest in a fucking PER DIEM position. That just pissed me off. Don't waste my time by advertising a full-time job and then try to net me for per diem! I have, oh, you know, LOANS that I need to pay. The fact that they sent that hook out under false pretenses really pissed me off. I literally went out for a jog tonight to work off the irritation from that.

But other than two frustrating experiences....I've heard zilch from the other applications. Not even an email one way or the other. I've mentally given my "hospital only" search a limit until the end of August. If there is nothing promising, I'll still apply at hospitals, but mix in the chains and other retail outfits. Except effing CVS. I wouldn't work for them for all the tea in China. I don't think I can wait any longer than that. I really need a job. And I've never been particularly patient.

A bad corollary to all this is that I'm starting to get really down about the whole thing. Which makes me want to spend more money that I don't have. *Sigh* If I have no leads whatsoever by the end of this week, I may have to make a little purchase to keep myself going.

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