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“Save Your Tears For The Bathroom” / Things I Learned This Summer

16 Aug

My advisor gave the advice above to us in one of my first grad school classes (shout out G$L!).

Full disclosure: I cried last night. I cried this morning. However, I’ve gone through an entire work day and haven’t cried yet. I don’t plan on “losing my sh*t” for the rest of the day.

“But Beezy, why are you so sad?” Thanks for inquiring, friend.

It started with an email. A fairly harmless beginning, one would assume. The email came from a blog I subscribe to, letting me know that they had put together what they claimed to be an all-encompassing list of the best apps for back-to-school. Sh*t. I should probably start thinking about that.

So I did, which meant that I should probably recharge my iPad. I haven’t touched it in 2 months and it was dead-er than Ryan Lochte’s potential career as a particle physicist. As soon as it had enough juice to come back to life, I updated my neglected piece of technology and sat down to add the new apps that were supposedly sure to help with my education. Hey, if it’s free, I’ll give it a go. I had it in my hands and felt an odd sensation: I’m going back to my old routine.
“NO!,” I thought. “After being in CBus for so long, I’ve developed a new way of doing things; my new routines are better! I don’t want to start over AGAIN.”

And then I thought for a really long while.

I thought about how my experiences here have really transformed me into the person I want to become. I now go to bed at an appropriate hour and am early to rise and start my day. I’ve learned that I’m more productive in the morning and that I dislike the feeling of wasting the day away in bed. I like my new bed and my new bedtime routine and how often I go to the gym. I want to keep all those things and I know how hard it is to transport it all.

Moving from Philly, it was easy to give up my former routines because they were unhealthy and difficult to transport to CBus. It was so easy to start over. When I was in Philly, I was in an, um, interesting relationship. I felt dead for the most of it, I’m not going to lie. Just going through the motions. It started when he cheated on me, and I – unlike the strong, confident woman I would have liked to be – took him back. After that, I forgot what it was like to really feel something special for another person – and that I should be valued in whatever relationship I’m in. My work suffered. My personal well-being suffered.

Until I ended it. That was the beginning of my rebirth, if you will. I started some new routines that I was able to bring with me (like blogging more frequently, spending more time with friends, taking charge of my health and wellness, etc.) and surrounded myself with people who were supportive of my new way of life.

I think one of the reasons I’m so upset is the fact that I can’t take people with me to Buffalo: The people who have listened to me, given me advice, went on fun adventures with me, shared their successes and failures, and taught me how to be a good friend and person. I know I’m not saying “Goodbye” – just “See you later.” They make phones and Skype and cars and airplanes for a reason. I know I’m going to meet new people who are going to make my experience fantastic, but I’m still in that “I’m scared for the first day of school” stage.

Uncertainty and ambiguity make me uncomfortable. I do my best with them when I can, but if I am given the opportunity to gain some clarity and solidify some things, you better believe I’ll jump all over it.

Besides the whole “having to uproot once again” thing, I’ll be honest, I’m sad that Josh left last night. I’m glad that I got to spend as much time as possible with him, but still sad that this concludes our Columbus adventures. For now, of course :). I’m always eager to visit a new state and I’ve never been to the Dakotas before. He’s a really special person that makes me feel really special too. You can tell that I like him.

For now, I’m going to go home, continue packing my things, and rock out to some sweet, sweet tunes. But first, my department is throwing me a going-away party tonight. I’m going to eat pizza, and laugh, and enjoy my last Thursday night here. I’m sure I’ll have some more “upbeat” posts when I actually start as a doctoral student, but for now, thanks for allowing me to work some things out. 🙂

 

 

The Only Modeling I’m Qualified for is Statistical Modeling

14 Aug

There are quite a few interesting personalities in my department. I’m doing a project in Excel for one of them who was praising my work. It felt really nice to have someone admire my work until:

“That’s so interesting that you like math so much. Girls don’t like data! Why do you have to like statistics?”

Oh Christmas. Before my blood starts to boil, lets talk this out.

I’ve never really considered myself a feminist, but I am of the impression that if I want to do anything, regardless of what society deems “gender appropriate”, I’m gonna do it. (Side note: Feminist Ryan Gosling is freakin’ awesome.) I remember *hating* math when I was younger. Like, hate that only heroines who are seeking revenge for the death of their families possess. It was my kryptonite. But, something happened when I entered middle school – I found out that I was actually pretty decent at math. As a general rule, we tend to be attracted to people who are like us and to things that we’re good at. Once I discovered math outside of times tables and word problems, it became more interesting. And, I got to learn the Greek alphabet (holla, variables!)!

Does anyone remember that Teen Talk Barbie? Let’s quickly refresh your memory. This particular toy said 270 phrases, one of which was, “Math class is tough!”. While I tend to agree with Barbie (if you’ve ever taken Foundations of Analysis, you know what I’m talking about – that class suuuuucked), I know that if a talking counterpart existed, he wouldn’t say something like, “Art class is hard!”. Yes, certain genders dominate certain topics, but is it because they are naturally better in those areas, or is it maybe because they are pushed toward those areas due to societal pressures? The jury is still out on that one.

Maybe you’re right, Person At Work Who Thinks I’m Odd For Liking Math – maybe most girls don’t like data. I’m not like the traditionally-viewed lady. I like baking and Indy cars. I enjoy shopping, singing, and regression analysis. I want to wear makeup and get my hands dirty. I enjoy being polite and amiable while also laughing at a dirty joke meant for a 13 year old boy.

My dichotomy of interests is what makes me, me. Also, your spreadsheet is ready.

“…Because I Need to Make Money and Hooking and Selling Blow Wasn’t Working Out.” / Plan B Careers

2 Aug

Remember how I said I was really excited about being a professor? I really am. It’s getting closer to the time where I’ll be leaving my internship, and co-workers are getting curious as to why I’m’ leaving. “I’m starting a PhD program”, I say. “I want to be a college professor when I grow up.”

“Then what are you doing here?” A valid question, but the delivery is usually pretty off. It sounds more like, “Are you out of your GD mind?”

My gut reaction is to answer with the title of this blog post, but then I realized that my internship would probably be cut shorter than it already is and would include a beefy security guard escorting me and my belongings out the front door. Either that, or I would imagine all of the older women who sit around me would faint like stereotypically proper Southern women who faint in the movies (My, my! I do declare I have a case of the vapors!” ::falls onto fainting couch::).

Side note – I would make a terrible hooker:

But really – why am I working in a corporate environment if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in a classroom and lab? Let me put it this way: have you ever had a professor who didn’t have real-world experience? I was fortunate enough throughout my academic journey to have professors who actually knew what the crap they were talking about. Except for one. And he drove me motherfreakin’ batsh*t crazy. He had worked – don’t get me wrong – but the last year in which he worked outside of an academic building was in the 1970s. That’s a really long time and the world has *definitely* changed since then.

At any rate, working in an office does give me some transferable skills. For one, I’m really good at making PowerPoints and giving presentations. It boosts my confidence when I pull off a meeting with a senior manager and manage to sound intelligent. Usually being the youngest person in an office environment, I become self-conscious about sounding competent.  But, I digress.

What else would I be doing if I didn’t have the insatiable urge to teach college? Here is the short list of things I’m considering as a back-up plan:

  • Race car driver: I love driving fast. Just ask the gentleman I cut off for no reason this morning. Also “race car” is a palindrome. Boom.
  • Baker: Ok, this one is more serious than a race car driver (which would be really fun!). I think I’m pretty good at baking and enjoy making people happy with my delightful treats. Also, baking is surprisingly therapeutic.
  • Kindergarten teacher: I have a lot of energy and I love little kids. When I was in middle school, I helped out at an afterschool program for preschool and kindergarten students. When they’re not arguing about who had the toy first or who pushed who, they’re actually freakin’ adorable and fun to be around. As an ESFJ, I’m pretty nurturing by nature – I think it could be a good match.
  • Broadway star: This one is a bit of a stretch, but I’ve been singing my whole life. I did drama in junior high and high school and was always in the musicals. I would love to sing for a living. I know it would be a hard lifestyle, as many who actually strive to reach this goal fall short (very few are very lucky), but just one day could be an awesome experience.
  • Professional coloring book colorer: This is a thing, right? Can we please make this a thing?

Human Juice Box / Tattoosday

24 Jul

Even Michael Scott donates

Yep – I donated blood today. This will mark the 3rd state in which I’ve donated a pint of my AB+ goodness (or BZ+, depending on your sense of humor 🙂 ). It sucks that the Red Cross donations don’t coordinate with each other across states, or else I would be even closer to my “1 gallon” achievement.

Even though I’ve done this so many times before, I always have some butterflies in my stomach right before I go in. However, the feeling after is kind of awesome. You get to eat cookies, know that you’ve helped someone, and the whole experience is a mini-endorphin rush.

One of the rules for donation eligibility is no piercings or tattoos in the last 12 months. I made sure I donated today because I’m considering getting a second tattoo. I haven’t had any sort of body modification since the spring of 2010, so I think I’m due for an update. I have the idea picked out and all I need to do is find a great artist in CBus. I’ve been doing some searching and reddit has given me some great suggestions.

I went with Tray for one of her first back tattoos, on a Tuesday (hence the pun). An ivy vine with the letters, “aoe”. After that, she was hooked. Her tattoos are just the coolest (She has an owl!! You know how much I love owls…). I took Blian to get his done – he has a *sweet* ambigram-style tattoo on his leg. The meaning of his tattoo is really powerful – “naught without labor.” Boss.

I’ll make another post about what I’m getting as soon as I solidify the location and make an appointment. Stay tuned – more to come 🙂

Carpool: Make Sure Your Windows Open Underwater?

11 Jul

Tomorrow I’ll be carpooling to work. For the first time in my job history.

I’ve always rocked out in my car in the morning. It’s nice to be alone with the ability to scream song lyrics without a passenger covering their ears. Earmuffs! However, it gets lonely. For my introverted friends, you probably think of it as being a nice time to prepare for the workday ahead of you – some alone time to recharge your soon-to-be-drained battery. For me, it’ll be nice to have some human interaction in the morning that doesn’t involve the finger I get from cutting a lady off on the highway.

I imagine our carpool being like a mini road trip with my 2 friends (Mike & Josh) who want to go in at the ass-crack of dawn.

The time doesn’t bother me so much. I should probably be getting up really early everyday – I have an incredible amount of clarity in the morning that quickly flees by the time my stomach rumbles for lunch. My behind needs to get out of bed.

Going in early also means I get to leave earlier: I could go to a yoga class, sunbathe when the sun is higher in the sky – but not too intense, read a book, answer the personal emails I’m unable to access at work. I’ve always wanted to start kickboxing and a little extra time in the afternoon / evening could be helpful. Yes! This could be beautiful!

Why I Love Working in an Engineering-Dominated Environment

9 Jul

Remember when I said I was part of the “welcoming committee“?

I was helping new engineers find their desks. When everyone was set, I said “Autobots: Roll out!”

A new engineer comes up to me and goes “I like you.”  Boom. Instant friends.

I Just Want ONE More Weekend Day

25 Jun

Who doesn’t, really? I seriously envy those who wake up on Monday morning and rejoice.

More Saturdays!!! (via xkcd.com)

I had a pretty bitchin’ weekend. Friday, I got to hang out with some friends who play volleyball and they didn’t ask me to show off my incredibly lacking skills. I’m pretty good at a basic serve, but useless at the net. It seems as though my depth perception disappears the closer I get to the net. I start diving for shots that are legitimately 2 feet in front of me. I look like I should be on a sitcom. I look like the kid you would pick last in gym class.

Saturday, I went to see Moonrise Kingdom – that movie was fantastic. Although I love the typical “box office smash of the summer” movies, I think I need to be more proactive in my search for great movies. Moonrise Kingdom originally premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and the only talk show I’ve seen a cast member on to promote the movie was Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Granted, it’s only in select theaters. But, we found a select theater. 🙂

After the movie, we walked around OSU. Holy hell, that stadium is enormous – it holds 105,000 people. I saw more books than I could ever attempt to read in my lifetime – six stories of books. It was overwhelmingly amazing. I’m pretty certain that if I didn’t have a guide, I would have gotten lost.  OSU has a beautiful campus, which includes a lovely fountain and enough plant life to make it a freakin’ forest.

Lazy Sunday was just as awesome in a relaxing way. Laying by and swimming in the pool to a Jack Johnson Pandora playlist? Yes, please. Sometimes, the pool has loud, obnoxious, frat boy rap pumping through the speakers while cute, blonde toddlers frolic in the shallow end – I’m convinced toddlers don’t like rap. Sunday, however was refreshingly different. It’s like they figured out that “chilling by the pool” deserves “chill” music.

The only part of my weekend that was “no bueno” was the very attractive (ugh) sunburn that I am rockin’ on the front of my person. It burns like the fire of 1,000 suns. You better believe I put on more aloe than is doctor recommended. The sad thing is, I put on sunscreen before I even went out into the sun. 2 coats! The perils of being pale – well, not anymore, I guess. Hopefully as the burning subsides, it will turn into a tan that will let people know that I’m not albino.

Do you know why next weekend and the weekend after that could be even more amazing? SUMMER SHUTDOWN, FOOLS! We get the entire week off of work! Mine will be filled with road tripping, cleaning out my apartment, exploring Philly one last time, enjoying some fireworks, going to the Corning Glass Museum and some “ill tea parties.” Pictures will absolutely follow. 🙂

The Anatomy of my Co-Worker’s Hiccup Fit

21 Jun

Have you ever tried to forcibly make yourself not laugh out loud? Does it make you want to laugh even more? Do you catch yourself grinning like a fool when you try not to burst out laughing?

That’s the story of my afternoon.

I’m entering data from paper sheets into a website. Riveting, I know. The woman who sits one cube over from me currently has the biggest hiccup fit going on. I don’t know what it is about them, but it started to make me smile. Hiccups make me giggle.

*HICCUP*

She hiccupped again. (Oh my gosh, I wonder how she got the hiccups?)– I ask my inner self.

 

Another hiccup. (Is she not going to do anything about it?)

 

One more. (Umm… that’s hilarious! Is she going to do it again?)

 

Hiccup. (*Internal giggling starts* Wait for another one! She’s gonna have another one!)

 

Hiccup. (Holy crap this is the most entertaining thing I’ve enjoyed all day! HICCUP AGAIN!)

 

Another. (I’m going to burst out laughing if she does it again! My stomach is starting to transition into “belly laugh” mode.)

 

Hiccup, hiccup. (OMG I can’t take it anymore! I’m gonna lose it!)

 

Hic. (Doesn’t she know to hold her breath?)

 

Hiccup. (Does anyone here know any ‘wive’s tale’ remedies for this woman’s diaphragm issue? might be getting annoyed now…)

 

One more. (REALLY, LADY?)

 

And another. (Maybe I should go up behind her and scare the hiccups out of her? Nah, she’ll see me coming.)

 

Silence.

Hiccup. (YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!)

And then, just as the clouds would open to clear a rain storm, no more hiccups. My sanity is restored. Except, I’m still doing data entry…

Traffic, Traffic – Looking for My Chapstick

20 Jun

One of the things that baffles me about the Midwest is the traffic. I don’t know what wizard designed the infrastructure here, but Bravo. I live 40 minutes from my job. 40 minutes of pure rockin’-out-in-my-car, going-15-over-the-speed-limit, passin’-chumps-on-the-left, driving. None of this stop-and-go shenanigans like in Philly.

Well done, sir.

I always listen to the radio in my car. When I lived in Philly, the traffic report was so long, that the announcer had to really rattle through all of the chaos and Armageddon that had occurred before I even got into my car. “7 people died on the Ben Franklin Bridge. 476 is backed up for 8 miles. If you’re on the Conshohocken Curve, I hope you brought your lunch because you’re not moving for shit!” In Ohio, I think the most I’ve heard from the morning traffic report is, “Well, it looks like the traffic on 270 is going to put an extra 4-5 minutes on your commute this morning. This is Chipper McChipperson with the WNCI morning traffic.”

The pace of life is so much slower here. I know, because I am the only one doing 80 on a rural state highway. My aggressive (yet, very lovely) NYS plates zoom past the other people on the road, who vigilantly obey the traffic laws.

One pick-up truck got a sweet view as I merged onto 33W this morning. “Pumped Up Kicks” came on the alt rock station here and of course, I had to start dancing.  I didn’t even realize how I looked until I saw the guy shoot me an incredulous look: “Girl, what are you doin’?” I toned it down until I passed him and then I resumed rocking.

Going Greek Helped Me With My Job

19 Jun

I’m just beginning my 4thweek here at work, and already they have me doing some awesome things. For one, the work I’m doing is challenging and relevant. I have 85% autonomy while doing it, and it uses the skills I’ve honed in some of my prior internships. (Master’s degree content hard at work – thanks Hackman & Oldham (1975)!)

*NOT* how I make small talk, but still so amusing 😛

Besides the “working” part, I’ve already been assigned to an unofficial “welcoming committee” where every Monday during New Hire Orientation, I take a few newbies to lunch in the cafeteria. This, of course, requires a warm smile and a great penchant for small talk. I rock at small talk. Why? Because I was in a sorority. Not that it makes me fake, but in sorority recruitment, you have a limited amount of time to get to know someone, so you need to have quick, calculated questions to reduce a “crickets in the background” moment. You also need to stick to topics that people feel comfortable speaking about: where they went to school, where home is for them, what they enjoy doing in their spare time, etc. I’ve also nailed down my elevator speech about myself so that they have more time to talk about themselves.

Because I work in a male-dominated company, I usually take dude engineers to lunch. I have a lot of experience working my magic with ladies (I know, that sounded like an innuendo, but I can’t think of another segue), but with men, small talk is a bit more challenging. We have different gender-specific interests. Thank goodness the Thunder/Heat NBA Finals are on – that automatically gives me a solid talking point. (Side note: pretty much EVERYONE here in Ohio hates Lebron and therefore is pro-Thunder. Thunder up!)

Because I’ve done so well making the new hires feel welcome, they’re actually moving me up to help with a leadership development program they run for new engineers. I might even get to travel to Alabama! No promises, but I’m really hopeful.