Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big decisions, big problems...c'est la vie?

I haven't written in a while, cause usually I only write in my blog when there's something to write about, and there hasn't been anything to write about lately. Plus, I have been really busy with work lately.

The problem with Stater Bros. is that they make your hours so that, no matter whether you work part time (like some of the courtesy clerks who are still in high school) or full time (pretty much everyone else), you have pretty much no life outside of work. Somehow this seems very tyrannical to me. They have no right to not let you have a life! Example: On work days where I work a full shift (which is typical), I am home for an hour and a half or so in the morning, then I hop on a bus (except on Sundays, when I can't), head to the closest bus station, and get on another bus -- an express -- to go to the nearby shopping mall, where I catch one more bus to get to work. This whole bus trip takes an hour and a half, actually more like 2 hours if you count waiting time between buses. Then I usually have an hour to grab something to eat so I'm not starving by the time my lunch comes later in the afternoon and sit and read while I eat, and then I start. I have lunch, as I said, later in the afternoon (around 4 hours into my 8-hour shift) and other than that no breaks usually -- not that I am not entitled to breaks, it's just that we are so understaffed I am usually so busy with the work I am given I do not have time to take any breaks. Then after lunch I go back to work, get off usually around 9--usually not later than 9:30 cause that's all the overtime they'll usually begrudge me--get picked up around 9:30 (if I get off on time) and get home about 10:00, after which I usually end up spending an hour or so doing stuff on my computer that I didn't have time for in the morning or doing homework. Usually I eat dinner too. Then I get to bed usually between 11pm and 1am, depending on what I'm doing.

Therefore, as you can see, I have very little time for anything else. The only days I get off lately are Tuesdays and Thursdays, because I have school those days. On those days, I wake up early to catch the bus at around 7:30am, get to school (after transferring to another bus) around 8:25, go to my Lit class at 9:00 (where we're reading a rather disturbing novel called White Teeth), and then have some free time before my next class at 1pm, during which I usually have lunch and do homework or other stuff. Then at 1pm I go to U.S. History, where I usually hide in the back behind my laptop, taking notes while also doing other stuff, like checking e-mail or something. Then I usually go home, or sometimes I run errands or something, or stay late at school to do stuff.

Things have been somewhat eventful. I lost my wallet a few weeks back. It was very frightening. I've had to replace everything, and have done so except for my California ID, since I haven't had a chance to go to the DMV yet. I was without a debit card for about a week and had to be careful with money. Fortunately, my paychecks are direct depositing right now so I ended up with quite a surprising amount of money in my checking account since I wasn't spending much.

I have some big decisions facing me. One is about health insurance. I am eligible for it through my work, and I sort of have to go with that for now even though I am trying to find another job through the eCareer Fair our Career Center is doing through MonsterTrak (a job search site), because I will become too old to be eligible for my parents' health insurance later this month when I turn 23. I finally looked over the stuff one morning (I forget which day -- the last week has been a blur) and talked to my dad about it, saying I wanted his and Mum's help when I fill out the forms, since health insurance is completely baffling and alien to me (heck, so is taxes -- I have yet to do my own tax brother got to learn how in Consumer Math his senior year of high school...lucky!). I am planning to do that tonight, sometime before 8pm when their favorite lineup of TV shows comes on (Beauty and the Geek, House, and Boston Legal, which air in that order, at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm, on 3 different channels -- The CW, Fox, and ABC, to be exact). Work this last week was just awful. I was scheduled all 5pm-9pm the entire week (except for my off days, obviously) cause we were supposed to be getting some new people (finally). But only one of the new people bothered to show up, and she was working nights anyway, so that schedule essentially got thrown out the window, and I had to come in early every day of the week except Wednesday, the only day I actually worked 5-9. And the new person who showed up was this lady named Michelle who used to work in the service deli at the Stater Bros. I work at but got transferred to another store. The only problem is she tends to socialize too much on the clock (mostly with old deli cronies), which makes me irritated especially if I need racks and she's packaging, and she knows nothing about bakery, and plus she gripes and complains about anything and everything. Now, I admit I do complain sometimes, but not nearly as much as her. I guess it's true what they say, that often we see how big our faults are when we see them in another person. It's like, I never realize how I can be so talkative until I talk to Tammy and barely get a word in. Likewise, I never really notice how much I complain until I see Michelle complain more.

This week, I'm back to normal schedule (12-9 all the time), which is (strangely) somewhat of a relief, I guess because it's something I can predict, whereas the scheduling last week was a complete disaster. Imagine sitting in your PJ's, minding your own business, at 10:30am, thinking you don't have to leave for a few hours, and getting a call from work asking if you can come in early that day. Talk about last-minute notice!

So anyway, that was my work problem. I want to start at a Cal State next fall, so, for some odd reason, I have to apply now. I guess this is so I have something started before I fill out the FAFSA in January (which is when I think you're supposed to do it -- I suppose if I get accepted they'll tell me). I am trying to narrow it down. I think I have basically ruled out SDSU, mainly cause of distance (it's near downtown San Diego) but also because out of the majors I had been interested in and made a list of, I found I was only really into 2 majors: English (which was, oddly, my choice of major my 1st semester of 12th grade, before whatever ruined my sense of major -- I always blame senioritis -- hit) and French. Unfortunately, English is impacted, which is not good. What "impacted" means is that the program is so dang popular that, in order to prevent overcrowding, they only accept a limited number of students into the aforesaid program. And you can try to get in, but it is really difficult because there are a lot of other people competing for those limited spots. It's not always worth the trouble. And as for French, looking at the required classes, it seemed more appealing as a minor than a major. (It's hard to major in a foreign language anyway, cause what could you do with that sort of major? It's like my classmate Steven Sharif who wanted to be a lawyer and said for the survey that was done of the seniors for the book the juniors made for us to give to us at Junior/Senior Banquet that he wanted to major in International Business and French...first of all, a double major is REALLY hard to pull off, or so I hear anyway, and like I said, what do you do with a foreign language major?).

So I turned to the closer (and more appealing) of the two Cal States in my area, Cal State San Marcos. I had narrowed majors down there before to Literature and Writing Studies (formerly English) and History. Now the first of these was of more interest to me, especially since they have a writing "emphasis" for it, which focuses on creative writing (as I found upon further investigation). Since I want to be an author ultimately, this is right up my alley. So I am thinking of going for that. Unlike English at SDSU, it's not impacted, and while there's not lots of prerequisites listed on ASSIST (the official transfer site for California colleges) that can be fulfilled at my school, I already took one of the classes -- Critical Thinking, Composition, and Literature, a.k.a. English 201 -- as part of the requirements for the IGETC (Inter-Segmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) track, which lines up classes you can take to fulfill GE requirements that will definitely transfer to any UC or Cal State. And out of the list of Lit classes to take (where you pick one), I am taking one of them right now (Intro to Literature). So I may be able to bypass a lot of GE stuff, which will be helpful cause it saves money.

I thought also about doing a minor. CSUSM has a minor in French (and no major, strangely enough) and the coursework looks pretty basic (but then coursework for minors is always less complicated than coursework for majors). Either that or Film Studies, since I have an interest in film. I will have to look into it, and I also feel compelled to pray about it too, even though I haven't prayed seriously in a while, haven't been able to go to church in a while either thanks to my work schedule, and have even fallen off my pattern for daily Bible reading and devotions (I had to catch up on 10 days' reading one day last week).

On my way out of the cafeteria this morning I saw a sign for a website called It was supposedly a site to help you find a major. So this afternoon, I decided to check it out. I made a profile, the setup of which involved several self-examining profiles, including one where you picked from characteristics labeled by words like Creative and Enterprising, which I recognized from taking the Holland Code Test during my Intro to Career Planning class. Like the Myers-Briggs, the Holland Code Test is a professionally-created personality "inventory" designed to connect personality traits to a career.

Anyway, one of the pages on that site linked to this video on YouTube of this guy who was the founder of Apple and Pixar Animation giving a speech at the 2005 Commencement of Stanford University. It's pretty inspiring. You can watch it here:

Well I better go. I'd like to get home with some time to go over that insurance stuff. Bye!

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