Monthly Archives: January 2012

More lists to make

I’ve entered a new phase of my career in Information Technology, and I’m nervous but excited. If you’ve been following along with the blog for the last several months, you’ll know that my work life has been in a state of flux. Here’s a timeline:

July 2011 – Downsized from job in the Communications Office

Aug. 2011- Became a Knowledge Base (KB) editor

Oct. 2011- Found to be a poor fit for the KB and asked to resign by end of Jan.

Jan. 2012- Got job as hourly in the IT Training and Education group

So here I am, trying to shake off my feeling of failure, and the fear that I might fail at this job too.  But I want to do more than not fail, I want to excel. I want to make my mark, and prove that I do belong here!

It’s funny how things work out. While I was trying my best to make it as a KB editor, I was thinking of ways to make myself a good candidate for a job in IT Training, and now I have one.

I won’t get into the stuff about how this is a non-appointed position with no benefits, but I will say that this is a great opportunity for me to grow my skills. Thankfully, I can get health insurance through my husband’s job, so while my salary is greatly reduced, I can get medical treatment if I need it. Don’t get me started on the state of the health care system in this country!

That brings me to the lists I referred to in the post’s title. I can  think of one list I need to make; I need a list of the steps I can take to become a really good instructor and assistant.

  1. Figure out what classes I’m comfortable teaching, go through the class materials, and practice teaching.
  2. Gather background information about the software so I’ll be prepared for the questions that students might lob at me.
  3. Keep working on my personal projects-Dad’s digital scrapbook training for example.

So I aim to excel at what I’m doing now, and I plan for my future. What does a list for the future look like?

  1. Get myself out there with video and audio podcasts.
  2. Keep doing art, so that one day I can sell my art.
  3. Keep performing dance and the other arts that I like to do.
  4. Learn to play guitar better and “burst onto the Bloomington music scene!”
  5. Don’t get so overwhelmed with all the things you want to do that you end up doing nothing.

Here’s some art.

Abstract painted with Art Set on the iPad.

Abstract painted with Art Set on the iPad.

It gave me pause

I recently  interviewed for an hourly position with the IT Training and Education group at IU’s UITS. I had to teach about 15 minutes of a training workshop, and I chose one on PowerPoint because I think I’m quite proficient with that  program.  I spent some time during the days before the interview preparing. The materials for the workshop already existed so I just had to work off of those. Unfortunately, I’ve had a pretty bad cold these last few days, so getting up the energy to prepare for class wasn’t easy. Thus, I was worried I wouldn’t do well.

About half an hour before the interview I stopped by the cafe to get some coffee and a cookie. I ran into a co-worker and asked how she was doing. To my surprise she said that she’ll be having a mastectomy next week. Now I never expected to hear something like that. She told me  also that both her sister and mother died of breast cancer.

So I left the cafe thinking that this interview is nothing. This is no big deal.  Any problem I currently think I have, I don’t have. I’m fine and I’m thankful.

And here’s some unrelated art.

Purple Girl

Image 14 (a writing prompt)

I Googled “writing prompts” and found this page, Creative Writing Prompts, and I used this prompt:

“..Take out those dusty photo albums. Pick out photo #14…Look at the photo for 2-3 minutes. Then for 10 minutes, write all the feelings that photograph made you feel.

So I went to my Flickr account and picked a random page. I counted to the 14th image and decided “I don’t wanna do that one.” I found another number 14 on a different page and said “I don’t want to write about my cats, it’ll make me look like a cat lady“. After two more tries, I found a photo I could live with.

This one:

Looking east on Kirkwood Ave.

I called it “Looking east on Kirkwood Ave.”, because that’s what the picture depicts.

Here goes the writing!

I was on the Kirkwood sidewalk between Grant and Dunn when I took this picture. According to the date/time stamp, which I forgot to turn off, it was June 17, 2007. It looks like it was a beautiful blue-skied day, and I’m thinking I enjoyed being out in it. It was probably a Saturday. I’m sure I was alone. In 2007 I probably wasn’t dating anyone, and I was a lonely girl.

As I recall, I was taking pictures of Bloomington to show my Dad, hoping to convince him to move here. Or maybe not. Mom passed away in 2006 and Dad was in Antioch taking care of my grandmother (Mom’s mom). I don’t think I could have expected him to move with Gang Gang (my grandmother) in tow. She was 99 at the time.

This photo isn’t what you’d call a great composition. The focus is a trash can. Further down the sidewalk you can see a man. He’s wearing boots and a backpack. Here’s a closer shot of this guy which I think makes a slightly better picture. Turns out there’s a child in backpack.

Man with child and boots walking east on Kirkwood.

I wonder what I did when I went home that day. Weekends have traditionally been difficult for me. When I was alone I felt really alone. During the work week there were people to interact with, but on weekends I was on my own. I did have dance rehearsal Saturday mornings, which gave me a place to be, a place to belong, people with whom to share my time.

I really should walk around a take pictures more often. I once walked around downtown Champaign with my camera (this was when I was printing pictures in my bathroom/darkroom). I remember being on Neil Street in front of the thrift store where I got my dark-orange ottoman. A black man, who I think was homeless asked me “Are you a boy or a girl?” I asked him “What do you think?” I don’t remember if he responded to the question. This incident rattled me, mainly because I don’t like being approached by strange homeless men in the street. I don’t think I looked like a boy. There are few times in life when I have been mistaken for a boy. Maybe only once in a store when I was 7 or 8 and wearing a cowboy hat. I think we were on vacation, stopping somewhere on the way to Ohio. The person couldn’t see my hair so I can forgive the mistake, but for the guy in Champaign there was no excuse.

I’ve been telling myself that I have no stories to tell, but I just found two little stories to write about. I guess writing prompts really do work.