Friday, August 3, 2012

Busy Busy Bee

I made the mistake of ordering Blue Bottle coffee with my dinner last night.  I'm not sure if it's the brand of coffee, or if I'm just not used to drinking coffee in the evenings these days, but I was up until 4:30 and it was not pleasant.  As an aside, I don't know why Blue Bottle coffee is revered by people in this area. The flavor does not stand out to me.  Maybe I just don't "get" it?

Lately I've been volunteering at a senior center.  Originally, I was just a grant researcher, which is pretty easy (and boring).  In a twist, the Executive Director asked me to help him write one of the simpler grants.  With this one, he hasn't been successful in previous attempts, but I think recently they shifted focus or have a new Board Chair or something like that.  When things change in a grant-giving foundation, grant-seekers start sniffing around to get a feel for things.  It just means that this grant is a low priority one, and the paranoid me thinks that I'm being evaluated on grant-writing competency.  So I tried very hard to write a good draft.  Which is hard, considering I've only spent a grand total of 15 hours with this organization since June.  It felt like I just attended a crash course in learning about this organization.

Yesterday, I ventured into Oakland, CA for an interpreter-training orientation and language screening.  It was a huge waste of time.  The "orientation" was only a ten-minute talk about the agency and hours and the rest of the several hours was spent waiting.  I was also totally unprepared for the language screening in the weirdest, and maybe worst, possible way.  I consider my medical vocab to be pretty damn good for someone with no formal training (as in, not a certified interpreter from taking some test).  I know a lot of terms for diagnostic tests, diseases, major organs and glands.  Of course, I didn't get any of those quiz-words.  Instead, I got words like "pregnancy" and "delivery."  I totally forgot the formal term for "pregnancy" because I don't see pregnant women.  Ever.  I wanted to face plant in my keyboard.  How embarrassing.

I skipped the last two questions too, which involved answering questions in Chinese.  Question 1 asked, "What are problems you see in the American health care system, and what would you do to fix it?" Question 2 asked, "Are there lifestyles that you are more accepting of today, than you were when you were younger?"  I skipped it and left.  I don't even think I have a response to #2 in English.

The job hours were also very erratic, and the training seemed like a huge time drain - 8 hours of class-time, with homework, not including the commute.  They could also only guarantee 5-10 hours/week, which is kind of lame.  I definitely do not want my commute to exceed (in travel time or cost) the work. I really only waited around because the campus (it was on a school campus) had free wireless internet and I was able to work on my secondary app.

In other matters: I'm considering withdrawing my app from one of the schools I selected in my AMCAS application (or, ignoring the secondary entirely).  Upon further thought and research, I felt that maybe this place isn't what I am looking for in my career/education/life.  On one hand, I could work on the secondary just in case.  On the other hand, I could use that time to work on a secondary application for a school that I could see myself attending in the future.  I don't know why I let these things keep me awake at night, but they do.  I did put it on hold for a bit, because I do have other essays to write.

I've been doing a lot of writing lately.
Doing math for fun is starting to look very appealing.


  1. I've never heard of Blue Bottle Coffee... maybe we don't have it in the midwest?

    About the AMCAS secondary- if you know you wouldn't go to that school, I wouldn't finish it. I did that with a bunch of schools after I got into the one I did want to go to.

    1. So far it's mainly on this side of the coast and New York City. It's still pretty new, too. We have a few coffee shops in the city, but it seems like most of the business is from selling to restaurants or people buying coffee beans by the pound.