Saturday, January 28, 2012


Apparently, Life after College does not exist! Life has been busy for me. I landed my dream job teaching private piano lessons. Between teaching, planning, researching, and trying to have something of a social life, the blog has fell behind. However, I LOVE teaching!!!! To make this post an acceptable length, here are some of my favorite stories thus far....

First lessons are always fun. You never know quite what you are going to run into in a first lesson. At the beginning of the year, we had paperwork to fill out for all of our transfer students. Along with the standard questions, I would ask about students likes, dislikes, interests, etc. One of my transfer students warmed up very quickly to talking. Not only did he answer all my questions, he embellished. I learned about what he considered being when he grew up, what his favorite things to do were, what the last 3-4 cars/trucks his family owned were and what things were good/bad about them, and about the invention he was working on. In a half an hour. I loved listening to him but after a while I had to interrupt to get to MUSIC. Since that was why he was there after all.

Another first lesson that brought me joy was half way through the year. A very serious little boy was just starting piano. Serious, shy, and a little giggly, I liked him right away of course! When we got to the "Technique and Artistry" book I wanted to see if I could get him to open up a little so I asked him if he knew what "Technique" was. He kinda shuffled on the bench, mumbled a bit, hunched up his shoulders, and generally looked nervous and uncomfortable. He then looked at me sideways and claimed, "This is going to sound silly..." but I encouraged him to go ahead so he started, " Sponge-Bob..." :D :D The actual example doesn't matter as much, it applied well, but he totally made my month with that comment.

So, maybe there is Life after College. Just not much "free" time. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm on a Bus

For two months this summer, I rode the bus to and from work every day. Please note the past tense: "rode". I can't lie, there were things about riding the bus that were not fun in the least little bit. Having to plan everything four hours in advance, for example. However, after two months I learned some things, got some stories, and happily was able to stop riding the bus. :)
One of the more important things I learned was the demographics of a bus. At least these buses, I can't speak for buses elsewhere.
     In the front of the bus, you have the driver (this should not be news!). As far as passenger seating goes, however, you also have the disabled or elderly people. They can tend to be chatty and either too loud, sharing everything with the whole bus, or too quiet, making it very difficult to hear them. They seem to be nice enough people in general, but if you don't feel like talking, don't sit in the front of the bus if you can help it.
     In the back of the bus you have the groups, if there are any, and the people who like to talk about our country's justice system. Generally speaking, they seemed to have empirical knowledge of things like law suits, jail time, and what you can/can't do on probation. Some conversations were more interesting than others, but in general I tried to avoid sitting in the back of the bus.
     That leaves the middle of the bus. For the most part, the middle of the bus is filled with everyone who does not fit into the previous two categories. People usually read or listen to music or text in the middle of the bus. If you don't want to talk to random people on the bus, the middle is your best bet. At least in Spokane.

I also met some interesting people on the bus and walking home from the bus stop to my apartment. Which leads to the interesting story part. One night as I was walking home, talking on my cell phone as I often did to have the comfort of another person in the world knowing where I was, I saw a man up ahead. He was leaning on the railing of the bridge, just kind of chillin'. It made me a little uncomfortable that he was just standing there, but I figured I would walk on by, no problem. As I approached, he tried to start up a conversation. However, it didn't go so well for him. He said, and I quote, "Hey, ladies. ... Lady. ... Hey, lady." Yeah, dude? If you saw two of me there is no way I am talking to you. I got past him safely and lolled. I mean, seriously. "Hey, lady"? Total Princess Bride moment, but also epically not.

The other fellow worth noting was 'Carlos'. One evening when I got on the bus after work, tired after a long day of work, the guy behind me started up a conversation right away. He had seen me the night before and commented on my Kindle, so used that to start up the conversation again. He acted as if he were the only person to ever comment on it [Bwa ha ha ha]. We got to talking for quite a while and he seemed like a nice enough guy. Poor Carlos' mind was slightly blown that I seemed smart and "that's so uncommon for someone your age". Just before we got to our first stop/potential bus change he informed me that I should give him my phone number. !! I just laughed it off, and he continued to insist. I then hoped for a transfer of bus so that I could get a different seat. No such luck. Oh well, still seemed like a nice guy, we continued talking. He was very open about himself. I learned that his youngest son was just starting college, his oldest son was out of college, he was recently divorced, and quite a bit more.
      After we left the stop without a change over, he asked again for my number. Dude, not giving you my number, back down. Another guy got on and sat next to him, heard what was going on and told me that, indeed, I should give him my number. You commented less than twenty minutes ago how smart I was and you think I'm going to give a stranger my number? Really? Then came the best part. He recommended that, since I didn't want to give him my number, I should go out to dinner with him to get to know him better. !!!!! Hmm, let me think about this. You're old enough to be my father, I just met you, you're divorced, and you want to take me to dinner. No.
     At the time, I wasn't sure what to think of poor Carlos. Now, I think it is hilarious. Needless to say,  I did not give him my number and did not go out with him. Not so needless to say, I didn't see him again and now that I'm driving don't have to worry about accidentally running into him.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The "Death" of a Computer

Greetings, readers! Let me start off by saying that I had absolutely no intention of going this long without an update! My computer, however, got sick. Algy was a good computer. He got me all the way through college without too much trouble. Until the last year. Well, there was the epic crash of '09, but we won't go into that. Last year, he started to die. He hid it well, for the most part. I knew there was trouble when he started commiting suicide on a regular basis. Oh yes, computers can commit suicide to. Think about it. "My computer just died" does not mean you are about to go out to the back 40 and bury it. Usually. In my case it meant that the battery had been depleted and Algy had shut down. Well, Algy would unplug himself if he didn't like the way I did my hair. Or if I moved him. Or if I moved something around him. Or...well you get the picture. This problem, like all problems with electronics, started small and got more and more annoying and problematic as time past. However, this alone I could have dealt with

Next came a bigger problem. Now, I know it sounds paranoid, but Algy was just waiting for me to mess up so he could do something else and die a little more. It's true! I spilled 3 drops of milk in the far bottom right hand of the keyboard. Algy flipped out. Not ALL the keys quit working. The ones that did were very important though. The b, the d, the w, the . (yes, the period), the 2, the 3, and the right arrow quit. Take a moment if you will. Look at your keyboard. Those keys are nowhere near each other!! And they are pretty important. Try riting a sentence ithout them an you ill see hat I mean y it as really annoying! o you have any iea ho many time you use those keys in a sentence?! So, I got an external keyboard on Amazon to finish out the school year. That worked great. Until the next problem.

Around June, just after my last post, both USB ports decided to quit working. They would send a signal out to whatever I plugged in, but Algy refused to take in any information from what was plugged in. Flashdrives, CD player, ... Keyboard. And that, dear readers, is why I have not updated my blog. Although I got very good at tricking spell-check into giving me the words I wanted, it took forever!
Now, a new computer has joined the family. His name is d'Artagnan (d'Arty for short). So far he is working terrifically and ALL the keys work!! And just for the record, No d'Artagnan was not one of the "Three Musketeers". The three were Athos, Porthos, and Aramais. D'Artagnan was, however, the main character of the book. Not that you didn't know that. I was just clarifying.

In other news, I landed my dream-job teaching this summer!!! Well, end of summer/fall. There will for sure be more on that later, but this post is getting too long so I will be done now.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Out Hunting the Wild and Elusive J O B

I think that many people these days look down on hunting as a general pastime or sport. Society seems to group hunters with loggers and hillbillies. Let me be perfectly honest. I would rather hunt just about anything but that which is hunted the most: the wild and elusive J O B.

Perhaps some would argue that the two categories of hunting have nothing in common and "job hunting", as it is often referred to, is totally different from "regular hunting". A quick online search reveals that the definition of hunting is Let's see. Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, but usually wildlife for food,recreation, or trade. Let's see. "The practice of pursuing"- well, when one is looking for a JOB, one must pursue or one will die, so that fits. "Any living thing, but usually wildlife" - some may argue that a JOB does not fit the definition of a "living thing", but they probably already have one. "For food" - yes. I am pursuing a JOB so that I can eat, so that fits completely. "Recreation" - without one I am bored so.... "Or trade"- isn't "trade" and old word for "job"? So, the definition fits. Mostly. Now let me show you how "regular hunting" is SO much easier than hunting the wild and elusive JOB.

First off, the proper clothing is essential to either type of hunt. For regular hunting, the requirements are: comfortable, warm, and usually bright orange. Easy. For hunting a JOB, the requirements change every five minutes. One JOB requires a business suit, the next slacks and a nice top. One must take into consideration the position and what stage of the hunt you are in. Dropping off an application can be slightly more casual than say and interview, but one must be careful to be well-groomed even then. Usually the clothing is not exactly comfortable, but it must be something you feel confident in or your insecurity might be noticed and taken the wrong way. It is also important to show that you are competent and classy, yet individuality of style should come through a bit to make you stand out and give a feel for your personality. Oh dear... The pressure on my wardrobe is too much!!! I'm melting! Aaahh! ... ... ... Okay, moving on.

Next, I would like to point out the difference in tools needed for a proper hunt. On a hunt, you need some way to span the distance between yourself and your target, usually at high speeds. Different types of hunting use different tools to span this distance. Some hunters use guns, some use bows, and others use pieces of paper. If I just lost you, hang in there. When hunting the wild JOB, all you are armed with to span the distance between you and a future employer is a Resume (piece of paper), Application (piece of paper), and possibly a Cover Letter (another piece of paper). These pieces of paper cannot, however, be folded into paper airplanes to better hit the target. No, they are simply handed over to be looked at and potentially buried under every one else's pieces of paper. Which leads to another interesting point.

Regular hunting is much more communal. One successful hunter can share his spoils with the rest of the not so fortunate. When hunting the wild JOB however, it is a whole different story. One hunter's victory is not just another hunter's defeat, but ALL other hunter's defeat when it concerns that specific JOB. This adds and element of competition to the hunting ground that can get ugly. It can also mean that hunters are in constant need of coffee to lift their spirits.

Last, but not least, I would like to point out the element of patience. This is the area in which hunting the wild JOB diverges from regular hunting and gives fishing a run for it's money. Fishing, for those of you who are city folks and don't know, consists of sitting in/on a boat dangling a worm into the water with a piece of string and a stick, commonly referred to as a "pole". That is the simplified version anyway. It takes patience. Sometimes you can go for hours before you get a bite. Hours - HA! With the wild JOB you sit there, throwing out your pieces of paper for days, sometimes even WEEKS before any progress is made. Yes, patience is crucial when hunting a JOB, but you must also have knowledge. Some JOBS can't be had by the patient person. You must balance patience with perseverance to show the JOB that you mean business. Too much perseverance however and you will appear pushy and loose your chance.

In conclusion, hunting is not just for loggers and hillbillies; everyone hunts. The same considerations must be taken, whether you are hunting a wild animal or wild JOB. Anyone who has a JOB has shown hunting skills above and beyond what is normally used in the wild, as hunting the wild and elusive JOB is one of the most challenging hunts of all.

*Note: This post is meant for entertainment. Please don't take it too seriously, literally, or internally. Thank you ;)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alaskan Adventures

As you probably know, I had a wonderful post-graduation adventure up to Kodiak, Alaska for about five days. It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation away from life, with a few adventures thrown in. Stories contained here may be out of order, but who really cares, right? The scenery, although partially hidden by the clouds for my visit, was amazing. I got to see all ends of the road over the course of two days. When Gramma K.C., whom I was visiting, told me we were going to the 'end of the road', I envisioned something like what I would see here; the end of the pavement, or a switch to dirt-bike territory or something. Imagine my surprise when we rounded a corner and it was, quite literally, the END of the road. No, seriously. There was no more road and no more chance of one without the demolition of a mountain. Cool, right? :)

The next day we drove out to fossil beach and the other ends of the road. Gramma K.C.'s friend Martha went with us and helped me to find some really neat fossils. Mostly shells and such, that just happened to be completely engulfed in the rock. Some of the larger ones looked to have tree-ring type markings, so I assume that we were looking at the cross-section of fossilized trees. Call me a geek, or a nerd, but I thought it was epically cool!

Later that day, we stopped at another beach for some old-fashioned beach-combing. The kind where you look for 'real' shells instead of fossilized ones. We found some really neat ones and were thoroughly inspected by a sea-lion/seal. He was SO cute and curious, but seemed a little shy. He would stay off-shore and stare at us, then bob under for a bit before surfacing in another place to stare some more. We didn't mind at all.

After going down to the third end of the road the same day, we had worked up an appetite, so we decided to stop at this little restaurant, I forget the name of it at the moment. It seemed like it could be sketchy, but we were hungry and how bad could it be? On the way up the front steps, Martha suggested that I get on the same step as Gramma K.C. and jump a little for fun, it would be a nice and bouncy ride. :) We walked in on a scene from a B-rated western: Two guys playing pool in the center of the room and three people up at the bar drinking and smoking. No one seemed to be working and because of the positioning of the pool table, there really was no place to sit. We used the restroom in shifts (since we had been out all day we all needed to). We had been there a few minutes when the game of pool wrapped up and one of the players went behind the bar and served a drink to the other. It wasn't until about ten or more minutes before one of the gals at the bar turned around, realized they had customers, and turned back to her drink. Let's just say we did not stay to eat. :)

We had some very lovely dinners out with lovely friends of Gramma K.C.'s. One of which I got to play with the most adorable two year old and another of which I got to eat crab for the first time EVER! We also got to see some amazing wild-life which included, but was not necessarily limited to, eagles, ducks, seals/sea-lions, an octopus, magpies, buffalo, and various sea-creatures courtesy of the Kodiak touch-tank. :D We also had some lovely evenings in with movies, scenery, and chatting.

There were many other adventures of which I could tell, but I must leave SOMETHING for real-life conversations you know. :) Overall, it was a wonderful kick-off to post-college life and the adventures it will undoubtedly hold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"Life after College". Is it fact or fiction? After 16 years of school one has to wonder. But I, for one, will not wonder for quite so much. So here are my adventures, be they fact or fiction, in my post-college life. Writing friends, please be kind in your critique. I haven't written much for enjoyment in a long time. ;)

As things turn out, I have already had one adventure after college. My wonderful graduation trip. I got to go to Kodiak, Alaska and not worry about anything for five whole days. On the way up, I renewed my fascination with clouds. I have always thought them to be beautiful and greatly under-appreciated. They assist greatly in bringing forth life from the ground while looking super cool, they change shape every .5 seconds AND they are a symbol of God's presence. Yet, whenever they roll in everyone moans and groans and complains. Well, most everyone. I try not too.
As we were taking off from Spokane I was thinking about how in the Old Testament God's presence was represented by clouds and what the theological implications of being above the clouds might be. Looking down at the landscape created by said clouds I thought some theologians might object to us symbolically placing ourselves above God. Then I looked up and saw that there were still little wispy clouds above us. It made me smile because it was so what always happens; we try to put ourselves above God, but then something happens to remind us that He truly is in control. And who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

I'm sure I will be posting other Alaskan stories as time goes by, but probably the biggest adventure of the trip deserves a front-row appearance. It happened in the Seattle Airport coming back from Alaska. Keep in mind that this trip was my first "solo" trip anywhere. People had given vague warnings about the Seattle Airport, but I heeded them not after my first encounter, which went very well. Imagine my surprise when I followed the signs to gate B and they led me to a dead end. GREAT. Then a train pulled up. I don't want a train. Wait, they are saying something. Okay, I guess I do! I barely got on before the doors closed me into the full little car. The first stop was gate C. Okay, gate B should be next then. Psych! Next stop was gate B. And 20 other things. Once again I follow the signs, not very far of course, but to another train/tram/subway thing. After a wait just long enough to read some of the signs and ponder just how lost I was, the transportation device came and told me to get on. I did. I then went less than a minute down the track and told me to get off, if I wanted to go to gate B (perhaps I should clarify that I am aware there are several gate Bs. I changed to singular for ease, sorry if you are a grammar nerd and it bugs you :]). I still wanted gate B, so I got off and saw ANOTHER train/tram/subway thing that told me to get on IT to get to gate B. On that train I finally spotted the map on the wall, showing that the next stop would finally drop me at gate B. Or the start of them.
Finally, I have reached my destination. The infamous gate B drop-off point. But wait! an escalator. another one. ANOTHER one. Okay, gate B....27?! Okay, so it might not have been 27 and under different circumstances I wouldn't have minded it being 27. But I needed number 3 and they were going to start boarding in about 20 minutes. Or less. So, I talk myself into NOT panicking and toddle off down the halls of the Airport. After about 5 halls I arrived at my destination!!! I then proceeded to purchase and scarf a piece of pizza as I had not yet eaten at 7:20p.m. (silly, I know). No sooner had I finished than they started boarding, right on time. I must say that although my adventure left me tired, I have no fear of the Seattle Airport for I have traversed from one end to the other in less than twenty minutes without having a clue as to what I was doing.