Sydney Smiles

Sydney Smiles: March 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dear Judge and Jury

Last weekend I spent all my time writing my comprehensive exams. *I had the weekend to answer 3 questions in 21 typed pages. Everyone must pass their comprehensive exams in order to get their degree.*

It was a blast. It was so much fun! There is nothing better than a weekend full of exams to make you feel relaxed.

I must admit. It is nice to have them behind me. At one point I went a bit loopy... I think I hadn't been eating real food for too long... and was probably relying a little too heavily on the the snack foods.

In the end, I kept on keeping on, despite the dizziness and scattered thoughts... and at 1am Monday morning it was all over.

I was so happy to be done. Let me rephrase that... I felt giddy to be done. I was so giddy I came up with a "hilarious" idea. My idea was to write a note saying, "Dear Judge and Jury, I have always liked you. Every single one. <3 Samantha" <-- This is really true too. I really do like all the professors on my review board.

I placed the note on top of the 4 printed copies of my comprehensive exams and contemplated handing it in that way. In the end, I decided one of my professors might fail to see the hilariousness in my little note - so I decided to hand in the exam without the note... but I took a picture to forever commemorate the moment.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dear God,

You sure didn't bless me with a very accurate sense of direction did you? Well, I can't say I know why you made me this way, but I am sure you had your reasons. However, just because you had your reasons doesn't mean I can't ask you to amend your decision to unmake me so directionally challenged, right? I was thinking - if you can't possibly turn on my "inner compass" perhaps you could assign someone to my my "official hand holder." They could walk all the Chicago city streets with me, holding my hand of course, preventing me from acting upon that terrible urge I get to head in the completely wrong direction because "gosh darn it - it feels right."

I came up with this plan today. Yes, I know you were probably watching as I got off one stop before my usual El stop as it is indeed closer to Redbox I was heading to return dvd I had rented. No doubt you saw me walk to the street which the redbox was located on and proceed to turn the complete opposite direction of said Redbox...and walk... and walk...and...

I know it took me a bit to realize my mistake - I mean, the street did come to an abrupt stop before I was really "sure" but, you know I wouldn't let a little thing like that stop me. I am a problem solver - I realized right then - I needed to find Sheridan to get back on track. So, this is the moment where I take the time to THANK YOU because while my "inner compass" was telling me to turn left and "walk toward Sheridan" you made me look to the right where I couldn't miss the very big and beautiful Lake Michigan. This is where the little voice in my head started to shout "walk toward the lake stupid - the REAL direction toward Sheridan."

I'm thankful that I didn't stay lost for long, but as you know it can be scary to walk around lost in Chicago in neighborhoods one isn't so familiar with... so I will be patiently awaiting my very own official hand holder for the near future.

With the dearest love,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicago Bomb Scare

So. This was my exciting night.... I stop to get a bagel at the Dunkin' Donuts (Redline Loyola stop) to get a bagel - I hear a member of the CTA informing all passengers the train is not running. I wonder why, but don't think too much of it...

Oh, maybe 30 minutes later hanging out with my friend at her apartment we hear a loud noise. My friend said something along the lines as, "What the heck was that?" ... I calmly respond "Oh, that was thunder."

Maybe 15 minutes after that the delivery guy stops by and says, "Hey guys... how are you doing? Did you hear about the bomb?" I jump up to go to the door to hear more...

Turns out - that the thunder was the bomb squad blowing up the "bomb."

It turned out not to be a bomb after all though. Thank God.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Worst Job Ever???

I began working at my very first job at age 16... 11 years later I have worked several jobs. My recent endeavor into the telemarketing world has led me to begin to ask myself a question, "What is the worst job I have ever had?" naturally that leads to one to reminisce over all the jobs one has had... so please join me for a trip down memory lane.

  1. Hostess @ H&D Chuckwagon, Reed City, MI. My first ever job. Busy and stressful - and for what reason? We're serving food people - not saving lives - why all the anxiety. Co-workers mean!
  2. Library Assistant @ VanWylen Library, Hope College, Holland, MI. I worked at this job all 4 years of undergrad. I worked technical services, and did a brief stint as a reference assistant. Co-workers excellent!!! This was a lovely place to work!
  3. Phone Surveyor @ VanDucthsomething Research Center, Holland, MI. Cool co-workers. Not fun job. Guess what??? People don't like to be called and asked to take surveys over the phone... oh well... at least they had free candy.
  4. Custodian @ Voorhees Hall, Hope College, Holland, MI (Weekend Student Worker). I cleaned bathrooms, and frankly - I found the work disgusting!!! FYI: I would rather clean the mens bathroom, any day over cleaning the womens bathroom. Gross. Gross. Gross.
  5. Custodian @ Van Wylen Library, Holland, MI. I used to have to be to work at 6am-8am every weekday as an undergrad. Woah, what a crazy party life I did lead. I used to vacuum the floors and wash tables. The entire time I would fantasize about a big fluffy bed that I could sleep in. Boring and sleepy.
  6. Windmill Tour Guide, Windmill Island, Holland, MI. I dressed up in a dutch costume and taught people about windmills during Tulip Time... it was awesome. :-) Fun. Cool co-workers. Busy long days.
  7. Videographer, SprillHill Camps, Evart, MI. I shot and edited videos of little kids at camp. It was pretty awesome and rewarding to watch the kids smile as they saw themselves on TV at the end of the week. :-) Cool co-workers but oddly stressful situation to live where you work... sometimes I just HAD to get out of there.
  8. Substitute Teacher, MOISD, Mecosta and Osceola Counties, MI. Pretty sweet gig, stressful though. Kids never like to be on best behavior for subs. Subbing for a pre-school was the best! You seriously get to sit down and color and play with the kids.
  9. Youth Counselor, Eagle Village, Hersey, MI. My, "lets save the world job." This was my effort after college to give back to humanity and do something good for the world. I walked out of that place with some wounds (emotional and physical). Hard hard work. Tough working with abused troubled kids... Co-workers - some really cool... some really horrible awful people! I'd like to think maybe I helped someone sometime while there - but it was so hard to see if I actually had. I learned a lot about life though, learned a lot about working with kids, and learned I need to put MYSELF first. My life is about me and making myself happy first! I can't sacrifice myself to help someone else.
  10. Tutor, Brain Hurricane, Chicago, IL. I use the word tutor lightly. I sure tried, but the third graders I taught were much more interested in hitting each other than learning - most of the time anyway. =P
  11. Customer Service Representative, Sydney, NSW, Australia. I took incoming calls answering questions about gov't rebates. Co-workers awesome!!! It was the co-workers that made this job so much fun and a nice place to be. It was really a pretty sweet situation and wonderful working holiday job.
  12. Office Assistant/Telemarketer, Chicago, IL. Well the work is pretty much explained in the title. The job is new but the co-workers seem nice. It is not glamorous or fun to telemarket - yet it will give me money to get me to the places I want to be.
So - what is my overall worst job??? That is a tough one... I mean... it was really gross to clean those bathrooms... and not fun to be a nuisance to people everyone calling them at home to bug them... but... I am going to have to the say nothing can beat Number 9: Youth Counselor.