Archive for September, 2012

On Tuesday I received my first call for an interview in a little over two weeks. It was nice to hear something because I was starting to tire from writing cover letter after cover letter. I don’t know how some people do it, and I don’t necessarily try to reinvent the wheel when doing a cover letter, but I have to comb through each one and make sure it is “perfect” for the job I am applying.

For me that is the first step. I take a lot of care to write a letter that I think will get me a call back. So, it was really disheartening to know that I hadn’t received any call backs thinking that maybe I haven’t been communicating very effectively. Of course, the influx of cover letters coming is probably overwhelming on the other end. It’s also tricky because some places don’t allow for phone calls/follow ups.

Tuesday’s interview was for an awesome part time position for a program manager. The position would be primarily to recruit and train teachers and staff a really cool, effective literacy program for elementary school students. I did a practice run through teaching the curriculum as it was taught to me (a very quick crash course. ha ha!) I did well here, but that is where I think my strengths are. I like curriculum, I like learning, and I like helping others learn (I’m thinking I should just go back to school and get a teaching certificate, but that’s another post.)

The other part of the interview didn’t seem to jive as much as I would have liked. I think I was nervous, because I feel like there were answers I could have given better responses to but answered vaguely. I also haven’t had to be the interviewee in awhile, and no matter how many times I’ve been the one to give an interview — I just got caught up thinking about how I really want to get the job. I know I have experience, but getting tied up in really wanting (needing?) the job I over-thought everything. Womp womp. She still may call, but if not, at least it was good practice. 🙂

The other thing is that she wants someone with a car. I don’t, unfortunately. I don’t even have a license. As a 30 y/o woman, living in a big city, looking for a job, this does not serve me well. So, my other goal in putting on my big girl pants is to get my license — finally. This is not even a huge challenge (which makes this notion even more ridiculous), I only need to take the written test and practice. I have actually done both as a teenager. I just never got a license. When I moved, I never needed it because everywhere I needed to go, I could get via train. I worked odd-ended, entry level jobs, that only required me to show up, and driving never really crossed my mind. Travel? Please — flying, bus, train, and taxis all the way. 🙂

So…These things are on deck. While I’m “twiddling” my thumbs over not having a job to go to, I’m happy to have time to get some of my business in order. I’ve always been a person to think I do things my way and when I’m ready. Not having classes to go to, and no job to report to in the morning, I realize that “my way” is only partly true. Life and the Universe have been excellent pushers as of late, and I’m thankful that I’ve come around to thinking about it that way.

And with that, readers, I’m out. I have a written test to study for. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please leave them below. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

— C.

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This is my father, in essence, when he relaxes. Anytime I go to visit (and there isn’t snow on the ground yet, and the temperature is still above 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit) my father will “build” a fire in the back yard fire pit. The lamp in the background is programmed to automatically go on a dusk — a compliment to my father’s electrician skills. The beer in his hand is his reward for a long day’s work. This is my father everyday.

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Thoughts on Fall (Autumn)

The sun is setting earlier.
But roots will not run.

Instead, leaves turn away
falling listlessly
from their unrequited love —
gently caressing their sweeping pleas
across her tangled feet.

It is a knowing cycle
that drifts into barren hibernation —
the epitome of forfeit when
nourishment systematically evades her.

The skeleton of her greatness
will wait in naked embarrassment
until a gyrating groove of light
rounds her way again.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an advocate for Cleo’s 1-900-hotline for horoscopes, but, every once in awhile, I get one that pretty much hits mine right on the button. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling the last few days, so of course it seemed fair to share:

Pisces: 2/20-3/20 

Sunday, Sep 2, 2012

“Everything is not going as well as you would like and as a result the stresses of life could be taking its toll on your health. This is mainly due to you trying too hard to replace your lack of luck by being considerably more efficient. If you find this is the case relax and accept that sometimes it just isn’t possible at the moment and allow yourself a special treat instead.”

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Today my love and I took a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden (in Glencoe, IL which is a northern suburb about 30+ minutes north of the city). They also have a garden sponsored in downtown Chicago which I imagine is how it got the Chicago part of the name…I don’t know which was named first, and I’m pretty new to the whole organization as it is considering this was actually only my second trip to the Garden given that I have been living in Chicago for awhile now.

We did have a reason to go to the garden — it was to see a friend do a demo for the “Chef Series” at the garden, which gave us a good excuse to leave the house, so after the demo, we took a walk around. The garden is simply too big to see in one shot anyway, and we definitely still missed some parts (even on our second trip).

Sometimes I get tired at the thought of having to see everything, wanting to capture it all in one shot because who knows when I’ll get there again. With the garden, especially, I want to be able to see things in bloom while they’re in bloom. But really…it’s not like I’ve never seen a rose in bloom, so I decided to relax this time. I took pictures (some of which I’ll post), and just listened to the sound of it. There was a bustle of people, but there are also other sounds that I just miss when I’m in the city like crickets and bubbling water. wind rustling though nature and not buildings, and every once in awhile, “silence”. This is really the reason I decided to relax, and the best part is that entrance is free all year ’round. I can go back tomorrow, or in fall to see the colors change, or in winter to watch it get buried under snow. Yes, this sounds like a plan, and iIf you’re like me and don’t want to pay 20.00 for parking, the Chicagoland PACE route 213 stops right in front of the place Monday through Saturday. With 20.00 you could make 2-3 round trips. We decided to take the bus this time, however, if you are so inclined, you can pay a yearly membership fee (I believe it’s 80.00, and you can park for free in addition to some other perks of being a member.)

So, in my two trips, I’ve found that my favorite parts of the garden would have to be the Japanese Garden and the Rose Garden. The roses are definitely in bloom (some a bit past their peak but still full and lovely), and they are of every color from fuchsia to yellow. Plus, the space is groomed for strolling, and one really can’t help by be drawn in by the smell. You really must stop and smell the roses. The Japanese Garden, on the other hand, doesn’t offer much in bloom — flowers are not significant of permanence the way evergreen trees are, which is what pretty much dominated this part of the garden. Like the English Garden, there were lots of stones and pruned trees meant to structure the garden a particular way — I suppose like Feng Shui, though I don’t recall seeing anything in the Garden about that.  I was also probably too busy taking pictures and feeling utterly calm. The picturesque scenery does offer the mind a mental vacation which was much needed, and  I told Erik that I felt really happy. Not just because we went, but that I felt good when I left.


For information about the Chicago Botanic Garden, check out its website at: http://www.chicagobotanic.org/

I did get some video footage, but I am a newbie with video-editing, so hopefully I can figure that out sometime soon and show you some more of what it feels like to walk through the garden through my eyes and ears. 🙂


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Being unemployed is absolutely a first for me. I have been working since I was 14 years old, and have only had a two month hiatus because I moved to Chicago and had to find a steady job to pay my rent. (I ended up staying at that first job in Chicago for 4 years). My recent employer was an 8 year relationship, and not the kind of clock in/clock out work. It was direct service, and a job in which I connected to people on very personal (and professional) levels. The notice really took me by surprise, too, and I am still a bit stunned. Without trying to divulge too much about where I worked, or weigh too heavily on how I feel, it’s worth mentioning that the notice I was given was not much — 4 days. 4 days simply isn’t the kind of time it takes to clean house and make an appropriate exit. Unlike a break-up, which has potential to fail epically and be messy, this was unprofessional — especially considering the nature of the work.  And, like the “dump-ee” at the end of this relationship, I feel a little forced. As I catch my breath sitting in my apartment with tons of lingering questions, I realize that I don’t necessarily have the right to answers anymore.

At the same time, this is very liberating. I am pretty much free to feel what I want to feel, think about what I want from my next direction, take my time deciding what to accept (so long as finances permit this), soak up some trash T.V., and maybe do some of those cool crafty projects I’ve been hankering to do in my newfound free time. But trash T.V. can’t sustain me or my intellect for very long, and the aforementioned questions still linger — especially when my crochet project really starts to pick up pace and I’m no longer challenged by the set of stitches I’m working on. I can also only tell myself how awesome I am so many times before it bounces off my four wall and echos around my cats’ perked ears.

So…I’m antsy, but I’ve also found the comfortable spot in my couch (crochet is so much more relaxing with your feet up!) This is where my friends have come in. I can’t thank them enough for just being around.  All of them want to make sure that I am not “becoming depressed” (Insert my favorite new text language phrase LBS — Laughing but serious), and I fully appreciate that. Because honestly, I could take this to heart by letting the scenario(s) play in my head while I’m idly trying to figure out what to do next. Instead I’ve been getting phone calls on a regular basis, and my newfound job has been lunch dates. I’ve been “booked” since last week — and while I can feel a little overwhelmed at the freedom to meet up whenever, I’m never stuck too long wondering about…well, never mind about that for now.

This is probably the best part of being without a job — I am thankful for the people in my life that have been thinking about me, helping me understand that I’ll get through this, and showing me the avenues to get there. I’m blessed, and I’m going to be okay.

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Cassandra Buchholz

Professional Educator and Youth Specialist

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