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Jenny's Journal

20th October, 2006. 4:53 pm. Should I stay or should I go?

What would you do if you are attending a masters program that isn't living up to your expectations and you stick it out, week after week and it's still not getting better?
I sought out other options and I stumbled upon a job for a clinical case manager for chronically ill adults as well as another masters program in San Marcos. I applied for the job and program manager called me up for an interview.
The agency is located in Vista where my parents live and consists of 8 other clinical case managers and one case aid. The program manager absolutely loved me and all my experience and education. She said that since I have MSW coursework under my belt, I would qualify for the MSW job position and pay and then gave me a tour. she said it was a good sign that I was getting a tour because she doesn't do that unless she is going to recommend them for a second interview at corporate. As I was getting a tour, we ran into one of my MSW classmates whom I have all of my group work with and I'm sure she was super confused on why I was there for an interview if I attend classes with her two full days a week.

So now I am at juncture of should I stay or should I go?

+ If I stay stick with the program I will get the degree I need that will open up various doors for jobs when I graduate in summer of 2008. I will gain the theory and knowledge to apply to my clients. I would get to continue to live in Hillcrest where I can ride my bike to: my internship, the grocery store, Jess's, Andy's, Dave's, Melanie's, Anthony's, and to my job a the restaurant. I will get 5 months of winter break too.

- But on the downside, I will keep acrueing more debt with student loans to support me while I am going to school, to graduate and get a job that pays pretty poorly. I will have to continue to intern at a agency that supports finacial assitance as it main mode of assistance, where I have to do 30 hrs of work in a 16 hour week. I will have to continue to attend classes where the professors are unresponsive to student needs, unempathic, and give MULTIPLE CHOICE tests to gauge our knowledge. If I continue with the program I will continue to be away from Seth and my family, seeing them only once a month or so. I will be so busy with school, internship, work, homework that I won't have time to ride my bike to see friends, family, or seth.

+ But if I accept the job as the clincial case manager, I will be started at the same position/job duties as someone who has their MSW as well as being started at around the same pay as someone with their MSW. I will be closer to my family, move back in with Seth, be doing something I love, start decreasing my student loan debt, have my weekends and evenings free to puruse my hobbies(sewing, converting my VHS into DVD).

- On the downside of accepting the job, I would have to quit the MSW program. That entails dropping the ball for all of my group projects. It means that clients I have been working with at my internship will have to be sloughed off onto another case manager. I bought student health insurance that might not be good anymore . I will have to move out of my cute cute cute apartment where I really feel at home at and sell all the contents. My parents will be disappointed that I'm not pursueing a higher education.

It's hard for me to be able to discern the source of my feelings. Do I want to quit the program because it requires more work than I anticipated? Am I just lazy and don't want to put the effort into something that won't reap the benefits for 2 years? Is it because I totally uprooted myself from north county into san diego without processing the reprocussions of my decision? Is it because I would rather be starting a family with seth, buy a house, and be comfortable? Or is it just because I can't stay focused and dedicated to one thing for very long: i.e. studying abroad in australia and coming back early, getting the job at lifeline and then leaving for the ymca, buying the vespa and then selling it 6m later b/c I bought a car?

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16th October, 2006. 11:34 pm.

I was diagnosised with atypical adjustment and anxiety disorder today at my first visit to a therapist. It was interesting to be on the other side of the coin because my therapist had her LCSW(liscenced social worker) which is what I will have after I finish my MSW program and then get a certain number of supervision hours to go towards my liscense.

I went in because I finally got my student health insurance and I started noticing how anxious, impatient, etc that I get when things don't go my way. It even got so bad a couple of weeks ago when I was not happy with the MSW program that I actually thought about quiting and applying for another job or another program. Before I made that life changing decision, I thought it'd be a good idea to see a therapist.

She asked all the right questions, interpreted all my answers in terms of my current problem. She coorelated the fact that when I was living on the farm in Iowa 18 miles from town, I was isolated, deprived of stimulus, and when I did go into town, my dad would not pick me up on time. And the fact I never talked about it with an adult to "process" it, it has caused me to be in hyperactive mode now that I am in California and am surrounded by it.

I gave her the example of when my family and I were on vacation in Hawaii in August. Everyone took their time in the morning getting ready and all I wanted to do was leave and go sightseeing. when we finally got on the road and stopped off to look at beautiful sights, I was not content with that for very long. I wouldn't sit and enjoy it, I would just get anxious again and want to leave that sight to go see another one.

She theorizes that I am playing catch up now in wanting to see as much and do as much as possible. Then the anxiety about time and being annoyed by people being late is because of my dad not picking me up on time and me not getting any explanation on why he was late.
When I told her about my unhappiness with the MSW program and gave her the example of my field placement, she said I am upset because the professors(authority figures) aren't fullfilling my needs.
So I have another appointment with her but not until Dec. In the meantime, I have an appointment with a psychiatrist to see if I can get perscribed some drugs to eliminate my anxiety.

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14th June, 2006. 8:35 pm. The year of the dog

Happy Summer!

When Bethy came to Las Vegas we got to talking about how 2006 is the year of the dog and I began reflecting on everything that has happened this year and realized that YES it is most definitly MY year(and Bethy's too)

I came across this quote:

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other but looking outward together in the same direction" Antoine De Saint Exupery

I got accepted into the Masters of Social work program for San Diego State University in the Fall and along with that you get placed at an internship. I had to fill out this long application and they explicitly said in there not only is the average commute time 60 minutes one way but also that they will place you somewhere that differs, not duplicates, your prior experience. So when I got word that I was going to be placed at Jewish Family Services as a case manager to Katrina relief victims, I was iniatially excited but then I found out my job duties are the same as what I already do. Work with people to find jobs, housing, transporation, etc.

So I email the SDSU lady and tell her my concern and she directs me to someone else who says that the Jewish Family Services is such a reputable agency and its coveted by 2nd year students(aka I should be grateful to be placed there).
I told her that my expectations when I applied for the program were that I would be placed somewhere where I can learn a new skillset and she told me, the Jewish Family Services is a different population and a different environment. THEN she had the gull to ask me,"Is there some other reason why you don't want to be plaed there?" implying something like I don't care for jews or something.
The last thing she said that really pissed me off was that as a first year student, I go where I am placed!!!! So I am taking further action and talking to some higher ups.

This summer is going to be exciting, my good friend Jess(We met in Australia, we both go to UCSD, and I stay with in Hillcrest/SD) and I are heading with the YMCA to YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK to be camp counselors for 10-15 year olds. We are all camping, hiking all day, swimming in the river in the afternoon for 5 days then heading to Six Flags magic mountain for 2 days. AND I get paid, AND I get paid vacation from my current position!

Then my last day of work is going to be on August 8 and then my family and I(and Seth of course!) are heading to Hawaii for a week! When we get back Seth and I might drive up the coast to Big Sur, San Simeon, Hearst Castle to camp and site-see before my masters program starts August 28. I can't go to burning man b/c its the same week as school.

But it looks like I will be moving down to San Diego come august. Even though I love me and seth's apartment in carlsbad and its really coming together. School is 70 miles roundtrip and so would my internship. 5 days a week of those miles and traffic, I just can't. So I was going to use the train but my last classs is done at 6:40 and the last train is at 6:30 so I wouldn't have a way back down.

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3rd April, 2006. 1:13 pm. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world"-Ghandi

Well hello, long time no see.

Feb.20 Seth and I found a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, second floor, 1960s apartment 1.5 blocks from the Pacific ocean and had a 16 foot moving truck full of mainly his furniture and my decorations. A day after that I found on the Megan's law website that a sex offender lives downstairs, and he was the husband of the 1 month ago ex-manager. He was charged with rape by force, lewd acts with 14 yr old, and rape with foregin object. I freaked and even though I believe in people serving their time and being reformed, I was so close to making seth move. But he then got convicted for a DV act(and broken window) and its all good.

Feb. 21 Got a job offer for the YMCA Youth and Family Services for the Independent Living SKills program. Less pay than my current job, but nice area(2 blocks from the ocean), close to carlsbad, my own office, free membership to the YMCA, and of course the job duties. I teach 2 classes a week on Indepedent living skills to 16-21 year old foster youth. I also help them individually apply for jobs/college/housing, navigate health insurance and other systems, and help them be more independnet.

March 20- Bought a 2001 Honda Civic DX, red, automatic, 2 door b/c my vespa scooter wasn't going to make it to weekly meetings etc in SD.

March 30- picked up a babysitting job caring for a 9yr old high functioning autistic boy b/c having a car is expensive(I feel for ya now bethy!)

Hopefully Fall 2006 I will get accepted into the San Diego State's school of social work master program, or go to burning man(they start the same week!)

Besides that I really am enjoying riding my old bicycle to the bank, the market, around the beach as well as going on weekend camping trips now that its getting warmer.

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21st February, 2006. 8:47 am. Quote by Adelie Stevenson

"We travel as passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable resources of air and soil, and all who are committed to our safety to its security and peace. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragil craft"
Adelie Stevenson

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12th January, 2006. 6:13 pm.

I'm in the middle of applying for my masters of social work for fall 2006 and I thought I had the hard part out of the way-taking the GRE. I informed my professors of the need of a letter of rec back in Dec and I have 2 of the 3. The third one is suppose to be from a prof that I took the most interesting classes from-drugs in american society, women and crime, social psychology- and he teaches a class on the sociology of homelessness in which he lived on the streets to study it for 6months.
I came down to SD to meet him TWICE this week and both times he didn't show up. The application has to be postmarked by SAturday and I'm so stressing! I would hate to have this be the only thing that keeps my application from being processed.
But on other notes, I went to a training in mediation this morning and enjoyed it alot and feel I will be able to use it with my family, friends, future landlords.
I'm looking for another job b/c my current one is jerking around with hours and will give me part time hours with one department, part time with another, equaling 40 but won't give me the benefits of being full time. So I have an interview on Tuesday with a company that Lifeline works closely with. Though its in Oceanside, its near the coaster station and the beach and isn't in vista.
I start a ballet class at the community college on Tuesdays and Thur nights for 2.5hours.
I just finished reading Walden TWo by BF Skinner and he quoted thoreau's Walden:

"The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning-star."

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12th December, 2005. 10:23 pm. Full circle

Every December I find myself increasingly less mentally as well as financially ready for the holiday season. Though I enjoy showing my love to family and friends, I had the feeling of being forced into doing so. I sometimes equate it to visiting a nice department store and having the sales associate approach you, asking you how you are doing, with their plastic,"I get paid to show concern" look.

Besides struggling with the presence of presents, I've been heavily pondering my prospective potential. When I started working at lifeline as a case manager, assisting individuals and families members who are at poverty level obtain employment, housing, child/health care, I really tapped into something I've known I liked all along but wasn't able to label it. So I was all gun-ho about pursueing my masters degree in social work.
But then my dad watched the news, every night, and reported to me all the rapes and acts of violence that are happening at my school of choice, SDSU, as he questioned my other options. I then got my heart set on pursuing a degree in anthropology so I could travel overseas and live with tribes, write about their interactions, etc. That then lead me into the pursuit of applying for the peace corps as a community developer. But loving my family,friends, and seth caused me to search locally again. I have made a full circle in the contemplation of my future and now, with less than a month until Fall 2006 deadlines for 2006, I have decided once again on social work.
I now have to take the GRE, fully unprepared, on Dec. 22. But the good thing isn't the $115 fee but rather the fact that admissions only looks at the analytical writing score so I can focus on studying for that. I sent out emails to 3 professors for letters of rec and though they may remember the out-going, always in class, funny Jenny, they will be writing letters of rec on the below average academia Jenny. But I do have over 3 years of social service experience in my favor.
Other than that, I have been transferred from being a Life Coach for the FAmily Development program to my new, and THEN only position, of Foster Care Recruit and Support Specialist. I receive refferrals from agencies regarding the placement of children into foster homes. I call and then meet up with teh foster parents and children to see where I can help them out to make sure they don't reach such a high stress level that they give up and put the child into another home. I get to drive my vespa to their houses so I can really make my mileage checks work for me. But its only 30 hrs a week so will be tight when Seth and I move out in February.

My family and I are going to the mountains on Dec. 23 and then my cousin patrick and I will be going to Disneyland on Dec. 26 b/c he is moving to ohio Dec. 28! Then sister Sarah and Todd are coming down Dec. 27 and then I think Nate will be having a new years PT in SD. I tried selling my car but the 'rents brought it to a screeching hault by saying that they are giving the car to Sarah. I kept telling them the 1994, 200k mile car will not make it 9 hours north to where she lives in Sac, but they don't care.

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25th October, 2005. 11:09 am. Lights will guide you home

So I picked up my Piaggio Fly 150 on Saturday in Hillcrest and have been learning new things about it since. It holds 2.6 gallons of gas, I've driven 101 miles on $6. The worst part was driving it from Hillcrest to Vista(50 miles) on the coast hwy. It wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for the cloudy&cold weather and how the wind just cut through the clothes I was wearing. And I had a cold to boot.
Last night I was driving it from Yoga to seth's house. I was stopped at a stop light at about 11pm, waiting, waiting, until 11:07 and it was still red. Then a car pulls up next to me and the light finally turns green. I thought that maybe it was just murphy's law or some coincidence. So I rode and rode and got to buena creek to turn to seth's house. I waited, waited, and the friggin light never turned green b/c no one was driving by to trigger it and the scooter and I don't weigh enough or aren't enough metal to trip this sensor in the pavement that tells the light that someone is there.
So I looked on this online forum about how to trip the green light. Someone suggested getting off your bike, walking over to the cross walk, hitting the botton, which makes the light turn. I saw somewhere that they sell these devices to put on your motorcycyle to trip it.
Still no word yet from the city of san diego, it's been 3 weeks and they said they'd talk to me in 2-4. I called them today to "see where they were at in the review process" but just got voicemail.
I had another interview today for Community Services for Families, but this was a 30hr Foster Parent Recruitment and Support Specialist position at the same company I am at.

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20th October, 2005. 9:31 pm.

First off, my religious aunt janie gave me this book for graduation back in june, "The purpose driven life." I had no intention of reading it so I sold it on amazon.com. Then today I get this really nice, hand-writen letter from Susan from Canton,Ohio: " I want to THANK you for making available the book..sept. 23 is when the church I attend started teh program of creating small groups to study the message this book conveys. This book is helping me grow spiritually in my lone walk with God and His son Jesus. Again thank you and wishes for life's best to you..."

Secondly, last weekend me and 10 other friends and I hiked an hour by moonlight to some beautiful hotsprings where we ate some mushies and played in the hot water until sunrise. Then the whole next day we hiked, jumped from the hot to the cold water, laughed with the naked hippies, an basked in the sun. My knees are still crying but my heart longs to be back there.
See my friend Jess's pics, there is a good one of me laying on my back topless in the water surround by billowing rocks: www.jessicahorton.smugmug.com and look under Deep Creek Hot Springs.

I am waiting to hear how my interview for the city of SD went, it should be in a week or so.If I get it I am moving to Hillcrest and fullfilling my DREAM! But if I don't, I have an interview monday morning for the same company, Lifeline, that I am temping at but instead of working in Family Develoment like I currently do, I am interviewing for Community Services for Families. I woudl be the program coordinator, rub elbows with agencies an be a liason. better money, stable job, then I can move to oceanside. Wori is going fantasic. I bring donated pastries from costco to work and I shoot out an email to everyone for them to come and buy some and all proceeds go the Emergeny assitance fund. I try to make an interesting spin on the emails. Today I gave the history of the bagel. Did you know that it was made by an Austrian, and later given to women as gifts during childbirth. Then it was used as a healthy chew toy for kids. It's jewish.
Finally, I needed a form of transporation and didn't want to risk getting another lemon of a car. And I don't want to have to pay $300 a month for a new one and insurance. I like taking the train and the the bus for long trips so I just needed something around vista. I thought about biking but being all hot and sweaty at work didn't seem appealing. So today I bought a 2006 Piaggio fly 150cc Motor Scooter:

It goes up to 70mph, its freeway legal, gets 72Miles PER GALLOON, costs only $130 a year to insure, fits two people on it, has 12'' wheels, cobalt blue, and its all mine! My parents think its impractical but I won't be able to afford to live on my own, pay off student loans, and have transportation. It's not a permanent thing, just for the next couple of years while I get my masters in social work.

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26th September, 2005. 11:27 am.

Such an exhausting weekend. A worker and I went to the Delzura monistary 30mi east of SD Saturday afternoon for Camp Culcha to celebrate Autumn Equinox. It was so hot&dry in the dessert that I hardly had any energy. Or it could have been the midterms we were writing and the 1 litre of champagne we drank. Seth and Adam came later and we set up our camp under this beautiful oak tree that provided a canopy of shade. Andy, Kellee, Ian, Bridget, Adam2, we all there and there was this guy plaing sitar. There was incredible tapestries, art work, tomato, cucumber, basil, mozzerella&pesto sandwhiches there. The lakes that we rowed on during Xara in April were dry. Saturday night there was Mexican dancers at the Enchanted grove, people doing fire spinning, Bruno had his fire whip, someone had a fire sword, and Kelly(my coworker) had fire hula hoops. My body would not continue past 2am and I joyfully went to sleep.
Sunday morning I did yoga at enchanted grove, then an acupressure workshop, bellydancing, and Kelly did a hooping workshop. I can't seem to get my hips to gyrate like her. Even Adam was doing it!

I applied for a recreational specialist position through the city of san diego back in April and I finally heard back from them saying that I have been put on the elilibilty list with 20 other people and when job openings occur, they pick out the best ones and the interview them. I now have a job interview the morning of oct. 6. It's for a part time position, 20hrs a week, working with children and adults with developmental disabilities using recreational devices such as theater, music, outings, arts&crafts, etc. Since its for the city I would get BENEFITS such as insurance(I've been paying $320 a month for insurance through my parents since June), paid vacation, etc. Plus it'd be in SD and when I go next year to get my masters in social work I can still work. So I'm super excited about that.
So much change is on the horizon that I am not prepared for. Even going to Australia wasn't very big b/c all I had to do was pack some clothes, sell my car, and I was off. Now Seth and I are looking to get a place together so we have to figure out where, when, how, buy or rent, etc. Then we have to get all of our stuff organized for the move. I told Seth that I have never been part of the physical moving aspect. When my family moved to California I just packed up my stuff and it magically disappeared. Then when I moved in with Ben I was at work and him and Dave moved all of the furniture and stuff into the prayer tower by the time I got home.
On top of that I have to buy a new car b/c the escort is on its last leg so I have to go and test drive, get smogged, registered, get a loan, etc. THEN since my job is ending soon I have to insure I have funds or a job to keep me going after Dec. 1 so I am preparing for a new job. I have to get past this state of comfort and contentment and prepare for my flight from the nest into the next. I can already tell how hard it will be b/c my paychecks don't make it very far. I'm going to have to quit going on these weekend long parties/trips. But the good news is I have my credit cards paid off, I'm going to terminate my therapy sessions so no more $320mon health insurance to pay, so my paychecks can go to rent/food/utilites/car/gas and all of the things I haven't had to pay for.

Any advice on flying the coop?

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