Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sprucing myself up

So this weekend I decided to "spruce up" my resume. Excuse me, my CV. After reading plenty of tips, blogs and articles I learned that the American made resume is far from acceptable in other countries. First, they are almost always expecting a photo of you included. It is expected for you to include personal information, such as the fact that you are single or married, and you are 25(in my case). Since most of the people who are reading this or who I know grew up with the laws against any kind of discrimination in place, this info is definitely not appropriate for your resume. I don't even know what a CV is so I am going to google the definition right now...stay tuned...

A curriculum vitae (CV, also spelled curriculum vitæ) provides an overview of a person's life and qualifications. In some countries, a CV is typically the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview, when seeking employment.

Well I know. Back to the point. I decided that my "CV" needed plenty of updating. I grabbed my regular old resume(I haven't seen it in 3 years) and looked over it. Basically I need to add some very colorful wording to make it useful at this point. I proceeded to find something I did in every job that was directly related to or could even be remotely associated with the Education profession. If I taught an employee how to fill out paperwork I was putting it in as "Instructing employees on correct use of grammar in company projects." Yes really, nonsense like that is supposed to help me! Of course, I do have some experience teaching not nearly enough to just put that on my CV and call it a day. So instead I embellish. Luckily I realized that the best way to improve myself on paper is of course to do things that look good on paper.

I decided to start tutoring people in learning English, studying for their citizen exam, or just regular conversational practice. Ooh yea, I am a genius! On top of this I volunteered for an Adult Literacy program. I know, it sounds terribly selfish of me to volunteer so that I can look better on paper. Don't judge me. For the next 6 months I will be helping adults with reading levels of 4th graders and hopefully I will be helping someone out there get their GED! That being said, hell yea, it was a little selfish. I have not finished my Bachelor's degree yet. I need all the help I can get.

Back to the CV, I thought to myself, I had better get a good picture of myself because all I have are Facebook pictures of my sexy profile in skanky clothes. Damn Facebook! I will work on this next. Per my conversation with my great friend today I have to avoid any crazy prints and definitely need to wear a shirt that is not strapless or tank top. I must be "profffesssional" yea, I said it. Professional. So now I have this amazing piece of paper with tons of great information about myself, maximizing all my wonderful teaching skills.

Oddly enough, this was kind of fun. Every little thing that makes this more real to me is very exciting. I am so happy class starts tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All things me..and you and maybe someone else too

My TEFL course starts Monday. If you recall that was on my list of things to do this year and I am actually doing it. OOh yea thats right keeping up with my resolutions! Ok, well some of them. I have been taking photos every day except 2 days, but shit happens. Back to the school thing, I am so excited but nervous that the thought makes me feel like I have to pee. I think that is normal though. I just know that once the course starts it will be a whirlwind of ideas and paperwork, applying for jobs and trying to save every penny to move. I have to try and narrow down where to move and then start to apply for jobs. I would love to be able to go anywhere but I don't have the money to just pick a spot and go. I also don't have my bachelor's just yet so that is a determining factor. The countries that I like and can choose from(don't require a degree) are Spain, China, Peru, and Costa Rica. Obviously they were listed by preference even if I didn't mean to when I started typing.

I have a friend who is also taking the course and it would be amazing to live together in another country and get to explore places but I feel our ideas of where to go and how things could be might be different. that being said there are pros/cons to both...for every country except China I have to pay for my own housing, flight for interview ahead of time, pay is average at best, contracts are no less than 10 months. China offers housing, reimbursed airfare and interview over phone/email so I don't have to fly there ahead of time, contracts starting at 6 months. If you look at what I wrote it seems the choice would be obvious. Unfortunately, I have wanted to visit Spain for as long as I can remember and to live there would be an amazing experience. I would love to visit China but living there has never been on the top of my list of places to retire. Its a very hard decision to make and one I will have to start really weighing soon.

Deciding to move abroad for a year or year 1/2 is huge. I have wanted to do this since I was in high school, wanted to study abroad for a semester, or a year. It never happened for one reason or another. The travel bug hit me years ago but for plenty of reasons, money mainly, I never took advantage of it. Teaching English abroad  is not just about travel for me, its about being able to do the work I want to do here now. Right now, this year, instead of in another 4-6 years. I want to teach English/ESL courses here in the US but I am not done with my degrees yet. That being said I can travel across the world, work daily as a teacher with people who don't speak English as their native language. This is a very exciting and frightening opportunity for me. I am terrified to leave my family, my boyfriend, my friends behind to do something that seems so crazy to everyone. What if I miss something awesome here? How do you keep a relationship or friendship intact when you are 6/14 hours ahead of them, or can't talk on the phone like you do here? Is it possible to come back and fall back into step with all the people in your life? Will this opportunity help or hurt me in the future? There is a lot to think about, one thing is for sure I will be going somewhere outside of the US before the end of 2011. Chicago is a beautiful city but it is time for me to explore what is happening outside of it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolates and heartbreak

With Valentine's day coming there are so many women out there with expectations that are beyond belief and men who have no clue what they are getting into. Some people really love Valentine's day and go all out and some just think it is another day. I fall somewhere in the middle. I think the idea is cute, the decorations are adorable and in concept showing someone you love them on a day is sweet. But I also find that I think making a big fuss or dismissing altogether one particular day is unfair. Here are some reasons why we shouldn't make a big deal of Valentine's day:

1. He/She should be bringing you home flowers and chocolates and romancing you the other 11 months of the year.
2. Everything is, candy, flights, food.
3. Reservations are almost impossible
4. He/She might be living under a rock and forget completely
5. High expecatations lead to great disappointment.
6. Gifts shouldnt matter anyway...especially not the price of the gifts

I have had my share of great and bad Valentine's days and still I continue to like the day. If you know anything about history then you know that the day is set aside to honor the martyr St. Valentine. Really thats not all that romantic. Remember, when we were younger and we would give or get those adorable cards with some candy. Or those times when we would get a love note from a secret admirer. Imagine if at that age you had told your secret admirer his/her note needed to include an expensive dinner and equally expensive gift to follow. Ha!!

Somewhere along the way the lines blur and we develop this warped sense of what it really means. If you take offense to anything I said you might have crossed that line and this is your alert to come back, if you are like me and already just like to sit back and enjoy the sites on that day then great! I also like to point out that if you want to share Valentine's day and don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend then grab your closest friend and tell them you love them and maybe buy them a box of chocolate, catch a movie or just have a movie night together. It is as much a day for lovers as it is for friends.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A new fave

I really love this song right now. Everytime I hear it I want to dance so I have to share it. If you have heard it before then you are awesome and if you haven't now you have so you are now cool too. This is how I am starting my Tuesday morning.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The goods, the bads, the maybe somedays

I think pretty much everyone listens to music nowadays. Well, unless its expressly forbidden in your religion...are there any religions that do that? If there are, I am sorry. I love music as much as I love food, and I looovvve food. There is something about a great song that can bring me to tears or make me smile. Some songs even make me want to throw something or dance around like I am experiencing a seizure. This is a good thing, I saw a Dane Cook skit once about just needing to dance. I think it is definitely a woman thing. Sometimes I feel like desire to put on some music and just dance and dance until my head is completely clear. Other times when I am already down and depressed I put on some music that will make it worse and begin crying my eyes out. I love all kinds of music, can appreciate at least one song in any seriously name a genre and I can tell you at least one song. (note I may not know the name or artist, only the chorus) I get jokes all the time because I am often caught listening to country music. I didn't grow up on a farm or in any southern state but I just love it! I love walking into a bar/club and feeling the beat in every bone. This could, of course, could be just because its so loud that I have no choice. Or it could be my love for the sounds. Either way music falls under the good because it is a beautiful thing that I could not live without.

Do you know what can fall under a bad category for me that is associated with music? The infamous music snob. You know who you are. You think that the music you listen to is so much better than anything else out there for a laundry list of reasons that we are all subject to hear when we tell you how much we love the new Britney Spears single. Please just can it! I don't judge, there is something to be said for anyone who can get a record deal in a world where everyone wants to be an artist. If someone can make a song about chicken noodle soup, there is still hope for the undiscovered artist in a small town in Oregon. Just because you don't like rock, rap, hip hop, country, salsa, jazz does not mean that it is not good music. Someone out there loves the music you are talking trash about. The next time you want to get on your soap box, remember someone out there thinks the band/artist you love is trash too.
The same can be said about movie snobs but that is a whole different day.

I  could probably give you an impossibly long list of the bads today but I am in a generally good mood and it's Friday. I can say that for every bad there is a positive. Living in Chicago definitely teaches you this. In a city where we got almost 2 ft of snow this week and couldn't leave our homes it was hard not to look outside and see how beautiful everything looked covered in white. The horrible winters make you appreciate the agonizingly hot summers.
But just to be sure I actually cover a few bad things, here are my favorites:
rude people
spitting & all bodily functions in public
occasionally the CTA
lack of table manners
Catcalls and whistling to get my attention
misuse of "there" and "their"
Just to name a few. I guess it could be worse.

Ahhhh the maybe someday's...Maybe someday I will love to workout. Maybe someday I will appreciate math class. Maybe someday I will like the taste of brussels sprouts. Maybe someday the texture of cottage cheese won't make me gag. Maybe someday I will not be furious when I can't understand the guy at the drive through. Maybe someday I will learn how to spell conscious without the use of spell check. This list could also go on and on as well.

And that my friends is my Friday rambling... I think I really just wanted to write about music today.

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