Not just a job, but the job. The job I have been trying to get for over a month. The job that I thought eluded me when my first interview seemed to go horribly wrong. The job for which I endured an all-day interview. The job that is actually in my field and pays more than minimum wage (take that, Staples!).
As of yesterday, I am now officially licensed to practice as a recreational therapist in the state of North Carolina. (That is an answer to prayers, too. NC is picky and initially gave me grief about my transcript, saying I didn't meet the educational requirements to be licensed. Psshh, I showed them.)
So I start on Monday. I'll be working in the adolescent psych unit of a large hospital. With a large, respected, and well-established recreation therapy department. Which is awesome in nearly all regards. Only problem is, with my measly 2 years of experience, I feel like a kindergartener that just enrolled in college - it's amazing that I got in, but holy cow, now that I'm in, I'm scared.
In other news, Jared and I went camping last week. We got lost on the way there and didn't arrive at the trail head till well after sunset. But not to fear, we had 2 headlamps. When both lights started to fail and it started to rain and we still hadn't found the campsite, we decided to just stop right where we were and set up camp there. But we talked ourselves into looking just a few minutes longer and thankfully, we found it. Which was good because there was a firepit and building a fire just makes me feel better.
I was reading along, generally disgusted by the degradation of morality in our world, when I read the most shocking paragraph of the article.
People seeking shorter, more secretive dalliances now have more opportunities than ever online. One example: The Ashley Madison Agency, a dating Web site for married men and women, which claims 4.5 million members and greets visitors with the motto, "Life is short. Have an affair."
My jaw dropped when I read that motto. Sure, it's not too dissimilar to the famous Las Vegas motto, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," but at least the Vegas motto leaves the specifics to your imagination. This dating service is blatant about their purpose. It disgusts me.
Besides disgust, the other feeling I get when I read things like this is gratitude. I'm grateful that I'm a Mormon. Why? Because I know that marriage between one man and one woman is not just "a useful social convention" as this article would tell you. Marriage is meant to last forever. Not just this lifetime, not just until you get sick of each other or someone new comes along. Forever.
I have so much to be grateful for, I am rededicating myself to focus on the positive things in my life. Which really shouldn't be hard, considering I have a safe place to live, food on my table, knowledge of Jesus Christ, and a loving husband and family. What more do I need?
Besides, the past week has been awesome. Let me tell you why.
1. Vacation!!! Jared and I went to Miami last weekend to visit his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. We had so much fun! It was great to hang out with them, go to the beach, see some sights, play the wii, and just relax.
Jared, Sarah, and baby A at Miami beach
On Sarah and Josh's balcony, overlooking the bay
1) Can you believe I'm holding a Burmese python?! 2) Jared and baby A looking adorable in their matching church clothes 3) downtown Miami
2. I had a second interview for a recreation therapy job. It would be an awesome opportunity, so I'm very grateful that I even found this open position. Since I'm only focusing on good things, I won't go into detail about the anguish of an 8 hour interview. I'm just glad it's over. ;)
3. Fall is here and I am inspired to do what I consider to be Fall cooking. I recently made pumpkin cheesecake, sweet potato soup, and spaghetti squash. Today I am going to make chicken pot pie for the first time. I love warm, hearty dishes and they are especially fun to make when the weather is cold and rainy (like it is today). Also, Jared made an absolutely perfect batch of peppermint ice cream last night. Ah, the simple pleasures of life.
Ever heard of a flash mob? It's when a group of people secretly organize an event (on the internet), meet at a predetermined place, execute the action/event, and disperse as if nothing ever happened. I knew of them happening at BYU when I was there, but never actually participated in one, though I thought the idea was pretty neat.
THIS is the flash mob to beat all flash mobs. Ever.
There's nothing like getting an interview for an awesome job to make you feel confident and optimistic.
There's nothing like botching an interview for an awesome job to make you feel small and hopeless.
I just finished a 2 hour phone interview. I've been studying and preparing for this interview for 2 days straight. I've spent 10-12 hours in the past 2 days studying Recreation Therapy books from college, trying to remember all the diagnoses and medical terminology and psychological theories that I learned. I wrote down 4 pages of possible questions and answers to common interview questions, including situational questions, and practiced them over and over.
And then I wasn't asked a single one of those questions. I wasn't asked one single question about my knowledge of therapeutic recreation. I wasn't asked what skills I have or what my strengths are or where I see myself in 5 years or what my philosophy of recreation therapy is or what activities I would use to treat a 10 year old patient or how I resolved a conflict with a supervisor.
The interviewers used behavioral interviewing techniques. As soon as they told me that's what they were about to do, I silently groaned. Besides the fact I find these interviews terribly uncomfortable, Jared just attended a conference last month in which a behavior specialist said that behavioral interviews are worthless.
The basic idea of behavioral interviewing is that past performance will predict future behavior. Instead of saying how you would react to a certain situation, you have to explain how you actually did react to a situation. This is supposed to guarantee more honest answers, because the interviewer will pick apart everything you say to make sure your story is complete.
Anyway, I think I realized after I got off the phone why I find these interviews so difficult. I have a terrible memory. So when I'm asked a question like, "describe a time when a negative situation could have been avoided by identifying a risk earlier," I kind of freak out. I hope the interviewers don't think I'm lying when my story seems a bit flaky. I just can't remember! Also, I don't think behavioral interviewing questions are necessarily applicable to every job. For instance, I was asked the question, "describe a time when you were working on a major project for a supervisor and the focus of the project changed, but the deadline remained the same." I think I can honestly say that I have never been in this situation. But I can't just say, "oh that's never happened to me. Next question, please." So I have to come up with some distantly related experience and try to cram it into the parameters of the question. Does that really help predict my future behavior? Or does it just demonstrate how well (or poorly) I can manipulate the question?
I'm so tired of job hunting. Please, someone just let me work!
The optimist in me cannot end this post on such a pathetic note. I'm sure something will come along. Hopefully before we go broke.