dal niente

Tag: trust

Devil in the Details

So, my grandomother is out of the hospital, apparently doing much better. I don’t know the details yet: dad doesn’t normally write really long emails.  That’s good I guess– it means she’s healthy enough to be out of the hospital.  The whole neutropenic issue is still floating around– I heard they were supposed to do a bone marrow aspirate at some point, but I don’t know the results of that.

I guess we’ll see what happens… I haven’t had the chance to call back home yet and speak to her directly, because of the time difference.  That, and I’m sure that [Gramma] doesn’t know the details of her condition anyways.

That’s the kind of people my parents’ generation are.  Maybe it’s a lot of the reason why I started off as beleiving in “benevolent dictators” when I was growing up.  My parents, along with my uncles and aunts on my dad’s side, are the kinds of people who would be willing to withold information from other members of the family because it’s for their own good.  So– even if Gramma, or anyone really, had a medical condition, their approach would be to peripherally control it without actually telling her.

Now that I think about it, maybe this is where I got the idea, when I was in college, that I wouldn’t tell my parents that I’d switched from sciences to arts– I didn’t think they needed to know, and that they would be better off not knowing.

In my grandmother’s case, I guess it’s more or less justified– but only because she wouldn’t understand anyways.  Gramma’s mind hasn’t been as sharp as it has been decades ago– she’s 85 years old.  Explaining things like immune systems to her just won’t do anything.  So I guess it’s fine that she doesn’t know.

 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

But what about me?

 

I’m halfway around the world from home, and I get this nagging feeling that people aren’t telling me everything I want to know.  I get the feeling that they want me to do well during finals, so they’re not telling me how serious things are.

In a strange way, it’s not that I don’t trust my family members.  But then again, to me, trust is a complicated idea.

It has to do with prediction, as opposed to expectation.   You can expect someone to do something, as in, this is what you want them to do– however, is that what you predict they will do?

I know my family well enough to think that they’re really looking out for the greater good.  The fact is, me knowing more doesn’t change a thing.  What am I going to do from over here?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

Anyways, one day at a time again.  I’ll find out more soon enough.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

Administrative law paper is done.  Draft of research proposal done.  I’m about a two full week behind on readings on account of paper writing, but relative to my peers, that’s about on par for the course as we approach finals.  WIth the completion of Admin, that puts us at the point where it’s just final exams to prepare for.

-=-=-=-=-=-

And I guess it is a stressful time, but at the same time, it’s a very envigorating process. It really makes you feel alive, if only because the mechanics of the system are such that you’re really at the cusp of death– thus every action you take is one that clearly makes you feel like you’re getting somewhere.   Am I looking forward to it?  I guess you might say I am, in a sorta sick way.  I wouldn’t, if it weren’t for classmates: because a lot of my enjoyment of the situation has to do with the drama of finals.  Raw emotions start coming up– panic and fear are some of the more popular choices.

 It’s delicous stuff, really!

-=-=-=-=-=-

I guess my obsession with emotion might seem a bit strange to you, but maybe that’s an interesting topic to write about.

First, origins: Chinese Catholic upbringing.  There’s a lot of stoicism in there, a lot of idealisation of the person who basically endures things without making too much of a fuss.  Jesus Christ.  Literally, not in vain. Perhaps it makes people more enduring, but I find that one of the pitfalls of that kind of disposition is that you lose any sense of direction.  When you don’t react to situations, you basically keep trucking in one direction.  That’s fine, if you’re the son of God and have everything set out for you– how many of you wouldn’t love to have a life plan that all you had to do was stick on track with?

Encountering resistence, you just figure it’s normal– because that’s what the stoic lifestyle is all about.  It’s hard for a stoic to think that things might probably be done differently, because somewhere along the line a decision about “the goal” was made and everything is framed in light of that final destination.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

In a strange way, through it’s single-mindedness, self-destruction is a byproduct of stoicism– probably because stoics lose touch of what makes them happy. They become fixated on the mission, and because of the ups and downs of life, moments spent not advancing towards this task make things feel like a waste of time. This becomes really tough when you haven’t identified just what the mission is– you’re just blindingly stumbling along, reacting to the symptoms of your subconscious (that more or less knows) getting sick of your incompetence.

At least, this was the case for me.

I think I got to that point when I was in college, where I might been trying to identify just what it was that I wanted.  I didn’t find it in alcohol, but I did find it in fighting and videogames.  More then than now, I also found it in literature, and writing.  When I was in highschool, it was somewhere in music. 

 

And what was it that I was constantly in pursuit of, but had never taken the time to identify?  It turns out, even today, it’s quite hard to define– because if I could, I would own it. If I could only name it, and explain how I saw the world perfectly, it would mean that I had a perfect understanding of it.

I don’t.

 

However, I can tell you this– it has something to do with the energy of life, and nowhere is that chi or chakra more apparent than in spirit.  Oftentimes, spirit manifests itself through emotion.

And that’s why I say, emotion is important.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Unfortunately, the easiest emotion, really, is anger.  Videogaming and sparring  was, to me, really all about exhausting agressive energies. 

The stereotype of angsty youths is there for a reason– it’s because at a certain age in every western kid’s life, there’s a coincidence of indepdent means,  boredom, and energy.   And the easiest emotion to funnel through? 

 

Well, for me it was anger.  Of course, results might vary.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 Rage is an incredible thing.  I’m not saying this to sound like a total sociopath, or a psychopath.  I’m saying this because, in my opinion, it is the easiest of emotions to give into.  Love is difficult unless you’ve found someone to love.  Happiness is difficult unless you have something to be happy about.  But don’t we all know it? COme on, we’re bloggers: it’s easy to bitch.  Bitching just the manifestation of anger– anger is the springing up of an emotional revulsion at a state of affairs.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

What changed my emotion of choice is working at the Montreal Chest Institute.  I met a lot of interesting people there, but the majority of them were patients.  When I first started working there, I really took the time to get to know patients.  Because my grandparents only speak chinese, and chinese remains one of my worst languages, I’ve never really had that experience that I see on television of getting ‘grandparents’ advice.’  Most of the patients at the Chest were older people, many of them with terminal lung diseases.

It was confusing at first.  It was confusing that, although some patients were rude and in denial (which fit into my worldview of anger), there were many more that were not.  Not angry.  Yet not stoic.  Just– going about life.  SOmetimes they were happy, in a happy reminiscent way.

 

And how could people be happy, knowing they were going to die?  As young, aimless person, who only had my future to look forward to, it seemed like a contradiction.

There was something different between them and I, and it’s something they taught me– it has to do with which side of the fence you’re on, and which patch of grass you want to be chewing on.

 

Despite that I’m one of the oldest in my program (most of my peers started postgrad law straight after their undergrads) I’m still pretty young when you think about it. I’m not even 30 yet.   I think a great source of my anger in my teens was the fact that, a decade ago, I had no idea where I was going. I had no idea of the possibilities.  All I saw were obstacles in terms of the narrowly defined Chinese Catholic goals I grew up with.  If you saw nothing but a huge mess ahead of you in the way of something that seemed impossible far, you’d be angry too, wouldn’t you?

But people who are about to die, which way are they looking?  Are they looking forward, or backwards? 

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

If they’re in a lot of pain, they look forward– they want it to end.  If things are going okay– they tend to look backwards, at the good times and the great times, and in so looking, they realise that they had the best of times.

Either way, what comes with age is basically knowing how to look.

 

Knowing how to look is half about identifying something external, and half about identifying something internal.  That is to say, being satisfied at finding something has to do with an intersection of the external world and an internal want.  If you can’t find it outside, you can work on that.  But if you can’t find it inside? Well, ironically, sometimes you find things outside before you find them inside.

Maturity, ultimately, has to do with the ability increase the likelihood of syncing these two activities.

And that’s what made a lot of these people happy.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

And when their mind wanders to those times? You see it: the emotion, as they relive those memories.  Libraries upon libraries of stories, in every one of those people.  You see how moments of the present trigger a return to memory– something in the present aligns with something in their minds and hearts.  And then?  The look.  They look at things around them suddenly as if it’s what they’ve always been looking for.

-=-=-=-=-=-

 And when you think about the way memory works, your eyes are a big photocopy machine.  You take things from the outside world, without taking them, and you keep a copy for yourselves.

 

In that sense, we have an extraordinary capacity to keep a library– a library of experiences within us.  So when you want something?  When you want an emotion?  You look at your experiences– you pull an emotion from the shelf.  ANd then you align it with the present– and find something about the present that just makes sense, that is just what you’re looking for.  You know it in you, not by the specifics, but by it’s substance, and then you find it in the world outside of you.

So maybe that’s what this is all about.

If you compared me now to who I was a decade ago, you’d find that I’m a lot more together nowadays.  To the point where revisiting my old self, frankly, feels a bit embarrassing.  Nowadays,  I know who I am. I have a defined sense of what I want.  Or at least… to put it more accurately, the amount that I want to know about myself and what I want of myself is in tune with what I already know.  Everything just builds on everything else.

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Tele

(This post was originally written about a week ago, and is only now being posted)

It’s been over a month now since I’ve last owned a cellphone. The disconnect hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. I never know what the date is, I often don’t know what the time is. Sometimes I put my watch on upside down because I’ve not frequently worn one for years.

Having internet access was never been too big of a deal even without it I always had my smartphone.

Ever since arriving in Sydney on the 8th, I haven’t had internet access at home or on a smartphone, so I’m a bit disconnected. (At the time of this posting, this actual post is several days old, since I’ve been writing offline).

Lack of telecommunications isn’t so bad right now, because I haven’t started classes yet. However, there are a lot of simple things that I guess would be nice to be able to do– look up a map, for example, so I can more efficiently check out my surroundings.

-=-=-=-=-=-

I’m doing things the old fashioned way instead– on foot. I’m drawing maps by hand, which, if you look at them, look more like stick figures with words on them. I have an old Garmin wrist mounted ForeRunner GPS that I bought in Korea– it doesn’t have any map data functions, but, it does allow me to save waypoints.

Within a few days of arriving here in Sydney, I also purchased a bike. To be honest with you, I really like this thing– it’s the first brand new bicycle I’ve bought for myself in… well… ever. I’ve always bought second hand bikes. Why the change? Well, from my current residence in Glebe, the trip to University of New South Wales (henceforth, UNSW) is about 8km in one direction… that puts me at about 16km of commuting per day, and I intend to do that by bike. Fixies in general seem to be pretty popular here– and they have some really nice equipment that’s gone a completely different cultural route from the fixies in Montreal. But for the daily distance I’m going to be handling, it’s a bit uncomfortable I think.

Sydney’s also extremely hilly compared to downtown Montreal, so gears are a must. The choice to me was between a hybrid and an ATB, but eventually, I ended up going with a hybrid. It was a pretty good deal– I ended up buying the rig from Europa Cycle in Kensington. It set me back a pretty penny, but already I love how this thing just rolls along and eats up the roads.

I will miss the Warthog’s agility and the feel of every little detail of the road under your feet, but the new hybrid is a lot more practical for me right now. Comes with fullsize rain guards on front and back, as well as a cargo rack to which I’ve attached the saddlebags that I brought with me from Montreal.

It’s not the fastest bike on the street, but it’s close to one of the most comfortable, and it does a really good job of carrying weight. I picked up about 10kg of groceries yesterday from Chinatown and the frame and tires seemed to not complain in the slightest.

It’s a pretty new experience for me to use cargo saddlebags actually, because I’ve always been one to either hook my u-lock in my belt, or wrap my huge chain lock around my waist, and carry all other cargo in a backpack. Having things in cargo bags really lowers the centre of gravity. I worry about increased flat rear wheel tires because of the back-heavy weight distribution, but having all the weight low really feels like the ride is much more stable.

[CM] got a bike the other day too, we bought our bikes together at the same shop at the same time. I think she’s pretty pleased with it, and it does me great joy to see that she’s really into using it.

I guess a bike is one of those things that when you get it brand new, it’s probably one of the biggest shiniest toys you can get aside from a car. Perhaps that initial lustre wears off after a while, but what a bike represents is a certain contract of involvement and control, at least to me. To me, being on a bike has been always in part about being able to go where I want, unrestrained by bus routes or the rides that people who drive (I don’t have a license) can bring me. Environmental reasons, well, we’ve all heard those, but also for one’s health: urban cycling is something that keeps me physically fit and mentally sharp.

To be honest, seeing CM ride her bike makes me a bit nervous. I’ve had my fair share of accidents while biking back home– cyclists just don’t tend to win many duels with cars or asphalt.

It’s funny how when I’m riding in my parents’ car and my sister is driving, my dad is always super critical of how she checks her blind spots, how she drives too fast, how she stays in the wrong lanes, etc– and I always thought to myself it’s really annoying. Watching CM ride makes me want to do that: to be critical, I mean.

I think now that I’m here, in person with CM instead of doing long distance, I need to adjust to being in a normal relationship now. That means, in large part, now that I can fix things, now that I can directly affect her life, sometimes it means that I need to do nothing. It means that, as proud as I am, and as smart as I think I am, I need to let her be herself and figure out her own way for a lot of things. I need to just learn to trust her. She’s smart, she learns fast, and, she’s a gamer– she’ll figure it all out on her own even if I don’t stick my two cents in!

Workplace Politics

So,

the day after I got into the showdown with [Manny] the manger (in previous posts spelled Many, but changed because it’s a bit confusing with the word describing quantitiy), it seems that she’s switched tactics.

Two things stand out about her actions the day after our public argument. It’s hard to decide which of these two things is actually the more out of character move.

The first is that she annouced that she’s going to be hiring a new part timer for desk duties. Manny has been fighting clerical attempts to request backup for a long time. Apparently, before I was hired, she didn’t want to look at hiring anyone for months even though [Chere] and [Mickey] were doing the work of 3 coordinators. Now that I’ve been here for a bit over a year, we’re at 3 coordinators for 3 positions, but the problem is that the OR is gradually descending into hell in terms of policies– administrative situations are becoming more complicated than they were a year ago, and whenever one of us the three of us calls in sick or goes on vacation, we get backlogged.

Manny has held out against calls for reinforcement for over a year: so why would she change her mind now? It’s probably worth noting that at our hospital network, managers are given a “performance bonus” at the end of each year for keeping their budget belts on the tight notches.

Secondly, she thanked me for my hard work, saying that she went over the numbers and saw a huge jump from the day before. Oftentimes, she won’t even say hello when she passes you in the hallway. I suppose I should be grateful for thanks coming from someone who never gives it, but at this workplace, I’d rather stick to my jaded conspiracy theories.

Maybe a bit of context helps. I think these recent changes are simply because the Transition Management Team (who is the taskforce that’s been formed to handle the transition from Montreal’s several HUHC hospitals to the one MegaHospital set to be finished in a few years). The TransMan team is basically here stirring shit up– in a good way mind you– but the management is basically squawking, looking busy with their coffe cups trying to look responsive and helpful. In reality– the policies that are being implemented in a half-assed way with very little foresight.

By little foresight, I meant that management is making the same mistake they’ve always made– they’re not consulting with the people they’re working with. Management can always change policies, sure– but if they had any idea what it’s like to work on the front lines, they wouldn’t make up such bullshit policies.

The day before all this mana fell from the heavens (more manpower and encouragement is a clerk’s lifebread), Manny cornered me at the desk and we got into an argument where I deffended my point of view very sternly with her. If you remember Will Ferrel’s line from “The Other Guys,” at some point Mark Wallberg starts verbally accosting him– and Ferrel shuts him down, by just shooting holes in all his logic. “That didn’t go the way you thought it would, did it!” he says afterwards.

Well, Manny’s discussion with me didn’t go the way that she intended it to. Actually, I’m not sure what the hell she expected me to say. On previous occasions I already told her that the post-op reports were being done as fast as they could be done– so what good does it do to tell someone that they need to work faster?

This kind of attitude doesn’t show up in good management. Good management looks for solutions. Pressuring someone to work harder when they’ve already told you on several occasions that they need more manpower, that the system doesn’t allow it, or that we’re already working at 100% capacaity… well, isn’t that like banging your head against a wall?

Actually, no. Because bad workplace relations tactics include bullying to get what you want. I’m sure you’ve seen it. You can get someont to work at more than 100% of their abilities, if you bully them. People will work faster, do unpaid overtime, put up with jobs that aren’t theirs, etc. That’s bad management, because continued use of such tactics leads to the OR situation we have now– which is that it alternates between sentiments of mutiny and dessertion. With 4 new nurses being trained and another 2 senior ones leaving by the end of the month, this month it’s dessertion. This all happens becaues management doesn’t stick up for us. Oftentimes, bad managers get away with it, because workers are tricked into thinking that it’s their job to help beyond the call of their jobs.

It isn’t.

The simple math of a situation is that you can’t help others if you can’t take care of yourself first. This takes a lot of introspection– how much of your quality of life

Which is why I say that the MUHC is a very peculiar case as far as employment goes. It has some of the most intelligent, dedicated, disciplined and resourceful minds out there– but management in almost every context I’ve worked under has been terrible.

So, the big question is… what can we do about it?

Well, first of all, sometimes it’s necessary to play hard ball. There was a guy in the anaesthesia department who used to pull shit on me all the time– used to book cases after hours and try and pull the wool over my eyes, and then, the next morning, the whole department would be all screwed up if something went wrong. Well, what did I do? I called him on his bullshit. And he stopped trying to do it.

Manny was bugging me to do things beyond my work limits. So what did I do? I called her on it. And the next day, she said she was hiring people and that I was doing a great job.

Mind you , we have yet to see if she keeps up on these promises– but the basic lesson is that you have to stand up for yourselves. How effectively you manage to do so depends on how much gunpowder you can store at once without them noticing. In both the anaesthesia case and Manny case, I’ve been stocking up hate and aggravation for a long time– but it’s important to note that it’s not just emotions you store up, but proof and experience. That is to say– it’s not enough to just hate someone’s attitude. You must have reason to question their way of working.

If someone is just an asshole at work, well, tough balls. You can’t do much about that. But the only way you can leverage anything at work is if you leverage them in the context of the work.

The thing is, I’m usually quite lenient when it comes to how I deal with people at work. I’ll usually bend backwards a bit– because in most cases, people will do the same for me. Rules exist, but they are guidelines that work best when everyone has a unified vision of what it is we’re trying to accomplish– in the context of the hospital, it’s about good care for the kids.

But every now and then you get people who use the rules for the wrong reasons.

It’s sad but they ruin it for everyone.

So, what am I going to do about it?

Well, as a basic start, I’m aiming at transparency. That means if I’m going to do anyone favors, I want everyone to know whay I’m showing favoritism: “Because this person is doing a good thing.” And if I’m being mean to someone– conversely, “it’s because this person is being unprofessional.” And if I make a big deal out of something… “I don’t agree with this protocol.” And I will make a noise about it until it is amended.

… sorry if I just talk about work lately. It just seems like the douchery is more than usual ever since TransMan started their investigations. Somehow, it pressured management to make a series of bad decisions though. This isn’t just me resisting change– this is me telling you my opinion that the changes being made aren’t the ones that we need.

So, I’ll continue to be prepared to get into confrontations.

I wish we could all just get along and do our jobs.

Lean

It’s never enough to just say “Life ain’t easy.” That’s just annoyingly obvious at times, and it’s about as useful as the rebuttal which is like telling someone “you’ll understand when you’re older.”  What do I think is the most important thing that people need to learn? To lean.

On one hand, when your legs are heavy, it means having someone around you who can psychologically or physically crutch you through the ordeal.  When you’re hurt, you’ve got to consider– do you need help? Asking for help is one of the hardest things you can ever do, so I don’t say this lightly!  I know I hate asking for help.  And I know that to compound the problem, I’m stubborn, have illusions of grandeur, and am pretty competitive.  Relying on others however serves a twofold importance for me– firstly to help me get through the logistics of the ordeal, by either offering fresh perspective or muscle; and secondly, and more importantly, by giving me the sense that people are there for me.  As far as the external benefits of leaning– it also has the nice effect of making those you rely on feel needed, and trusted.

You don’t need to lean when you’re in trouble.  Take a completely different situation: if you’re just standing there, feeling quite passively like a purposeless idiot (as I often do), you need to lean– not on someone, but in any direction.  What happens? If you don’t put your feet under you, if you don’t move your foundations to support your head (which is in the clouds and has scant idea of what is next) then you will fall over.  Leaning isn’t the first step, it is what leads to the first step.

The first step of what?  It doesn’t always matter.

In my head, then:

  • to lean kinda somewhere between the nouns courage and curiosity, but it’s an action
  • leaning is not usually as dramatic as the verb to brave, (since bravery isn’t a daily thing, and if it is, then man, that must be a stressful life) but every bit as important because leaning is a daily occurance.
  • to lean is to decide to shift because the current situation will not do.

It doesn’t mean you need to know where you’re going, and it doesn’t mean that leaning is guaranteed to get you anywhere.  When we see seek the cousel of others or we decide to change the scenery, its because there is nothing more for us in our current state– then the answers lie elsewhere.

Clunk

Location: @work
Time: 1:52 AM
Batteries: 80%
Morale:  😐

Lets start with work.

It’s almost 2am, and I’m here at work.  Big frikking surprise, eh? I’ve been here since 9pm, and I’ll be here until 8am. I’m doing overtime because a scheduling error on the part of the allknowing management gods fucked things up a bit.  Someone from the day shift was actually /forced/ to do stay and do a double shift as a result.  That’s because management didn’t remember to schedule an evening coordinator.  That’s essentially like saying that you want to run an emergency department without having a doorknob on the entrance the hospital.  Without a coordinator, the department basically just stops working.

The second reason is that a masters, especially the sort of distance education one that I’m going for, is going to set me back more than a few pretty pennies, so any extra dollars I can stow away in advance is probably in good advice.

After overnight shifts, I set my phone on a special call screening mode when I get home.  The goal is pretty simple: prevent anyone except really important people from waking me up.  I don’t care if you’ve got an astounding business opportunity, if you think I need life insurance, or if you think my opinion is important enough for a survey: if I’ve worked overnight, daylight means sleeptime.  That list is limited to calls made from the phones of my grandparents, my sister, my parents, [Supergirl] and my roomies.

I do get a text message telling me that I have voicemail or something, which I check when I wake up.  The text message sound will catch my attention if I’m awake, but it’s not loud enough to wake me up if I’m asleep.  When I awoke today, I found several messages from work basically begging me to come in because of the shoft staffed situation.

Time: 3:45 AM
Batteries: between 50% and 75%
Morale: o_O

I am SO tricked out on sugar right now.

[JoD] brought in home baked chocolate chip and double chocolate cookies.
[J] brought down two sizable slices of lemon meringue from upstairs.
And, the fridge is just loaded with applesauce today.

Anyway, to continue what I was writing about before—I received several voicemail messages from one of my coworkers basically begging me to come in, because without an EC, someone was being forced to work a full double shift and nobody was allowed to take breaks.  Another coworker was also being forced to stay a couple of hours extra.  That kind of situation really bites, but I guess technically it happens because as essential services personnel, we don’t have any rights apparently.

When I used to work at the Montreal Chest Institute as a nursing resource manager, I’d be in charge of handling sick calls, among other things.  I would show up at work at 5am (I used to work days back then) and if the nurses were really, /really/ short staffed, then I’d have the unfortunate job of telling a ward’s head nurse that they’d have to force an overnight nurse to stay for the shift starting at 6am.

Nobody ever takes that well, and usually, people demand that they sign a release of all liability, because, simply, they don’t want to be there and they don’t want to be held responsible for any mistakes they make due to exhaustion.

And that’s why you pay taxes.  So the government can abuse some of the last people on this planet who /care/.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I was called up by Human Ressources department a couple of days ago, and apparently they’re interested in my CV and perhaps an interview for a position at the Royal Victoria Hospital.  It’d be a clerical position in the pharmacy.

Just considering the position in my head.
 
Pros:

  • Day shifts! (I’d be able to synthesize vitamind D again!)
  • No more stupid shit from my current stupid boss!
  • Easier, lower stress workload.
  • Equal pay scale to my current position in the MCH Emergency Dept.

Cons:

  • Boring, monotonous work.
  • Maybe stupid shit from an equivalent, stupid new boss.
  • Equal pay scale to my current position in the MCH Emergency Dept.
  • It’s about 1.5 kilometers of extra biking, all up hill, which will be significantly more difficult during the winter months. It’s also rather difficult to access by public transportation from my apartment, if I decide that I don’t want to bike.

Well, no harm in sending in my CV and seeing how it goes.  I’ve only been to the Royal Vic a handful of times in my life, all during the orientation periods of both my work at the MCI and the MCH. Aside from that, I’ve seen a few hallways while wandering around with [Supergirl] who has classes there.  It reminds me a lot of the Montreal General, but even older.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

On a lighter note, I’m applying to do my masters with Athabasca university.  It’s an online “open doors” university, which is their way of saying that regardless of how poor your grades were during your undgergrad days, they’d still take your sorry ass out of the rain, if you’re willing to work.

I’m not interested in going into debt to work on this, which is why I’m going to be working on the masters part time and by distance education while I work.

As to why I’m working on it, I have no particular expectations about it getting me a ‘better’ job, although I suppose it does open up some doors to me.  Mostly I’m going to do it because I’m interested in the program that I’m applying to.  It’s a combination of arts, sociology, humanities and communications.  Basically all that hot winded stuff that we all used to love and enjoy when we weren’t gagging on calculus and chemistry back in the day.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I know there’s always people out there who wonder about where they’re going with their educations, and they often ask me what it’s like to be in the workforce, post-undergrad, pre-grad.  I’m not sure I have any advice for such people, is what I tell them– education isn’t as simple as wondering what’s written on a piece of paper you can slap on the wall and I think that one of the major problems in contemporary society is that it tries to make you believe that education solves all your problems.  This is sorta true, but it’s misleadingly phrased.
/Formal/ education in a higher institute of learning doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere, nor does it necessarily solve any of your problems, nor is it necessarily important.  /Real life/ education– that is to say, all the things that one usually learns about life, death, love/hate, trust/betrayal, integrity, goals, family, friends, the birds and the bees– is what will teach you everything you need to know, assuming that you’re paying attention and diligently doing your homework.  It just so happens that the time spent on real life education and formal education sometimes overlaps.  You know what they say about summer: just because ice cream sales go up doesn’t mean that ice cream sales cause air conditioner sales to spike as well.  However, this is a conveniently spun half truth that universities would like you to believe.

If you asked me to summarize it, I’d say that formal education is just a tool to facilitate your real life education.

In the end, real life education turns out to be heavily based on making yourself and other happy.

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Time: 4:20 AM
Batteries: 45%
Morale: 😐
Location: @werk, still

I get kinda annoyed at times with people who don’t keep in touch but still make great efforts to assume that we’re really close friends whenever we meet.  Maybe it’s because despite my instructions otherwise, a lot of people I know still read my blog.

As a result, they feel that they know me because they’re constantly reading about what’s going on in my life and how my brain operates. Thus, they feel they know what’s going on in my life and that makes us close.

The fact is though that this blog is for me.  That’s why it’s got a lot of details that I probably don’t bring up in person.  This blog is usually written at the wee hours of the morning when I’m thinking about stupid things because I’m sleep deprived.  You’ll notice that I don’t often talk about these things in person.

Just in general, I should point out that friendship is a two way street.  You can’t just take details out of my life and then think we’re close if you’re not going to share from your end.  You’ll get as much trust and as much dedication as I think you deserve.  I’m always one to make first steps I feel– I often invite people to do things, and I try to get friends of mine who don’t know eachother to mingle and all that.  I think that I take a lot of initiative to building social circles, and I think that I’m quite open to people.

People get all huffy when all of a sudden I don’t always talk about everything with them, as if I don’t trust them in person. It’s true– I don’t.  The old maxim that trust is earned couldn’t be more true.  As far as I’m concerned, if you’re reading here, you’re spying.  I don’t want to know that you’re reading here.  Reading here, as far as I’m willing to credit, is cheating– you’re diving into my thoughts at some of my most extreme moments, because extemities are often what push me to write.

But this isn’t friendship.  You’re no more my friend than an author is to the audience– you do nothing for me, and so in person, I won’t credit you for knowing things that you didn’t earn.

In large part, I beleive that friendship isn’t just about knowing things about people.  Not even secrets. You can find those things out in any number of ways.  It’s about confidence– having someone trust you enough to tell you in person, to your face, not in just some sorta situation where you overhear or over-‘read’ as the case may be.

And it’s about doing things together, sharing things, in person. Investing, mostly time, in a history together.

Like anything else, take risks and pay your dues!

Otherwise, what’s the point?

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Time: 9:33AM
Batteries: 25%
Location: @home, relaxing a bit before going to sleep

I’m going to see Ninja Assasin with [Terminator], [SoCool] and [Supergirl] on friday.  This movie is rated 16+ in Quebec, which is astonishing– usually, things that Ontario rates at R or 18+, we might give it a PG-13.  We’re hardcore like that I guess.  If it’s 16+ in Quebec, this must be one damn violent movie.  So far, reviews say that the movie is absolutely unbelievable, which I think is on par for the course.

Don’t get me wrong– I don’t expect this movie to be good, directly. I expect it to be so bad that it’s good.

I kinda expect Terminator and SoCool to jump on things like this, since we have a long history of watching terrible movies out of Movieland’s extensive collection of B movie horror and action flics, but Im surprised I guess that Supergirl agreed.  I joke, but this is I suppose one of her first acts of true ‘girlfriend duties’ because it’s something that she obviously finds is silly, but is going through with just because ninjas and terrible movies are important to me.

I’m really looking forward to this, not even because of the movie per se, but in large part I guess because Supergirl’s coming.

It’s really recently, within the last year or so, that I’ve begun to really embrace my inner geek, and I’m glad that Supergirl not only tolerates it but understands the lameness of my jokes enough to laugh or groan.  Most people just don’t get it.

Incidentally, you should all see Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.