Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fast forward

I will admit there were days where I thought to myself, why can't I just fast forward? I just want this day/week/month/season to be done. But recently, I have been seeing people posting online about wanting to get through to the next weekend or vacation or holiday, and I think about how it is important to slow down, enjoy what you do, and not live every moment waiting for it to be "later."

I have been privileged enough to enjoy what I do for the past 4 years. Prior to that, I enjoyed my life and parts of my job and tried to focus on those things, but there were clearly things I was unhappy with. However, it didn't take me too long to make the changes necessary to fix this issues I had that made me want to "fast forward." When I got to a point where I questioned if this is where I wanted to live for the rest of my life and if this was the field I would find the most happiness, the advice of my now MIL helped open a door to a field I didn't even know really existed because I had never thought that hard about how education administration even worked.

Now, I find myself enjoying my new job after leaving SJC, my life with my husband and my dogs, time spent with friends and family. I think that one of the main factors of the need to skip ahead is daily drags like a job you are unhappy with or being overly tired/stressed. I cannot speak for everyone or fix anyone's situation, but I do wish that instead of complaining and focusing on the negatives, we enjoy what we have, who we have it with, and where we are at right now. 

I know that it is not simple nor easy to get up and move on a from a job that doesn't fulfill you. I for sure know that it there are rarely complete "dream jobs," but it is worth the effort to do the best you can, learn more, grow where you can, and find your niche. 

So right now I want to give a shout out to the past, for getting me to this point in my life and making me who I am, and a look forward to the future. It will come when it comes, and I will try my best to enjoy each day as it rolls by. 

Ferris Bueller said it best: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November randomness

We saw this at a house on a heritage house tour and G wants to try to make it out of the palette we have. 

Also... My puppies are adorable!

It's November, which means it's the holiday season! I love Christmas, but November means one amazing thing... THE GEORGETOWN BURRITO IS COMING BACK!!! I don't know when, but at some point, Bubba's Burrito Bar in Islip will bring back their amazing thanksgiving burrito!

Also it means that we have a winery date next weekend, then my last day at my job and first day of my new job, AC for a friend's birthday, books club, the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who episode, and Catching Fire! The adult and teen in me are very excited. 

New beginnings

Right now my hubby is installing a new toilet (yay owning a house!), while I am enjoying a minor pulled muscle in my back. This thing better work it's way out before my work event tomorrow! I love candles so I have my apple cider candle AND my pumpkin pie candle going. I love it because I get to enjoy the smells without the calories.

I got the job I applied for, and I have two weeks until it begins! Whenever people ask me how I feel, I think the perfect word to describe it is bittersweet. I know it is a great opportunity and I think I will enjoy it, but it is a big change and still going into a new job is always kind of scary. When I left my last job before this one, I was so ready to move on. I liked the work I was doing, but did not like the company I was working for. Now I am leaving a place and coworkers that I have gotten very attached to. Last night we all went out to say goodbye to another coworker who is moving on, and it just reminds me how close I have gotten to all of them. I thought I would be at this job longer, but I am excited that a job that utilizes my qualifications so well opened up and I think I would be silly to pass it up. My boss has said a couple times that, who knows, maybe I will come back. And that's true, I don't know. I do hope that I will enjoy my job. I plan on getting some audiobooks to get me used to a normal work commute instead of the 5 minutes my current commute it (I know, I was spoiled). I will miss my days off and extra time with my husband and puppies, I know that. But I am trying to be optimistic. I am a combination of nervous and excited. I hope I can prove my worth at the new job the way I did at my soon-to-be former one.

Changes define who we are and as my tattoo says, "It starts with an ending..."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Next steps

I have been terrible about blogging for a good long while.  Mostly because very few people actually read it. So much is going on lately between work, weddings, Red Cross, house stuff. I am mostly exhausted.  Some of the stuff keeping me busy is fun, such as outlet shopping, book club, movies, a good friend's wedding. Some of it is for work like college fairs and learning how to run a Red Cross shelter with the club I advise. Some of it is just running around.

I am feeling kind of selfish because I was really looking forward to some days off this weekend, but (talk about the last minute), the coordinator for our region of the Red Cross youth organization says we can do shelter training this Sunday. Nothing like waking up super early after a wedding in New Jersey the day before.

There are definitely worse things in the world than being booked up with happy things. I could be booked with sad things, bad things.

Just thinking about this week makes me sleepy. It is very nice to have at least one room in my house that I enjoy and spend most of my waking time in. Next step (pun intended) is getting our stairs done.

I think I wanted to have a halloween party, but I think I am overwhelming myself. Instead I will enjoy the gatherings my friends are having and continue to ignore my messy house.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Applications and what I am grateful for...

Today I applied for a job for the first time in 4 years. I am so unbelievably grateful to have a secure job that pays me enough to live comfortably. The job position posted is currently listed as the same pay as my current job and has pros and cons. But for now, I am trying not to over think those pros and cons until I interview or am offered the position...

But while I am thinking about it.. off the top of my head...

FLSA Exempt (paid overtime)
State job
Good benefits
No more recruiting
Less to no night/weekend work

No more summer Fridays
No more Christmas break, Spring break, holidays off
Farther from home (which means traffic and gas)
All my sick time I have been saving up will be gone
I don't know who my manager would be; could be better, could be worse than my current job

So there are a lot of factors, but the good thing is, this has given me a chance to update my resume, write  cover letter and go through a process that I should be more up-to-date on. I do ideally want to work at a state school, since the pay and benefits are often better and this is the second closest one. I think I am fairly well qualified for it. I meet all the qualifications and many of the preferred qualifications.

So we shall see. For now, my focus is enjoying the job I have, looking forward to my 3 year anniversary (11 days!), Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and being happy that I would not be distraught if it doesn't work out with this position.

Plus I have a super cute husband who loves and appreciates me. What more could I ask for?

Anyway,  I am going to miss summer like crazy, but August sure did not feel summer-like. So I shall enjoy pumpkin spices and boots.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A proud milestone - Graduate Graduation

So yesterday was my graduation from the School of Professional Development at Stony Brook University. It was a day I won't soon forget... for a number of reasons. Early in the day, my husband and I went to a brunch for my program at the program director's house. It was very nice and I felt super special because he congratulated me as the star of the program. Brunch was awesome and I got to meet some people who came down for graduation but took the program online. I took half of my degree online and half in class, so it was nice to meet classmates I never met before.

Me and Ally K.

Fast forward to the graduation ceremony. I was a bit nervous, and I didn't know a lot of people graduating. My program was small, but the School of Professional Development is a big graduate program. I realized that day that I might have received the wrong hood color, but it turned out that half of us got the generic white hood for a Masters of Arts and some of us got the blue hood for Masters of Arts in Education. I had a blue one. I matched my program director, so that made me feel a bit better. Then I filled out my card for ... something and handed it back. Well it turned out to be my card with my name and email for when I walk up to accept my degree. So the guy who took it was looking for me and I was looking for him and that took about 15 minutes. So finally, I had my hood fears assuaged, I got my name card, and I was lined up for graduation. At 5:30, we walked in at sat down facing the stage and the dean of the SPD program began. While he was introducing people, I looked in the commencement program. As he is reading through names, I see my name.. under the section titled "Platform Party." A.k.a. all the people sitting up on the stage. So I get a little nervous, but no one had told me I had to be on stage, so I just let it go.

But then I looked to my left and saw someone trying to catch my eye. It was the woman who nominated me for the award. She mouthed to me, "Come here!" I mouthed back, "Right now?!" She nodded, "Right now!" So I left the graduates and walked over and out of the auditorium. Samantha said that she was so sorry, but I was supposed to be on stage and no one told me. So we walked to the other side around the back and when there was a pause from the dean, they told me to go up on stage and take my seat.

Which was right in the middle.

In the first row.


Cheryl, who was presenting me with my award, said she was worried I wasn't there. My program director was sitting behind me said "Welcome to the big kids table!" Which made me laugh.They highlighted a couple faculty with awards, during which time, Cheryl asked me if I was told I could make a speech. "Uh no?" was my response. She said, "Oh, okay, don't worry about it," but I told her I wanted to thank some people. So for a while, I just kept repeating the names of those people I wanted to thank in my head over and over. So they highlighted two faculty members, two students' project seminar papers, the girls who were going to be representing the program and carrying the banner at main commencement, and they had a student speaker. Then they got to me. They introduced Cheryl, who represented the SPD Alumni and who works as an Assistant Dean at Stony Brook. I have never met her before, but she had a speech prepared about the award, the program, and me. The award came from the Alumni Association and was the Dean's Choice award (which we learned about in my previous post). Cheryl must have talked to my program director, because she told everyone about my GPA, my project seminar thesis topic, how I worked at SJC full time while going to school, and my passion for social media and higher education. I didn't know where to look the whole time. There was a photographer and everyone once in a while, I would look over at my family who had the biggest smiles. It made me so happy to make them proud. I had never felt so honored and special (except maybe my wedding day).

I can barely describe that feeling. I tone it down a lot, or as much as I can, when I talk about it, but honestly, it was a moment in my life I will never forget. I put a lot of work into this program and set a high standard for myself. And maybe I didn't get a 4.0, but I worked hard for my 3.96. I have this pull to try to be humble about this and tone everything down, but screw it. This was big, surprising, and and special. When I was up on the stage accepting my award and later walking across the stage, I couldn't even hear the applause. I tune everything out and try my hardest not to trip.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dean's Choice Alumni Award winner

I have not written a post in a good long while here, but I think this is a good reason to get back in the swing of things.

I recently finished my last class for my graduate program and my graduation is May 23! I could not be more excited to be able to read for fun, but I will miss my program. I met some great people, got a lot of good insight into higher education and its future. But just to top the cherry on the graduation sundae, I received this email today:

Hi Jacqueline,

On behalf of the Dean of the School of Professional Development and the Alumni Association, I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as the Dean's Choice Alumni Award winner for 2013. Samantha Segal, Assistant Director of the Higher Education Administration program, nominated you based on your grades and the enthusiastic feedback provided by your practicum supervisor. 

This recognition comes with a cash award of $1000. [...]

Congratulations on completing your degree with distinction. We are looking forward to seeing you at graduation.


I found myself crying and shaking (maybe an overreaction, but I never, ever win things and it was baffling to be recognized in that program).  It would have been enough to win an award for my graduate program, but a  cash award as well is over-the-top. I am excited for the next chapter in my life, but this is one I am pretty sad to end. (Am I sad enough to consider a doctorate in the field right now? No, I am not that sad.)

So, I would like to give special recognition here to those who made this whole thing possible. There are three  people I could not have done this without:

Gordon: My amazingly supportive husband, co-payer, proofer, and cheerleader.
Lynne: Going through grad school together helped me keep my sanity. We proofed each others stuff and I think I sent more to you than anyone else.
Kristine: For proofing (yes, I had a lot of proofreaders, you don't get As by not having someone else review your work), reminding me that there is an end to grad school, and being proud of me. I tend to put myself down a lot, and you help build me back up. I hope I do the same for you.

My mom and sister, Erin, are coming in for my grad school graduation, which is amazingly sweet of them. In my head I try to tone down my excitement about graduation because most people probably don't even go to their graduate graduation (cough, Gordon, cough). But I feel like I put a lot of work into my program and I am excited to have a formal ending to it all.

Update: I told my boss about the award and she was thrilled. She had me send it to her to share with the VP and President of the College. That kind of just made my day even better.