Monday, October 17, 2011

Wisconsin residency

I've been diligently working on my grad school app and I'm caught up on pretty much the lamest question on there. I have to prove my Wisconsin residency by putting in my tax information (which I have but I hate flipping through those forms), my parent's tax information and the last time and place I voted. I remember exactly the last time I voted: it was a tiny local election, it was either late fall or early spring, it was cold enough out that I remember wearing my thin purple fleece and the wind was biting me through that but I was too stubborn to wear a real jacket, it was a Tuesday because I was on my way to watch volleyball at the Flag, and after I got my little 'I voted' sticker I stuck it to the dashboard of the Cavalier because I didn't feel like getting into any discussions on politics while I was at happy hour. I couldn't tell you what the election was actually for or who I voted for, but the whole reason I did go vote was so that when I did my grad school application this year, I could put that date in the box. I never wrote down the date. I flipped through my journal and there is no mention of voting, no date circled that says 'last time I voted in Wisconsin!' in all caps. I don't know how I expected to remember the date a year later. And it's not like I need the exact day, I just need the month and year. And I don't have that.

I have only ever lived, worked, or attended school in the state of Wisconsin. Yet I went out of my way to frustrate myself because I thought I was making my life easier. I'd have my application completed and turned in if it wasn't for this one question.

I have two months to narrow down the month I voted in. I have found two elections last fall that it could possibly be. I think I'm just going to guess which one it was and hope I'm close enough.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FOCOL and the library basement

I started as the assistant to Fox Cities Online through the Appleton Public Library. I sit in one of the fancy basement offices in the library and manage the database of FOCOL with Microsoft Access. I get a login to the APL computers and everything. Pretty exciting, right? I get to read the newspaper, surf the internet, chill out on Facebook, check out whatever I want to find new businesses, clubs, services and, well, basically anything in the Fox Valley. I also have to find ones that went out of business and remove them from the list.

The most difficult part is the part that sounds easy - assigning categories and keywords. It is hard to put each place into one main category when some places easily fit into more than one. Also, coming up with keywords takes some thought. I've been putting in a lot of keywords for each place I add and it seems like I put in more keywords than the last guy. But, if you were looking for somewhere in the Valley that does haircuts for men, you could search for men haircuts, barbershops, salon for men, etc.

The boring part is clicking on EVERY single link to make sure it is still active. Since no one has gone through the database in awhile, I am finding a lot of dead links to remove. It takes time though.

Today was my first day. This is my new Wednesday side project. I already like it better than my actual job.

And, if you are looking for any businesses, clubs, services, etc in the Fox Valley, try searching on FOCOL to find what you are looking for.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Job searching has become my only hobby

Four years after college graduation and I’m still wondering what made me choose the major I did. At the time, a liberal art major didn’t seem like a bad idea. First of all, it was a degree. A degree should be able to help me find a solid job. Second, it got me out of school. Getting out of school is something I thought involved more free time and sleeping in, but this is not true. And lastly, I really enjoy literature and grammar. Earning a Bachelors in English was the perfect degree for my interests (however, it is not so friendly in the real world job market). Working seven days a week at less than desirable jobs is the opposite of where I expected my life to be when I finished my degree.

Not only can I not find a job that uses my degree, I can’t find anything other than foodservice or retail. At the moment I’m just looking for a nice little office job, nothing too big and flashy. I’m overqualified for certain positions, I don’t have the necessary experience (earning a degree doesn’t count as work experience), I don’t have the right skills for the position, etc. Since I only worked retail and foodservice while earning my degree, I (according to job postings) have no other job skills.

Frustrating isn’t even the word for it.