May 5, 2012

Status Update May 2012

It is a gorgeous Saturday morning in Phoenix. The weather is lovely, though a bit warm for my tastes. I am not ready to don shorts -- I don't have any that fit me -- and I still do not look as good as I should (for summer, I mean). Yesterday, I wore light-weight jeans, but by mid-afternoon, I was sweltering. I think it is supposed to be near 100 today, so I have got to get myself some Capri's or shorts soon.

Weight Loss Program

I am losing weight -- finally! This is the end of week two on a semi-modified Atkins diet. I have lost 7 lbs, and I have not had cravings or the need for diet drinks since I started on April 20th. My goal is to lose 20 pounds by July 7th -- my nephew's wedding. I am on track to lose it, so long as I can remain consistent in my diet.

The main components of my diet are:
  • Protein shakes and bars for my snacks and breakfast
  • Salads with protein for lunch
  • Modest dinners
I am off the diet soda, and I am not eating bread of any kind. I am also not eating fruit or dairy (though I do have butter and Half/Half with my coffee). No deserts, no sugars, etc.

I am watching my calories, and try to keep my count somewhere between 1200-1500 per day. I am going to be starting fitness plan at the end of the month. I need to finish my graduate class, graduate -- and then I can focus on getting physically fit. My plan is to join the CC Fitness Center in June. I live down the street from the college, so going there every day after work is going to be easy. Plus the cost is very reasonable, and I can either take a Yoga class or I can use the equipment. Right now, I am planning on using the treadmill and elliptical trainers. My goal is to build muscle so that my back, shoulders, and legs are more shapely. I am not into working out, but as I lose the weight, I want to look slimmer, more shapely, so that is my goal.

I am also re-working my hair style. I need something different as my hair is growing out, and I need a new style. I have worn it short again for the past 6 months. I like it, but I am having a hard time finding some one who can consistently cut it and keep it the way I like it. One cut, I like; the next, I loathe. This is my preferred style (one is short, one is long). My goal is to get back to the long style, but I need something now to take me there.

I had my hair cut in this style a couple years ago, and it was really cute. I struggled a little getting it to lay right, but I think it will be doable for the next couple months. My long term goal is this style.

This is how I had my hair cut in 2011, and I loved it. Not everyone in my family thought it was flattering, so I ended up cutting my hair while at Macy's. I got mixed criticism going from long to short hair. Some people thought I looked 10 years younger with long hair, while others said the opposite. I think it just depends on individual preference for short or long hair.

I have decided though that my hair is my hair, and it is reflective of my personality and style. Therefore, the only person who has to like it is me.

In addition to cutting my hair into a shape so it grows out nicely, I need to color and highlight it as well. My goal is to have it similar to the above photo (photo 2). My natural color is light brown with heavy silver sections next to my ears. I need to go blonde, fairly blonde to blend that in. I need the darker color though to bring out my complexion, so I am thinking brown underneath, nice blond streaks on top.

Graduation and Next Steps

Other than haircut and color, the big update is my graduation from Mercy College. I know I blog a lot about my schooling, but that is because it is a HUGE part of my life. I have invested in my education, and I am proud of my hard work and diligence to achieve a Masters degree. I am looking forward to the next stage of my education, but for now, I am enjoying the process of graduation!

Lastly, on the job front, which has plagued me to NO-END!! I am hoping to get an opportunity to interview for a teaching position at our local CC. I applied in March, and the school is just now starting the review process. I had hoped that this would be the case since the main requirement is the degree. My hope was that they would not begin the selection process until May, and with that delay, I would have more confidence in graduating. Now that I am to be graduated on the 23rd, I feel so much more ready to interview.

The job I applied for is a one year Associate Faculty position. The CC hires 1 year at a time, which is OK for me. I hope to start doctoral studies in Fall of 2013, so having a 1 year position fits my timeline.

My plan is to remain at UOPX through summer, then begin working as a full-time English Instructor for fall 2012. Well, this is my plan -- hopefully the CC will concur! If not, then I will remain at UOPX for one more year while I complete two certificates to brush up on my teaching and language skills.
  • TESOL Core Certificate program is a 130-hour program to prepare teachers to teach second-language students. It is not a full Masters in TESOL, just additional course work to enhance your teaching skill with non-native speakers.
  • Language Studies Certificate is a 12 unit program at the CC that will provide me with some foundational courses in communication and linguistics for non-native and/or other cultural groups. I will be completing four semesters of French as my second language (not counted in the above credits). This program serves two functions: one, it keeps my student loans in deferment; and two, it will take care of the required foreign language for my doctoral program.
I don't mind remaining at UOPX, but I don't see a future there now. I did when I started, but now that I have been in my role as Advisor for almost 1 year, I simply do not see myself being really happy with the job itself. I like my team, I like the company -- I just don't really like the work. I have tried to move into other areas of the company, but like before when I was out of work, the jobs seem to be competitive, and the skill requirements are strictly enforced. I will not move unless I have every qualification they are looking for in a candidate.

I understand -- I get it -- I went through this for 18 months. There is no point applying for jobs that I am not qualified to sit an interview. My goal now is to find a job that will align with my education, and will provide more challenge and stimulation for me. I have never been a full-time teacher, and I may not like it. I know this, I do -- but the alternative is to remain where I am and continue to enroll students. I like parts of my current job. It is the other parts, the pressure to perform, the pressure to make numbers, etc. that I don't like and that cause me a lot of stress.

My prayer is for the Lord to move me into another job soon. He knows my needs, and He knows what kinds of jobs would work for me. I have total confidence now in His ability to choose work for me. He has been phenomenal in this before, and He knows the timing and preparation needed to get me hired as a college instructor. I know this is His will for me, and I know that He wants this for me. I need to be patient to wait until He opens that door, that is all.

Well, that is my update for today. I am pleased, and I am blessed with all that the Lord has done for me. He has graduated me! Praise be to God for His blessing and mercy!! He is moving me into a career where I can work from now to my retirement, and He is opening doors that will transition me from one degree to the next. God is Great all the time, and I give Him all the Praise and Honor today!!

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