objective: to figure out my new objective.

In the fog of waitlists, rejections, massively large traffic tickets, incomplete applications and 4% downsizing that has dominated the last few weeks of my life, the one shining beacon of hope that has kept me sane is a home-turned-college administrative building on Old English Road that backs up to the edge of campus: the Student Development & Counseling Center, a.k.a. The AC Center for Seniors Who Can't Write a Resume Good and Want to Learn How to Do Other Stuff Good Too.

For the past month or so, I have been in almost constant contact with David K. at the SDCC, trying to form a plan to up my chances of getting into a graduate program off the waitlist and changing my resume to fit a job application instead of a school application. It didn't hit me that my post-graduation plan has actually changed, however, until I opened a short email last week:

Jenn: Are you considering applying to Siemens/Bayer? If so, you need to change your objective line. Other than that, looks great.-DK

Up until March 10, my objective had been Admission to a Direct-Entry Master's program for Nursing. Plain and simple, clear-cut and straightforward. I hadn't put much thought into it because, well, what else is there to say when you're building a resume catered to an admissions board for a direct-entry master's program for nursing? That was my step one; there could be no other objective for me until I was ready to move to step two aprroximately 24-36 months later. But in my current situation, I could very well still be waiting for step one, or I could already be on step three or four. For all I know, I could still be staring blankly at a building directory trying to figure out where the %$&! the damn stairway is.

Sometimes, things don't fall into place quite the way we want them to. We can make millions of plans for every hypothetical situation we might find ourselves in, but let's be honest--does the universe ever run smoothly when we need it to the most?

So I'm picking myself up and brushing off the dirt, making my way up to the SDCC, placing my resume in envelopes marked Siemens/Bayer, and re-examining what exactly my objective might be.

My objective is to find somewhere to be at least for next year, but not to spend the rest of my life in a research lab. My objective is to find a way to prove that you don't need a white coat to think like a scientist.

Someone once told me that most of the world's worst problems could easily be solved over a cup of tea. Idealistic? Maybe. But all anyone really wants is for someone to listen. Young or old, rich or poor, each of us has a story to tell--the only problem is that not everyone has a voice to tell it with. Unfortunately, the people in this world who are dealt a bad hand are usually the ones whose voices have been muffled, literally or figuratively.

My objective is to hear what they are trying to say. To become a better listener than talker, but to be a voice for the voiceless.

I want to design experiments that are run in real life, not in a laboratory. I want to observe people, watch what they do, listen to what they say. I want to ask questions of them, of myself, of society as a whole and I want to analyze every piece of every answer. I want to make educated guesses and apply these guesses to actual situations--then I want to see where things can be improved for a better experimental outcome. At the end of it all, I want to draw solid & sound conclusions that I can share with everyone around me in the hopes that maybe we're making even a tiny percent of a fraction of a positive difference for at least one person.

Nobody's true objectives can ever be shrunk down to adequately fit one or two lines on a resume. These goals we all have are far bigger and more involved than an 8.5x11" piece of paper. All we can put in that space is how we might want to use certain tools to reach what it is we're really aiming for.

On paper, my new objective is simple:
To secure a position within the field of science or human services utilizing a Bachelor's Degree in Biology in an effort to build a long-term career in health sciences.

In reality, though, that's only scratching the surface. It's only my step one.


i'm just waiting for the sun.

Have you seen him around?

The last time I saw him was on the water-logged softball field across from my apartment a week ago. I had tossed my brown Northface to the side and stood in the comfort of his rays for ten precious minutes before leaving to spend my afternoon in the back corner of a grocery store tucked away in the back corner of a small town next door to the back corner of Connecticut.

"Sun, I love you," I told him. "I lovelovelovelove you. You make me so happy. Thank you for being in my life. You are the only Valentine I'll ever need."

That's right. The sun is my perfect Valentine. He knows exactly how to put a smile on my face when I'm having a bad day. He can light up a room just by looking through the window to say hello. He's always ready with a hug and he never makes me cry. Whenever he says goodbye for the night, I know he'll come back soon. While he could never surprise me with chocolate or flowers, he brings out the best in me even when all I can see is the worst. What more could you ask for in a Valentine?

Did I ever mention I have a Valentine's Day curse?

It's true. Ending a relationship on February 15th probably can't be a sign of good things to come. Ever since then, not only have I been Valentine-less, but any hope my love life holds for the following ten months of the year is KO'ed--usually in an unnecessarily violent manner, always sometime in the month of February.

I probably should have thought about that before I shared my feelings with the sun. I think I scared him off. I probably came on too strong, too fast.

Either way, after I had gotten in my car and left, he quietly packed up his things and left town. No phone call, no note, no indication of when he might come back. The only thing he left behind was a tangled, windy mess of rain, snow, and gray melancholy that's managed to leave my emotions and spirit as empty, colorless, and transparent as my far-too-pale winter skin.

I think I've seen him a few times since then, but it never lasts. I'll see his face peek out from behind a cloud for a minute or two, and I'll get excited and hope that maybe he's coming back to stay. It's always short-lived, though, and I'm reminded that my awkward clumsiness in relationships is alive and well. I speak when I should stay quiet. I'm quiet when I should say what I'm thinking. Sometimes I miss cues, other times I jump too far ahead of myself. Without fail, I end up tripping and falling flat on my face.

I guess I can add the sun to my running list of February Fails. He gets the 5th spot on the big 4 year list, but skillfully managed to snag the 2nd for this year alone.

The good thing, though, is that the sun never leaves for good. He'll come back to me soon. He just needed some space, that's all. Can't say I blame him.

In the meantime, I really, really miss those hugs.