Yup! You guessed it! 😀
I realize that it has been AGES since I last updated. But, these last eight months have had this little girl very, very busy! It will be a Herculean task to detail everything that has happened in my life over that time, so, I will just chronicle all the important stuff.
Here we go!
- I AM EMPLOYED AGAIN! Yup, yours truly snagged a job, and it is a damn good one.
- I MOVED! Yup, and this is related to the job, as I had to move to a new city for it.
So, back in November of last year, I applied for a Senior Academic Advisor position with a community college in New York City (Long Island City, Queens). In early December, I had my first interview, which was with 3-4 other Senior Academic Advisors, and which went smoothly. In early January, I had my second interview, which I thought I thoroughly bombed. Discouraged, I sent an e-mail to the appropriate party rescinding my candidacy, just to save them the trouble of rejecting me as dozens of other schools had. But, as fate would have it, they never received it. Serendipitously, the Assistant Dean for Advising, Records and Registration called me on January 23rd to ask me if I was still interested in the position because I had not responded to the e-mail request for the final interview with her – an e-mail which I, in turn, never received. So, taking a chance, I decided to go ahead with that final interview (all of the interviews were via Skype, by the way), which took place on January 26th.
During that interview, which was way less formal than I had expected it to be, the new advising model, the logistics of the job, salary, and so forth were discussed. She mentioned that the new Senior Academic Advisors would be starting on February 23rd, and I mentioned that that is my birthday (it is also the Dean’s sister’s birthday). We ended the interview with her stating that she would be making decisions that day, and that all candidates interviewed would be advised of their status. Less than an hour after I finished my interview with the Dean, she called back, and this is how the convo began:
Dean: “I have one more question for you…”
Me (fully anticipating another few questions about my experience): “Sure.”
Dean: “How would you like to start working for me on your birthday?”
I was in the library at school when I got the call, and I disturbed every single soul in there with my excitement. When I got home, I cried and prayed for hours because I was so happy and grateful that I had finally landed a gig after a long, arduous search. I was sad about having to withdraw from graduate school again after having gone through so much to get back in, but moving to New York to start a new page in my career was worth it.
So, I finished out my last two weeks at my part-time gig (I was a junior recruiter for a month for a Recruitment Process Outsourcing company), with my last day being February 21st. On Februrary 22nd, I got on a plane – for the first time ever – and headed to New York (Jamaica, Queens, to be exact). And on my 36th birthday, February 23rd, I began my new career journey. I am nearly six months in, and it has been an exhilarating experience, for sure.
In addition to the job, I am becoming acclimated to life in NYC. It really is not that different from Chicago in a lot of ways:
- There are distinctive accents.
- There are loads of places to eat (though I still haven’t made it to Gray’s Papaya).
- There is (obviously) cultural immersion (I’ve been to the Met twice, and the saw the Mad Men exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image).
- There are beaucoup entertainment spots; I saw Esperanza Spalding @ (le) poisson rouge back in May:
I’ve also been in the thick of Times Square, I’ve visited Central Park several times (including Strawberry Fields, the memorial to the late, great John Lennon), and sometimes, I would just get on a bus or train and ride it from end to end just to see where it goes.
There are a few things that were a bit of a culture shock for me though:
- Jaywalking. Like, seriously, no one gives a shit about traffic signals, vehicles accelerating in their direction as they make their way across the street, or, seemingly, their lives. A new NY guy friend of mine told me, “Traffic signals are just ‘suggestions’.” I stared at him blankly when he said that. And I cannot help but wonder, whenever I see someone walking with a limp, crutches, a cane, or in a wheelchair, if it was because they lost the race between the car and the pavement in their endeavor to swiftly go nowhere and not wait the 60-some odd seconds for their turn.
- Subway performers. Now, I am familiar with buskers, as I saw them all the time when I was back home in Chicago. However, these New York buskers are somethin’ else! I saw a group of young men who do pole routines. I was holding my breath the entire time, because I was dead sure that one of them would kick me in the face. Nonetheless, it was pretty dope. Below is one of the routines I was able to capture from a safe distance.
So, anyway, that’s the update for now. I hope you guys have been good. Now, I am off to see a man about some sleep! 😀 I will leave you with one of my favorite songs about NYC, “Streets of New York (City Life) (Unplugged Version)” by Alicia Keys: