Thursday, August 28, 2008

Out of the Fire, into the Pot

I am really happy to be back in school. I like to learn and I'm really excited about this whole Senior year thing. I still don't think I have really learned anything, but it's ok. I have grown these past four years, and I think that's the reason I am really pushing myself this last year.

I have a bunch of goals. They're realistic, too, which is really going to help me out as far as accomplishing things goes.

For one, I have the ever-remaining goal to pay off my debt. Thankfully, over the summer I was able to come up with a really fool proof plan for savings, so not only am I saving up for a new car, but also putting away money for a rainy day...because I know it's going to be raining after I get out of school. My credit card has been paid off for the last month, and it's at a stable, manageable $25 balance that I am pretty ecstatic about. I use it only to pay for my haircare (I buy these online because it's cheaper) and my gym membership.

Speaking of my gym membership, the other ever-remaining goal of getting in shape is on the brink of becoming something I will actively pursue. I think I've written before that I've already established a healthy eating routine, so I have the diet part down to a great science. Coming from an English major, that's probably not saying much, but at least I understand how it works: eat fruits, veggies, meat, and dairy. Basically, I figured that by the time I make it through the food pyramid, it's time to sleep and that works very well for me.

Another goal I have is to get my English Honor Society chapter up and running. We already have an event going on, we just have to meet and figure out where to host it. Hmm. I need people to do my bidding.

I only have one downer about this new year. I thought I had really grown and become more comfortable with talking to people I don't know, but in the classes I had yesterday, I was still the same person who didn't try to talk with people, didn't reach out and connect and everything else I've been doing the past three years. Don't get me wrong--I'm much more social than I've ever been, but I'm still not as actively friendly as I would like to be. I think I have this road block in my mind that makes me think that if I approach someone just to be nice and say hello, they're going to think Oh my gosh, why is this fat girl talking to me? I can't be seen with her. She needs to leave. What does she want from me?

Being thick is hard in a place like Orange County, but being a thick person trying to be friendly is even more difficult because no one wants to associate with the thick people. Most people who do end up doing it out of pity, and that's ridiculous.

Another goal I have is to get a guy to touch my hair. You have no idea how amazing my hair feels and I am just dying to be walking around campus one day and get yanked back by a guy who has his palm against the back of my scalp, running his fingers through the long thick mass of chocolate waves that is my hair. This goal may be easier to accomplish if I got my perfume back. New goal acquired.

I'm going to talk about my new room mates now.

Actually, I'm first going to address my feelings about having new room mates. Again.

I am pretty upset about having another set of new people to live with. In case I've never addressed it before, I've had new room mates almost every semester. Freshman year, I changed room mates in the middle of the year. Sophomore year I had the same girls all year through. Junior year, I had one girl the same and two other new ones, and the next semester brought two new girls, and I fell in love with living with them. Now, I have two new room mates and I'm planning and scheming how to get one of my past room mates from my second semester of Junior year to take the place of one of the girls I'm currently living with. It's probably not going to happen, but I really wish it would.

The issue I have with having 12 different room mates in four years is that I thought I was easy to live with. I'm a really laid-back person and not a lot gets to me. Maybe I need to re-evaluate myself because clearly I am not, given my history with living with people. I keep thinking, somewhere in the back of my head, do I have commitment issues? How am I going to adapt later down the road when I have a lease to deal with? Am I unbearable to live with, or am I ridiculously picky?

I can see where I am ridiculously picky, but I don't think I am unbearable to live with. I don't know. It's just something I am scared to find out about myself. I mean, how could I lie to myself all these years and find out all of a sudden that I am an impossible room mate? I honestly can't say that I am. I think I am fun to live with, easy-going, and keep to myself as much as the others around me do.

Anyway, the two new girls I'm living with are nice. We're all getting along quite well, so I am really grateful for that. God knows it could've been a disaster. God knows it almost was a disaster because I was about to go all kinds of crazy since they threw a new girl in on us at the last minute. I wanted to bust a cap like nobody's business! Breathing exercises really work well though, and it helps that I found out while I was driving to school.

I am really bored with writing about all this now.

Suffice to say, I am looking forward to a hectic, crazy, tight schedule.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Colleges in PA:

Jobs for Socs majors: Sociology majors who are interested in organizational theory gravitate toward organizational planning, development, and training. Those who study the sociology of work and occupations may pursue careers in human resources management (personnel) and industrial relations. Students who especially enjoy research design, statistics, and data analysis seek positions in marketing, public relations, and organizational research. Courses in economic and political sociology, cultural diversity, racial and ethnic relations, and social conflict can lead to positions in international business.

Skills of Successful Sociology Majors

  • Ability to recognize trends and patterns. Sociologists must develop a keen eye for detail and a gift for spotting relationships between pieces of information. By cultivating patterns from otherwise abstract data, sociologists can break through puzzling roadblocks during research assignments.

    Following these trails can lead to important discoveries and understandings for sociologists throughout their careers. To grow their talent for uncovering these relationships, many sociology programs expose students to new courses in game theory and traditional classes in art. Viewing data from unusual points of view not only breaks up the monotony of data analysis, but it usually results in the recognition of important patterns.

  • Ability to create concise reports and essays. Whether reporting to superiors on the results of research or developing new funding proposals, sociologists rely frequently on their ability to write effective reports. Sociology students learn how to modulate their writing for different audiences. When preparing reports for peers and colleagues, they can use industry shorthand and insider terminology to keep memos and files brief. When writing external reports for funding agencies, or politicians, or the media, they translate that jargon into easily digestible nuggets of information.

  • Strong critical thinking skills. Sociology degree programs challenge students to build their analytical skills through a series of increasingly challenging assignments over the course of their studies. Sociology majors spend time in introductory courses examining the techniques that professionals use to investigate theories. As they move through intermediate and advanced courses, they start to use those techniques on their own research projects. By the time they near graduation, sociology majors use their keen critical thinking skills to solve problems and identify opportunities in their own research.

  • Oral presentation skills. In addition to powerful writing skills, sociology majors must develop the ability to speak comfortably and clearly in front of clouds. This skill particularly benefits students who intend to pursue careers in academia. Meanwhile, sociology professionals who work in the private sector also utilize this skill when presenting information to government agencies, funding panels, or audiences at professional conferences.

  • Interpersonal communications skills. Regardless of their career paths, sociology majors will rely on strong person-to-person communications skills throughout their working lives. Students learn early in their degree programs to conduct effective interviews with key subjects. In addition, sociologists often work on teams where long hours and tight deadlines can lead to friction between colleagues. Quality sociology degree programs prepare students for future challenges by creating realistic scenarios in which students can improve their interpersonal communications.

  • Develop skills in modern data and analysis technology. As with many other careers, modern technology and computers have revolutionized sociology. During the course of their degree programs, students learn to manipulate data using complex pieces of software and hardware. By running research data through sophisticated tools, sociology professionals can spot trends sooner and generate results faster.

  • Grant writing skills. Many sociologists must compete for funding from government agencies, from private funders, and from academic boards. Skilled professionals learn to apply their strong writing skills to create attractive grant applications. By stating clear goals and framing up outcomes that advance the agendas or the missions of funding bodies, sociologists can collect vital funds that allow them to continue making breakthroughs in research and understanding of human interaction.

  • Research skills. Sociology majors learn to use all of the resources at their disposal to chase down leads and build sets of information for analysis. Many sociology degree programs introduce students to the tricks of efficient library research early in their academic careers. Bolstered by fast searches on the Internet, sociology majors learn to digest catalogued findings for use in their original research projects. By the time they graduate, students learn to conduct personal interviews and mass surveys in order to generate their own sets of raw data for analysis.

  • Management skills. Many professional sociologists rely on the help of support personnel and other team members to conduct research and to move projects forward. During their degree programs, students learn to blend the best practices from the business world with the traditions of research professionals. By the time students earn their sociology degrees, they gain the talent to motivate the different kinds of specialists that will help them accomplish major breakthroughs during their careers.

  • Planning and organizational skills. Because most sociologists work on time-sensitive projects, students learn how to plan and arrange their tasks to save time and to work as efficiently as possible. Many colleges and universities provide introductory courses in time management and task coordination as part of their core programs. These skills reap huge rewards later in a student's career, when they must marshal scarce resources under tight deadlines.

Trends for Sociology Careers

Because of the breadth of study involved in obtaining a sociology degree, career choices are diverse. Graduates holding a degree in sociology often find employment as researchers, consultants, or administrators for federal, state, and local governments. A sociologist may also find employment in the private sector with educational institutions and businesses.

Although competition for academic jobs remains fierce, many businesses and government agencies have expanded the roles that sociology professionals play in their organizations. Businesses invest more heavily than ever before in understanding their customers' wants and needs. Government departments and political campaigns also want to know everything they can about their constituents. Therefore, experts at the United States Department of Labor expect the job demand for sociologists to grow steadily over the next ten years.

  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • U.S. Bureau of Prisons
  • State Department of Correction
  • Human Services
  • Insurance
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Management training programs
  • Census workers
  • Marketing trainees
  • Correction officers
  • And much more
  • Youth Services
  • Mental Health
  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Banking
  • Computers
  • Retail trade
  • News media
  • Stock brokers
  • FBI agents
  • Personnel officers
  • Sales representatives

  • Shopping in PA (no sales tax on clothes!)