Friday, February 12, 2016

And with the first rejection...

Well tonight I got my first rejection from one of the OT schools. So, here is the first draft of my OT school essay. This is really really rough but I feel best explains why I chose the path I did.

Why I want to become an Occupational Therapist starts with a confession: I made a mistake. You see when I was 22, I walked away from a profession that gave me the type of fulfillment I could not get from my actual major in college. And it set me on a journey that ends with you, admission committee, reading this essay.
 When I was 22, I had a choice. By now, I am sure you have reviewed my resume and my transcripts and you can see what it was. I made the decision to not spend my senior year on campus at Elmira College. Instead, I did what was considered the smart thing and started my career in operative politics. And I had some fun on the campaign trail and had some trials as well. In the end, I decided to do what all operatives do when they burn out from moving every 3-6 months, I decided to go to graduate school and take what should have been the next step in my career. Instead, I woke up.
 You see, Admission Committee, when I was up at Rochester Institute of Technology I ended up in a familiar job. The grant I was promised fell through; there was no position available in my department so I turned to a place where I knew I would be successful, RIT’s Sports Medicine training room.  As you can see from my resume, that was where I worked in Undergraduate and where while I had stressful days, I never had a truly bad one.
 At RIT, I worked with the Certified Athletic trainers much as I did at Elmira. I also helped them to formulate a manual for training future Sports Medicine Student Assistants. The training room got me through some hard times, the death of my mom the first quarter of my first year and then a bad breakup with a longtime boyfriend at start of my second . All the while, I started to feel something, a thing I hadn’t felt since the Training Room at Elmira: I felt happy. I started to think “why am I not doing this full time? Why am I not helping people get better?” Alas, I would remind myself I was on the path to help people through policy analysis and fixing the internet, so it would even out in the end.
 I ended up leaving RIT to attempt to finish my thesis at home in New Jersey so I could job search. I ended up finding a job and a really good one with a company called Bloomberg. The job mixed many of my existing skills into a nice little bow. While it was a great job, it was not great for me. I was not a fit for the high stress office environment. “But I had loans to pay”, I told myself every morning as I got up and drove the hour to Skillman. And it was slowly killing me. I got sick with stress-related illnesses, migraines and stomach issues. Suffice to say the job made me a mess.
 My final wakeup call occurred because of a tragedy that befell a friend. During the Jewish high holidays, he was walking home with his parents from synagogue.  On their walk, a car hit his parents, family friends and him. His parents were killed instantly and he survived with a shattered arm and broken ankle. I wish the wakeup call had been more mild.
 I would spend months with him first in the hospital and then the rehabilitation center. I was back in a training room and I was helping someone get better. I had not felt this fulfilled since I was in the RIT/Elmira rooms. I decided then, I was done at Bloomberg. I was going to take all the money I saved up.  That money was supposed to be to help me move out and go back to school to fulfill what I believed my purpose to be.
 My friends thought I was crazy. I have to admit, I think I was too and a little na├»ve. I thought I would have an easy path. I would go back and do the pre-requisites and apply in under a year to Physical Therapy and Occupational therapy programs. Evidently, years of doing project-based classwork had spoiled me and I forgot how hard science classes can be. I struggled with Anatomy and Physiology mainly because I am horrible at multiple-choice tests. I get test anxiety and I blank. Kind of shocking for someone who could handle an athlete injured during a game and need to figure out how quickly (if they could) go back out on the field. I also had another foe: math and chemistry. I really tried hard in both of those classes, I guess some people just do not get chemistry.
 I found a job with Virtua as a perdiem physical therapy aide. First I worked outpatient and then was crossed trained to work acute care as well. I have been at Virtua for over a year and I can honestly say despite getting pooped on, peed on and thrown up on; I have never had a truly bad day. There is a look that patients get when they stand up after surgery with less pain or you show them how to use a sockaid. It is that look that tells me no matter what I am doing something worthwhile.
 So you see, Admission Committee, I took a roundabout way of getting here to you. I believe you will not find a more dedicated and studious want-to-be Occupational Therapist. From my outpatient, acute care and personal exposure, I believe I know exactly what I am getting myself into and what it takes to succeed. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Damn You Rachel Maddow- Another DL e-mail

I have a confession to make.. I wrote this e-mail last night after a ruminating on a conversation I had with someone over the weekend. And then Rachel Maddow stole it from my brain. Makes me sad and happy all at the same time. So for you Maddow watchers: here is her version, which starts around 10:25:

For those who are unaware, the first Republican primary debate will be 08/06 at 9pm. (For those of you who usually play quizzo, we apologize now.)  However, did you know that unlike the clown car version that appeared in 2008 and 2012, Faux News will be cutting the field. In some ways, this makes sense. You can’t have (I have honestly lost track of what number we are up to) 15 people on stage at once answering questions one-by-one; there is 30 minutes right there wasted on opening statements. So Faux and the Republican party has decided to make their car appear more spacious by kicking out the crazy. Or so they hoped.

You see Faux news will decide their Top 10 by using  polling data from 5 national polls averaged. Now the problem with (in theory) 15 people and 10 spots is when you factor in the margin of error (assuming +/- 5%), the bottom kind of falls out. Statistically speaking no difference exists between 10 and 11 in their ranking. So basically this system allows the channel and the party to play favorites. Again, not so much a bad thing as this is intended to keep the supposed tea party rif-raf down to a minimum.

It was all going along so well until every late night show host favorite punch line decided to enter the race. Yes, Donald you fucked it up for everyone. It was supposed to be so easy, they could pick and choose who they wanted among the third tier because of Math and no one could argue because of Math. Then you, Donald had to come in with your insane comments and your earned media. Trump is second right now in most national polling. SECOND. (see this fun little tool by huffpo: They can’t just ignore him. Which I guess sucks for some of the candidates that deserved to be there like a Lindsey Graham, John Kasich or even Chris Christie. 

It seems like every time I open twitter someone new is running from Trump or they are asking the other candidates about him.  Its like inverse Tinkerbell with this guy, for every person who says they don’t believe in Donald Trump his power just grows. And so does his poll numbers. Which is the most important thing to appear as legitimate in the republican (or really any candidate) field. A sad state for the Republicans who created this monster and now have to defeat it. For everyone else, lets grab a beer and watch the show.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another DL E-mail

With President Obama's weekend announcement,  I can't not say something about the recent Net Neutrality news. A couple years ago, I began a paper called "Do the Cupcakes Matter? An Exploration of lobbyist influences over Internet Policy" based off of this story ( What was funny is back in the day I proposed a move to Title II and it got rejected by my thesis committee as being "unrealistic". I kind of got the last laugh this weekend when President Obama said what me and many other advocates have said for a long time, the internet should be regulated like your telephone rather than a private highway.

For years, Comcast/ATT/Time Warner have said "we built it, its ours to service as we please." What has this meant? In short, its meant that within the big companies power was the ability to control what happens on their networks. For the most part, some may argue, they have used this power for good by trying to limit large bandwidth applications that impact the end user experience. However, some customers noticed that their internet was slowed when they were running things like World of Warcraft. Well, World of Warcraft used a protocol that Comcast had determined was used for mostly illegal purposes and blocked it. This case known as "Brand X v. Comcast" brought the most recent issues with the Corps managment to light. Comcast changed the way they did things (in theory).

It seemed like this issue was going to be swept under the rug. Even Netflix caved into pressure and now pays for what could be called "peering" fee to Comcast and Verizon (see here to allow for the company to have faster access to the network. The Big Corps long argued for this because they wanted companies like Netflix to help pay for "infrastructure". (again BS but thats another story....)

I know I have kind of taken a round about turn to explain history but why should you care? The reason is the internet is the great equalizer. Net Neutrality is a free speech issue because if companies like Comcast can control content whats stops them from pushing only their products? Or Time Warner blocking Comcast content because they own rival TV stations? Truth is nothing. Nothing stops these companies from deciding that one day they will block access to rival content.. Or since Corps are now people; lets say political candidates that one side supports..And we all know how much Liberals love their access to unedited and raw news. We also like the ability to use the net to organize and create movements.

So in the next few weeks as the holidays approach and companies send the FCC and congress their yearly cupcakes.. We'll see how this issue begins to truly shake out.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Current Playlist...

I Am What I am (La Cage Aux Folles): 
Because being able to be secure enough to be a Zaza is a goal... 

Send in the Clowns (London Revival with Judi Dench):

Carry On (Fun.):

Someone to Fall Back On (Jason Robert Brown):

Marry me a little (Broadway Revival):

Another Suitcase in Another Hall (Evita):
Secondhand White Babygrand (SMASH):

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Stout: Revisited.

Last January, my Cinnamon Oatmeal Stout came in 2nd in the specialty category at the Winter Warmers Homebrew competition held by the Club. Truth be told it was about 2 points down from being in first. A hit among the family and club, I was very happy with this beer.  However, despite all of the great reviews; I have to make changes to the beer. L

The homebrew club is doing an event called “Made on American Street” to jive with an event of such a name; the companion beer competition is all of the American beer styles. And since the stout is the beer I am the most proud of, American Stout it is.  

The original plan was for this beer to just be a plain old stout. However, disaster brew day made me change plans…

The Brew day started out great. Mashed in, no problem and temperatures  stayed consistent. And then came the mashout. As we were testing our new sparge arm, we saw a white floating piece of CPVC pipe. Soon we saw a larger piece of the CPVC, floating up. Turns out the CPVC manifold had completely come apart. This meant a “stuck sparge” and an afternoon of plans immediately shot.

With strainers in hand, my dad and fought the good fight to mash out with pounds of grains coming through the spout.  After about 15 minutes of this crazy exercise, we finally had enough wort for a boil.  Only problem was it was 30 points lower than it needed to be for this beer.

Extract is something that is used by brewers and breweries often because it provides a consistent flavor profile and beers made with it are not time consuming.  In this case, extract was added to the beer to provide the extra og points needed to get this beer where it needed to be. Some all-grain brewers look at using extract as the “easy way out” in this case, it was the only way to go.

Boil went normally as did cooling.. We haven't bottled this beer yet.. Hopefully, it'll be okay.