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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week One in the Real World

Well, thank GOODNESS for the weekend. I've never had a normal weekly schedule. My classes were always at odd times, the weekends usually meant some random rehearsal or work, and Friday was just like any other day. But man oh man, after this week I truly understand the meaning of TGIF.

Other than adjusting to the schedule, I am in love with my internship. It's been 5 days and I want to work there for the rest of my life. I want to be at work right now. I can't stop thinking about the kids and what we'll do next. But, instead of turning this into a Music Therapy blog, I'll try and remain on task with what I've learned out here in the mid-west.

Lesson number 3 comes as less of a lesson and more of a pleasant surprise. As I was rushing around last week trying to get things together before I started being an adult (with a pager...I have a pager at work), I had two encounters. Some might say this is chance, others might say it's my good looks and charm, I however blame it on the mid-west. In both of these encounters, I ended up with a free item. Now, I'm not talking about "encounters" as I'm walking down the street and my free item is a pamphlet saying "Sorry we messed up, but the world IS ending soon....Don't stone us, even though that's what the bible says to do to false prophets". Although this did happen, and I obviously didn't stone them...mainly because stoning in this day and age serves little to no purpose. I'm talking about incidents in which I walked away with items of significant value.

Fist encounter. While driving to orientation, I spotted a Starbucks. Not only was it a Starbucks, but a Drive-Through Starbucks. You can read more on this later in the week in Lesson number 4, obesity epidemic. I had to stop. It might just be me but I've never come across a drive-through Starbucks before. Seeing that it has been 98 degrees here and I felt like I needed to walk into orientation with an iced coffee to help solidify the image of the girl from New Jersey, I decided to test my drive through skills. I also stopped because I have no idea how long it takes me to get anywhere in this city and I would have been about a half hour early. For the record, ordering a venti hazelnut iced with skim and two splenda doesn't sound any less pretentious over a drive through window. As I pulled around to the window to pick up my order, I was thrilled. An iced coffee before a 4 hour orientation? Yes please! Then the minutes began to pass. Two minutes turned into five minutes, then seven minutes and before I knew it I began to sweat. HOW COULD THIS BE? Just moments ago I was going to be a half hour early and now I'll probably be sprinting to the auditorium. I didn't even know where the auditorium was! Was I even wearing appropriate attire? I think it was then that I began to feverishly check my phone for alternate routes to the hospital. I looked behind me to see several cars lined up. Then I started to get mad...IT'S JUST AN ICED COFFEE, IT SHOULDN'T BE THAT HARD TO MAKE! The people behind me would now think I ordered 14 specialty drinks just to piss them off. "Great, look at that car from new jerrrseyy holding everything up...doesn't she know I'm a neurosurgeron and I NEED to get to the hospital!?" The shame, the embarrassment, and it wasn't even my fault. What were you doing in there starbucks baristas?!

Then it happened, the windows opened and she said "Um, my computer isn't working...have a good day" and handed me an iced coffee.

Confused, I grabbed the coffee, looked at my hand holding three singles and said "But I didn't..." and she said "Have a nice day" before very politely closing the window in my face.

One free iced coffee for Sam.

The next encounter occurred just a few days later as I rushed to meet deadlines for my online class. I thought I could use the fax machine in my building to fax all of my assignments to the instructor, but as it turns out it only makes local faxes. So I found a FedEx that did faxing and rushed to get there before it closed. As I ran inside (with 10 minutes to spare) to the copier, I read that each long distance fax would cost me 3 dollars. This just wouldn't do. I had at least 10 pages to fax. So I asked the guy behind the counter if there was a way to use the scanner. After giving me the run around, telling me it would cost 99 cents to scan each page then 90 cents a minute on the computer, I felt defeated. The thought *I can just take the class next summer* popped into my head. That's when I knew things were bad. As I started to weigh the options, failing the class VS a 30 dollar charge at FedEx that would most likely wipe out my debit card, he spoke. "Hold on, I think I have an idea". He pulled out a flash drive and said "I'll just scan them on this scanner back here on to the flashdrive..then you'll just have to pay for the time it takes you to email it out." Genius. Genius and thrifty. This was going to work out quite well. Finally all the documents were scanned and I entered my credit card into the computer. I raced to gmail like never before and sent off those assignments into cyberspace. For all I know I had emailed them to my grandmother. I didn't care, I just wanted to get off the computer ASAP. As I got up to leave, I walked up to the counter where my new found best friend was helping another kind mid-westerner who was stressed about getting her presentation laminated before she presented it at the conference being held at the hotel. I said "Thanks so much, here's your flash drive." To which he responded "Oh keep it, someone left it here a few weeks ago and there is nothing on it so we can't give it back to them...it's yours".

A free flash drive. Thanks, Indiana.

Now you might question his intentions in giving me the free flash drive. However, what I left out was that we bonded over color guard. He used to be a music student and is now teaching color guard at a local high school. He was most definitely a friend of Dorothy.


Lesson Number 3: Free means free in Indiana

Speaking of friends of Dorothy, today is Pride Parade and from my window I can hear the marching bands. I'm about to head over to Mass Ave and share some support. My week has been awfully busy but there is so much that I want to share. Hopefully I'll find time to manage the cR@zI333 social life I have here, work, and blogging. Stay tuned for Lesson 4: Obesity Epidemic.


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