briansjournal1

uncensored, unfiltered, thoughts

Category: Thoughts

Our small world and ramblings

Sensory overload, a focus on all things but really nothing at all. You know? My girlfriend once told me I should write down my insights and my views on things and I never gave it any thought because I didn’t think anybody would want or care to read them. But even if that’s the case, I have my insights into philosophy sometimes that I want to look back at so I’m deciding to write them down.

Back, to that sensory overload topic: We have so much going on that our magnificent brains can’t even process them all. The one thing we can’t conquer in it’s entirety is ultimately finite in it’s capabilities. So, we consciously choose what to focus our attention on. On a smaller scale, we choose what we look at, what things in our surroundings we ignore and blur from our vision, and the things we listen to whether it’s a background conversation, music, or our own internal dialogues. But there are more significant things that we choose to focus on: relationships, money, pleasure, pain, loss, stimulation, love but why? Why choose some things over others? What’s the point of it all? Why do we choose to focus on the things that hurt us rather than the things that brought us joy? Why do we focus on relationships to others rather than focus on our relationship to ourselves? Why do we look for outside affirmation of things when we can affirm ourselves? Are we truly not our own masters? We’re peculiar things us humans. We focus on the negatives and we complain about our pain. We focus on the pleasure and don’t take into account the consequences. We live in some fantasy world and the facts of life are as dull to us as a slathered gray on a canvas. We don’t take the time to notice the things around us, the simplicity and complexity of things boiled down into small core concepts and components. Life is actually really easy – it’s humans that make it more complex. They drive the level of complexity to the levels of the universe in which they are only a small hundredth of a fraction part of.

Why do we focus so much on everything but the things that really matter? The ability for me to type something like this on a page was unimagined until 20 years ago and our natures absorb it and take it in like nothing. There are others who focus too much on the differences and don’t realize the adaptive and unpredictable nature of the world. Free will may be a hoax adapted by neurons, and atoms, and things we don’t truly understand yet but the fact is the choice is still there. I can feel sorry for myself, I can be hurt, the emotions can be there but I need to acknowledge them and understand that this isn’t the end. We’ve survived this long to survive through loss. Human kind has survived through unsurpassed suffering and we’ve all gone through it so pain is just a small part of the experience we call living and the shell we call our bodies.

That’s it for now. ūüôā

Fresh feelings

Fresh new feelings of anger and sadness today. It’s my first official day off and I just realized that it’s my last day off from school. I’m not having much success making new friends or meeting new people so here I am at sadville again. I feel like whatever conversations I have with people are artificial and weak and that I’m just angry and sad about this situation and at myself. I know these feelings are temporary and they’ll pass but I hate feeling them. They’re so freaking distracting. I feel like I have no control of myself sometimes. I just want to escape the pain that comes from all this. These highs and lows are none like I’ve ever experienced. I could have gone weeks feeling great before something stressful came in to make things difficult but it’s like I can’t seem to enjoy something for more than a day.

This really blows.

One of those nights

I’m just having one of those nights. Those lonely nights where you wish you had someones warm embrace or have someone tell you that they love you or even have friends respond to your texts. I don’t like feeling this way because it makes me feel needy for attention and I don’t want to fall back into bad habits but it just kind of sucks.

I wish there weren’t so many issues between myself and the people I know. I hate that my friendships never develop as close as I’d want them to and I honestly feel like they’re all aquaintances. I gotta start making new friends because this sucks. I want to develop meaningful connections and it doesn’t seem to be working.

Anyway, if I find the energy I’m off to work on my last paper for the semester and substice on poptarts.

PS: I feel more at ease when I look back at my happy memories. I’ve found that’s one way to cope with loss or pain from loneliness.

Winter Thoughts

I’m starting fresh and trying to make some changes for myself. I want to be a new person. I want to change problem behaviors that affect how I represent myself to other people. All my life I’ve learned to be a liar. All my life I’ve learned that lying was the way to get out a situation. Ever since I was a kid I would lie to my mom about stealing money from her purse or make up situations to make myself look cooler or make events seem more interesting. Real life isn’t about fabricating stories and entertainment. I’ve done it so much that lying hasn’t affected me when I do it. I’ve let this go on for far too long. A few weeks I made a promise to my girlfriend that I wouldn’t lie anymore and I’d avoid situations that would cause me to lie. I’ve been proud of myself because so far I’ve been honest about everything. It’s been very hard for me to stay honest so much because there are so many situations that call for me to lie – weird small little things that shouldn’t require the ‘need’ to lie but also situations where I feel the need to avoid responsibility like calling out of work because ‘something came up’ or rather the truthful answer, I just don’t want to come in. Honesty has always been tricky for me because even when I’m not doing anything that requires lying I feel the need to stretch the truth about events to make them sound so more dramatic. How does one stay honest 100% of the time anyway? How do you tell your boss that you hate your job or that you didn’t feel like coming in? I know there are certain things that should be held in but that wouldn’t be honest, now would it? I’ve just got to figure out the mechanics of this whole honesty thing I guess.

Speaking of changing myself, I’ve been seriously considering getting a tattoo which is a big deal since my Portuguese parents really disapprove of them . I also view tattoo much more seriously then kids of my generation do – it’s not a fashion statement or ‘cool’, it’s something that’s etched on your body forever. It has to have great meaning and always remind you of something. ¬†My idea for the tattoo was getting Japanese kanji across my back from top to bottom with the characters for ‘Strength, Courage, and Honor’ – three values I want to always have and demonstrate. Strength to face situations that are challenging, courage to brave uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory, both personally and professionally, and honor to be respectful to others, embrace equality and open mindedness, and be good to others (ethical, honest, caring, etc.). If and when I do get this, I’m going to ¬†search high and low to find a good artist who can make sure what’s written is representative of the language with the upmost accuracy. The last thing I need is the wrong meaning being given off by inaccurate translations!

Another thing I’m trying to change about myself is listening. I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that I never learned how to listen to someone. We’re always taught from a young age on how to speak to others but never how to listen. I want to change that and my biggest issue is always trying to think of my response to what someone says while they’re speaking and cutting people off. I don’t want to do that to people anymore. That’s incredibly disrespectful. I’m often scared if I don’t think ahead of what I’m going to say that I won’t be able to respond. I need to let go of this idea and just be OK with not knowing how to respond right away. It’s truly an American idea when we expect an answer right away which is detrimental to proper communication. I want to be OK with forgetting what I was going to talk about and soaking myself in the other person’s words and reflecting on them. I want to stop controlling conversations and really listen. I often think that many wars could have been avoided if we would have given somebody the extra 10 seconds they needed to process your information and really listen to what they said in the first place. It’s a steep process because this is something that’s been ingrained in me. But, you know what? I’d rather not talk at all then continue to interrupt people. It’s just not fair and I don’t want to hurt or be offensive to anyone anymore.

Finally, it’s the week of finals – my favorite time of the year again where I reflect on how much of an idiot I am. OK, I take that back. I’m not an idiot but maybe it’s because I’m a young adult and don’t know where I fit in the world yet but I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. For example, my boss has been bugging out at work because things have been stocked wrong and part of me wants to say ‘that’s not me’ but part of me realizes that it probably is. I then question myself as to why I keep doing the wrong thing over and over again. Do I not care? Do I not understand? Am I trying to go too fast? Am I just too dumb to do things right? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. Sometimes I reflect on my intelligence and just end up becoming depressed. My parents grew up in poverty and didn’t have much education and so I would probably say that they’re not very smart. I wouldn’t call them stupid or anything but I don’t think they’re highly intelligent and since intelligence is in part genetic, I feel like sometimes I was born on the lower spectrum on the intelligence scale because of my parents. Now things like education and stuff like that can improve your level of intelligence quite a bit so often times I feel like I can escape this genetic trap but I don’t even know about that. For example, I get good grades in school and I do try to do my best but I don’t feel like I’m actually learning anything or that I’m smart. Maybe it’s because I’m not at a university yet where things are a lot more challenging or maybe it’s because all this theory shit is fine and dandy but applying it to real life is the difficult part but I just don’t feel like good grades translates to actual intelligence. I feel like I’m dumb when it comes to real life action – building something, following steps, etc. but can pick up on theory and stuff pretty easily.

So, as you can probably see this fear of being ‘smart’ and having practical knowledge and skills turn into this fear that while school may be going decent that maybe I’m just too stupid for a real job. I, like so many others want a high paying job that’s challenging, rewarding, and that I’m passionate about but I’m always worried that I’m not learning anything or that I’m not going to be able to remember anything worth a damn. I set goals for myself like learning a new skill and I practice it like crazy and then I stop because I get busy or whatever and then I forget everything. I’m passionate about business and procedures and I like learning it but as soon as finals are over, it’s all gone. I know it can be relearned but I get so scared, you know? Am I just going to forget everything that I learned in school, blow all this money, and end up working minimum wage for the rest of my life? One of my biggest fears in life is not being able to be independent and I feel like if I’m too dumb to apply what I learn in school to real life or if I forget everything that I’m not going to be successful in life. Trust me, I don’t like all or nothing thinking but I’m scared that I’ll be confined to low skill manual labor for the rest of my life, always hating what I do like my parents before me. I’m also scared of becoming like my schizophrenic brother who’s only ever had low skill, low pay jobs.

These feelings and thoughts are piling on distracting me from my studying for finals and I don’t want them to but it’s like I lose control of them sometimes. I don’t know. When I finally get the house quiet like this I just like to ponder about where I’m going in life and wonder where my place is in this world. Pretty deep questions I know but we all have a inner philosopher right?

Hopefully someday I’ll get an awesome job that I’m really good at it, love going to, and get paid lots of money so I can keep feeding my technology habit and need for sightseeing. Lol.

PS: Forgive my horrible grammar and spelling in this thing. I’ve long given up trying to have proper grammar, sentence and thought structure on this thing. As far as I’m concerned, getting thoughts down is more important than order. Life is random and has no reason sometimes and so that’s how I prefer to write sometimes rather than having some neat filter cleaning everything up.

Revelations and Updates

Time for an update! Recently I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of exams I’ve had/will have these past few weeks. The timestamp of this post should probably be an indication of that. I’ve been procrastinating extensively because I’ve been lured away by into the beautiful world of computer build log forums especially this one called linustechtips. It’s a great site but it causes me to think about buying really expensive computer parts that I can’t afford on a minimum $8/hr job. The worse part about it that it’s kept me from my studying for some time now so this is why I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed in the first place. I’ve been going to bed at 3AM on school nights because I’ve been so mesmerized by people’s awesome computer builds and I’ve been up late researching ways on how to do these things. It almost seemed like an addiction because no matter how many times I told myself that I would get something done that day I would just slack off and browse these internet forums for a long period of time until it was too late or I was too tired to do anything. My reasoning was that if I could research what I wanted now and make plans on how to buy these things then I could be truly happy and then return to studying.

Well, now the problems begin! About a week ago I was browsing the internet looking for ways to secure a loan without credit (bad idea in the first place) and I stumbled upon this website that talked about getting a car title loan. I thought it was a scam but I filled out their online application and low and behold I actually got a call from someone two states away in New Hampshire. They explained the whole process (minus the actual financial details) and then I got this crazy idea that I would actually drive 80 miles up to this place and get a title loan. Well, I did and there were several red flags that should have stopped me from signing my life away to these loan sharks but I didn’t care because I wanted quick cash for a computer build. Well, they told me it would cost 22% interest, I would only be getting $850 financed even though my car is worth at least 3x that much and that the minimum payment would be substantial. Oh yeah, and they charged a $186 finance charge. So fast forward to now and I finally realized what I got myself into. I have to be popping $200 a month on interest on a $850 loan and if it takes me too long I might end up equaling or exceeding the amount borrowed in just interest! That’s getting close to a mortgage! It’s like a credit card bill. People like car finance places know what they’re doing. They’re loan sharks knowing that they’re always going to make massive profits over idiots like me who are too excited/too desperate for money that they would sign away to almost 4x higher than a bank’s interest! So, basically I’m in debt so I’m trying to sell as much of my unwanted/unneeded technology and working as much as I can at my minimum wage job to get the money I need. If my hours slip for any reason, I’ll end up having to pay out the ass for interest. I’m never doing this to myself again!!! The only legit real loan is the one you go to your bank about when you’ve established excellent credit and have a good job with steady pay that will allow you to pay it back quickly! This obsession over money has now spilled over into my studies and my need for increasing amount of hours is cutting into my study time which I consider very important so it’s really stressing me out. I’ve never experienced debt before and I don’t know how so many of us Americans can fall into it. You should never buy something that you can’t afford. That’s the danger of credit – it allows you to do that and has no safety net for when you do.

That’s enough about that.¬† Onward onto my plans for the future and my rants:
I read an interesting education article a few days ago that asked the question ‘does your college major really matter?’ and then it proceeded to explain how most students are seeing school as a means to an end rather than a learning experience and thus are coming out with lackluster critical thinking and communication skills. I think this guy hit the nail on the head. Everyone got into a big puff because he was debunking the whole college major thing – “Zomg, I’m an engineer! Don’t tell me a English major can get my job” – No one’s saying that. What the guy was trying to point out is that we’re telling kids that college is a way to secure a job when it’s not really as straightforward and clearcut as that. College is supposed to be a time for learning and skill development but it doesn’t really truly prepare you for a job – only related experience can do that. College teaches you about how to think and communicate. It teaches you to not take facts as undisputed truths and to delve deeper. We now live in a global environment so businesses are going to increasingly need strong problem solvers. This all starts with the proper education.¬† We need to teach kids the basics of communication and listening because these things are not being taught. We need to teach them how to study, we need to teach them how to think and inspire them to think; the one gift afforded to humans that allows us to change with our environment rather quickly.

It’s funny, I once read a review on Amazon on a Calculus textbook. The guy in the review was talking about how kids nowadays have everything dumbed down for them and how only 60 years ago the math textbooks of the day challenged kids a lot more and as a result that’s how we had the great wonders that emerged from the post-WWII era. He felt that kids nowadays don’t have the skills necessary to be able to survive in the workplace of the modern age. That made me think: are we really making things easier for kids? Are we truly not preparing them to enter the real world? Are we not inspiring the thinkers, inventors, writers, of this generation? Will this generation solve the greatest threats facing humanity as we know it?

I don’t know the answer to these questions because I’m a 22 year old kid going through the ‘system’ just like many other kids are but it does cause me to wonder. What are we lacking or how was the past better?

Finally, I’m going to wrap up this long and grammatically incorrect post with an idea I would like to to delve into deeper in the future: Remember that idea I had about a computer business? Still want to do that but I had an idea concerning an underlying problem in my city. It came to me when I remembered what Senator Mike Rodrigues said about my city – it has the potential to grow but no businesses want to expand here because this is a forgotten factory city. The workforce is not skilled enough to be able to fill the jobs that businesses need filled. He also told me how a local medical software company was changing all that by offering full time positions to programmers with associate degrees. Then it hit me, I should start a non-profit in my city to help get peoples technical skills up. Am I perfect for the job? No, some of my friends would make me look like a ape in front of a computer with their level of technical finesse and skill but I want to get people who have those skills and are passionate about helping others to join me in my efforts. I think this city has great potential but that potential is drying up what I like to call a vicious cycle and I think the only way out of it is proper affordable education. I want to offer free education on technical literacy to these students – real localized instruction utilizing state of the art instruction techniques and brain research – taking those who are computer phobic to intermediate programmer. Okay, maybe not that far but get these people started and skilled enough so that they don’t break into cold sweats when they see a monitor. Think about it: if my city has a more educated workforce I could possibly bring business here, I could succeed as a business because I could supply the big businesses, and best of all I could help the local new tech savy populace. People might think I’m crazy – that the only real tech savy people exist in sun bathed California but I wouldn’t knock these old factory workers for the count. There’s a market out there for IT and I may not be the best guy to find it/teach it but I want to lay the steppingstones so someone else can take over my work.

Maybe I’m glamorizing the whole thing but a clean office with a nice view helping my local community surely doesn’t sound that unreal to me!

-Over and out!

Fall 2013 Updates

I’ve finally quit Best Buy and found me a new job working at a liquor store. I find the oddest jobs sometimes but at least it’s in the city where I live – a first for me ever since I started working at the age of 18. Even though it doesn’t pay much, it saves me a bundle in gas which is important since I end up blowing most of my money by the end of the week on junk food and never end up saving up $20 bucks to get me through the week. I’m liking the environment so far.¬† Everybody is really showing me the ropes and taking the time to properly train me and go over everything. It’s a nice laid back small business atmosphere without policies about everything. Thank god because If I had to get people to buy vodka then I don’t think this place would be right for me. Lol.

Anyway, it’s midterm season and I keep¬† daydreaming about what my computer business will be like in the future as I learn new software. I have a clear idea of the atmosphere I want to set out and the type people I’d like to hire. The services and products, eh, not so much. This daydreaming worries me at the same time because I’m learning QuickBooks now and while it’s really simple to use, I feel like I still have a long way to understanding accounting because I’m finally actually working with real numbers instead of examples used out of the textbook. It’s far removed from the textbook learning I’ve done so far because I’m looking at typical small business sales of $20,000 a week. Big numbers for a small timer like me but collectively, it’s only a small fraction of what I might be managing someday. The pressure is on I guess…

Speaking of computers I want to set up a small home server, cloud storage for streaming music to my devices, and a HTPC which will be my main gaming machine and movie streaming machine to a 32″ LED TV (oh how I wish it was truly OLED) I’ll be getting for my room. Of course, this is going to cost me a ton of money and it’ll take me a while to get but hey if those guys who blow 10 grand on a exhaust can do it then why can’t I?

Like I said earlier this year, I want to set up a website to have discussions, debates, and everything else. It doesn’t seem like I’ve had much time to do any of that but it is still in the works in my test environment. That being said, I think if I have some time off during Thanksgiving that I’ll bust ass and try to get fully completed by then! I’d love to have the opportunity to talk to some of you guys!

I feel like a bum…

I write this not to put myself down but because I really feel like I haven’t accomplished much this summer and I kind of feel disappointed in myself. I told myself before the summer even started that there were three things I wanted to get accomplished: 1) study accounting and refresh myself to where I feel like I never left class 2) Learn Excel proficiently so I could really know how to use some complicated formulas and pivot tables and 3) refresh my memory on algebra so my business stats class coming up would be easier. So, far I’ve only gotten to chapter 2 of accounting and Excel and I haven’t studied any algebra.

I’m supposed to be getting getting or hoping to get an internship for the fall and they asked me if I’d be available for their audit. Without remembering on how to do even the basics I’d feel awful if I messed up some of their financial records because I don’t know what I’m doing. Audits are huge deals and every penny has to be accounted for. If it’s not, they could face huge fines. So, I’m really worried that I’m not going to get caught up in time. Also, if my Excel skills aren’t on par and I don’t have internet access to look up how to do things, when I’m asked to make sense of some data, I’m going to be scrounging around learning how to put in different formulas and writing my own. I feel if I don’t get my studying done quickly to where I feel comfortable accepting this internship that I would just cause more bad than good.

As for the algebra, I don’t know how involved business statistics is in that kind of stuff but I’m pretty sure I need at least a good working knowledge of it to be able to succeed in that class. They even list it as a requirement course if you didn’t score high enough to place out of it. Luckily I did, but I don’t want to be stuck in a stats class where they’re talking about the quadratic formula and polynomials and I have no clue what’s going on. I’ve looked up my stats teacher on ratemyprofessor and she’s been voted as hard so that makes me worry even more. I just hope I can get through this class because stats is useful in anything. I’d actually like to learn this stuff even if the teacher is a bit of a snob (have heard that from other students and have met her a couple of times and she comes across as one).

Finally, as for new updates, I’ve finally quit that god damn Home Depot job. I’ve been able to land a computer sales gig at Best Buy. Yes, it’s still retail and the pay isn’t great but I finally get to be out of the sun and into some AC and get to be around technology, albeit, overpriced, but still! To be in an environment where I actually care about what I’m selling as opposed to toilets and lawnmowers is great. I hope to really contribute to this job because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (I want to own my own computer business after all). I’ve been trying to stay on top of new technologies (like understanding Haswell and staying on top of AMD’s steamroller upcoming CPU generation) before my orientation to really be on the ball. The mobile processors always still trip me up because all I know is that they have better integrated graphics and they consume less power.

I’ve also been able to purchase my video card and although I’ve been getting some weird black dot graphics errors (due to AMD’s drivers not always been updated), I have no complaints. The card is a Sapphire 7970 Vapor X. The thing has been silent when I’ve run my games and that’s a really good relief! I thought it was going to be overpowering loud. It makes me happy because this is my first time getting into PC gaming and I’m actually enjoying it a lot better. Borderlands 2 is my game of choice for now along with some Minecraft. I can’t FPS worth shit but the game [Borderlands 2] is hilarious and fun so it’s definitely worth the hours of me trying to get my aim down.

As for the upcoming website, that’s going to be on the back-burner for a little bit (I certainly have some cool ideas for it so I hope you stay tuned). I’ve run into some unexpected expenses and I’ve got books and a vacation (hooray!) to pay for in the upcoming month so that’s really gonna take a toll on me. I also plan to get a secured card and contribute at least $200 and keep upping to up to raise my credit limit. I hope this will be the start of a good credit history because I have student loans to pay for in the upcoming year and since my parents pay for everything in cash they have virtually no credit like I do. Thus, I can’t rely on them for cosigning a loan and so I need a decently high credit score to help me get a loan. I want to live on campus after all!

Coming Up

Just a quick five minute update: Got an interview coming up on Monday. I hope that goes well. I really want to find another job. I’m getting sick of working at Home Depot. I mean at first I liked it because the job wasn’t that bad and it was close to where I lived but knowing I have to work in 95 degree weather tomorrow with a bunch of lazy people does not make things better. I want to continue advancing my skill set to find something new. I got this idea that I’d like to do this (become a cashier (for cash handling experience) -> teller -> bookkeeper (junior) -> accountant (senior, work on CPA for a year). Obviously, I don’t think it will quite work out that way but that’s basically what I’m aiming for. I’m hoping I can ace Intermediate Accounting next fall because that’s really what will be the deciding factor if I’ll be good at accounting or not. I’d hate to have to tack on loans for something I’m not cut out for.

As for computer updates, I recently just got in my G600 Logitech mouse and I must say I agree with the reviews. It really does take some getting used to. I have big hands so I’ve always had bigger mice like my last one, the Razer Deathadder. This one, while still large, is a little hard to grasp because of all the macro buttons on the side. However,¬† when I finally do get accustomed to it, it will be great. DPI switching and being able to map keyboard shortcuts will make it desirable for not only games but also for lots of complex tasks in Photoshop and other programs. Definitely looking forward to that! As for other tech, I also got the Logitech K70 keyboard. This is my first mechanical keyboard and my initial impressions are ‘this thing is hard to type on!’ It’s got Cherry MX switches which are supposed to be better for typing but I still find myself mistyping stuff all the time. I guess I got to get used to it but it’s proving difficult. Other than that, it feels like a great piece of hardware. The back-lighting is really bright and the media keys work really well.

I’ll also be getting in a 7970 Vapor X card which will be my first real graphics card to game with. I plan on getting a dual monitor setup for some gaming and multitasking. I got some real savings with that thing as the very next day it’s being listed for $100 more than what I paid for it. Really lucky that I got grabbed it for the price that I did ($369).

Finally, I caught a flat tire at my girls house the other day. The mechanic only plugged it up (although he did do it for free) which sucks because now it’s not holding up and I’m going to have to get a new tire. The ones I got were pretty expensive Hankooks that were rated for 90,000 miles. I’m afraid because my alignment is getting knocked off by potholes and other suspension issues, they’re getting eaten up. Last time I took them to the mechanic they said it had 12/32 thread when I just bought these things in January with only 4,000 miles on them. Somethings really not right here! I think I just got the short end of the straw when it came to getting this car. I mean, it’s not the worst, I like it, it’s my first car, and it’s great on gas (98′ Corolla) but it seems of late that a lot of things are going out on it and they need replacing. Maybe I’m complaining about it too soon because I’d rather be spending my money on computer stuff but I already have over $600 in repairs coming up.

Anyway, off to another wonderful day of retail tomorrow! I guess I should go to bed even though I don’t want to. I’ve been watching Basilisk on Netflix all day and it’s a pretty sweet anime. Makes me want to update my tiny anime collection (more on that in a future post).

PS: I signed up for the Commonwealth Honors Program. I’m thinking now, I have a high possibility of failing this program because most people don’t end up finishing it and run out of steam in the end. Basically, it’s going to be a group of three projects with one honors seminars course (Leadership course, with guess what? Another project). So, basically, it’s going to be four major projects over the course of a year. The project can be anything I want but it’s basically going to be on the premise of coming up with a question and answering it by whatever means. I’m thinking about doing an ethics project in accounting.

Again, for selfish promotion purposes: Please keep your eyes out for my a new website I want to be starting! It’s going to be a hangout area where people can have discussions of any kind, post artwork, music, etc. and generally be a relaxed environment. I’d love to have some in depth discussions with some of you! I’ll be posting some of my drawings, beats, and other stuff I’ve been working on. I want it to be a place where people can just discuss things from computers, to anime, to music, to whatever you want! Hope to see you guys all there. I’ll begin working on it after I get in my video card which will allow me to have two monitors which will speed up the process! I already have my concept designs in place, now it’s just a matter of actually producing a product.

Quick Update

Got my new chair from Ikea today. For anyone who is wondering, it’s called the Ikea Markus. While it’s not the top of the line $1500 dollar¬† German chair, it will suffice (at least my initial opinions tells me it will). I am getting closer to finishing the computer. Just need a new GFX card (7950) so I can get dual monitors set up and and a nice sound card. Everything after that will be accessories such as fans, keyboard/mouse,¬† printer, etc.

I hope to get my website up by next month so I will start working on that ASAP! I will be keeping a list of updates of my build on there. Again, I hope to see you guys all there when it’s created. It will be a hangout corner where you can talk about whatever you want, have discussions, and share your artwork. I don’t plan to compete with huge websites like Deviantart or anything but a website of a few regulars would make for a great time!

Anyway, as for employment updates, I’ve been applying to more places to finally be able to quit Home Depot. I’ve also looked at some of KPMG’s material for personal branding. It goes over how to take everything about yourself such as your values, skills, knowledge, interests, and goals,¬† and put it all into one complete package you can use as your brand, just like a business brand. You can then present that to an employer. Part of that is keeping track of your accomplishments whenever you do something so you can better relay that information to employers. This is why, like I’ve said in a previous post, I’m going to keep a accomplishment journal with a list of stories/surrounding context so I’ll have concrete examples to make answering those behavioral questions a breeze.

As for getting those accomplishments, I’m going to try to keep my time busy with all sorts of school activities and events. I want to get into tutoring, join/start a book club, be part of honors groups, do Student Senate again (great experience), and just generally get involved in everything my future school(s) have to offer.

By the way, if any of you have any suggestions for how to score more accomplishments that are relevant to the business world, I’m all ears! Getting into the Big 4 is one of my major goals! Public accounting may not turn out to be my cup of tea but it would give me invaluable experience dealing with difficult and stressful situations.

PS: My school has invited me for a second (limited time) offer to participate in the Commonwealth Honors Program which involves research into areas of our majors, a culminating project, and a honors class. It really helps distinguish you as a student in a community college. I’m thinking about doing it but it does involve a ton of work! On average, you’ll spend 20+ hours studying per project and you need to do four by a specific deadline. Therefore, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it with all the stuff I have going on.

Thoughts about Employment

When applying for a job, think of yourself as a marketing brochure

I forget where I heard this quote from but it couldn’t better explain how to get a job. I actually got a call back from Bank of America for a teller position that they had. The recruiter called me today for my phone interview and I think I did great but unfortunately, due to my availability, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to continue with their hiring process and nag the job.

As I was going over some accounting stuff today and studying for it (finally!), I realized that wages are the biggest expense that a company incurs. Thinking from it their perspective, a new employee really is a loss to a company for a year. This greatly gets compounded when they lack certain experience. So, really, a job search shouldn’t be about what the business can do for you, it should be about what YOU can do for the company. How can you improve their business? What have you done for prior businesses to help them improve that you can transfer over to this business (this is where related job experience comes in)? Putting down great volunteer accomplishments or unrelated job accomplishments is great but it doesn’t help the recruiter or person interviewing you get a clear picture of what you would do for that particular business. For example, if you really went out of your way to help a customer at a retail job, that’s great. But how does that experience relate to XYZ corp. that specializes in sales? Remember, your past accomplishments and experience should directly relate to the job you’re applying for. This is why having related job experience can make it easier for you to tailor those experiences to the field you’re applying to.

Putting myself in this mindset really helps me focus and understand what a CV and resume is about. It should make the employer want to buy you just like a customer would want to buy a product off a shelf. Have you ever read the box that the product you bought came in? It lists all it’s features and how they benefit you (save money on this energy efficient hard drive. Locate the fastest routes to help you save money on gas for your trips.) Well, you have to make the company feel like they’re not going to be taking as big a loss when they hire you as opposed to another candidate (because all businesses experience a loss when they first hire a candidate as they get accustomed to the job).

The big problem for me is this: I haven’t worked many jobs. My very first job was at the age of 18 at Walmart. I hated every second of it and got fired shortly after getting it (2.5 months in). I now work at Home Depot and have a work study position at my school assisting students with our eLearning system (I love the work-study job). I’m just starting to get worried as time flies by and I haven’t got related jobs in my field (accounting/finance). This also brings me to my next point: Is four years of school really long enough to learn all you need to really be a good candidate for a job? Like right now, I’m trying to refresh myself on Excel which I had learned about two years ago. I could study all summer and still not be very good at this which really makes me question if students nowadays really have enough time to practice and hone their skills before they can go into their fields. How can we be¬† incredible candidates in our respective fields if we don’t have the time to properly learn the skills we need to do our jobs? Maybe the problem really lies in the fact in that we forget about a lot of what we learn in school. We take a class in college, we understand the material for a while and then we never use it again. We don’t have an opportunity to teach it to someone else, we don’t practice it or keep studying it, and we don’t make use of it in our daily lives and therefore when the time comes that we could have used this information or knowing that information makes the difference between making you a good or excellent candidate for a job; then it’s too late.

I guess this post is more about figuring out this work world thing and my way as a student in the business world. I hope I’ll be good at this stuff. I want to come back to school after my masters (with my own saved up money) and get a second associates in computer networking. I would really like to learn about that stuff and possibly pick up a side gig.