Results tagged “work” from Hawk Talk - Christian

I had a conversation with my best friend from UMass-Lowell.  We were at a restaurant having something to drink after a long hard day of classes and clinicals.  As we sat there enjoying our drinks and watching Tiger Woods' return to golf, a thought came into our minds:  will we ever get a job after graduation?  My buddy and I were talking about what our degree offers us and how much we're going to make.  So far, from what I heard from current Exercise Physiologists, personal trainers, and others, "the money isn't that great."  Great.  That's great to know.  So what does that mean for us?  If the money isn't that good from our jobs, what are we going to do during this economic crisis?

My buddy and I have decided, like a few of us EPs, to take a year off and find options other than physical therapy that appeals to us.  Some of us found options, such as health management and nursing, but some of us are stuck with the same options that were told to us:  exercise physiologists, personal trainer, strength and conditioning speciailists, or just head to physical therapy school.  Right now I'm stuck at a lull.  I really don't know what I want to do after graduation (that adheres to the current economy).  My plan earlier was to head to physical therapy school... but for some apparent reason my interest towards physical therapy lessen as the years passed.  I tried so hard to force myself to like it because the money is good, but I finally realized that as of now, I'm not ready to head to that direction.  My experiences in the field of physical therapy was not memorable or desired from what I first expected.  I guess that's very unfortunate for me because I've always had that in my radar. But like an enemy bogey flying away from a military base, the idea is just flying away from the center of my radar.

So I don't really know if I'm (sorry for my language) screwed or not.  I just wish I was more motivated to look at graduate schools so I can stay in school (and ultimately keep my loan payments off).  I'm actually regretting not heading back to school next fall.  I just have a feeling that I'm just going to fall in a hole and I won't be able to motivate myself to go back.

Ahhhhhh... I really don't know.  That's my number one concern as a senior - what I want to do after graduation, if I will survive as a "newbie" in this faltering economy, and if I will be happy...

I'm praying.  Praying really hard for an answer.

- Christian 
I woke up this morning with one of the weirdest feelings in the world.  It feels like something hit me really hard - not physically, but mentally.  As soon as I opened my sleepy, blurry eyes, all I saw was my desktop calendar.  I tore off the first page, put on my glasses, and realized what day it was:

"Friday, January 16, 2009"

Is it really January 16th or is it just a dream?  Has the month been that fast?  What happened to the month long winter break?  I finally got the sense that my final semester in UMass-Lowell will begin in 10 days.  In 10 days, my final sprint to my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology starts.  After realizing all that, I grew excited and worried - yeah, mixed feelings right there.  I was excited that its finally my last semester in my degree.  I've been waiting for this moment since day 1 of freshmen year.  I've always thought about my last semester, well, actually my last full day of classes.  I imagine it as a warm "wear your shorts" day and all of us are excited beyond belief.  I imagine my buddies taking our final pool game at the McGauvran Student Center with our water bottles sitting on the already-turned-off heater right next to the large windows.  Right there, we just reminense about the four years from the one year of torture from general physics to that tough pharmacology class we all had to take last semester...

At the same time, I'm worried what the semester will throw at me.  Clinicals start this semester and I'm working at the cardiopulmonary clinic at Saints Memorial Hospital.  For some reason, I feel very ill-prepared for any type of work over there.  It just feels like I don't know much about any cardiopulmonary stuff to do well there.  Heck, I'm still having trouble taking blood pressure on the treadmill.  Another worry I have is what will happen after graduation.  Will I find a job right away or will it take forever to find something?  Generally, with the Exercise Physiology degree, you can enter into many areas of the health field, like entering the doctor in physical therapy program at UML, working as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists, becoming a personal trainer, working as an exercise physiologists at the hospital, work at the cardiopulmonary clinics, etc (I will talk more about the options with the Exercise Physiology degree in a future blog post).  I know there will always be a job for me in the health field, since the demand for these jobs are always high.  Right now, I'm still undecided - which area would fit me perfectly?  Will it be the right choice?  (Yeah I think/question way too much).  I know down the line, I'll aim for a higher degree, but my major plan right now is to get experience out there, learn from experts in the field through work, and bring all my experiences to a higher degree program.  In that, I would feel even more prepared for graduate school.  Then my current "60% devotion" to graduate school would be a "100%." 

It sounds like I do have an actual plan, but I'm just scared of the uncertainy and the mystery of the future.  In my college career, I've seen a lot of things fly perfectly, then take a nose dive to complete failure.  Probably, I'm just afraid to run out there and fail.  I guess that's something we're all afraid off.  I just have to stay in a positive attitude, stay consistent with my plans, and look at my future as a bright opportunity, then a mysterious shroud. 

With that positive outlook, I can succeed.  (I hope).

- Christian EP '09

As I sit here in my warm and cozy blue-walled room, I began to reminisce on the past week.  From December 19 to December 27, 2008 (9:26am to be exact), tons and tons of things happened - finals, two winter storms, the holiday rush at Hallmark, finishing up Christmas presents,  Christmas, "The New Black Friday," and my friends' little Kelly's Roast Beef Christmas party.  It doesn't seem like a lot to many people, but to me, as that laid back kid who takes everything easy (kind of), it's definitely enough for me to stay in bed for days! 

So to make life simple for my blog readers, I'm going to blog about my experiences during that small week and give you the inside look of what I did and how I felt during the storms, Christmas, and others that I mentioned before.  Honestly, I'm not here to blog all about me (even if it's going to end up like that), but I'm just putting myself out there just to see if you all had the same experiences during this week.  I'm definitely welcoming all of your comments!!!!

So let's start off my first blog in the series with a bunch of photos from the first Winter Storm:

This is me driving in Wakefield by the lake.  You can't really see it, but it was snowing very heavily.  This was part of my 2 hour trek home from Wilmington to Malden, MA.

Here is the picture of the lake... oh, I mean snow and fog hovering over the lake.  The storm #1's visibility was probably less than 100 feet.  That itself made my commute home even worse.

That white thing in the back is my car covered in snow.  My family was in the process of clearing out my dad's car.  My car was never really cleared off until Monday due to ice and more snow.

This is the Malden Station intersection at Exchange St.  Obviously the storm blanketed the streets and sidewalks.  You can't even tell where the sidewalk is!!

I think my photos basically tell you this:  THIS STORM WAS BAD HORRENDOUS!!!!  My street was never plowed completely either.  When they finally plowed my street out, they dumped everything on front of my house.  So my shoveled out driveway was once again (actually it happened three times) covered in snow - thank you plowers!  Despite the circumstances, I still braved out the storm with two LONG drives.  My first drive was from Wilmington to Malden, which took two hours.  I seriously thought I was not going to make it because my Mazda 3 was slipping everywhere!  I've never had problems driving in the snow with my car, since it's has front-wheel drive, but I guess the storm was too strong for my little car.  My second drive was my trek to pick up my sister at Malden Station.  This time I used my dad's Subaru Outback, which has 4WD.  That trek took 45minutes to an hour which included waiting for my sister's train.  After the end of a night full of daredevil driving and shoveling to exhaustion (sorry it's not called the Wingate Anaerobic Test), I jumped into my bed and went to sleep.

Since my car was buried in snow from Storm #1 and Storm #2, and altogether iced up for days, I had to get rides home to work the next couple of days to and from work, which was also not pretty commute-wise.  In a sentence or so, Storm #2 was like Storm #1 except that it didn't dump that much snow and it was shorter.  But they both had the same results - horrible driving conditions, near-to-blind whiteout driving, and a major headache at the end of the night.

Through all of this, I'm happy to say my back did not hurt from shoveling!!  You have to thank the physical therapists at work for showing their patients and me how to shovel correctly!

That's enough about the "Twin Storms" for now...

My next blog will focus on the Holiday Rush. - CT
After 11 weeks of classes, I can finally sit back and relax!  You have no idea how excited I am for this very long Thanksgiving Break!  For the first time (and last time), I only have one class this week.  It was my least favorite class unfortunately... Pharmacology.  To add on my lack of liking for that class, we had our third exam on Monday.  That test was 30% of our grade, and it could either kill you or help your grade out.  Right now, I'm not stressing about it, because it's vacation time for me!  Oh man!  Ever since day 1, I've counted down the days to this week long moment.  Now, it's finally here!!!  I can finally take off my stress-cap throw it on the hat rack and do some fun stuff with the family and friends. 

But wait... come to think about it, my vacation truly ends on Friday, because of work.  On the infamous Black Friday, I'm working my new physical therapy job from 7:30am - 10:30am, then work at Hallmark from 4-10pm.  So it's going to be a long day for me!  Plus I'm working the whole weekend also... I mind as well get the most of my two full days of relaxation! 

Usually, Thanksgiving Day is the day that gets me excited about the Holiday Season.  Usually the days before Turkey Day is indifferent than days in early September.  I guess the whole fact that my extended family will be with us for the whole day gets me going into "holiday mode."  Maybe it's the Macy's Day parade on T.V. (even though I don't wake up early enough to actually watch it).  Most of all, I can't wait to grub on our traditional Thanksgiving dinner!   Obviously there is a turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, and other American food.  But I've noticed every year we've added a Filipino dish or desert into the mix.  That new mix just makes Thanksgiving dinner more exciting and diverse.  I've also noticed that T-day is the only day my family can really get together and enjoy being together.  We've all been getting very busy lately from school, (more) work, family, to other kinds of business.  It seems very rare that we all can gather, count our blessings, and just have fun.  I seriously can't wait for a good dose of long-awaited family fun.  Because after that, I'm back to school/work mode until my last day of finals.

But let's not think about school, okay?  I'm happy right now in my pajamas (I know it's 11AM), listening to music, and planning out the day with my family.

I hope all of you have a happy Thanksgiving break!  Sit back and relax!

- Christian 

It's been 4 days... yes 4 days since the event.  I'm still here in this lonely place.  The sky is bright blue, the temperature is rising.  I haven't seen civilization since the event.  I've eaten very little... WHEN IS IT GOING TO END?

Okay... away from the deserted island / airplane crash scenario.  Really, I'm doing fine.  The swelling is going down, but there's still enough to make me feel sick.  The extraction areas throb here and there, and headaches go on and off.  But everyday, I feel like I'm 10%+ better than the day before.  Today, I can actually close my mouth.  The swelling was large enough to actually stop me from closing my mouth.  Brushing has been very difficult, and my breath stinks from gauze, dried up blonde, and salt from salt/warm water gargles.  I'm actually scheduled to go back to work tomorrow but I don't think I'm well enough to even go.  Seriously, I can't even get a full CLEAR sentence out.  It really stinks :-(

I'm looking to be alright by this Tuesday.  I won't be 100% but I'll be alright to work, talk, breathe, and eat regularly.

Classes is coming up real soon.  12 More Days!!!!

- Christian
Hearing "Blue Christmas" and "Christmastime is Here" was a bit surprising for many of my store's customers.  Looking at our storefront display of ornaments was probably twice as surprising.  Today was my store's Ornament Premier.  It is the summer event, when my store displays and sells very detailed, memorable, and great-looking ornaments to the general public.  You probably think that this is a stupid idea, because it would give customers the "Christmas Blues" or goosebumps about the stressors of the holiday season.  At first I thought it was a stupid idea, because it's only July... why sell Christmas ornaments during a season when no one is thinking about it?  But then I remembered this phrase - "Christmas in July."  After thinking about what the company wanted to get across, I thought the event was a great idea.  First of all, it would boost sales, help ornament collectors get a head start in their collections (or trees), and get people thinking about how wonderful (or horrible) the Christmas season will be. 

I still don't see why people should be so stressed out about the Christmas season.  The season is supposed to be relaxing with less stress.  It is a time where you take and make memories, and spend time with your love ones, friends and family.  Why do people get so stressed out?  Is it because of shopping?  Planning for family dinners?  Planning for trips?  Anyone can do those stuff stress free.  Why panic if you can't find the right gift for your buddy?  Why do you have to be anxious if you made a mistake with the Christmas family recipe?  You don't have to be stressed out through the greatest time of the year.  Just remember the true meaning of Christmas.  There are many meanings of Christmas and only you can answer that.

Well, time to lay on my bed and chill.

Merry (WAY BEFORE) Christmas to all, and to all good night!!!!

- Santa Christian

July 4th Weekend

Hey bloggers,

Sorry for the late blog.  As you can probably tell that I had a busy July 4th Weekend.  Usually around this time of the year, my baseball season takes a break from a tough season and when my family comes together and relax for once.  On Friday, my family and I went to Boston early and just walked around to see the festivities.  We also walked down to the Charlestown Navy Yard to see the USS Consitution sail into the Boston Harbor.  Unfortunately, when we got there, all we saw was the ship going back into its "resting grounds."  So we basically hung out around the navy yard, took some funny pictures of each other, and headed into Quincy Market to find something to bite.  After we headed to the small park near Spaulding Hospital at watch the boats flow into the Charles River for the night. 

After our day in Boston, we headed back home, had our annual BBQ and played extreme musical chairs with my younger cousins and siblings.  That was really funny.  I actually have a video of us fighting for the chairs, but I don't have any time to post it up.  Another tradition we have is watching the "Flyover."  Around 7-8pm every year, a group of fighter jets (this time it was 2 F-15s) would set up their flight formation over my area before the big flyover over the Esplanade.   Funny enough, this is usually the indicator that I should leave for Boston so I can get a good spot to watch the fireworks.   This year, unfortunately,  my watching spot is no longer available to the public - the Longfellow Bridge.  I guess that the bridge is falling apart or something and its no longer safe for anything (except for the MBTA Trains) to get on.  It stunk, because I didn't find a great spot for the fireworks; all I got was trees and smoke from the fireworks.  Oh well, I got to re-watch it on!

On Saturday, I worked my final shift at Kohl's Department Store.  It was a fun last time, because I didn't really do anything, ha ha.  I've heard that more employees have quit the between the last time I've worked (2 weeks ago) and yesterday, and inventory was going to start this Monday... so I guess I left at the right time!

Today, I'm working again, but in my new job at Hallmark.  I'm pretty happy that I got more hours this week, because I need the money!!  My baseball team is going to start playing again also; we have 3 more games left. 

So I'm thinking this is going to be a long week.  See you all later!

- Christian
Hello everyone,

Sorry for not blogging last Friday.  I was very busy with many things on mind.  I finally earned my certification for Babe Ruth Baseball.  In other words, I am now an "official" youth baseball coach.  That means I can coach an all-star team for Division I.  Importantly, this certification is lifetime, so I don't have to take the certification exam again.  The certification test wasn't hard at all, but you really have to know the game of baseball to pass.  So that was one of the biggest and positive moments of my weekend. 

I would like to congratulate my bother, Gerald Tiongson, and his fellow classmates of the Malden High School Class of 2008 for graduating today!  After tons of papers, examinations, and "high school drama" the Malden High senior class can finally exhale and enjoy their summer before hitting the books in college, or hit the floor at work!  The only thing "bad" about graduation today is the hot weather - hot, humid, and hazy.  So basically the whole day I had to sit on metal (and hot) bleachers under the hot blazing sun.  I started to get dizzy, had a headache, and an upset stomach during the ceremony, but I wanted to stick around to support my brothers and his friends.  At the end of the ceremony, I had pictures with some of my old buddies from high school, my brother's friends, and my family, went home and took and nice refreshing shower.  My family and I went to Applebee's in Saugus right after and had a great time!!  Like many of the people there at graduation, my family complained about the heat.  Jokingly, I told my parents that my high school graduation was indoors and most likely my college graduation will be indoors at the Tsongas Arena; they were glad!

Unfortunately, my weekend was dimmed by my job.  My job (won't reveal the name of the place) messed up my schedule for the 100th time (exaggerated number)!!  Instead of working 20-30 hours this week, I'm only working 8!!!!  I was very aggravated with their lack of management and lack of attention to my availability for this week.  They know that I am a college student who is struggling to raise money for college and other bills.  It honestly seems like they don't care about their workers.  My former managers, and most of my co-workers have quit because of stupid management moves and other things.  I'm definitely looking for another job, but I've heard from the media that the jobless rate is increasing, which isn't good at my part.  Overall, if I don't have enough money, I can't drive to places, like the ballfield, and can't save up for college texts and the CSCS certification exam.  Sometimes I just want to scream at them!!! (But I'm a nice guy!)

Well that's what is up with my weekend.  My next blog will about gas prices again - its more of an update of what I saw and other tips and hints!!


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