Self Check-In

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month this week since I last posted. It’s already October and a week or two until mid-terms in most of my classes.

In some ways, it feels like it was just yesterday that I posted, and in other ways it feel like an eternity passed. What a bizarre sensation. More happened than I thought would in the past four weeks, five into the semester by the end of this week. Particularly, having to re-arrange two classes and having to drop the Math I had later picked up during the Add period and then let go, due to the material not being what the original description of the class had detailed. It was disappointing, but sh*t happens and adjustments are made.

The same could be said for the campus job I took on, which also is turning out to be a rather unpleasant affair – though for slightly different reasons than the summer job I worked previously. One thing they do have in common: poor management. It seems to be a theme in the last 3 places I’ve worked. Which is why I’m becoming someone who is not at all a fan of American work culture. In this case, its the IT department working within the Dining Services department, and are supposed to be managing hydroponic farms in various dining halls throughout campus.

I say ‘supposed’ to be managing, because quite frankly, it’s very apparent to me that no one in the either IT or the Dining Services is managing these farms properly. Nor do they seem invested in do so professionally anytime soon. It’s been four weeks, already into the second month of the semester and out of the four 5-level farms, two are not online or turned on because they need to be serviced for leaks over the summer that have yet to be addressed. The one I was assigned to work with took two weeks to clean because they just left them to grow algae that built up and crusted over the entire summer. And after planting seeds that were clearly old and not the best quality, the farm now has issue with irrigation. The germination level at the bottom is not receiving any water and the seeds have to be manually watered daily, while three of the upper levels are now growing thick layers of algae in empty trays. All the while this is happening the two in charge of this consistently want me to divert my time and energy away from my farm to help other students clean the farms I had already spent the previous week sweating over. Giving me the solid impression that the work I do is in no way valued.

To say it’s a frustrating and disheartening situation is quite the understatement.

I’ve already started looking elsewhere in the hopes of finding something flexible enough to allow for my classes, but also more professional and stable in the work. Hopefully better management as well – which I know is a lot to ask in the current climate of working culture in the US. I’ve no idea why this is such a pervasive issue here, but I hope the trends continue to change this ugly dynamic between employees and employers, especially at the management level.

There is also something else changing. I’m not even surprised that it’s changing, or even annoyed with myself for going about changing something else. The major has been switch from a Social Science to a Humanities, which brought a surprising feeling of relief.

But more on that later: college and jobs are stressful enough. I don’t want to dwell on either when I have a day off to focus on other things. Like going for a walk down by the sea wall in Narragansett, formulating nourishing lotions and conditioners as I winterize my skin and hair care, decorating the house for Halloween, and taking some time to focus on being present in the moment. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in whatever isn’t going the way I would like and sit here ruminating about what I can’t change and what isn’t ideal. There will always be things in life that are outside of my control or influence, and no amount of mental strife is going to change that.

It is what it is.

I simply no longer have the bandwidth for ruminating. Not when there are more productive things to do like coursework and readings, movement, household tasks, hobbies, exploring, etc. Resting, even. Especially, resting. Something I rarely allow myself to do when things aren’t going the way I would hope. Which is exactly why I need to allow more for rest and fun, rather than spinning my wheel in a quagmire. The solutions tend to come when my mind and body are in a better state, and I’m not trying to force it.

Harder said than done, as old habits tend to die hard.

Regardless, that work is currently my focus. As is the classes I’ve currently settled in, with changes for next semester also unfolding. More to come on that in the next post, when I have something solid to share and the changes are made, and hopefully stick!

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