Bribery, college admissions, and psychiatry

Were we really all that surprised to hear about the discovery that some parents were pushing the moola to get their kids into prestigious colleges? I was not. I think we always suspected but we didn’t quite know for sure. We hadn’t caught them yet.

Now  that it’s all out in the open, what do you all think? For those of you who attended college, did you ever wonder about a few of your classmates who seem to be unable to keep up? Of course, there are plenty of reasons why students fall behind, but weren’t there one or two kids, often from wealthy families, that you wondered about? How on earth did Bobby get into this college, anyway?

Did you ever wonder about certain psychiatrists? Not all, but some. My parents observed that many of them didn’t seem very bright, and yet they’d gotten into med school somehow. But…how?

Of all the kids who got into college in some unkosher way, how many became psychiatrists? Of those that got into med school through the financial back door, how many slipped off into psych?

It’s an easy field. You see a patient for five minutes, bill for 15 or 30, and make sure you remember to put your prescription pad into your briefcase before leaving home. Diagnose at random since you’ll never be proven wrong. Then, hand out the pill of the day, whatever is on the top of your mind at the moment. That one. Your patients will be utterly amazed.

My experience with the Muse device (very biased product review)

I purchased a Muse device and immediately regretted it. I knew I was going to return it ASAP. Still, I thought I would try it on just to see what would happen.

I was using an iphone SE. My old iphone5 was too outdated to handle the Muse app. I think some iphone5’s are updated enough but mine was not. Meanwhile, I had planned to switch devices anyway. The Muse app is downloaded from the app store very easily just like any other “app” out there. I did not have any trouble getting the bluetooth on the Muse device to connect to my phone. Unfortunately, though, I could not get the earpieces to pick up any signals.

Someone from the Muse company called me to try to get me to change my mind. She explained that it would not harm the device to put a little water behind my ears. After I did that, the device connected.

However, here’s my assessment….I set it to a meditation (ick!) for about three minutes. During the entire time, there’s this super annoying narrator who would not shut up. If I want peace and quiet I sure do not want someone who sounds like a therapist yapping at me, telling me to close my eyes, and telling me what to think about! Yuck!

I did close my eyes, or I had them closed most of the time. I knew that if you hear birds, you are doing it right and your “brain” is supposedly “relaxed.” When I checked the assessment I had all birds except two seconds. How could I have been that relaxed with that annoying narrator voice?

Then, I did it again. I set the device, and then, instead of closing my eyes, I read a typical news story, maybe something about a shooting or a law that that passed.. the usual. I got only two seconds of birds and the rest was a bumpy line.

So this is supposed to teach you to meditate? This is supposed to teach you how to relax? But the problem is that I got this for insomnia. And I think the main issue is physical, not anything to do with relaxing. When I lie down I just lie there. I do not have “racing mind” or any of those other things people complain about.

What do I think of this device? Meh. This teaches me nothing. Certainly it wasn’t worth the nearly $200 I paid for it. I sent it back to Amazon and got a full refund. What a waste!

Depression doesn’t mean you can’t cope. Why cope with a shitty situation when the better option is to act?

I have heard of women who went to therapists for years until they decided to leave their husbands. The therapists often have motivation to keep the woman enslaved. After all, if she actually did something about the situation, she might not need therapy anymore.

I never quite understood (and in part, had trouble getting this across) why I had to “cope” with a call center. Most people didn’t quite realize that call center work sucks to begin with. I wanted to try it out but after a while I realized…yes, it sucks. No one wanted to be there. I decided I also did  not want to be there. I planned to quit on a Friday but the sup gave me good reason to make it Wednesday instead.

There seems to be a fine line between being a decent boss and bossing others around. Likely, there are indeed good bosses out there. I also feel you cannot be a good boss if there’s general overall corruption in the company.  Why didn’t the guy in charge have any clue of what was really going on? Why didn’t the folks at the sister office know? I think they were turning a blind eye, or maybe just faking they didn’t know.

Either way, I know in my heart I made the right decision. If I had to get depressed as a motivator, so be it.

It’s not depression, it’s time for change

I kept telling myself I was feeling depressed because I needed change. A big one. Depression has been a huge motivator for me!

I have job training in May for a teaching position! Also, I’m designing an inexpensive (or free) class on Udemy. I’ve passed the test and now I’m a candidate for more teaching positions. And not only that but progress on my book is really hopping along.

My schedule has changed since I quit at the call center. Now I can get to the gym and I’m celebrating! Wow, running felt great today! I have new running shoes as I had to replace my other ones, and I really love these new ones! To top it off, I met a new potential friend and ally at the gym. This is the first time I’ve ever met someone like that. Gyms aren’t the best place to meet other people so I am delighted.

I joined a senior educational community and offered to teach writing. I have not heard back yet but I bet they’ll say yes.

Also (see, I’ve been productive in my negativity here!), I have two current offers to write articles. One is in progress and the other was just offered to me.

I checked my Fico credit score and found it jumped up 15 points, and now it is finally over 720. I used to have a credit score in the 500’s! Say what? Up from the dredges, right?

Now I have some banking experience (two of my jobs) and I can probably design a class in getting your credit score up. I have also taken such a class. (Hint: a notebook will help!). That and saving money.

I paid my taxes recently. Except now I owe the state a little money and also, the municipality. Will do.

At this point I need to make a more detailed schedule for myself so I can stay as productive as possible and keep up with everything.

Think I can do it?

I’m not depressed. I’m changing my life!

Sorry to say, I’m not depressed. I might feel like it, but actually, I’m not. I’m at a point of decision, and in my mind, trying out various possibilities. I have applied to about 10 jobs right now. I don’t know if any of them will pan out, but some seem hopeful. A little bit, anyway.

I’m designing a class on the Udemy platform. Udemy is full of amateurs, of course, but people do use the platform to make a name for themselves and in my opinion, this would be a great way to publicize my book. The classes are cheap and some are very good. Some are free. Usually the free classes are teasers in preparation for starting to charge money. This makes more sense than overpricing….as a matter of fact, overpricing anything.

Is it really teaching experience? Not really. It’s not classroom experience. I’ve been looking into ways to gain more classroom experience so at least that can look nice on my resume. I’m even considering a temporary internship-type job, even volunteer. A lot of these internships pay $10 an hour, but they’re only open to students. I cannot even pass as one anymore.

Even doing free classes would make me very very happy! Even if I earned very little. I can afford to slack off some since I have some money saved up. I cannot let the kitty run low, though.

Now what is cool is that no one is teaching the class I am planning. You won’t find it anywhere else.

(Funny, that “life coach” asked me if my book was unique…I refused to tell him what it was about, but I am sure there aren’t any books about getting out of the MH system and also beating kidney disease from lithium…No way was I going to say that….)

Rather than giving specific instructions, I have the class do exercises to discover the best route out. We didn’t all get there the same way, after all.

Me, at a conference

All this happened a while back but I keep remembering certain isolated incidents and laugh over them.

This must have been Fall 2017. I was at a conference where there were a bunch of activists. Some were patients and some were psychologists or other type of doctor.

The first thing I saw was a group of doctors standing around joking. I had already tried to say hello to them and they had ignored me like I wasn’t there. They kept congregating around one doctor who was telling jokes. They then told him, “Why don’t you write a book? Have you thought about that?”

I wanted to cry over the irony of the moment. Or laugh.

Yes, I write…but who really cares anyway? I did not say that, of course, but I thought it.

There was this activist there, a couple of them, that I said hello to or waved to, expecting at least a hello. Nothing. One of them repeatedly walked past me without even a nod or a smile. This affected me profoundly. Why did that happen? Maybe I’m invisible, I thought.

Then, someone introduced herself to me and said she had always wanted to meet me. I don’t think she really knew that this one gesture, a gesture of kindness and recognition, made the entire conference worthwhile.  A few others said hello, which I really appreciated. Do people even realize how important it is to recognize a person’s existence?

Decades ago I was with some other college students. Rolf Smedvig of the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave us a presentation. Afterward, we all went up to him for the purpose of asking questions. Rolf then deliberately embarrassed me. I never heard the end of it from my classmates, either.

People in high places have a huge effect on those around them. Ever go meet a rock star or sports star and have that person treat you like shit? Then you know. Did another person extend kindness to you? Bet you remember and cherish that moment.

I could do an entire speech, or possibly comedy act, on that Rolf Smedvig moment. I love being able to remember stuff that anyone else might have forgotten, and then, recreate that moment in words. I wish this skill was marketable! I’d be making a fortune.