beboots: (Default)
 Update on the whole France-job-application thing. 

I checked my e-mail this morning, at 9:20am Ottawa time (that's 7:20am here). I had an e-mail back from the Madame at the French embassy in Ottawa about that piece of paper. She had e-mailed me back probably within the first ten minutes of her shift. :)

She couldn't read the file (the scanned version of the sheet that needed to be signed). BUT she requested another version. Which said to me: hey, not all hope is lost! If my application was that bad, she would have probably just gotten fed up and said not to bother, right? Right. So I sent her several more versions in different kinds of image files. Still, no dice: the image was "flou" (a French word that means roughly "blurred, fuzzy, vague"). I sent her a different scan of it in the hope that the quality of that one would be better... but no. I found out later that while my handwriting was nice and clear, because the sheet itself is PINK (cursed colour-coded bureaucracy!) the rest of the text just wasn't showing up. As other people have to actually sign this form, this is no good. My scanner is very, very old, and not the best quality. I got no response to my last e-mail. For like an hour.

Checking the time, I realized that maybe she had gone to a meeting or to lunch. I mean, I couldn't expect her to hang at her desk for hours on end paying attention to me and my troubles, right? Anyway, I had to get to class, so as a last-ditch effort, I used the fax machine in the family's office room for the first time. I'd noticed that the Madame had had a fax number in the signature of her e-mail, and I didn't know what else to do. I sent the woman an e-mail explaining that I'd sent her a fax... but I got no response. 

For hours. 

I'd brought my laptop to school, but I just got more and more anxious at the lack of reply. (Last night I couldn't get to sleep for nearly two or three hours, I was so anxious about all of this). I couldn't have done anything more than what I'd already done, though. :( 

Then, after my last class ended just before 3pm (AKA just before 5pm, or home-time in Ottawa), I thought "screw it!" and phoned the long-distance number to the French embassy on my cell. The madame I'd been e-mailing picked up on the third ring. I politely explained who I was in French (I amazed myself at how calm, collected, and FLUENT I sounded, hellz yes) and she explained that the fax HAD worked! :D And that she was sending off my application to France this week! :D (I think she'd just forgotten to send an e-mail explaining this fact. BUT ANYWAY...!)

So, in summation: IT WORKED! EVERYTHING IS ALL RIGHT! I MAY STILL BE IN THE RUNNING FOR THIS JOB! I didn't ruin my application because I forgot one measly signature! The hours of stress and attention to my e-mail inbox over the past day have paid off!

But man, this application is giving me mood whiplash. Elated/excited to deep panic and fear and then excitement again! D: I'll still be really amazed if I get an interview... though I still hold out hope! We'll see how they like me in France.

On a completely different note, I spent some time this afternoon going over baby pictures of my twin sister and I with my mother. :) It gave me a good, well-needed dose of the warm-fuzzies.

Anyway, on that subject, here are a few things to cheer you (and me) up: 

Tutorial for how to make a cupcake fondue! 

Red pandas playing the snow in a Japanese zoo!

High definition video of a kitten jumping and playing in snow motion, with beautiful inspiring African music in the background!

Heartwarming story of a pseudo-tame lion released into the wild. LION HUGS!

beboots: (Civil war lithograph)
 Oh man, you guys. I really should be working on my thesis right now because I have to hand in the next draft to my supervisor tomorrow... but I have to get this off my chest, because holy crap. >:(

So for the last few days I've been compiling everything for the job application for the English Second Language teaching assistant position in France, right? (The job title is so cute - "Assistante de langue vivante" - Living Languages Assistant) I had everything organized, with the due date for the application - March 15th - circled in highlighter in my agenda. 

So two days ago, on February 28th, I went off to see my old French professor to get a reference, essentially a piece of paper the provided with questions that essentially amount to - how is their spoken French? Written French? How strong is their regional English accent? (Canadian English is considered more "neutral" than, say, Highland Scottish.) There's also a comment box. So I got a good review from him. 

Yesterday, I went to see Professor Selina Stewart, who teaches me MLCS 400, or History of Translation. It's technically a "Modern Languages and Cultural Studies" course, in the same vein as the other translation theory class and other language classes, I think, but it's taught like a history class by a classicist who does translation on the side. No problem; she speaks French, she likes me and my work (and knows who I am) so yesterday I made an appointment for today so that we could like talk in French for fifteen minutes or so, so that she can evaluate my French level (having never actually taught me French) and voilà! Done. (Then I just have to print off second copies of everything, sign everything, get a few passport-style photographs to staple to them (times SIX, guys), send an enveloppe within an enveloppe with my return address so they can get back to me without wasting their own stationary...)
Cut for the dramatic bits... )
beboots: (Default)
Okay, so it's all-but confirmed.

And it's completely different from what I just said!

After having phoned up to confirm with the Antique Photo Parlour people and setting up the date for my first training shift, I got back from grocery shopping with my father to find an e-mail sitting in my inbox: I have the research assistant position, should I want it.

And my parents and many of my university friends convinced me that I should. I think that I'd have super fun at the Antique Photo Parlour, but at the end of the day it's over $6/hour less than the research assistant position, and wouldn't look as good on a resume, especially if I wanted to apply to grad school, for an internship, or for a teaching assistant position (all distinct possibilities).

There was also no way of doing both - the first three weeks of research would be the most intense, because I'm going away right afterwards, and a chunk of it needed to be DONE by the time that I leave, and that's just at the time when I would have to do like half a dozen full-day training shifts. So it's a no-go for both of them.

SO I called up the Antique Photo Parlour people to ask about the possibility of part time work. Fay is the one who answered, and she was super-nice, and just made me want to work for her more because she was so ridiculously understanding. Part-time is a no-go as well, but I expected that. BUT she surprised me because she actually anticipated what I was going to say: she suggested that she keep my resume on file, and I could call them up AFTER my trip, because they may not have a full slate of workers. Essentially, when the research gets less intense, I could perhaps get a second job with them... perhaps, even if summer doesn't work, I could have a job for the rest of the school year.

Fay said that she totally understands that working for her is a fun part-time job to make money and friends, not a career, and she congratulated me on getting such an awesome research assistant position. She told me that she really respects my decision to do something for the good of my degree and future career. She said not to be a stranger, and that she'd love for me to call her back sometime. ;_; She was so understanding it was beautiful.

SO I may still be able to work for them! Just... later!

I e-mailed my professor back, but that was ten minutes ago, so I'm not surprised that I haven't gotten a message back. But it's looking hopeful! :) Wow, that's a weight off of my chest... I'm glad that I took care of this tonight and not tomorrow, or I'd have been anxious all night and unable to sleep.

I have a summer schedule! This is great!

(And one of the best things about the research assistant position is the flexible hours - I have days off when I want them, mostly. So I can do the camping trips and attend the conventions that I want to! <3 )
beboots: (Default)
An update on the job situation, everyone! I've done the typical Canadian thing, when faced with a difficult choice - compromise.

(I should mention that the Hotel Selkirk interview was a bust - very short, because they can't acommodate my vacation schedule. But I anticipated that, and I hadn't gotten my hopes up. BUT I send my sister their way, so they may hire her instead! So yay, silver lining?)

I have yet to hear back from Professor Muir re: the research assistant position. I still needed to get back really fast re: the Antique Photo Parlour, or I would perhaps face the possibility of having NO job over the summer.

It came down to: the Antique Photo Parlour is a sure thing. I will enjoy my summer with them. I will learn new skills (portrait-taking), and I will have job security (AKA I can have a job over the school year as well, and won't be jobless and anxious like this past year).

THEN I thought: well, what's stopping me from holding down both jobs? Answer: the week-long archival research trip. Which is only a possibility - it may not even be necessary, what with the huge numbers of digitized documents and the fact that the University of Alberta is plugged into one of the largest library networks in North America. Plus, our own archives aren't too shabby either. Coupled with the fact that the research assistant position has extremely flexible hours... I could theoretically work both. Like, not working 9am-5pm shifts in the library, but four hours here, six hours there, and more time on my "days off" from the Antique Photo Parlour.

And that's IF I get the research assistant position, which isn't a surety.

So I went with the safe (and fun!) option: the Antique Photo Parlour (while keeping my options open for the other position).

I just wanted to thank everyone for all of your advice. I'm not going to lie: this was a really difficult decision to make. I think that you all made very good points... nd I myself was torn, a bit, because someone would convince me very nicely, and then I'd read the next person's comment only to be completely convinced of the OPPOSITE opinion. ;) Still, it's what I needed.

So... yeah. Bottom line is I have a summer job! Maybe two! We'll see how this pans out. :) Than you once again, guys!

(Man, do I feel so much better after having made an actual DECISION... That's a weight off of my chest. Maybe now I can actually enjoy my summer?)
beboots: (Default)
Hello, friends list people! You're all quite smart (or so it appears to me) and I need some outsiders opinions to help me figure out what I'm doing this summer. (People who know me in real life can answer, too - I need to be convinced one way or the other.) 

Maybe I just need to write down everything, pro-con, so I can figure out what I'm doing.

So last week I had no job, now I have too many to choose from... )


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