Friday, November 30, 2007

Dress Code

"No, you can't wear a Tupac shirt to an interview, even if its a nice one."

My roommate laughed after she heard me say this.

I still stay connected to Winnipeg, hear about who got arrested, what trials are happening and about the daily lives of some of the people I know there.

One of the guys I know told me he was going to look for a job, so I was telling him about job interviews and what to do.
I mentioned dressing nice. No, not a suit- just a good shirt- buttons, a collar, ect.
No, not the shirt with that nickname on it.
I know that shirts with glitter and such on them are expensive and nice- but not the quality an employer is looking for,
Expensive does not equal dressy or nice.

It might seem like common sense to me- I had a job when I was about 13 years old. Someone told me how to dress for a job interview, I had several classes in school that had practice job interviews, sessions in how to write a resume and such.

He never had that. No one showed or told him, or even set an example of what to do. How is he supposed to know simple things like you call about your application? You don't just wait for them to call you back. My parents taught me that, it's not common sense, it was learned. So if no one taught him, how is he supposed to know?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My visa for Brazil arrived today!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I was never much of a shoe girl

Its seems fitting, being named after a powerful goddess that didn't seem to care much about the world, the Nike industry is known for it's inhumane treatment of workers, the low wages they pay, even for forcing labor- which I was told was called enslavement.
I need a new pair of shoes.

Mine are falling apart, I bought them a year ago at, yes, WAL-MART! which is the leader of corporations for human-rights violators. I know, its terrible. So I am running these shoes into the ground, as I hope they will be the last ones I ever purchase from there. The slippers I wore tonight were also from Wal-Mart, I think I bought them 3 years ago, back when I was in highschool. It's not a good excuse, even back then I knew Wal-Mart was pretty evil.

However, I've been recently more and more convicted about where I send my money.
For me it goes along with tithing- if God wants to be in every aspect of my life, my bank account, my check book doesn't that go past what I give to church and charities into where and how I spend my money? How can I say everything I have, all my income is for God's glory and for him to direct and then go purchase something that supports oppression and abuse? It just cannot add up.

So, as I said- I am running these slippers and shoes into the ground, wearing them out so bad that the stuffing comes out, because they are the last pair I buy from Wal-Mart.

However, here is my dilema- finding a shoe company that doesn't exploit people.

New Balance- have toxins in their products that are killing the Chinese workers, forced workers to work unpaid overtime and given food with rat droppings in it
Clarks- this one was interesting 'intrusive body searches' on employees, harrasment or workers, lack of maternity protection, terrible working conditions for health and safety reasons
Puma- uses a factory called "Harvest Rich" (very ironic name) that hired workers as young as 11 years old, when investigated, they told the children to leave and come back after a weeks time, other sources say it simply fired 100 child workes, because after the investigation it would be easy to get new workers again. (Hanes and JC Penny also use that factory)
Adidas- follows suit with New Balance and has toxic chemicals that kill the people who make the products
And the lists just go on and on with Reebok, Asics, Converse, Sketchers....

So, I know some of the articles I read were old and some of the corporations have changed somethings to make conditions better for workers, however, I am still looking for a better option that "not as bad conditions" for the workers who make the tennis shoes I run in.

But, I did find one way to get some fair-trade shoes, I saw this in my roommates magazine the other day. It's called Tom's Shoes. He went to Argentina and his heart broke for the bare-footed children. So he started a company with the promise that for every pair of shoes bought, the company would give one pair to a child in Argentina. Using, of course humane labor and wages, and the traditional Argentinian shoe, just colored differently (striped, patterned, polka dotted) for the typical American buyer. $38-48 for a pair of shoes.
Actually, not that pricey when you think about it, except you have to pay shipping & handling, because, obviously they don't line store shelves.

This is my Christmas wish: Sneakers that were made fair-trade- that no one was exploited during the process. If all else fails, I'll use Good-Will, because they help with unemployment... even if I am buying used Nike's (is that totally contradictory to do?)

another list

18-30 years of age
A citizen of the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany, ect..............USA
Hold a valid passport for that country
Not have a criminal record
Never been denied entry into Canada
Have a savings of at least $700
Teacher Recommendation Letter
Attended or planning to attend a secondary education (University, college) full time (12 credit hours or more) in fall or spring semester of this school year
Proof (letter from registrars office) to prove that you are an enrolled student
Copy of your student ID
Copy of Passport (not actual document)
Dates of arrival departure into Canada (must be before Feb 15 for spring, before September 10 in fall)

This is the list of eligibility requirements for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada. Hmmm... sounds ALOT like exactly what I am doing. And I have been told its easy to get. I like that they don't need my actual passport, meaning I can send away for all this without any worries that my passport will not arrive back in time for my trip to Brazil. The main thing they are concerned about is that I am actually a student taking a gap year- all I have to do is prove that I am really a student of the college I am currently attending. Then I have a visa to work anywhere in Canada for up to 6 months, nice- isn't it?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

if I only had 3 more lives to live

I got a little sidetracked while figuring out how to get a work permit to Canada.
Well... I haven't looked much into that tonight because instead I've been browsing gap-year programs, work and volunteer in New Zealand, travel the globe volunteering (including AIDS hospice in India, orphanages in Nepal, community development in Ghana), or live with a family in Spain to help teach them English, also get a part-time humanitarian job in Madrid... and the lists just don't end of wonderful opportunities which are really well advertised for a person such as myself... and I could twist my head into thinking that I could really manage to fit that into my life schedule between Brazil and Switzerland this summer and saving money to go to Ethiopia next Christmas...right.

There are so many things that I would love to do. I really do wish that I could just spend all my time helping other people, being adventurous, hopping from one location to the next... no commitment, just hear for a month or so, here for a month or so... but there is that little voice that tells me not only is that impractical, not feasible, but it's selfish and doesn't really help if I keep jumping instead of being committed and helping long-term and learning the most I can as well as contributing the most that I can.
However mighty the small voice is in it's powers to reason with me that I will probably not do that unless a very clear sign from God (and a check in the mail) direct that, it is powerless to prevent me from dreaming!

So tonight I'll be in Thailand teaching English, in New Zealand hiking, playing soccer with street children in Romania and sleeping on a boat that provides aid in every port it makes...

But in all practicallity and seriousness I don't want to do things half-assed. I want to help people and work with organizations that are committed long-term help, I want to build relationships and I want to learn and make a difference. That could possibly (probably) happen in Calgary, where I already have connections and friendships that I could build on, grow in, ect. There are established organizations for at-risk youth in the inner city (something I'm interested in being invovled in) where I could volunteer, but not be depended on- so I can learn and grow and not put them out when I leave... sounds like a deal, I just have to make the trade with that and something more exciting like being a coach for a sports-therapy program for children in Swaziland...

Is it normal to do a gap year after every semester of school? because that's about my pattern right now...

Friday, November 02, 2007

How to join two sentences together...

My head hurts from screaming and my throat hurts from screaming and I'm sure to sound like a frog of sorts tomorrow because of that that screaming. But atleast our basketball team won! 78-75, first game of the season. I always say that I don't really care about basketball, but when I actually get to one of the games I get really into it and just go crazy with screaming.

But not nearly to the extent of soccer; last game a had a scream-off with a fan from the other team and the next week I met a new friend and his first words to me were, "Oh! you were the one screaming at the soccer game!" (Or maybe it was: "Oh. you were the one screaming at the soccer game..." But I'm not an incredible observant person, so I'll just be optimistic instead).

Have I mentioned enought times why I am transfering school? Reason #157: I learned how to write a sentence today in my Literature class. A sentence has a subject and a verb and should not end in over, under, in, or with (like I just did). There are three types of there's (there, their, they're) and there are two types of your's (you're, your).
I'm in college now. I have a test over the the Illiad, poems by Sappho, some of Aristotle's writings, and still I needed to be taught this? No one should be allowed to pass middle school if they don't know that, let alone make it to college! And we did this for 40 min of out 60 min class. In the first 5 min of the class we ate donuts.

As an update, I am planning on (but haven't officially begun, so I still can change my mind without having to make any excuses or explanations) spending an extra week in Brazil with Jenna, then go to Calgary to live with my friend Hanani (I lived with her for a few months last year) and learn Swahili from her, as well as work and volunteer in the city. Then, I am going to Switzerland in July for a few weeks with my sisters. Then I am going to Taylor University Fort Wayne to finish my education.

In light of all this, I thought it was time for a list. A list of what I want in a job in Calgary:
1. I really want to help people and get experience and learning for my future career as a social worker. Maybe get my feet wet a little bit, too. I would be willing to do this through volunteering or working. At first I thought that I would want to do it as my full job, but actually, I think I might want to balance the heavy emotional, draining, or challenging work with something that is just a 9-5 job that pays the bills and lets me make friends; friends who are not looking up to me as a leader or strength because I am there to help them, but friends who are simply friends.
2. If I do get a normal job and not a job at an organization, then I want the hours to be flexible enough and the stress to not be too much so that I can volunteer and also spend time with the family I live with and not be overwhelmed.
3. Still take distance-learning classes (I'm lucky enough that the school I want to transfer to is the one offering most of them) on top of that. My exploratory (a class where I volunteer somewhere that fits with a social work career to see what they do, kind of an internship, but less) will be covered through volunteering in Calgary, which is nice- one class down! I could probably get it waived- the volunteering, that is, and just do a summary and a journal for what I did, but I do want to volunteer in Calgary- getting back into an inner-city scene where I can help people and make a difference in the world is part of why I want to move to Calgary anyway.
4. Get everything with the work permit figured out. I haven't looked into it very seriously yet, because my passport is out getting a visa for Brazil, and I would need that same passport to get a work permit. I'm told (by authorities, not just random people) that the process doesn't take very long because they want people to work there.

I learn alot when I make lists. In my head, I think that I have all these expectations and desires. But when I put them in a list, my priorities stand out and I see more clearly what I really want. And I often realize that I don't have tons of things that I want, maybe just a few large things. However, the housing situation is already figured out, so I don't need to even worry about that (which is the problem for most people when moving to Calgary, so I'm glad that's taken care of). The next one to deal with will probably be my work permit. I understand the options I have for processes to go through, I just am not sure which one I want to take.