Well, kind of…
I actually graduate on the 16th, which is tomorrow. But that is beside the point. What matters is that I got through all of the course work, clinical, and labs with enough credits to call it done. Well, sort of…
Haa… ha… ha.
Everyone is telling me I should be proud of myself for getting this far. For getting it done. Having a degree is such a great accomplishment, this… you should be so proud of yourself, that…
Don’t get me wrong. It feels good to be done. And I am thankful for every single person that helped me get there. My parents. My wife. My fellow classmates. My instructors. Anyway, I think you get the point. But sadly, I am anywhere but done. When you graduate everyone is all like “Yay, you did it. You’re done!”. But the truth is, I’m far from done. I have met countless people in my life who have gotten a degree in one thing or another and they never ended up using the degree. They work in sales and have a computer engineering degree. Or they work at a call center and have a degree in botany. This list just seems to go on and on. People I have met who have a degree and went nowhere with it. And for that, I am far from done. I refuse to be part of the statistic. And in my mind, my degree is useless unless I take it a step further by passing the exit exam which qualifies me to take the boards. Then I have to take it yet again another step further by passing both boards in order to become licensed by the state for mortuary science. Once I have accomplished these things I will then be able to say that very thing; I have done it. It’s finally finished. Until then I still have a huge mountain in front of me. And until that mountain moves I will not get excited like everyone thinks I should.
Holy crap, talk about anxiety to the max! I literally only have one week left before I am done with school (exit exam and boards for my license excluded). That means that next week is finals week. I am totally overwhelmed. I don’t know if I felt like this for every semester or if it is just a feeling that happens to most people since this is the last one. I don’t know. All I know is, I don’t remember feeling this stressed out about finals week in any of my other semesters. I could be wrong. As for the semester and finally having a degree in Applied Science, I do have to say one thing. I never in my life would have thought I would ever have gone back to school after high school. I don’t think anyone in my family would have thought that either. But here I am on the cusp of walking through the torturous terrain to the other side. I am ready to be done. I am ready to have my degree. I am ready to have my license. I am ready to have a full time job. I am ready to have free time again to do things I enjoy. I am ready… heck, here I am sounding like Sponge Bob Square Pants. Anyway, I think you get the idea. One more week! Wish me luck and send out some prayers for these last exams I am about to tackle.
Okay, so here is the thing. I have had dreads a few times in my life for short periods of time. And have always really loved the look and style of nice clean maintained dreads. With that, I recently had dreads in the form of a bowl cut, but didn’t like how high up the bowl cut was on my head. So, naturally I cut them off and decided to start over with a full head of hair. And now, my hair is a little longer than shoulder length. I have been itching to get them done again. And I told myself I would wait until after my sister’s wedding to do it. Well, guess what? My sister’s wedding has come and gone and now I am free to start my new dread journey!
Or am I? I am, after all, only two weeks away from potentially graduating dead people school… which means I will be on the hunt for a new dead people job. Do job interviews and tacky hair go well together?
Here’s the thing; I have thought this out in my head for the last two months, wondering if I could get my dread journey started now before graduation. My thought is yes… I can. My mind was made up so much so that I even had a dread creation session scheduled with a local dreadlock specialist for Wednesday of this coming week. My thoughts were simple. Even if I graduate in two weeks it would be another month or two before I pass my boards and start the job hunt as a newly licensed dead people worker. So, in my mind I had it justified. I could go ahead and do the dreads now, giving me about two months of maintenance time to get them looking nice and clean before I suited up for the dead people interview process for job placement.
At least that’s how I felt about it, dread session in three days and counting.
Apparently, my wife and the rest of the world disagree with my logic. Sarah pushed and groaned, insisting I should wait until after I have graduated and gotten a job. Because, you know… being adult means thinking ahead and making decisions that are for the betterment of mankind and all that jazz. With that, I have disappointingly canceled my Wednesday appointment. I guess this means I will have to keep combing my long hair for a while longer.
Combing is stupid.
I am officially half way through my final semester of dead people school. I am both excited and slightly terrified. In roughly 6 weeks I will be at the end of what has been a long and rocky struggle through dead people school. I don’t know about you, but 16 credit hours per semester is just too much. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful to have gone through it so quickly. But, if I had to do it over again I would have taken much less per semester. I am beyond burnt out.
This week were we live has been rainy and cold. It hasn’t been all that bad considering that it really doesn’t rain here that often. Even still, the rain and cool, cloudy weather has gotten me feeling sluggish. A feeling one does not want to have when they are loaded to the brim with as much school work as I have on top of maintaining a part time job. Before we moved to central Texas I had a part time gig working in my career field. And sadly, since we moved I have had no luck getting my foot in the dead people door. Alas, I decided to give up on that front and just focus on my schooling while working a regular alive people job. It has been going well thus far. I just find it hard to believe that in another month I will be glaring down the throat of my final semester finals (if that makes sense). The reason I am excited is because I am ready to be done and doing work associated to my field of study. The reason I am nervous at the same time, is that the next test after getting my Associated Degree in Applied Science is to pass the exit exam, which qualifies me to take the board exams. That’s right (with an “s”)… there are two exams for the national board which will give me license to work a dead people job in the State of Texas. I hear of wars are rumors of wars. Or better yet, I hear of failure and rumors of failure when it comes to taking them. You want to talk about test anxiety? How about the test to end all tests? The two tests that you have been testing to test since you started taking tests!
Soon… very soon…
Okay, so I am a super huge fan of 80’s horror. One of my all time favorite movie series which first released in the late 70’s and ran into the early 90’s with a total of four movies, called Phantasm, is one of the main reasons I am in school to become an undertaker. The main antagonist in this series of movies, The Tall Man, is a mortician who is out to take down the entire world. It’s pretty much the best thing every. Anyway, I made a patch to commemorate the movie series. And then, literally a week or two later a 5th movie for the series popped up by total happen chance. One, I am dying to see the 5th movie because it has all original cast members. And two, it was perfect timing considering my patch just came out.
Well, it gets even better. Author of Phantasm Exhumed the book and the Phantasm Archives website fell in love with my patches! He bought half a dozen and even went a step further to showcase me on the site. How cool is that? The funny thing is… before this dude, Dustin McNeil ever even reached out to me I was licking my chops at his book on Amazon. Small world my friend. Small world.
Anyway, check out the Phantasm Exhumed Archives website as well as the book! If you love that series like I do you don’t want to miss out. I am still sitting here waiting on them to release a 5 movie complete DVD set. Hopefully it releases soon.
Okay, so… I am burnt out on a lot of things right now (mainly my crappy part time job), but school as well. I think the closer you get to being finished, the more you can taste it or something like that. And maybe that is why I am starting to get burnt out. Or, it could be the fact that I have crammed a two year associate’s degree into a year and some change. I don’t know. All I know is that sixteen credit hours per semester is too many and I am tired. The exciting thing though is that I am on the downward slide now!
That’s right… this coming semester, which starts tomorrow, is the final semester before I graduate and go on to tackle the board exam for my embalming/mortician licenses. Am I overwhelmed by the horror stories of statistics regarding people who pass it verses people who qualify to take it through what is called the exit exam? You better believe it. But I can’t focus on that right now. All I can do is focus on this semester and get through it. Just tackle on thing at a time. After this semester, then… and only then, can I start tackling that exit exam and the boards. Am I looking forward to taking them? No. Am I looking forward to graduating and having my license so that I can get a job doing what I have been striving to do the last two years? Yes. I am almost there. And I can taste it. I just hope this semester goes smooth and that the exit exam doesn’t give me as much trouble as everyone makes it out to.
Well, dead people school clinical is finally behind me. It came and went so much faster than I thought it would. During the week clinical was a 5 day crash course on both embalming and restorative arts. I got to make a face from scratch. And my dad, Joe, happened to be my muse for the project. My mom says my sculpture looks sexier. I can see that. As for the embalming portion, which no one wants to see photos of, and that I wasn’t allowed to take photos of for obvious reasons went really well despite my mild anxiety going into it. Going into it I was worried that I wouldn’t meet the clinical requirements, which, by the end of the week I easily did. Also, I was going to be working with dead people. So, there’s that. Creepy! I went into it though with some experience, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected. Your imagination always does that to you, doesn’t it? Make things out to be a bigger deal than they really are.
Anyway, on the first day we had to crack a skull open and one student clammed up tight and didn’t come back. I guess this stuff isn’t for everyone. I loved it. My classmates were genuine people and I feel like I managed to even make a few friends. With that, I only have one semester left before I go on to fight to good old fight against the Board Exams for my license. In the meanwhile… maybe I will get lucky and lock a part time job in this field.
Here is to hoping.
So, recently I have been on Etsy way more because of my store For the Win Inc. With that, I find myself surfing all kinds of stuff for sale on that site. A lot of it is really cool while some of it is really silly. Well, I came across something epic. There is this company Called PUNKNDEAD that will do custom back patches for your jackets and stuff on the low. So, I had to take advantage of that. My Phantasm vest that I wear has had a negative space at the bottom of it for a little bit. The space hasn’t really been bothering me, but when I came across this Etsy store I had to come up with something cool to put there. And since I am almost on the cusp of becoming a licensed mortician, it just seemed fitting to put something like what you see in the photo. Mortuary Brigade Unite! Anyway, if you like these types of patches, check out that store.
Well, here we are. Day one for my embalming clinical is complete! I have come and concurred. It feels good to have the first day behind me, that is for sure. Although I experienced some super bizarro stuff in clinical, I signed a waver that said I wouldn’t get into it on social media. So I won’t go in to any details. I will say though that all my stress about it was for nothing. I got this. But even though I say that, it is going to be a very heavy week for sure. Not only do I have clinical all day each day, but this week is also finals week. So, I am going to be swamped with this mess… and come next week I am going to be so thankful for the break like you don’t even know. For those of you that pray, please do. I need to get 10 cases to graduate which means I need to do at least 2 cases a day each day. In my mind that is asking a lot. But I know it is doable because the instructor says it happens all the time. So, fingers crossed and prays a plenty, my classmates and I that are in clinical this week will meet out quota. I hope we do!
2 down. 8 to go.