It is official – I graduated dead people school

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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.

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One week left until I graduate dead people school

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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.

wars and rumors of wars: dead people school anxiety #embalming

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.

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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…

Social Media and beyond

My most recent hobbies are getting even more interesting by the day and I honestly think that it may simply be a result of boredom. I don’t know about you, but social media has lost its luster. It’s boring. Obviously, I still use social media because of my ventures with books, music, and patches. Social media is a great marketing tool. Outside of that however I have found that social media (facebook especially), is nothing more than a bunch of inaccurate opinion driven memes guided by ones laziness when it comes to checking the actual facts. How have we as a society decided that we are socially and economically relevant and in touch with politics via inaccurate data posted on a photo that we share on social media? I just don’t get it. Half of the articles and memes that I see shared on social media are wrong, either as a silly joke by the person that posted it, or out of ignorance, because the person doesn’t actually know the truth; nor care to.

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Anyway, since I have been finding myself spacing out on my phone less and less via social media I have had a lot more free time. This free time has been getting invested into some old, yet new hobbies. I have always been fascinated with dinosaurs and outer space.

For those of you that know me well, you know that I have already read all of the books by Stephen Hawking. And yes, I read them prior to the movie that came out about his life. Quantum mechanics and astrophysics are awesomely wild and his work in those fields has sparked my imagination. I am half way through reading my second book by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The one I am currently reading is called Death by Black Hole. It has been pretty crazy thus far. On top of this, I also just subscribed to Astronomy magazine and I am half way through reading my first issue already. I will admit one or two of the articles seemed out of place, but the rest of it has been thought provoking goodness.

With all of that said, you have to ask yourself… is social media really all that relevant to your life? Are you staying in touch with the world in this way, or are you just strengthening that one arm by holding your phone to your face all day?

Not only have I been challenging myself to step away from social media outside of promoting my ventures, I have also gotten away from the television. With that, it won’t be long before I don’t have a Netflix account either.

Put down your phone and read a book. Rather than rely on memes that are more than likely inaccurate when it comes to the facts, why not try learning before you develop an opinion? Today’s society is baffling to me. We live in a world where we claim to want freedom, but are content with not actually knowing the truth prior clinging to the ideals that mold us into who were are.

Note: I am in no way implying that I am smarter than anyone else and in fact realize that it is somewhat an oxymoron to be saying these things on my blog since my blog is in fact a form of social media. These are just my thoughts regarding my current state of mind. Good day.

 

Three Months into Patch making

So, may patch store is only a few days away from being a total of 3 months old. So far it has been a wildly unexpected ride. For the Win Inc is not only still in its infant stage, but it has grown so quickly. In this short three month period I have already made close to 400 sales… many of which were multiple patch orders. These patches have gone everywhere you can think of. Hong Kong, just about everywhere within the States, Canada, Australia, Africa, and Brazil just to name a few. I am talking everywhere. It is crazy to think that my designs are spreading across the globe like this. It has been a lot of fun. Currently, in a few more weeks I will have 4 new designs, which takes my total to 20 designs. That’s right… in under 4 months I will have made 400 sales, created and printed 20 designs, and covered most of the globe. That is wild if you ask me. The cool thing is when people share photos of their patches with me to show that they enjoy them as much as I do! Honestly, I don’t know what the rest of 2016 has in store for For the Win Inc, but I do know what the next month or two is going to look like. I have decided to take it a little slower for a few reasons. One, with Christmas coming, the store will be getting more traffic, so I wanted to focus on what designs I already have. And two, my finals for this semester along with the board exams to graduate dead people school are coming up at the end of this year. With that in mind a lot of my attention will be on other things besides designing new patches. In the meanwhile, I plan on focusing more on social media promotion for my existing products, as well as maybe updating the listings for better search engine results. Anyway, enough rambling. Patches!!! The first three months has been better than expected.

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Dead people school update: What the Heck? #embalming

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!

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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.

Embalming Clinical is finally over #embalming #mortuary #mortician #morgue

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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.

Clinical Week: Day One #embalming

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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.

Two in one: Embalming clinical/finals week + one month in patch venture land!!!

Well, I have a lot going on. That is for sure. This coming week is finals week and I will be in clinical, plus this weekend marks week 4 of this patch selling venture of mine. It has been a month already.

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First off, I have been cranking through 16 credit hours per semester for like a year and a half now and I am burnt out and ready to be done with it. Starting this coming week I will be in my embalming clinical over at the school in Houston. Along with this fact, it is also finals week for the semester. Once this week of school is behind me I will have one semester left, God willing. I am both excited and terrified about the coming week. I am eager to chop up some bodies and glue on some severed heads, but honestly, I hope I get all of my cases in the first week while also doing well on my finals. This semester was a tough one.

That aside, for those of you that know me well or follow my blog, you know that I have recently started selling patches online. For the Win Inc is officially one month old this Sunday. In the short span of 4 weeks I managed to rack up more than 125 sales, close to 200 store followers, and more than 20 reviews on my Etsy store. That is mind bogglingly awesome when you consider how new the patch venture is. With more than half of my sales having been a combo pack I am almost sold out. I started out with three designs at a total of 100 each and I am down to like 5 or 6 of each one left. That is just crazy. I made more money selling patches this month than I did at my part time job at the Dollar General. How wild! Anyway, the profits from this venture have already gone into restocking and creating new designs.

When I get back from clinical I will be adding 6 new designs to the patch store with more on the way! Been a crazy ride so far. For those of you that pray, please be praying for me during this coming week. I hope to reach my required goal of 10 cases in the first week. If I do that, then I will be well on my way to becoming an undertaker just like THE TALL MAN!