Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Five

I've seen some Friday Five posts on other blogs that I follow, and I like the idea of highlighting some special things about your week. I start back to work today after 12 weeks of maternity leave, so I thought I'd do a special Friday Five to start out. Here are five little tidbits about my job. :-)

1. I work at a rape crisis center as a sexual assault counselor. I volunteered with the program for two years before starting an internship there. While interning, I was offered the job of Volunteer Coordinator. That was in September or 2007. In December of 2007, I was asked to also take on the responsibilities of the Legal Advocate. At this point, I was training and managing volunteers and accompanying sexual assault survivors to their legal proceedings. I was also finishing up my last year of undergrad. When I graduated in May 2008, I became a counselor and began seeing clients. I worked these three positions until August of 2010. At that time, I was made the only full-time counselor at our site.

2. I've worked with hundreds of clients over the last four years. My clients have ranged in ages from 3-60s. I have worked with men, women, and children. I have worked with wealthy clients and homeless clients. The last four years have been a living example of how sexual violence doesn't discriminate.

3. Part of my job is to accompany survivors of sexual assault to the hospital for sexual assault exams. My co-workers and I rotate weeks on-call. Being on-call can be a pain at times, especially when you're exhausted after a long day of work and get called for a medical exam just as you're heading home. Or when you're sound asleep and the phone rings at 3:00 A.M. But it's a difficult job, and someone's got to do it.

4. I'll be honest. The pay sucks. I have my Master's Degree in counseling and could be making more money elsewhere, but I'm still here. Now that I have a baby and more expenses, I will be looking for a new job that pays better. I'll be sad to leave this job, and I hope I can continue to focus on working with this population.

5. This job causes burn out easily. It's so easy to just get sick of everything pretty quickly. We work our butts off with very little recognition or thanks. It's a good thing we don't do this job for the pay or the recognition. We'd be out of luck. Before I went on maternity leave, I was what I like to call a crispy critter. I was so burnt out that I didn't want to go to work at all. It was getting harder to give my clients my undivided attention, because all I could think about were the things I'd rather be doing (reading, sleeping, eating). Now that I've had 3 months to recharge my batteries, I'm ready to go back. I hate the idea of leaving my little girl, and I would love to be able to stay at home, but I'm ready to go back. The PSU scandal has really reminded me why I do this work.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

TBR Thursday

I don't know about anyone else, but my TBR list is constantly growing. It seems like I stumble upon interesting books every day. I have my online book club, Goodreads, and book blogs to thank for this. I thought I'd share a few of my new TBR books each week. Here are a few of the ones I added this week:

This is one of those books that catches my attention with a pretty cover. The cover is very dark (literally and figuratively) and makes me think this is going to be a story of love, pain, and loss. Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London doesn't come out until May 2012, but it looks like a good books.

From Goodreads: This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters....

Smashed by Lisa Luedeke is another 2012 release. Again, the cover caught my attention, but the synopsis was what really made me add this book.

From Goodreads: Maine high school senior Katie Martin is set to win a field hockey scholarship until her life is derailed by drinking, a car accident, and an angry classmate.

This is a super short summary from Goodreads, but I like it. It's just enough to give you the gist of the story, but it doesn't give too much away. For example, we can guess that a teenager's life is drastically changed by drunk driving, but we don't know who that is. It could be the main character, Katie, or it could be the angry classmate. This is definitely a book I want to read. It seems like it will be a book with a great message to teens about the dangers of drunk driving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for? I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband. He is my best friend. He sees me through good times and bad. He puts up with my craziness. I'm a bit strange at times, and he has learned to accept that. We have a beautiful baby girl who is growing like a weed. I'm so grateful to have her and to know that she is healthy and happy. Her smiles and coos make my heart melt over and over again. My family is amazing. They are supportive and loving, and they just adore my little girl. I'm also thankful that I have a job to go back to after my maternity leave ends (TOMORROW! AH!), a roof over my head, and the drive to make a wonderful life for my family. Oh, and I'm also thankful for books. ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Found (4)

I have the habit of buying books based on their covers. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but it's really hard not to. Pretty covers grab my attention more than plain ones. Now, if a book with a pretty cover has a boring plot summary on the back or inside jacket flap, then I don't buy it.

One particular book that I purchased because the cover caught my attention was Angels of Destruction by Keith Donohue. I can't remember when or where I bought this book, so it must have been quite some time ago.

From Goodreads: Margaret Quinn lives alone, quietly mourning the disappearance of her only child, who fled ten years earlier to join a radical student group known as the Angels of Destruction.

On a cold winter’s night, a nine-year-old girl arrives on Margaret’s doorstep, claiming to be an orphan with no place to go. This child beguiles Margaret, and together they hatch a plan to pass her off as her newly found granddaughter, Norah Quinn.

Their conspiracy is made vulnerable by Norah’s magical revelations to the children of the town, and by a lone figure shadowing the girl, who threatens to reveal the child’s true identity and purpose. Who are these strangers really? And what is their connection to the past, the Angels, and Margaret’s long-missing daughter?

When I looked this book up on Goodreads, I learned a neat little tidbit about the author. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, which isn't too far from my hometown. I thought that was really cool.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme held by Miz B at Should Be Reading. It's a great way to share what you're reading or what you're planning on reading. Here's how it works. Grab a book, open to a random page, and share two teaser sentences. Be sure to avoid posting spoilers and include the book's title and author.

My Teaser Tuesday snippet is from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

His eyes rested on Harry and his lip curled. Harry glared back, feeling a grim pleasure at the idea that he would be able to give up Potions after fifth year. - pg. 232

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (2)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a great way to share what you've read, what you're reading, and what you're planning on reading.

I haven't done much reading lately. November is National Novel Writing Month, and I've been busy working on my novel. The idea is to write 50,000 words during November. Your story doesn't have to be finished once you've hit 50,000, but this is a great motivation to get a nice big chunk of your novel written. I've done NaNoWriMo the last two years but didn't finish. This year looks like it might be it. Third time's the charm, I guess!

After much delay, though, I'm finally reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I've read the first three books in the series but stopped after that. Now that all of the movies are out, I feel a bit more motivated to read the books. I've seen the first three movies and can't wait to see the rest of them, but I want to read the books first. The temptation has definitely been there to just watch the movies and then read the books, but I'm afraid that will take away from the magic of the books.

I've been kicking around some ideas for what to read next. I'll probably go with the next Harry Potter book, but I have so many other books sitting on my shelves just waiting to be read. If only there were more hours in the day...