Friday, February 05, 2016

Application Perturbation

A week after my mailbox was first broken into (also known as the day I found out I was losing my job), it was broken into again along with the mailboxes of others in the building, our brand new locks picked. We left a note for our mail carrier, Kerry (perfect name), to ring the bell when leaving our mail so that the building manager or I could run down and get it, but the very next day, according to her co-worker, she stopped work mid-route with chest pains and has not been seen since, so we’ve had a succession of substitute carriers, plus one or two more break-ins. The building manager, among other things, is an accomplished videographer, and has set up a camera to watch the mailboxes, but she’s also gone ahead and started the process of getting a metal gate for the entrance way.

On our block, on both sides of the street, there are only two buildings where you can walk right up to the mailboxes. Soon there will be just one. Until the gate is installed, we’re having our mail held and will pick it up a couple of times a week.


It turned out the neighbors’ bathroom window was open so far because it was broken in some way that caused it to go from being closed to being stuck open two feet. It has now been fixed, and I’m sure they are relieved.


I was happy to discover plenty of people complaining online about OSX scroll bars lacking up / down arrows. Unfortunately, the complaints date back to at least 2011, so I guess Apple is unmoved on this point.


At the start of the several days where I was feverishly writing and rewriting the essays for my CPE application, Hammett began to have diarrhea. Preliminary research suggested that he could be having problems with the methimazole (thyroid medication) in gel form; in pill form, it made him vomit. Someone said that once a cat is diagnosed with this condition, its lifespan is three to five years. I (while still typing) sank into grief: the best cat ever, soon to depart from this earthly plane! His little cat bed—empty! His other little cat bed—empty!

But after about four diarrheal deposits, things were back to normal, and Dr. Press said on the phone that he doubted the methimazole was the cause. I also remembered that he had said months ago that a cat treated with methimazole may very well live out its normal lifespan.


Along with the five essays, an updated resume is required for the CPE application. When I wrote my resume after being laid off in 2012, it took three months, but I didn’t have three months this time. I had less than an hour, so it was done in less than an hour, including soliciting and receiving Lisa C.’s excellent feedback.

The CPE application form that accompanies the five essays is two simple pages and I had gathered all the info for it, but I figured it was going to take several hours, on the last Friday in January, to email everything in and to mail a couple of checks for application fees, and I was right about that. You can download the form as a PDF or Word doc, but neither appeared to be something you could type into, so I filled out one form by hand, then copied it three times, then added information pertinent to the particular program, and then scanned the result. I emailed one of these to myself as a test and it was readable.

Meanwhile, Sam and Naima had both said to put all the essays into one document, but after I did that, what had been perfect formatting in each file got all screwed up.

Two of the places I was applying to to accept applications via email; the third said to mail the application, though there was also an email address listed. I sent an email asking if an electronic submission would be OK, but didn’t hear back from them right away, so I printed out my five essays plus my resume: 21 single-spaced pages. Unfortunately, the final five pages were unreadable. After threatening this for months, my printer was completely out of toner. Fortunately, I had a new toner cartridge in the closet, but I haven’t had this printer very long and couldn’t immediately figure out how to get the front cover open.

Meanwhile, I’d already emailed in a couple of applications and TWMC had responded instantly to say they were having problems viewing the application form—would I be so kind as to type into this Word doc? We had a very friendly exchange, making it now my first choice. Sam said that when he interviewed there, he immediately fell in love with the people and the program.

It turned out that it was perfectly possible to type into the Word form (probably the PDF, too). I just hadn’t tried hard enough. This was after I’d done all that copying and scanning, and about six hours into what I’d thought would take four hours, and by now I was very stressed out and I yelled at the aforementioned best cat on earth when he innocently walked over to try to help with the printer.

Finally, it was all done: applications typed, printed and signed; essays and resume properly formatted; checks written; envelopes addressed; postage amount determined; everything emailed and/or packaged up and dropped in the mailbox down the corner.
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