Saturday, July 30, 2011

Emily's Big Adventure-Part One

So much has taken place since my last post!  I am slightly embarrassed that it has been four months...  Where to begin?  I completed my internship April 18th and resumed work with my summer job.  I graduated from ECU May 6th-7th and words cannot describe how odd it felt.  I can't say that I was overjoyed at entering this job market.  Even more than that, all the wonderful memories I had of the past four years continuously flashed through my mind throughout the weekend.  Sitting by the fountain deep in conversation, studying in Joyner Library until it closed, University Chorale, spending way to much time in Dr. Desai's office discussing this or that, and most of all: Hams and Kripsy Kreme!  Oh...and who can forget the RA days!  I had so many wonderful experiences it was hard to think about closing that chapter of my life.  Even more difficult was not knowing what chapter was coming I had no specific leads on a job.  And ya'll know me well enough by now to understand that I am a worry wart.  While it was wonderful to celebrate my commencement with so many family and friends, finding a full time job in the child life field was always in the back of my mind.

A couple of weeks after graduation I had the opportunity to go to Chicago, IL for the national Child Life Conference.  The day before conference began I sat for the Child Life Certification exam.  I was more nervous than I have probably ever been...this exam is somewhat comparable to a Praxis...but specific to child life.  I willingly admit I did not study as much as I should have, but how in the world do you cram four years of lectures and field experiences into a multiple choice exam?  I had already been warned that the exam questions involved several right answers, in which I had to choose the "most right."  Which is quite complex when every child life specialist has his/her own preferences when it comes to clinical practice.  I completed the exam and immediately engaged in conference activities for the remainder of the day, with a fellowship interview that evening (LONG day).  I had to wait six weeks for the results.

In the meantime, I am so thankful I had the opportunity to continue with my summer job while also searching endlessly for a CLS position.  I had little success until mid-June when I was called by a site I had a previous phone interview with for a second phone interview.  Needless to say, I was excited!  I was given permission to go into work late and sent everyone out of the house for the morning.  Everything seemed to go well...except for the fact that the phone line was disconnected twice!  I nearly had a heart-attack and wondered about my chances of an on-site interview.  I was told it would be about a week before on-site candiates were notified, so I went on to work.  That afternoon I received a call asking me to come for an onsite interview!  I knew right away that this was a Wow-God thing.  One week later I flew to St. Petersburg, FL for a full day of interviews.  Travel was a flight out was delayed which caused me to miss my connection in Charlotte...I was supposed to land in Tampa at 7:30 p.m. and did not arrive until about 1:30 a.m.  I was so upset, and vividly remember praying as I was waiting for my carry-on bag (had to be checked due to lack of space) "just a little bit more patience Lord, just a little bit more..." tears literally began rolling down my face.  Another Wow-God moment: out of 6 other people on my shuttle, my hotel was the first stop, more than 20 minutes from the airport!  After preparing my suit and all that jazz, I ended up going to bed around 3 a.m. and waking up at 7 a.m. so I could eat breakfast and arrive at the hospital early.  I had three interviews throughout the day and was utterly exhausted by the time I was done for the day and heading back to the airport.  Of course travel was smooth on the way back...when it wasn't as important! 

I knew I would be waiting seven days to hear back from the hospital, and immediately began praying intensely.  I also took time to fast for several days, and I truly believe this made a difference in my life during this time period.  As you all know, I did receive a call on June 27th offering me the position...and they requested that I start on July 18th.  I was caught off-guard by the short time span, but was reminded of a song which says "Oh my God, he will not refuge and strength always."  Wow-God!

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