Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Day that Was

Yes I know, I've been MIA for a few days.

(I have an explanation I swear, but that's for another post)

And I know you're all DYING to know the story with my TAFE interview. Frankly, parts of it are quite embarrassing. Don't say I'm not good to ya'!

So basically on Friday I made my way into Ultimo for my interview. On the way there, however, I ran into my maternal grandmother (fondly referred to as Shep). She was disembarking from the very bus that I was about to board. We did the super speedy "hihowareyoubye" thing but as she went to walk off she touched my arm and said "Oh I have to tell you something, Steve has cancer. Tell your mum"

Shock makes people abrupt. Or maybe it's denial.

In the 15 seconds I had to spare I managed to get a small amount of information out of her. My uncle, Steve, has cancer of the lymph nodes and lung. Now, if I'm 100% honest, I wasn't all too upset or surprised by this notion. Only last year, my uncle stopped drinking after god knows how long of being unable to. The catalyst? Not having any money to drink. If you believe Shep, who lives with him, that's the only reason he doesn't drink. I like to think if he really wanted to, he'd have found a way- most likely by raiding Shep's purse. She does have a rather dangerous habit of carrying around large sums of money for weeks on end.

The saddest part is that it's now that he's no longer drinking that it catches up with him. But who knows, maybe he was sick before the drinking stopped. As for the reason it didn't upset me all that much, it's probably no surprise if I say we're not close. But that's to be expected. Not that I'm blaming him of course. Alcoholism is a terrible, unforgiving disease. Unlike most, the body doesn't want to fight it. It is far easier to drink, and get worse, than it is to stop and get better.

So I went to my interview. I pushed the news from my mind because I knew there was no point thinking about it. In fact, there isn't much now until something new happens. The part I was most dreading was telling my mother. I mean, she should be the one telling me that her brother is ill, not the other way around. Maybe I was more emotionally sensitive than usual. Really, I have no idea if things would have been in any way different if I hadn't run into Shep.

The interview process wasn't how I expected it to be. I found the room, filled with about 15 other people, sitting there in silence. There was a board for us to write our names on on arrival, so that we'd go into our interview in order. On the board were the other time slots. About 20 names on each before ours. I could only assume that each time was about the same, and that both days had the same volume of interviewees. I estimate it to be about 250+ in total- way more than I had been prepared for.

The interview itself had a grading system. With questions about our equipment, experience, drive. I got 67 out of a 100. Apparently the average is about 75. Below average is not something I am comfortable with or accustomed to. On top of this, I hadn't brought my High School Certificate with me, to prove that I was even eligible for the course. I hadn't been told we required it, it hadn't even occurred to me. After my interview, feeling shaken and stressed, I had to visit the head teacher and tell him I didn't have proof of my HSC. He looked at me and said "...and?" - clearly expecting me to suggest a solution. For reasons I still don't really understand, I started to cry. Then of course when it got to the point where I couldn't pretend my eyes ere brimming with tears and I had to say something to acknowledge it, the crying only got worse, as it always does.

After a few deep breaths he suggested I scan my certificate and email it to him. Of course. What other option was there? Not only had I done poorly in my interview, but I had presented myself as either a) a nervous wreck or b) someone who was resorting to crocodile tears in an attempt to gain sympathy points. Truth is, I'm neither. But I don't think that affected their decision not to grant me a place, really. 250 people is a lot to compete against.

So that was that day; the day that was. I was about 90% sure that I hadn't got in, even before I got the rejection email, so at least it didn't come as too much of a surprise. Then of course came the question that still remains- what now? I want my diploma. I want to learn as much about photography as I can, so why not get qualified while I'm at it? And since I chose not to go to university, I don't want my time wasted. The facts are I need my certificate to get my diploma. There is only one place in Sydney that offers the certificate, and they only run the course once a year. Basically, this means I have to wait till next year to even apply again.

Next week I'm starting a short SLR course at Sydney community college. I hope I learn something new from it. In the mean time, I told my boss today. I don't know whether it was sympathy or what, but an opportunity for some paid photography work may be coming up soon (not giving too much away!). For now, I'm just taking life as it comes and playing things by ear, because there isn't much else I can do. I mean, is there ever anything we can do other than just live? They say the best way to make God laugh is to make a plan. Now I don't need to tell you what a screaming atheist I am, but it's true. You can make all the plans you want but life won't always fit them. That's something I struggle with sometimes.

Cheerier things on their way, I promise!

-m xx

1 comment:

  1. First, my replies: TB is actually common and may consume 1/3 of the world's population. This is mostly in Africa and Asian countries though. 5-10% of Americans have it, so that's not too bad. Turns out it can actually be pretty nasty and involves getting real sick and dying. It's transmitted through coughing and sneezing, but it has to be an active infection to be spread. I guess many people that do have TB have a dormant TB that is being suppressed by the antibodies.

    And haha, aircon is what you call the air conditioner? We say A/C!

    Okay, now your turn:
    I'm really sorry about your TAFE rejection and your uncle. We're dealing with cancer in the family and it is NOT fun. You may not be close to him and I know exactly how alcoholism can affect families... it sucks. You start to hate the alcoholic, and you don't want to, but you really just hate what's become of them. Luckily the alcoholism is out of my family now and there is no more hatred. :)

    Maybe you're not athiest, maybe you're an agnostic theist. You believe there could be a higher power out there, not a deity necessarily, but are not religious at all. Maube? lol.. up to you!

    Maybe you weren't meant to go to TAFE yet. You'll find your way. Just don't let go of those dreams.