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2021-01-15 08:06:32 (UTC)

Recap: First 2 Weeks of '21

Personal entry follows. I just felt like writing a bit of this out.

"Just like last year," I have been steady and consistent with the exercise bike. Lately I have been rolling out 100 calories at the start of the day. I make my bed, then jump onto the exercise bike. Evenings after the day job is done, I am back on for my usual 250, typically with music or some video playing.

I went back to my doctor early in the year, as the abdominal pains have persisted. After another examination, there was still no clear diagnosis, so next came a handful of tests. I sent in a stool sample, went for a torso ultrasound/sonogram, and yesterday morning had a blood draw. All these things will help clear up whatever is going on in my guts. Though he admitted he's not sure what it might be, I think doc is leaning towards gallstones or kidney stones.

I always keep my head down when a new training starts. This cohort is one of the largest we've had in recent memory, and is definitely the largest since we went remote. There are about 3 dozen folks we're working with right now, and the job coaches are pretty swamped. Me personally, I'm kind of drained at the end of the workday, particularly after a day when I facilitate a meeting with all the clients and job coaches. Not much else going on between the day job and exercise. I'm playing a solo board game, some video game, or reading in the evening to wind down.

There are always clients who seem to wash out after a few days, though some who have shown no initial engagement will surprise you and make it through to the end. Others sort of disappear after showing initial enthusiasm - and their true agenda appears. Picking up a no-cost certification or Federal ID card sometimes seems like a nice deal, until one realizes we're asking them to do work, to show up at online meetings, to actually learn stuff. I open up an exam today, and we'll see how that goes.

I've also made it a point to do a video review of every single written assignment, issuing mostly constructive feedback as a rule. Clients typically stay on once they realize the teacher is not their enemy. But not everyone takes the step to initially attempt engagement. I've also implemented "Badges" for the online classroom, and as I learn more I will be able to automate the process of granting them to clients who complete certain things in the course. Finally, I will be presenting a summary of the online classroom and how it works to the board of directors maybe next week, during their strategic planning session.

Young folks, especially those with no work experience, are the toughest to keep on board. Many just don't have what it takes yet to persist. Having a solid, patient job coach who sticks with them and reminds them that not everyone's out to get them is extremely helpful.

There will be two more weeks for this training cohort, and I anticipate at least 30 people who will complete.

The lady I dated last summer works at a doctor's office, and had her first vaccine shot this past weekend. She was feeling dreadful that day, and after reading her grousing through maybe a dozen text messages I picked up some popsicles at her request and stopped by. We watched the Studio Ghibli retelling of the Bamboo Princess myth, and ate popsicles with her dogs napping nearby. It was good to catch up with her, and the film was well-done, too. She's still looking at houses in the western part of the state, hoping to purchase a second property.

My brother and his family are readying to move at the end of the month. I'll be reporting in tomorrow morning to help haul unwanted stuff to the curb "for the junk man." In the suburbs, it's apparently possible to make a living taking away the perfectly functional stuff that people don't want anymore.

My long-time ex, with whom I make soap, has been out of touch since the last day of December. I wonder if she's working through another rough time.

I've re-connected more solidly with one of my best friends from my youth. He and his fiance are planning on marrying sometime this year, and after mentioning I could be his atheist minister, he seemed tickled about having me do the ceremony for him. So that will be my third wedding, if it comes to pass.

The artist friend of mine who moved back into town last autumn joined me for a drive out to the county for another stop at the ice cream joint. We discussed her family's plans while she cares for her father, the state of her art education, her plans to stay in the area, her ex and how he was a damaged jerk, etc. over milkshakes and deep-fried food. There was an animated discussion about the current state of political affairs in the US. On the way back, it was all about riding through my old neighbourhoods and the scenic routes, with retrowave instrumentals boom-bapping in the background.