They say that one never realizes how important someone is until that someone is gone.

Couldnt they be wrong just this once. Or does another round of obfuscation(rather painful, if I may say so) to the current layer follow ?

So I come across a big envelope, opened, on the gateleg table in the kitchendininglivingroom. It is clearly labeled "Hyphenated" in large, readable print. The only other person in the house who is both capable of getting the mail out of the mail box and of opening the letters is my husband, who has been briefed on the subject of "Why are those people call you 'EE-fe-nah-ted'?" Yet, the envelope lay opened. Hm. I sense that the Pollito resents being an E2 widower.

No obstante, what came to me more than made up for this little confusion. Five squares, knitted for the afghan by Segnbora-t and looking great, tumbled out of my pillaged post. I think I may have shed a tear or two. This the Pollito had to see.

"So they are not for the dog?" he asked. "I thought tha' the package might be for the dog. He gets mail, too." True. But the Pollito also thought it was kind of neat, that I was going to create this big afghan with all this work from other people. He said he would be happy to put all the envelopes that come into my "craft room", which is really our second bedroom, so that I could keep them safe from the depredations of the dog. Pippin is a terrier. He'll hunt down things and kill them.

So the next day brought another envelope, this time smaller but it was from all the way across the ocean. Two beautifully bias-knit squares from squeezie, and a note came out of this envelope. Cool. There was a note in the other envelope, too, to give the other noder her due. You have to hold an actual paper note from a noder sometime. It's like nothing else. To read the writing on the screen is an intellectual pleasure similar to getting a paperback. Reading an actual note is like having an autographed first edition. It's just cool.

Now, it is true that the deadline for squares submission for the afghan is past. Okay. I did promise to do the drawing on April 9, and I will. But I need a little more participation. If nothing else, imagine the pleasure that opening your real mail and reading your real note and appreciating your real handcrafted work will give this simple woman. This sweet simple woman who, just like the rest of you, loves her partner for life, and her little doggie, and her house in New Jersey, and only wants to give a little something back to this unique place we call E2.

Send me your squares. I will love them.

Don't make me play the Cancer card.

I haven't noded for a while, and that's for a few reasons. I haven't had anything to write about, and I've been busy as all hell. However, my Comp Sci classes have wound down, things with my girlfriend are a lot better, and I found a job. Furthermore, I found that my job search has given me something to write about.

After surviving the constant onslaught of resume edits, information sessions, interviews, rejections, post-interview tests, and on-site interviews, I actually received two separate job offers. My first offer was great. It was from Capital One, and featured a $53,000 starting salary, and benefits out the wazoo, including free tuition for graduate school. I received this offer before my on-site interview with the second company. During the last part of my visit to their company (talking with their HR manager), I made them aware of the offer. So, a few weeks later they countered with an offer of less pay, worse benefits, an office complex with a treehouse, and a Dilbertian distrust of anybody with any business knowledge... and they were located in Madison, Wisconsin versus Richmond, Virginia. So, needless to say, I will be working for Capital One come July.

Though my experience is probably a lot easier than others will have to deal with (a 3.8 in a pretty rigorous Computer Science program helps a lot) I feel that others in a similar state could benefit from my experiences, so I will share them with the world:

Landing your first Real Job (tm)

Graduating from college is a scary thing. Once again you face being torn away from a group of friends. The "real world" that you have successfully evaded for 22 years is looking for blood. However, by far the scariest part of graduating is having to find your first Real Job.

Depending on your chosen field of study, your job search may be very difficult. You may find yourself wondering "What can I do with my degree?". However, regardless of your degree, it will not be an easy experience. Here is some advice from someone who has successfully completed his job search.

1) Use your Career Services office.
Granted, typically some career service offices (Business, Engineering, etc) are more robust than others. However, they are always a great resource. Using mine, I was able to land interviews from 9 different companies (such as JP Morgan/Chase, General Electric, Johns Hopkins, etc.) in a month's time.

2) Don't sweat the interview.
This seems like a difficult piece of advice to follow, since your fate rests on how well you do in the interview. However, obvious nervousness looks bad, as it is the exact opposite of confidence. Trust me, I blew two interviews due to this... And I know that I did, because I got feedback from the employers telling me this in no uncertain terms.

3) Zip your suit's fly
I know this sounds obvious, but it is a very important piece of advice. In the rush of things, it is simple to forget to zip your fly. I should know, as I did two interviews with my fly all the way down. Take a guess how many of these companies contacted me again... Here's a hint: the answer rhymes with beer-o.

4) Practice behavioral interview questions
A lot of companies use this method. The question format is the following: "Tell me about a time when...", followed by some statement. This works on the view that past successes with difficult groups, large projects, etc. are a good indicator of how you will do in the future. Because of this, if a question blindsides you, feel free to lie your ass off. For an example, I had about 5 interviewers ask me about how I dealt with a groupmate who wasn't pulling their weight. I've been lucky in college, as all of the groups I have been a member of have succeeded without incident. I attempted to explain this fact to the first person that asked me this question, and his response was "Oh, well everybody else has had problems with bad groupmates...". This is when I realized that I'd have to alter the truth slightly in the future.

5) If your on-site interview involved them paying for your flight to the city, a night at a good hotel, a $60 dinner, an open bar tab at your hotel, and limo service between your destinations, you basically have the job.
If this happens, congratulations, you are being wined and dined. They want to hire you.

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