The End of Harry Potter (and, coincidentally, the End of my Childhood)

Well, ladies and gents, this weekend I FINALLY got the see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2!

In IMAX, no less. It was my first IMAX experience, additionally, and it was kind of insane.

Just another thing to add to my I’m-a-little-town-girl-in-a-big-city-now feeling!

(In case you didn’t get that, I’m officially living in Denver now!)

The LAST movie was a bittersweet feeling. I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since that fateful day in the library, at around age 10, when I gathered all of books from the “New This Week” section into my weekly reading pile, as was my custom (I was really cool) and among them was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

No one else in my town had really heard of the book, all of my friends thought I was insane when I told them all about this wizard kid named Harry Potter, written by some guy named J.K. something. (Sorry, Ms. Rowling, I have no idea why I thought you were a man…forgive me in my naivete).

Well, now, fifteen years later, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, and while my inner rebel always wanted to eschew the phenom, I never could. As a kid who relied on the characters of books to be her main social life, Harry Potter and his cronies were some of my best buds.

This last movie parallels my life strangely. No, I’m not on an epic quest to save Wizarding kind or  the world, but I have moved away from my hometown and my parent’s house with the intent never to return again. I have left my childhood behind–and this movie is a symbol of that. Harry’s childhood ends too, rather abruptly, and while I held on to mine a little harder–I am 24, but part of the continued living-at-home was forced by the economy and my obsession with international travel–it still is a phase over.

The books and movies themselves were also such a major part of my childhood, that the ending of them also symbolizes a new phase. Every book has been linked with my various ages, and while I can read and watch them again–and believe me, as obsessed as I am, I will–but they are over. Time to say farewell.

Just like the end of a childhood, the end of the book series, while it can be mourned and celebrated, also disappears quickly in the new details, troubles, and joys of the new chapter.

So, no, while my days are not spent on an endless camping trip, hunting Horcruxes, and my childhood is not ending on an epic quest, I am starting a new (very much less epic) quest of my own.

So far, my days are spent going to the movie theatre alone, being a VERY TEMPORARY house-wife for my now live-in boyfriend (a.k.a I get the mail, clean the tub, make dinner and bake a lot…whilst reading and writing as much as I can) and getting lost every time I drive out of our apartment complex.

And I must say, these events are quite epic for me.

Stay tuned for further excitements and trials in the big city! Plus the beginning of my new job on September 1st!

(AND for a review of the final movie!!)

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Insider Interviews

I’ve had quite a few jobs in my young life–partly because I was a student for a good chunk of that, and ended up with a lot of seasonal jobs, and partly because I am always wanting to try out new things.

As you might figure with one who’s had over ten jobs in less than a decade, I’ve had about 3 times as many interviews. I’ve had wonderful interviews, weird interviews, mediocre ones, and terrible ones.

One interviewer said, at first glance, “You don’t look very outdoorsy,” which should have been a clue about what kind of boss he would be–it was an interview after all, so I pulled out all the stops, my red trench coat and brown boots included, even though it was for an outdoors magazine. (I did end up writing for him for a time, and still freelance for them occasionally, so the rest of the interview wasn’t awful, despite the fact, being a novice writer, I hadn’t thought to bring any writing samples. So at least I learned to bring those samples, and to take into account your audience before dressing for an interview).

I’ve also had an interview where the manager angrily interrupted everything I said; yet another where the boss mentioned he’d already met the person he wanted to hire, but his secretary forgot to cancel the rest of his interviews (which he neglected to mention until the interview was over…nice). One interview recently, which I thought went well, ended with the secretary hastily (and quite rudely) hanging up on me when I called later to inquire. Another recent interview, a job I didn’t want but had been convinced to interview for as it’s “good practice” ended with me shame-facedly saying I didn’t want the job, after it was offered to me within five minutes of my arrival.

Lately, I’ve had a million phone interviews, which to me, have pros and cons. For the pro column, I can pace my room and wear my pajamas (although quite a few people I’ve talked to dress up for phone interviews to get in the mindset, but I still prefer my jammies) but a major con is that I’m so much more charming face-to-face. Not that I can’t charm over the phone, but for some weird reason I always have better interviews over the phone with women than with men. Maybe men just aren’t as comfortable on the phone…or maybe my laugh just doesn’t tinkle through the line as prettily as I imagine, and fellow females can overlook that. One of the men also unfortunately heard my mother repeating “fun, fun, FUN!” in the background when she thought I was describing myself, and in actuality I was describing my ideal supervisor. I’m not sure the he knew what to think of a random voice hissing loudly in the background…another definite downside of phone interviews, especially when you live with my mother, who has zero respect for closed doors.

Speaking of fun, my latest interview–just taking place today, for a job in my home town I actually would enjoy–was a new experience for me. I was interviewed by four women who worked there, one of whom informed me it was “the funnest interview they’d ever had.” (No, I didn’t correct her grammar, although I desperately wanted to–it’s a compulsion).

It is a compliment, of which I am very grateful for (it’s nice to be fun after I spent many of my adolescent years painfully shy–I guess traveling has beaten that out of me) but I’m not sure what this means for the job. It’s a coveted position–over 200 applicants–and I don’t have specific experience, just the general variety, so I’m not sure what kind of chance I have. And I’m don’t know if “fun” is an adjective many would use to describe their ideal receptionist (even one at an animal hospital), but when I think about it, that’s really the only kind of receptionist I would want to be, anyway.

Blame the Economy

courtesy of FSU

You might be wondering how I found myself, broke, living in my parent’s basement, with a college degree freshly arrived in the mail and five different loan companies sending me love notes/hate mail.

Well, I suppose when you add that “Bachelor of Arts” then “English” are the words on that degree, I become somewhat of a cliche. Oh, and the words “Montana State University” don’t exactly make the prestigious folk of the world come a-knocking.

But I am really okay with all of this, because upon the completion of said degree in August, I hit the skies and spent almost three months in Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and even several layovers in Seoul, South Korea. Hence the now-I’m-broke conundrum.

It seems a small price to pay to now be jobless and back at the ‘rents to have been given all those sights and stories to add to my life-experience arsenal.

Of course, prior to embarking on this trip, I figured I would come back, find a job, and begin my career, or at least my starter career. I didn’t bank on the terrible economy awaiting me upon my return, that was, ironically, terrible before I left too. (I hear that all over the country, many bright young things like myself are facing this same issue, and my mother assures me that I’m overqualified for all of these positions…who knew I would sometimes wish to be merely qualified?).

Instead of my grand post-travel plan working out nicely (I still have never learned that my plans have a way of falling apart and laughing at me), I’ve spent months on countless interviews, filling out application after application only to be denied an interview or, as often the case in online applications, I don’t even pass their endless, annoying surveys filled with questions like: “When growing up, you never lied to your parents. Answers as follows: Strongly Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Neutral/Not Sure, Slightly Agree, Strongly Agree.”

Well, I answered “Neutral/Not Sure” and that’s probably why I failed the job questionnaire. (I was a good kidI didn’t drink, I barely dated, and I didn’t smoke in the backyard with the dog like my brother–but even I, model Girl Scout and competitive swimmer, snuck out at least once. Although compared to my sister I’m quite the rebel).

It gets me wondering about the future of America. If I, a fairly well-educated, well-traveled and intelligent young woman fail the questionnaire at the Hilton Family Jobs website (desperate), a bright girl without any felonies or any other kind of criminal record rather than several parking tickets, who exactly are they hiring?

Although, they also included some math questions on the thing, so that could have been my downfall as well.

(As I write this, this-one-guy who is a friend-of-a-friend wanders by and informs me all of the jobs are going to the minorities. While this may be true in the “big cities,” and I refuse to discuss this with said fellow, I’m a woman in Bozeman, Montana, where the population is about 95% white farmers and professors and “diversity” means hiring ranch kids from tiny rural towns. Hence, I prefer to blame it on the math/economy. Also, this is one of the reasons I’m desperately attempting to bid adieu to my lovely albeit slightly unexciting hometown).