Work Experience Week 2

photo of end signage

Photo by Ana Arantes on Pexels.com

After a long two weeks, my work experience is finally done! Well actually the first week was the longest ever, the second did speed up a bit which I was glad of! On Friday I finished at 3 instead of 5 because I worked two extra hours the first week. I’m back to college tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it!

I enjoyed the work experience and I actually learned a tonne, like how to answer the phone in a professional manner, how to transfer calls to other departments, how to check rates for rooms, how to book reservations, how to use the credit card machine. I really am stunned at how much I learned in two short weeks.

They offered me a part time job but I decided to turn it down. There are a few reasons for this, and I did think long and hard about it, but I just feel it was the right decision for me.

First was the wage. For the amount of things that the hotel receptionists do there they are paid horrifically. Like minimum wage bad. They have to put up with so much crap from guests and they really don’t get paid well for it. If the wage was higher and was appropriate for the work that they do then I would consider again.

Second was the hours. Because I would be the newbie I would end up working from 3pm until 11pm. And from 5pm I would be on my own until the night porter came in. I know that the Duty Managers are there but they could be in the restaurant or in an office or god knows where, and I would have to sort out drunk/ angry guests on my own. Last Friday the Duty Manager left so one of the girls who was on until 11pm had no one to help her if she had a problem!

Third I just don’t know if I would like to do the job. I really enjoyed chatting to the customers and what not but I just feel that If I did take it then I just wouldn’t enjoy it and I would dread having to go in every weekend. For me I struggle to be happy so I feel that taking the job would exacerbate this problem of mine so that’s another real reason.

I know people will be thinking that I should have taken the job so I could gain experience and what not, but to be honest I would rather sacrifice money and experience to be happy. That’s honestly how I feel. If I was happier I wouldn’t worry so much. We lived in Mexico for 9 months jobless so we got used to scrimping on money so me not having a job isn’t a drastic change. I know it could be the wrong choice but for now I just feel that it was right for me.

My husband is supportive of my decision as he knows how much I stress over things, but I know there are other people (like my Dad) who think I made the wrong decision. It annoys me that I have to frequently argue my reasons for not taking it. It’s easy for people to say ‘Oh just take it, it’ll be good work experience for you’ when they aren’t the ones who are going to work for minimum wage, until 11pm and having to be bombarded with insults and curses by guests. People should just respect my decision and leave it at that.

I’m loving college right now and I’ve been getting good grades, so I hope that when the course is done then I will have a much better chance at getting a job that I would enjoy doing. I struggled with my BA degree years ago so I just want to concentrate and apply myself 100% to the course I’m doing now so that I can gain as much out of it as possible. I want to prove to myself that If I work hard I can get the grades that I want.

I wonder how all my other classmates got on with their work experience?

Aisling

Oh No! Rain On Our Wedding Day!

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Me and my Daddy

About 3 weeks before the wedding, I was a bit obsessed about the weather. Everyday I kept checking and checking to see if there was any change of the endless blue sky. Then I notice…… clouds…… rain……THUNDER!

Yes, apparently on the weather forecast there was supposed to be all of these things on our big day. So that was when I really started getting worried. I decided that I wouldn’t look at the weather until the wedding. I really didn’t want to worry myself. I had the whole wedding to worry about so I didn’t want to add to the list!

So my Mam and Dad came, and the weather was just as sunny as always! I was on my phone one day and I clicked on the weather app by accident! You know when you just unconsciously click on something without really doing it; well I did that and I realise ‘AHH I’M ON THE WEATHER APP!!!’

But then I notice…….. on my wedding was a lovely sun showing up! SUN!!?? What the hell??? Did the weather change??!! Is there really not going to be clouds and rain??? No thunder!?

Seeing this really really made me happier! I was put at ease then seeing that!

So, the wedding day comes and the morning is sunny as usual. At 2pm it’s time for me to get my hair and makeup done. I sit down and they start beautifying me!

Then….. while my eyes are closed I hear a strange noise…

tap, tap, tap

‘That sounds like rain’ I thought to myself.

I open my eyes. IT IS RAIN!

There’s a huge grey cloud overhead, and drops of rain keep coming, faster and faster.

Now it’s really raining. I try and stay calm. It will be ok, it’s only a burst of rain. The cloud looks like it’s going away from us. It’ll be ok Aisling. 

Then, a big roar of thunder.

Oh god, the weather app was right. I can’t believe it was right 3 weeks ago! 

Then to add to it, the hairdressers daughter came back with a hailstone to show me! Even more drama!

At this stage it was still raining and I started to worry then. I wanted to have our ceremony in the nice garden, how will the photographer be able to take any nice photos in the rain? He’s going to be limited to just the restaurant area…. Typical. It hasn’t rained since December, and on my wedding it HAS to rain!

Honestly, it hasn’t rained since about December here. I was just thinking to myself how typical it was to rain on my wedding day.

So, I just kind of resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be raining. ‘I don’t even have a nice umbrella to bring with me’ I thought!

At about 3:25 the rain finally started to stop. The big grey cloud was heading away from us, and I was happy to see the sun and blue clouds appear again!

I was hoping that that was it, there weren’t any clouds hiding from view! At 5 o’clock myself, my dad and my father in law left the house to go to the venue. The weather was back to it’s sunny ways, and for the ceremony the weather was perfect! As if it didn’t rain at all!

I really just couldn’t believe that there was rain AND THUNDER! 2 weeks after the wedding, there has not been a DROP of rain since that day!

People were telling me that rain before a wedding means good luck, so we must have gotten a tonne load of luck! Maybe it’s a good omen for our marriage too!

So, we were unlucky to get rain, but lucky that it stopped in time, but at the same time….. we were actually lucky to get rain…..??!

Confusing!

Aisling

Our Perfect Wedding Day

It’s been a week since our wedding day….. and it went absolutely perfectly! I can’t believe how great it turned out, and from what I heard, all our guests really enjoyed themselves.

I have to say it was one of the best days of my life. You always worry that at least 1 thing will go wrong on the big day, but thankfully for us it was perfect. Although we did have a scare with the weather, so I will post a separate blog about that another time.

And to my surprise, I wasn’t too nervous. I think the most nervous part was when we pulled up to the entrance in the car and I saw the videographer there with his big camera, and I started getting nervous then. I started crying a little (I think it was just the emotions and the nerves getting to me a bit), but then when me and my dad walked down the aisle I felt much better then.

I also said a few words in SPANISH! You know that was the thing I was dreading about the whole wedding, saying something in Spanish. So when I started, I just kind of blurted everything out. I don’t even remember what I said to be honest. I know it was very basic spanish and I just said thanks to everyone who came and stuff like that… nothing special, but I’m just happy I actually did it. Once that was out of the way I was much more relaxed.

Then we did a toast, took tonnes of photos (I never realised the amount of photos the bride and groom have to take) and then we headed into the eating area. There we had a group of Irish dancers who danced for everyone, then the food came. While we were eating we had a mariachi band come in to sing some songs which was nice. Finally we had our dance and then it was party time!

During the party the waiters came in and handed us balloons, masks and party sticks. I wasn’t expecting these and it was a great surprise. Then we played some typical Mexican games. It was such a fun night.

So yeah, the wedding is finally over, and it really wasn’t what I expected… it was 100 times better. My Mam and Dad also loved it. In Ireland all the weddings are inside, so it was lovely for them to be at an outdoor wedding. My Dad also said it was the best wedding he’s ever been to. (Of course he’s biased but it’s still nice to hear it).

The food was also good too, they were good sizes and they were hot. Plus the cupcakes we made were also a success!

I just loved the day and I’ll remember it forever.

Aisling

It’s Nearly Our Wedding Time

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor

Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

It’s March….. and that means our wedding is nearly upon us! We still don’t have everything sorted, so these next few weeks we really have to organise the last details. Thankfully we’re not too worried though.

It’s just scary how the time just flew by. “Oh sure we have 3 months to organise…..8 weeks, grand….. what the hell??? 3 weeks left???!!!”

Both of us will be really happy to get this wedding over though; we have been in limbo since we came because of it, and now when it will be over we can start looking for jobs and where to live. Of course there is the honeymoon but we haven’t even thought about that; my parents are visiting so we have to organise our trip with them. So after they have gone maybe we can scrape a honeymoon with whatever money we have left.

And thankfully, our wedding will start at 5pm until 12am, which is fantastic! We chose this mainly because the venue we are having it in limits events to 7 hours, and you have to pay extra for more time. But I’m really happy with the time; it’s only half a day, it saves us money, and nobody will be too tired from it. Plus I can’t imagine being the centre of attention for a whole day!

I got a tester for my make up and hair too so that’s sorted too.The most makeup I wear is mascara, so having a face plastered with everything really took me time to get used to. I really don’t enjoy having too much make up on me, and I feel I’m going to forget during the day and rub my face! So the make-up really will be a challenge for me for the day.

I know I will feel a weight lifted off my shoulders when the day is over!

Aisling

Learning Spanish Routine; Updated

So a few weeks ago I posted about how I study Spanish and what my routine was. Well, it has sort of changed since that time; I realised some methods just weren’t working, so I’ve adapted it and I feel it is helping me more. Click the link to find my old post: Learning Spanish in Mexico: My Study Routine

In the morning I’d usually do 2 wheels from Duolingo. It’s not too taxing for me in the morning and I like seeing how my wheels change colour when I’ve studied them. I’m going down my tree turning every wheel one colour, so the whole tree will be green/blue….. Then I go back up to the top and start turning them another colour. It depends on the theme/ grammar point in each wheel, but usually 2 wheels will take me between 30-45 minutes to complete. (Especially the harder ones which are lower on the tree, also if I keep getting them wrong).

(UPDATED): I’m still doing my Duolingo, but I’m not doing 2 wheels anymore to make them change colour. On level 2, you have to do the same wheel 8 times, so instead, what I’m doing now is just 1/8 of the wheel, then moving to another wheel. So I do 5 wheels instead of just 1 or 2. I thought it got boring doing the same exercise 8 times in a row.

I also sometimes read some Duolingo Stories, but these are really when I’m in the mood. I don’t feel like they help me much for studying, but some stories are interesting to read.

Then we usually have lunch and I try and speak Spanish, but usually I just eat in silence because I’m not particularly talkative even in English! But this is a good time for some listening practice, as my fiancé and his parents LOVE to talk, so that’s good for my listening! I know I need to work on this though, so I’ll try and make an extra effort in speaking during this time.

I find that after lunch is the most difficult time to study. I’m tired (maybe due to lunch) and just want to take a nap really! So I end up usually just procrastinating during the hours of 2pm-4pm. So again, another thing I need to improve on.

Later on in the afternoon I sort of get my energy back up again and I start studying grammar. I have one book called ‘Collins, easy learning; Spanish Grammar & Practice’ and it teaches basic spanish grammar. What I like to do is read every thing that I’ve studied before in the book, and then start a new grammar point. I try and understand it and then do some written exercises which are in the book. I get my fiancé to go through them and explain to me if I got something wrong.

(UPDATED): I’ve sort of given up on the grammar book for the moment. There are still a lot of grammar points I can’t get my head around, so sometimes I’ll have a look at it when I want, but I don’t study from it as much now.

I have another easier book to use which I switch back and forth. This one is a classroom based book with dialogues and what not.

It’s starting to get dark outside now and I move onto something else. I’ve set each day of the week (bar 1) where I learn 10 new words . So maybe on Monday I look at my calendar and see I have to learn nouns, so I learn 10 nouns for that day. I have 5 things to learn; nouns, adjectives, verbs, tenses and tense conjugations. So first I will learn my nouns, then I will review everything that I’ve learned from these 5 categories. For example,  I’ve lots of nouns that I’ve already learned so I go back to the beginning and re-read them all. Sometimes It’s boring but I realised I remember pretty much all of them just by reading them everyday.

The same goes for adjectives and what not.  I think maybe I could push to 20 words per day, so I think I might slowly increase my new vocab. At the beginning I was learning 30 words everyday and by the end, having to learn so many made me dread that time of day! So now 10 is very easy for me.

So all that takes me a while to do, but It really does help me. I’m not stressing myself if I forget an adjective or tense, because I know I’ll review them tomorrow and the next day, so they will stick one day!

(UPDATED): I upped it again to 30 words but(once again) it got too much for me. For the moment I’m not learning new words.

After this, I might dabble a bit with some listening practice by watching YouTube videos. I usually do this sporadically during the day.

Then, I have a list of questions in Spanish on my computer and I have to write an answer and learn them off by heart. The latest one I learned was ‘Que hiciste ayer?’ …’What did you do yesterday?’. So I try and write it in spanish, and then my fiancé comes and corrects the mistakes. It’s great having him nearby to fix all of my errors! After that I try and learn every sentence off by heart, until I know the whole answer. Sometimes It’s difficult as I’m using tenses that I’ve haven’t studied yet, but I don’t want simple answers, I want answers that are complicated and so I learn new vocab and tenses.

(UPDATED) Although I enjoyed writing out the sentences to the questions, I felt like I just wasn’t remembering the phrases. I would need to read and re-read them over and over, and I just couldn’t remember them. So I’ve realised this wasn’t the most useful way for me to learn.

Sometime during the evening I try and spend an hour speaking with my fiancé about a topic in Spanish. I’m grateful he takes the time out to help me with my spanish, as he’s busy doing his own things.

I might also use another book which is an Irish exam paper. There are two levels, higher and ordinary,  with higher level being more difficult. In it there are exam papers that student’s do for their Leaving Cert to get into University. Every practice exam paper has stories to read and then questions to answer underneath. I enjoy doing this and I can notice they are getting easier to read, especially when I remember reading them while I was in China!

Finally, I like to read at night so I downloaded some free spanish kindle books to read. I really enjoy reading so this isn’t a chore for me at all, unless it’s super difficult! I’ve watched some tv shows in Spanish with the family but I lose interest after a while because I just don’t understand anything. Watching a film in Spanish that I’ve already seen before in English helps though, as I already know what it’s about so it’s not as bad. Plus sometimes a programme/film will be in English with Spanish subtitles, which I would rather not watch!

So I kept some of the methods from my previous and got rid of others. Below are 4 more methods that I’ve started using!

One of the things that surprised me a lot was how much I enjoy writing a diary in Spanish. I usually write one page and a half about what I did yesterday, what I plan to do, my feelings…. you know, stuff you’d put in a diary. It’s helped me a lot and it’s not a chore to do at all. It helps me to practice the conjugations and I have noticed my writing is improving. So that’s one thing I really like doing now.

Recently I’ve started writing 3 sentences with a verb/ adjective or noun I’ve chosen. I’ve just started this, but I think I may stick to writing sentences using just a verb instead of using adjectives and nouns. I can practice with the conjugations of the verbs and that will help me to remember them. I enjoy doing this also.

I’ve subscribed to lots of Spanish speakers YouTube accounts. Tonnes are about them being AuPairs and moving to a different country and telling their experiences. Some of them speak slow while others speak very fast, so I think it’s really good listening practice and it’s ‘everyday’ Spanish that I’m listening to.

Finally, I’ve forgotten that I used to use Memrise to study Chinese, so I’ve picked that back up again and I’ve started using it. I usually do this after I’ve done my Duolingo. I like that Memrise has full, and often very useful sentences that you practice.

So, that’s it, another spanish routine! A few weeks ago I was studying quite a lot, but now I usually don’t do all that I’ve mentioned in one day. I’ve stressed myself out too much so I just do what I feel like doing. Maybe I’ll only do 2 things from the list but I just need a break and not to push myself too hard.

Let me know if you use any of these methods while studying a language and if they are helpful!

Aisling

My Therapist Said…

I’ve been stressing out lately about things…. the wedding, living in Mexico, money, not having much independence… just general things in life. Every week myself and my husband go to a therapist and we just talk about stuff that makes me anxious and what I can do to improve my life. My husband comes to translate because although my therapist understands a lot of what I say, I don’t think his speaking is as good. I don’t mind because I tell my husband everything so he knows beforehand what we’re going to discuss.

One thing I’ve been stressing about is learning my Spanish every day. “Today you need to learn this Aisling…..Oh you still haven’t done it, you’re going to have to do extra tomorrow.”.

Tomorrow comes “Don’t forget you have extra to study today….you’re going to be way behind in everything and won’t learn anything”.

And yet I still don’t do it. So I pressure myself to learn this, do that, write this out, study this grammar, and then there’s just so much that I need to do that I end up abandoning everything.

Then I feel bad for not doing anything all day.

So my therapist was telling me maybe leave studying Spanish for a while and see how I get on. I do want to continue studying though, so he recommend that I to do it in a more fun way. So I’m going to try and do that.

He also advised me just to relax more and do more of what I enjoy. I don’t do many things because my bloody head is constantly thinking ‘You have to study, you have to study… study… study… STUDY!!!.’ So I feel I shouldn’t be watching videos on YouTube because I really should be studying instead.

But my therapist made sense, and from now on for the foreseeable future I’m just going to relax more, stop worrying about Spanish, and just do what I feel like doing. Do stuff that makes me happy.

When I want to and feel like studying then I’ll do it. I’m going to try and not get annoyed at myself if I don’t.

You know it’s just that I know I’m not very good at languages. I know it. I know I need to put pressure on myself. Just doing nothing isn’t going to make the language stick in my head. I’m definitely not gifted with languages that’s for sure. I don’t mind that. I just want to see that my efforts are creating results, and at the moment I just can’t see it. For the time I study and the effort I’m putting in, I’m just not seeing results. My husband says he can see I’m getting better at talking, but I just can’t. So it’s annoying. I’m determined to learn it. I know one day I will speak fluently, but just now it’s difficult.

So, for the time being I’m just going to take it easy, do what makes me happy, and not stress as much. And we’ll see what happens!

Aisling

When Things Bother Me

To be honest I don’t really know what to write in this post. Things have been bothering me lately, and I don’t know what to do. My wedding is coming up and that’s added pressure. I had wanted my wedding day to be a relaxed affair, and not like a ‘normal’ wedding. That’s what I first planned. We were going to have it in our garden in Mexico, turning the swimming pool into a dance area. We were looking at prices for lights, dj, food…. but then we realised that 50 people just won’t fit in the garden, so we had to change plans.

So now I’m having this ‘normal’ wedding like everyone else in a venue; a reception, a toast….. and although I hope it will be a good day… it’s not exactly what I wanted for my wedding. I don’t like being centre of attention, so having a typical wedding day isn’t something I would choose.

I was even looking looking at dresses that weren’t even typical wedding dresses. But then once we moved it to the venue and I realised that yes it’s a full blown thing, then I kind of HAD to resort to getting a typical white wedding dress.

I’m looking forward to the day and then I’m not. I just hope that all will be ok. So that and just other things are stressing me out. Sometimes I feel it was the wrong decision to move to Mexico. And sometimes I am very unhappy with the situation I’m in. Maybe should we have stayed in China? I don’t know. I miss it a lot. I really do, it was my home for 5 years, and I mourn my old life a lot.

It just feels I’m stuck in limbo yet again. This time I’m studying Spanish, and yet again I just can’t see much progress in it. Also I can’t work because if I do get a job then I’ll have to say “Well thanks for the job offer but just to let you know I can’t work for at least 3 weeks in a few months time”. That certainly won’t look good. So both of us can’t look for jobs because we have our wedding.

So this and other things that are happening are just bothering me and making me unhappy, and I don’t know what to do.

Aisling.