I've been busy the past week or two with a whole bunch of stuff. I just came back from a week in Indiana for the Orientation Week of an online course I am taking. I'm taking the course to become an SBB, or Specialist in Blood Banking. Basically, I'll be learning every single in-and-out detail of my job. Hopefully it will give me better qualifications for promotion or a supervisor job someday, which means more responsibility for not a whole lot more money.
The orientation week was... interesting. The point of the orientation was to make sure we had all the materials we needed to start, as well as to get to know and interact with the other people who are taking the course alongside me.
What, what? Interaction with people? I paid $3000 for this?
WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?
Actually, it went pretty well and I had a great time! The beginning of the week was somewhat awkward. It felt like forced socialization, which I find almost as enjoyable as bathing my eyeballs in rubbing alcohol. But the classroom/learning setting allowed me to kind of settle in and focus on the information rather than being normal. By Friday I actually enjoyed talking with these people, which is good because I'll be conferring with them on projects and stuff throughout the year.
I think what helped me warm up to these people was that:
a) I realized that these people were interested in and passionate about many of the same things I was. I could talk shop with them and not worry about looking like a dork.
b) Thursday night, the education coordinator took us out to dinner and paid for everything including alcohol, and I got a little buzzed. :)
But seriously, I was able to talk to these people because I realized they were like me - nerd-ish people who were interested in advancing their knowledge because they wanted to. And they wanted to be there bad enough that they were willing to pay for it. And talking about work with these people led to other conversations where I was able to actually share (gulp) personal things about myself. And it was fun!
Now the hard work begins - a full year of busting my ass to pass this course. Wish me luck!