August 29, 2015

Job Corps Journey - It's been...

I highly suggest you listen to this while reading this post. It's roughly how the past two weeks have been here.

The post contains a promo code for Uber, a ride sharing service. Sign up for Uber today with my code and $20 off your next ride and I get $20 credit on mine. Remember to tip your driver [and waitresses]!

So yes, I am 2 weeks into Job Corps and already looking for a way out. I saw it coming but hey, it could be Savannah State [too soon?] so I am not complaining...too loudly.
this is from the 4th floor window in the back

Before I get into it, just know that I will not be able to update this blog as much as I like. Job Corps does not have wifi [accessible to students] and the computers we are able to use are locked, locked and super locked [it blocks blogger!] so I will try to just get a weekend pass and come home every 2 weeks are so to update from home with my glorious 50 mbps connection.

Anyway, getting into it, as mentioned previously, I am at the Atlanta Job Corps Center which kicked off in the late 60s or so and it's in West Lake community. /cough

It's the hood. Let's be honest. Close to a goodly amount of attractions and the like [Six Flags and the Dome are like a few minutes drive] but still the hood. Due to that, I am also unsurprised by the student population.

AJCC accepts male and female students but only houses female students. Not their babies [thought there is an On Center Day Care] just the student. The average age is roughly 17-21 and that's from me asking around and noticing things - like how I am the oldest in the two rooms I have been in so far [I am getting to that story in a minute] and I am 23.

About the age thing, and this is the last I am speaking on this, if you go into advanced training, then they will give you an additional 2 years to work that out. So if I wanted to get a 2 year community college degree, I can do that and still stay on campus and get the bus pass and meals, etc so by the time I graduate, I will be 25. Over age, sure but JC only cares as long as you get in the program by the time you are in that 16 - 24 age range.

All that aside, let me get into my story before I get even more off track. The day I left home, I had a miscommunication. I thought they were going to pick me up. No. I live in Atlanta [technically OTP but whatever] so I have to get my own transport. If I had packed a small bag, I could have hoofed it on MARTA, our mass transit. Uncomfortable but eh, manageable.

But no, I was college packed and college packed is a trunk and 2 bags. I call my mom to pick me up. She tries that and her car breaks down. Frantic calls to friends and family later, we decide on Uber. My mom never used it [I hadn't either but I have gotten a Lyft before]  so while I work on hooking her up with it, she is doing the 'can you fix my car' macarena - babycanyoupickmeup MACARENA yourfriendneedstofixmycaragain MACARENA stoptalkingtomelikei'mslow MACARENA eeeeeeeeyyyyyy MACARENA AIGHT [I'll be here all night]

Uber arrives, the driver is nice, I get to Job Corps. I am met at the door by the Student Ambassadors and led to meet Mrs. G, the CPP instructor. Job Corps uses HELLA a lot of acronyms- I think it's an educational thing - but the big ones to remember is CPP, ILA and SART. The rest are only for stupid quizzes. CPP is Career Prep Period which is basically the orientation part of Job Corps.

Mrs G is nice if very trained. Much of what she says is very much like one of those telemarketing calls so much so that when I met her [and she does this to everyone], she went 'Hi, my name is Mrs/ G, the voice on the other side of the phone.' She pulls me to the side as I come in, as she does the other girls I have learned, and ask me the usual questions: Did you bring knives/weapons? Have any big tats or facial tattoos? Any poisons? Any Sex Toys?

/record scratch

Say what? AJCC is a dorm. There are anywhere from three - five beds per room. So how the HELL is anyone going to get the kind the privacy to use if not clean a sex toy? Who has the balls to do it anyway? Looking at her very nicely made up face, I just kept my questions to myself and said no. I didn't have any and the closest I got to one is reading Oh Joy Sex Toy [very educational link there but NSFW] so there was that.

Interrogation over, the Student Ambassadors lead me upstairs and dump me in the 4th floor lounge then dip. You heard me. /grabs a microphone They. Left. Me. So just new student here derping about with no clue as to what the hell I was supposed to be doing. Luckily, I was spotted by an ILA

ILA are independent living advisors. To the college kids, these are the RA but they don't live on campus. Long hours, sure but do not live there. They are usually the older adults [the youngest ILA I can think off off the top of my head is at least 30.] and the mediate, help people get their rooms in order, inspect dorms, write up people, check who is following curfew, etc.

Anyway, with her help, I get my room, I am settled, get my locker and get a rough rundown of the rules of the dorm. I even have an OT in my room! OT are original teammates or people who were enrolled at the same time you were. I have/had 21 OTs from the start but at the time of writing this, it's closer to 18 and dwindling.

The rooms all have a locker or a closet with a combination lock. Anything of value that you cannot or do not want to keep on you, you lock it in your locker. Laptop, perfume, designer jeans, soap, pads, ANYTHING that you would be pissed off or annoyed about people stealing, you will keep it in the locker with your lock on it PROPERLY.
shit, I haven't had to use one of these since Middle School!

So that's the biggest point of that day and after meeting my roommates, I went to sleep.
center bed with snuggie is me!

So since the rest of that week was monotonous at best, here is a rough overview in bullet points.

  • Mealtimes are three times a day, twice on the weekend - apparently we are all to sleep in, I didn't get the memo. The food is somewhere between high school tier and college tier. Sometimes it's really good - we had crab legs last week - and sometimes really bad - the pulled pork/sloppy joe sandwiches are to be avoided like the plague and the cereal is usually stale - so it really depends on the center. Generally speaking, the only solid option is the salad bar and coffee...and scones. Because orange marmalade dammit. 
  • Try not to spend too much in the vending machines. Yes, it's cheaper than most VMs around Atlanta and yes, the food is gross but it's really better to save your money and hoard the snacks you get during lunch or whatever to eat later. Just no open food - there are roaches and ants.
  • You will be playing the laundry musical chairs game at least once a week. All the dryers and washers fix and break themselves often so go as early as possible [or wait for the weekend]. Also Bleach is banned at AJCC because reasons. The cheap detergent they give you may be alright to some but not for me. I bought Tide with bleach and kept moving. 
  • You will be showered in condoms [male and female] and dental dams. There is no reason to not use them if you are sexually active and no damn reason to have to buy them. They give you bloody MAGNUMS. 
  • You will hate the non-residents. Usually they are most unfocused. There are exceptions but for the most part, ignore them and keep it moving. 
  • To get anything done, you must stay on your teachers/staff. They are busy and you will be relegated to the slush pile if you don't speak up. Also be serious when you do so. Give them a reason to panic and watch your problems magically get fixed with a quickness. 
  • Have a backup plan with your health. Have insurance or way to get your needed medication because AJCC doesn't have an onsite pharmacy and the most basic medicine [inhalers, cough drops, etc] run out really quickly. Asthmatics, there are a HELLA amount of stairs, mold/mildew and an elevator that is often broken/full. Have a full inhaler and all the meds you need BEFORE you go or you will suffer. 
That last point leads to my next post and I will be posting that soon to describe my second week at Job Corps and the medical drama that will have you on the edge of your seat. 

As always, you can ask me questions in the comments below and subscribe to my twitter and youtube channel for more insanity. 

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