Sunday, June 5, 2011

Internship woe!

Back in March, I got an interview with a Funeral home in Ottawa.
I was very excited mostly because I was one of the few in my class who didn't have an internship and the school year end was approaching quickly.

During the march break, i made my way to Ottawa and met up with the Funeral director at that place. The interview went smoothly and I got them to hint on the fact that they wanted to hire me.
I was thrill, but just like any other jobs, they had other candidates.
I waited a couple of weeks and then called to see how things were going. Unfortunetly, the boss wasn't there, he had left on vacation and would be back only by the end of the month.
So I waited some more.
Meanwhile, my class and I went on a field trip in Toronto.
Where we visited this company that takes care of all the international shipping and receiving of bodies and funerals for the canadian army. It was very interesting, they mainly focused on the embalming part, and dealt with all the funerals for the Army.
 It had everything i was hoping for in a job.
Since I am more interested in the embalming aspect and I love to travel and meet people from different country ; this job had it all.
Unfortunetly, my dream job wasn't taking interns.

At the end of March, I finally got hold of the boss from my Ottawa interview. Only for him to go on and on about how much he liked me and how much I would be a great asset to their company. BUT they couldn't afford to take on an intern for the year. I was devastated, my only hope was gone. We had 20 days left until the end of the school year, 1 month until internship had to start.
I was just about ready to give up.

I then received an email saying that the place of my dream job was now accepting resume from interns! I was sooooo excited, and applied withing the first 30 minutes of getting that email. The next day, I got an email from them saying they were very interested on meeting me and asking when I could go to Toronto for in interview. I told them, that I was starting my exam week , but I was free on the weekends to meet up with them. And I replies back. I was ready to give up....again.

Then we went to visit this funeral home in SF, and my teacher put in the word that I was still looking for an internship. The boss of SF said he would be willing to take in an intern but he was a bit apprehensive because he had had bad luck with previous interns.
I contacted him and on my last day of exam, I met up with him and he offered me the internship.
Not having anywhere else to go, i accepted right away. Afterall, the internship would be in a small town only 2 hrs and half from home, in a french community. And there would only be 3 funeral directors including myself, so lots of room for learning.

I went home for 2 weeks, and spent time with my family before moving up to SF. On that same day of my interview, I went and saw 2 appartments and choosed my future home. A nice 2 bedroom appart. only 2 minutes away from work. Everything was falling into places.

then a few days before moving, i received an email from my dream job saying that they wanted to see me on the weekend for an interview. I was sad to email them back saying I had taken up an offer already and was about to move.I told them, that once I have my license, i may re-applied to them because i was still interested on working there in the future.
They replied back immediately saying how disappointed they were in themselves for waiting so long before contacting me. They wanted to wait before meeting me, so that I could concentrate on my final exams and now they couldn't help but see that they missed out on a big oppurtunity because I seemed like the perfect candidate. And they urged me to please re-apply in the future.

It was a bit bittersweet, because I wanted that job so bad. It was THE dream job for me...but I had to pass it for now.

Now it's been a month since I started my internship in SF and I'm loving it!
There is only 5 employees (including myself) and they are all great.
I am threated like an employee and not an intern.
My boss is very strict though and a bit scary at times. But he is also very good at what he does and I feel like i'm learning a lot from him.
He trusts me and let me do things wihtout constently supervising me.
After only 6 labs, I was left alone to to embalming from beginning to the end. I am also known as the cosmetic lady (since i'm the only girl there and the only one who seem to know how to do hair and make up).
I'm not always sure if i'm doing a good job or if i'm just running around like a headless chicken....but sometimes, my boss tells me how appreciated my work is and how good i'm doing, so that feels good (more like a relief).
I like the town, it's small, friendly, has everything you need within walking distance and it's all in french. Everyone is bilingual, but everyone speaks french mostly ahaha.
I am thinking on joining a choir in september (they stop for the summer). Things are good.
I love my appartment, it's big enough to have people over, but small enough for 1 person to not feel lost in a big house. I'm good.
I still don't know anyone here, but it's ok. I don't feel alone lol.

So things are working out well.
I love my job. It's a lot of work and my feet are killing me at the end of the day but I wake up in the morning happy to go to work.
11 more months to go in my internship!!!

Fundraiser for Japan!

On March 11, 2011 a huge earthquake hit the coast of Japan, followed by a tsunami that destroyed towns completly. Soon after, Fukushima was strucked with a nuclear disaster as the nuclearplants got damages by the earthquake.

3 months later, Japan is still trying to recover from all the lost and damages caused on that day and they still have many more months/years to fully recover.

I was pretty shocked when I heard the news (at 6am from a text message from my sister).
Being a poor student, I felt powerless to help a country that I love.
Having lived and traveled in Japan, I came to make it as my second home country. I wanted to give, but all i could do was donate 5$ to the Red cross...which is not enough.

My sister came up to me with a great idea : A fundraiser!
She came up with the idea of selling "Tsuru" origami paper cranes for 1$.
In Japan, the tsuru represent Hope and dreams.
When you fold 1000 tsuru, your wish will come true.

I remember when I visited the Children Peace memorial in Hiroshima the summer before. All those garlands of tsuru made and given by children from around the world wishing for Peace, Better health, Hope ect...

I thought it was a great idea. So i approached the coordinator of my program to ask if I could do the fundraiser at school. He then approached the person in charge of money for the school and I got the green light.

With the help of a couple of friends, every day for 2 weeks, I sat in the hallways of my college folding tsuru that people would buy.
All the money would be later on donated to Red Cross society and all the Tsuru would be sent to the Memorial park on Hiroshima.

So for every dollar that people gave me, I folded a tsuru.
In the end, We ended up making 500$ / 500 tsuru!

Just a few days before school ended, my 2 teachers and I went to the office and gave the money to the school who then wrote us a check accordingly. We then proceeded to go to the Red Cross's main office in Sudbury and donated the 500$ check on behalf of all the students and teachers of College Boreal.

I got to hold on to one of those giant check and get my picture taken with it. We also got a frame with the Red cross logo and saying we donated to the Japan Tsunami relief fund (which i decided to let the school hold on to it, since It was everyone from the school who participated and not just I).

Right now I have all the tsuru in a shoe box ready to go to Hiroshima. Next year I am planning on going to Japan, so I will wait until then to send them. (It will be cheaper to mail them from within the country).

Thanks for everyone who donated!

Justin Bieber's head

In my Restauration class, we were asked to re-create a full head out of wax.
How is that useful for us?

Well sometimes, we get bodies that have been in accidents, lost a nose or an ear, or got disfigured....and as much as having a casket closed in those occasion seems like "common sense" to us non-grieving folks, most of the time, grieving families want to see their loved one, one last time.

That's where the wax head comes in.
We have to be able to recreate facial structures as good as possible.

So our teacher wanted us to do as our final project, a full wax head. This way, we would learn about symetry, proportions and all that jazz.

Every year, they pick who ever is famous that year and they alternate between male and female. (last year they did Lady Gaga) So we got Justin Bieber. (wouldn't have been any of my choices, but oh well)

In picture, here's the progress of my head.....unfortunetly, I never asked the teacher what was my final mark on that project, so I don't know if I did well or not...but I did get 91% in that class as a whole. So i'm guessing, I wasn't too bad.

 First we get a plastic skull and add on the wax. Using a basic photograph you add the wax at the places where you need "skin" and try to shape it into the right proportion.

 Started off with the ears. Just did basic normal ears, since I couldn't see Bieb's ears from the picture. The difficult part was to make two mirrored ears from the same size.

Starts to shape the facial structures. Add the nose to have a central point to go from. (note : the nose is the part that will change the most throughout the process, simply to adjust to all the facial structure added later on.)

I found a bunch of pictures of Justin , from different angles. That was very useful since we have to work in 3D.
You take one part at the time and work on it, then you blend it with what you already have done...then you work on another part and then blend that one in...ect...often I had to go re-work a part because it didn't fit anymore with the rest. It's a lot of work, but I must have put under 7hrs on it in total. I would put a plastic bag to cover it so the wax wouldn't get too hard.. If the wax got too hot, it would melt and get sticky. So i couldn't work on it for too long at the time, my hands would be too warm and melt the wax. At the end, I drew in the eyebrows for fun, but for the final projet, I smoothed those out coz normally you would use fake hair. 

This is the final product. I'm happy with it, but i was also sick of it, so i decided to leave it as is. The most difficult part was probably to smooth out the surface so there wouldn't be bumps and lines all over.
It's pretty rare we would get to do a full head in our job....but it was a good exercise on how to do lips, nose, eyes, ears, cheeks...ect I'm hoping I wont get to do a full on face in the future, because it is a lot of work!!!