You know, when something is such a staple part of your life, for better or worse, it’s always going to hurt at least just a little bit when it’s gone.
Tomorrow’s my last day at COPE. When I started working for COPE almost 4 years ago, it was a completely temporary thing. I was on the set of “Religiously Incorrect”, a film I ADed (Assistant Directed) in 2004, when I received a call from a temp agency asking if I was available to meet with a Manager at COPE Partners (COPE’s former name) on so and so date. I was actually offered another paid position ADing for a feature film about a bunch of wanna-be celebrities who end up dressed as Superman or other such movie characters on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Chinese Theatre. But I ended up driving around to different post-secondary educational institutions in Ventura County and the surrounding areas, recruiting students to participate in our hospital-based internship at St. John’s Regional Medical Center.
Since, I’ve made lots of friends at COPE, and a few enemies. I’ve overseen programs in hospitals spanning 90 miles, which sometimes required me to leave home at the crack of dawn to make it to my farthest hospital on time for an 8am meeting. I’ve laughed, cried, been sleep deprived, fed myself possibly the unhealthiest things known to humans. I’ve sat in traffic for 4 hours straight, with my bladder about to explode, and that’s a typical day. I’ve had my decisions praised, questioned, ignored, and told to be downright wrong. I’ve had periods of time where I’ve worked 16-hr days for an entire month straight (then was berated by my boss for not taking care of myself and told to take a 3-day vacation). I’ve sat in 3-hour meetings in the morning, then 3-hour meetings the same day in the evening. I’ve sat in meetings where I didn’t know what the point of the meeting was. I’ve learned a lot…usually from making huge mistakes.
I’m gonna miss it. I’m gonna miss the students I’ve worked with, the hospital executives and my COPE family who have been nothing but supportive to myself, and to the programs. Sure, I’m going to miss the paycheck too (after all, being a grad student doesn’t spell “affluence”), but that’s not really the point here is it?
I’m going to have to cut this short for now, because, in true COPE style, I have an 8am meeting tomorrow morning, which means I need to be up in about…oh…5 hours.