I Get Paid in Chocolate

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have often verbalized the frustration I sometimes feel as a hard working, but salary-less grad student. Where some work hard and receive a paycheck or work hard and receive a pat on the back from the boss or work hard and receive some sort of external motivation to keep them going, I feel I work hard with little external motivation or acknowledgement of my hard work and it can be hard to keep going. (I know, the reward comes later. Yeah, yeah, yeah.)

Many of you know about Tucker, the little boy I work with several days a week (I DO receive a paycheck for that), but I also work with an elderly couple on Sunday afternoons. The wife, Joan, suffered a stroke a few years ago and we work on her walking, balance, maneuvering skills, and other physical limitations. Sometimes, when Sunday afternoon rolls around, I'm not all that motivated to head over to their house, but whenever I finish up the session, I leave happy I came and more confident in my skills and education. But I still don't get paid... Last December, that all started to change.

As Christmas crept closer, Don started pulling out boxes of chocolate and offering me a piece on my way out. Of course, who can say no to this sweet, old man? So I take a piece. This continued for a few weeks, until the piece of chocolate became two or three pieces (Not for me-- to share with Tyler...of course.) One week I was given a half-eaten bar still wrapped in its foil, then there came an entire (unopened!) Dove dark chocolate bar (Jealous, Mom?). Then came the ultimate validation. I know they must appreciate me because on Sunday I received the ultimate chocolate gift: a big, gold, multi-layered, ribbon-wrapped box of Godiva chocolates! Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, truffles, caramels, pralines... I hit the MOTHER LOAD. And I've been happy as a clam ever since!

So, it doesn't take much to keep me going. Apparently, all it takes is chocolate.

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