Tuesday, September 28, 2010

These Are the Moments

I had to take my Interpersonal Communications test last week. I hate that class. It's basically Feelings 101 sprinkled with some GAMES! Because everyone likes to play games, right?

No. I don't. I don't want to go to class and play Jeopardy, or one half of the room vs. the other half to see who gets more questions or Hangman or anything else. I want to go, read the text book, get the lecture, take my notes, and leave. I understand that not everyone can learn this way. It's just really annoying for the people who do, because every time we start in on this, I watch the clock and think how much of my life I'm wasting.

I do tend to journal a lot in that class. It's quite soothing, and I've found myself writing more and more. I think that's a good thing. I feel like I'm breaking a curse.

Anyway, even though I'm just shooting for a two point in that class, I got a ninety on my test! (This teacher, by the way said that not all cultures value interpersonal communication, no one in the world listens critically, and keeps mixing up low and high context culture so no one REALLY knows what she means. Awesome!) I'm really just daring to be mediocre, because this is an ADO and not required for my program. Meaning every hour I spend studying this bull shit is an hour I'm not putting into a hard class that matters.

I did get my second Medical Terminology test back. One hundred percent! Hell yeah! I almost danced with glee. That was just too much awesome. The lowest two get dropped, and so far I'm at 84 and 100. This test was harder as I only read the chapter three times instead of four. The lowest two get dropped, though.

So, here I am, with one more hurdle this week; the biology test. 100 multiple choice questions and seven (maybe?) stations for the lab practical, with forty five seconds at each station, and then three minutes after to go around and second guess yourself! Faaaabulous.

Dr. FireFox (not his real name) let us ask questions last class about the test. "Hey guys?" he said. "I know this is coming as a shock to you, but I really WON'T read your tests and go; fuck you, fuck you fuck you fuck you... I WANT you to do well! I'll give you ever point I can!"

I'm still nervous as hell. He does grade on a curve though. Here's to hoping studying helps. :/

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just Let Me Off the Bus.

It's been relentlessly sunny this week. We're having a bit of an Indian Summer, and while I should be relishing the weather, I'm stuck inside. Not only do I have a Medical Terminology AND a Human Biology test next week (which is a lab practical and a written test), I have bronchitis.


Be that as it may, I still needed to go half way across town to pay a bill for She Who Must Be Kept. I decided not to bother with bugging a friend to take me, I didn't want to hang out at all, I just wanted to go and pay this bill. The bus is only a dollar anyway.

So I got on the bus, got downtown, and made my transfer. As soon as I got on, this bus driver was giving me withering looks. I don't know why. I've only ever ridden that route maybe twice? And neither time I had that driver. I don't think I've actually ever encountered her before, which is rare. I've ridden the bus for about eight years now, and most of the drivers know who I am. They don't know my name, but they know I go to the community college, I went to the high school on the college campus, and I sit and read for most of the ride, and say thank you when I get off.

So I got on, and when I saw my stop coming up, I hit the button. No buzzer went off, and the light didn't flash. Weird, huh? Especially because this was one of the NEWFANCYEXPENSIVEAREN'TYOUGLADYOUPASSEDTHATMILAGE?!?!?!? buses. Whatever, maybe I didn't press it hard enough.

Nope. It was broken. Something.

So I popped out my earbud. "Hey, do you think I could get off at the next stop, please?" I called. Raising my voice was difficult, and I am particularly hard to understand right now because of my hoarse voice and stuffed nose.

"WHY WOULD YOU ASK?!?" she turned and screamed. "You pressed the button! Why would you ask to get off at the next stop!?!? WHY?!?!?!"

...What? Seriously, what? I have no idea what the issue was here. The buzzer didn't go off, the light didn't flash. I just wanted to get off, pay my bill, and go home. I wasn't interested in causing problems. I asked to be let off, because I didn't feel like walking in the sun, which I am ALLERGIC to.

"Well, madam, I didn't hear the buzzer." I said stiffly. "But I will be SURE to let the bus station know about this."
"Good! I'll tell them too!"

Tell them what, I wonder? That she went postal because I asked to get off the fucking bus? I'm pretty sure if I hadn't asked, she wouldn't have zipped past my stop and if I ASKED then, she would have shouted at me to push the button.

I wrote out a complaint (after walking two miles) when I got back to the transfer center. I was told they only take their written complaints once a week. Because that makes sense? And I would get a call back.

I told She Who Must Be Kept too. I guess she's calling herself to discuss this attitude. I mean, I don't understand the issue. I asked to be let off the bus because it wasn't working. I don't know if the driver can see me or intends to let me off if the buzzer doesn't go off and the lights don't flash.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Space Between (Which Doesn't Exist)

I'm writing this in the "cyber cafe" of my college cafeteria. I put that in quotes, because that is a very imaginative term. I am sitting in a dusty, half forgotten closet with too many windows and too few chairs. There are always more computers than there are chairs, but this is really okay. Because we have those broke down office chairs that will spin you half way across the room if you try and scootch over a bit.

The computers are currently running on dreams and duct tape. The ones we have in the "information commons" (read: library. Only without too many books. When, I wonder, did books become obsolete?) are ever so much nicer, as well they should be with that five hundred dollar tuition hike.

However, you can never really get a computer in the libr--information commons. This because everyone uses it for that all important learning tool known as Facebook. Never mind that you are standing there, tapping your foot and checking you watch, counting the minutes until you have to be in class and you HAVE to print out this report. Farmville is so much more important than class. Playing about a hundred bucks an hour for Farmville, now that's where it's at.

So I'm sitting using the crappy computers for my blogging, because that's a much more appropriate use, I think. Yes, I am getting up on my high horse. I don't care.

And I have to say--I HATE ALL THESE PEOPLE HERE. There is no space. People often come up and peer in these too big windows.

I can never get anything productive done.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Mutti!

Today was She Who Must Be Kept's birthday. She turned forty five today. This means she birthed me when she was just barely TWENTY FOUR and my older brother when she was TWENTY TWO! Sometimes it's shocking to me to think that she was having kids when she was a year freaking older than me. I mean, I still watch cartoons. Children? How is that even possible?!?

But, I told all my friends I was busy today since SWMBK took it off (which she never does). We had to go and get her plates renewed and she needed a new license. To my surprise, the Farmer's Market was still going on outside of the Secretary of State. By the way, there was a bumper sticker in SoS that said; Recycle yourself! Become an organ donor! Now, I'm all for organ donation, I even have the sticker on my I.D. But I don't really see how that is going to endear it to anyway.

I got some organic!fresh!local! tomatoes. Three bucks for bigass ones, two bucks for a basket of cherry tomatoes. I love organic!local!fresh! stuff, but I don't like buying it at the grocery store. It always seems to cost a little too much, and I never feel like I can believe them.

Anyway, SWMBK wanted to drive the thirty miles to her hometown so we could go to the tavern and buy pizza. And we did. And oh dear God, it was worth the drive, and the price. (For three people, that's three drinks, one refill each, mozzarella sticks, and one large four topping pizza at thirty dollars.) It was seriously the best damn pizza ever. Apparently they make all of it from scratch.

Also, it turns out SWMBK is really good at pinball. Like, scary good. Like, setting new high scores on the machine good. It turns out she and my father used to go to that same tavern when they first met every Friday to play. She played all through her pregnancy with my brother, until she was too big to reach the buttons anymore.

I wondered if she missed my father tonight. If she wanted him there to celebrate being forty five. But, in the end, when she said it was the best birthday ever...

...Maybe she didn't miss him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Run of Days

The one thing I hate about going back to school (other than the sheer amount of asshatery that my administration continues to perpetuate) is getting up.

Typically, I get up at six in the morning so I can be up at my bus stop at six forty five. It only takes me about fifteen minutes to get ready, but this way I have extra time if I can't find my socks or if I want to make some toast.

I sit at the bus stop for ten minutes, get on the bus downtown, wait another ten minutes to get on the bus to school, and I am there about about seven thirty. I then study, get on Facebook, and hang out with friends until eleven o clock when my class starts.

I hate getting up early. I hate that the bus to school is always crowded. It really bugs the shit out of me. I can't stand people being near me that early in the morning. If I get up at seven, I can take the eight twenty bus in. The bus is only marginally less crowded though. Argh.

I also tend to lose track of days. She Who Must Be Kept woke me up on her way out to tell me I could go and lay on the big couch, then asked me if I was staying home today.

"WHY?!?! What day is it?!?!"
"Oh. No classes. Then yes. I am staying here." And I flopped back to sleep.

I need to keep better track of myself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not Like the Other Girls: A Letter to My Father

Mein Vater,

(Oh yeah, you didn't know that about me. I know some German now. There's a lot you don't know about me, I suppose, not the least of which is my--name.)

I will be twenty one in about a month. Can you believe that? I'll be legally able to do all the "adult" things I've been doing since I was a child. I'm already waiting for a birthday card that I know won't come.

Perhaps I'm foolish... naive... well, actually, I prefer to think I'm just hopeful. I'm probably a little too hopeful. It's led to some pretty crushing moments in the past, and this won't be any different. I know this.

I will be twenty one, and strangely enough, I won't be running to the bar and drinking. I won't be opening my mouth to pour the bitterness of Washing Everything Away down my throat. I am afraid of becoming an addict, like you. Thanks for that, by the way, I love living in fear of anything. Thanks for my addictive personality. Thanks for this genetic code that's buried somewhere deep inside of my skin, I know enough to understand that if it goes off, if I become like you, I am a Goner.

And that is one thing in life I never want to be.

I will be twenty one, and you will finally be Free of Obligations to Me. Then again, I suppose this is really not much of anything to you. You've been free of me since my thirteenth birthday. Except for that brief year and a half when you were forced to pay child support, since you left I've gotten nothing from you.

I wonder, Oh Giver of Half My Genes, if you think of me on October 17th. I wonder if you lay awake, I wonder if you pass by the birthday cake in Wal-Mart and wonder if I'm eating any. I wonder if you walk through a bookstore, pick up a novel here or there, and consider buying it to mail to me, just because I might like it. I wonder if you walk by the birthday cards and think about picking one up for me and signing them like you used to; Love, Daddy.

Love, Daddy. I have not read those words from you in a VERY long time, and I am coming to terms with the fact that I never will again. It's been a long time for me. I know that you blame me for all of this. You told me as much the day you left. You told me that I didn't love you enough, and so you were leaving.

Because thirteen year olds can ruin the lives of grown men. You must have been... Forty two then, I think? Mom would have been--thirty eight? This somehow doesn't sound right. But my calculator tells me this is true.

I've been doing some math lately. You know how bad I am at that, but I have been making the attempt. This isn't the kind of math that you can really use scratch paper for, though. I've been doing some math, taking all the ways you didn't love me from all the ways that you did.

And do you know? I keep coming up empty handed. This shouldn't be a surprise to you, but I have a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach that it is. Most likely. Yeah, you'll be shocked like you always are when I can add up all the things you did not do for me. All the meager things that you did for me--well, they don't even compare.

And it's sick. It's sick that I can do this, and it's sick that I keep doing this, and frankly; I'm sick. I know that now. You have poisoned me, and I am finally opening myself up to bleed you out of me. It is messy, and I am constantly having to look away, but I am doing it.

Because if I don't, this poison will turn me black on the inside, and I'm pretty sure it could just kill me. Not like, literally. It would kill all these Good Things about me that people point out; it would make me a bitter, withered, lonely old shell. Like you.

I never want to be like you.

You know, sometimes I wish you could say you were sorry. You were sorry for saying those things to me when you left, and you were sorry for leaving me in the first place. I wish you could say you were sorry for leaving Mom like you did, and leaving me to pick up the mess that you left. (I never did it correctly. Yeah, thanks for that too.) I wish you could apologize for all the things we Went Without because we didn't have Enough because of what you took and didn't take when you left. Because of what you Didn't Give us. We didn't even get a door prize when you left, like so many other women and children did. You didn't think we were worth it, and wanted to punish my mother, and in doing so, my brother and I suffered.

I wish I could hear you apologize to me. But you're not sorry, and if I ever hear one more lie out of your rotten mouth, I will have to rip it off. I say this not out of violence, but out of honesty. It's a concept you've never grasped, but there you have it.

I wish you knew half of the Hell I've gone through since you left. I wish you knew what I've had to deal with. I won't bother to tell you, because I know what you'll say; "Well, if you had just APOLOGIZED to me...." Because I had so much to be sorry for? Perhaps the only thing I can apologize for is that I refused to swallow your scraps of love and pretend it's what I deserved.

I know better know. I know I deserve better. Better than whatever you wanted to give me. And believe me, it's been a long hard road figuring THAT one out, and I've had to deal with a lot of sick people, but hey... I'm there now, and sometimes it isn't the journey, it's the destination.

I deserve to be loved. I am worthy of that. And I know that first I had to realize that I had to love myself, and I do now. That was tough to swallow, a Big Thing, but I did that too. No thanks to you.

I know that if you could see me now, you'd tell me how proud you are of me. All I can say is; "Why? You didn't help. All that I am and all that I have done is really nothing to do with you." I'd probably then tell you in no uncertain terms to get away from me and stay away from me, and to stay the HELL away from my mother too, for that matter.

I am almost twenty one. I will be An Adult, though I'm sure that I've been one for a long time now. The calendar just now agrees with my soul. I will be An Adult. But you...You are still a child.

And that pretty much sucks.

-Taima Baudelaire

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Well, WE can't change anything!"

I really loathe my college bookstore.

Actually, it isn't owned by my college anymore. We own the SPACE, but a couple years ago, it was determined that we should rent it out to another bookstore. For some reason. Since then, they've jacked up our prices, made really weird rules about returning/refunds, and straight out fucked around.

You might have read my post about book rentals. Well, the thing is, as the end of last winter semester, they had posted a whole bunch of signs talking about renting text books. You could save up to fifty percent! Isn't that awesome?

And trust me, they made it sound like they were doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Like they aren't making money off renting us these books that cost pennies to print. Like they're taking a loss because they JUST WANT US TO DO WELL! They even took out a newspaper ad to tell us aaaaaaaall about it.

That is bull shit.

First of all, a grand total of probably twenty titles are available for rental. That is pitiful. I do go to a smaller college (although this semester we have the same enrollment as one of the bigger Universities in my state. You figure that one out) but that is sad. And don't think any of the expensive books were available for rental. Oh no. It was the books that cost fifty bucks or less that were for rent anyway.

And none of these books were for the medical field, which is my college's bread and butter right now. They do have other programs, but the nursing/medical programs are what really bring home the bacon. They tell us this is why they're building us a BEAUTIFUL new building for all the neeeew labs and nice computers. JUST FOR US! It's still only fifty percent done. They started work last year. It's a nice idea, but in the meantime, they're cramming all these labs into rooms just not built for it, so even though it's to "help" us, we're suffering. Also, this winter a couple friends of mine stood around and watched the construction because we wanted to see how some machine worked. We watched one guy move the same pile of dirt around for five minutes. No joke. We couldn't come up with an explanation for that one.

And by the way, when you go to figure out the cost of your books, which you can do at the bookstore website, they don't tell you how to rent. You need a credit card. Now, it used to be people my age had credit cards. Since the economy shit the bed, that hasn't happened. Anymore, most people's parents aren't even paying for books.

They tell you by clicking through another website. Through their FAQs. On the bottom. In small print.

So like I said, She Who Must Be Kept called the store and got nasty. One of my friends works at the bookstore, and I mentioned it to him.

"Tell her never to do that again!" he snapped. "WE can't change anything." Well, too bad. Then pass it on to people who can, you know? It's ridiculous.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that they rent the cheaper books, because they had to pay out too much when we went to sell them back.

I hate selling back my books too. There's like, a black market for books at my school. They will decide they have too many of one book (because they don't want too many used, they don't make enough money on those) and won't take them back. They'll suddenly change editions (and teacher's will tell you the old edition is just fine, they haven't changed everything), or they'll do an overhaul of a department--which happened with math one year, but that wasn't the bookstore's fault.

Some of us have resorted to ordering our books online. They are wise to this and will wrap books and tape over the ISBN. And if you ask for it, they won't give it to you. You can still search by title, but some sites really need the ISBN for that edition or to be sure or WHATEVER.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Money--What the Hell?

I forgot that people at college like to breathe on other people, and get their nasty sicky germs all over everything. And me!I am a germ magnet! The thing that's going around now is some sort of viral bronchitis. I'm not sure if I have it yet, though. Urgh.

September is a very expensive month or me. There are four birthdays that I need to buy for. And while none of the people I am buying things for asked for anything complicated or expensive, I'm still worried. I always get worried. What if they don't like what I give them!?!?

A couple months ago, a friend of mine had his birthday. I asked him what he wanted. (The usual answer between my friends is a CD, a book, a DVD, something like that. My favorite present to give is a chance to go shopping and out to a meal with me. Not because I'm so fabulous people are gifted with my time, but so we can have quality time together not at a party, all my attention is on them, they get to pick out their present so I know it is exactly what they wanted, and the meal is just what they wanted. I've had a couple friends tell me they really like it, especially because I do it after their birthday, so they know what they got or didn't get and can pick something they really wanted and didn't receive.)

"Money," he said. Money. He looked me dead in the face and asked me for money.

"I am NOT giving you money." I spat haughtily. He shrugged and said that was fine. Money! How could you ask for MONEY!

Maybe it's just because of the way I was raised. We weren't even allowed to ask for gift certificates (with the exception of the used bookstore). We were to give a detailed list of what we wanted to someone who ASKED for it. I hated it! I wish I could have just asked for money, it would have saved me *years* of ugly sweaters, ill fitting shoes, and age inappropriate toys.

You know, it seems like if you were going to ask for money, you'd ask your relatives, and not one of your friends. I don't even know why that bothered me so much! But my God, MONEY! I want MONEY.


I didn't give him anything, by the way.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Never In My Life

Remember that letter I sent to the Dean?

Well, I got a reply.

Not from the Dean though, I am apparently not important enough. Instead, what I got was this (from my financial advisor that I had already been harassing for stuff to get done).


I hope this email finds you doing well and having a marvelous day! Our records indicate that your loan has been packaged and is available for you to accept online. Once you accept your loans you then will be able to order online or go to the book store and purchase books. We understand your frustration at this time and we hope you continue to be successful in perusing your educational goals.

This is what has been done on your behalf; Your Pell review was completed on August 11th . The government will not allow our loan processors to process loans until the Pell review is complete and all of the required steps of the loan application are completed. At this time of the year it has been taking the loan processors 4 weeks to process the multitude of loan applications that have been submitted once they are ready for review. Our records indicate that we received the last step of your loan application on August 17th and that is when your loan was ready for review. The loan processors have to complete the loans in the order that they come in and your loan was packaged and awarded today. We do appreciate your patient in this time and we do understand the frustration you are feeling. Hopefully with your aid in place you will be able to focus on your course work and have a wonderful semester. Again we do apologize for any inconvenience and dissatisfaction that this situation may have caused, but please understand that we are working diligently on all students behalf to maintain total student success. Thank you for your inquiry and have a spectacular evening. If you have any further inquiries please feel free to contact me via email at c*********ll@j****.edu or by phone at --- --- ----

M***** ****

Financial Aid Specialist


From: S***** M******* M
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 4:27 PM
To: C*** M****** L
Subject: FW:

M*****, please review and advise….thanks

Once again, I have omitted names and e-mail addresses because this is the Internet, and I really don't think that needs to be out.

I have never in my whole life felt so disrespected. All I can read from this is; "I am much too busy to address your concerns (because there is no apology for the treatment I and other kids have gotten, or the bus passes! Dear sweet Jesus, the mother fucking BUS PASSES!). So I will pass this along to some poor sap who can't actually do much of anything, ciao!"

What. The. Hell. She couldn't take two minutes out her day to PERSONALLY apologize or EXPLAIN HERSELF???

The issue WASN'T my loan anymore! The issue was the WAY I WAS BEING TREATED! And apparently the way I am continuing to be treated! Oh boy! What is up with this!?!?

This is the reply that I am sending;

Ms. S*****,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your prompt attempt at resolving my issue. Never before have I had a critical matter handed off to a subordinate so quickly.

While my attempts with Mr. C*** and the other staff at your institution availed me nothing, apparently you forwarding my e-mail did result in some sort of resolution. I am sure the college values me as a student, as Mr. C*** so eloquently, if not correctly, presented in his e-mail that I am including below. Might I suggest the college invest in a spell checking and grammar program. Mr. C**** referred to me having a 'patient'. I hope he meant 'patience'. Although, the stress I have endured this semester simply trying to attend may make me someone's patient. I have highlighted the areas in his e-mail that I am referencing. Or perhaps all your staff should audit the course English 131 that all of your students are required to take. It certainly would be educational, from the letters I have received. Although the college may feel that the "personal touch" ie referencing just my first name is comfortable and cozy, I find it unprofessional, disrespectful, and lacking the manners of a big university. I wish you the best of luck in obtaining the university status that we students have been hearing so much about through the grapevine lately.

Second, while your speed to delegate me to a subordinate is applauded, a direct response from you beyond your quick little note of delegation would have been the professional way to handle this matter. Surely a person of your stature has had the above mentioned English course, and perhaps a business correspondence course? If not, might I suggest one, perhaps?

Lastly, I send this communication not out of spite, malice, or anger, but purely confusion, frustration, angst, and hurt. I believe I said all this clearly in my original letter to you. The lack of communication skills that are prevalent throughout this institution need to be rectified. This is occurring at all levels, from your articles in the newspaper ("Wow! I can rent a book!" But it doesn't tell me what I have to go through) to your web based learning that doesn't upload and crashes often, to an instructor, that refuses to use your own own program, and demands we use a completely different program and server to participate in their class.

I can appreciate I am only one of many hoping to have my voice heard. I will not anxiously await a professional response as you seem to be busy. If I do not hear from you within a reasonable time frame, I will be forwarding this your superior, the J***** C***** P*****, and the White House.

Respectfully yours,

R****** B******

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"You have GOT to be kidding me!"

So we all remember the issues I've been having purchasing my books. No, I still don't have my loans (this week or next week. Supposedly. What they're waiting for is the money from the federal government to got through, but THEY want to wait until October because that's a new fiscal year. Don't ask me why I know this) but I had one more book I needed if I had any intention of passing the class.

It's a dumb class, but it's one of those stupid ADO--associate degree outcomes. Everyone who intends to walk out of my college with a degree has to satisfy certain requirements. A communications class is one of them. Because I TOTALLY didn't take two in high school, TOTALLY haven't had years of therapy or anything. I know nothing about communication.

Anyway, my other friend that had lent me the money for my biology books--a class which is not bullshit--couldn't loan me more for my book RENTAL. That's right, some places will RENT college books! They cost a fraction of the price, you just can't write in them and don't sell them back.

Well, I had ANOTHER friend offer to loan me the twenty six bucks for the book. $26 for a college book? What a bargain, what a deal!

I got done with my four and a half hours of classes, which only happens because of my college's computer error that resulted in dropped classes so I had to scramble to get what I could, I went to stand in the bookstore. For twenty minutes. Just standing in line.

I dutifully asked if I could rent this book. "Sure," said the girl. "Have you registered for it?"

"Um, no. I'm afraid not. No one's ever told me I had to."

"Oh, it's okay. I need your liscense or picture state ID. And a valid credit card."

"I don't have one." I'm twenty with no reliable income, why would I have one.

"Debit card?"


"Then no book rental! Would you like to purchase it?" Fuck. No.

"Hey, it would have been AWESOME to read that on the website or actually have it posted somewhere before I waste my whole day in here." I snapped and marched out. I informed my friends of the issue, and then e-mailed She Who Must Be Kept.

It's Tuesday and SWMBK is already having a bad week. This is not a good time to mess with her.

She was on the phone so fast, it would make your head spin. Here's the thing, on my school's bookstore's website; it doesn't state the conditions of rentals. Strike one. In the add they took out in my city's newspaper, they didn't mention it either. Strike two. You had to go to a completely different website, click through two pages, and THEN find it halfway to the bottom in small print. Strike three.

SWMBK told the woman she's not ignorant, we've already got a letter sent to the Dean (which is going to be resent Monday if I don't hear from her by the end of the week. Then sent to my city's newspaper. We'll see how fast things get done then?) and it would actually be pretty easy to add a note about how unhappy we are about this.

She started getting huffy with SWMBK, who snapped at her that if she ran her business right, this wouldn't happen. And she was WORKING, so she didn't have time to argue with her anymore. She then hung up.

I still don't have a book. :/ We're scrambling to find a credit card, or someone with one who will buy the book for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Those Self Appointed Modern Day Saints

The brake line on She Who Must Be Kept's car blew as she was driving it home last week. Of course, we had to replace it, because that's not something you can really just go without, you know?

We got quoted a hundred dollars total. It was more than was in our budget, but it had to be paid. There was no way around it. Of course, being that my life is a funny joke to God or something, the cost was more than twice what we had been quoted. There was so much more wrong with the car than we had anticipated.

We're not returning pop bottles and counting pennies for our dinner, bus rides, gas to work, and bills. The land line is going to be turned off. I do have a cell phone, so I guess it isn't too bad. We got the scantest amount of groceries we could get away with and maybe still eat.

A friend of mine was going to clean out his freezer anyway, so he's passing all that on to me. (Or rather, splitting it between me and kid who's food stamps don't cover him.) She Who Must Be Kept isn't aware of that yet. That should be a good surprise when she comes home from work tomorrow.

My older brother had to hock his x-Box 360. He never really played it anyway, but you'd better believe we heard about how God hates him, and how his life is screwed at every corner, and how he wishes he could just get hit by a bus so this would all be ended. I had to beg friends to front me the cash for my last book rental, which I can't go without because I have a test on three chapters on Thursday. I haven't even been able to read one chapter, so I don't picture myself doing too fabulously.

What's really pissing me off though is that She Who Must Be Kept has been sitting on the damn couch and crying. She'll heave these long suffering sighs about how horrible her life is. But you know, ultimately, she's not the one who suffers. Not only do I have to suffer through this no money-barely any food-sweet Christ, what are we going to do? I get to live through HER and SETH!

I know I'm sounding very woe is me right now, but I feel that way. And maybe, right now, I'm entitled.

I'm so tired. I am just so very tired of picking myself, picking my mother up. I'm tired of carrying on. When does it get easier? When does this kind of madness stop? Everyone is telling me there's a silver lining, there's some magical pot of gold at the end of this rainbow of despair but--where is it? What could it be?

I'll lose weight because I'm so stressed and there isn't food to eat anyway? That I get to learn to be strong and poor now? No, that is ridiculous. The only good thing about this is--well, nothing I guess. I'm sorry, I just can't Pollyanna it up anymore!

This is about the time that I sit down in the middle of the road and say that I can't take one single step. Because I can't. There's just nothing more that I can do. I want to put my head down on my keyboard and cry. I want to crawl under my blankets and never wake up again.

I wouldn't say I'm suicidal. But these are the moments when I think how nice it would be to just--stop. Stop living anymore. I can't help but think how much I would love it if this wasn't what I had to do anymore.

But what's really starting to bother me is that I know no one is going to come and pull me up. There's no one that's going to save me from this except myself. I am the only one I have to rely on. This scares me, because I know my own weaknesses. I have tasted them first hand.

This is one of the nights that I am falling into a Very Dark Place, where the alarm clocks are screaming at me, and the portraits are crying tears of blood. This is the Very Dark Place that I am afraid to step past the tresh hold of, but every time I visit, I'm pushed farther and father inside. This is the place where I lay on the dank concrete floor, and stare and the Eternal Nothing that is the ceiling.

This is the place where I have come to sleep so many times. There are voices, screams, pleas. But this is the only Place that I am able to ignore them. This is the only place that I am able to feel at Peace, but even this Peace is false. I can feel my nails digging into my palms, can feel my jaw getting tighter and tighter every day.

My Very Dark Place makes me wonder why I even bother to get out. The Light is, after all, so very blinding. I can't stand it anymore, not in my eyes, not on my skin, not in my hair. At least in this Dark Place, I know what to expect. I could very easily come here to die. At least in this Silence Of All the Noise, I will find a place where I can cry out to Heaven, to my Divine, and no hear the echoing answer I've been waiting for my whole life.

These are the times I know that I am forsaken. And honestly, I don't blame the Divine.

But at least I'm not depressed,right?

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Letter to The Dean

I've had nothing but trouble this semester. So I wrote the following letter to my Dean of Student Services.

(Names changed because this is the internet.)

Dear Ms. S*****,

This is my fourth semester at J****** Community College. Previous to that, I was a student at The d* ***** Institute for four years. In short, I am no stranger to the campus, the instructors, or the other students.

I regret to tell you of my deep disdain, dissatisfaction, and disillusionment for and with the college and my own education.

Let me start at the beginning, shall I?

I have been fighting tooth and nail for over a month to get my financial aid approved. I submitted my paperwork for my Pell Grant in a timely manner. However, it was cut through a paperwork error. All well and good, I thought, even though if I had been informed say, a month or so earlier, perhaps I could have put in for a loan in a better time frame.

Then I had to hound my financial adviser to get make sure my Pell Grant even went through. I needed desperately to know about it, because I am an underemployed single woman. I still live with my mother, and she simply has no money to give me for college.

I applied for my loan, and have been hounding and harping to make sure that went through. Naturally, the website, the JCC website didn't seem to accept my information the first time, an unfortunate event I am all too familiar with. Two days later I got an e-mail saying all my information was not received. I gave it again.

I was then told it would take four weeks to be approved. I am on the fourth week. Another request on the status told me another two weeks. This is highly unacceptable. Why, you may ask? I simply cannot afford the books required for my courses. Without books, I cannot succeed. I cannot study, I cannot ask questions, I cannot understand the material.

A young woman in Student Services asked me if I could get the money elsewhere. No, I cannot. It does not exist anywhere else. I had been told that previously, the college did book loans in case of something like this. And now, they do not. This is leaving students (I can think of another young lady off the top of my head) high and dry and crying and frantic. This is not fostering a good learning environment in any shape of the word.

When I asked her, frankly, what was I supposed to do, she just shrugged at me. That was very helpful, let me tell you.

Honesty, I can think of three other students who have had something happen to their finanical aid which put them in a very bad position. One of those students had to drop out of this semester. He is now going to be put back at least a semester in getting his degree.

A semester doesn't seem like a long time; but it is. That's another semester that he can't be out in the real world. That's another semester of student loans. That's another semester being here instead of at another university earning the degree he's thirsting for.

I, being that I don't even have my loans through yet, went down to Student Services to at least get a bus pass. What is this new policy? They are not given to students who get finanical aid? Because we can pay for them ourselves? I don't know about anyone else, but I am outraged. If I am getting grants, it is because I don't have enough money to go to school on my own. It is because I need every cent worth of help I can get. And instead of being helped by the college, I am once again getting told to find the money on my own. This is ridiculous. I cannot even begin to see where the logic in this is.

We've been told since we were in kindergarten that we need this higher education. That we have to-have to-have to go to college. And now that we're here, we're getting thrown down, denied and shrugged at. The main buzz around campus is; "JCC screwed everyone over this semester." I know this is not the kind of college you are striving to maintain.

Maybe this letter means nothing to you. But to me, it's everything. My education, my future is everything to me. It's everything to my past instructors, who tried so hard to get me here. It is everything to my high school teachers, who worked with my daily to try and prepare me for this. And most of all, it is everything to my mother, who raised me and prays for me every night that I can live a better life than she does.

-with all respect

R****** *** *******

Yes, my birthname starts with an 'R'.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

These Are A Few Of My (Not So) Favorite Things

I tend to get pissed off about the littlest things.

For example;

I haven't really gone to the store in two days. It's because two days ago I misplaced my tweezers. I do this at least twice a year, lose my tweezers. I love my tweezers. They make me feel safe, and I will sometimes tweeze at my skin because I just love the fact they exist.

I digress.

I lost my tweezers. So if I go to the store, I should really buy another pair. But I don't want to buy another pair, I have like, four pairs. I just can't find a single fucking one. Why should I go and spend money on something I already have so many of?!?

I get all angry when I think about it and decide that I don't need anything from the store. I have gone without flavored water for two days because I DON'T WANT MORE TWEEZERS! Jesus!

I also hate washing my socks. I'll hand wash them. I love it when I get a lovely pair of socks and they fit and they're warm. It makes me happy. (I love silly socks, with like, pumpkins or rainbows or whatever.) But then you put the socks in the washer. And then the dryer. And only one comes out.

No! That's not the way logic works! Two go in, two go out! Unless my dryer is eating them for like, a sock tax, I see no real reason that I should be missing so many socks. And then I only have this one sock. Well, I've got two damn feet, so that doesn't do me much good.

It ALWAYS happens that I find the missing one months later. Lo and behold! Mine socketh! But then the sock that didn't get lost has been misplaced or thrown out. Fuck washing socks. I hand wash them, dammit. At least then I know where they are.

Stupid life.