Now that they’re evicting me…!
I’m counting one my sisters and I did as a joke when we went to Ireland in 2008. The message, which is out there somewhere as I write, says something to the effect of, “Dry Humping – I don’t hate it!” If ‘m not mistaken, it was a call to revolution by dry-humping. We threw it into the sea at Howth. <3
I no longer want a master’s. Prefer not to have one.
For 2 years, I worked hard for a masters’ in teaching, did as I was told, put myself mortally deep into debt, appeared to succeed…and in the last month before graduation I failed the entire program suddenly.
Ok, so sometimes we fail. The whole business smelled funny to me, but surely that was because I failed and my perspective was clouded by bitterness. Right? Probably? Whatever. I accepted it. I came to agree that I deserved it and suck at everything. I mourned my debt, but conceded that 1) at least it wasn’t for a divorce lawyer or medical problem, right? and 2) in all likelihood I’ll die before they get it all back, even if I live long, so they loose, greedy bastards!
1 year later I’m making more than a teacher for doing something I love, which I didn’t even need a high school diploma for. D’oh! Now, it’s hard work – work with the public, work with my hands, my strength, my body and my mind. It’s work nobody else wants to do because people have so many fears and hang-ups that I seem to have been born without. I want to do this for the rest of my life, so suck my dick.
One day I looked at the National Council for Teacher Quality’s review of the program from which I’d been dismissed. Out of five stars, it earned zero. The website gave it a little yellow “consumer advisory warning!” The website provided detailed feedback on a wide variety of criteria, indicating intimate familiarity with my program. It was ironically similar to feedback I’d received on the criteria for my program in the last month of it. Same bullshit-laden wording, same beginning statements with something positive and ending them with news so bad it negates any positives. This was a school with an excellent reputation
To those of you looking for a Master’s degree program – let the buyer beware. Don’t go along to get along. Be aware of all the people making massive amounts of money off of your pursuit of education and taking every advantage they can. Education is becoming edubusiness. People who say “educating yourself is never a waste of money!” aren’t always right. How do you think the lenders and schools have reacted to that folk wisdom? You guessed it! “If they’ll pay anything, why are we charging less than the gross national product of Malaysia?” “People don’t mind paying 6 times more if you let them do it on a payment plan, even with interest!” The bloodsuckers are out there, stopped by nobody. Tyrannizing us. In some fields, the more you know, the better, and you really need one. But for the rest, beware.
Indications of your opinion appreciated. Will not attack haters but harvest their constructive powers. Not interested in drama, only improvement. Thanks! > Neighbors:”
She took a minute to pull her hair back in case it was the cute mailman. She opened the door, but nobody was there.
“Hello?” she said, looking around on her porch. For a minute it was quiet, and then she heard the gentle, raspy voice of her elderly neighbor, who was shuffling around the other end of their shared porch on restless little feet.
“Hi, honey,” said her neighbor, Millicent.
She had chalky skin that seemed to hang from high cheekbones that probably gave her a nice profile when she was young, but she’d put on rouge, a bit obviously. And bright lipstick, and uneven blue eyeshadow. Krystal noticed she’d dressed up – silk blouse under a purple patterned jacket, fingers blazing with jeweled rings.
“Oh, hi, Millicent, are you going out?” said Krystal, her smile a little exaggerated, her voice a little patronizing. Not intentionally – only because she knew Millicent still thought of her as a little girl, and Millicent expected Krystal’s youthful exuberance. It would have been weird to address Millicent with adult ennui, even though Krystal had been over eighteen for nearly a decade. “Was that you at the doorbell?”
“Oh, am I bothering you?” asked Millicent. “I’m sorry to bother you, honey, but is your mother at home?”
“No, she’s still at work. But I can help you; I’m not doing anything right now.”
“It’s Art,” she said. “I’m wondering what I should do about Art.”
“Oh, what happened?” Krystal wasn’t sure how old the couple was, but she figured they had to be getting up there, since they’d been old people since Krystal’s parents bought their side over twenty-five years ago. She hoped he didn’t fall. She hoped he wasn’t dead…she told herself not to be morbid. His health wasn’t that bad.
“He fell,” Millicent said.
“Oh no,” said Krystal. “Is he ok?”
“I don’t know, honey,” said Millicent. “He can’t get up. And he won’t talk to me today.”
“Today?” The word alarmed Krystal, who reviewed her memories of Millicent briefly, to see if any signaled her neighbor’s mental deterioration, any reason she might have left her husband on the floor for more than one day. All she came up with was a general impression that Millicent had always been a nice lady, a little bit in la-la-land, but a capable adult in general. How much did she really know about her lately, though? Millicent and Arthur were always ones for keeping to themselves. She asked, “When did this happen?”
“Earlier this week,” said Millicent.
“Has he been on the floor that long?” said Krystal, wide-eyed, thinking, Oh God, he’s dead. He’s dead. Oh shit.
“I can’t get him up, honey, I don’t know what to do. I tried to get him up but I can’t. I came to see if your mother was around, like maybe she could help him get up.”
Her tone freaked Krystal out. Millicent might have been speaking of a church picnic getting rained out, a minor misfortune she had no control over.
“I’ll come in and see if I can help, but we need to call an ambulance. Did you call an ambulance?”
“No, sweetie, they’re so expensive. We don’t need that. Don’t call an ambulance.”
“What? Millicent, we have to, we can’t leave him on the floor. What if he had a stroke or something? Let me in to see him.” Krystal really, really didn’t want to see a dead body. But what could she do? And besides, it was Art, so at least it would be a familiar dead body, like going to a wake, if you thought about it. Millicent mumbled on placidly as Krystal opened her neighbors’ screen door and took the full flight of stairs up to their apartment two at a time. Right there in the hallway was Art, the thin old man facedown on the carpet with a blanket over his lower half.
“Art! Hey Art, you all right?” she said. He responded with a groan. He looked terrible, he smelled like death, but at least he was breathing. Krystal called the nine-one-one and by the time she finished talking to Dispatcher 41, Millicent had joined her upstairs.
“Millicent, can I call your niece or someone? He’s going to need some help at the hospital, we need someone for the doctors to talk to, someone-” she cut herself off, realizing that the end of that sentence might be a rude thing to say to an old person: ‘who knows what’s going on.’
“…else,” she finished.
Does anyone else look at this goal and think, if only it could be as easy as finishing a marathon or getting the perfect man to be your boyfriend?
Ain’t worth it if they don’t wanna hear from me. Every time I’ve tried they shut me down. Ouch. Screw em.
Beginning weight: 125.8
Log 10/9/13: Walked to grocery store for cat food (30 min of walking). Did 10-min cardio. Lifted weights for 10 min. 20 min of sit-ups, bridges, push-ups, planks.
Ate 5 Reeses pb cups, 8oz pepsi, 16oz tempeh, baby arugula, 1/4 cup goldfish crackers, kale, whole grain wrap, 2 cups blueberry granola, 1 cup cereal.
On second thought, sometimes I go to sleep whenever I want and think about how thankful I am that I don’t have any kids. Students might count for this goal…
Nine months ago, I experienced a significant failure that has crippled my attitude and changed my expectations for my life and my abilities. With one week until graduation, I was removed from my student teaching placement. They commended my intelligence but I was too disorganized and irresponsible to teach. Over the intervening months, I watched twelve really dumb, anti-intellectual, slob types be entrusted with the minds of the coming generation, and it broke my heart, my soul, and my respect for education. Democracy is doomed. How can teachers who don’t think teach future voters how to think?
But at the same time, there has to be something I can do. I was responsible for whatever I did wrong. My life has never had structure or organization; I work hard but I also fly by the seat of my pants. And it cost me my opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society, and to make a living making more than $8.30 an hour with no benefits or vacations.
My parents gave me everything. My country gave me everything. My education gave me everything. I am and have been everything to others. Why can I not parlay all this everything into a life of my own, where my own work pays all my own bills and all my own modest needs?
I will imagine myself to be in every way disadvantaged, as many, many people are. I will imagine myself to be generally stupid. To have a painful chronic illness that nobody else can see, that feels awful all the time. I will imagine myself uneducated, brought up by a parent, or a grandparent… who thought the more gangster I talked, dressed, and acted, the cuter. (Like the kids I was taking care of, I’m afraid). I will imagine myself to live in the kind of poverty that makes showering and heat among my wish list, from a culture of welfare vermin and drug dealer parents, the likes of which I’m surrounded by…but always with just enough me still in me that I thought myself above that mindset and wished to get a job and make myself better….but doing it in spite of the odds. Many have.
Then I’ll imagine one day waking up suddenly comfortable in life, with a loving family, clean clothes, strong mind, healthy body, great education…like Spiderman suddenly discovering his powers.
...and be horrified at how much opportunity I waste, dismiss, overlook…
...and start with what I can do first:
walk the lake with my mother and her friends at 6am.
make and eat breakfast.
clean my room, do laundry, organize my belongings, purge.
set myself a place and a routine that reminds me I’m competent and organized; banish the chaos that’s making me crazy.
print out resumes and letters of interest to have ready.
go have lunch with my grampa and help my mom care for my sick great aunt.
hunt for jobs to apply for.
secure a volunteering opportunity for the meanwhile.
clean downstairs; pick a specific job like cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming stairs.
make dinner for everyone.
talk to my boyfriend.
plan the next day, the week, the month.
I’ll replace the chaos with habits that incubate success; rediscover all I take for granted, and put it to good use this time. In particular I live in apprehension of St. Peter asking me at the Pearly Gates, (or facing my own judgment at the close), “What did you do with the talents you were given?” I must imagine what I wish would be my answer, and make it so.
On the second day I was down 7 lbs from the day before, so of course I was suspicious because my weight is fluid, existing in ranges more than numbers, affected by one meal or one workout or 12 hours without pizza. On the third day it was higher but lower than at the beginning, and I continued noticing that pattern until it was ultimately settled down about 12-17lbs lower than my initial weight.
Then I ate my face off on vacation and it was great. I looked awesome but now I’m back. Time to find a new schedule that lets me run regularly.
Beginning weight: 125.5.
No time for exercise, ever, so it will all have to be diet unless I can get up early enough to walk to and from work a few times this week.
Kicked the 18% interest, once over $6,000 credit card balance!! Now I’d really like to cancel it though because Bank of America, reluctant to no longer own me and my unborn progeny, insists I continue to have a balance of $33. Sure, they’re not having it when i tell them, “I want you to pay me $33 by July 18th for NOTHING.” So why am I paying them?
Also,one of the college loans from way back only has like 273 left on it.
Of course the Master’s program loans have escalated in interest and I owe 68,000 now, which was more than I owed when i had the car payment and the credit card payment, when I made this goal. Funny, I thought the master’s would enable me to pay off more. By the way I make less than $8.50 an hour, I work 2 jobs, and I have a very expensive degree. A fine time for me to finally learn math. :/
My grandmother’s favorite saint, St. Therese the Little Flower, wrote to her sister:
“If you are willing to bear in peace the trial of not being pleased with yourself, you will be offering the Divine Master a place in your heart.”
I’m now in the middle of Numbers. I read about a two-page-spread each night, more if it really engages me. Laws, laws, laws. I wonder if the Bible was early humanity’s only written repository of all knowledge and law that had been ascertained up to the point it was written.
Really looking forward to the prophets, maybe they had more stories. :)
“It’s like that quote I told you about how words are like banging on the drum to make bears dance…I don’t know how to tell you what I want to tell you. Language is so pathetically insufficient…I just sputter meaninglessly when I try to talk to you.”
“Some things I don’t have words for, too. I know what you mean.”
“We have to talk more about this soon. I think about you incessantly.”
“That’s only fair.”
“Is that to imply that maybe the converse is true?”
Last week I played 2 or 3 songs privately for Moof – just a few basics, When Irish Eyes are Smiling, the Orange and the Green, Amazing Grace, that kind of thing. It wasn’t easy. I sounded ok but not great. Part of the reason was Moof’s condition making it difficult to keep my shit together.
She died three days later. Love you Moof. Thank God I did it then. I was not quite up to the point I can play funerals, but when the next big one happens, I hope to be. So I’ll play for Fran and Peggy – and whoever else, Mr. V, Ruthie, they’re all my pals over there…and call it done, and make a new goal to start playing for church and funerals.
“We can go whenever you want, your wish is my command.”
“Oh, I’m good, I’m happy to follow along. I’ll do what you want.”
“I said, remember that after we’re married.”
“Oh and I suppose I should give ya a nice stick to beat me with when I burn dinner, too, eh?”
Happened to find the most amazing teacher and she refuses to let me pay her because she’s retired and doesn’t need to make a living but she’s very committed to passing on the traditions of celtic music and fiddling. Only after we begin lessons do I find out she has taught strings at a large university for music performance for a decade and played the violin herself for a lifetime. What are the chances….it really helps she extremely old-school strict and high-expectationed and you can bet in two weeks I have not practiced fewer than 30 minutes a day. I’m almost capable of being listened to, I can get through about 7 reels and jigs, and I just started!! :)
Totally gonna rip off James Joyce and Scrantonize / 2012ize his Dubliners. Not gonna publish it in my lifetime, leaing it among the bestselling manuscripts I’m going to leave a closet full of when I die. Already wrote two of the stories, Plan H and Neighbors. So full of ideas for others, and having worked over a dozen different jobs in the city & mingled with every local ethnic/age/socioeconomic population in the process & also written for over 10,000 hours of my life if not 20,0000…ain’t nobody more qualified :)