Tag Archives: grad school

Sentinel

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Sentinel

Jani wrote a song.

It’s been a tick since she did that; chords and every junk.

(Thanks Jess, I am thinking of you and others)

Sentinel

Even during times of peace….

you’re always watching for the doors.

Allowing yourself to relax and drift,

catch yourself…

nodding off to sleep….

It sends you back into the panic

that you had just pushed back

down into your soul

hidden deep…

You know, I remember what it feels like,

I can feel it too,

But my triggers are limited and peculiar;

not everyday, ordinary things,

everyday…

just like you.  

A blacked out window; an old building next to the sidewalk;

drinking all the memories away  all in vain;

sitting with your back to a door…noises on a television,

children in the street, dog crying out in pain….

Even once you came home….

you’re always watching in front of the cars.

Looking for a change in the baseline ,

catch yourself…

thinking about shrapnel….

Sends you back into autopilot

Running on limbic

our walking talking sentinel

You know, I remember what it feels like,

I can feel it too,

But my triggers are limited and peculiar;

not everyday ordinary things,

everyday…

just like you.  

A blacked out window; an old building next to the sidewalk;

drinking all the memories away  all in vain;

sitting with your back to a door…noises on a television,

children in the street, dog crying out in pain….

Even while you were with us….

You were already good and checked out.

To protect us, you forgot us…

Calculating every risk,

Staying three moves ahead….

Kept you hopped up,

Back to the new normal,

What is it I didn’t hear,

what was left unsaid

 

Sallie Mae AKA The Wicked Witch of the East

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Sallie Mae AKA The Wicked Witch of the East

Dear fellow students, former students and future students:

Please note the following things:

    k

  1. When consolidating your student loans be advised *as they will not advise you* that you need to get a 3 month forbearance while said consolidation is being completed;
  2. When you apply for consolidation, all grace periods become null and void;
  3. Sallie Mae is the fucking Antichrist and when Direct Loans consolidates all your loans into one big giant cesspool of fucking BS; they sell it BACK to Sallie Mae for management;
  4. Make sure you read that loan summary reaaaaalllyyyyy fucking carefully, because if you don’t know exactly how much you owe because of interest and capitalization and it’s a huge number anyway,  it’s really easy to miss 30gs.
  5. IF YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN STUDENT LOANS, DON’T.
  6. FUCK COLLEGE.
  7. Fuck Grad School.
  8. Join the military.
  9. Or the circus.
  10. Or keep bartending;
  11. Or learn Spanish and move to Costa Rica and open a house of ill repute.

 

That’s what I should have done. Yep.

What a week.

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What a week.

This week has or will entail the following:

Graduating from grad school;

Starting a new magical gov job;

Killing my car after getting new registration, new brakes, new tires, battery, filling up with gas and putting most of it on my Les Schwab account;

Learning you really, really cannot afford to forget to replace your timing belt cause they are not chains anymore and those bitches fuck shit up when they break;

Getting new hamster car with an amazeballs warranty sold to me by someone who is from my hometown and knows everyone I know…saving my life and new job whilst putting me further into debt and thus eating any extra money from my magical gov job I hoped to pay down previous debt with;

Realizing that not only does that awesome new car have blue tooth, it has satellite radio for three months and there is a PEARL JAM RADIO STATION!!!!! WHICH IS WHAT IT WAS ON WHEN I TEST DROVE IT!!!! I DIE! I DIE! FUCK YOU, EDDIE VEDDER!!!!;

Cementing my understanding of intention and how bad shit makes way for good shit;

Finalizing my final divorce;

Celebrating solstice in the way pagans intended *wink wink*;

Running away from home for 3 days;

and realizing how awesome my friends are.

Huzzah.

It’s good to be king.

Freedom

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Freedom

I have officially finished the severing of all ties….insurance and cell phone are in my name alone and connected to my bank account, again.

No one can demand information about things associated with my phone/phone bill, no one can guilt me about paying for those things while I am “just” finishing grad school.

Saturn retrograde be damned.

  • I have a state job, ergo I can pay all my own damn bills again.
  • I have an MSW, ergo I never ever, ever have to think about homework again.
  • I again have complete responsibility and autonomy over my life again, ergo there is only myself to consider when feeling guilt, if I so choose to.

Fuck yes.

I am not saying it is bad for people to put themselves in situations where they trust and depend on other people, per se…..

It’s just not a place I like to live.

And it will NOT take me 5 times to figure that shit out.

To paraphrase the words of good ol’ scapegoat Dubya….”Fool me once, shame on you…fool me 4 times….well you know….I won’t get fooled again!”

Welcome back, Just Jani!

tunnel vision

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tunnel vision

As I look around my home and realize (as I take the first breath I have taken in a few months…) I notice a few things:

  1. While most of my friends have complained about the state of their home because of grad school I realize that my house isn’t dirty, save the floors. My overwhelming tunnel vision has led to the demise of my green thumb, ergo most of my houseplants are dead or dying. Ouch. Oops.
  2. Along the same vein, another observation is more about Vancouver, contrasted to living in say, Filer, Idaho next to fields and the canyon, dusting weekly yet needing it daily….I can go for over a year without dusting. Ha!
  3. I haven’t listened to an album in months. I have the same album on my record player that I listened to on my birthday.
  4. My bathroom/laundry room looks like a bachelors. DOH
  5. I don’t give a F**K. YES!

Victory is mine.

 

a change in perspective…

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a change in perspective…

Today I found out that I have no more homework left in grad school. A professor reduced my final assignment to a third of the original requirement and I already had it more than a third done.

Such a great gift.

Anxiety gone.

And I have been panicking about finding a job. I have one. I have been offered a position, it just doesn’t start for three weeks. I will figure it out between now and then…My credit cards might be late. My power might be shut off. But I should be ok.

My kids should be ok. In fact, one just started a job making about a grand a month. The other one will be gone all summer.

Little blessings.

I just need to be thankful.

Gratitude.

Everything is GOING TO BE OK.

 

 

ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I’ve come to the point in my academic career where I am three weeks from being DONE unless I want to be a doctor (I do not.) And while I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I can’t seem to bring myself to close the gap. I am just done. It’s like I am halfway up the stairs to some magical f**king Nirvana and out of breath and just don’t give a sh*t anymore. Screw enlightenment. From conversations with most of my fellow classmates, this seems to be a general consensus;  however the fact that my apathy is shared does not push me through this ONE. LAST. WRITING. ASSIGNMENT.

And I know others are spending day after day, hour after hour working tirelessly on this same assignment that I will put much less work into for probably the same grade.

Bring on the guilt.

I find myself wasting time doing other things that I rationalize have to do with my assignment, like creating a cover page that has fancy stuff on it for my portfolio or coming up with amazing acronyms for the name of a program….Or going on Facebook to ask an opinion on wording when lo and behold it has been 2 hours and I haven’t accomplished anything besides getting lost in the timesuck.

Then I feel guilty.

So to get myself back in the right head space to critically self reflect and develop myself as a professional, I come onto this blog and write a new post or a poem or whatever else I can do to keep my ass in this seat sort of focused on coming back to this stupid assignment…

AND SURPRISE  I feel guilty for sitting on my ass. So I go do some burpees cause I said I would and I do some yoga, then I remember I need to flip the laundry and I haven’t eaten today and then a kid needs something like to be fed or paid attention to or clean underwear or someone texts me or calls me or I check my email to see if someone wrote me saying HEY!!!!! COME WORK FOR US NOWWWWWWWWWWW….then when they haven’t I decide to distract myself with some Game of Thrones or turn on slacker to lament out loud with rhythm and the pretend impressionistic stylings of me as Lily Allen or Amy Winehouse or Nina Simone…..then I walk past the desk and see my dry erase board with its giant letters that say:

TRANSFER SUMMARY DUE 5-31-13

PORTFOLIO DUE 6-5-13

TAKE HOME EXAM DUE 6-6-13

And I feel guilty so I sit my big ass back down at the desk.

I do some amazing work for a few and then decide to check on craigslist and the state website for any new job postings because:

I need a muthatruckin J-O-B!

Like a month ago I need one. And I don’t have one. I have so many bills due in like 2 weeks. OMFG

And the student loans….the student loans are enough to make me contemplate skydiving.

So I feel guilty.

Boo. Guilt is a worthless emotion and has not inspired me one iota to take care of business.

Onward.

Huh, well I’ll be damned.

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Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Most of my life, I have really enjoyed being around people that are very different from me; that being said, I also spent a lot of my life being incredibly irritated with people who disagreed with me and felt particularly defensive. I love being right. Don’t f*ck with me, I will Google that sh*t.

Recently however, I am noticing that I am less inclined to enjoy being around people who agree with me. Like-minded people are not necessarily people who agree with me. It’s been a real epiphany.

They don’t encourage my passionate debate. And that sucks, because it is one of my favorite things. It’s not that I like to argue…Really. I like to learn….Read on…

I’ve spent the last three years in graduate school: the first year was spent in a very small cohort in a very small town. It was nice, I really love some of the people there…others, meh. It wasn’t very diverse, that is for sure.

The second two years were spent in a much larger metropolitan area with people from all over the place. Very diverse. Sounds cool huh?

Not always. Now, mind you, I have met amazing people who I have no doubt that I will be involved with my entire life in that program. But there are others that were in the program that “agreed” with me, but they just made me feel really robotic about my thoughts. I have been trying to critically reflect on this and what I have recently decided is that my learning ends when I am around people who agree with me.

 

And it doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Politics, economics, race, religion, class warfare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, social work, or even something as benign as micro brews or freaking music. I find it much more conducive to the fine tuning of my own opinions, my own truth if you will, to have to understand someone else’s point of view and more thoroughly explain my positions without being defensive. It is a real skill. I like having practice in it and I cannot practice with people who are all “oh, yeah, I totally agree.” 

I’ve always told my kids that if they can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it well enough…go back and study or try again…

And yet, I haven’t fully held myself to that.

It’s nice to be undefensive and feel validated in your opinions. 

But only for a minute. 

Until you look around and realize that you are either surrounded by “Yes, people” or people who you intimidate that aren’t going to question what you say. Talk about boring. *YAWN*

I am really enjoying learning from people who are different from me. I am really enjoying the fire in my gut that lights up when someone says something that gets my hackles up….but learning to control that fire long enough to come up with an awesome counter to continue the conversation? 

Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff. 

Bring it on.

 

Things I have learned in the last 5 months….

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Things I have learned in the last 5 months….

I have been trying to remain conscious of the things that I am learning as I go…specifically about myself as I seem to ignore these sorts of things or distract myself with other things…I used to write updates of this sort on Myspace back in the olden days but then life got the best of me and I started being a robot. I don’t think robots remain present very often because there is no future for them so they just go through the motions unless they are adapting programs….You know like Data on STNG?

Anyhoo, I digress.

I would like to remain aware of what I am learning about myself as I enter this phase of my life that I finally feel pretty confident in my ability to navigate my own boat….

  1. I think I am attempting to live off of bread and butter pickles. It’s a thing. I thought it would get old but it hasn’t yet….C’est La Vie.
  2. Given all the freedom in the world and forcing myself to do things outside my comfort zone, I still end up on the left side of the bed. Where I belong. Don’t f*ck with me, it’s my side. 
  3. I really do still like beer when I am not having to anticipate dealing with BS.
  4. I am pretty outgoing; I have thought I was an introvert for a while but it was just the company I was keeping.
  5. I don’t feel like as much of a control freak when there is no drama. I don’t need to be. I am from here on out a DFZ (drama free zone)….anyone family, romantic, friend, whomever is a constant source of drama go away. Thanks Bubye.
  6. Sometimes I feel as though my true authentic self is more like Billy said than the person people know from my school. *shrug* The ones I let in know who I really am….AN ENIGMA muahahahahhahah
  7. I am a good dancer…unless it’s to Bollywood music. You win some, you lose some…
  8. Horses are still an important part of my psyche. I shall have to go riding and soon…It’s a thing. Although I was recently told that my totem animal is a wolf….which makes as much sense as it doesn’t.
  9. I am adaptable, if nothing else. I really hated the “city” so much when I got here, but I have gotten pretty good at navigating it and the people within it.
  10. I am an amazing pretender, role player, etc. In another life I’d have made a great actor/actress.
  11. In the two years since I stopped smoking, I have gained  back two half octaves that’s right for a total of THREE octaves in my range… WINNING….

the-more-you-know-o

 

DSABASMJ….

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DSABASMJ….

Dear sweet ancient baby alien space monkey, Jebus:

I am about to go to my interview for a job that could potentially lead me straight into a potential future I like, so I humbly ask:

  • Please don’t let me sound like an idiot or a fraud.
  • Please give me the magical Goddess inspired words to wow them.
  • Please let my interviewers be part of the 50% who sees yellow as cheerful, not the 50% who are made anxious by it.
  • Please let me get the right job if it is not this one, very quickly, in time to pay my stuff next month.

Humina-Humina, monkey dust, catholic mumbo jumbo, hoodoo voodoo, sacrificial animal of your choice, genuflection, crosses and rituals, dancing on one foot, spinning around, holding snakes, talking in tongues, holy water, smudge smoke, mecca lecca hi mecca hiney ho, and all that other sh*t.

Amen.

XOXO

Jani