Posts Tagged ‘Diversity Scholarship’

I Got Asked

March 13, 2018

I answered a phone call today, a phone call with a number that I did not recognize.

I knew immediately it was a number I should answer, it was not an odd ball number from Indiana or Wisconsin asking me if I wanted to renew my health care or a telemarketing scheme from some small town in Florida.

No.

It was an Oakland number.

Therefor local.

Therefore, necessary to answer.

I am a well-trained monkey, as part of my recovery I stay connected to people in my community by phone.

I often give out my phone number to complete strangers.

Women!

Only the ladies, thank you.

So that’s what I thought the number was.

A support call from someone, someone who I gave out my number to, some one who I may have recently met.

Happens quite frequently and when I am able, I answer those numbers.

It was not who I was expecting.

It was, in fact a woman, and it was also a stranger, but not from my fellowship.

From my school!

I got the call!

I got the call!

I got the call back to go in to interview for the PhD program.

I have made it through to the next round.

I mean.

I am going to sound a little cocky, but I am fairly certain I’m getting in.

Nonetheless.

It was thrilling to talk to her on the phone and to set up a time to go in and interview.

I will be interviewing with the department on Wednesday, March 28th at 10 a.m.

I have already cleared it with the mom to go into work late that day.

And.

Yes.

Yes, I just did.

I finished it before I started to write this blog.

I sent in the Diversity Scholarship application.

I got my financials together to show proof of need.

Hello.

I could just say I’m a nanny and I live in San Francisco, doesn’t that prove need?

But I sent in my tax forms to be transparent.

And the application itself as well as the personal essay explaining a little bit about me and what I am going to do to further diversity in my community.

I think I wrote a pretty good essay and I just let it flow.

Here’s what I wrote:

Diversity Scholarship Application

My name alone should alert one to the applicable nature of the scholarship, Carmen Regina Martines. I am Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Polynesian as well as Caucasian. I am a melting pot, I am a mix, I am the person who straddles the line between. And in that space I have an important role to play. I have dealt with the internal racism of my family, the white part as well as the non-white part, apparently neither side of my family wanted a “half-breed” a moniker one set of grandparents gave, while the other referred to me under their breath as Hapa Haole, a prettier way to say half-breed.

I am neither and I am both. I have found myself often wondering to which side I truly fall, not realizing that all along I fell along with the Puerto Rican and Polynesian parts of me—at least physically, if not spiritually (your  great, great-grandmother was a witch, my mother told me, on the islands she was well-known and revered). My great, great-grandmother was a midwife and a medicine woman, in other words, a witch. I have brown skin, brown eyes, curly brown hair, wide flat Polynesian feet, a wide Puerto Rican nose, full lips, I have been called a “wet back” I have been told I should go back to Mexico (I am neither Mexican, nor have I ever been to Mexico). I have had my name constantly and continuously mispronounced and misspelled. An Aunt, my favorite aunt on my mother’s side of the family recently spelled it wrong on social media, an aunt who lived with my immediate family for years.

If my own family cannot spell my name, then who can? I can. I lead by my example, I lead by strength and resilience, and I spell my name out to the world and I keep correcting the world until it sits up and listens, I am not here to be quiet any more. I am here to meet the two worlds halfway and instead of being somehow lessened by who I am, I become more. I have advocated for myself to get into the ICPW program at CIIS despite extreme financial hardship when I applied, I won the Diversity in Leadership award and that helped greatly, and then I won something else, I won self-advocacy, I won my voice, the full strength of it and I have every intention on using it, growing it and advocating for others, especially women, especially now, to step into their power and find their voice.

I began that journey by getting sober and abstinent from drugs and alcohol, and though I never felt different __________________, I will say I have felt different in school where I found myself to be the “only” quite often in my cohort. I grew strong first in _____ and then in school and I believe that between the two I have created a kind of crucible for change that I do not believe many have the capacity to manifest. I plan on carrying forth this deep identity and passion, my voice, my person, my experience, forward in my studies to help others embody their own power and story, and also to create new narratives, while not letting the old stories die, but rather to have them inform the new. I do not wish to stare at my past, but rather to acknowledge where I have come from—extreme poverty, neglect, violence, abuse, racism, classism, and sexism, and show how those defects, thrust upon me by others to create the worlds they needed to move through, are in actuality, assets by which I have grown, and grown through.

I have a roster of multi-cultural clients at my practicum (soon to be internship!), some full; some half, some mixed ethnicities, all with their own traumas around diversity. I am so situated to hold those stories and help reframe them in meaningful strength based ways. I believe that the continued furthering of my education will only help me to continue as a strong voice in my community, in recovery, in San Francisco, in California, and yes, I do believe, that it does ripple out, one person to the next, throughout the world, landing where it is most needed and welcomed. That is what I believe.

 

Ta da.

Hopefully that works.

And though, it’s not the essay I was planning on writing, it was what came out and I am happy with it.

And now.

I am happy to wrap this up.

I have done enough work for today.

Supervision, before work, work with a screaming baby (poor little guy has a UTI!), two clients, and all the work on the application.

I am done.

I am good.

I am so happy it’s all in.

And.

I go the interview!

Yes.

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Time To Take A Break

March 12, 2018

I should have just skipped it.

Trying to do more work after wrapping up a fairly exhausting weekend of classes, but no, I tried to do more.

But my brain was not working and as I was getting teary eyed in the Pete’s Coffee across the street from my school I knew it was time to concede and throw in the towel.

I was done.

I was a burnt little piece of toast.

Instead I had a really good talk with my best friend who bolstered my spirits and kept me on the phone out the door of the cafe, into my car and up to the Castro where I had to go for my next round of commitments for the day.

Man.

It was a long day.

And of course, I’m just now remembering that it was Daylight Savings so I was on one less hour of sleep.

I got up at 6:30 p.m. which felt like 5:30 a.m.

In fact, I got up right before my alarm went off to use the bathroom, crawled back into bed thinking I had another hour of rest and then the alarm went off and reminded me, that no, nope, no way, it was time to get up and start my day.

It was a hard day and I did a lot of work to stay with it and I am proud of myself for showing up the way I did.

There is a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed before I graduate and the final projects are coming together and I need to be doing more work around those, but for today, well.

I’m fucking done.

It’s ten minutes to 10 p.m. and I have to be up early again tomorrow to go to supervision before work.

I will say, however, that I figured out one small part of the Diversity Scholarship Application that I needed to do and the problem that was so insurmountable at the coffee shop was quickly remedied when I got home.

Some fellowship, some recovery, some doing the deal, meeting with my person and getting right with God, and voila!

Computer stuff is a walk in the park.

I’m still not doing it quite correct, but I don’t give a good god damn, I did what I needed to do and its enough, I have to remind myself that all that time, the work I do is enough.

I did a lot of work this weekend, I participated in every class, I brought myself forward, I was vulnerable with personal experiences and I used that vulnerability to show resilience and to model how my experiences can be of service to my cohort.

At least that’s what I hope I did.

It seemed as though it landed well, my efforts this week, and I’m happy with how I showed up, although, frankly, exhausted, it’s work, this school program and a lot of that work is process work, processing the experience of being in school, the psychological fallout of my own issues and my own work and then watching the interplay of what is happening with others in my cohort and what they are working with.

It was a lot.

And I’m tuckered out.

I don’t even feel much like writing more.

I sort of just want a snack and a cup of tea and a little video to chill out to.

I have a big full week, of course I do, seven clients this week, supervision, therapy, yoga if I can muster the energy before therapy and work on Tuesday, plans to see my best friend, work, as always, and getting my scholarship application filled out and sent in.

I will finish the rest of the work on the application tomorrow.

Now that I have figured out my technical issues it shouldn’t take more than a half hour, 45 minutes tops, to get everything done and turned in.

Fingers crossed.

The scholarship is worth $5,000.

It is applied directly to tuition.

And I don’t even know what the tuition is yet for the program I applied to.

Hopefully I will be hearing back from the program in the next couple of weeks.

I will either get called in for an interview, or I won’t.

I suspect I will.

The dean of the program had related to me that they generally decide within two weeks of the application deadline who they are going to call in for interviews.

I was told that they’ll make the decision very quickly after the interviews are done and that the entire process is typically done by the end of March.

Today’s the 11th.

I am assuming I’ll get the phone call this week.

That’s the thought, anyway.

And then interview. and then go get my PhD.

Of course.

There will be lots of work between here and there.

I can’t quite hold it all right now though, my head is too full and I am too tired.

So with that.

I bid you a wonderful good night.

And sweet dreamy dreams.

The sweetest.

Long Days

March 6, 2018

I don’t feel much like writing, truth be told.

Habit I suppose.

To sit and write.

Although I’m semi obsessed with a playlist I’ve been making on Spotify.

My head’s just not in it right now, the writing not the music.

I sang my heart out driving home tonight.

Good thing there wasn’t much traffic out there, I did not need to be witnessed in my crazy torch song belt out.

It was a long day.

Mondays are and I have to remind myself of that.

Supervision in the morning was intense.

I had to terminate a client today so there was a lot to cover and I have another termination on Thursday.

It’s tender work.

I’m super glad for my supervisor, he’s a really good match for what I need to be learning.

I have seven weeks left with him.

ON one hand I am rather glad for that.

To not have to be in Hayes Valley every Monday morning at 9 a.m. is going to be a relief, to avoid rush hour morning commuter, that would be divine.

I will miss his guidance though, he’s hyper intelligent and has an amazing way of showing me how therapy works.

He also believes that I am a good therapist, kick ass in his words, and that’s nice.

Although I would probably never say that to him when he’s got a critique of my technique or the work I’m doing with clients, I think he’d give me quite the look, “hey, don’t you remember when you said I was a kick ass therapist?”

No?

Heh.

We did a fuck load of work today it felt like two sessions packed into one.

I covered a lot of client material.

And then I got assigned a new client.

Whew.

My head was a little spun today.

Distracted and not really present.

I did try to get grounded and I was able to sneak in a shopping trip to the grocery store in between work and supervision, which was so helpful, I shouldn’t have to do any more shopping before the upcoming school weekend.

Gah.

I am exhausted thinking about that.

I’m not ready.

I have to write another paper and I have a bit more reading to do.

I am tired.

And it’s Monday.

And.

The mom reached out and asked me to come in early again on Wednesday, so that’s a ten-hour day.

After a twelve-hour day, today, an eleven hour day tomorrow, which might morph to a twelve hour day, I have a homework assignment to speak with a licensed MFT and that’s tomorrow after I wrap with clients.

Sigh.

I’ll get it all done.

And maybe going in early on Wednesday isn’t such a bad thing, I can take my laptop with me and do some work while the baby is napping.

Fingers crossed that neither of the older kids are home sick from school.

If I just have the baby for the first half of the day I could actually do some homework at work while he naps.

I did manage to get a little bit of reading done today and I found another source of material for the annotated bibliography I have to put together for the class.

This is the kind of crap I’m not good at.

Actually.

That’s not true.

I am good at most academic work, I just don’t find this interesting and when I am bored with a topic I’m not compelled to do the work.

But.

Well.

Fuck.

It’s a required and I’m almost halfway there, halfway through this final semester.

I’m ready for a break.

I know.

I know.

I just applied to a PhD program, but hey, there’s the summer to come.

Still waiting on my friend’s parents to get back to her, by the way, regarding buying tickets to Paris.

I stopped looking.

I’m just going to sit and wait until she reaches out.

I’m willing to spend what needs to be spent.

I don’t need to obsess on when I buy them.

I have realized though that I won’t be able to do the dream work seminar and retreat that I was going to go on withe some friends in my cohort, it would mean unpaid time off and I’m just not going to do that right now.

I will have to take unpaid time off if I get into the PhD program as there’s a retreat that starts out the program in the fall, but aside from that I really won’t be taking any other time off except for when the family is on vacation.

Who am I to complain?

I’m going to get five weeks off paid.

I won’t mind having an unpaid week off to pursue my educational goals.

I can hardly believe it sometimes.

I got notification today that my last set of transcripts were sent out to the school today.

Which means they department will have all my materials soon and can process my application.

Shit.

Ugh.

I almost forgot.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

I need to apply to the Diversity Scholarship.

It’s five thousand dollars.

I can really use that.

Five thousand less in student loans is nothing to sneeze at.

When the fuck am I going to get that done?

The application deadline is March 15th.

That gives me ten days.

Sigh.

I’ll get it done.

Oof.

I am tired.

I was going to go to yoga in the morning before therapy.

I think I may skip it and just let myself get some rest.

Even just a half hour is going to do me well.

And with that.

I am going to bid you adieu.

I am tuckered out.

Seriously.

 

 

There Are No Words

June 23, 2015

I mean.

Really.

There are no words.

So.

I’ll let the e-mail speak for itself while I try to catch my breath and let my tea cool off enough to sip on it.

Spontaneous crying may happen at any point in the writing of this blog, FYI.

To wit this is the e-mail I opened an hour ago:

Dear Carmen,

Congratulations!  On behalf of the California Institute of Integral Studies Diversity Leadership Scholarship Committee, I’m happy to inform you that you’ve been selected as a recipient of the J.C. Kellogg Integral Counseling Psychology Scholarship. This scholarship provides recipients with $10,000.00 per school year for the 3 years of the ICP/W Programs.

The Financial Aid office will be sending you a revised Awards Package in which this scholarship will be included.

Wishing you all the best!

With warm regards, Pauline

Pauline E. Reif, MA, MFA

Admissions Counselor

California Institute of Integral Studies

I can barely breathe.

I don’t have to take out student loans.

ANY.

NOT A FREAKING ONE.

The Opportunity Scholarship I was awarded was for tuition solely, nothing to sneeze at, let me remind you–$50,000–basically paying, directly, my first four semesters of six semesters of tuition.

Now.

To get this.

To be recognized again.

I.

Oh.

There’s the tears.

Pause.

Breathe.

This means that I won’t as I said, have to take out any additional student loans, suffice to say I am still paying on my undergraduate student loans, $32,000 left on that.

Anyone feeling like paying those off, you just let me know.

It’s the only debt I have.

No credit cards, no scooter payments, no words, no freaking words.

I called my best friend and relayed the news and she said I should run around barefoot in the grass like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

She, Julie Andrews character, was a nanny too!

Nanny’s be getting it on.

I kicked off my flip-flops, tumbled down the flagstone steps and ran around the paddock of grass that encircles the back of the house here at Stone Tree–laughing, crying, sharing with my friend the news, slightly hysterical, definitely giddy.

Normally I would have read that e-mail much sooner, but I have been busy with the little boy wrangling and the swimming and the black berry picking and the wild plum harvest and the walking the dog and taking pictures and soaking up the sun.

It wasn’t until I was sitting on the back patio, all the boys fed, watching a movie with the parents, that I picked up my phone to check my messages and to have a cup of tea while the sun set, golden spiced and delicious, fingers of shadows blue indigo ripe and full of barn swallows reveling in their dinner at dusk.

I was also texting with a friend, said friend who I get to see on Friday in LA for much museum sightings and plain old celebrations.

Seriously.

I get to celebrate more.

I don’t know how to do that, I am so overwhelmed with it, but I do know how to be grateful, I do know how to humbly accept with thanks the gifts that have been given to me, I get to see how important it is that I walk through these doors and take these gifts and share them with my fellows, my community, my family.

I just.

Whew.

Lost my train of thought.

Trying to breathe and take it all in.

It’s a lot to take in.

And.

Knowing, having the faith that once I started the process that I just had to continue to show up, one day at a time, one moment, giving my best in each moment, being utterly present and myself.

Life is going to happen.

But life without more student loans is also going to happen.

I am so honored.

I’m going to work so hard.

I’m still going to work for my family, of course, I just found out that I won a full ride to school, not a full ride to live in San Francisco.

I make enough working full-time at what I do to live a sweet, comfortable life, with good food in my fridge, a snick of money in my savings account for emergencies and the basics pretty well covered.

My rent and cost of living is below average in San Francisco.

I’m going to have to work, but I won’t have to work as much.

And since the family is going to only need me part-time when the boys are both in matriculation one in pre-school and the other in kindergarten; it works out that I have the right work environment to support my graduates school endeavors.

I won’t have to take out student loans, I won’t have to take out student loans, I won’t have to take out student loans.

Pardon me.

I am crying again.

I spent the day gamboling with the dog, picking blackberries, digging trenches with the boys, playing tag, swimming, it’s a nice pool I felt so happy to be in the water, I even did a few laps and I suspect that I will do a solo swim on my own at some point.

Maybe even tonight when the families get all the boys tucked in for the night.

I will definitely go outside and watch the stars and let the tears fall and though I am alone, I know I am not lonely.

I have friends.

I have family.

I have support and love and kindness immeasurable in my life.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

And I get to go to LA?

Please.

Who is this woman?

I was talking to my person earlier today as I walked through the garden, checking out if any of the produce was ready to be picked, nothing yet, but some fresh herbs and the berries and plums, which I was happy to just pop into my mouth, and I expressed that I was so astounded by my life.

And this was before I got the second scholarship news.

I saw this arc of my life, this huge parabola of experiences that I have had and marveled, utterly marveled at how I have come this far.

So far.

From being in the back of that VW Bug when I was four, running across country, with my mom and her boyfriend, my little sister and two cats (and let us not forget the large screen television set that took up half of the back seat–which was why I was in the nook between the back seat and the window, my nest of pillows bolstering my view of the passing sky) running away from an eviction, to another uncertain and tenuous beginning for my mom back in Wisconsin.

To now.

The drive up here to Sonoma, the sun, the color of the sky, the dusty grass-covered hills, the spreading oaks and my heart, so full, so open to everything.

And then this?!

Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

I really have no words.

Even though I just wrote a 1200 word blog.

Bahahahahaha.

Thank you God.

Thank you friends, family, community, my fellowship, my employers, everyone.

Thank you everyone.

I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

And where I’m going isn’t worth going without you too.

I heart you to the moon and back a 1,000 times.

I love you “this big.”

I mean.

THIS BIG.

SO BIG.

So very big.

There are no words.


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