Posts Tagged ‘Financial Aid Office’

Financial Aid

April 26, 2017

Fucking hates me.

But.

I don’t care.

I have gotten a lot more assertive in asking for help from the financial aid office at school, especially since I have had to jump through hoops that I didn’t even know were there to get what I need to get.

After innumerable e-mails I think I am almost there.

Of course there was one thing on the application that made no sense to me, not an iota and I probably filled the damn form out wrong and they won’t give me the money.

GIVE ME THE MONEY.

I need it for therapy.

That sounds a little desperate, I know.

What could be so bad that the lady has to have, HAS TO HAVE, being the operative word, therapy?

Oh, you know, sexual abuse trauma, incest, neglect, physical abuse, history of alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, racism, eating disorder.

Nothing at all that indicates needing therapy.

Ha.

I am being a little flippant.

I have addressed a lot of these issues and I have done an extraordinary amount of work on them over the years and I have done therapy before, but.

My school program requires it as a part of my degree.

And really, it does make fantastic sense, I need to have my shit taken care of so I can show up and help others take care of their shit.

It’s the classic put your oxygen mask on before helping others on the plummeting airplane.

And.

And.

AND.

I found out from my therapist today that my hours with her do actually count towards my 3,000 hours that I need to accrue to get my MFT license.

It’s going to change though, the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) is going to phase that out.

By 2021 you won’t be able to count personal therapy hours toward your 3,000.

And the thing is, I want those hours to count very much, because as it turns out each hour or personal therapy is counted as three.

THREE HOURS.

Holy shit.

So.

It turns out that tonight I went into my Track My Hours app and I made sure that I was using the Pre 2021 dashboard  and I entered in my hours as my therapist suggested I do and voila!

15 more hours.

I have had, after today, five sessions with her.

Multiply that by three and I now have 16 hours.

There is was in black and white.

Valid hours: 16.

Total hours to accrue: 2,984.

Fuck yeah.

I will take that.

This is going to be huge and such a help to be able to acquire the hours.

My therapist went through the same program that I am doing and we talked a lot about the process and I was so freaking grateful to be seen and have my experience validated, especially in regards to the financial aid stuff and when she said, oh yeah, these hours count, you’ll have your 3,000 by 2021, you’ll be able to use your personal therapy and all you need is for me to sign a piece of paper with my MFT license on it.

Such a huge gift to find this out.

And.

She also suggested that I actually do talk to my offsite supervisor about my work as a nanny, considering how much time I have spent in the heart of so many families, that I actually may be able to get some of my child and family hours covered.

I would never have thought of it, I had a teacher who told me she thought nannies should get hours accredited to them, considering how nannies tend to be involved in a lot of family dynamics and bear witness to children and how they grow and learn, that it would make sense to grant nannies some hours.

I mean.

Fuck.

I’m going to at least check it out with my supervisor.

It’s probably unlikely, but hey, I do have over a decade of work with children and families, that kind of work experience should count for something.

And it does.

My therapist validated that today too, that I have been doing this work for a very long time, that I have, in essence been learning how to be a therapist for years.

She’s right.

It’s nice to let someone be right.

It was nice to be seen too, we have a good connection and I am so grateful for the sessions.

I already can tell that things are working themselves out and it’s an unexpected and lovely support of my experience with school and the anxiety that comes up for me when I am dealing with all things school.

I feel a lot more open with what’s happening and so grateful that I am doing the internship this summer, especially now that I know if I can all my hours by the end of 2020 I can count my therapy hours too.

Such a gift.

Just have to repeat that since I want to pinch myself and gleefully clap my hands.

Who knew?

Therapy doesn’t have to be a vale of tears.

Although.

It is also that.

A vale of tears.

I was sharing about a very sweet interaction I had with a previous charge and a gift that he had given me, a painting of my house, where I live, and this beautiful watercolor of a rainbow, “Carmen!  This is where you live!”

In a house under a rainbow, full of color and light and love.

“You had a lot of emotion come up for you when you shared that,” she said.

Understatement, pass the kleenex box please.

“Can you tell me about that?” She asked.

He saw me, this little boy saw me, and I represented love and color and joy to him, that my home, where I live is in a house full of rainbows, and if you have seen my home, well, there might be some truth to that.

What she said next I’m not sure that I could express how it landed, nor exactly what she said, but I can tell you how it felt, it felt like love, that the love in me was being reciprocated by the love in that little boy, that he saw me for who I am and he shared with me what that love looked like for him.

That we saw each other’s essence and what a gift for me to give that to him.

I had never looked at it like that and it felt.

Well it felt.

True.

It was a really lovely way to wrap up the session and I left having felt something big shift.

I don’t have to analyze it or reason it out.

I can just feel that I was seen, I was, and that I am a big fucking rainbow of love.

I’ll take it.

Thanks therapy.

I’ll take the hours too.

Only 2,984 to go.

No big deal.

Heh.

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Waiting By The Mailbox

July 18, 2015

Oh Mr Postman
Give me a sign
Tell me you’ve a letter to make me feel fine
Oh don’t you know I am waiting here for you
Tell me it will be here tonight

It’s funny now.

But man, I was kicking myself, hard, hard, hard, when I got off the phone today with the woman in the financial aid department at CIIS (California Institute for Integral Studies).

I mean.

I was fucked up.

I felt bereft.

I felt idiotic.

I felt stupid.

You may be sensing a thematic here.

I had, once again, tried to figure it out on my own.

Coming into work this morning I had asked my employers if I could use their printer to print off the deferment application for my student loan, undergraduate student loans, so that I could begin the process of not having to pay on them while enrolled in school.

They were super helpful, got me all set up, and I got the forms.

And cool.

Done.

But not done.

Oh.

Wait.

I have to take them into the financial aid office and get them signed?

Fuck.

When the hell am I going to do that.

Ok.

The office has office hours, check the website and, oh, damn, exact same hours that I’m working.

Fuck.

I call the office, I speak to the woman on the phone, I’m not even sure how to phrase what I’m trying to do, but I ask if I can mail it in or if I really have to come down in person, hand over the paperwork and do the deal that way.

“Oh no, you just down load the file to pdf, and e-mail it to us, we’ll sign it and send it back, then you print it off and send it in.”

Oh.

Um.

What’s a pdf?

Ok.

I sort of know what a pdf is, but sometimes, most times, my brain is just not hard-wired that way, things that make sense to everybody else are totally foreign to me.

I parroted back everything she said and she said, “yes, that’s correct.”

Then I asked the big time question.

“When will I receive my financial aid awards letter?”

Pause on the line.

“I was awarded a scholarship and I am wondering when the funds will be disbursed, I found out a few weeks ago about the award and was told by the head of the department that an awards letter would be sent out and I just needed to sign and accept the award, but, uh, I haven’t received the letter in the mail yet.”

She did not laugh.

Let me give credit where credit is due.

She did not laugh or sigh or berate me, I did that all on my own quite handily.

“You don’t get a letter in the mail, it’s in your financial aid account online.”

OH.

OH well, fuck me, I haven’t been able to access that account and every time I try it gives me a wrong password message and contact the school and I am ready to bash my head against the wall.

Except that I can’t.

Because the five-year old is done with quiet time and is hollering a the monitor, “CARMEN! CARMEN! CARMEN!”

Oh jumping Jesus on a fucking pogo stick.

I speak into the monitor and tell my charge I’ll be right up.

But I have to clear this up.

I tell the woman on the phone about my inability to access my financial aid account online.

“What browser are you using?” She asks.

“Um, I’m sorry, I don’t follow,” I reply, turning off the monitor so I don’t have to hear the five-year old becoming apoplectic.

“On your computer, what browser are you using, some of them don’t support the website, have you tried switching browsers?”

Something in my head goes, “click.”

“I use Safari,” I say.

“Yeah,” the woman replies, “the site doesn’t work so well with that, try Chrome.”

I thank her and get off the phone, I can feel the fear choking me, I can feel the panic, and I can feel how inadequate I feel for doing all this stuff.

How in the world am I going to navigate doing graduate school if I can’t figure out to switch browsers.

Never in a million years would that have been a solution I would have thought up.

Most of my solutions take an enormous amount of work and effort and then, they don’t pan out.

Keep it simple.

I drop the stupid.

Especially after I got on the phone, after having retrieved both my charges from quiet time and was feeding them cut up organic strawberries from the farmers market I bought yesterday.

As I express to my friend that I am an “idiot” I hear the oldest boy pipe up from the floor, “Carmen, you’re an idiot.”

I paused on the phone call, “that’s not nice.”

Then I realize, he’s only repeating what I have said and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in his own little way he was commiserating with me.

Now I know better.

And it was actually good for me to hear it from the mouth of a babe, don’t talk to yourself that way.

My friend concurred.

I told her about the interaction with the woman in the financial aid department and how I’ve been literally, I mean LITERALLY, waiting by the mailbox, I checked it yesterday and every day since I received the e-mail telling me that I won the awards, waiting for that letter.

“That is adorable!” My friend exclaims, “cutest thing I have heard all day.”

And then.

I burst out into laughter.

The boys dance around me smelling of strawberries and the sun shines down on me again.

I get off the phone with my friend and attend to the matters at hand, finishing up the day with the boys and vowing that when I got home I would switch the browsers, now currently using Chrome, thank you very much, and get my god damn awards letter.

And yes.

I just accepted everything a few minutes before starting this blog.

It still boggles my mind that it was there all along.

Apparently one can teach an old dog new tricks.

I still checked my mail box when I got home, though.

Old habits die hard.

Ha.

I Don’t Know What To Write

May 19, 2015

I mean.

I do.

I always have something to write about here.

Sex.

Not enough sex.

Dating.

Not dating.

Breaking up.

Being single.

Love.

Work.

Burning Man.

My bicycle.

Rent in San Francisco.

Recovery.

I mean.

I have a lot to write about, not including what ever peccadillo is under my hat at the moment.

“You have a really interesting life!” A friend of mine exclaimed to me tonight, “you do so much.”

I don’t even think about it, is my life all that more interesting than any one else’s or is it that I just write about it well, or is it interesting?

Or perhaps a little mix of both.

I mean I feel like, as another friend in the neighborhood expressed to me once, “you can be all dramatic about buying a loaf of bread at the store….and then the bread, it was AMAZING, and I had this insight and wow, bread.”

I told him to fuck off and punched him in the arm.

But.

He’s right.

I can write a hell of a story about nothing at all, it seems.

So.

The title of my blog has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have nothing to write about.

Plenty happened today.

I worked, I played, I got some recovery, I rode my bicycle, I ate some nice food, I went to BiRite and bought some nice food, I made a beef stew for the family I work for, I played with the boys, I went to the park, 826 Valencia (the only independent pirate supply store in San Francisco, thank you very much) and viewed the fish and dug for treasure in sand drum, I saw a friend and caught up and browsed through all the goodies at Paxton Gate, I finished up at work, covered my commitment, rode my bicycle home, took some time to read a message I got in my e-mail, refused to dwell on it–what am I going to write–took care of some business end of things and took a shower.

Now I am here.

Writing my blog and wondering what am I going to write.

Because it means a lot.

I mean.

A LOT.

Like $30,000.

I don’t know that I have ever had so much hinge on an essay.

Congratulations on your acceptance to the ICP Fall 2015 ICP program!

I’d like to invite you to apply for the ICP Diversity Leadership Scholarship that will be awarded to three eligible students in the Fall 2015 ICP program. This scholarship provides recipients with $10,000.00 each year of the program, a total of $30,000.00 awarded over the course of your ICP education.

The scholarship hinges on three things: financial need, person of color (Latino/Hawaiian Islander or Pacific Islander, check and check), and demonstrates leadership within their community.

I have the financial need.

They received my FAFSA although at first it appeared that they, the school had not, I received a previous e-mail prior to this one asking that I send in my FAFSA post-haste as I was being considered for the scholarship.

Huh?

What?

I sent that sucker in months ago!

I messaged back a few times with my advisor who forwarded my information to the financial aid office and they found it.

Thank you Jeebus.

And despite not speaking a lick of Spanish, I am Puerto Rican and despite not speaking a lick of Hawaiian, I am Polynesian.

The name, hello my name is Carmen Regina Martines, you drank my milk, prepare to die, says it all.

So.

The diversity part is covered and it’s helpful that I am a woman, I mean, it’s not always an advantage to be a woman (though I stridently disagree and could imagine nothing better, I truly love being a woman and I think men have it a lot harder, emotionally anyway, than women do in the areas I find most important–you know all the touchy feely things), but in this case it adds to the cache of my name.

What is tripping me up is the last part.

Demonstrates leadership in community and will continue to do so upon graduation. 

I mean.

I know what that contribution is and I have been contributing to my fellowship for over a decade now and I intend to continue to do so after I graduate and while I am in school and I can’t do school, or anything else in my life that is worthwhile unless I continue to keep giving away what I have been so freely given.

But how the hell to write about that?

I think it’s the “leadership” thing.

I am not a leader in so much as a mentor, a teacher, a person who leads by example, share’s her experience, strength, and hope with another woman and I do loads of service.

But.

I do loads of service to stay sober.

Serene.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

But I don’t head anything up.

Nobody relies on me that way.

If I did something stupid, God please never no, but if I did, there would be someone else to pass the basket and put the money in an envelope, there would be someone else to unlock the doors to the church or start the coffee urn percolating.

There would be someone to unfold the chairs and put out the literature and hug the new person hiding out in the corner.

I cannot put on the title of leader.

I do, however, know that I am important in my community and that I am loved and I feel needed and seen and I want to continue helping and being of service and a part of that is having experiences, sharing them with others, letting people see that I walk through the fear and get to the other side and it’s gorgeous here and you deserve to be here, so come on, let’s go get rocketed into the fourth dimension.

Let’s trudge that happy road of destiny.

Let’s.

I listened to a message when I got home from the commitment before I hopped into the shower; the e-mail taking a back burner–to bear witness to a ladybug and a big interview she had today and how she let things happen and asked to be of service and to let God speak through her and for her.

And there it was.

My answer.

I don’t know how to write about what I am in my community.

I don’t see myself with clear perspective.

But if I can get out-of-the-way and carry the message, not the mess (myself), and write with being of service in mind.

Well.

I might have something.

And it might very well help me pay for school.

If it’s God’s will.

I just take the action and let go of the results.

Pretty simple.

I don’t know what to write.

But.

I do know.

The words will come.

They always do.


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