Posts Tagged ‘Ions Institute’

Taking Care of Business

September 26, 2017

I just responded to my advisor and the head of my Masters program at my school.

I was expecting to get a financial aid disbursement from my school on September 19th.

I didn’t get a thing.

In fact.

When I checked in to see what was going on I discovered that not only was there no money to disburse to my account, well, fuck me, I owed money!

How the hell was that possible?

I mean.

I was counting on getting some money.

I certainly got the heads up from my student loan processor that I was getting the money, and they will be happy when I’m finally out of school and start repaying them, but here you go kid, take on some more debt, it’s good for the economy.


I start to scour the tuition bill and there it is, a charge for $1087.

For a retreat (remember those insanely not relaxing weeks I did at the beginning of my first and second year.  Nothing says retreat like being in class for 8 days in a row from 9a.m. to 9p.m.) I did not attend.

Third years don’t get to go to a retreat, we are in practicum so there’s no room in our schedule for it, and really, there’s no point, we’re three-quarters of the way through.

I wouldn’t have minded it, actually, the place is pretty, at Ions Institute outside of Petaluma, and the weather is great and it’s nice, but I didn’t go.

And as such.

Don’t freaking bill me!

I’ve made phone calls.

Left messages.

Gone to the office in person.

I was told to send an e-mail.

Did that.

Then I cc’d my advisor and I got great support from him, but the business office hasn’t refunded the charge yet and of course, my scholarship monies got released and they, the system, kept the $1087.

I haven’t had the rest of the scholarship money land in my bank account yet, but I will and I hope it doesn’t take to long to get the rest of the money.

I have things to buy.

Like a car!

I really have decided to do it.

I have had a lot of talks about it, done research, done more talking, prayed, ran my numbers and I think I can swing it.


I will be buying the car with some of my financial aid money.

But I will be using it for school, certainly to get to and from my internship and work of course.

This will be the first time in my life that I have bought a brand new car.

I have owned a couple of cars, but never a new one.

Here’s the one I’m looking at.

I can swing the $150 a month payment.

Plus I’ll have to have car insurance, which I figure will be another $100 a month and then gas.

Gas is going to be a lot more than the $1.50 I put in my scooter to fill up the tank today.

I still will use my scooter, but when the weather is bad, or super foggy, rainy, cold, or nasty, well, I will drive my car.

I like saying that, “I will drive my car.”

I have owned cars before, but it’s been a long while.

I ran into my person today very serendipitously, at the Whole Foods salad bar on Market and Dolores.

I had gotten out of my internship an hour early, client cancelled, and I decided to do a little grocery shopping.

I was going to SafeWay and then I felt like, no, I’m going to Whole Foods.

Glad I trusted my gut!

I got my groceries and then we joined a mutual friend and chatted and talked and got caught up.

He’s very behind me getting a car and I’ve been ruminating on my money for weeks now.

I have six thousand in savings.

I have a credit card with a limit of $5,000.

I could, technically, buy the car outright.

I don’t know that I want to do that, I would rather have a buffer for myself.

I don’t want to touch my prudent reserve at all, I’ll be keeping back $2,000 in my savings to make sure I’m ok if something happens and I’m suddenly without income.

But I could put $4,000 if my own money down right away, and maybe run $3,000 on my credit card.

I don’t want to max that out either.

Then I can pay off the rest of the car when I get my scholarship money in spring.

I’ll do the $150/month payment and come spring, I’ll pay it off.

That’s the idea.

I think it’s pretty sound.

I’m going to take a few more weeks, but I feel pretty ready to make a move on it.

Plus, I don’t want to get caught in the rain.

“Doll, I know you’re independent, but let me state the obvious, you’re a woman, go to the dealership with a man, don’t go on your own,” my person said before I left to come home.

And I agree with him.

I will need a side kick to help me out, some one to hold my hand.

I’m pretty confident I won’t be bamboozled, but having never bought a car before I want assistance, I don’t want to do it alone, and I’m pretty sure I can find someone to go over to Berkeley with me and do that part.

I think that’s about the only thing.

That and getting my refund back from the overcharge on my tuition bill.

I feel pretty awesome about the whole thing though, I didn’t react to the tuition bill, I responded, and I have been combing my finances and seeing where I can nip and tuck and get the car.

And I really do feel like I can do it.


A car.

It’s only been fifteen years!

I think it’s time.


The Good News

August 11, 2015

Day one is done.

Twelve hours of classes.

9:15 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Granted there are some breaks in there.

Breakfast was served, and it was lovely and accommodating and the staff here is great and have been super helpful about my dietary stuff–namely no sugar no flour–so I have happily eaten and enjoyed eating. ┬áMy first night, first dinner, not so much, ended up being just salad, but since I spoke with the kitchen, all is well and the food is really good.

Then straight from breakfast into the first class setting.

Three hours.

Small break in that three hours and a lot of listening and note taking and writing and focusing and being present.

Then lunch.

Which was shorter than it seemed, since I was reading during it and also getting help from a fellow in my cohort who is super tech savvy and helped me figure out how to open the pdf file on my computer for my student loan deferment paper so that I could fill in the text part of it and electronically sign it.


Was that a relief.

I was really grateful to have that taken care of then all of a sudden, hey, it’s time for class again.

Fortunately there is coffee on tap.

Although I had to parse it out later in the day, I did not want to be up zooming around with energy late tonight.

I just finished doing another stint of reading as well, just now, before getting to my blog.

Which, I have learned, without asking and I intuitively knew it anyhow, that we are encouraged to take some down time, to do some of our own writing or journaling.

Yes sir and ma’am I shall be doing so.

I need to download.

I need to decompress.


It’s only the first day.

The fear is abating and I am getting into the groove of what is happening and learning the names of my fellows in the cohort.

Lots of different folks from all over, France, southern and northern California, India, Boston, New York, and of course many of us from the Bay area.

Friendships are quietly being made, not all are quiet though.


I want to say to the chatty Cathy in the next room.

Fortunately said lady is not in my cohort, but she is in my fucking personal space.

Grateful that there are quiet hours, which started 27 minutes ago and if she can’t pipe it down by the time I am done with the blog I may say something.


I don’t need to cause waves on day 1.5.

But I will need to sleep.

I got up today at 7 a.m. and that seemed to work for me.


It was not fun to have to wait for the bathroom and I swear the person in the room across from mine heard my alarm go off and bolted for the shower before I could get there, but I got off to a good start and did my morning routine in and around going to breakfast.

My only gripe about the facilities, and it’s really a small one, is that the dining hall and the dormitories we are in are a bit apart from each other.

It’s about a ten minute walk from one to the other and I had to plan on what to carry with me to best utilize my time.

I suspect that is a skill I will be honing very well over the next three years, how to carry more with me, how to best utilize my time, how to maximize time and space to squeeze as much reading in where I can.

A couple of times I even wound up in the class room fifteen minutes early to get a jump, not really a jump, catching up on the reading that needed to be done prior to the class, and that was good.

Most of the students arrive right as the class is starting.

I have been well-trained to get somewhere fifteen minutes early.

I take that time.

I get organized.

I get myself situated.

I feel calm.


I read what I can before the class starts.

This is a habit I will develop.

It is akin to multi-tasking, but just a little different.

The time at meals, dinner too, being a time when I got as caught up on the reading as I could, but was quite sure to give myself the time to sit and decompress a little, to socialize, to sit next to people I had not sat next to earlier at lunch or breakfast.

Time to also vent a tiny bit with my fellow students and see where they were in the process.

I had breakfast with a second year student and shared about my reader snafu, having bought the wrong reader for two of my classes and she shared with me that she had not even read the readers before her first retreat in her first year having joined the school very late in the process and having just moved to the city.

I felt better and ahead of the game.

I never have felt completely out of my league and that is a comfort too.

Plus, one of my fellows loaned me a book that is important to the class I took this afternoon and evening and I spent an hour or so reading it after the class let out.

At 9:15p.m.

That still floors me.

To look up from the assignment and realize, oh my god, it’s after nine in the evening and I am still in a class room.

On top of being in the intensive classes and doing the reading, I also got to write reaction papers in my class, by hand, which was a relief, but man, I wrote four of them for one of the classes.

This is no joke.

This is some work.


The good news.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

I had a moment of exquisite connection in a role-playing scenario where I was the therapist and the client interaction was amazing and I got it, I’m really going to do this.

I have felt that in little snippets all day long.

The contempt I had for certain aspects of the program have completely faded and I am present, accounted for and learning my pants off.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

Time to sneak in a few last pages in the reading before bed.

See you bright and early.

Graduate school boot camp day two!

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