Posts Tagged ‘tuition’

Buried Alive

August 29, 2019

This is it folks.

You may not see or hear from me in weeks.

In fact.

I am already askance at myself for not throwing myself headlong into some reading, writing, researching, or the other.

Why, I’m writing my blog when there is a shit ton, a fuck ton, a whole lot of things to do this semester.

I knew that at my intensive, when just after two days of one class I realized that class alone was going to be a full time job.

Then.

Add in two more classes.

One is “light,” like I only have to read five books.

But the other is fairly substantial and I am thinking about using the work in progress project to write a potential publishable paper.

I get ahead of myself, but it was suggested that I might want to do that by a fellow who’s on the three year course track.

He listened to my project and was like, “you should publish that,” then told me how to do it, then approached my professor and told him what we had discussed and the professor liked it!

Holy fuck.

Anyway.

One day back from the intensive and I haven’t done a lot, although I have done plenty.

Since I have been back I have had supervision, seen 7 clients, worked a nanny shift, went grocery shopping, did laundry, and food prepped for the week.

That in and of itself is full time work.

Then, today at work, while the little guy napped (why oh why have his naps grown shorter!?) I plugged in all the due dates and assignments and readings that I needed to do over the semester into my Google calendar.

My calendar looks crazy.

It looks like every spare minute has been accounted for until mid December when the semester ends.

I sense the days are going to fly by because they will all be so very full with the work that I have to do.

I have a lot to do.

This is by far the heaviest work load.

And.

In a sense the most clear cut.

I figured out who I want to be my chair for my PhD dissertation committee and I also asked said person, or at least gave him the heads up.

It will still have to go through the channels and what not, but I know who I want and I believe he wants to work with me.

Plus.

I asked another person to be on my committee and she said yes.

So, that’s positive.

Granted, I can’t actually assign anyone to my committee without my chair’s approval.

So first the chair.

That will officially happen in November.

But I interviewed with three professors at the intensive and with each one I talk substantively about what I am doing and what my inquiry is and how I want to pursue the work.

Two of the professors I talked to for an hour.

One professor I only got to catch for ten minutes between classes, but she was ecstatic with my idea and really impressed with how I’m going about it.

She recommended that I sit in on a former TA’s dissertation defense, which I did and she was the person I asked to be my second committee member.

The professor also suggested I take her elective in Spring, which I had already written down to take!

So my courses are lined up.

I will get through this semester and I’m going to light it on fire.

I’m going to bring it.

The fact that I am going down two days of nannying a week for me is even a bigger deal now.

I need that time.

I also want to have incoming therapy clients fill up those spots, but every spare minute is going to be used.

I had clients cancel for this Friday, not all, but two, Labor Day weekend travel plans, and I immediately blocked the time off to do homework.

I will always, always, always, be carrying my laptop with me so that I can take whatever time I get whenever I get it, to be online, posting discussion posts.

I will always have one, if not two or even three books with me so that I have something I am consistently reading.

This is the semester to get my literature together.

For my Ecology of Ideas class I have to submit a literature journal with 250-300 pieces of literature–dissertations, studies, books, articles, etc.

I don’t have to read them through, but I will need to be consistently searching for materials as well as consistently skimming and scanning and adding them to my annotated bibliography and my journal.

There is so much to do.

It’s exciting too.

I’m not going to lie.

I can really see it coming together and I plan on submitting my proposal next fall instead of waiting for the fall semester to work on the proposal, I am going to do it over the summer.

I am going to dig in next summer and get it done, it will literally save me a year of tuition and waiting for approval.

A friend of mine who TA’s for some of the courses did that this intensive.

She did all her course work in two years, like I am in the middle of doing, took the summer to work on her proposal and the second day of the intensive, the first day of classes, she defended her proposal and got it approved.

Which means she moves right into her dissertation.

I’m all for it.

I made a pact with a friend of mine in the cohort and that’s what we’re going to do.

It will knock out time and a lot of tuition.

Fuck my student loans are big.

But you know.

I am so fucking worth it.

And so is my idea.

I can’t wait to show it to the world.

Until then though.

You will not see a lot of me this semester.

I literally am going to be buried under books.

I might come up for a breather around Thanksgiving.

But for now.

Well.

See ya.

I got shit to read.

So much.

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Ouch

December 2, 2018

My poor mouth hurts.

I am in a lot of pain, but I know, from last years experience, that it will get better.

I had to get another crown put in.

I cracked, yet again, another tooth.

This is tooth number two.

My dentist told me that I am grinding my teeth in my sleep.

Great.

I’m not stressed, really.

Bwahahahaha.

Sigh.

So, two weeks ago I got a temporary crown.  What had been an appointment for a teeth cleaning became a three-hour session in the chair.

And cost a fat $1475.

Then today, two weeks later, I got my new crown in and dropped another freaking $465 to get a mouth guard because my dental insurance doesn’t cover mouth guards.

But I tell you what.

When my dentist says I need a mouth guard or I run the risk of cracking more teeth and having to get more crowns, I’ll fucking pay it out-of-pocket.

Happy birthday!

Merry Christmas!

Yay.

Dental work.

Oh well.

At least I had the money in my account to just pay it out with cash and not freak out.

I wanted to sort of freak out, but I don’t have to.

I still have some student loan money left over to get through the rest of the semester and I will be alright.

I always am.

There was a time that dental work of this nature would have blown me out of the water, but I have a touch more experience with padding my bank account with my student loans.

I told a friend today what my student loans were at, around $104,000 and he blanched.  He’s also from country that doesn’t charge its citizens to go to school, so he’s not really accustomed to what it means to be an American with a great big heap of student loan debt.

I don’t care though.

My education is worth it and hey, I took out a big chunk to help with my move into my new place and I have no regrets about it.

I am interning at a non-profit and plan on working for them for the ten-year period that the federal government asks one to do if you want your student loans forgiven.

I can do that.

So it’s ok if I have them.

And yeah, they’ve helped with more than just paying tuition at my super expensive school.

I’m worth it and I still get to live in San Francisco.

So, there’s that.

I’m not on any pain killers for the tooth though and it feels big and hot and ouchy in my mouth.  If I remember correctly from last January it passed within a few days, the big pain by the next day, hopefully that will happen for me as well.

I expect that there will be some tenderness and hot cold sensitivity for a while, but it does pass too.

I will say I am not in the mood to do any homework and since my landlord is having a party I’m not really in the space to turn my attention and focus to homework.  I’m playing some pretty loud French music right now and trying to not think about my tooth.

I also did some apartment hunting on Craigslist.

I’m happy with my new place and not happy at the same time.

I had to move all of my things out of storage in the basement today, which I was not planning on having to do.  When I moved in the landlord offered me space in the basement to store stuff as my unit as no storage space, just a tiny closet that doesn’t fit all of my clothes, I got a big dresser and a rolling garment rack to deal with that.

But I don’t have anywhere to put my camping/Burning Man gear, nor the boxes of notebooks and text books I’m not currently using.  Fortunately my boss offered me space in her storage unit.  So tomorrow I get to get up way earlier than I was planning for on my one day off during the week to take my stuff across town to the Bayview to put in storage.

Two weeks ago I had asked my land lord that the basement be unlocked, I wanted to grab my Christmas ornaments a something to wear to the Burning Man ARTumnal event I went to a few weeks back.

It was at that time I was told that I was going to have to find another place to put my stuff as the landlord’s wife is pregnant and they are going to be renovating a room into a nursery and needing to store stuff in the basement.

FUCK.

I was floored.

I was also fucking pissed.  Where the hell was I going to put my stuff?

And.

I hate to be a bitch.

But fuck my life, I moved in here partially because I was assured it was a really quiet space that I was going to be able to study and not be disturbed and all was going to be chill.

A new-born living over my head is not a quiet living environment.

Now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, I adore babies, for fuck’s sake, I’m a nanny.

AND.

I’m a nanny, I deal with crying baby at work all the time, I don’t want to come home to crying baby.

Ugh.

I might be making too much of it but that coupled with a few other things, like the unit is not nearly as sound proof as I was lead to believe and that the landlord and his wife have had two knock down screaming fights with each other where things were smashed and doors slammed since I’ve moved in that makes me think I will be looking for a new place to live when my lease is up.

I’m not going to break the lease, unless something extraordinary gets dropped in my lap, but I do think I may not be making this quite the permanent place I had thought.

And really, not that permanent either, I wasn’t planning on being here longer than my PhD program.

I sort of figured that I wanted to get settled in and cozy and then not have to think about moving until I was finished with my program and by that time I would be making good money with my private practice and could afford a one bedroom instead of a studio, or even, maybe start looking at what it would take to land a house.

I really do have the  dream of owning my own home one day in San Francisco, crazy as that may seem, I have my hopes and I have seen stranger things happen.

So.

Yeah.

A tooth ache and a loud party upstairs are not conducive to doing homework, but I thought, I can blog!

And there you have it.

I’m back to the blogging and my, it does feel fine and I just realized my tooth hasn’t hurt that much while I was writing.

Win/win.

Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.

Locked Out

May 5, 2018

But not for long.

I was just trying to get onto the student loan site.

I need to apply for a Grad Plus Loan.

I have done this once before, last summer when I was in practicum and realized that it was a two credit course, aka, about $2200 that I needed to come up with in order to pay for the supervision that I needed to begin seeing clients.

The school told me what to do and I did it.

I barely remembered doing it, but today when I went and checked in with the financial aid department they gave me the same instructions.

And yes.

My package that I was granted is $3,000 shy.

So.

Off to http://www.studentloans.gov to get me some more money.

Except, I swear, that they need like the name of my first-born child, a lock of hair from a unicorn mane, a sprinkle of fairy dust, me to click my heels three times in precision and spin around in my kitchen, to get into the damn system.

It’s happened every single time that I have tried to utilize it that it won’t accept the password that I have for it and then it freezes up.

So.

First.

I have to reset the password for the umpteenth time.

Then.

I am told that I have to wait 30 minutes.

What the fuck.

Come on.

You have my social security, my birthdate, my three, THREE, challenge questions, my mother’s maiden name, and my phone number.

Isn’t that fucking enough?

Meh.

Anyway.

Glad to know that I can apply for some more debt, hahaha, sigh, but that it is a resource is a comfort.

Plus.

In my visit I found out that I don’t have to worry about my exit interview to graduate with my Master’s Degree as I have registered for my PhD program as well as having accepted the financial aid package that the school put together for me.

That was good news.

The not so good news.

UGH.

Another motherfucking piece of paperwork has surfaced that I have to get signed.

I do not understand why the hell the school doesn’t give each fucking student a packet of the papers that need to be filled out to each cohort as they come in.

Then I could just pull it out, get it signed and turn it back in.

This whole trying to figure out what I need to get to them is frustrating as fuck.

Listen people.

I have gotten straight A’s and am on track to continue that with the papers I turned in and the presentations I have done, plus I have given you a fuck ton of money.

Stop it already.

Seriously.

So.

I got the two pieces of paperwork from the office and I have them in my folder and one I will get filled out next Saturday when I go to Group Supervision and the other I will have to wait and see until I get a reply from my supervisor that I no longer meet with.

I am going to be hella bummed if he asked me to come in early on Monday.

I am looking forward, in a really dreamy sort of way, to actually sleeping in on Monday.

But.

If I have to go in on Monday morning to get the paperwork signed I will.

I’m sorting of hoping that I’ll be able to do it at another time.

We shall see.

I may not even hear back from him until Monday, his work week is Monday-Thursday, he always takes a three-day weekend.

Private practice goals!

Speaking of.

It felt so good to share with the cohort that I had gotten a private practice internship, it was such a nice way to start the weekend.

As well as reflecting to them how much I have grown and grown up.

I compared it to starting the program riding my bicycle to school.

Then I got a scooter.

And today, well, I drove to school in my car.

And found parking!

So nice.

I reflected how far I have come and how much work I have done and I’m pretty fucking amazed.

Of course.

There are a lot of folks who helped me a long the way, some in small ways, some in grand ways.

I am reflecting on my best friend and the support I have gotten and the love for doing the work I am doing and the reflection that I am good at what I do and that I should absolutely go for my PhD.

It means so much that love and support.

I am so grateful for it all.

And grateful that this is it!

This is the last weekend of the program.

Today was the first day, I have two left.

And already a slight change in plans.

A friend of mine in the cohort and I have chosen to skip the closing ceremony and just go out to dinner the two of us.

She’s such a dear friend that I would rather spend the time with her then saying good-bye to people, though I do like them, do not measure up to the friendship we have created these past years.

She lives out-of-state too, so yeah, dinner at Schmidt’s with her tomorrow night instead of the closing ceremony.

I was ambivalent about it anyway.

My closing ceremony will be commencement and my graduation beach bonfire party.

That’s where it’s at for me.

And.

Hopefully I have given the Student Loans Government site enough time to reset.

Fingers crossed I get my new password correct.

Heh.

You’re An Incredible Therapist

April 24, 2018

Aw!

Thanks man.

I had my last session today with my practicum supervisor.

Which means that as on this Friday I am no longer a trainee.

I am an intern.

I know.

I’ve been calling it an internship forever, but it’s always been “practicum” which is basically a trainee.

Now I become an intern and what that means is that I don’t have to do as much supervision.

Which means I will go in once a week to group supervision and that will cover 10 clients of direct face to face time.

As a trainee I was only allowed five clients face to face per supervision session, so I had to go twice a week.

Truth be told.

I wish that I didn’t have to continue with group and that I could continue with my, now former, supervisor.

I just got so much out of working with him.

I also got some strong admonishment from him about where I am interning and how I need to hold boundaries and about what clients I want to cultivate and what clients I need to let go of.

He also suggested that I look into private practice internship.

And I think he’s right.

He recommended someone who I had as a professor and I am going to ask her ASAP.

I feel like I should actually be drafting an e-mail right now.

There.

Did it.

Not letting any moss grow on that stone.

Onward and upward.

What it means to be a private practice intern is that I would take clients and use the license of the therapist who I work under, said person would also supervise me and my clients.

I would also get paid, though not that much, the majority, usually half, sometimes more, goes to the therapist with the client.

It helps though, and it is certainly more than what I am getting now, which is nothing.

I could also stay at my internship and see clients.

There are options.

But  won’t know what they will look like unless I start exploring them.

I will say I almost asked Bruce if I could intern for him, but I got the impression that he didn’t have the space, though he did express that he was going to miss working with me.

I was very flattered by that.

I also teared up a bit at the end.

And!

He broke the therapeutic frame and hugged me.

It was so sweet.

It was  really nice way to end.

He also encouraged me to stay in contact with him, he’d like to know where I am going to end up.

I told him I would of course be inviting him to the office warming party when I open up my own private practice.

I can’t wait.

Oh.

Yes.

If only just to decorate.

That’s a ways off.

But.

Getting slowly closer.

I got a few other things done today to advance me down that path as well.

I zipped over to CIIS after supervision, found parking after circling for a minute, right in front, jumped out, hopped up to the 4th floor and registered for my fall semester of my PhD program!

And.

I was just proactive and logged into my student account to see if my financial aid package was ready.

It was.

I accepted.

I’m a little nervous though.

I’m not quite sure, but it looks like tuition for the year is $24,500 and my financial aid package tallied up to $21,500.

That means I’m shy three grand.

Which is not good.

I wasn’t expecting to pay anything out-of-pocket.

In fact, I was hoping to get a little extra to help cover cost of living expenses.

There’s still a chance that I could get some scholarship monies, and who knows, maybe I can take out a grad plus loan too.

It’s all a lot to juggle and I need to remind myself that I have done a fucking lot today.

As I also turned in my Letter of Agreement paperwork to the practicum office and updated my student id at the registrar’s office then returned my library book and flew down the stairs, hopped into my car, and zoomed over to work.

Work was good.

Pretty chill.

I had a little headache, I think I was a bit stressed about getting everything in today that I needed, I also had my supervisor sign off all the paperwork from the last year and a half, so yeah, juggling a lot of moving parts today.

And of course.

Seeing a client.

My early client cancelled.

So just one today.

I used the time in between work and the second client to go to SafeWay and get some groceries, that felt good to do and it was nice to have the extra time to take care of that.

I was too busy writing my Research Methods paper yesterday to get to the grocery store.

All in all it was a good day, definitely busy, but so grateful to have gotten the things done that I needed to accomplish.

Slowly building up momentum towards graduation!

Tomorrow I’ll pick up my practicum site evaluation and I’ll need to take that in as well to CIIS and drop it off.

Last time I mailed it and it got lost in the mail room for weeks, this time I’m not going to risk it, I’m just going to drop it off in person.

All the things.

All of them.

Coming together.

Almost there.

So, so, so close.

I Didn’t Get It

April 7, 2018

And I can’t say I’m surprised.

Disappointed.

Yes.

Surprised.

No.

There was something about the email that I got last week letting me know that the decision regarding the Diversity Scholarship had not yet been made.

I immediately began to have doubts that I was going to get it.

I’m not sure why, but it felt like the flavor of what was to come.

I was told the final decision would be reached by today, April 6th.

And I spent all day long thinking, where’s the e-mail.

I didn’t get it, where’s the e-mail?

Maybe I got it.

When are they going to let me know?

I almost texted my best friend tonight in between seeing clients.

I don’t think I got the scholarship.

But I got caught up doing paperwork and then my next client was in and therapy.

I drove home, really bad traffic, rain does that in San Francisco, the weather ups the idiot ante pretty quick, finally found parking and walked home to my little studio to make some dinner.

When I sat down to eat I got the bing that I had a new e-mail.

And there it was.

The notification letter.

I can’t tell you what it said exactly as I already trashed it, but it didn’t surprise me.

Disappointment though, I could have used that $5,000 per year.

I don’t even know how much my tuition is going to be for my PhD program, but I do know that having had some scholarship money for my Master’s program was really integral to helping me do some things.

Like buy my car.

Travel.

And, you know, pay rent.

I have steadily, over the last few years acquired expenditures that I never used to have.

My scooter, scooter insurance, my car, car insurance, dental insurance, health insurance (although that’s felt like a colossal joke), renter’s insurance, monthly yoga, and a lot of those things I helped pay for with my financial aid and my scholarship money.

And of course.

Tuition.

I’m not going to be too upset though.

It doesn’t do me well to dwell on it and although it’s a disappointment, how could it not be, I know that the money will be there.

Maybe another scholarship.

Maybe I win the lottery.

Maybe I come into money.

Maybe I just take out more student loans.

As long as tuition gets paid and I don’t have to supplement tuition with my own money, not right now, my own money goes to rent, groceries, phone, yoga, car, scooter, clothes, travel, cost of living in San Francisco.

If I get enough money to cover tuition I can cover my cost of living on what I make.

I will be ok.

I always am.

Sigh.

I don’t like the idea of taking out more student loans, but I don’t like the idea of not going after my PhD even less.

The education is important to me and the work is important and I’m doing it.

The money will come.

It will.

And before I know it, I’ll be attending my first intensive for the program.

I received an e-mail yesterday letting me know what courses I need to register for.

I will be taking five classes my first semester.

Three are credited courses and two are not.

The intensive is counted as a course and there is an online class forum that is counted as a course.

Neither of those will really affect me time wise.

Money wise.

Yeah.

The intensive runs I think at least $1800.

And typically what I have seen is that each credit of course work is about $1200.

So three, three credit courses will cost me about 10,800.

Tuition is going to probably be about $22,000 per year.

I think.

I am not 100% sure, but that was pretty close to what the Master’s Degree cost me.

I could probably look it all up at this point, and maybe I should, but it’s late, I had a long day, good, but long.

I had the first day of my fourth weekend of the program.

I did my case presentation.

I was the first to go and it felt really good to get up there in front of the class and share about my work.

I got some really nice feedback.

It felt really good to hear and it really made me reflect on how far I have come and how much I bring to my clients.

My teacher said, and I quote, “_____________ is really lucky to have you.”

Wow.

That was fucking nice to hear.

As were many of the other responses I got from my cohort.

I felt very much like a therapist as I sat there.

I also felt very much the therapist as I was working with a new client tonight in our first session.

I was marveling at how I have really learned how to listen, to reflect, to mirror, to validate and to re-frame what the client says.

I had a moment afterward when I compared how I felt taking on a new client now versus how I felt when I first started.

So different.

I really feel like I am doing a good job.

And that.

Just that.

I need to recognize.

I am a good therapist.

I am in the right field.

I am doing the right thing.

I am on the path.

I have a career.

I am a therapist.

Granted.

Unlicensed as of yet, with loads of work to be done, but I am firmly situated on this path and I am so grateful for having a purpose in my career and a career that will support me and one in which I will have great longevity.

I will get to practice for a long time.

So.

Yeah.

Bummed about not getting the scholarship, but it’s not going to slow me down from doing what I am supposed to be doing.

And for that.

Well.

I have only gratitude.

 

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.

And Drumroll Please

September 26, 2015

It was a good day.

I have a brand new Casper mattress coming in the mail.

What?!

I received a text today asking for my address.

I thought someone was sending me flowers.

Nope.

Holy shit batman.

The Universe really was listening.

I am just a little stunned.

(just a little fucking stunned, just a little)

And.

Relieved too.

I had actually decided earlier today that I was probably not going to get the mattress until next semester’s disbursement.

I wanted to make sure that I could make it through the next few months.

I received my first financial aid disbursement and it was about $1300 less than I thought I was going to get.

Oh yeah.

That’s right.

The “retreat”.

AKA graduate school boot camp.

I had forgotten that was going to be taken out of my tuition bill as a fee.

So what I received was $1555.00

Basically one months rent and utilities with a couple of weeks of groceries thrown in.

I was not going to get a new mattress with that tiny bit of wiggle room.

I decided I would pay rent right away and I waffled on actually paying for November as well, but I want to see how October plays out and if I can keep the $1500 in my savings and collect a little interest on it before I use it to pay rent.  I want to see how long I can go without using the money.

Granted.

If I need to.

I absolutely will.

But it feels really nice to have a little cushion behind me.

I let go the idea of getting a new bed and wrote my pages this morning and expressed a great amount of gratitude for my life, and I won’t lie, I did actually write another affirmation about the mattress–along with about fifteen other ones–as well as a gratitude list before I hopped on my bicycle and headed in to beard the lion.

Otherwise known as.

Doing my year review with the family.

And it went well.

They balked at giving me a raise.

I got to let them have their experience and I said what I needed to say, I came into the job under my ask, at the same amount as the outgoing nanny, I expressed how they themselves have stated I was the best nanny they have ever had, and that I only expected to get better at my job.

I also said how grateful I was for their flexibility with me.

They have agreed to keep me at 35 hours a week and continue to pay my health insurance, which is huge, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be getting that.

We also agreed that we would see how everything plays out and stay at 35 hours a week until the end of the year.

I won’t have to look for supplemental work and I won’t have to look for another family.

They will deal with me being unavailable every third Friday while I am in school.

We tied it up with them saying they would think about a raise.

And.

I am good with that.

The fact is.

I am going to be taken care of and I will be fine even without the raise, though it’s nice to get and I don’t recall having had a single job where I didn’t get some sort of raise after a year.

The flexibility with my schedule is the coup and the still getting my health insurance covered is huge.

And.

When the boys are on school break, I will work more for them, I will work my 40 hours like I was all last year and be of service to the family.

Win.

WIn.

Win.

Then I had myself a busy day.

I earned my keep.

I made homemade pizza for the family and for the family that came over for a play date.

Four boys.

Two three-year old boys and two five-year old boys and one delicious 8 month old baby girl.

So much deliciousness.

The baby let me cuddle and snuggle her and the three-year olds let me read them stories and the five-year olds helped me “prep” dinner, and the parents had a visit and the dog kept me company and I did the laundry and marketed too and set them up.

I did my job.

I did it well.

And I felt really good about how the conversation went and grateful that I asked.

Now I get to let go of the results and know implicitly in my heart that all is taken care of.

I mean.

Hello.

I really thought I was getting some flowers delivered, I did not expect that the message was, the Universe reads your blog and wants you to get some good sleep for graduate school studies.

Fuck.

Can’t come soon enough.

I have so much work to do this weekend.

I was trying to not be hyperventilating on my bicycle ride home.

I had taken the time to do the deal and popped into Our Lady of Safeway right at 8p.m.

So grateful I got my God on.

That hour reset me, refreshed me, and despite having anxious thoughts plague my ride home, I knew that I was going to get it all done and it was going to be ok.

I asked for a raise.

I asked for a review.

I got a great review, by the way.

I got tons of thank you’s and I love you’s and sweet little boy hugs.

I got a beautiful ride home through the park on a Friday night.

I got a gift coming in the mail.

SERIOUSLY?

Seriously.

I also have the gift of getting to go to school.

That is a gift too.

I am graced.

I am loved.

Don’t let me ever tell you different.

Loved I say.

Pre-Emptive Blog

June 15, 2015

I am blogging early.

I have a dinner date.

And.

It’s freaking Sunday.

The Warriors are in the NBA finals and I have a dinner date.

Excellent.

I am a big pile of jello, however, I took the plunge, but not the cold plunge.

I went to Kabuki.

My employers surprised me with a gift card on Friday as I was leaving and I went to the spa today–I was treated to the “Radiance Spa.”

I do feel pretty radiant.

Although, truth be told, I’m not sure if it’s due to the spa time or the upcoming dinner time.

I’m happy.

I had a head and neck massage and hair oil treatment–seriously, the best thing ever is having my scalp rubbed, closely followed by hair brushing.  When people ask that question, what would buy with a million dollars or if you won the lottery, scalp massage, and lots of it.

I jest.

If I won the lottery.

I would pay off my student loan, and then your student loan and if you have any friends that have student loans, theirs too.

Then I would get some scalp massage.

It’s dreamy.

And she used a key lime oil.

Dude.

I smell like pie.

Hope my date likes that.

Then again, what man doesn’t want his date to smell like pie?

I’m not getting quite as gussied up as I did yesterday, it’s Sunday, I can’t stay out late, but I made sure I look cute and my hair, well, Christ on a stick, it looks fantastic.

All that scalp rubbing and hair oil.

Plus I got a short shiatsu and deep tissue massage–just 25 minutes–but enough to bliss out for a while.

Then a soak in the hot tub and a salt scrub followed by the steam room.

I tried to get into the cold plunge, I usually do hit it a couple of times, but I wasn’t feeling it today.  I decided to just take a nice long shower, shave the legs (not that I am expecting any kind of action tonight, the one thing I will let on about dating said gentleman is that he is a gentleman, we talked quite earnestly about going slow) and slather lotion all over myself.

Then a relaxing cup of tea on a lounge chair while I flipped awhile through a magazine.

Spa’d up and I took a car home.

I decided to splurge there too.

I wasn’t going to ride my bicycle to Kabuki and back.

I definitely feel that I have achieved celebration status for being awarded the scholarship.

An afternoon at the spa and a second date with a very handsome and.

Ugh.

Not writing about that.

I have a second date with someone whom I like very much.

There.

“You can write about me, just change my name,” he told me last night when I told him I was not going to write about him.

I explained that when it means something I don’t want to share.

So that’s it.

That’s all the share you get.

He means something.

This experience means something.

And I am excited.

Not nearly as anxious as I was yesterday before seeing him for our first date and hopefully the butterflies won’t come on too strong, but excited.

Not obsessed either.

That is nice.

My brain is not going 280 miles per hour.

It’s saying.

See what happens.

Let things unfold.

Let yourself be courted.

That’s really want I want.

I want to be courted and cherished.

I suppose everyone wants that.

I also want to provide that for the person I am with and this feels like a good fit.

Onto other news.

I checked out scooters yesterday at Scooter Centre and put down a deposit on a Buddy Italia in avocado with racing stripes.

Super cute.

Best scooter in the shop, 170, it can even go out not the highway.

I dropped five hundred for a deposit.

Filled out all the paperwork and then waited for the phone call back from the financing department.

And got my deposit refunded right back to my card.

I don’t have any credit history.

My credit score is high, but because there’s no record of me using a credit card for the last ten years I have no history of being a good or bad risk.

The company that Scooter Centre works with turned me down.

I had an inkling that may happen, so I was not upset when that turned out to be the case.

I can go to my bank and ask for a loan.

I can probably get a credit card, I get offers for them all the time.

I can not worry about getting a scooter right now and save my money.

I can keep riding my bicycle and use the money I do have towards paying for the fees and registration that I will have to cover for my school.  The scholarship I was awarded is solely tuition, but at $24,500 a year for two years, that’s nothing to sniff at.

However, a close inspection of the registration fees and the fee for the required week-long retreat at the beginning of the semester with my cohort in Petaluma at the Ions Institute, is going to cost about $2,500.

That’s nothing in comparison to the tuition, but it is something.

I am still assuming that I will have to take out some loans, just to cover cost of living, but the fewer I have to take out the better and the faster I can pay down my student loan debt, the easier it will be for me in the long run.

I mean, I’m still paying off my undergraduate degree.

Anyway.

I wasn’t upset and I believe something else will happen.

Maybe I don’t get a scooter.

Maybe I do.

I’m alright no matter what happens.

And I have a date in twenty minutes.

Gotta go!

See you tomorrow.

With bells on.

Nailed It!

February 27, 2015

“Yeah you did.”

The text response to my update on my graduate school interview.

I nailed it.

Nailed it.

Nailed it.

Ahem.

I’m feeling pretty good about that.

I won’t know for about another week, but it feels like a done deal, it really does, it didn’t hurt that one of the faculty members came up to me afterward and said, “I want to talk to you about something, stay if you have a few minutes to chat.”

Turns out she feels that I am a perfect candidate for the Diversity Scholarship the school provides.

Hell yes.

Give me the money.

So I can give the school the money.

I don’t care what you call it, just so long as I don’t have to take out more than I need to in financial aid.

I’m ahead of the curve on that one, two of the other candidates, four of us total in the group that interviewed, hadn’t applied yet for financial aid.

The interview was group style, four of us, three of them.

It was approximately an hour-long and I got there well in advance of the start time.

Enough time to grab an iced Americano in the cafe and to sit and chat with one of the other candidates for the program.

Turns out we know each other through friends of friends.

That was a nice discovery.

At first I felt that I was putting my foot in my mouth, but by the end of it, I felt that I had acquitted myself really well and I left floating on a cloud.

The interview also did something for me which I wasn’t expecting, it dispelled for me any doubts I had about the program and whether or not it was a good fit for me.

It’s a little granola, it’s a little crunchy, its experiantial learning, but after doing a couple exercises to show the panel what I would bring to the program and to the cohort, I felt like I would be able to fit in and I felt that it was going to help me grow as well.

In fact, I found myself welling up a little during one of the exercises and the emotional response surprised me, but it was also a good feeling, I think I was afraid that I am a little jaded.

That these crunchy granola, Californian types with their hippie ideology were not going to accept me.

Thing is, I’m a hippy in disguise, so uh, I fit in fine.

Like a really good interview, I left feeling that I was the right fit for the program and that it was the right fit for me.

It reminded me a little of my doubt around working with my current family, I had some reservations about working with children that were already into toddler stage and beyond and what that would look like, would I like it, would I be good at it.

And it turns out I love my job.

And they love me.

I felt pretty at home at my job once I got past my own prejudices about what the job was going to be like.

I believe the same thing happened for me in the interview.

I realized that I needed to be interviewing the school just as much as it needed to interview me.

We both needed to make sure we would be a good fit.

I’m pretty sure I’ve met my match.

I will know in approximately a week, the panel advisor assured us that we would have an answer by next week and she also gave me the dates of the week-long retreat.

August 9th-16th.

How freaking handy is that?

Well, it happens to fall in between Burning Man and the week in August that the family takes to go to Sonoma.

One week of scheduling down!

I will be able to work for the family in Sonoma, and ironic, paradox, is it odd or is it God, the retreat will also be in Marin–Petaluma to be exact.

The center is called The Institute of Noetic Sciences and yup, looks like a hippy hold out, but you know what?

I’m down with it.

Petaluma is gorgeous and the weather will be great and it will be just what I need to have under my belt before heading into a week of nannying for the family in Glen Ellen.

Then Burning Man?

I think it’s possible.

I didn’t get the exact dates for the beginning of the semester, we’ll be e-mailed that, but I was told the last weekend in August.

Burning Man is August 30th through September 7th.

Now if I get into the program, I will, that would mean I wouldn’t be able to go pre-event, I’d have to be in the city to go to school, and I would miss the first day or two of the event.

But.

I could go.

So.

Buy a ticket?

Go as a tourist?

Really do Burning Man instead of doing Working Man?

I dunno?

Maybe.

Yes.

Yes.

I could do that.

I’m going to hold off on making those plans for a moment.

I still have to find out about whether or not I got into the program.

Upon affirmation that I have I will need to pay $300 as a good faith payment to secure my spot in the cohort.

This money will be slotted towards my tuition.

Then I will get together with the financial aid officer at the school and find out what kind of student loans I can get.

The school has received my information from my FAFSA forms and they have a SAR for me–Student Aid Report–which lets them know what I can contribute personally to my tuition and what I will need to receive to go to the program.

I believe, I really do, I have been writing affirmations for months now, that I will receive the money.

I will apply to the Diversity Scholarship at the school and I will do the next steps to do the next steps.

This is only the beginning, but a beginning has been made and I am over the moon that this is moving forward.

It astounds me how smoothly things happen when I get out-of-the-way and let the Universe lead me to better things then I think I want.

I accept the abundance and love and prosperity that God wants for me.

I’m going to need it!

Tuition’s about $30,000 a year.

But the investment, me, well, I’m fucking worth it.

And I think the department thinks so too.

I’ll let you know as soon as I hear.

One more step in my journey of a thousand miles.

 


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