Posts Tagged ‘undergrad’

Ready, Set

March 28, 2018

Interview!

My PhD interview is tomorrow morning!

Holy crap.

I’ve got to get all the profanity, crassness, and foul language out of my system before going in.

Although, to give myself some credit, I am an articulate person.

I have a way with words.

Plus.

I interview well.

Which was not a talent I would have recognized in myself previous to this experience, but when I reflect on how I have done historically in interviews, I usually get the job, or the school to accept me.

Sometimes even when I don’t think I have done so well.

Hell.

Most times.

Most times before not too long ago, I would think that I hadn’t gotten in.

I didn’t think I was going to get back into my Bachelor’s program at UW Madison, I mean I seriously fucked up my first round of schooling there.

But I did, I interviewed with the dean of admissions after sending in an application letter to be readmitted and I was shocked I mean, shocked, when they let me back in.

There wasn’t even any waiting period, the woman basically told me at the end of the interview that I was accepted back.

That I could start that Spring!

It was the fall term and I think I had interviewed at the end of November, beginning of December.

I had not planned on that.

I hadn’t planned on getting in, I was “humoring” my best friend and a good friend of hers, a boss that I worked for, by applying to school again.

“You are just too smart to not be in college,” my boss said, echoing my best friend’s sentiments.

“If you don’t apply, I’m going to fire you,” my boss continued.

“What?!” I said, incredulous.

“I’m serious, Carmen, you really are just too smart, and I wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t encouraging you to go back to school, go back, we still want you to work here, but you really should go back.” He concluded.

Of course I applied.

I didn’t want to lose my job.

And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to go back, to get my shit together, to do it right this time.

But I hadn’t expected to get right in, nor that I would be able to start in the Spring semester.

I had only a few weeks to adjust to the idea that I was going to be back in school full-time.

My boyfriend at the time was not at all pleased.

He was, in hindsight, though I couldn’t see it at the time, very jealous of my time.

He was also displeased, I suspected, because he had dropped out of UW Madison a couple of years prior and hadn’t managed to get his shit together to go back.

He did eventually.

After doing time for a felony conviction for stalking me.

But that’s another story, for another time.

Suffice to say.

The encouragement of my friends got me in and the encouragement of my friends here in San Francisco got me into my Master’s program.

I think they’re all still behind me for going for the PhD.

Last time I checked in with anyone it felt that way.

Although a few acquaintances did register surprise.

“Two more years of school!”

“We’re never going to see you at fellowship again!”

True.

And not so true.

Yes.

I will still be busy.

But I think I have learned well over these last few years to balance out my studies with my job, my recovery, and my social life.

Sometimes better than others.

And sometimes I really had to work hard at it.

Hell.

It’s been all hard work.

“Sometimes I wish I was done with the hard work!” I expressed to my therapist today.

We had a really huge session.

In fact, I left over time with her saying that she would like to support me in whatever I needed regarding our session.

I thanked her for that.

That’s the second time in a month my therapist has let me know that I can reach out for support after hours, or without having a session scheduled.

Though I don’t think I will do that.

I was quite touched.

I am, however, going to do some work.

The work it doesn’t really end.

It just changes.

And I change.

That’s the hope, anyway, that I will change.

Grow or die.

Ha.

Well.

Perhaps not that stark, not that black and white.

But I was pretty miserable today and sad and angry and upset.

I talked with my therapist about my health stuff, going really into detail, letting her know how I was affected by the system I seem to be unable to get out of.

And.

By my history.

What health advocacy looked like in my home.

In my family of origin.

Which was shit.

I only went to the doctor in an emergency.

There was no healthcare aside from the mandatory doctor’s physical before school each year.

There was only a doctor’s visit when something horrible was happening.

And it had to be really bad to get the attention of my mom.

Really bad.

I remember an incident that happen when I was seventeen.

Mono, strep, and tonsilitis all at the same time.

I was delirious.

I remember calling my mom and begging her to come home from work.

She told me she couldn’t.

I walked around the house crying and delusional with a fever that was so high the emergency room doctor chastised my mother for not bringing me in sooner.

He was irate.

It was one of the few times I remember my mom getting me a special treat from the market, croissants (day olds, but fuck, I had never had such an amazing piece of bread) and crab salad (fake crab, but crab!) and ice cream.

I certainly felt special and the words of the doctor faded out of my perceptions in a haze of fevered ice cream eating and sleep.

But the impact lasted.

I wasn’t allowed to ask for help, I wasn’t allowed to get sick, I wasn’t helped out when I was, I had to take care of myself and figure it out and doctors, dentists, hospitals, the medical system, all seemed scary and also not allowed for me.

I have done a tremendous amount of work to get through it and to be where I am, but it raised its head and there I was in therapy with a pile of tissues around me and angry tears on my face.

And.

Oh, the gratitude.

Some client advocacy from my therapist who made some suggestions and gave me some very valuable information.

Information I will be acting on pretty much immediately.

Well.

First the interview.

Then new insurance!

It’s how I celebrate now.

Not popping a bottle of champagne.

But rather.

Gifting myself.

Better.

Health care.

Officially.

#adulting

Full Time Get It

April 20, 2016

Registered.

First semester, second year, grad school.

Bring on the student loans!

Blech.

At least I still have scholarship monies coming.

I had that thought this morning as I was preparing to sit and twiddle my thumbs for too long while I was juggling my reading for my Clinical Relationship class–the server kept crashing, too many of us all trying to register at the same time.

Remember when it was by telephone and you had to wait for the automated person to tell you if you got in?

Yeah.

I’m old.

Shut up.

I just barely and I mean, by a year, maybe a semester, missed the experience of having to go to a table and wait in line to register at the UW Madison where I got my undergrad degree.

Times they do change.

I was going to get up early and go to yoga today, but when I woke up I was too sore to do it and three days in a row is a good run.

Odds are that I will go again Thursday.

Four days a week.

I can deal with that.

But today I knew I needed to register and I figured it was more important to get some good sleep, rest up, get registered and do some reading for classes.

Of course.

I was promptly on line at my designated time.

To get annoyed.

The server crashed again and again and when it wasn’t crashing it was terribly slow.

I contacted the program director who notified the registrar and it was dealt with.

But not before I could get fully registered.

Last semester this had me in a tizzy.

This go around I was like, what ever, I’ll register when I get home from work and that’s pretty much exactly what I did.

And now it’s on.

Full load.

Second year.

Crazy.

I still have plenty to do before I get to the next wave of classes, but the days they go by and the weeks and I am sure before I know what hit me I will be onto my second year.

However.

I must say.

I am so looking forward to summer vacation.

It’s not really vacation considering I will be working full time.

But without being in school full time it’s going to feel like I have so much time on my hands.

I am sure I will find things to fill the time up.

I’m definitely getting more excited about New York.

That’s for damn sure.

Four days off.

Out of town.

No responsibility.

No work.

No school.

Heaven.

I need to confirm with my friend that all is still cool with me staying in his place in Brooklyn and also, getting all the details on how to get into his place, etc.

New York in May.

Spring in the city.

I can’t even imagine it.

Focus Martines.

Let me at least get through the next couple of weekends.

The school work will continue to happen.

And, as I stated, a couple of dates if I can sneak them in and some self-care too.

Plus I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from cohort too.

One girlfriend is going to spend the night here on our last day of school so we get an extra night of hang out time.

And another girl friend and I are going to go to the Steampunk Masquerade Ball at NIMBY in Oakland before I hit New York as well.

Although I was tempted when I first got the news last week about my class schedule and the Burning Man conflict, to cancel on going to the ball.

I was feeling pretty sad about it.

But.

I think it will be good to go with my friend, who is a Burning Man virgin, but wants to go next year, and play and dance and show her the scene a little.

And it will be a nice way to celebrate for me too.

I’ll dance and get some fire art on, I had a great time when I went last year.

There’s lots to do, but not that much right in front of me.

“My principle today is easy does it,” I said on the voicemail.

Slow down.

Is what I was thinking to myself.

My life gets pretty unmanageable when I get going to fast–losing my keys, hello–and I did not want to get caught up in that this week as I could see myself, even this morning, trying to go faster than I needed to.

There is no emergency.

There is no drama.

It’s all about having fun and continuing to take the next action right in front of me.

In an easy, relaxed, mellow way.

In fact.

The more I slowed down, the more time I seemed to have today.

It was really  nice.

Side bar.

God damn do I love Soulwax.

I forgot I had picked up this album into my music library and I am so grooving the fuck out on it.

Love music.

Love dance music even more.

Totally distracted by how hot this fucking track is.

Damn Gina.

Ok.

Back to the regularly scheduled blog.

Heh.

It’s a beautiful day, I have a beautiful life.

I’m happy.

Sometimes, yes, I am sad too, or overwhelmed, or there seems to be too much to do and not enough time.

But that’s Carmen time.

God’s time, though, there is so very much of it and all I have to do is stop trying to put my agenda in front and things just open and bloom and it’s amazing.

I really am in awe how it happens.

Doesn’t matter how many times I have seen it, getting out of my own way, and suddenly, ease and beauty, light, joy, life, magic, really, all right in front of me, blooming like wild roses in the woods.

God’s time.

God’s schedule.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Right now.

Right here.

Having this very experience.

So fucking good.

Luckiest school girl in the world.

Seriously.

 

Get Used To It

October 4, 2015

Yeah.

I know.

Get used to the busy.

Get used to the overwhelmed.

Get used to it, kid.

You’re in graduate school.

And.

You have seven hours of T-Group tomorrow.

Ugh.

But.

Yippee!

I mean.

REALLY?

T-group is great, it’s just a lot of work, constant emotional work, I am working, let me tell you.

Working.

And hella grateful that this morning I reminded myself to not wear eyeliner and to make sure I was wearing waterproof mascara.

Done and done.

Because, this lady cried a lot today–T-Group brings it out.

The tears.

They flowed.

And.

The catharsis happened and I got insight and I felt better.

Had the catharsis happened without the insight, I think I might not have felt the way I did by the end of the group, but I got a load of insight and a lot of self-awareness around how I put up walls and where I need to work on being vulnerable.

And also how to process emotions that clients are going to bring up in me that are not pertinent to the client experience.

In other words, I am learning to deal with conflict in a calm manner.

I still am emotional and I cry easily, but I am coming to terms with that and also seeing that I consistently show up for the work and I do a lot of it.

I carry my weight in the group.

Perhaps a little more.

But then I am a greedy girl, I want to get every last drop out of it, I want to wring out the learning, I am paying an arm and a leg, yes I am, for the experience–I want to get every dollar out of it that I can, I am after all borrowing a lot of money to be there.

In that spirit I am grateful too for my Psychodynamic course and how the professor is teaching it and how she wants us to learn.

I was expressing to a fellow in my cohort at lunch what it was like, the experience of learning Freudian analytics, with this professor and how she reminded me of a professor I had in undergrad who taught graduate level TS Eliot.

I learned more than I could ever have believed.

Whenever I wrote a paper or took an exam I found that I had absorbed and rearranged the material in my head in a way that was new and interesting and I did not even know it until I was challenged to react to the work and respond.

This professor is like that, I like how she teaches, she uses everything, she is dramatic and smart and amiable, and quick-witted and a character and she makes learning exciting.

I find myself answering her rhetorical questions out loud in the class and interacting with her and the lecture and having a dialogue about the material.

It’s fucking fascinating.

That doesn’t mean it’s not exhausting.

My brain could use a little break from Freud.

I mean I spent three hours tonight, 5p.m.-8p.m., going over theories on hysteria, mourning, and melancholia.

It was a lot to take on after having a really raucous start to the day with some poorly handled treatment of a touchy subject in my Human Development class and then three hours previous in an emotionally charged T-Group.

By the time I was in the Freud class I was pretty kaput.

Then.

We wrap up the case of the infamous Dora and her notorious relationship with Freud and hysteria and move into Melancholia and Mourning.

Grief and depression.

Two things I have had plenty of experience in.

And yet.

I learned more.

The learning.

It just keeps happening.

I’m not caught up on all the reading either, but I am so much further ahead with it that I am able to keep up with my classes, and in the Freud class I am entirely caught up (in fact, I got into one of the vignettes in the reader and realized that I was actually reading ahead of the assigned class work.  It was so fascinating that I contemplated continuing to read it, but realized that I needed to focus on my T-Group reading and get my butt going on the Therapeutics of Group Dynamics–say that ten times fast).

The class I am least caught up with is my Human Development class and I just don’t care.

The professor is not a bad person, but she is a poor teacher and in the over reliance upon the work assignments and regurgitation of ideas, really with little to compel me towards further learning, I am loath to spend any extra time or resources on her class.

Of course.

Her class is the one with the highest work load and amount of reading.

Five response and reaction papers, one group project, on solo final project, a reader–a gigantic reader (bigger than any of my other classes, additional videos online, extra handouts (outside of the enormous reader) and the biggest text-book I have ever carted around in my entire academic career.

It’s not that I can’t do the work or won’t do the work, it’s just that when the work is so uninspiring and there is so much material to parrot back that I feel lost in the muck of it.  Overwhelmed by the sheer volume and what feels like frankly, the most boring of my classes.

C’est la vie.

There will be classes like this.

There have always been classes like this.

I am going to show up and do the work and let go of the results and not care too much about the content, that feels the worst somehow, as a writer, to be writing so much volume but to not have an emotional or even intellectual resonance with the work.

That is the work.

That is the exhaustion.

That is the rub.

But.

I know it and though it is a slog, it is a slog I can do.

And tomorrow I won’t have to slog through her class.

I will have to work on her paper over next weekend, there is no getting around it.

I have done one response paper and my chapter outline project, the group project, for the class.

Which leaves four more papers to write and one final project–I’m going to write about using sign language with babies and toddlers and language development and emotional response to communication thereof.

Scintillating.

I promise.

Ah.

It’s been a day.

I am in school.

I had no clue it was Saturday or where the day went.

It just went.

I am grateful to keep showing up and that I feel better and more prepared for the work then I did the last weekend of classes.

Here’s to showing up one more day, amongst many, tomorrow.

And.

Getting used to it.


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