Posts Tagged ‘University of Wisconsin Madison’

Almost There!

February 25, 2018

I am almost done with my PhD application!

I have submitted my writing sample–ten pages of an academic paper I wrote for my Transpersonal Spirituality class.

I figured that was a good paper to submit to the program as it, the PhD, is in Transformative Inquiry.

I refreshed and polished my resume and updated it so that it was applicable to the application and I sent that in as well.

I did the online application and submitted that.

I contacted both of the people who wrote me letters of recommendation and confirmed that they had sent said letters to the department.


I ordered my transcripts from UW Madison and CIIS.

I was a little miffed at first that I had to order transcripts.

Can’t the admissions office just look up the transcripts I already sent in from UW Madison when I applied for the Masters program?



Does the admissions department need a sealed envelope from the registrars office.

Can’t someone just walk that shit down from the 4th floor to the second floor?

I mean.

Fucking come on.


Then I was like.

Ok, not my rules, not my bailiwick, not my place to criticize, not going to change anything by getting all fired up and I certainly am not going to fucking sabotage myself by not getting the transcripts to the admissions team.


I shelled out the $40 bucks and ordered them to be delivered.

They should get there by the time the deadline closes for the applications.

And if they don’t, which I think they will, I will contact the dean of the Transformative Inquiry program and show copies of the receipts indicating that the materials are on the way.

I don’t think it will be a problem and I will also, now that I’m thinking about it, draft her an e-mail and just let her know I was unaware that they would need my transcripts again since I am currently enrolled at the university, that I paid to have them rushed delivered and shit, she can just look me up online and see that I have a 4.0 for my Masters degree.

It’s silly stuff, but I’d rather pay out the little extra and make sure that I dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s.”

And really I am happy to do the work.

Although it is a little nerve-wracking.

I had a moment earlier today when I just didn’t know if I was going to get it all done and it felt really overwhelming and I had a mild fuck it moment.


Then I remembered the glowing letters of recommendation that I have received and I thought about how disappointed I would be in myself and I just told myself to take some deep breaths and just do the next action in front of me.

Nothing more.

Just that.

Which at one point was just wash my breakfast dishes.


It was to do my morning writing.

I had hit a place in the online application process where I felt I was too anxious to continue doing it and I realized that a good way to quell that anxiety would be to do my morning pages.


I just stopped working on the application and wrote three and a half pages long hand and then I did my hair and make up.

I got sassy today too.

I was feeling it.

It helps sometimes for me to get sassy when I am working on something like this, it brings my energy up to be playful and dressed up.

I dare say it worked.

I also focused on doing what the next thing was all day long.

After I got my transcripts ordered I had to mail out a piece of mail and I had to go to group supervision.


I did just that.

I got in my car and I drove to the nearest mailbox and I sent off a signed document for permission to send my transcripts from CIIS to CIIS.

I let go of resentment and judgement around it and just sent in the request.

Then I drove to my internship.

Getting there with just enough time to run to Gus’s Market and grab a to go box and get a salad for lunch.

I sat through two hours of group supervision, I discussed clients, I talked about personal self-care, I checked in about a new client and I supported the other trainees in the room with their processes.

After group supervision I dashed over to Optical Underground, which had moved from Grant Avenue to Linden Alley.

The traffic was hellacious, but I made it there on time and I was able to pick out two new frames for my new prescription.

I, yes, splurged on some prescription sunglasses, and I got a nice new pair for progressive glasses for every day use.

I also asked that they tighten up my current frames, which had gone all loosey goosey on me.

I am really happy I got the glasses and then I bounced to the bank to deposit a check from my employers for the over time I worked this past week.

They always pay me for overtime in cash rather than having me get taxed, which is really quite nice.

Filled up the car with gas and found parking close to my nail salon.

Manicure and eye brow waxing.

Then off to do the deal.

And back home.

I wasn’t going to do a bunch more work on the application.

But I had a moment of realizing that I could do it, that there were in fact, a few things that I could just address tonight and get out-of-the-way.

Thus the resume, the transcript order (first one I did earlier and I couldn’t figure out how to access my UW Madison account before I left for group supervision) for the second set of transcripts, the academic writing sample (ten pages that I went back over and combed and edited to tighten and polish), and the resume.



I only have to do the autobiographical statement tomorrow and a statement about my goals for the program.

I should be able to knock that out in an hour.

Very happy with everything I got done today.

God damn.

I am almost done with my PhD application!

How crazy is that?

Silence of the Lamb

January 12, 2015

You have been silenced by your grandfather and the abuse he perpetuated, the silence from your father who was not there, and the silence enforced upon you by your stepfather.

I heard it like that.

In italics.


Times New Roman.

It may as well have been underscored as well.

Point well made.

Point taken.

And one small point for me and my process and showing up to sit in another cafe on another Sunday in San Francisco and cry and let go and ask for suggestions and be given a set of amends to go about.

It is a never-ending process it appears.

This unfolding and unwrapping of self and all its manifestations.

So today I practice not being silent, I practice speaking up and saying who I am and what I do.

I also allow myself to be creative and to grow that way too.

“Oh, it’s the first thing that came to mind,” he said emphatically around a bite of salad.  “I totally agree.”

I had mentioned that when meeting another person I work with yesterday at another cafe in the city, today I was in the Castro, yesterday in the Inner Sunset, I had been given the exact same instructions.

This is what happens when even decades later, almost three, I cry in a booth at a table around an old resentment.

Those things which I think I should be or have done or am not allowed to do haunt me in ways that I just don’t even realize until the pain surfaces and the tears melt and slide down my face.


Here I go again.

I have been directed to make some amends, I have done them before and I am certain that I will continue to do so the rest of my life.

That’s just the way it goes.

I have a lot to amend.

I have learned a way of living that I have to unlearn.

The silence being one of them.

Silent scorn.

Dropping a wall of silence on a situation, not saying what I think or feel or need, disappearing, getting small.

“Girl, God does not make 6 foot Amazonian princesses to be silent,” he paused with drama, “please.”

I am not six-foot.

Although I walk around like I am.

Not the point.

Point is that I do try to get small, wrap up in myself, go unnoticed.

Although it may be hard to ignore me and my glitter dipped self.

“You get to express yourself creatively, that is your amends, and you know what to do.”


I do.

One act of not being silent is to allow myself to move forward with graduate school adventures.


I did it.

I finished and submitted, along with my $65 fee, my application to the California Institute of Integral Studies for their Intensive Masters Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.


I had to redo the application that I had saved online as I could not find the one I saved and just figured it would be more hassle than just starting over.

I reviewed, re-read, edited, and tightened up my six page, 1800 word, autobiographical statement, wrote a one page statement of intent, and did a CV.

I also sent out the forms for my letter of recommendations for the two women I have asked to recommend me to the program along with the above mentioned essays so that they could use them as reference material to write the letters.

My transcript order was received by the University of Wisconsin, Madison and sent out this past Friday to the institute.

While all that was cooking, so was I.

I made myself a nice pot of three bean chili with chicken and celery, black olives, and fire roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, and brown rice.

I have three mason jars full and two containers for the freezer.

I think I used the cooking as a way to keep myself calm while I was in the process of finishing up the application.

I knew, too, that I was going to do it today.

It was just time.

And in that spirit of its time.

I so too, shall start playing cello again.

“What defect comes up for you when you think of your stepfather?” He asked me.

The picture I get is always the same one, although, there were plenty of not so pretty ones in the mix, the first thing that always comes up is this:  walking in the snow at night down Windsor Road with my mother and stepfather.

We are not quite to the block the post office is on.

The snow is falling thick and heavy and my mother is wearing an ugly pair of boots that my stepfather got her–she hates them, but they are warm and she says nothing.

And I say nothing.

I am trapped between two adults choosing the path ahead for me with no say in the matter, my heart already broken by the move to Windsor and the loss of playing cello in the orchestra I had grown into and become so wildly fond of.

Mister Zeigler of Madison, Wisconsin, orchestra conductor for Gompers Middle School, where ever you are, however you are, I always have and always will owe you a great debt of gratitude for the gift of playing cello in your orchestra.

And for interceding on my behalf when my parents decided to pull me out.

My stepfather made that decision.

And so many others.

The one that was being made that cold snowy night was whether to allow me to take the advanced placement ACT test early as allowed certain students so that they could matriculate into upper level course in the highschool.






Why had I bothered even asking?

My stepfather would not hear my mom’s arguments in favor of and I was to be taught a lesson, so quickly learned, so hard to let go, that I was not allowed to ask.

That I was to be silenced.

My words.

My art.

My creativity.

My music.

You are not allowed to make noise.

Perhaps that is why having had now almost ten years of self-reflection and constant daily growth I grow loud in my dress at times and my voice, in my passion for life, in my need to create and love and dance and sing, even though often off-key.

“Go get yourself a cello,” he said.


I got my application out.

Now I can get my cello on.

The world.

It spins constant and continuous, and sometimes the orbit brings me back to an old standard and I get to listen to it anew and perhaps find a new way of introducing an old love to my life again.

I won’t silence myself.

Bring on the music.

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