I’m sitting here in a semi-daze, stunned. I’m not used to receiving phenomenally good news. Actually, it’s usually the opposite. Life has been a little crazy lately. As I previously mentioned, I’ve had to file several appeals with my university, because I was initially told that almost 90 credit hours would be accepted as transfers-in. That would’ve meant that I could’ve graduated in May of 2016- a bit earlier than what would’ve been considered “standard”. (By about a year.) So I was pretty excited by that news a year ago, and that was part of the reason why I chose my school: IU East. It’s a top-notch school- one of the best in the state, in fact.
So again, when my adviser told me (only 4 months ago) that my previous advisers had made a mistake, and that they would now have to take away almost 30 of my credit hours, I lost it, understandably. I don’t have $11,000 for the remaining credit hours. Plus, it would’ve meant that I would have had to put off my graduation date by another year. Needless to say, all of this has taken away my academic shine and I began thinking that taking a year off was probably in store for me in the immediate future. In short, I was disenchanted altogether- to say the least.
My adviser told me that she had tried to plead with the graduation board on my behalf, but came back with the news that they “never make an exception”. I may as well not even try, and count my losses with my wins along the way in this academic journey. And, for a little while, I felt myself giving up. I just didn’t have it in me to put up a fight, really. At least, in the beginning. But as time drew on, I became angry. I couldn’t believe that a school could commit such an egregious oversight and tell me to clean up the mess, as it were. It just didn’t seem fair!
Really, I was supposed to contact my adviser and go through that channel. But when things get serious, I like to handle matters myself. So, I filed an appeal. I didn’t even tell my adviser. I just did it. I pleaded my case and provided documents to substantiate my claims. And then I waited.
That was several weeks ago. I had already decided to drop my Statistics course a few weeks ago, and then filed a refund appeal, because I felt my professor was entirely incompetent. I lost the appeal due to “insufficient evidence”, although I provided the committee with 9 accompanying documents. Perhaps that was a bit much. Live and learn!
That was an $800 loss, no biggie. So when I checked my school email today, I wasn’t expecting to find what I did. I heard back from the 2nd appeal committee and they relayed to me that they had decided to make an exception (!) and shaved 6 classes off of my advising worksheet/audit, meaning, instead of needing to take 11 more classes to graduate, right now, I only need 5. This is a huge victory!
From what I know, this has never happened in the history of this school. It’s unbelievable. That will save me roughly $6,000- $7,000 off my tuition. I have a total of $4,100 for my spring semester, so that means that I’ll need to pitch in a grand or so for my remaining class, and if I push for the summit and take 5 classes in the spring (January-May of 2016), I’ll be able to graduate with my B.S. in Psychology then, in May, and begin working on my Master’s in Forensic Psychology the following semester, in August of 2016.
This is the best news I’ve received in a long time. 🙂
And I have to say it: IU East, you just changed my entire life’s course. THANK YOU.
And Al, if you’re reading this, a million thank you’s for encouraging me to file that appeal. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support. And, I wish you much continued success in the future and have no doubt that you’ll continue having many more successful solo exhibits. 😉
I just found out that I’ve been given a partial Perkins loan ($750) to pay for more than half of my 2 summer courses. Woot! I’m so super stoked. I like psychology- but I’m madly passionate about criminology– it really is my thing.
This is what my textbook looks like for my (serial killers) course:In Forensic Anthropology, we’ll be studying human remains in disaster settings, as well as reconstructing crime scenes. It’s going to be an interesting semester. 🙂
Well, not quite yet, of course.
I have a long way to go. But I have it in my scope and it’s on my horizon. I don’t know how I’ve always known that one day I’ll be a doctor. When I was in Nursing (20 years ago), I was a top med. student (Phi Theta Kappa) and found out that I was really good in school. Who knew? I was an awful student in high school, elementary, and probably even kindergarten. But a destructive home life (and excessive abuse) played its heavy hand in my poor academics. I was traumatized year after year, because I had to live with the person who molested me. That wasn’t easy. Let’s just say I wasn’t given the same shot as others in life, starting out.
But perhaps this is why I’m so driven to succeed. I’m destined to be a success because I feel it. Just because I’m not who I want to be “right now” doesn’t mean that I won’t become who I know God is carving me out to be. He’s already shown me what my potential is: I just have to do the work. When the time comes- He’ll open the doors.
So I’ve decided to move in the direction of my greatest passion of all- even greater than photography and singing: criminal profiling. That’s right: I want to be the one who stalks the serial killers. This June I’ll be starting on my BA in Forensic Psychology, and then my goal is to work on my MA in Forensic Psychology and ultimately, my doctorate.
I suppose my childhood had something to do with my interest in criminology. My Dad used to read True Detective magazines- religiously. He was a single parent and was concerned about some of us kids roaming the streets. He wanted to show us what the world was really like. So, he sat my brothers and me down and shared with us the stories of many unfortunate women. The pics were in black and white and so the bloody crime scenes were particularly disturbing because the smeared blood was a hideous thick black. It altered the way I viewed things: I was 7, 8, 9 and 10.
For years we saw those photos: women who’d been mutilated, decapitated, and “posed” by their killer intentionally, to leave a message for the police. It was the killer’s calling card. Now I won’t agree with this style of parenting- it’s extreme. But I will say, it worked, because every time I thought about hitching a ride or getting in someone’s car, I saw those grizzly crime scenes: no doubt it saved my life many times.
When I was a teenager, I read every serial killer book I could get my hands on: Gacy, Bundy, The Green River Killer, Son of Sam, Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker), TBK killer- the list is very long. For the next 20 years I studied criminology on my own, and for my own interest. I learned about luminol and other forensic applications, crime scenes, basic protocol, and various other areas of investigative work. Even now, the majority of all of the shows I watch are true crime: ID TV: Investigative Discovery.
I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, but not a medical one. And, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist, but not one who studies genes. Now I see clearly the direction I want to go in and the direction I’ve been prepping for my whole life: Forensic Psychology, also known as, criminal profiling.
The dog bite on my right ring finger recently was a blessing in disguise. Because I was unable to type for weeks, I had to hand write all of my notes out. And still I do. I have folders that are full of my note-taking and studies in my courses: it’s caused me to be able to retain almost all of my work.
I’m excited about this new direction I’m taking. it’s fairly common to fishtail around for the first few years in school and I’ve done my share of it, but I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life. This is right for me.
I’m 44 years old. My goal is to get my doctorate before I’m 50. It’s a lofty goal! But I’m dedicated.
Things are going great with Josh too. (This week.) We’ve decided to remain amicable (and VERY platonic) for the duration of the next few months. I’m so close to buying my own home! We’ve decided to have separate homes but remain in each others lives and help support each other in our scholastic endeavors. I want to be a profiler, he wants to build airplanes and fly them. I’m encouraging him to move in the direction of aerospace engineering. He’s got a brilliant mind and he’s without a doubt one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known.
So I’m off to finish up a karyotyping/meiosis assignment in Biology. I’ve been reinstated in my Intro. to Social Work class which is good, but that means that I now have to knock out 4 months of work in only two. I’ve got this. 😉