For the first time in many weeks, it’s quiet here. It’s 3:14 a.m. and I really have no business being up at this time of night; tomorrow’s a school day- in more ways than one. I’m home-schooling my nephew, Johnboy, now. He comes over 3 times per week and we put in about 30 hours weekly. I won’t say where he was academically before I took over, but he’s making great progress and he’s got the grades to prove it. 🙂 Before we began, I made him an irresistible proposition: I offered to buy him a cell phone if he wrote me a report on any book from the library that was 300 pages or more. Over the next few weeks, he cultivated a careful 3 page report on Malcom X and I made good on my promise.
There are other incentives! Such as this:
I made him his favourite pie (cherry) the other day. It looks a little beat up, but it did the trick. 😉 (I also made 2 salted caramel chocolate pumpkin cheesecakes and homemade red pepper and roasted garlic chickpea hummus. It was to die for!)
Earlier this evening, things got a little out of hand, as they usually do, and Josh and I parted ways. I really hope it’s for good this time. I’m exhausted from the emotional chaos and I deal with conflict in a calm, peaceful way the majority of the time. I usually just “go away”. I like my quiet time where I can reflect and collect myself (and talk
to with God). But these past few days, I’ve felt this raging sea boiling up in me, because that’s what’s been unleashed on me for weeks now. I just reached my breaking point- I really did. Thankfully, Josh left, taking his things with him.
It’s been hard lately, but I’m eager to explore this new chapter in my life! Even a year ago, the thought of living my life as a single woman was daunting, but I lived the whole winter “manless” and got by just fine. Sure, it was pretty rough sailing for a while! And I was heartbroken. But what I feel now is actually relief. I’ve waited a really long time to be able to focus on me and actually begin a career. (Or, begin to begin a career.)
And now I’m there. I don’t need anyone screwing that up for me! I want to be alone for a good long while. I don’t feel sad at all, but I’m sure those days are coming. Pain is inevitable. I’m just at the very beginning of it all when denial is still at its peak and everything is “just spiffy”. But the gray days are coming.
I’m going to be alright though. I’ve come to a new place where I enjoy solitude- not only enjoy it, but crave it.
I think I’m actually growing up.
Five days until school is out. Woohoo!
I swear I’m so tired of talking about school. But, since I’m already on it, let’s update.
Still to go:
1 videotaped diagnostic interview
1 biology Biome assignment (due today)
3 5-10 page APA research papers to write in 3 different classes
1 video presentation on Autism
Piece o’ cake. I could do that in my sleep by now.
I’ve decided to change plans. Again.
I’ll be taking the whole summer off and taking lots (and lots) of pics. I can afford to take the summer off without working- it’s going to be pure Heaven, I tell ya. And after the year I’ve had so far?
I got it coming to me I think.
It’s 4:27 a.m. and I’m wide awake. There’re only three weeks left in the semester and I’m running out of time fast. I still have 4 major research papers to write (APA, of course), 30 hours of practicum/intern/volunteering at the psych ward and youth shelter, a diagnostic interview to videotape, and an oral presentation on Autism to prepare and record. (Not to mention 6 more exams.) My accumulative GPA is 3.65: not too shabby.
I tried sleeping but darn it, I have a career to plan! Besides, I have an executive decision to make: transfer immediately over to Indiana University Bloomington to begin working on my B.S. in Criminal Justice, or stick it out for the summer semester at my current university, Vincennes, and receive my 2nd degree- an A.S. in Social Work. I’m 97% finished, according to my audit, which means if I take only 3 more social work courses this summer- I’ll have my 2nd degree.
Granted, little can be done with an A.S. in Social Work (apart from residential counseling, youth director, case manager in a group home or Substance Abuse facility, etc.) but I do also have the degree in Behavioral Sciences too, along with the CPC in Substance Abuse. Technically, it’s 5 academic years combined.
My short term primary objective is to become a probation officer, and possibly, parole- ultimately. (Perhaps 3 years in probation working with juveniles, then a transition over to parole so I can take a few years experience with me.) I’m really wanting to stay in the area of juvenile work: I’d rather work with impressionable, responsive, and “workable” adolescents who haven’t already been hardened by poor choices and criminal deviance. However, my dilemma is that most probation office facilities require a bachelor’s degree. I have the equivalency, and I’m sure I could sell myself in the area if I tried, but I really think I do need the Criminal Justice training. I’m not entirely loving “Social Work”, and so I’m tempted to simply transfer over to IU Bloomington so I can begin working on my Criminal Justice degree over the summer. But that means tossing my A.S. in Social Work when I’m 97% finished!
I suppose I’ve ramble-typed enough to have worked this out: I’ll remain at Vincennes for the duration of the summer and complete my Social Work degree. In the meantime, I’ll have registered at IU Bloomington and will be ready to go this fall.
I still have my heart set on Forensic Psychology, but for now, a B.S. in Criminal Justice is what I need to focus on. I’m hoping to be able to integrate photo therapy into my work (down the road) and do more school readings with my children’s book, but I have to keep my irons in the fire down to, oh…say FIVE or so.
I’m considering taking my Abnormal Psychology chapter test on Theories, Perspectives, and Models but I s’pose that can wait until the morning. I’m so super excited these days! I’ve waited 20 long years to be able to go back to college, get a few degrees under my belt, and start my career. My kids are mostly grown (17-24), so I’m allowing myself the luxury to focus on ME now. This has all been carefully planned for a very long time and it’s exciting that I’m finally actually doing it.
Only two more years!
Along the way I’m going to join and pick up certification in IAAP (Indiana Association for Addiction Professionals ) & ICAADA (Indiana Counselors Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse). My Substance Abuse professor suggested that I join these two organizations. I’m not necessarily going into the Substance Abuse/Intervention field, but I think more than a Criminal Justice degree is necessary if one wants to be an effective probation officer. Many juveniles will have already experienced drugs and alcohol by the time they’re 13. Juveniles that are sent to the probation department? Their experiential substance abuse percentage is closer to 100%. I want to have a few extra tools in my belt: a solid substance abuse education and credentials are essential when working with juveniles.
Juveniles + substance abuse = probation
adults + substance abuse = parole
substance abuse – college education = homelessness, jail, criminal behavior, etc.
It’s only a matter of time before a juvenile experimenting with substance abuse ends up homeless, in prison, or on parole. There’s a very strong correlation between juveniles who are on probation and substance abuse. I want to do what I can so that he or she doesn’t end up going down that road.
And now I’m off to bed.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering what a cell looks like during its anaphase cycle of mitosis, this is it:
Centromeres: whole black peppercorn
Spindle Fibers: uncooked pasta
Chromosomes: Ramen noodles soaked in Srirracha sauce
Microtubules: whole green tea
Grade received: A
I woke up this morning to a sink full of pee. Also, there are two rolls of toilet paper missing. I scroll through my mental rolodex of people, friends, animals, and other beings who have been in this place for the past 24 hours. What could this mean?
It’s kind of like the game Clue, except the wrench or gun has been replaced with a sink of pee. Josh thinks our dog did it. He does sometimes climb up on the counter (over the sink) and tear into the trash. Yes, yes, perhaps. Could he have peed in the sink? It’s possible. But the two rolls of toilet paper. How could they have simply vanished? No traces of their whereabouts.
These are things that I can ponder over the next twelve days without the internet. I’ve been stashing game and entertainment folders like a hoarder preparing for the apocalypse. Twelve days without the internet! That’s a lifetime. I’ve been chained to this bed and laptop for days- knocking out assignment after assignment. Criminology final- check. Cultural essay (with MLA citations) in Spanish II- check. Five remaining assignments in Lifetime Fitness and Wellness- check. I’ve knocked back 4 classes (and my finals) a month early in preparation for the internet crash. I remember taking pictures outside…and shadows! I like shadows! Two more days of school madness and it’s over. I’m hobbling through the finish line but dang it, I made it.
I’ll be back with stories of my graduation. Until then, farewell all!
So I’ve been sitting here doing homework for the past (30 hours with a sleep break) few hours, and have decided to do the self-challenge that I’ve wanted to do for years: I’m going to leave my camera in monochrome for a whole year. After my next birthday, I’ll take my first coloured photograph. The majority of everything looks better to me in black and white anyway, and when I compose a shot in monochrome- as opposed to colour- it always tells a story.
I can twist the lighting any way I want and distort and change my image: pancakes become mountains- the syrrup the sea- and the edge of the syrup-filled pancake looks like a gashed-open knee. I love the way the light fades off into the syrrupy-darkness.
Clearly, I’ve done too much schoolwork and am creating little worlds now in my plate of food.
Back to the schoolwork.
Josh and I were driving back from seeing his family in Shelbyville and we saw the most beautiful double rainbow. The skies had broken out in a split panoramic light show of epic proportions: oversized rays were spilling out onto either side of the highway and we thought we were in for a storm. Midway through our return, a rainbow broke out into the sky. We talked about his mother and family and what a great time we’d had; the rainbow agreed and it duplicated itself- making us both smile as it followed us all the way home.
(Taken with 2 MP crap-cell phone.)
Life is back to its busy self; I’m lost in my studies, teetering back and forth between Criminology and Therapeutic Interventions with Substance Abusers II- but I love it. I’ve bought a new laptop and have turned it into my essay writing machine, loading it up with Microsoft Office (Pro) and a plethora of other goodies. I’ve paid close to $4,000 in bills and things in the past few days alone, which included a $900 car debt my mother couldn’t pay. I was honoured to be able to do that for her. We haven’t two pennies to rub together hardly, but everbody’s paid and I’ve managed to book one of the most sought after cabins in all of Tennessee for our little getaway, a little place called “Unforgettable”. (Yes, the cabin is actually called “Unforgettable”.) I’ll be posting pics and updates on that at the end of September. I’ll be taking my Mom and Heidi, my oldest daughter, along with Josh. The cabin, along with the cleaning fee + taxes is $441 for two nights; an unbelievable steal for a multi-level luxury cabin in the Smokies with not one but two hot tubs overlooking the mountains, one of them being outdoors on the deck.
It looks a little something like this (website pics):
Definitely one of the nicer cabins I’ve ever seen and the reviews are incredible. We can’t wait! We’re fortunate that so many people are superstitious about Friday 13th- September was booked solid for the entire month, but the 13th and 14th were open so I snagged them immediately. (13 is my favourite number so that works well for me.) We’ll probably go to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum also; this is a dream come true as I’ve been wanting to take Heidi to the Smokey mountains for over 10 years. Well, my Mom too.
I have more to write- some things not so grand- but I’m tired and will be returning to my bed to continue reading Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath. I was far too busy to finish it a year or so ago when I checked it out at the library: I’m much more eager to do so this time, in between essays and drug and crime reports.
Josh is whistling at his computer like a deranged bird, rubbing a metal “this or that” between his lips to make a warbled sound. I can tell by his fixed gaze on his laptop game that he’s happy- his belly, fat with mesquite-grilled barbecue that we slow cooked out on the deck yesterday. There’s a pleasant buzz in the air lately. Carl is still with us and our morale has been reestablished, if not altogether fortified.
And now I’m off to bed.
Absolute value is always positive. (Nice to know.)
It’s been almost 100 degrees every day in this place: the sun is screaming hot and the air is stifling. We lay around like rags covering the furniture. We have an AC but we need three. Tomorrow we’ll get a couple more.
It’s 1:34 a.m. and it’s deliciously cool in here at the moment. Josh and I are considering exchanging our days and nights so we can work in the cool hours and sleep in the heat. It’s likely.
To recap for the day, we took a mile walk at the park after eating chicken salad sandwiches. The mile walk is a fair trade for a frozen pumpkin yogurt in a large waffle cone. Not that I have to, mind you. I still have a kicking little figure (even at 43) and although I rarely exercise, I do take very good care of my cells, particularly from the inside out. I’ve learned that if your cells are healthy, the rest of you follows. People are quite hung up on “the big picture” with their bodies- over all weight, etc. and I really think the answer to good body maintenance is in blood cleansing, colon cleansing, and proper oxidation. (Because well…proper oxidation does cleanse the blood.)
I really can’t get started on colon cleansing at 1:40 in the morning. Don’t I have better things to write about?
Which brings me right back to absolute value.
I’ve manages to bring my grade up a whole notch in pre-calculus. Just that word “precalculus” used to scare the crap out of me. Who knew that I’m actually pretty good at it? Go figure. I love it, and, I find it very easy to understand. (Hence my notes above.) Let’s see…let’s see…I scored a 50 out of 50 on a monster assignment in Health Psychology- didn’t see that one coming.
Josh is fiddling around with his gadgets and electronics- he continues to amaze me with his inventions. He’s always building something. I hear him now singing and playing his guitar. He’s happy. So am I. :0)
My head is throbbing and I’m sure I should go to bed but I have some reading to do in Public Speaking. Bob is out with friends, and Meatball has come home again! I may have forgotten to mention that Meatball (our 17 lb. cat) went missing several days ago. Alas, Josh rescued him earlier today. Josh is picking away “hillbilly style” now and having a downright foot-stomping jamboree in the other room.
“Wow, you sound really good,” I said to him.
“I sound like Hank Williams, don’t I?” He asked me.
“No,” I said. “You sound like Josh trying to sound like Hank Williams.”
There’s a celebratory vibe hanging in the air now. It’s 1:51.
I think we’re celebrating the cool night air! We know we’re going to be comfortable for at least 6 more hours. I’ve just realized that I haven’t had a migraine in quite some time.
Speaking of which, it’s time to hit the books.