Decisions and changes

Published October 31, 2015 by mamapossum1954

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. Things haven’t gone at all the way I anticipated they would – especially since the euphoria of my graduation from IUP in 2013 on my birthday. I’ve managed to hold onto sanity … but only just. Were it not for my dear Murphy, I fear I would have ended up in a padded cell long ago! And then there’s the support from my other friends and neighbors, and my dearest son.

One thing is certain. I have abandoned all thoughts of the IUP master’s program. I was sure I’d be able to get in, especially once the sociology department did away with the GRE requirement. I did apply for the English master’s program, but was turned down. Then thought of the counseling program…but of course that went nowhere after my HUGE faux pas with my favorite professor. So I set my sights once again on the sociology program. I even managed to write 85% of my goal statement. These past few days, however, have shown me some crucial facts.

Firstly, there is no way I’d be able to come up with the application fee. And I refuse to even consider asking my son for the money. Things are extremely tight, and he/we need a new vehicle – preferably before the truck disintegrates beneath us. As it is, I have come to realization that I can no longer ask him for “special” foods. After all, there is the food I’m getting from the food bank – most of it unappetizing, of course. And with my depression and lack of motivation, it’s difficult to come up with ideas of how to combine said unappetizing ingredients into something I could manage to digest.

Secondly, even though Murphy keeps reminding me that “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and which is the same advice I wouldn’t hesitate to give to others, there is no guarantee that I actually would be accepted into the program – even on the slight chance I could come up with the application fee.

Thirdly, there is also no guarantee that I would get financial aid. I’ve deferred my student loans 2 or 4 times already since graduation – due to the fact that I’ve been unable to find a job of any kind (the two interviews I’ve had with CYS came to naught).

Fourthly, let’s face it. I’m going to be 61 in December. Yes, other “older” people have gone onto getting their master’s or PhDs…and the majority of them could afford it financially. Also, there’s no guarantee that I’d even find employment with a master’s! My B.A. in Sociology certainly hasn’t made an impact in the job market!! Of course, if I didn’t live in such a small college town, with only retail and personal care positions – neither of which I can do, for various reasons – or if the public transportation system wasn’t so inadequate – or if I had my own reliable vehicle….well, never mind.

Frankly, even though I desired the sociology master’s program at IUP with all of my being, it wasn’t something I ever thought I’d gain. So I’ve accepted reality and embraced the defeat. And the possibility of doing patchwork and quilted items for sale is a pipe dream as well. Yes, I have a sewing machine. But there are no funds to buy materials, so…….

So what does that leave me?? Well, not a hell of a lot. I’ve even come to accept the fact that I’m a financial and emotional drain on my son. Of course, he doesn’t say anything (well, not much anyway)….but he has been dealing with his own stress – the vehicle, relationships, work, etc. It’s not fair for me to be such a burden on him. I’ll try to continue to explore my options, but really there’s not much to consider at the moment.

Some decisions are easy to make….

Published February 26, 2015 by mamapossum1954

Well, considering the fiasco that occurred between one of my professors and myself, I am no doubt persona non grata in the Sociology Department. At the very least, both of the professors I wanted an LOR from will consider me undeserving of one. So I made the executive decision to NOT apply for the counseling program. It’s probably something I would have been good at, considering my ability to “counsel” some of my friends (both on and off Facebook)…..but no other professor would be able to write me an LOR as convincing as the two I had chosen. Both of them had me as a student in several of their classes, and knew me almost as well as I know myself. Due to a huge error on my part – that I would be thoroughly memorable as a student – I burned that bridge. All of my other professors either had me for one class, many many semesters ago, or else are in the Sociology Department. And in spite of words of encouragement from some of my friends, and their insistence that there are other ways to graduate school, I have to disagree. Without LORs, there is NO WAY to be accepted into a graduate program. So, if I am unfortunate enough to not be accepted into the English program for Fall of 2015, there goes my chance at grad school.  And the job market since taking the civil service exam remains the same, well, there goes my chance at employment. I am unable to work retail or personal care, so there really is nothing else left here in Indiana, PA. I could probably try to start up a shop on Etsy with patchwork items….but materials cost money…..of which I have none. Nor can my son afford to subsidize me since he pays all the bills right now. Really in a dark funk at the moment.

Some Changes

Published February 23, 2015 by mamapossum1954

Sprawlmart in Indiana really needs to get their act together!!!  Don’t get me wrong….Most of the cashiers and CSMs are awesome!!  As are some of the assistant managers….But the way that management acts and interacts with the staff, well……

One of the APAs got fired last week. That leaves just my son, the new “hire” and the APM. AND they fired one of the cart pushers that Nathan was friends with. If they keep this up, they’ll have no friggin employees whatsoever!!!!!!

And, of course, I got THAT email from Dr. H.  OK, I’ll admit to being “flippant” in my email. I guess I thought I was more memorable than I actually was! And she took what I said the wrong way. So that leaves her and probably Dr. B hat I can’t ask for LORs. AND it probably means I’m persona non grata with the rest of the SOC Department as well. So…if I don’t get into the English Master’s Program, well, that’s it. I won’t be able to get LORs from any other prof that knows me really well, so that is that. Right now, I just don’t care any more.

Another Bout With the “Mystery Virus”

Published February 11, 2015 by mamapossum1954

I felt the prelude symptoms on Sunday – severe chills and fever and aching – so slept almost nonstop. Because I missed the first information session for the Dept. of Counseling Master’s Program, I knew I had to go to the one on Monday, Feb. 9th. Managed somehow to drag myself into the shower, but it used up most of my energy reserves. Managed to catch the buses to campus and meet up with Murphy; we stayed indoors in the warmth before heading to Stouffer Hall. Fortunately, it only went for about an hour, and most of my questions were answered…plus we were able to catch the Yellow bus home right outside of Stouffer.  But I was still quite ill, so spent all of yesterday (apart from 5 minutes when Randy, the maintenance guy, came to measure for the new carpet) in bed. We had to go to Walmart and Sheetz when my son got home, but I was able to go back to bed shortly after. Woke up after 8 this morning, and still feel like a steam roller ran me over!  I’ve been trying to work on my goal statement – but my brain is so fuzzy that not much is coming out. And I need to email my 2 professors to let them know I need their LOR’s before the 15th of March deadline, but don’t have enough energy or motivation to do that either.

We still need to throw stuff out from the living room and the big closet before the carpet guy comes. So much stuff was ruined when the downstairs was flooded by the water heater 3 weeks ago; fortunately, the only things of value I lost were in my handbag (bus schedules, various cards, the entire bag). It’s just difficult getting my son motivated to do much lately. I mean, fair enough, he works full time, and doesn’t get much “down time”…..but it’s almost impossible for me to carry stuff upstairs or out to the dumpster.

Year of Wallowing is over!

Published January 19, 2015 by mamapossum1954

Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve spent the last year since graduating from IUP alternating between extreme highs and lows.  I’d lost my anchor to reality, I guess.  And my sense of purpose. A few things have worked together to shake me out of this abyss….

Firstly, there’s my son’s promotion at Walmart.  No longer is he a lowly cart pusher! Kudos to the staff at the Indiana, PA Walmart for recognizing his work ethic and potential.  I may not like some of their policies, but the staff I’ve come to know over the years cannot be faulted. The icing on the cake is that he LOVES his job in  Loss Prevention!!!!!

Secondly, the apartment manager here put my son on the payroll to shovel snow and salt the sidewalks.  Bill is thrilled with my son’s hard work!

I’ve kind of given up on being impatient about when I’ll hear about my application to the IUP Master’s program in English.  Either way, I’ll hear something sooner or later.

Thanks to a dear friend I met at IUP, I was able to finally take the caseworker state civil service test, with a 92% score.

Now we come to some high/low points…..First, I was somewhat angry with one of my professors for taking over a month to write me a letter of recommendation for the master’s program. Due to the delay, my application was not in time for the spring semester.  But that’s okay…..Things happen when they’re supposed to happen.  And I realize people have their own lives to live and their own situations to deal with. So I’m over that.

I was trying to figure out alternative plans in case I don’t get accepted in the English program. Thanks to another good friend – I give her free “sessions” when she’s stressing out – and to contemplating what I’ve been through over the years, I registered for the information session at IUP to find out more about the master’s program in counseling.  Initially, I wanted to be a family support worker – in order to “give back” for all the help I received in Oz as a single mother. Hence, my switch to psychology as a major in my 3rd semester.  But due to problems with some of the psych courses, I switched back to sociology….although that did not get rid of the foreign language requirement, which I had a lot of trouble with!

I discovered I had a passion about social justice while taking SOC classes. Of course, if I was younger, I’d have more opportunities to choose from.  However, if I can get into the counseling program, I just may have found a niche.

Next…..I missed phone calls about an interview from CYS. Fortunately, they sent me a letter asking me to call – which I shall do if they’re open today (being MLK Day) or tomorrow. It was difficult finding 3 people to write letters of reference – I had hoped to get two of them from the profs who wrote my letters of recommendation for IUP, but it was winter break and that just wasn’t happening.  A window DID open, however; one of my other profs in SOC agreed to write one – and I was blown away at what she wrote!!  I also managed to get my 2 best friends (Murphy and Marcia) to write me letters of reference….both of which blew me away ever further!!!!

So, I’ve decided to start giving myself more credit and start trying to see myself as others see me.  More than 3 people can’t be wrong, can they????? So here’s to starting fresh!

Christmas Day 2014

Published December 25, 2014 by mamapossum1954

As usual, it’s been a quiet day so far.  Marcia stopped by earlier in the week with 4 presents plus an Old Navy Gift Card (the latter for Nathan….which was used the same day).  It was difficult not to open the gifts until today, but I managed.

As I said, Nathan got the Old Navy Gift Card – which came in handy since he buys 95% of his clothes online at that store.

I received 2 gifts: a sock monkey (with a bag of Werthers Originals) and a no-sew fleece Wolf throw.

No Sew Fleece Wolf Throw

Sock Monkey

For the house/family, we received a breadmaker and a crock pot, both of which will come in handy!

Breadmaker Crockpot

Apart from that, I upset Murphy on Facebook yesterday, which made me feel bad – not so good considering how nostalgic and low I’d been feeling all week. I posted a Merry Christmas greeting to all the members of my family (which includes the people that I’ve unofficially “adopted”). I knew what her feelings were on the phrase/terminology, of course, but didn’t want to go to all the hassle of editing the post by including a “Happy Holidays” greeting. Anyway, now I feel like a horse’s ass for my faux pas. I should have been more considerate. The one thing this reminds me of is of all the times I have alienated people and lost dear friends due to my proverbial “foot in mouth” disease!!!! I don’t really have all that many close friends that I can afford to alienate or lose any!!

Anyway, that’s been the day so far. We’re going to have ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and gravy and pumpkin pie this evening.

New thoughts….

Published September 29, 2014 by mamapossum1954

Firstly, late last night there was a semi-crisis with Murphy on FB. Traci & I were trading PMs about the situation – both of us extremely worried. To be honest, I really don’t know where I’d be right now without Murphy! I KNOW she’s frustrated & under a lot of pressure….and I realized that I haven’t been a very good friend of late. I’ve been wallowing in my own stresses, depression, lack of motivation, despair – you name it! Often, I couldn’t even be bothered having a shower or going out anywhere – unless errands needed to be taken care of. I’m determined to rectify this error.

On a different note, I’ve been scanning Etsy some more, as well as websites for patchwork patterns, material, batting, etc……Pretty much decided to try my hand at smaller items (placemats, table toppers, baby quilts, aprons) and try to determine the cost involved. I’m kind of following a handful of shops on Etsy to get an idea of what they’re selling & for how much, popularity, etc. It also gives me a good idea of how to set up my own “shop”. There’s quite a few articles on tips for Etsy sellers, so that’s a plus.

Today is “errand day” since Nate is off. Bank to put money in for bills, get a few food items at Walmart, grab some tobacco and tubes, then home to do the trash…and (hopefully) locate my binder with quilt patterns.