All posts for the month September, 2013

Late Sunday Morning

Published September 29, 2013 by mamapossum1954

Here I sit on a fairly sunny day, contemplating doing my laundry (I had to do 2 loads yesterday….both for my son; the first one so he could hang out with his friend, the second for work for today & tomorrow), writing up notes for my exam in Social Policy, or having a nap. Still haven’t heard from Murphy yet, even though I posted him a link to my one post and then copied & pasted the post into an email.

Found out today they’re planning to change the GED exam as of Jan. 2014. The changes would mean Nathan needing a new study book….they’re using the “Common Core” Curriculum and adding 4 essay questions; they’re also computerizing the test as well as placing a flat fee of $120 on the exam. According to the article in the Gazette, Arin is planning on running a test each month to allow people to take it before the new changes come into effect. Hopefully Nathan will be able to take the test either in Nov. or Dec. and pass it. We’ll have to see what his schedule is like and if he can manage his time so he can study for the test.

I have 2 books to mail out tomorrow. More books waiting to be posted; I didn’t want to post all of them since I didn’t want to have to lug them on the bus on the way to school in order to post them all at once. Not sure what happens once I’ve posted & mailed all the ones I’ve got.


“New” news

Published September 24, 2013 by mamapossum1954

Ended up at home … again. This time, thanks to Taco Bell. Murphy & I went there yesterday for lunch during my break between classes. I have to admit the Veggie Cantina Bowl was really good (the C&W music, not so much). But for some strange reason, my stomach began acting like a volcano preparing for eruption. Well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Anyway, in between trips to the loo, I managed to assist Nathan with finishing the cleaning of our apartment for inspection – which occurred this afternoon around 4-ish … for all of 3-5 minutes. Still, at least the place is clean now….even if we did have to make a dash to sprawlmart last night for a new vacuum when the one we had (a Eureka something-or-other) gave up the ghost.

Had the windows open today and it was really nice. But then it got quite chilly about an hour ago (6 pm) so the kitchen and living room ones had to be closed.

Still haven’t managed to find the time to put the drawers together for Nathan’s desk, or the bookcase, but at least we got all the trash out – including the “old” desk and numerous empty boxes we were hanging onto for some reason or other. My next big task will be to empty the microwave table and go through the upstairs linen closet and the downstairs big closet. I want to go through the stuff in my 2 closets as well since I have no clue what most of the stuff is in there. Big job!

Tomorrow I have my telephone interview with my caseworker from the CAO. Hopefully she will not (1) lose/mis-file the paperwork I hand delivered to the office, and (2) our food stamps won’t go down too much due to Nathan’s working.

Oh, and I found out the next GED tests are in the beginning of October. Way too soon for him to be ready unfortunately. Also, he would need adequate time to find someone to cover his shifts those days or else rearrange his schedule through personnel.

Oh, well, there goes my stomach again, so I’ll cut this short.

Thoughts on a Personal Statement

Published September 23, 2013 by mamapossum1954

Poverty. Domestic Violence. Child Abuse. Social Inequality. Welfare. Most of these terms were merely words before I began college as a mature-age student. Up until I had my son in 1991 as an older mother of 38, I didn’t know what it was like to struggle from week to week. Not only financially, but also mentally and emotionally. The challenges of motherhood were compounded by my being a single parent…in a “foreign” country…with no family and few friends…and little knowledge of the various support systems available to “people like me.”

(Note: just jotting down thoughts in regards to my personal statement required for graduate school. Anyone reading this is welcome to offer their thoughts, opinions, criticisms, etc. This is only the beginning.)

Not really much news….

Published September 18, 2013 by mamapossum1954

Shower is still spraying water sideways….there was a “leak” last week (tho not when my son takes a shower), which ended up needing a bucket downstairs (not much water…mainly “drips”). Freaked me out this morning, so I was pretty quick.

On Friday, we didn’t have our Social Problems class as Prof. Sandhoff was feeling ill & losing her voice, so I got to go home early. Same for Monday – she was still sick, so no classes. Then I ended up with a stomach bug & missed classes yesterday.  And, of course, the bi-annual eligibility form for food stamps came in the mail on Monday. Since my son has the day off, he’s going to run me over there to drop off the forms before taking me to class. Hopefully she won’t lose the damn papers for a third time!!!

Nathan got a desk from Staples (his OLD one was (1) old, and (2) falling apart. So we spent one evening putting the thing together (except for the drawers). Looks really nice, and alot bigger than his old one. I looked over the instructions for the 5 shelf bookcase that’s still sitting in the box in my room that we bought from Walmart a few years ago. Looks like a piece of cake compared to the desk!!! Should not be a problem putting that thing together.

Really been in a “funk” lately. Not sure if that’s the correct term, but I’m using it anyway. Not depressed exactly; not sad; not content; not happy; not excited…..just “funky”. Probably a side effect from not having my panic disorder/depression meds, but what can I do?? No insurance; can’t afford to pay for a doctor. We still need to get the repairs done on the truck & pay for insurance by the end of December. I still need to pay Barb. Still need to get my cap & gown for graduation. Not really sure about taking the GRE for grad school since it’s $185. I still need to talk to Dr. Shinberg, though.

Well, so much for that. We have to leave in roughly 45 minutes, so……I’d better get dressed.


Published September 11, 2013 by mamapossum1954

Here it is the 12th anniversary of September 11th. A sad day but one we should all remember.

Classes have been going well so far. Really like the new professor, Dr. Sandhoff. And especially her Contemporary Social Problems class!!! In a way, I kind of wish I’d taken the course earlier….but in another way, I’m glad I waited because she’s really got a handle on the course content and strives for the students to do lots of critical thinking.

I had to miss last Thursday – thought the window contractors were coming to our place; plus I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before. They swore they’d be here on Monday – Nathan was off that day….but they didn’t show up. No; they showed up yesterday (Tuesday). I was already on my way with Murphy to Giant Eagle Express for coffee so could not go back home, and Nathan was about ready to leave for work. Naturally he didn’t want to talk to them….but I guess he did ‘cos he sent me a text later saying they’d be here on Wednesday. So…..I had to stay home today. That makes 1 absence for each of my classes, which isn’t too bad. Had to do his laundry this morning (woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:30!), then woke him up just after 7 as the contractors came.

Francine had called me last night just as Nathan got home – it was stinking hot all day & he’d had a bad day (he thought he might have gotten a bit of heat stroke). So I went outside (of course Nathan was none too pleased about that) to talk to her to save on my cell minutes. She was furious with the contractors!! Wrote a fairly nasty complaint letter & texted Cindy as well. There were gaps between the window frame and the wall, caulking on the carpet …. Apparently Bob was none too pleased either; he’d said something about writing a letter….and Cindy is going to be here around 2 today so Francine can show her her windows.

Well, on my way to the laundry, I had a word with the “owner” (turns out he isn’t the owner) about the complaints. I did this for 2 reasons. Firstly, I felt he had a right to know. Secondly, by telling him about the complaints, I was hoping to guarantee they wouldn’t screw up MY windows. Anyway, Nathan had a quick shower & they came in….finished the windows not long after he left for work. And they did a spot on job!!! I felt bad for Jay (the “owner”) ‘cos it stressed him out. But like I told him, if anyone had a problem, they should have discussed it with him first, before writing a nasty letter. Hopefully, my part in this will be kept on the Q.T. as I don’t want trouble with Francine or any other neighbors.

Right now I’m washing/drying my sweaters & winter coats. Already did the towels. I was going to do my quilt & blanket, but it’s really hot outside and “Hot Body” just put his clothes in. I may do my stuff when he’s finished.

Actually, I probably could have made it to campus for my appointment with Dr. Shinberg at 12:45 and my Social Problems class….but wanted to get some of this laundry caught up (it was strewn all over my bedroom floor). Not much left of my clothes to wash….the other plastic laundry basket is full of Nathan’s old stuff, that he still has to go through.

That’s all the updates for now. I’m going to take out some newspapers and check on my coats & sweaters.

I am….

Published September 5, 2013 by mamapossum1954

I am a single mother with a 22 year old son and a black lab mix named Marky.  I am a mature-age, non-traditional college student who is a super senior and hoping to graduate in December 2013. I am a first generation college student. I am an only child. I am white. I am divorced – twice. I am a heterosexual female. I am (chronologically) 58 years old. I am shy and unsure of myself. I am loyal. I am of Polish, Serbian, British, and German ancestry. I am a person who loves to read, listen to classical and cool jazz music, surf the internet, play Farm Town, crochet ripple afghans, do patchwork, I am at times over-emotional; I cry at movies, even though I know it’s make believe. I am Catholic, and Christian, and registered as a Republican. I am sometimes conservative and sometimes liberal in my views on politics and society and life. I am someone who dislikes change. I am someone who enjoys to travel and even lived for over 20 years in Australia. I am complex yet easy to understand. I am afraid of failure and therefore hold myself to higher standards than others. I am someone who despises inequality and racism and other “ism”s. I am someone who tries to open and honest with everyone. I am cynical yet someone who gives love too easily.

You might ask why I wrote the above paragraph. I don’t know. In our Racial & Ethnic Minorities sociology class this week, we had to fill out an exercise describing ourselves. So I decided to expand on that here. I’m sure I forgot some things…my favorite book (there are too many), favorite movie (again, too many), favorite motto (not sure I have one, unless it’s “Everything happens for a reason.”), and many more.

I consider myself well-read and well-educated. I abhor ignorance, inconsideration, rudeness, dishonesty. My pet peeve happens to be people who misspell words…especially people who should know better but are just too lazy to spell things correctly (and I am NOT talking about people with learning disabilities). I enjoy modern technology….in fact, I would be lost without the internet!…At the same time, I consider it a dysfunction of today’s society when everyone (mainly younger people) walk around constantly texting on their phones, utterly oblivious to their surroundings and other people. At times I am outspoken; at other times I don’t speak up when I should.

I have, in the past, been secure in the knowledge that I am not racist or prejudiced. Now, however, I wonder if perhaps I am…simply because I enjoy so many privileges and advantages just because my skin happens to be white. I have always believed, as was raised, that no one is better than anybody else, that all people are equal. Yet, today, that is not the case. Perhaps in believing that I neglect to celebrate each individual’s difference, neglect to celebrate diversity.

I hold strong opinions, some of which are not shared by those closest to me. When I see injustice, I become angry and disillusioned and jump on my soapbox to tell all how wrong that is.

Strange Happenings

Published September 4, 2013 by mamapossum1954

I’ll admit I was in a very weird mood this morning. I did Nathan’s laundry last night so I could catch the 8:30 bus this morning to go for coffee with Murphy at Giant Eagle Express. Was in a so-so frame of mind when I got up. Made N’s lunch before I left. Murphy got on the bus at her stop…..One of the guys from the workshop was on the bus as well (Ray). He’s nice but it’s difficult to understand him when he talks at times. Anyway, Murphy and I are sitting there talking….and Ray asks if he is my son. I laughed and said, “No” followed with (and I have NO idea where it came from!) “He’s my boyfriend.” Murphy didn’t know where to look!! Not that I embarrassed her or anything like that. I mean, to anyone who looks, Murphy looks like a guy…and I suppose physically she is that. Still, I’ve no idea where the hell that came from. Like I said, I was in a very odd state of mind at the time.

Anyway, we went for coffee and chatted for awhile, then I walked her to the Counseling Center – she had an appointment at 10 am. I strolled to the library but took a detour to Clark to visit the Financial Aid office. Asked them about funding for grad students. The girl told me they give grad students about $20,000 per year, and then she said something about having a graduate assistantship. So I’m not sure if that comes off the financial aid (which is totally loans) or what. Anyway, I’ve got my appt. with Dr. B after class tomorrow so I’ll see what she says about grad school. Then, if it all seems in order, I’ll go talk to Dr. Shinberg and see what she says. Then I may have to go to Stright to the Graduate Program office for info.

Randy came by when I got home and put the new bathroom sink and taps on and, I think, replaced the S-bend pipe thingy. I took the Bear for an afternoonly and glanced at the old graduate school catalog. I’ll have to see if I can get a current copy to see what sort of fees I’d be up against. I don’t want to make any rash decisions until I have all the details. The only thing I DO know at this point is that I WANT to go to grad school….hopefully at IUP.

Oh, and I spent some time with Karlee at lunch time. She brought me up to speed on all the happenings over the summer. Wow! What a lot of trials and tribulations she and Jesse went through!!!! So, he had a job interview today and didn’t bring the Mexican lasagna like he was going to.