*sigh* I keep torturing myself by looking at adoption agency websites. Yes, I'm a masochist.
I miss Pennsic.
Um, other than that, I might actually have to crack open my nursing book and start studying. I got a 90% on my last test, which is still an A but just barely. I want to make the Dean's List every quarter, I think on one hand to prove something to myself and to others, and on the other, I think it would be nice to have some sort of bragging rights, you know? To show that I'm not a total failure at school, never mind that I keep starting and failing to graduate through some muckup or other.
Oh hell, I don't know.
5 more to go...
Also, I've had a hankering to try just a weensie bit harder to not look like Exhausta McHaglike. So I picked up some lip gloss. I dunno...we'll see. Lord knows since I single-handedly keep Chapstick in business it's just as easy to smear on some lip gloss instead. Maybe eventually I'll get to the point of wearing makeup again on a regular basis. I know, I know, it only takes a few minutes, etc., etc., I'll look a lot better with makeup on, more self-confidence blah blah blah. As a fat chick, I feel more secure feeling invisible. But wanting to feel invisible and yet wishing I wasn't makes for a heavy makeup addiction, even if I never wear the stuff. One might argue that the makeup addiction is worse for never wearing the stuff. So like I said, it's easiest to start off with lip gloss and see if I can get the hang of that.
Can you tell I've forgotten to take my crazy pills on a regular basis this week?
Which reminds me...brb, dosing myself.
It's probably bad form to reward myself for taking my antidepressant by scooping myself a large bowl of ice cream, but I haven't had dinner yet and dairy is one of the four food groups or whatever stupid chart the USDA is using these days. So screw it.
I know part of the problem is what time of year it is: Pennsic season. As usual, I won't be going this year, nor will I be able to go next year (since I'll still be in year-round school). Pennsic 2014 (er, I think that's, what, Pennsic 44? 45?) will be the earliest I will be able to go, which makes me all sorts of sad. It's hard to explain WHY it makes me so sad, except maybe for this post I made back in the day. It's just...promises, you know? And the prospect of meeting some of you on my f-list (assuming I could work up the courage to stop by and say hello -- being just an okay costumer means that some of you all are like rock stars to me...like expect me to get a little starry-eyed and maybe even choke up a little bit if I ever meet you) even if it is intimidating!
Yes, yes, I know Pennsic will still be there, but adopting from foster care means there are enormous levels of governmental interference in our lives for an unknown and unpredictable length of time, and I'd like to go to Pennsic before having to negotiate crossing state lines with a foster child, and all the headaches that come with dealing with a bureaucracy. I'll be 36 in 2014. And considering my late 30s is (IMO) getting Too Old for first-time motherhood (especially if we are blessed with smaller children), that means we are very limited to how many more years we can put off Pennsic without also hanging up our chances to become parents.
Added to that is the very peculiar sensation that I have felt since first coming down with this round of strep. My ears aren't involved in the infection, otherwise I'd blame this weird feeling on that. It feels like I am a half-second slow on physical responses to stimuli, and that my balance is off just a hair. I'm shaky and just a tiny bit nauseous too. It's like I'm a combination of tipsy and hypoglycemic. Very weird. If this continues after finishing all of my antibiotics, I will go back to the doctor to get checked out.
And naturally, I want to sew. Nevermind that it's finals week and feeling like I'm consistently ready to fall over. *facepalm* Sewing muse, your timing is lousy.
I feel partly drunk, partly like I am close to fainting, and incredibly stupid...I can't seem to access anything more brain-complicated than how to take vitals, so I daresay that test results for this week are going to be rather disappointing. Oh well, it's not like I can help being punch-drunk with The Sick, so I just need to go slower on tests (I am routinely the first one done with tests, to the point where 2 of my instructors suspected me of cheating and so had me placed directly in front of them during test-taking, which became rather funny once they realized that not only was I NOT cheating, I was just that fast. Cue confusion on their parts. Heh.).
But I have my ATI stuff done for the week, have my homework completed early, and have no plans for tomorrow except getting Frank and Odin to the vet office at 8 AM for their dental work. So I think going home and collapsing is probably pretty high on my list of plans for today.
Scratch that. I just remembered I need to type up some form of cheat sheet for household conversions for my class. You would be absolutely astounded how many people in my class cannot remember how to convert milliliters to liters, grams to milligrams, ounces to pints, etc. Cue snarky comment about the state of this country's educational system...this is stuff I learned before middle school! I hate to say it, but I can already tell who will probably wash out of the program and who will stick around -- in general, the ones who are asking me for help or are scheduling tutoring sessions are the ones who will stick. Already, there are some who are making comments about "I'm never going to get this" or "Maybe I should change my degree program." They have already given up, in those cases.
I refuse to give up, though. This is my last chance, my last ticket out of this rut that Boe and I are in. I am going to do this one way or the other and that is that.
It dawned on me, though, that I really don't have friends I hang out with or go and see on any regular basis...not since cubsfan57 and her husband Brian-sans-LJ moved to Kansas. To be honest, it doesn't freak me out the way that it freaks Boe out. Bless him, he worries that he's just up and leaving me all by my lonesome, in which I will pine away in sheer loneliness. But I'm far more comfortable being alone than he can imagine -- remember, he has Massive Hangups Indeed when it comes to being by himself, and it is difficult for him to imagine any circumstances in which he is comfortable being by himself for any length of time. I mean that. When we were first married, he used to follow me around a ~500 square foot 1 bedroom apartment. Mercifully, I broke him of that habit about the time we moved into our house.
So anyway. Being by myself isn't the awful fate for me that Boe seems to think it is. I'm a bit of an introvert (although a very social one) and being by myself gives me an opportunity to function without being "on". It's something that I do with every single person -- including Boe. I am constantly "on", and Friday evenings give me the chance to drop the personae* just a hair. It's quite refreshing. Besides which, I DON'T have friends I can just randomly visit, or invite myself over for a cup of coffee, or invite over to our place to
Can't convince Boe of that, though. He worries for my mental health...but him getting that job was the best thing to happen to my mental health since I was put on Wellbutrin.
*I have several. At school, I am The Pendantic Wunderkind, at work, the Helpful Bakery Associate, at home, the Practical and Sacrificing Spouse, and on the internet, the Occasionally Witty, Often Bitchy Costumer Who Likes To Talk About Herself. Hence this post.
In my algebra class, grading goes like this: 4 tests graded at 20% of the total, and homework at 20% of the total grade. I got a 66% on my first test and a 59% on my second. My current homework average is at 76%. That's not enough (assuming I'm calculating this correctly, which yeah right) to get me by with a C of 70%.
I am taking extra tutoring this semester both through my college and privately. I don't know what else to do.
All of the formulas I was freaking out about and writing over and over in order to avoid forgetting them? Yeah, only 1 was on the test. *headdesk*
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
When Boe and I have discussed adoption, it has been with the assumption that we'll probably be adopting from the foster care system, since the financial costs of that method seem to be lower than for private adoption, and it gives us the chance to adopt a sibling group (we're primarily interested in adopting a sibling group since they are traditionally difficult to place.) However, my hormones have really done a number on me and given me a raging case of baby rabies. As in, OMG BABIESRITENAO! sort of baby rabies. So in my idiocy, I've been scoping out private adoption facilitators, which makes the whole "wanting a baby immediately if not sooner" feeling stronger.
In addition, Boe -- who has always wanted to have children with me -- is of the opinion that we should go ahead and start the classes and whatnot now and as far as finances go, we'll just work it out the same way we would if I wasn't infertile and we had an unexpected pregnancy. On the other hand, I can't help but fret that the course of action that Boe is suggesting would be irresponsible...but I'll be 35 before I graduate, and Boe will be 47. I mean, yeah, Larry King can father a baby at the age of 927265, but that doesn't mean that we can or should.
So what on earth do I do in this situation? If it was a question of me not being infertile and we had an unexpected pregnancy, we'd just muddle through as best we could while trying to juggle sketchy finances and a newborn. But in this case, where having children requires not only money, but time, effort, and one hell of a lot of red tape, the right path to take is not nearly as clear-cut. Wait until I'm out of school, even though we'll be (depressingly) a lot older than the ideal? See if we can adopt even though we're not *quite* where we need to be financially yet? Foster care adoption, private, or "lady, you are clearly way too nuts to have kids"?
I mean, 35 is -- in my opinion -- really pushing the boundaries of age-appropriateness of first-time parenthood. And that doesn't mean that I'd become a mom at 35; the classes and stuff can take up to a year, then there's the wait to get a home study done, and then there's waiting to be matched, and and and and and. Realistically, it can take 2-3 years for placement through the foster care system.
Hell, if we knew that I could carry a pregnancy, Boe and I would have gone the "family friend and a turkey baster" route. But I can't carry a pregnancy, and we can't afford fertility treatments at $10,000 per round of IVF, embryo adoption in this case requires a surrogate, and we certainly can't afford a surrogate -- which would require us to go through a lot of the same hoops as an adoption would to boot.
My life is not turning out to be anything like what I had hoped...hrmph.
Anyhoo, that's what's going on.
I signed up for my classes for next semester...I'm going to have to retake my algebra class as I have failed 2 tests in a row even with tutoring. I hate it and it makes me feel stupid. I could conceivably pull a C in the class but then I'd be behind the 8-ball when taking a higher-level math course, so I'll swallow what little pride I have left and just retake the damned thing.
Boe has 3 weeks left. Thank God. This does not count looking for work...this part is the bit that makes me just want to curl into a ball and hibernate until May. The problem is that he has become rather down himself, and needs me to pull him out of it...which is something I don't have the energy for.
We have cashed in all of our retirement plan stuff, my stock options, everything. We have no cushion. And I make 13 cents over minimum wage.
* I have 4 major sewing projects to get done before mid-December. Do I have them started? Of course not.
* I have 1 psychology paper to write, and I won't know what I want to say until I sit down and do it. Oh, and I sold my psych textbook to put gas in the van, so I'll have to borrow from a classmate to write the paper.
* Boe's temp job ended a couple of weeks earlier than planned, so that really screws with us. At least we were able to pay the past due mortgage payments to keep a roof over our heads, so that's all right. We also paid the water bill and have a payment arrangement set up with the electric company. This just leaves the phones and the gas bill...and our phones were cut off yesterday, so I can't get in touch with anyone except via face-to-face and the computer -- when I'm at school.
* I still want to sell off my stash, but without the phones, I can't take pictures and upload them to the internet.
* Because Boe was pulling 20 hour days, I was in charge of housekeeping. I was keeping up with it all there for a while, but since things are starting to get a bit negative in my head, I haven't been able to get anything done...I just get home and sink into a stupor.
* The brakes on the van are getting really frighteningly bad. Grind grind grind grind grind. Oh, and the transmission is starting to go out, but in my mind that's not as critical as being able to stop when I need to. At least it's just the front right brake, right? Oh yes, and this *would* be the same van that we sunk $1000 into for brakes previously. And the van won't be paid off til March. Yeah, never buying from that place ever again.
So, yeah, that's what's going on in my little corner of the world.
Yeah, I know, this entire post has been made of total incomprehensibility. That's ok. I'm not sure that I understand it myself.
Everything's up in the air, and I can't say I care for that uncertain feeling much. But there isn't anything I can do to change it, so there I am, just making like a barnacle on a rock, washed by waves and the tides, but still there just doing the only thing I know how to do: be me.
I'm a language person, as anyone who knows me for longer than 30 seconds could tell you. I know mathematics is just another foreign language, but it's one that doesn't seem to have any cognates in English -- different "alphabet", different rules for language and grammar, different internal logic and structure. There's nothing familiar that I can point to like I can with, say, a French/English cognate, and say, "There! I *know* this, because it's the same/similar to something that I already know" and use that cognate to kind of guide me along the edges of unknown information. The language of mathematics is one that I don't know, can't translate, and not knowing something and *realizing* that I don't know it makes me feel exceedingly stupid. I despise feeling stupid. As I was told once by someone I looked up to, "If you're not pretty, you'll have to get by on smarts." That's been pretty well internalized for quite some time now, as I don't feel pretty and never have (don't worry about complimenting, I wasn't fishing). So feeling stupid completely invalidates me, Krista, the one who has built most of her self-esteem on brains and the ability to use the aforementioned brains constructively.
So that's why I hate algebra.
In other news, I have begun the necessary prep work for creating Christmas presents. I got some super-seekrit measurements for some super-seekrit projects, purchased some necessary items for more presents, and have otherwise been a busy little reenactor-type.
And I'm hungry, so I am thinking that it might be a good idea to actually *eat* something instead of just getting a cup of coffee to supplement other other cup of coffee (aka breakfast) I had earlier.
On the other hand, Boe and I are probably (~90% chance) going to have to move in order for him to get work once he gets his teaching license in December.
So things are a little in the air right now, and probably will be for the next 6 months or so, at minimum. Boe really wants us to get to a place where his teaching position will cover all of our bills so I won't have to work while I'm in school. Cuz really, doing 17 credit hours at school AND 25 hours a week at work will probably have me ready to slit my wrists about 9 weeks into the semester.
Like I said, we're probably going to have to move, most likely out of state. We're looking in all 50 states, plus overseas. We have some preferences: we'd both like to avoid the Four Corners states, we like the Midwest, Boe is enamored with the East Coast, we both have family in Florida, I have family in Ohio, Boe has family in Kentucky and Texas. I have put my foot down re: Any place in Chicagoland, the metro LA area, San Francisco, and NYC. OMG property costs are insane in those areas and I really, really dislike HYOOGE metro areas.
Eastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania would be nice (Y HELO THAR PENNSIC!), but anyplace with a really good SCA and/or Adria group would be lovely. But basically my general attitude towards moving is "whither thou goest" but HOLY CRAP I HATE THE ACTUAL MOVING PROCESS LIEK WHOA. However, it also gives us the opportunity to purge a good deal of stuff that we don't really use or need.
Yeah. That's my headspace today. Fun times, I tell ya!
When last we left our intrepid heroine, she was foaming at the mouth and not making much sense. This may or may not have had something to do with my decision to try to go back to Brown Mackie College to finish my ever-loving occupational therapy assistant degree.
Did you know, they refused to provide me a specific dollar amount for the tuition needed to complete my degree? It's for a very good reason, I found: I needed at least 80 credit hours to complete it, at $425/credit hour. When I did *that* math, kids, I came up with a very, VERY disturbing figure: $34,000. To finish an Associate's Degree. Uh...no. Not when Boe's Bachelor's degree cost just a shade above that...no way, nuh-uh, no-how, NO. Absolutely not.
I have applied to Ivy Tech Community College, where tuition is the much more reasonable $104.00 per credit hour, to join their Practical Nursing program. It should take me a year, year and a half at the most (I plan to take classes next summer if that will hasten things along), I will spend WAY less money, and it's still the medical field. So it's not all bad...*whew*
Mom offered to loan me some of the tuition costs with Brown Mackie (she really would like to see me graduate college some time before she retires -- I'm afraid I'm the child she worries about the most, since I'm the least practical), but when I crunched those numbers, I called her up and told her that there was no way in hell I was going to ask her to whip out her checkbook and write me a 5 digit loan. I can't do that to my mom. So I promised her that I would investigate three different schools (Brown Mackie, IPFW, and Ivy Tech) and let her know what I found re: costs, programs/curricula, and transferability of credits. What I found suggests that Ivy Tech's Practical Nursing program is the best idea, using those three criteria, for me to get out of this $10/hr ceiling that I've been dealing with since, well, graduating high school.
Since my depression began to lift back in February/March, I'm finding it easier to *be* practical...and this is the longest amount of time without a major depressive episode since 1998. Maybe I'm getting back to being myself again!