Clever Like Me

GED to PHD?

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I finally got my first 2 tests back from my psychology teacher and I am happy to report I am a genius. That might be an overstatement but I did receive over 100% on both so I feel pretty darn good about myself. I really feel like I made the right choice picking psychology as my major. I have never been so happy with life. It feels like once I found my passion everything else has been falling into place. I’ve lost weight, I’m happier, and I love myself more. I’ve made some really great friends in class too. Brandi is never someone I would have thought I would be friends with but she is quickly becoming my favorite person. I love her spirit and she actually cares about all my shit. Its been a long time that I’ve had a true friend and I’m so glad she sat next to me in class.

Now I know you are all wondering about Lincoln. He’s not price charming but I’m not really looking for happily ever after so maybe that’s okay. He might be an alcoholic. The 2nd and most recent time I was with him he drank so much he couldn’t even get laid. He literally passed out while groping my boob. Like I said not exactly prince charming but the smile on his face while he was half asleep, hand resting on my chest, was pretty darn cute. With all the weight I’ve lost though it seems more and more cute guys are finally noticing how “smart” I am, so why would I settle for less than price charming?

My Sociology teacher finally gave us the date for our midterm, July 18th. She also informed us that our grade will be fully dependent on our midterm and our final. The midterm will be on chapters 1-7 and there will be essay questions. I feel overwhelmed. I need to do well so I will be fully reading chapters 1-7 as well as making flash cards of terms, theories, and sociologists. I feel like I’m going overboard but if I get to the test and know nothing I will feel like a failure. Like a poser. Like a confirmation that I don’t really belong there, that I’m just a high school drop out playing at a college student. I am hoping that my success is psychology means I really have changed and that I really do belong where it feels like I belong. In spite of myself I am really hoping Lincoln calls too.

Boys and school. Guess I really am a college student.

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Patterns of Behavior

At our core is all we are just the patterns of behavior we’ve developed or can a person truly and deeply change? I have been able to successfully change my behavior by fully dedicating myself to school and homework, but not when it comes to social aspects of my life. Why am I falling back into comfortable routines that are probably going to do more damage than good? Can 3 weeks of dedication to school say anything about future success?

I slept with Lincoln and I don’t feel guilty about it. I should clarify the he did apologize for the remark he made out of the blue and we did set some personal boundaries. The night we spent together was fun and amazing and the best thing I’ve done in a while. The part I do feel guilty about is the time I’ve been spending thinking about him. Here I am in my blog about school dedicating a whole paragraph to him. I’m not in love, I’m under the influence of powerful hormones but is this weakness we all have to other people enough to derail ambitious people? What about newly ambitions people like me? Is the excitement I feel for school become replaced with the excitement of seeing him and if so what happens when he’s no longer in all my classes?

Speaking of my classes, finally, they have been going very well. I am still working ahead of my psychology class and I am able to answer every question with ease.  My sociology class is a little different. I don’t really know what I’m supposed to know. The midterm is chapters 1 – 7 and that’s all we’ve been told. No study guide, no hints as to what theories or event will be covered. Therefore, I have been reading the book and attending all the lectures. I would like to do very well on the tests but I’m concerned that since this class is graded based entirely on test scores I will retain the wrong information and fail.

On a happier note my financial aid has officially been approved! After they reviewed my appeal I had to meet with an adviser and the contract was approved today. I made the last $300 payment for summer and my fall tuition is going to be at the very least partially paid for. I planned myself a little birthday get away to celebrate.

Here’s hoping that my hormones return to normal and that someone really can change their patterns of behavior so I can continue to do well in school.

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College 2 Weeks In.

Well my two classes psychology and sociology have been beyond different from each other. My psychology teacher comes to class unkempt and without a bra, has us watch way too many videos, and doesn’t teach things that are on the tests. Where as, my sociology teacher, is probably one of my favorite teaches I’ve ever had. Shes funny and smart and engaging and I’ve never been happier with a class. My only complaint with sociology is that we don’t have a clear syllabus. The main redeeming factor of my psychology class is the people. I love the friends I’ve already met in psychology. It feels like fate to be in the class I am with the people I am with. I guess this brings me to Lincoln.

Lincoln is a boy who is in both my classes who up until about 4 hours ago I was super interested in. Basically we flirted week one, mid way through this week he got my phone # and then today he decided it would be a good idea to text me “your cold hands would feel good on my balls”. This literally came out of the blue we had never talked about anything even close to sexual before and honestly it really made my feminist side so angry. Sitting here I want to be able to say maybe I overreacted but the truth is I don’t want to be with someone who thinks its appropriate to talk to a woman like that with in the first 3 conversations. So one again I’ve been reaffirmed in my desire to be single. Clearly men are pigs or I just have terrible taste in men.

The one good thing that came out of this whole Lincoln situation is that I am developing a theory about the willingness my generation has with saying things over text they would never say in person. It’s not a fully developed theory or hypothesis, clearly, but it has started me thinking like a psychologist. I am now very interested in social interactions done via social media sites and just plain texting. How does this differ from face to face interactions and how does this effect someones personality? Maybe this will be the topic of my next paper.

On a side note thank you for all the support you guys have been giving me!! I know my posting has been a bit sporadic so I wanted to let you know I will be posting every Sunday without fail starting 6/30/13. Thanks for reading everyone!!

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Psychology 1010

Community College never ceases to impress me with the quality teachers they provide us. In this case my teacher, who must be 300 lbs, showed up to class wearing dirty sweats asking if she was in the right spot and my first impression was this poor lady is never going to pass the class. Surprise Surprise she is my teacher for the rest of the semester. So, scolding myself for my rush to judgement based entirely on appearance I decided to give her a shot. Well, she spent the first 30 minuets of the class teaching us how to fill in a bubble properly, as if we got all the way to college without ever taking a single standardized test. Then she told us about her PhD is social work which completely confused me on how she managed to do that and when she couldn’t get a YouTube video to load so she decided to restart her computer. All that aside, however, she is very well read in the most recent psychology studies and she does seem adept at getting you to think like a psychologist.

The material we are covering is truly fascinating and the people I met are inspiring for lack of a better word. It was nice to hear from other people in the class that they too have the desire to get their PhD  and they have real life goals. Such a nice change from everyone in my life raising their eyebrows every time I try to talk about getting a PhD. It really felt like being surrounded by my own peers, finally. I feel like most of the students are capable of having an in-depth discussion and will contribute to the class.

It feels like for the first time I belong, like I’ve found my people in this stupid community college 1010 class. It could be me projecting what I want onto the people around me only time will really tell but being around people who have similar goals has me elated. Here’s hoping tomorrows sociology class is wonderful as well.

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Excuse me

I had a bit of success at the beginning of last week when I finally was able to get the correct papers for my financial aid. The stupid financial aid lady even smiled and was kind to me explaining the payment process. I had 2 whole days of liberating success only to find a message waiting for me on my schools email system. I don’t qualify. “Not making satisfactory progress” is what they actually call it. Literally felt like a grand sign that maybe you can’t overcome your past. Maybe the reason why even the smallest first steps are so complicated is it’s not meant to be. Then I surprised myself. I took a week, partied and took a mini vacation with Tasha and then started the appeal process.

The appeal is very straight forward it wants to know why I deserve a second chance.  Its asks for specific documentation for things like a death in the family, a medical reason stating why I was unable to attend, or a damn good essaying explained why you’re a different person. I have recent deaths in my family as well as being diagnosed with adult onset asthma. I could tell them all about the pain losing both my cousin and my aunt suddenly, provide obituaries. I could tell them about how asthma changed my life. How every time I got a cold it would turn into pneumonia but I feel like that’s a lie. I feel like that’s just making excuses. I feel like the reason I didn’t do well is all on me. I was never too sick to come to school or grieving or any other real reason. I could have come and I could have done well but I chose not to. So now the real questions are; Do I use the system to get my out of my own past? Provide doctors notes and obituaries, spin a sad story and get the financial aid. Do I tell the truth and write an essay about who I was then and who I am now? Am I simply being too hard on myself? Maybe it’s not lying or making excuses. Maybe it’s doing what you have to do to reach your goals.

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Never give up, Never Surrender

If it was easy it wouldn’t be worth it. This is what I have been telling myself all week. The worst part is school is still almost a month away from starting but trying to get my financial aid finished is hell. The school needs a specific form from the IRS for my taxes. This wouldn’t be such a nightmare but the place that did my taxes  this year put them under the wrong address which long story short has left the IRS to not recognize either my new or old address as correct. This has caused me to be unable to simply print the paper off or call and request the correct paper. The school says I need a tax account transcript, so I have brought them a copy of my full tax return, the paper that says account transcript that comes with the tax return and a paper printed off from my local IRS office also entitled tax account transcript. None of these are the right paper and honestly my financial aid office is no help. The lady literally told me “I’ve never heard of someone going to the IRS office and getting the wrong paper, NEXT!” so with that wonderful and helpful explanation I will attempt a round 3 at the IRS office. When I get so frustrated with this situation I have to keep reminding myself that I am still on step one and if I get frustrated and want to give up on step one I will never make it to my goal.

Family is heavily on my mind as it is Mother’s Day. I’m adopted but I’ve never felt bad about it. I never remember not knowing I was adopted. My mom always told me that my birth-mom loved me so much that even though she couldn’t take care of me she made sure she found the best people in the world that could. My mom also always told me that even though I didn’t come from her belly, I came from her heart. My parents did get divorced when I was about 11 but again I never really felt that bad about it. My dad had been sleeping in the basement for a couple of years before he left so in my mind it wasn’t a shock. My mom got remarried when I was 16 but Richard, who is my dad, came into my life when I was 14. My sister on the other hand had such a different experience both with being adopted and with my parents divorce leaving her with some mental health problems.

My sister and I will always have a bond that can’t be broken. For an entire year before I was adopted she started asking my mom for a baby sister. All she wanted for her birthday was a baby sister, and 2 weeks before her 3rd birthday she got me. While my parents were filling out the paperwork, my sister decided it was time to go find her baby sister. She did and she brought me to my parents forever being the first person to meet me in my family. Part of the reason I am going into psychology is because of my love for my sister. She has depression, anxiety, add, adhd, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I want to help her. I’m not really religious, but I do like to think that there is a grand design. I like to think that the reason I am my sisters sister and the reason I love psychology is in part to help her. Maybe I wont change the world but maybe I can change the world for people like my sister.

Happy mothers day to my mom and my birth-mom whoever you are, Happy Mothers Day to all the moms reading this (and yes pets count) and Happy Mothers Day to all the special women in the world.

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Nature vs Nurture

Who am I? With school still over a month away from starting, I’ve been trying to prepare and keep the momentum going. I’ve been doing everything from listening to I Tunes U to reading psychology today, just to help me prepare for the way I need to think. The basis for a lot of the studies I’ve been reading are nature vs nurture. Basically how much of you is biology and how much is your experiences. This, naturally, has started me thinking about my birth parents.

Who are they? Do they hate fish or Does my birth mother wear her hair long? My adoption is a very closed adoption but my parents have always supported me trying to find my birth parents. Until recently, however, I’ve never had much of a desire to know them and now I wonder if I want to meet them for the wrong reasons. I have a family I don’t need more of one but I am very curious about my nature. Do I hate fish because I was never exposed to it as a child or did I inherit that from somewhere? I know my eyes are hazel and my hair is brown because of genetics, but why do I like to let my hair grow? I recently saw the movie Admission with Tina Faye which is secretly about adoption. It made me think for the first time what it would be like for my birth mom if I was suddenly in her life. I have always assumed I was a dirty little secret, like the last thing she would want is for her past to come back to haunt her. Maybe I am wrong maybe she would want to know me, really know me and I’m not sure I would want that. Mostly I would want specific answers about her basic personality with no real emotional bonding.

I really can’t wait for school to start. Now that I know what I really want it feels like every day that I’m not actively making progress toward my degree is a day wasted. Recently I’ve been feeling like I’m wasting my time with my “friends”. My best friend right now Tasha is fun to be with and its easy to hang out with her but we have a sketchy past. We used to hang out with this other girl Sierra and her boyfriend Elliott, who at the time was my best friend. Long story short being around these friends influenced me to act a way that to this day embarrasses me, culminating in me sleeping with Elliott. I justify it to myself as I thought I loved him but really I just wanted the feeling I would get with him. Tasha sided with them and I was left with no friends and no idea why I had become the person I was at the time. It felt like waking up from an alcohol induced blackout. Well long story short they ended up owing her a lot of money and never paid her and we ended up friends again with a mutual distaste for the couple. Recently I found out she had started talking to them again and trying to be their friend again. For obvious reasons I will never be accepted by that group again nor would I want to move backwards in my developmental process but I can’t help wonder what about me? If they fully accept her back into their group where does that leave me?

It feels like my whole life is waiting to start and I am stuck here in my past. June can’t come soon enough. School can’t come soon enough. Life can’t start soon enough.

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Feeling Free

This is the exciting part, the beginning of a new adventure. Really its the feeling that anything can happen, that maybe just maybe this story will end with an actual PhD. The trouble I’m having is now I’m just old enough to know that plans change, that not all dreams come true and I feel this tiny wave of panic. Am I getting my hopes up for just another life lesson? When I look at the long long road I have to go it feels impossible. In order to stave off the panic I’ve decided to only focus on one step at a time and celebrate every step of the way. Every credit I earn every test I take is one step closer and farther than anyone thought I could go.

My school received my FAFSA data so it looks like all I have to do is fill out some forms and they will let me know what I qualify for. I had to officially declare my major as psychology. It was weird declaring an actual hard major instead of theater or dance. I really never thought I would be taking school this seriously. I feel like an adult with a “real” dream. It feels very free, like who knows where this will take me. I don’t have a husband or kids or responsibilities tying me to one location. I have a pug and fortunately she can go where I go. It really feels like for the first time I’m taking to world by storm so to speak and all I have done is get enrolled in community college. I still have so so far to go but in a way that’s exciting as well as terrifying.

I want to change my life, that’s the whole reason I am doing this but sometimes I feel like this is not enough. I want to come out of this as almost completely new me. Not that there is anything wrong with the current me. I think I’m actually pretty awesome so not really a new me but an upgraded me. This for me means its time to change everything. I’m working on my dreams and one of my new dreams is to lose weight. I’ve never considered myself particularly large but lately the weight feels strange on my body. As if it doesn’t belong and its just been waiting for me to notice. I feel fully awake for the first time and am so excited once again for the future. Still not sure how I am going to become this super woman balancing work, school and this healthy life style but the point is I’m excited to try.

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Brand New Day

I never graduated high school. Most of the time I was off smoking weed with my “friends” or skipping class just to skip class. I never thought that maybe school was important. I had my life planned out at 18 and I was too young to know that dreams don’t always come true or that maybe the dreams you dream as a teenager aren’t really your dreams at all. Now at almost 24 (in July) I have found that I still have big dreams. I also find that I am older and wise enough to know that maybe some dreams are just too big and that the truth of the matter is that not everyone gets their happily ever after. The good news is I’m young enough to still want to try.

My dream is to get a Doctorate of Psychology, right now I want to be a forensic psychologist which I know is nothing like it is on TV. This seems impossible for me. I got my GED because my mom made me and I’ve been enrolled in community college but really haven’t taken school seriously at all. The good news is I currently have a 2.43 GPA and I do actually have some credits that I can use. After meeting with an adviser at my school I have a plan or at least a next step so I guess what I really have is a starting point.

STEP ONE: Graduate from community college with an Associate Degree with a 2.8 or better.

So in beginning this journey I have 2 classes scheduled for summer semester which starts June 10th. Psychology 1010 and Sociology. I also applied through FAFSA to see if I qualify for any grants. I work full-time to afford school and for the health insurance but I hope to still be able to do everything I can to become someone different. I am going to try to complete one step at a time and I invite all of you to come along. See for yourself if a high school drop out can become a doctor. See if you can change your past.

 

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