The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 4

Rain. Three days of rain. Today I made the rookie mistake of forgetting my umbrella, and by the time I got to work, I was a wet soggy mess.

I came to the office for a meeting, but the guy I have the meeting with did not show up to work today….and I still have to go to the tutoring center…the place that is slowly stealing my soul.

So, because the day started out a bit pish, I decided that a look into the next week of the challenge was not a bad idea. This week is dedicated to the last thing that I celebrated.

Last week I celebrated the new beginning for one of my friends from the university. She is off to New Zealand in a week to start a PhD. While I am really sad that she is leaving (for purely selfish reasons), I cannot wait for her to get settled into her life there. She has packed up all of her stuff here and shipped her entire life overseas. I know that she is nervous, but I also know that she will rock it when she is there.

We celebrated the best way we know how: Mexican food. We went to a little place tucked down an alley, and although I was initially skeptical, the food was amazing.

Along with the good food was an amazing hip hop playlist, and excellent company. I am going to miss dinners with the four of us from the office, and all the laughing and ridiculousness that comes with our nights out, but I think it will be fun to try and recreate these night via Skype. I’m not always a great friend, but I am an excellent pen pal. Luckily technology will keep us from feeling the distance too much.

I cannot wait to hear all about her research, see all of the pictures from a place that I would love to visit, and eventually inviting myself over for a bit of a holiday!

The Scamp at 300

Congratulations! You are reading my 300th post. I think that it is very fitting that number 300 comes on my last night as a resident of the United States. This is the day I thought would never come. This is the day I have been trying to get to for two long years. This is the day that makes the emotionally abusive relationship worth it, the bullying, abuse, and eventual expulsion form CSUF worth it, and all of the therapy very very worth it. In the year and some change that it took me to get from 200 to 300, I learned so much about not only myself, but the world around me.

I learned that I no longer fit in in California. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. I spent almost a year trying really really hard to like it here and be happy, when it just isn’t who I am anymore. I have had some times here, and will carry some great memories with me, but this is no longer home. It took me almost another year to come to terms with it, and realize that it is okay that I no longer fit here. I always say that I am a Flamingo in a flock of pigeons. I use to say it to make people laugh, but I always saw it as a bad thing. I thought I should want to be a pigeon. I should want to be just like everyone else.

That is the dumbest thing I have ever admitted to the public (there have been a lot of things I have done, said, or thought that are really dumb, but a girl has to have some secrets). It has taken me a long time, but I am learning to embrace my inner flamingo. When I am in Scotland I can be a flamingo, and since I don’t know of another bird that can do yoga, I am going to rock the shit out of being a flamingo. That includes wearing colorful yoga pants, finishing my sleeve of colorful tattoos, and rocking flowers in my hair.

I learned that sometimes life sucks. I know that I will never see justice for what happened to me at CSUF, but that is how the real world works. Sometimes bad things happen to (mostly) good people. I will have to pay back the $30,000 in loans, and I will have nothing to show for it. My mom told me that everyone has bought a lemon, or invested in something that has failed, and that CSUF is my lemon. Pretty much everyone knows what happened to me now, and it still makes me mad, but I have to trust that there is a lesson in that experience that I will be able to use one day. I’m not 100% certain what that lesson is yet, but I have faith that it will become clear someday. I learned a lot about how to play the political game, how to stand up for myself and what I believe in, and that if you do not stick to your values then they are just hobbies.

I learned the power of therapy. I’m pretty sure therapy saved my life. Had I not had that available to me for the last year, I do not know if I would have survived the CSUF experience. Thursday mornings were my coping. I spent a lot of time trying to work through what was happening to me, and work out ways to cope with how I was feeling. My depression would have gotten a lot worse, had I not made the decision to get some real help. That program broke me. I spent much of this last year crying and hiding under my covers hoping that the storm would crash. My therapist helped me get out of bed, helped me not become an actual racist, and helped me realize that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my character. I used to think that therapy was something that I needed to hide, like it was a dirty little secret, but I have to say, I feel like a much stronger person than I was two years ago, and I think a part of that is because therapy kept me out of the dark and twisty.

I learned that I am willing to fight for the friendships and connections that matter. I’ve kept in touch with most of the people I was in Scotland with, and I am now seeing the long list of people here that are worth the effort to keep in contact with. I also feel like I am about to meet a whole bunch of new people, and those are the people that I will keep around for a long long time. I’m always worried about making friends because I am not really good at being social, but I am no longer worried about that. I know that I will become that obnoxious person who introduces myself to people, and before I know it, I will have sweet-talked my way into a lord’s heart and will get the castle wedding and the title that everyone here wants me to have (ok, I will get a puppy, talk to him, and pretend that is being social).

Most importantly, I learned that sometimes you need a fresh start to really become who you are supposed to be. Scotland is my fresh start. I never would have made it there if I had not gone through all the shit of the last two years. Scotland is my chance to really grow and become the person that I want to be (and the scenery, history, and people don’t hurt either). In three short years I will be Dr. Scamp, and in five short years I will be a permanent resident of the UK.

Most people say that it is bad luck to say “goodbye”, and that you should say “see you later.” They say that “goodbye” is permanent. Well, today, I would like to say goodbye to my life here, and to the person that I was. Tomorrow I start fresh being the badass flamingo that I am.

“I was trying to feel some kind of good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t you feel even worse.”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Adventure here I come.

The Scamp at the Halfway

Today was the last class of the semester.

While I am always happy for the end of the semester, this one is special. This marks the halfway point in my doctoral journey.

I am so excited about this. It means that in two semesters I will be done with coursework, and in a year and a half I will be walking across the stage to get those three little letters after my name. This semester has been the most challenging of my entire academic career, and the fact that I survived a tiny bit intact is saying something. Despite the advice of the faculty to spend the month off working on chapters 1-3 of our dissertations, I plan to read books off the list I made this year and watch bad horror movies on Netflix.

I might not even put real pants on.

I was also able to accomplish another important feat today. I made a promise to someone that I would not cry on my way to class and I would not cry on my way home. I’m happy to say I kept that promise.

I think that means I can count today as a resounding success.

The Scamp and a Birthday

Today is Mama Scamp’s birthday!

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She started out as a curious little tyke with the crazy bowl cut.



She was a crazy dare devil growing up, having broken most of her bones at one point in time. She played baseball, basketball, and has had the same exact smile since she was a little kid. Everyone who knew my grandma will see a lot of her in my mom.







My mommy has always been a hottie. I’m not sure how she managed to skip over the awkward stage that most of us have (or in my case, am still having).

She is definitely my favorite person. No matter what I do, she supports me 100%. She paid for my first degree, has helped me move to and from countless apartments, and has done her best to help me whenever I ask. She has currently given up her office so that I have a place to study and lets me live at home rent free so that I can pay off my debt from Scotland.

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She really is the only one who gets me. We laugh at things no one thinks are funny, we can spend hours watching cat videos, and she supports all of my crazy ideas for back-up careers.




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She lost her mom over 20 years ago and I think that made her work extra hard to make sure that all of us kids were taken care of. We know we can always come home, always call her for help, and count on her to do something to make us laugh. She spoils us rotten (but I am totally okay with that).

She is my best friend and favorite person. I pity people who do not have a mom as awesome as mine.


The Scamp Gets the Good News

After months of waiting, I finally got the provisional results on my dissertation. When I heard the scores went up, I wasn’t going to look. I knew that I wasn’t going to fail, and I know that my dissertation is the best piece of academic work I have written, so I didn’t really feel the need to know the grade. Curiosity got the best of me though, and when I did look, I was happy to see that my genius was recognized and I feel my grade was in line with what I felt I had earned.

The best part of it was the comments I got were constructed. A few of the critiques were things that my supervisor asked me to do, but I would not have done on my own, and the rest of the comments were positive, and helpful for the editing process and hopefully allow me to get the piece published.

This grade completes my journey in Scotland. In a couple of weeks I will have the official results, and in 6 weeks I will graduate and be able to celebrate one of the best years of my life. The A on the paper sums up my grade of my time there (if I was going to put a grade on it). The confidence I gained from that paper will carry me to the first major assignment that I have to write for the philosophy class.

I celebrated the achievement with a mojito, and got a standing ovation from the kids I work with on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The kids were super cute about it, and then asked me to write all of their papers for them. I’m going to save the real celebration for graduation week in Scotland. I think it is best to celebrate at the Blind poet and sing karaoke.

Things have started to get really busy with school, and my new job starts soon, but right this moment, I am in a good place. I’m getting myself out of my funk, I’m learning better time management and getting things done, and I am finally starting to see the point in the philosophy class….I’d say that is progress.

Now if I could figure out how to afford insurance and make my loan payment, I would be golden.