The Scamp Encounters Self Doubt

The day I have been dreading is fast approaching. I’ve been studying, outlining, practice testing, and talking it out with my study group. I’ve been telling myself everyday that I am going to pass if I put the right amount of time in. I’ve kinda been remembering to take some days off.

And now that the day is almost upon me, I am doubting my ability to succeed.

Two weeks ago I took a practice test. I answered a question about promoting diversity on campus. I outlined a plan that looked at diversity as more than just the color of your skin, and made a plan that would help students of any color, gender, age, socioeconomic status and the like succeed. I left the practice exam feeling good about myself.

I got the comments back from the grader, and all that changed. She all but called me a racist, and all but said that because I am white, I am in power and therefore do not notice that people of color suffer in higher education. She didn’t tell me I would pass the test if I had turned it in as a real response.

It was then that I was painfully reminded of the glaring (yet unmentioned) problem with the program I am in. They do not value diversity. I am one of the few white people in the program, and I might as well sit in the back silently with a sign around my neck that says “white devil”. The idea of diversity and equitable education in this program means that white people are bad and do not need to be included in the help that is provided for students struggling in college.

In this program, I am a racist. I don’t understand struggle because I am white and never had to work hard for anything.

This completely discounts the fact that I grew up in a single parent household with a mom that worked her fucking ass off so I had a roof over my head. Sure, I didn’t struggle, but it is only because she slaved away so we wouldn’t have to.

This does not take into account that I worked hard to get good grades so that I could qualify for scholarships because there was no way that my mom could afford to pay for three kids to go to college.

This does not take into account the countless scholarships I have been turned down for because I am white.

This also doesn’t take into account the three jobs that I consistently have so I can pay my tuition.

I feel like all of that makes me sound whiny. I hate sounding whiny.

What’s worse, is it makes me think that no matter what I do or what kind of educational leader I want to be, for the next two years I will constantly told I am wrong.

This program is killing my spirit.

All of this self doubt makes me regret the choice I made to come home. To get through this program I have to just give the professors they want to hear, and keep my thoughts and opinions to myself. The only thing I am learning from this program is that it is shaping leaders who do not truly value diversity, and will only ever help a certain population of students. The only thing I am learning from this program is that I do not want to be a part of it.

If I did not have so much money invested already, and didn’t need the fancy letter after my name to get a good teaching job overseas, I would have already quit.

The self doubt is starting to affect my studying for the test. I am excited that the test is almost over and that one of my favorite people is about to land on my doorstep for a few days of pure California tourist fun.

Studying sucks, but it sucks a little less the closer I get to the test.

Qualifying exam is in three days…that means three days until FREEEEEEEDDDDDDDOOOMMMMM!

 

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The Scamp Gets Over a Hurdle

Today marks four years of having a little space here to record all the bat shit crazy things that go through my head. Only the last two years or so have been public posts, but so far, this is my longest meaningful relationship as of yet. It has outlasted three different apartments, two jobs, and two boyfriends.

So far, it’s never let me down.

That is not the hurdle that I have gotten past though. A few months ago I admitted to the world that I was depressed again (https://ascampabroad.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-scamp-unloads-a-burden/) I also admitted that I was going to have to figure something out to pull myself out of this pit.

The first thing I did was get my medication readjusted.

The second thing I did was find a good therapist. And let me tell you, that has made all the difference. It has been almost four months of really hard work, but I am finally starting to feel better.

I feel like a lot has happened, even in the last four months, more than any person should have to go through all at once, but I would like to think that I came out of this like a champ. I had to give up my therapist because the school only allows for so many visits, but at least in my quest for a new one, I can rest assured knowing that I am making great progress to feeling better. Getting over that first hurdle was huge. It sucked. It sucked a lot.

The alternative sucked more though.

“She had fouled off of the curves that life had thrown at her.”
― W.P. KinsellaThe Thrill of the Grass

Summer school is finally over, the qualifying exam is fast approaching, and one of my best friends is coming to visit in less than two weeks. This marks the end to the first year of the program, my first complete year back in the States, and my first chance to really readjust to being home.

That two weeks off in the middle of August cannot come fast enough.

Bring on the trashy romance novels and the endless hours by the pool. Bring on yoga classes, and trips to the gym. Bring on the Netflix binge marathons.

But most of all, bring on the happy calm feeling that has started to become the norm in my life.

 

The Scamp Gets By

With a little help from her friends.

 

 

22 days until the exam.

Summer school is starting not to suck too much.

Studying is not feeling that painful

When this is all over, I look forward to writing something that doesn’t have anything to do with budgets, organizational theory, philosophy, or how miserable and stressed I am.

The Scamp’s Escape

Today I found the perfect car.

So I bought it.

Estelle is a 2005 Ford Escape.

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She was priced below the money that I got for the Civic, so I was feeling pretty good about my chances of finding a car. I took her for a test drive, and I was hooked. She drives well, had very low mileage, and had a really clean bill of health. My dad told me before he left for vacation to just wait for him to come home before I did anything, but I saw Estelle, and I knew that she would be just what I need for the next couple of years. I called my parental units to let them know what was going on, and ask my dad what I should ask for in terms of pricing. He gave me a number, and wished me luck.

I went in to the negotiation knowing that if it didn’t feel right, then I could easily walk away and keep looking. I set the price that my dad gave me, and the salesman brought out another sales dude to try and work me over. I was prepared for that, so I stuck to my guns, and told him I was holding firm on my price. He came back with a number that was slightly higher, and I countered with a number in the middle, told him to fill the gas tank and pay the tags and we’d have a deal. He looked me in the eye, told me I was tough, and then shook my hand. The original salesman told me I was strong and he liked it.

I smiled like I do that all the time, but to be honest, I was doing the happy dance in my head. I have been really worried for the last two weeks that I was not going to be able to afford a car, or the ones that I could afford would not be something I wanted to drive. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do this without anyone’s help, and that I was adult enough to buy a car that was completely mine….of course, I think it helped that the people at the dealership were really really nice, and have a good reputation for fair prices and good cars.

Today was the first time in over a year I felt like me. I knew what I wanted, I didn’t take crap from anyone, and I didn’t let myself get taken advantage of. I was snarky, wasn’t stressed, and I left feeling really good about my choice when I left the dealership. She may not be as good on the fuel as the Civic, but my commute is about to get smaller, and I think I can do without any new shoes for awhile. I feel good about the purchase, have a little money left, and actually feel like an adult.

So now, while I am stuck in the current cycle of work, school, homework, repeat, I have my little white Escape to get me through.

Summer school still sucks, but there is less than month left.

Studying for the qualifying exam sucks, but the director of the other program gave me some good study tips, and I know that I will get things done.

 

 

 

The Scamp Gets Some Good News

It took almost two weeks, but insurance came through for me and gave me almost $8,000 for my little car. Since that was about $4,000 more than I was expecting, I now know that I can get a nice little used car and pay cash for it.

Best news I have had in a long time.

Summer school still sucks.

Studying for the exam still sucks.

But I only have 30 days left of school. I can do anything for 30 days.

I will get back into real posts soon, but right now I am just going to celebrate my small victory.

 

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The Scamp and Her Bumper

On Monday whilst I was on my way to meet my sister, a woman in an SUV decided that she really liked the back seat of my car, so she drove through my trunk into it. While she tried to nestle her front bumper in my back seat (feel free to make all the inappropriate sex jokes you want), she pushed me forward into a van. It took me a good thirty second to realize what had happened. When I drove through the intersection it was clear my poor little Civic was hurt. I could hear the scraping sound, and when I parked, the guy in the van I hit looked at me with pity. In her efforts to get into the back seat of my car, the woman in the SUV ripped my bumper completely off my car. The guy in the van pulled the bumper from under the frame and shoved it into the back seat of my car (oddly enough, not the strangest thing that has ever been in there)

 

10459930_10152021018221887_4165453245152724532_nYep….that is my bumper. The guy made a joke about keeping it as a souvenir, but I mean, really….where would I put it?

After all of the insurance exchanges, a chat with a cop and a phone call to my mother, I came to the realization that I no longer have a car. I did what I always do at times like these….I cried. The other people involved were all perfectly composed, and tried their best to comfort me, but my tear ducts were not having it. It was after the info exchange that the woman apologized over and over again and told me that she looked down to see what time it was and never noticed that I stopped because the van in front of me stopped.

She then got back into her car and told me when she hit me it caused her lunch to fly all over her car. My trunk and bumper were in the back seat of my car, my driver side door wouldn’t open, and everything from my purse and ipod to the open can of soda in my cup holder was strewn about my car.

Needless to say, as much as I appreciated that she didn’t want to leave me until my parents arrived, I really wanted her to leave so I didn’t punch her.

10386288_10152021018156887_8511330899686504863_nThis is the last way I will ever see my car. Yesterday she got hauled to a collision center where the mechanic told my dad I would be car shopping soon.

This was not the way I thought I would be getting a new car. The Civic was a really great car. I thought I could drive it for another 5 or 6 years and then be in a position to buy an actual new car. Since it is (was) a 2001, I am not holding much hope for a big payout. I need a car though, and without being able to afford a monthly payment, I am going to have to really settle for something just to be able to make my commuter lifestyle work.

I know that it will all work out in the end, and I know that I am very lucky that I only had a little neck pain, but it is still devastating to me that I lost my pal of 5 years. We had a lot of really good adventures, carried a lot of interesting things, and had no major mechanical issues. She served me well and did not deserve to go out this way.

Rest in pieces Cesily the Civic 2008-2014

 

43 days until the qualifying exam.

Summer school still sucks, but there is only four weeks left.

I can handle just about anything for four weeks…..right?