Friday, July 4, 2014

Crowd-Sourced Fundraising.

Hey All! I'm trying something extreme. I set up a GoFundMe page to try to crowd-source enough money to get the student visa. Help if you are so inclined, and please share if you will. :)

Here's hoping! Jealousy is pointless. I will make my dreams come true through hard work and sheer stubborn determination. Let's DO THIS!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

On Jealousy

I'm going to admit something here: in light of my recent failure to acquire funding (and yes, I consider it a personal failure), I want to talk about my jealousy.

I will preface it by saying that if you're my friend, I love you. But I'm probably also jealous of you. Jealousy is probably my biggest personal failing, but I do try not to let it out too often. But I'm feeling self-pity and self-hatred at the moment, so my green monster is rearing its ugly head. And this is my blog, so I'm going to air it all out here. Because I can.

Circumstances are not just. Duh. But I think, in my self-pitying state, that they are absurdly so. I grew up poor. POOR. I grew up on church food, church rent, government housing, bunking with other families, briefly homeless, and only had eyeglasses thanks to government healthcare. I went to a rural high school that was too poor for books, and then an inner city high school that was too poor for anything. I worked really hard to supplement my terrible public education, getting accepted to summer programs hosted by universities, which allowed me to take extra classes.

I went to a great college. But I was too poor for my textbooks. I got a 3.0 GPA, which isn't great, but isn't terrible, considering. I stayed on campus during all the breaks I could, but I went hungry because the kitchens closed. I didn't tell anyone because it embarrassed me, and the women around me had a lot more than I did. Some accused my parents of being neglectful in not supporting me financially, but they couldn't have. I knew far better than to ask for help. They were barely supporting themselves.

After college I went to work as a nanny. I lived in the basement of a mansion and was always aware of my place, but I made a decent wage.

Then I started grad school. As bad luck would have it, I was accepted to BYU. It wasn't expensive, but it took me a long time. I did get that scholarship to go to India, which was great. But since I graduated, I've been working multiple PT jobs, juggling up to 5 of them, and often working 50-70 hours per week. And I'm not making much more than I did as a nanny.

I decided to get a PhD because I LOVE my research. I was afraid of academia before I found my work, and now I was desperately to do it again. But I can't. Because money.

And so I'm jealous. I'm jealous of people who have parents who can help them. I'm jealous of my friends who have received even partial funding because it allowed them to pursue their goals. I'm jealous. I'm drowning in student loan debt because I was sold the story that education would get me somewhere. I keep reading articles about extreme measures for paying off student loan debt. Everyone's answer is to move in with your parents. Mine are currently unemployed, so...

Stability is a privilege I haven't had. My education has actually been a liability. And despite being good enough to get into an amazing program, I'm not good enough to get any funding. Meanwhile others who are no smarter or better than I am, who have much more stability and come from much more privilege - they get funding. It's unjust. It's hurtful. I'm sad and I'm jealous. And I can't bear anyone complaining about their full-time jobs or their healthcare or how demanding their schooling is, because I would give anything to have those problems.

Long Overdue Update

Work Updates: I still work multiple part-time jobs. After being downsized from Pearson and USU, I got pt work at UVU, plus random teaching at PC and EGC. It's kept me afloat. And USU brought me back for some sporadic hours. I was close to getting a FT offer, but then the college suspended hiring until the end of their fiscal year. Which is now. So, fingers crossed, I guess

SOAS: I deferred enrollment. Worked hard on putting together funding applications. Submitted funding applications. Did not receive funding. ANY funding. So no PhD for me. The deadline to hear about funding was yesterday, so suffice it to say I'm in one hell of a bad mood.

That's pretty much it. Harold is still fat. I still, 2 years after getting my MA, work 60+ hours per week with no benefits and still barely make ends meet. I think I shall be a pt office drone for the rest of my life.

I don't think I'm going to try again. For grad school. This hurt WAY too much. It's kinda typical, though, for me. Maybe for smart people that come from poverty. I get accepted to things because I'm smart, but I can't do them because I can't afford to. That's been a recurring theme, actually. I think it would be a lot easier to be average. So I'm ready to stop reaching, because I'm tired of getting my hand slapped whenever I try to stretch beyond my class. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Why do they need titles?

Sure, it's been scary. I've had two interviews for a full-time job, and was told I'd here from them again next week. In the meantime, I can cover my expenses this month, even though I've been laid off of my two stable jobs, and I hope that gives me enough time to find and get into another job. Fingers crossed for a full-time job. This one even has dental. I'd feel like such a grown-up. :)

As much as I hate having to wait to start my adventure, there are certainly good things about it. I'm daunted at the task of acquiring 9000 pounds in the next 12 months (which is the amount I need to be approved for the student visa... which comes out to just under $16,000), but if I can get this job, and also continue working nights and weekends at my other, crazy, part-time jobs, I think it's doable. Also, I'll need to not visit anyone or do anything too fun. Still, it's possible.

Staying here another year means that I can have a hefty nest egg when I leave. It means that I'll be here for my bestie's wedding (Xan). While we've said for years that we love each other too much to make the other serve as a bridesmaid (we think it's the meanest thing you can do to your friends), she's done it anyway, but I don't mind. :) Staying here also means that I'll be around for my 10-year college reunion. I'm pretty sure I'm about the only one left without a baby, but lucky for me, I don't actually want any. Still, I have a feeling the reunion will be a bit like visiting a toddler playgroup. Since I live in Utah, it won't be that dissimilar from any other social events I attend, but of course the women who attended my Alma Mater are insanely fantastic, and I'm glad I'll have the chance to see them again.

Also, Xan and her to-be will be (temporarily) adopting Harold and Kallista Lou, because they are awesome like that. And of course, by temporarily, I mean for the 3-4 years I'll be working on my dissertation. I've outlined three distinct areas of research, and have already started hunting down articles for the first section, which will be exploring heavy/light syllables in Punjabi to see if it's morae that trigger tone (as I suspect it is).

Okay, geek-out over. I know nobody knows/cares what I'm talking about there. Suffice it to say, it's interesting and exciting to me! And waiting one year isn't SO bad. As long as I can find articles and get going on my research. It was all way too fast to get it together for this year, and while it was disappointing, it'll be fine. Better, even.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just wow...

So, Friday was my last day at USU-Orem. Sad. And today I was informed that the Pearson Test center where I work is being consolidated with another center.

Seriously. I lost 2 jobs this month due to downsizing. And there were the two that I live on. If I had time to get funding together, it wouldn't be so bad, since I'd be leaving for London anyway.

I'm doing that laughing-hyperventilating thing right now. If you have any words of wisdom to share that aren't trite, simplistic, or otherwise annoying, please feel free to share.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Updating and other boringness

I applied for deferment from SOAS and it was approved on Monday. I was offered housing, but of course had to turn it down since I won't actually be going to SOAS this fall. Next fall, though. I have a place for next fall.

In other sad news, one of my jobs (I have 5 PT jobs that I juggle) is downsizing. Even though this job is only one of my 5 and also my lowest-paying, it is also my most stable job. And next Friday will be my last day, so I'm frantically engaged in yet another job hunt. Nice.

And my car is breaking. Things are sad for me. :\

Monday, May 13, 2013


My paperwork from BYU arrived at SOAS and they issued me an Unconditional Offer on Thursday. It's pretty. I mean, it's essentially the same letter, but pretty just because of the word "unconditional."

I've been working my way through my many to-dos. I filed a FAFSA this morning, but it's not going to do all that much good, to be honest. Because in truth, I can not afford to go.

Federal loans allow me to borrow $20,500/year. Tuition is $19,900 for overseas students such as myself. Rent on a dorm will be $900/month, and that's sharing a flat with 5-6 other people. Then there's food. Books. Transportation. Utilities. Fees, fees, fees. Flight there. Flights to India.

I think I already said that I missed the deadline for International students seeking funding (it was back in January, before SOAS was even on my radar). I've also missed all external grant and scholarship deadlines. I've found a few I could apply for, but they won't be any good for this year, and unfortunately (though it is logical), my visa application will absolutely NOT be approved unless I can prove that I can support myself financially for the first year.

I can't apply for the visa until 3 months prior to my start date at SOAS, so I have about 6 weeks to figure this out. I've been combing the internets looking for options, and I'm honestly not finding anything. I'm considering applying for a deferment of my offer until Fall 2014. There'd be no guarantees that it would be approved, but if it were, that would give me time to scrape together funding.