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April 30, 2017 / memoriesofagoldfish

School Daze

Thinking about finishing school thing has been the bane of my existence since I stopped going in 2008.  What I told myself:  Mark is the better bet for completion, I’ll stick with him and help him get through as best I can and I’ll finish when he’s finished.  After he’s done doing his thing and becomes a fancy professor, then I can go back.  So I followed him to CO and then to PA, where I could have had free tuition!  I picked the wrong horse.

But  let me tell you why. I never doubted that he would finish and become a fancy professor.  I know other people in his life did, because they talked about it with me.  I never doubted it, I never questioned it.  I was behind him 100%, as best I knew how to be…while still trying to have a job and a relationship with him.  Never give up on your dreams, kids.

When that didn’t pan out and I moved back to Indiana in 2014, I thought I’d get settled and carry on with my life and finish school.  But the job threw more money at me than I’d ever seen and I became obsessed with building a stable foundation and I wanted to have everything that Mark and I had made plans to have.  A house, a yard, a camper and places to take it.  Mmm…white picket fence.

So I did it and while I lived within my means, I should have been concerned with what to do when the job ended, because I knew it would and without a real education to back it up, I’m pretty much a pretty decoration in the unemployement line.  Besides, that organization could fuck up a one-car funeral.  The gist of it is that I never did any one thing there for long enough to get good at it.  All 3 of my reviews from there said the same thing.  And I quote, “Your job has been in a constant state of flux with the high turnover in our department.  This year we’re going to focus on stabilizing your position.”  That never happened, and for the first 2 years I worked like a slave.  The last year?  Not so much.  I would work my 40 hours and go home.  Peace, homies.

Then my boss lost her daughter to questionable circumstances and that was devastating.  I tried to fill in the gaps with the other full-time employee, who is AMAZING.  I don’t know what sorcery they employed to trick her into coming on board, but they don’t deserve her.  They deserve scurvy.  Instead of actually helping my boss cope with the loss and providing her the support and resources that she needed, her boss said, “The best thing she can do right now is to get back on the horse!”  Meaning, she needed to stop being such a pussy about loosing her 28 year-old daughter and start working again.

Um.  Okay.  Copy that.  I’ll just let her know she’s fucking around with this grief thing and trying to raise her grandson at 50 years old, when she should be struggling with empty-nest syndrome instead of incomprehensible grief that she is COMPLETELY ill-equipped to handle.  Capital idea.  You’re an asshole, I sincerely hope your ulcers cause you to shit blood.

So that started the few months of the stress that made me think I needed better meds, when it turns out I needed less stress.  C’est la vie.

The only regret I have about being let go is that I 100% thought that it would be HR that did it, you know…like you do.  Instead of the Blood Ulcer.  I was unprepared.  If I’d known it was him I would have been prepared.  When he showed up at my desk I would have exclaimed, “Finally!”  Instead I just smiled smugly.  “Your job is being eliminated.”  Okay, thanks!  Do you have any boxes lying about so that I can collect my belong….never mind, that shit was packed up months ago, just in case.  See you at the garage exit where you can have the best part of this job back…the free parking.

I digress.  So with this new time off and a few dollars in the bank, I decided that I could coast through the end of April and explore my school options.  I was sure that it would take a few semesters to finish the one class that I have left, because I needed to “brush-up” on my math skillz.  And by “brush-up” I mean, “create them from noting, out of thin air.”

School:  You will be starting over with $74,000 in student loan debt because your credits expire after 10 years.

Me:  *faints*

Fine, bitches.  I’ll finish elsewhere.  Cut to an online university that will take 2.5 years of my credits, is accredited and will give me my PMP, RHIT and some other junk that I want.  YES!  Okay, fine…it’s an online university and I think that I would do better with some structure and some classmates to talk to, but whatevs.  Done.

Except I’m maxed out on student loans.  I’ve hit my aggregate limit and I have no fucking clue where to get the $3900/semester to pay for school.  Yes, yes, grants and scholarships.  I know.  That’s a lot of shit to weed through, even though I’m unemployed and have unlimited time about me.  I’m still trying to get my house in sellable shape in the event that I don’t have a job by the end of May, and that is if it would even sell. Whole other anxiety attack just waiting to happen.

I’m researching other loans and as many scholarships and grants as I can right now, but the internet of things is not helpful and all of the articles talk to you like you’ve just graduated high-school and you have no experience.  I’m 44, just help me help myself.

Surely there’s another 44 year-old, displaced, gay divorcé with insurmountable student loan debt, desperately seeking a job that will pay enough to live direct deposit to direct deposit that can give me some pointers.  Right?

Until I find him, I’m going to switch to alcohol for all liquid intake and garnishments (olives) as solid food.  It’s what Betty Ford would have wanted.

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