From B.A. to B.S.

It’s been a bit hectic since my last post.

Trying to keep my head above water.

Enjoyed a brief Spring Break in Birmingham, Alabama helping two different families have quality homes of their own. Upon returning from Break, my momentum to finish the semester hit a standstill. I stopped doing homework (until the last minute), skipped classes (the minimum allowed before my grade gets docked), and my overall patience for professor’s bullshit has hit the ceiling.

I used to think of myself as a very impatient person, but it wasn’t until this semester that I realized how patient I actually am. Professors who continually change their syllabi and question why the majority of the class doesn’t have their work to turn in, might want to do some introspection. Maybe it’s you that is the problem. A syllabus is there for students so that they can have a clear idea of what is to be expected, when it is expected, and when that expectation needs to be completed by. Frankly, I am at the point where I just don’t give a fuck. If you, professor, are a hot shitty mess in your teaching methodologies, classroom expectations, and overall course…you should not be a professor.

I always anticipated my final semester as being the easiest one. It is in fact far from that. It is most certainly the hardest. One thing that I think future graduates need to know is the Exit Counseling. Overall the process is pretty simple once you have all the information you need to complete it. The part that is confusing and rather frustrating, at least from my perspective is the 10ish options for loan repayment. There are all of these options you have to choose from. GREAT! I love options! However each option comes with this petite 1/2 sentence description. Certainly this was of no help to me. I asked the Financial Aid advisor to assist me with the choices. She told me and I am paraphrasing “Just pick any of them you can always change it later”. I am sure that sounds great in her head…she is not the one that will be repaying my loans. Why do we not have an Exit Counseling workshop to help graduating students feel more confident in their choice of repayment?

This is my 7th year in a 4 year undergraduate degree (national average is 6 years for a 4 year degree). I, of course, changed my major 3 times, and added 3 minors, and ending in an English major with a minor in Education. I have had many opportunities to travel abroad, and throughout the nation. I have been allowed to take Honors courses, despite not being an Honors student. I have had two amazing jobs that have made me embrace my education, and inspired me to pursue a career in higher education. I have been voluntold to do a variety of campus and community initiatives. I have also created my own campus and community initiatives that have made me a better person, while helping others in need. It is in these 7 years that I have witnessed my friends graduate and fight to find a job. My resume is so packed full of experience, that it hurts anytime that I have to cut something out. I digress. It is through my friends’ experiences trying to find jobs post-graduation, that I have began my job search in February, 3 months before I will actually graduate. Since that time, I have applied at 20 different jobs. I have heard back from 3: 2 I was denied, 1 was already filled…a year ago.

As I am typing this, I have a paper to finish (400 more words on McCarthyism and Terror Management Theory…zzzz!), 2 readings, a quiz and 2 exams to study for for Monday and Tuesday. I have 22 days until I graduate from the Ohio State Newark campus, and 35 days until I graduate from The Ohio State University in The Shoe, and as the days vanish away from me, the emotions (anger, frustration, resentment, happiness, relief, exhaustion, sadness) continue to escalate more and more.

I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me, but I wished my present were my past.

…and remember, GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Death is never easy for anyone but the deceased.

This last week was a hot mess. A. Hot. Shitty. Mess.

Monday wasn’t too bad. I learned that I won the Smart Pen Scholarship from the Zornes family.

Tuesday I woke up feeling as if my life was just worthless. Depression is a bitch, and is entirely debilitating. I took the day off because I knew I wouldn’t be able to last 30 minutes at campus. I spent the entire day in bed feeling worthless.

Wednesday I was feeling better, but not by much. My coworkers and boss surprised me a day earlier for my 35th birthday. They gave me a gift card, a blanket, a bag of veggie straws, a tri-pack of gum, some stickers for my Passion Planner, and a cute mini-cake that I made them all eat with me, mostly because I am not a chocolate fan. I didn’t want to disappoint them after all their efforts to make my birthday memorable. But that’s the thing with depression, no matter what happens, depression just doesn’t go away, it just hides its ugly-ass head until *poof* “Surprise, bitch, you thought I was gone!?” Late Wednesday night I was about to head to bed around midnight when I found out my friend Tim Ferguson, 20 years of friendship!, had passed away. I was devastated, am still devastated.

Thursday I cancelled my tutor session for ASL. I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus. I managed to make it to work and stayed for all but 5 minutes. I broke down crying twice at work. I knew I couldn’t stay for two evening classes, and took the rest of the day off. On my way home I broke down again, and another 3 or 4 times at home Thursday night. Not having confirmation of what really happened is frustrating. I feel like I can’t move on, nor can I accept that he is gone. I know he is, but my emotions do not want to accept it. Death is never easy for anyone but the deceased. Later Thursday night my roommate made me dinner for my birthday. I started re-watching Gilmore Girls from Season 1. It made me feel better temporarily, but the loss of a true friend is crippling.

Friday I woke up on 5 hours sleep. My boss picked me up and we headed up to OSU Columbus for her and my coworkers presentation on ESL/ELL students. The conference was amazing. The workshops were great, up until the last session. None of us really could find one that was engaging enough. Coryn & I went over to pick up my Smart Pen. After I got back from the conference, I knocked out some homework, watched some movies and shows.

Saturday I got a birthday card from my birth mother, with money that I am putting toward’s my Habitat for Humanity Trip. I also got an invite to open a Chase account, and if I switch my direct deposit, they’ll give me an extra $300.00 which will cover the remaining cost of my Habitat trip. Chase is right in front of my apartment so easy access is always nice. I went to the store for some retail therapy. I got a shaving set (the vintage brush/brush stand & bowl, with a container of cream), 2 packs of Sharpie (colored) pens (they were BOGO), some mini-pens, and highlighters (since all of mine dried out/I used them all!). I ended up having to put 4 cents on my bank card to cover the tax. The lady thought I was crazy, I don’t carry cash! Girl, bye! Watched a few more movies and shows. I was supposed to have a date, but I bailed on them. Call me a skeptic, but I’m a good judge of when people want something of substance, as opposed to wanting something for a brief time. I am better than that. Try some other hoe.

Sunday I slept in until 11:30. I knocked out my Philosophy homework, and then my professor emailed us all to tell us one of the readings for Philosophy will not be on the exam because he’s dropping the reading so we can get caught back up. Yass! I spent the majority of the day cleaning, and enjoying the few short hours that remain of my weekend.

On the upside, tomorrow will be 90 days til graduation!

My Graduation Countdown


Mr. Darcy Saves Me!

Just when I thought my exhaustion level couldn’t reach a higher peak, it happened!

I was already exhausted by Monday. I don’t know how it happened, but it did. Nothing was different really. My class and work schedule was the same. The only difference being one of my students asked me to cover his shift, in a department that I don’t even work in. I got my first Philosophy quiz back, and got a 14/25. So that was emotionally comforting. I was excited to leave work at 5 so I could go home and take a nap. However, my student is working very hard to be a drum major for The Best Damn Band in the Land, and if I can help him reach his goal, I will do all that I can. Long story short, I worked it out with his boss and I am now proctoring a Distance Learning Business class for Business majors on Monday nights from 5-6:50 for the next month or so, until TBDBITL practices end.

I overslept, and was almost late to my ASL tutoring, but my tutor also overslept…so it worked out. Great start right…wrong. I had to skip my chiropractor appointment (3rd one in a row) due to meetings at campus. I had a brief break and attempted to type up my papers for Political Science. I managed to get them finished. After that I had a Habitat meeting to discuss details for our meeting on Friday, and our trip in March. After that meeting, I had to rush across campus because my next meeting changed locations at the last minute. I met with Marketing for the upcoming “Love” campaign to talk about the things I love at campus, and what I have enjoyed during my time at OSU. Immediately after the meeting, I had to rush to ASL, had a 30 minute break, and had to head to Political Science, where the professor decided to bump our papers, conveniently, to Thursday! I ended my night with a late (another!) meeting as we were interviewing our candidates for the American Sign Language Student Organization Outreach officer position. It was great meeting with the ladies and planning out some details for this semester.

Had a quiz in Sociology and didn’t do well. 10 question quizzes can really fuck you up quickly! I missed 3/10 and ended up with a C, thank God 1 quiz will be dropped. I left Sociology for my student’s Comp Studies class, which was just a hot mess. I can’t even begin to start on where that Hot Mess train even began! Went to work, and then to Philosophy. Around 3ish, Hunter, Abbey and I all headed up to Columbus for Piper Kerman’s (author, Orange is the New Black) talk and book signing. She was awesome, and very nice. We were the first people in line to get her autograph and picture so we finished much quicker than we thought. She asked me what my “Juice” hat meant, so I tweeted her the link to the song, and she liked my tweet. 🙂

Started the day off studying for my ASL first unit quiz, and the culture quiz. I did pretty well, and even surprised myself. I ended up getting 100 on the culture quiz, and a 15/20 on the Unit 11 quiz. I knew I wasn’t going to do well after I forgot some signs from ASL 1101 that were used, that we haven’t used since early ASL 1102, but I passed, and still have a B in the class, so… After tutoring, I had work, and amazingly enough I finally had a student show to my tutor session! My time was not wasted, and glad I could help the student out. After ASL, I rushed over to Political Science class to get ready for our quizzes, and for my group review activity. We did pretty well, but for some reason a simple game seemed to be too hard to comprehend, even with very simple instructions written on the board. Rushing to class was pointless. We waited for 15 minutes and decided to leave. The professor called one of the students and mentioned he was in an accident and was cancelling the class we already cancelled. Hope he is ok, even if he is an offensive, inappropriate, racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic asshole. After leaving Poli Sci I hit the cafeteria to grab some dinner, ate half the pizza before I paid, went to pay, opened my wallet and realized I took my card and money out of it Wednesday night so I wouldn’t spend money. Thankfully Melissa came and bailed me out. I was so embarrassed. After Melissa’s rescue, we went over to watch Deep Water Horizon, and we all ended up hanging outside of the auditorium instead. I wanted to see the movie, just as something to destress and have a mental break. It was definitely needed.

I had to get up a bit earlier, as Jamie asked me to help Shanon at Buckeye Visit Day. It was a really great one. The students were so positive, and we had a lot of them that could apply to the Engineering Learning Community and the Buckeye Generation Learning Community for next year. Looking back, I am now disappointed because I kept saying my coworkers and I will be mentoring you, and only Coryn will be here in the Fall. It’s a bit depressing thinking of it, but also exciting because we will all be starting a new journey. I finally was able to meet with Jamie about a decision on which master’s program I will be pursuing at Walden University. She suggested that I pursue the General Program in Higher Education, but to also see if I can take the two additional courses in the Leadership and Student Success master’s, to see if I can get a dual master’s or at least to be able to claim a specialization in Leadership and Student Success, since they only have two additional courses that the General Program does not have. My goal is to submit my application next week. I am scheduling an additional appointment with Jamie to plan out what skills I need in Higher Education that I don’t have…that I can start working on obtaining before the end of Summer. We had our office meeting, and things went pretty well. Rushed to Philosophy with about 4 minutes to spare. I think today was the first day of class that I think I actually understood what was going on, but when I responded, I felt like an idiot and everything I said made no sense to him or me. This class is brutal! It’s challenging, and I think that’s actually why I am enjoying it more now. I do not like failing at anything, and this is challenging me to do better. We had our first Habitat meeting of the semester, and surprisingly finished much earlier. Thankfully due to a planned agenda, and being able to keep people focused. I ended up missing yet another chiropractor appointment (make that 4 now!). I came home and relaxed to Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t meant to be a great movie. It was meant to be a comedic, B-rated horror-comedy, adaptation of the original. I was surprised that they made Mr. Bingley more attractive than Mr. Darcy…that’s not ok!


99 Days til Graduation!

I’m getting closer than I ever thought I might…

The lyrics from REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” has inspired this post. 7 long years are coming to a close more and more every day.

I have spent this past weekend getting my Passion Planner in order to stay organized for these upcoming four months.

I managed to print off all of my documents, except for the PowerPoints, for my final ASL course. It’s going to be weird to have a few of our cohort members no longer with us for our final course, including my hippy-mermaid friend, Ms. Sarah Gray. We also have 1 or 2 new students joining us for ASL 1103. I am pretty nervous about the course because it is all conversation, and no new vocab. The dialogue part is my weakness, and I need to improve my skills in this area if I plan to be successful. I’d like to shoot for another B grade, but I think a C is more realistic due to my struggles in the retention of conversations in my head, and then translating that into a response that makes sense, but more importantly is an accurate response to the conversation. I did manage to get at least the first month of the semester tutor sessions scheduled. I am waiting on my tutor to get back with me if the remaining semester hours will work for her.

None of my other classes have posted on Carmen yet, and classes begin tomorrow. I don’t like being unprepared for the first day of classes. I can’t even view syllabi which doesn’t help me read in advance to stay ahead. Frustrating. I am going to crack the books open tonight so that at least I have an idea of what the texts read like.

I was supposed to have an appointment with Career Services on Friday, but it got rescheduled for this Tuesday. I still need to review my resume and cover letter and send it to Derek Thatcher so he can review it prior to our meeting. My goal today is to update my resume, cover letter, and my CV, and send it to him today.

Although I have only had 5 actual days of a 3 week break, I am eager to get back into my normal, hectic routine. However, I did drop quite a few obligations, so that should free me up more to focus more on classes, destress (if that’s even an option), to have time for myself, and time to make for friends and family.

Goals for today:
Update resume, cover letter, and CV
Sell Blair my living room furniture set
Grocery shop
Clean house
Pay bills
Browse class books



Victories, Failures, and Lessons

In 2011, I was blessed to attend a national conference in Florida. Our campus covered the costs for a handful of specially selected students, and yours truly was one of those students. At this conference, the guest speaker was a man named Jason Connell. I had never heard of him, but was blown away but his speaking engagement on the final day of the conference. I was also one of the lucky winners of his contest where he gave each winner a copy of the book “Think Big”, which inspired him. Over the years, I have kept contact with him through his monthly emails where he provided inspirational, motivational words. In 2014, he sent out an email, that I still have, printed off in hard copy.

In 2015, I promised myself I would do this. I didn’t. In 2016, I promised myself I would do this. I didn’t. In 2017, I promised myself I AM DOING THIS! So I did, and here it is:

As I look back on 2016, I can’t really think of anything that went terribly bad. There were so many celebrity deaths that took a toll on me. As much as they were people I enjoyed, and looked up to, people whom as a child I would watch on tv or listen to on the radio, my cassette tapes, and even my Sony Disc Walkman. Ultimately though, I didn’t know them personally but they still held a large part of my youth, my young adult, and even my adulthood development.

I look at this personal review of 2016 as a way of getting rid of the past, so I can focus on my present, and prepare for my future.


The first memory of 2016 that comes to mind, is when WYES PBS New Orleans aired our two Mardi Gras Indian documentaries. I was blessed to actually be a part of “The Spirit Leads My Needle” documentary, where I was able to interview a variety of Mardi Gras Indian chiefs. Then in 2015, I was able to help edit, and do closed-captioning for the “It’s Your Glory” documentary on the Mardi Gras Indians queens. Our campus covered our costs of travel, lodging, and a few meals. The extra slice of this cake, was being able to spend my birthday in this beautiful city that has captivated my heart, mind, body, and soul in ways that I never thought anything could ever do.

The first day of 2016, I spent it with my closest friends from freshman year. We all went out to dinner at Kanji and then went to the Columbus Zoo for Wildlights. It was great spending time with all of us together again. It had been at least 4 years since we all were together.

Thanks to OSU Student Advocacy who covered my tuition and book costs for 1 more semester. My boss really came through for me. I am always thankful for her everyday for showing that it isn’t just a job for her. She sincerely cares for her employees, and the students on campus as well.

I got to spend a week in Atlanta with a great group of students, many who have since became good friends. We helped out a few families through the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge. I served as the President, and helped inspire service work during Spring Break. We had a great time, and still laugh at all the nonsense we did, and of course the importance of giving back to others in need.

In July, I got to spend a week with my best friend Ryan for his birthday in Key West, and in Ft. Lauderdale. As usual, we had our ups and downs, laughed like crazy, and reconnected for the first time in person since I moved from Florida in 2009. We had a brief fight, but we managed to solve the issue. We are basically like brothers so never stay mad at each other for too long. The best part of the trip wasn’t just the fact of spending time with him, but seeing that he is truly happy after so many years of seeing him struggle. He is doing quite well for himself, and this couldn’t make me more happier!

Another highlight of 2016 was when I found out our documentaries were nominated for an Emmy. I was literally blown away with this news and honestly thought my professor/advisor/mentor was punking me. I realized she wasn’t, and was in a blissful disbelief state for a while. Although we didn’t win an Emmy, we did win the approval of the Mardi Gras Indians, and that alone was enough.

I was approached by one of my former professors to be one of her research assistants, with one of my friends from the same class, on a very new, interesting, controversial project. I can’t wait for this new adventure.

We beat Bitchigan in the OSU VS Xichigan game. We went into double overtime. Thankfully I had enough beverages to get me through!

My friends keep giving me things every time I visit them: a new living room set (I finally got rid of that monstrously heavy couch- that I really loved, but can’t handle due to my health restrictions), a Keurig, a flat screen tv, clothes, Oakley shades, Beats, and assorted other items, in addition to feeding me every time I visit. A fat kid loves to eat! But seriously, it’s great hanging out with them, and being able to help them out when they’re in need, because I know they would do the same for me.

In August, we held a leadership conference at the OSU Newark campus. It was small, but really great. It was an honor to meet and greet fellow leaders from all over the state of Ohio.

In August, I was asked to be a part of the panel to speak at Convocation for OSU Freshmen. It was an honor, and a great deal of stress. Normally when I am on stage I can stand and move around. I was in a chair so my anxiety didn’t do well that day.

In late August, a few friends and I attended a student government leadership conference at Columbus campus. It was a joke, but we made our own fun, and a few new friends.

Early September my friends and I went to the Ke$ha concert. She was amazing, and I had so much fun, and definitely wore out at the end of the night.

My friend Beth held a cookout party at her house. Great time…except for Hunter mowing the grass. 🙂 We can’t let her live that one down. Haha!

A new student organization was founded in Fall, Naps Against Poverty. We started a partnership with House of New Hope, which happens to have been founded from another friend’s grandparents. We raised clothing for teens, winter wear, and even Christmas presents for the foster children. Our campus, the Newark Advocate, and the Columbus Dispatch covered the story! It just goes to show that naps pay off more than you can ever think!

I went to see author Wes Moore at Columbus campus with my friend. He was amazing. I got to talk to him briefly, and he autographed my copy of his book. Definitely an inspiration.

I had the pleasure of seeing Prudence Wright Holmes, from Sister Act 1 & 2, as she performed a one woman play about the life of Willa Cather at our campus. Later my roommate, her boyfriend, one of my favorite professors and I got to go to dinner with her. She had some great stories.

One World Celebration at the Davis Shai House.

I worked hard on getting the Gladiator Ball event to come to campus. It was a great success. We had over 75 students play! Looking forward to bringing them back to campus in Spring.

Spent a few days in Kentucky. Got to see some people I hadn’t seen in a while. Enjoyed being back in the country away from the city. Reconnecting with nature, and simplicity!

Attended the first Young Leaders of Licking County event with a friend. Ran into more friends I didn’t know were attending. It was an awesome event. So much laughter, food, drinks, and fun!

Went through the Pataskala Haunted Forest with my Campus Activities friends.

Fall Festival at Pigeon Roost Farm.

I hosted the first Deaf social by American Sign Language Student Organization with friends. It was a great turnout.

I presented at my first state conference at Columbus State Community College, on at-promise populations and student leadership.

Went to the Beer & Wine Fest at campus with a friend. Had a lot of fun.

Hosted another Deaf social with an ugly sweater theme. Donation required to participate. All donations went to the foster kids at House of New Hope.

Ended the semester with our BGLC end of semester party, and the ELC end of semester party. It is always emotional getting to see where the students started at, and where they end their first semester.

Had our office Christmas party at Applebees (courtesy of my boss). We did an ugly sweater party/Secret Santa. I ended up getting gifts for everyone since I had extra money thanks to the ACT test.

I spent a weekend with my sister getting her apartment situated. We went all the way to Cincinnati for IKEA. I had never been before and fell in love with it. It was great being able to help her out and spend time with her and my niece and nephew, as well as her friend from high school.

Our family delayed Christmas until sometime in January (maybe)? So I spent a few days at my parents’ house. My mom was sick so I was able to convince a few siblings to show. We all cooked dinner, had some drinks, and enjoyed our usual game night/movie night traditions. I helped my mom wrap presents for my nephew and my brother, who turns out to be pretty amazing on the keyboard…his singing…not so much.

I ended my year at home alone. I enjoyed the peace, quiet, and relaxation.


The most memorable failure is failing math twice…in the same year…one semester after the other. Although this was a failure…it can also be thought of as a success. I had my friend tutor me twice a week. I did quite well for the first month! Hell, I even passed my first exam…barely! However after that things went downhill. I got the content in class. I got the content in tutoring…but when it came to the third exam, and the final exam…I blanked. I missed the second exam entirely due to testing rules that I wasn’t aware of. I failed the course with a significantly higher failing grade. Despite my learning disability with math, I am happy with my failure. My failure showed me that I am not as bad at math as I thought I was. I am just not able to get it, and that’s ok!

Relationships. Hmm. Well I had a year of failed relationships. I dated 3 people all year, and 2 of them I dated twice. I truly cared for each one. One is just in a lifestyle that I can’t be a part of anymore. He is still growing and evolving into adulthood. I hope that one day soon, he can find the happiness he deserves so that he can leave that bullshit behind him. The second one was someone I thought I could really see myself with long-term. He was sweet, charming, and frankly…he was good in all the right ways. His downfall was his job. A truck driver has way too much time on the road by themselves to think. And thinking starts becoming toxic after so long. Eventually that relationship failed. He went crazy on me, and then I gave him a second chance, but he basically wanted a relationship of convenience. So that ended again. When he came home we would meet up, have a great night, and then I wouldn’t see or hear from him for a month until he was coming home again. It just got toxic and I needed to preserve my own self. The final guy was like dating an inanimate object. He had no emotions, no empathy, no sincerity, no affection. I recently found out that I was 1 of 3 guys he was dating. I am not hurt over it. I knew something wasn’t right, and I am just happy I ended it.


2016 wasn’t a bad year. It was actually a great year. A remarkable year even. The main lesson I learned this year was that when I reach my breaking point, I always find a way to just get by. I have learned that just because I give in, does not mean that I have given up. With all of the sad news regarding various family members in the past 2 months, I very sincerely wanted to drop out of college and give up. I was so close to doing so, but then a few friends randomly reached out to tell me how much I inspire them. They weren’t aware at that point that all I wanted to do was give up. It is because of their words that I did not give up. Knowing that if I can inspire others, I can inspire myself. I chose to champion on, and work harder to find alternatives. I had not just one back up plan, but two. Fortunately, I did not have to use either one.

The second lesson that I learned is how valuable meditation is for me. At first, I thought meditation was some New Age bullshit…ok it is still New Age bullshit, but it is New Age bullshit that works for me. I immediately noticed a huge difference in my body. Through those meditations, my body became relaxed for the first time in at least 20 years that I can recall. My anger diminished. My patience improved. I became more aware of the things around me that I take for granted on a daily basis. My self-esteem grew. Self-love began to blossom.

The third lesson isn’t necessarily a lesson, as it is a key. The Passion Planner, paired with meditation, has revived creativity, inspiration, focus, and good health. I currently have the free, printable version that I have compiled into a nice binder. The PP is the highlight of my days. I wake up and like an instinct, I open it up and begin to review and plan my day. I have never had a planner that I have used as much as I have with this one. Just before Christmas, I actually won a giveaway on the Passion Planner’s Instagram 12 Days of Giveaway contest. I won a Passion Planner, set of pens, a FitBit, some Quest Bars, and something else. I was so excited, and still am. My package should be arriving any day, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone when it comes!

In closing, I want to thank every single person who I encountered this past year. Some of you were a lesson, pun intended, some of you were a blessing, some of you were inspirations, many of you helped me when you didn’t even know you were doing so. I am always grateful for all of my family and friends, near and far, as we celebrate this thing called life (RIP PRINCE!) together. May you all have a better year than the last.

Leaving you with a year of good health, happiness, heart, and blessings of love.

…and remember, GO BUCKS!



It is not a surprise to those of us in college, and those who have completed college, that I haven’t had time to keep up with this blog like I had anticipated.

However, today is the first day of a new year. With that new year comes new priorities. I am making it a priority to do at least one post per week to detail my progress to May 7, 2017 when I will FINALLY graduate The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a minor in Education.

It will be 7 years in the making, but it isn’t about who completes a degree in 4 years, but that you complete it…or so someone said, anyways.

2015 was a rough year. I didn’t think that I would be able to find a way to financially cover my remaining classes. Thanks to Student Advocacy at OSU Columbus who covered my tuition for Fall 2015, and Spring 2016. I also want to thank Ohio Means Jobs, more importantly my case manager Heidi Wallace for helping make this a possibility. OMJ has covered my tuition for Fall 2016, and for Spring 2017. Initially they wanted me to continue my courses through Fall 2017 and graduate in December 2017. I am adamantly opposed to this, because I can complete all my remaining courses in Spring. I will be at 13 credit hours, which is only 1 more credit than “full time” I have taken 17 before, so I feel pretty confident that I can do this.

“No matter what ambitions you may have, good grades don’t necessarily tell us what you know or what you will be able to do with the understanding.” – What the Best College Students Do, by Ken Bain

In Spring 2016, I took Math 1050 and failed it tragically. Thanks to the new grade forgiveness, I was able to apply this and re-take it in Fall 2016. However, I failed it again (but with an improved failing grade). I also took Child Development again as the remaining course in my Education minor. I passed the course initially, but for the minor, I needed to retake it for a higher grade. I am so happy I did, because I ended up with an A in the course. I didn’t enjoy the course the first time I took it, but this time I truly loved it. It was probably due to how the course was restructured, and because of the professor…or a combination of both.

In early Fall 2016, I ran into a friend who works for OSU Student Services, and informed me I need to transition to Columbus so that I can 100% get a petition approved so that I do not have to take any math courses. I will instead take alternative math courses that incorporate math concepts, but not a math focus. I completed my campus change request, and was approved. When the Arts & Sciences advisor called me, she informed me that Newark campus offers the alternative courses that I was going to take at Columbus. After we talked she informed me that the Petition Committee had cancelled their meeting for the next day, and I wouldn’t find out if my petition was approved until January. I became frustrated and nervous that I would not get it. Immediately the next day, I received the email from the advisor that my petition was approved. I had to rearrange one class that was denied, but thankfully found the course they suggested that actually fit in the same time slot as the original course.

I am now officially enrolled in my four remaining courses: ASL 1103, Philosophy 1300, Sociology 2345, and Political Science 1200 (another course I failed, but I can use Grade Forgiveness on). My agenda to keep me on track to graduation now is as follows:

Meeting with OSU Student Services Tuesday morning.
Meeting with OSU Arts & Sciences Advisor Tuesday afternoon.
Cancel campus change and transfer back to Newark campus.
Ohio Means Jobs pay my tuition (pending).
Ohio Means Jobs book credit (approved, and hoping to get my books on Wednesday).
Schedule tutoring for ASL 1103, and possibly Philosophy 1300 (as I have heard nothing positive in 7 years about this professor or his course in general).
Apply for graduation.
Apply for Grade Forgiveness with my original advisor.
Print syllabi, and get an early start on the readings for Philosophy, Sociology, and Political Science.
Meeting with Career Services Friday to update resume and cover letter.
Get letter of recommendation from my former boss for 1 of 2 jobs I am applying for.
Send grad party invites.
Purchase graduation cap, gown, and ring.

…and remember GO BUCKS! (even if that Fiesta Bowl game was one hot mess!).


Big Decision

As another academic year has ended, new obstacles have occurred.

Since December 2015, I have been working with Ohio Vocational Rehab to obtain additional funding to complete my final two semesters (6 GE’s, and 3 courses for my two minors). I have been made to jump through so many hoops for them that I feel like it is just about time for me to give up.

Last month a reporter from the Newark Advocate came to campus to interview me on a new scholarship starting in Fall 2016 that will help seniors struggling to find the funds to cover their remaining tuition. See article:

While this is a great thing and can help many students, like myself, it is not a guarantee, just as the OVR scholarship is not a guarantee.

Financial Aid has awarded me $1,000 to complete 9 courses (6 if I drop my two minors). This amount of funding is not going to cover even half of the Fall 16 semester. I am running out of options, time, patience, and the motivation.

I have been looking at alternative options, one of them being transferring all of my credits to another institution in order to potentially be able to graduate over Summer 2016 without having to take any additional courses. This sounds like the most feasible option, but it is also the option I least want to take.

I have wanted to graduate as a Buckeye for the longest time now. Although it is only a metaphor, it is a strong metaphor that any OSU Buckeye student has: I have the Buckeye blood in my veins. If things do work out that I can transfer all of my credits to another institution, I feel like I have not only let myself down, but my family, my friends, my mentors, and all of the underclassmen that I have mentored over the years.

This is such a tough decision for me. A decision that I still remain unclear on the path to chose. I know the important thing is to get a degree, so I can move on to my masters, but there is this internal tug-of-war inside my head.

In the next month I will know the results if the credits will transfer, and whether or not I can graduate over Summer from a separate institution.

Regardless of the choice I will have to make in June, I have never regretted any of time here at The Ohio State University at Newark campus. The time here has provided me with rewards that just can’t be trivialized:

*4 years with Multi-Cultural Affairs with my mentor Vorley Taylor who has inspired me to further my passion for multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion
*4 years as Academic Coach for the Buckeye Generation Learning Community, mentoring roughly 320 first generation freshmen (The job where I learned where my career path shall be.)
*1 year as Academic Coach for the Engineering Learning Community, mentoring Engineering major students
*Numerous officer positions in diverse student organizations
*Ohio State Newark’s 1st Homecoming King
*Newark Rotary Club, campus representative
*Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor 4th grade lunch buddy
*Diversity Through Artistry mentor of 3rd grade students
*Study Abroad trips to Germany and Canada
*Numerous trips to New Orleans
*Undergraduate Research Project in New Orleans
*State & National conferences

just to name a few of the many things that I have been able to do in my time here.

This is a decision that might sound trivial to some of you, and I can agree if I were an outsider I would pick the simple option. As a Buckeye, though, I have learned that the simple option isn’t always the best choice. Sometimes the hard thing is the best thing.




Delayed Communication

Hey everyone! So it has been a while since my last post. I feel like this is a great day to speak about communication with college students.

College is nowhere near high school. Friends change, class sizes change, the environment changes, even our most basic habits and hobbies even change!

Yesterday I was informed by a former interested party that I, “fail to communicate”. For the sake of this post, I would like to say that there are two different cultures of people in the world: college students (past and present) and those who are not college students (past and present). For those of us college students (past and present) it is easy for us to see that we have extremely limited time to spend with others (family, friends, significant others/dates). We are consumed with loads of homework (absurdly larger) than the amount we were accustomed to in high school. We have meetings with professors, various offices (as part of course requirements), meetings with our advisors (that aren’t always the most convenient to our schedules), tutoring sessions (for those subjects we struggle in *cough, cough MATH!*, group projects (that professors don’t allow in class time to be set aside for), student leadership experiences (meetings, organizations, campus ambassador, provide tours, freshmen orientations…) and even volunteering (both assigned for courses, and to help us gain critical experience that we need to make ourselves even more marketable in the real world.

I think it is safe to say that is a pretty exhausting list! Speaking for myself, I am usually pretty drained by the time I get home…oh wait…can’t forget those friends/faculty/staff who ask you to do something last minute…and you don’t know how to say no…so the day hasn’t stopped yet. Ok, now I am at home…drained and so tired that I can’t even work up energy to make dinner, or walk the short flight of stairs to my bedroom, so I pass out on the couch.

While this might sound like a rant, it’s more of trying to provide a different lens for family, friends, and loved ones…of mine, and others…to take into consideration if you don’t get an immediate response, if you don’t hear from them in a few days…or hell, even a week sometimes, if they forget to show up to an event/date…

Non-college students (past and present) are held to similar time-constraints, I don’t deny that! What I am hoping you gain from this is that you take some extra time to allow the person to respond, to maybe remind them 3-4 times more than usual. Our lives are stressful, and we want to spend time with others outside of our academic setting. Sometimes exhaustion ruins this for us. Sometimes we simply forget with all that we are dealing with.

…and remember, Go Bucks!

P.S. After writing a post about being exhausted, I’m exhausted!

Privileged Elite

I just left my School & Society class, and at the end of class, our professor made us close our eyes and imagine someone we went to school with. We had to remember some student who was different than us. She didn’t tell us in what way. I imagined my friend from 8th grade in junior high school. He was the only black boy in our school…and of course, we became friends. I learned early in life how much I enjoy being friends with someone who is different, learning about the way their life is different than my own. Escapism has always been my thing. I escape reality by creating these mental versions of an alternate life for myself.

But I’m getting off topic…

So she continued, that we needed to think, “Where are they now? Did they graduate high school? Are they the sole provider in their home? Do they have a job? A family? Homeless? Did they go to college? Did they get a degree?” My brain stopped thinking at that point. Because after 8th grade I was removed from my foster home, and lost the contact with that friend that I had forgotten from so many years ago. Then she said, “You’re part of the privileged elite, because you are HERE at THE Ohio State University”. I wasn’t expecting to become so emotionally tapped. I started feeling uncomfortable. I am nearly 34 years old, and by May 2017 I will graduate college with a B.A. degree. I felt uncomfortable because being a non-traditional student I thought well I hope this friend from my past has in fact graduated college at the traditional age, has a degree, a family, provides for them…this was my vision for my friend, because I believe in the law of attraction. If I believe it, he will have achieved it!

As I arrived to the office after class, I started rethinking. I don’t feel bad that I am in college, while so many aren’t. Not because I don’t want them to be in college. I do! Not because they don’t deserve it, because they do! I don’t feel bad, because this is my story. My journey to college wasn’t easy. I had my own personal struggles, I’ve had life changes some that I could have prevented and some that I couldn’t, I have worked full time between multiple jobs while attending full time, dealing with severe seasonal depression, the loss of my newborn niece, letting go of unhealthy friendships, I was homeless and have had my own place that I pay for (even though sometimes I barely have 2 pennies after rent and bills are paid) but it is mine!, I’ve ran out of tuition but I managed to figure out assistance to help me continue to reach my goal of getting my diploma next year. So, while my journey hasn’t been easy, it’s been pretty fucking tough actually, but I am proud because of all these obstacles, I have triumphed and I continue to triumph as I get closer and closer til that ridiculous piece of paper informs people worldwide that I do in fact have the skills and qualities in the career world.

I am one of the privileged elite, and I am a Buckeye for life.

…and remember, Go Bucks!


Equal To or Greater Than Calculus

Today’s the day! The first day of Spring semester!

Let me tell you how this day went down…

*5:30 a.m. wiiiiiiiiiiiide awake! I tried to go back to sleep. I tossed. I turned. I screamed. I killed my pillow a few times! Nothing worked.
*6 a.m. After much torture, I crawled out of bed, and raced to the coffee pot.
*6:30 a.m. Called the taxi.
*6:30 a.m. While waiting for the taxi, I frantically was throwing all the electronics in my bookbag. I forgot the calculator. I turn the power button. *Blank screen* *Hits power button on repeat for 5 minutes* *Realizes batteries are dead.* *Math phobia induces anxiety attack* *Screams a few cuss words, somehow not waking my roommate*
*7:00 a.m. Actually managed to drink a whole cup of coffee, and eat a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Don’t judge me. You know you eat that shit too!
*7:30 a.m. Calls taxi impatiently, inquiring “Where are you? I have class soon!” Taxi: “She’s on her way. *Hangs up*”
*7:45 a.m. Calls taxi again. Taxi: “She’s out front. *Hangs up*
*7:45 a.m. Calls taxi again. “No, she isn’t.” Taxi: *muffled noise* “She is trying to find you.” So I walk outside ready for her to pull in. Taxi: *flies right on by me, doesn’t stop, but blares horn* So I think, is this a game? Am I supposed to chase after it, run and jump into the cab? *SMH* So I walk halfway through the complex, while she ever so slowly backs up… Taxi: I should have known where you lived! Me: You had one job…*stares angrily out the window*
*7:55 a.m. Arrive at campus, drop off my lunch in the CAB office, rush to my Math 1050 class.
*8:00 a.m. Professor: Welcome to Calculus! Me: *NOPE* *Rapidly grabbed belongings and fleed the class like my life depended upon it…or like bats out of Hell, which is “equal to or greater than” Calculus.
*8:05 a.m. Destresses in Student Government office.
*8:30 a.m. Worked on editing New Orleans film documentary.
*9:00 a.m. Rush to my real math class. One of my LC students yells: “Hey, Steven!” I smiled, waved, and got bitchsmacked by the cold outside. But I made it to class on time. I sit down in the front of class. with the same professor from Calculus. In walks 4 of my students. *Damn* I love my students, but taking a class with them? What’s that saying? It doesn’t matter…
*9:30 a.m. Professor gives us a 5 question quiz. Open note, open book, and work with a partner he says. I fly solo. I aced it. *clenches fist like a boss*
*10:00 a.m. Student Government meeting. Our usual shenanigans.
*11:30 a.m. Rush to work, and another LC student stops me. One that holds a special place in my heart, they all do, but she’s different. She yells my name, and thought I didn’t know who she was. I quickly run back, give her a quick hug, and rush back to work.
*11:35 a.m. Give my best frannnnn aka Coryn Coleman her present. A present that claimed it was a key chain, but arrives as a necklace! EVEN BETTER!
*11:40 a.m. Work a Welcome Back table for our students that needed help finding their classes, and/or had questions. *Awkwardly sat there for an hour smiling at them while they questioned who I am and why I’m randomly sitting at an empty table.
*12:30 p.m. Grabbed lunch, and created signs for the table
*12:30 p.m. Returned to table with fancy signs in hand. Help a handful of students find their class. Realized the campus map for Founders Hall 1st Floor is a joke. It’s outdated, and doesn’t list all the rooms.
*12:45ish p.m. Inside-Out friends from last semester, Brittany and Carson, come to chat at the table, making it less awkward.
*1:15ish p.m. Melissa aka George stops by to chat about break.
*1:30 p.m. Raced from Founders to Warner to actually eat my lunch this time. Ran into three more of my LC students. Gave hugs, compliments, and went on my way.
*1:50 p.m. Ran into my 1st LC student from earlier, she asked where Hopewell 80 was…and I replied, clearly we’re taking classes together this semester…
*2:00 p.m. Listening to the professor of the course for School & Society (1 of 2 of my last classes that completes my Education Minor), I realized how much I really miss being an Education Major. I confirm mentally that my Master’s degree will definitely be in higher education in some capacity or another.
*2:30 p.m. Speak to Financial Aid about SAP Appeal, but they tell me I can’t do one until I file a FAFSA for 2016-2017.
*3:00 p.m. Back at the office for work. Another LC student pops in for a meeting. We chat about our breaks until my boss shows up.
*4:15 p.m. Boss shows up to see how things are going. We clean up and head back to the office.
*5:00 p.m. Pay Habitat for Humanity: Collegiate Challenge fee. Super excited to go on this trip to Georgia during Spring Break and help a family in need.
*5:15 p.m. Mental break.
*5:30 p.m. Start work on NOLA project, but couldn’t.
*6:00 p.m. Start homework.
*6:45 p.m. Meet roomy and head home.
*7:00 p.m. Home. Items from Wish App came! Also, an admissions packet for Seattle University Grad School arrived. Play with Romeo and Leiathetransgenderkitty.
*7:30 Stuck in a Twilight Zone of exhaustion. Did I really do that? No? Did I just hear a noice? Chill out, Steven…*slowly comes back to reality* Types this blog…
*8:00 p.m. Ready to flop on the floor like a fish out of water. Must. Have. Sleep. Instead, I read the admission’s packet.

…and remember, Go Bucks!