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Remember: Life as a Student: Part 2- Poker

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life as a Student: Part 2- Poker

My last post about student life seems to have a negative tone in hindsight. I guess, to be fair, that negativity is a certain part of who I am as a person. To cut it straight with you folks, there are two hands of cards to be examined here. In one hand, I have been dealt some cards that would have me fold and cut my losses. You see, I am still unemployed and my unemployment is due to run out in the near future. I am in the midst of an appeal process with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority trying to gain grants that I am more than eligible for. I didn’t get them in the first place because I was reinstated as a student later than the deadline for application for those specific funds.

In this hand, I am also holding a card of worry about my parents and their finances. Last week, my mother was hospitalized and while I could begin writing a blog about the Health Care system in this country based solely on the two days my mother was a patient; I will leave my thoughts regarding that issue as it sucks. My mother is doing okay now and everything should be fine but she is entering what will be a life long struggle to regain control of her diabetes. At the same time, my folks aren’t in the best financial straits. These days, not many people are. They have an adjustable rate mortgage on our house and Wilshire (the mortgage holder) has decided that now would be the perfect time to adjust the rate so dramatically that it would be impossible to pay it. Our house isn’t worth as much as our mortgage and better yet, the interest rate they are charging my folks is 5 points higher than the national rate indicates it should be.

The next card in this hand is always my health. I am walking a fine line between alright and really screwed up and it seems like that line is thinning as of late and it scares me. I will be looking into free counseling but in the meantime I am holding on and barely. To be completely frank, I am tired of living as a disabled person. I would love to touch, to feel, to breathe as easily and normally as most of you do.

This hand weighs heavy on my academic life. It is hard to study for midterms worrying about all of those things and there are still other cards in that hand that I am not mentioning for the sake of brevity.

Now, in the other hand, I am one lucky son of a gun. I am at a great school, with great professors and am deeply engaged in things that I not only love but that I am incredibly passionate about. I have met some great kids over there and I might end up with a friend or two which would be wonderful. I absolutely love Muhlenberg College and some days, I do not want to leave campus. I’m still keeping an eye out for a lady; although, with my mental condition and everything else, it is a half opened eye.

Today, I will be taking two midterms which have me nervous and occasionally downright frightened.
Five years ago, tests were a joke for me. I could take them with my eyes closed and get excellent grades. Now, a bit older and a lot more concerned about my future, taking a test has become a shitshow.

So, with two hands, one heavy with hope and the other heavy with worry, I am doing my best to beat the dealer. I am hoping the grant that I deserve and desperately need comes through. I am going to try and get a work study next semester. My hand of hope is guiding my actions despite my hand of worry making me as sick as a dog some days and utterly dejected on others. I have my fingers crossed with such force regarding my parents mortgage that my ulna may become conjoined. Time will tell. For now, I am going to be taking two midterms that I have studied my butt off for and despite the effort a C will satisfy me. Bottom line, I love college. It is where I belong. I fear greatly though that the forces I have worried so often about are indeed conspiring again to rip me out of it. I hope to God I’m wrong. I don’t want to leave again.



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