Thursday, September 15, 2011

The view from my work window.

I'm sitting in the computer lab at work where I am a tutor, currently however, I have no students to tutor so I am working on studying for my Elementary French II class. I can hear the fan running from the small server rack in the storage room behind me, the air conditioning from the ceiling above me, the occasional noises that the Spanish tutor and a couple students in the room make. I am at a large, oval table, comfortably spread out in the way I wish all classrooms allowed students to, and seeing something a bit amazing:

Outside the large plate-glass windows that make up most of the outside wall of this room is one of the most gorgeous Fall-time sights I can remember. To the left of the windows is a tree, I have no idea which type although I know my mother would, it is approximately 2 stories tall, with dark green, almost fern-like leaves; dark brown, almost black bark; and small clusters of brilliantly red berries at the ends of many of the branches. This tree grows up against the building and is in stark contrast to its surroundings.

I know that below me there is a paved pull-through for the bank that is situated almost directly below me, but I can't see it, the only evidence of it is a weathered light-pole, one of the ones that looks like it was built in the 1980s, with the light situated in a square box on the top, the paint of the pole and box having likely once been black is now almost a grey-brown. Growing from the grass and hillside behind and to either side of this pole are birch trees--white birch. The birch leaves are changing colors, almost no more true green ones exist anymore, most of them have turned a yellow-green, yellow, or have become splotched with yellow patches.

Individually, each tree would look ugly, it is nothing like the splendor to be seen on the East Coast during Autumn. There are a few black spruce mixed in and a few other berry or darker deciduous trees as well adding to the cacophony of the color scheme. Through these trees I can see the highway and the on- and off-ramps, the bridge over the highway and bits and pieces of the businesses and what-not on the other side of the highway. The sky is overcast, grays, whites, little bits of blues starting to seep through , hints of possible sunshine. The types of hints where you know that the clouds are much thicker wherever the sun actually is. It's not exactly what  most people would call beautiful, but for Alaska, this type of scene, with the turning of leaves is a rarity, this is only the second year in the last 25 that I can remember having this type of true Autumn weather-wise. Usually the trees don't even get to change colors much before the leaves have dropped off, dead from frost or freeze, still green for the most part.

It is beautiful outside for this very reason, because this is so odd and it makes being at work studying so much more desirable. The only thing that could make this better would be a study area a bit more comfy than this and a good-sized mug of good coffee.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Want is not Need

Ten months ago I had finally reached a plateau of comfort and confidence in my academic abilities and was furiously filling out transfer applications to other schools; I needed a break and I was bound and determined to do it by finishing my undergraduate degree elsewhere, hopefully at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. Since then, a few things have changed: financially I realized I couldn't afford to move and nearly start over somewhere new yet again, academically I realized that I could graduate with my preferred degree in only two semesters barring any more hideously unplanned set-backs, job-wise I had finally found a position that, while being a drop in grade and pay, allowed me greater freedom in planning my remaining classes and allowed me to still remain in the university system, and emotionally...8 months ago I was introduced to person I can only partially describe as my soul-mate. Needless to say, my life has been turned upside-down and inside-out from what it was a year ago. Overall, I realized that, in a way, my previous plan had merely been a way of running away and in order to be able to look back and not want to kick myself, I needed to just stick with it, finish this degree here, and then go from there. I also thought that there was no way I was going to be accepted at Mercyhurst, what I consider to be one of the top schools and which was my #1 choice.

Wednesday was a normal day, up until about 2:00 pm, then everything I thought I knew got thrown in a mental blender and my thought processes outside of coursework and work became useless. In my mail was an acceptance letter...from Mercyhurst College, for the Fall 2011 semester.

Here, in my hands, was something I had dreamed about and stressed about more than most anything in my life...and I didn't want it. I knew I couldn't go, financially I was bound in Alaska until I had my Bachelor's degree and at that point, transferring to another school would be moot. Some part of me was unable to let go of the belief that this was something I still wanted, and some part of me felt a sense of obligation to this school that, against what I thought were all odds, had accepted me and should go no matter what.

After stressing about it for every non-class, non-work, non-sleep moment for a day-and-a-half, I realized that as much as I may have felt that I needed this when I applied for it, it wasn't really what I needed. I had what I needed, and this was only validation that I was on the right path.

Compared to the confidence others have in my abilities, I hold very little solid confidence in my own academic abilities. People look at my work and accomplishments and seem amazed, I look at the same and only see Average results and room for improvement. I guess this is a good, and a bad thing...this letter told me it wasn't just in the minds of those who knew me, they weren't just being nice to me....I could do this, I was good enough for a really good school, and if I tough it out, graduate and work my butt off for my GRE and LSAT tests, I'm going to be just as good enough for their graduate school(s) as I am as an undergraduate transfer student.

Take that Brain...I'll show you...HAH!