Holy Hell

Apr. 16th, 2012 09:43 pm
collowrath: (Default)
Holy Hell have things moved forward quickly.  I just got my housing assignment for this summer; I didn't get the efficiency apartment I wanted, but I'm not really bothered.   I had to drop a class in order to take all the CLI courses I wanted for the summer, but that has made my financial aid situation a little sweeter, and I won't have to worry about eating quite as much as I thought I might have to.  Thank gods for that.

I can't fucking wait to move into housing, but I think I've said that before.  I've totally checked out of any and all drama that shows up and that hasn't exactly made people happy, but I feel much better not knowing what they think of me.  As the saying goes, what other people say about me is none of my business.  At least I hope it goes that way.

I managed to get back in touch with an old friend from high school.  Ever since I'd been studying Arabic I had been thinking of tracking her down and leaving her a message.  Out of the blue she left me a friend request and a message on the Facebook.  I am beyond delighted!  We've been talking about music and catching up on what's been going in our lives.  She's so successful and she's doing so much, and I'm so happy for her!

That's all I've got I guess.  I'm thinking about picking up blog prompts to help organize my thoughts but I don't know if I'll be able to really keep up with those.  Without them I feel like I don't have anything to post, other than to organize thoughts or just get something out there to whoever stumbles across this.
collowrath: (Default)
... anxiety, or excitement.

When it comes to the money situation, I know it's just anxiety I'm feeling.  I know it's going to be taken care of favorably, but I'm always really anxious about large sums of money, especially when I consider the bureaucracy at ASU and the flakiness it exhibits toward the time, money, and effort of its students.  I probably shouldn't complain because it could, of course, be worse, but I still just can't shake the nervousness.  I'm sure it's more to do with going back to school and starting over than the money.

It's the housing that I can't identify my feelings toward.  On the one hand (and probably the more important of the hands) I am extremely excited to be away from more stressful living situations.  I'm glad that the only person I'll be cleaning up after is myself (I've put in for a single occupancy efficiency), that I'll be able to cook for myself and not have to worry about catering to others' tastes, that I'll have a quiet refuge in which to study and sleep and relax (at least until Fall when the frosh come in, but that'll only be a problem until about October, tops).  On the other hand (and I hope the lesser hand), I feel very worried that I'll just end up isolated and alone.  I'm a natural introvert - I'm used to spending a lot of time by myself, and more often than not I'm very glad for it.  Unfortunately that means I've always had trouble making friends.  That's a situation I've made great strides against since I've been out here; I've been trying to be far more outgoing than I was before, striking up conversation with people on transit and getting to know my baristas a little, but I still have this pattern under stress of retreating inside myself and shutting everything and everyone else out.  I'm afraid that once I get into the stress of class that I'll just start shutting people out again.

I'm trying not to contemplate too hard.  Instead I shop for dishware and towels online.   

Made it!

Mar. 30th, 2012 09:19 pm
collowrath: (Default)
So, I've finally made it all the way through the bureaucracy.  Now I just have to wait for my housing assignment and I'm in.  Unfortunately the financial aid is still an issue, but I'm going to make that work somehow.  I'm not worried about it... I had some anxiety earlier in the week, but now I'm reaching a state of zen with it - it's not really a different situation from where I was at Ohio Dominican financially, it's just that I'm going to have to finance this through different means, rather than having it done for me by the financial aid office.  That's okay.

I'm extremely happy about the housing.  I can't wait to move in. 
collowrath: (Default)
So, I have an advising appointment at ASU next Tuesday at 10:30 in the morning.  All my administrative business there will be handled including financial business, summer housing, scheduling classes for both Summer and Autumn semesters. These are all good things.

Still unemployed, and despite the ranting from my aunt and uncle I can't seem to make the half dozen current pending applications for job openings move any quicker, and I can't make the people who've turned me down take me.  Here's to hoping that I'm employed soon (really really hoping to get even an email from someone), or that by May I can be out of this situation and not faulted for being inexperienced in everything but academia.  I know that sounds hostile, but I really feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I have a huge list of restaurants that are hiring as well, and once this transit strike is over and bus routes are restored, I'm going to be canvassing them for jobs as well.  Ideally I want to work with food, but that's certainly no requirement considering I'm in no place to be picky.

My Arabic is improving, but I'm still suffering from the lack of class time.  I'm thinking about not having my credits transferred from Rio Salado to ASU so that I can retake the Arabic and circumvent their ban on taking classes more than once. :/  I'm not sure how I feel about just ignoring all the work I'm doing now, but I need that face-time interaction in basic Arabic or I know I'm just not going to have the academic foundation to succeed at higher level courses.  That's definitely something I'm going to be discussing with my advisor.
collowrath: (Default)
I'm really excited about ASU in May - just one thing.  They have a mountain of bureaucracy before I can register for classes.  It's mostly just a ton of forms to fill out and hand into the financial aid office, but that's still a little intimidating, considering the propensity of large institutions and universities especially for losing paperwork and making you file again.  Hopefully they don't have the habit that ODU did of charging fees when they lose paperwork.

I have to track down immunization records for MMR.  I don't have them, my dad has moved house twice since, and my mom doesn't have them as far as I know.  I don't know the name of the doctor's office where I'd gotten the immunizations.  I think I'm going to contact ODU and see if they have them and can forward them to ASU - hopefully that's a yes.  

I know that I'm going to get it all in and that it's going to be fine, but damn does bureaucracy make me nervous.

I'm going to be rushing through my classes this week - Tony is coming to visit me this Thursday, and we're going to spend the day just relaxing, since the two of us have been exceptionally busy these past few weeks.  I'm really excited for the opportunity to both relax, and to spend some time with him. 
collowrath: (kobol)
 Received word from ASU that I am good to go starting with a summer semester in the School of International Letters and Cultures.  It's about time!  I'm going to switch from non-resident to campus living, and apply for one of the studios.  I want a place "of my own," or at least by myself very soon.

Busybody

Feb. 14th, 2012 09:11 am
collowrath: (Default)
So, I'm getting through the ASB202 work pretty easily - it's an introduction to race and ethnicity and the first part is just defining terms and some of the history behind them, and quite a bit of ensuring we understand that race isn't something biological or even honestly tangible (repeated ad nauseum in the reading).  I'm already very familiar with all of this content and I'm breezing through it, though I'm having trouble maintaining interest in the review. 

The new Arabic course is what's got me busy right now though.  Right off the bat I have a ton of things to study and to write and to practice.  It's really out of the norm for my family, but I really love lists - and this course has a substantial list of tasks to complete already.  I thrive on the feeling of being busy, so long as I don't cross that fine line into rushing.

Hopefully I'll make some actual changes in my personal life, which is kind of falling to the side currently.  We're coming up on a pretty important month for me, a time that's been pretty intensely spiritual in the past couple of years.  Despite the restraints put on me by my obligations in hospitality, I really am hoping that this will be a period of reconnection for me.  I really need that; I need to plant myself and establish some roots, even if the plan has always been to uproot and move again when the time comes.  I need to pay my respects where they're do and reestablish some relationships.  I've also been running into some conflict preserving my own culture and faith and the responsibilities that they demand of me.  I'm not sure what else to say about it now, but suffice it to say that I'm hoping in the next month or so I'll be getting myself back on track on the personal, private level.
collowrath: (helo)
So today I finally managed to corner the aunt and uncle and force along a discussion that we needed to have over my responsibilities here and what they expect of me.   That was good.  I have been given access to the brandy drawer.  This is progress!

I also saw the feedback for my linguistics course today, which I will respond to tomorrow.  They were very interesting things.  I learned from the professor that the college has a community agriculture project that I think I will get involved in once I have my bus pass.  It really bothers me not having any room here to grow the things I want, and apparently there's an ordinance against having plants on balconies because they apparently attract tarantulas and scorpions.  I guess that's something I'll have to ask about at the community greenhouse!  I also learned that the school has processed the financial aid Pell Grant, for which I have a small refund this semester.  My full loans should be here soon as well, as I've been approved for them, and the overage from that will help me immensely as well.

I made some Slovak pancakes this weekend, which improved my mental state.  I'm trying to make a better effort to preserve that. :D

Going to have another busy week!  Another chapter due for Arabic and another chapter due for linguistics, so lots of studying.  Hopefully stuff coming in the mail to help me on my feet, which requires finding a local bank (read: credit union) to deposit, and this week I'm also determined to get my hair cut (this is getting ridiculous).  If my overage gets here, I'll be able to get a bus pass and that will allow me to canvas for jobs.  Also need to do some serious cleaning around the apartment.
collowrath: (Default)
 I just started my first couple of classes at the local college, making up courses that I missed this Fall because of some bureaucratic issues between ASU and my old high school.  It's a little frustrating to miss registration twice because of a file review, but it's alright.

I'm getting a huge overage check both now and in the Spring (I know ASU isn't gonna let me register so I'm not totally worried about it, I can transfer there next Fall when I'm more on my feets).  The unfortunate thing is that I have to sign for it and my book advance and my school ID - and the Fedex guy here is in the habit of not knocking.  My cousin has had to manually retrieve every package she's had sent here in the last two years - unfortunately these packages for me have been sent back to the school, who have tried again this week to send them to me.  All this has resulted in me simply not having the materials for my classes.  I can BS my way through the Arabic, since what we're doing now is all stuff I already know, but the linguistics course is one that I need the textbook for by Saturday.  Hopefully I'll be able to just manually pick everything up before Friday and get it done - if not I'm going to need some serious Google-fu to get through the first week or so.

I really really enjoyed myself this weekend.  Jonathan was really good company and I loved talking to him.  He has a breadth of knowledge that I admire and appreciate.  I have a lot on my mind regarding that, and I'm not sure how to make sense of it in any meaningful way yet, so I'm not going to go into it much.  Hopefully that's something that sorts itself out before too long.
collowrath: (raider)
So, today I got word that my financial aid has come in, and it is good news.  It's enough to get me on my feet and get me moving, so I can really canvas for jobs.  I've also met some wonderful friends who are supportive of me and who understand what I'm going through.

There will be Greek food in my future - Saturday afternoon, to be exact. 
collowrath: (Default)
First things first, I had my Spring Break and managed to get really sick just afterward and get myself in a mountain of backwork and three missed quizzes from school.  That really sucks ass, especially since I really really do not need the added stress on top of them deciding that at 20 years old I'm no longer a dependent and that I didn't sign my master promissory note 2 years ago.  Even though, obviously, I did sign it since I have been getting financial aid for two years now and I'm a dependent according to FAFSA/the guhment till I'm 25.  Shit.  I'd be really angry if the ladies in the FinAid department were so nice.

Had a great Easter and a great Equinox.  Been doing all kinds of things.  Made kraslice/pisanky - very frustrating, but very worthwhile.

The biggest news from the past month or so has been the start of a new back yard project.  We're growing as much of our own food this year as possible, and we're trying to reform the way we take care of the house and other aspects of our lives as much as possible too, in order to be more "green" and eco-friendly.  Really, the point of the journey is to get back to good sense; we want to do things in the simplest, most straightforward way that we can manage, with as little reliance on outside forces as possible.  Also, we have a growing suspicion aimed at the chemical additives in our food.  We're sure some of them are safe - but you know those toaster strudels?  Yeah, the Partner eats the Hel out of them, and as it turns out, they're stuffed full of anti-freeze.  Like the stuff in your car.  Yuck.  And I can make better shtrudl'a anyhow.

Anyways, all these lifestyle changes won't be made unless they're given some kind of deadline, so I've started a blog to chronicle the whole deal.  I figure if we set ourselves up in order to have some kind of post on a weekly basis, whether it's a how-to, some of our research into our food or something else around the house or in our lives, or a recipe, or just some pictures and thoughts about our ever-growing garden, then that will add an extra incentive to do something new at least every week.  Sounds like a plan, no?  Also, it will give me some writing and editing experience which will be immensely useful, since the career path that seems most attractive to me at the moment involves lots of editing, some writing, and picture taking.

:/

Jan. 23rd, 2010 01:12 am
collowrath: (Default)
I feel like I have so much to say and contribute but I'm just so tired.  I set goals for myself, nothing that I can't handle under normal circumstances - but now that my anxiety disorder has really stepped up its game, my productivity levels have just dropped off the face of the planet.  Which of course, sets off my anxiety because I'm not living up to the standard I've set for myself.  I've found that it tends to be better when I get more sleep, but I can't sleep when the attacks set in.  I'm really hoping that the vitamin-D supplement I'm gonna pick up tomorrow helps, as I'm usually better in the summer and there's a chance that season-affective could be playing a part.  I need professional help, but I'm scared.

My class on Congress is the shit.  I'm having trouble focusing in my Logic course, but it's a good one and one that I feel is entirely necessary to a productive college life (and beyond) and I just need to pick myself up and maintain a positive attitude and power through it.  Which reminds me, no matter how terrified I am and how terrified I am of moving to a new city and living their alone, I need to apply for Pittsburgh.  There's no way I can rationalize not doing it and not going with where I want to be in my life.

Also, I realize that my previous post ended on a kinda abrasive note.  That abrasive attitude is continuing a bit - there  was some talk on the forums about how offensive the word Indian is to Natives and India-Indians.  While I can't speak for India-Indians, I can tell from experience within the Native community that for the most part, in an informal setting, Indian is common parlance for supra-Native culture.  There's an attitude among the people on these forums that smacks of "well, they SHOULD be offended by it," ie, "we know better than they do what they should find offensive."  I don't think a lot of these people are seeing why that's ridiculous.  I dunno, I need to say something about it, but I don't have the energy.

I plan on finding it soon.

Sheesh

Dec. 8th, 2009 10:15 pm
collowrath: (Default)
Yeah, gotta do my philosophy term paper tomorrow (it's due Thursday! D=), and have two tests tomorrow, nothing of consequence on Friday, then finals week.

Pretty busy. Then break. Which is cut in half to help justify the 30% combined price hike in Ohio Dominican tuition. Apparently, we're helping the University pay off a science center that was donated in full (ie: free) and fully furnished and stocked by Battell. Cute, right? Can't wait to get to Pitt. :/

Will update more later. Might be joining twitter soon - everyone else seems to be having so much fun.

Break!

Nov. 24th, 2009 11:18 am
collowrath: (Default)
Finally got to go grocery shopping. Picked up lots of good food - very happy about that. If there's one thing that I don't skimp on, it's food.

Got one class today, for two hours, then I'm on break. Technically, I should have class on Wednesday, but since the University didn't bother telling its professors that Wednesday morning classes were to proceed as normal, pretty much everybody is canceled. There's a good chance that I won't head off to my philosophy class today and instead just send my paper to the professor. *shrug*

This has been the first week in a while where I've been doing a full round of offerings to everyone that deserves them. My little shrine is now covered in olive oil, barley, and incense. The house spirits have been playing tricks on me, but I suppose it is indeed about time I make some banana bread and get started on my orechovník recipe. If they're good I'll post them up. =D

It's funny how my family has grown to resent Thanksgiving, and have thus run off to make plans everywhere else so that Gods forbid we have to look at each other. Oh, and my aunt reserved a bunch of things for us at the local Indian center where I used to volunteer (and where she is still semi-active). They have a Thanksgiving food pantry every year, and that was very thoughtful of her what with the trouble we're having making ends meet. Not to mention, most of the stuff from the food pantry are canned veggies and baking goods, both of which are always appreciated. I just hope she hasn't reserved us a turkey - we still have two in the freezer in the basement somehow. D=

Omg.

Nov. 17th, 2009 09:38 am
collowrath: (schuster)
Omg. Where has all the time gone? The semester is almost over and I don't feel like I've done a damn thing! Sure, I've read a lot of philosophy and griped about moral relativism and gotten into heated arguments with the evangelists in Theology who can't seem to figure out what Biblical inerrancy actually means - but what the hell? I thought by the end of the semester I was supposed to be eyeballs deep in work, not casually fucking around on a blog talking about vodka sauce and something someone said on some forum some where.

Which reminds me - I'm a little bit aggravated by the neo-pagan insistance that magic is just a petition for something, like a prayer. If such were the case, then much of the usual interaction between humans and the Gods, within Hellenismos, would be considered magic; given the stance of the Hellenic gods that magic is a polluting factor that removes us from interaction with Them until it is washed away, this presents a bit of a quandary. Or not, and I can just ignore haphazard pseudo-definitions and go about my day.

Yes, I think I'll just do that.
collowrath: (Default)
Yes. Yes it is.

The week of quiet worship and celebration went off very well. I think my ancestors were very pleased, and I'm very happy for that.

Everything at school is going well. Got an email about having a dismal GPA - my advisor forgot that there are only two grades on there and that it will be dismal by default until the end of the semester. Acing both my theology and philosophy courses.

The theology is especially nice. Giving a thorough reading through the Pentateuch through Catholic and historical Jewish eyes has lent a level of clarity on Christian doctrine that I hadn't necessarily had before. My varied attempts at reconciliation with Christianity are being settled in a more organized fashion than they were before, and that makes me very happy. I'm still not in line with the Church, but I wasn't necessarily trying to be, either. The greater goal of reconciliation is understand a) how Dveviere is conceived as a system, and b) how they fit together without exploding the brain.

Historically speaking, the converted Slavs didn't think twice about such an issue. They already had their world view well established when the Christians came and regardless of what the Priest was saying, their God was just one of many. 1,200 years later, and not a whole helluva lot of that pre-Christian religion exists, as a result of that world-view. Dozens of pagan Gods and traditions were absorbed into Christian figures as a function of blending two systems. There's nothing wrong with that. However, my own practice is rooted on the pagan side of the fence. This puts a fundamental divide between me and Slavic Christians of any flavour, and Slavic Heathens/Rodovers.

The divide with the Heathens is a pretty big one, I think. Many of these groups are filled with insipid racism and nationalism bordering on fascism. While I am a Pan-Slavic nationalist, active and opinionated in Slavic issues (especially in Kosovo i Metohija), I'm not at all of the opinion that my politics and my religion need be bedfellows. I see quite often Rodnover groups practicing the Native Faith only in order to widen the divide between the superior Slav and the inferior other; this faith is billed as a revival, but really, it tends to amount to nothing more than Christianity with an overlay of Heathen names (Triglav standing in for the trinity, as opposed to the actual historical God) and lots of posturing about being a superior Aryan race.

Even all that aside, and I still don't see the worth in tossing out 1,200 years plus of organic innovation within the culture.

The divide between me and Christians is theologically greater, but perhaps more subtle in practice. I am not a Christian. I fundamentally disagree with major elements of Christian doctrine. In practice though, I'm not all that different from any other Slovak who is observant of cultural traditions. My biggest practical divide is where I place my focus - my attempt to remove the Christian veneer from my practice to get at the underlying meaning of it. Where the Christian practice is the primary, I don't attempt to remove it from my life; my cultural traditions are just as important to maintain as the integrity of my religious beliefs.

THERE BE NO CONCLUSION HERE.
collowrath: (helo)
Of course, by getting my hopes up that I was actually feeling better last night, I jinxed myself today. I had a horrendous night and barely slept a wink, got up at six, drug myself to class, and spent the next two and a half hours in my own little hell. I'm 99% sure I'm not going to head to my final class an hour from now. I'm sure my professor will understand since he likes me.

Got my math test from last week back though - am not happy with the score. Fortunately the professor has a lenient grading policy and I'll be able to pull through and still catch a decent grade in the end, so long as I don't majorly fuck up again.

I acquired a new bottle of imported Greek extra virgin olive oil on Monday. I was thoroughly hoping and intending to crack it open today and pour some for Athena. I would dare say in my current condition that she would rather I do not; I'm inclined to agree. I shall have to make amends as soon as possible.
collowrath: (Default)
I feel much better now that the end of the day is here. Let's hope I don't jinx it, especially since I have class at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow morning! Here's to the next half of the semester! And making changes!
collowrath: (Default)
There are a couple of new things going on, nothing too exciting, but definitely time consuming. I dropped a course - the professor was not marking me on the attendance for whatever reason and refused to correct the issue, even when presented with graded work that had been turned in on days I was marked absent. I dropped it to prevent the insta-fail the university imposes on the habitually truant. Now, I'm going to be taking two half-semester courses; one is on the Pentateuch, the other is a philosophy course. This is going to be much more work for me over the next few weeks, but fortunately, there isn't much left in the semester, and I should be able to get through them pretty well, not to mention they're both theology and philosophy courses, which are of personal interest.

I'm still in need of a new vehicle, Gods willing, but my current one is holding up remarkably well considering what condition is was in this time last year and through the summer. I'm glad it appears to be holding up (though I'm sure I'm jinxing it now by even mentioning it...), especially since I lost my work study. I apparently missed the deadline to acquire one; my university is small and offers few jobs which tend to fill up quickly - this normally isn't a problem, but my work study from last year felt it was necessary to play games with me and keep me waiting. That's not entirely unusual for them and I should have seen it coming, unfortunately I placed too much trust in the load of disingenuous people in charge of the place. As much as I want to mention names (in a PLEASE AVOID - LOOK ELSEWHERE capacity), I feel it's best I shouldn't. *continues grumbling*

That's probably for the best though. I need more money than a workstudy position can provide, and I definitely won't have the time or capacity to get and maintain a real job if I'm spending all day huddled in a university office collating assignments for a lazy professor (and I use lazy in the most endearing capacity, I asure you).

And now I'm off to manage my amazon.com wishlist - filling it with the necessary DVD box sets and books that I'm covetting just in time for the Christmas season. BTW, Ohio has some AMAZING foliage - hopefully I'll have some pictures to put up soon!
collowrath: (Default)
There's been so much going on since I last posted. School starting has really given me a regular routine - on one hand, this helps me stay focused and on task, on the other, it's completely suffocating. Fortunately, being sensitive of a schedule allows me to look forward to all the breaks I get; I can contain my stress into a nice little boxes and look forward to the next de-stress period.

There was some drama with my job from last year. I won't go into detail about it, but they acted in a very unprofessional manner and refuse to fess up to it. Needless to say, I don't have any intention to work or volunteer for them again.

It's finally September, and the weather is getting cooler, the days shorter, and the leaves are just barely showing some yellow. There are some cultural traditions in the Fall surrounding my ancestors. My family only partially observed them before, but this year I'm doing much more.

I dug out a bunch of old photos of family who have passed on. They are currently set on my mantle, on a nice cloth. With them is a glass of water, which I refill daily; this act of daily remembrance really grounds me, every day I can remember the love that binds us as family. There is also a votive candle with them, and a small plate. At the end of October, there are a number of ancestor feasts - the meal we eat is shared with them. At the end of the meal, this plate is taken out and the food is burned as a sacrifice.

For All Saints Day, there will be a wreath made. It's going to be taken to my grandparents' grave, where it will be left as a decoration.

This season should be a very grounding, spiritual one for me - I love it.

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