Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 38 - "I'm Just A Ramblin' Man"

Well, I'm not really a man, but I'm just kind of wandering around lately. I haven't really accomplished much - well, at least by my definition of accomplishment. I mailed my graduate assistant application for Baldwin-Wallace today, I've written two articles this week, spent some time with my boyfriend and played some rather interesting sand volleyball with some coworkers. And to think that a couple of posts ago I was calling myself a slacker.

Spending last week with my sorority sisters, alum and collegiate, got me caught up on a lot of things that apparently have been happening and I probably should have picked up on and that people hinted at, but I just never caught on. One broke off her engagement with her boyfriend of two years because he was, according to her story, way too clingy and she just wasn't sure if she wanted to live like that. I can't blame her; after listening to her story, he was way too possessive.

Another one of my sisters who transfered at the end of last semester is engaged and pregnant! This one made my jaw drop, simply because this, while happy, didn't seem to fit this sister's personality. Oh well, she's happy and everyone is excited!

Ah, life. Everything seems to be turning around, and that makes me feel so much better about everything.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 31 - "Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' Out"

This one is short but definitely sweet:

My graduate school application for Baldwin-Wallace has a status of:


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 30 - "Superman's in Pajamas on the Couch"

"The Year Spent PC" is officially a month old! Yay for gusto for sticking with it!

So I'm at home for the night because I have to work tomorrow morning before heading back to finish sorority recruitment. I showed up on campus Monday afternoon and I don't think I've been tackled so much in my life. I love hugs, I love my sisters, but sometimes when I see them, or anyone for that matter, running at me like they haven't seen me in years I begin to fear for my physical safety.

On the recruitment front, all is well. They started out with a huge number of women going through this year, and there are still more women who are going through recruitment after the second round than actually sign up for most years. It's been fun, especially considering I've never done recruitment as a chapter member, or in my case a psuedo chapter member, and there are a lot of cool women going through. Tonight, my sisters have a philanthropy event and I have a date with my bed.

This week, I've noticed how suddenly, my stamina is just not there at all. I could have normally handled being up until almost two in the morning after recruitment events and then waking up and going to class the next morning. Heaven knows I did it last year. This year, I am zonked. I feel like I'm getting too old for this. Haha, I'm only 22.

So, it's back to work tomorrow and then time to continue this college throwback week. It's felt good to be able to just sit with my sisters and relax, well sort of. The phone, text messages, and Facebook are nice and all, but there's something about being in a person's presence that sometimes makes life all the much richer. Too bad I can't bring them all home with me.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 27 - "And I'm Going Home..."

This past week has been crazy. I suddenly decided that I was going to get stuff done, and then I started making lists. When I make lists, it usually doesn't end well for my sanity.

So, I've written three articles, completely cleaned my room and my car (which desperately needed it,) got everything organized for this week, worked six days out of seven, ignored this project, ignored the emails I have to send out, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

On top of it, I got in a fight with my boyfriend. Plans were made and unmade, he got mad, I got mad, he blew up in his smoldering I-don't-want-to-start-a-fight kind of way, and then I...well, I blew up. I think today we need to cool off and let everyone take a deep breath because, even though I realize that fighting is part of a healthy relationship, I still don't like it.

More exciting news. This past week and this coming week are going to be dubbed my college throwback weeks. Last week, at probably the last possible minute, my sister decided that she was going to go through sorority recruitment. Yay! She got her bid (invitation to join) last night and is now a Sigma Sigma Sigma at Kent State University. Woohoo! I find it ironic, though, that neither of us wanted to join sororities, we both signed up at the last minute, and both of us have / had 16 members in our new member classes. Interesting...

This week, I'm going back to my alma mater to help with my sorority's recruitment. I've missed my sisters a lot since I've graduated. I think I need this week just to relax, but there's one kind of iffy thing about it - I've never been through this part of recruitment, so I guess we'll see how it goes!

Now, I need to email people asking them to give me recommendations for graduate school. I need to get going on this. I need to get there, and it needs to happen soon.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Day 20 - "There's A Moment You Know You're $%@#&*"

I'm standing at work today, rinsing out a dish and minding my own sweet business, when my boss comes around the corner and interrupts me spraying water into a dish because I get frustrated when people can't follow simple directions. "There you are!" she said.

"Yup, I'm still here," I replied cheerfully.

"These came in the mail for you and your sister today," my boss replied. She pulled two oddly familiar vacation pay forms out of a manilla envelope and, to my dismay, my form was covered in blue ink and pink highlighter. "Your vacation pay got denied."

WHAT THE *&%$^)*^)*(^&%^)*^&$^^%#$????

Okay, so I didn't really say that out loud, but I really wanted to. Apparently, I in the past year had a 31 day "lapse in service," so I basically have to start over with my vacation "rewards." I won't be eligible to get paid for the vacation I took the last full week of August until October 13th. As for the week of vacation that I'm taking, oh, next week?

Sorry, says my lovely employer, you're screwed. Since it hasn't been four years since that "lapse in service," they took away my second week of paid vacation that I rightfully should receive because I have been an employee for more than four years, which is what is needed to get two weeks of vacation.

Isn't this, oh I don't know, illegal? Unethical? Complete and utter bullshit?

Personally, this is ridiculous. The whole work environment since I've graduated has gone down the crapper, and whether it's me realizing that I'm a college graduate or the management (still) is off kilter or I just really don't like this job but there aren't any other options, I don't know. It's crappy that employers think they can treat employees like this. No wonder we can't keep good employees for any extended amount of time.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day 18 - "Where Do I Go From Here?"

I've just realized this as I was sitting on my couch on a Saturday night and stuck watching my thirteen year old sister's favorite television shows again.

I am bored.

You would think, though, between working on this blog, writing for my freelance job, working another job, applying to graduate school, my boyfriend, and just trying to oh, I don't know, exist would be enough on my plate. Nope, I guess not.

I can't say I wasn't warned. "Life slows down after college and blah blah blah." And here was what I was doing: smiling, nodding, and thinking "yeah, this is what they told me when I was graduating from high school - you'll want to slow down, college is much harder!"

It could also be that maybe, possibly, I've discovered this concept of relaxation. I've been able to read books that I want to read, do this thing called play on the computer instead of research, and my favorite new activity, lounge on the living room couch and watch cars and things go up and down the road.

Maybe I need to appreciate life slowing down for awhile. I mean, I've been running non-stop crazy chicken with its head cut off for 22 years now. Maybe it's time to take one year to slow down, relax, and smell the roses where they grow instead of picking them and smelling on the run.

It might actually be a good idea. Good job, Ashley, good job.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 14 - "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go"

Today was day 3 of going back to work, and this whole slowing down after summer is over really stinks. This week, I have a pretty decent number of hours, but there's nothing to do. There were a couple of times today where we stood around and stared at one another, praying that something to do would come along. Next week, I barely have 30 hours and I'm left wondering how I'm going to pay my student loans come the end of the year if my hours are all over the place like this.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column for my alma mater's newspaper about an initiative to forgive student loans in order to stimulate the economy. In my column, I decided that this may stimulate the economy, but this doesn't teach those who have student loans anything that loans teach us. There's no learning how to budget money, how to be responsible for personal finances, and above all, if loans are forgiven now, what's next?

While I'm not advocating the government forgiving all student loans and giving recent college graduates a bailout, I am an advocate for coming up with other ways to finance a college education. The average college student graduates with about $100,000 of student loan debt - that's not including about $3,000 in credit card debt and possibly a car payment or rent to pay. Thankfully, I graduated way below average with about $20 in credit card debt and a whopping $68,000 in student loans and I'm already flipping a switch every time my paycheck seems to get smaller, even with a recent pay raise. If a college education is supposed to be so necessary, then why does it keep getting more expensive?

By the way, if a student defaults on federal student loans, the student automatically becomes ineligible for any more federal loans until the loan payments are caught up. For me, the option to let it slide isn't possible. No loan payments means no more Stafford Loans, which means no more grad school, which could mean no more sane me.

On a brighter note, August was my best month for revenue from my writing gig. So far this week I've put out two articles and I have a couple of ideas for a third. Let's hope this productivity train doesn't kick me off because I could really use the money to put in the piggy bank.