Anti-luck, the dark matter of my life

by Janie Jones

You’ve all heard the phrase, if it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.

I’m so feeling like the poster child for this phrase.

I also feel like the cosmos is having a really good laugh at my expense.  “Hey, I’ve got a hilarious idea!  Let’s let Janie Jones think she’s got her poop back in a group,  then when she starts to get in a happy place and back on track again, we dump a galactic pile of shit in her way again.”

It’s either I’m a cosmic butt of some universal joke, or I’m just too stupid to see that I’m being given giant neon signs screaming, “You’re going the wrong way in life.  A college degree isn’t meant for you.”

I may be getting good grades, but it’s through sheer tenacity.  However, tenacity doesn’t always get you where you need to be.  Case in point:  For the second semester running, a very key class I need to graduate has been canceled due to lack of enrollment.  This time it’s my College Algebra class.  Naturally, classes were supposed to start on this upcoming Monday.  So I have two days to figure out what to do.  Should I enroll in a class that I will not really get any degree credit for just so I can have financial aid income for the summer?  Should I take a College Algebra alternative that is all online?  Can I be successful in an online math class?  Can I even get a hold of anyone on campus before Monday?  My counselor doesn’t work over the summer.  Enrolling is not something I can do on my own, there are certain forms and papers I need to have signed by the school.  Who will be able to help me in this pinch?

Normally, I would sleep on a problem like this a few days and do some soul searching to try and decide what is right for me.  Thanks to the Powers that Be, I don’t have that time.  A decision must be made now, and implemented before the close of day tomorrow.

And, I find myself in this familiar position of being forced to make important life decisions knowing that none of my choices will really serve me well.

Give up on summer school this semester and lose my financial aid for the summer.  Because I was planning on having school and financial aid, I have no summer job prospects above my TA position, which is only paid for 10 hours a week.  I have summer expenses I wasn’t planning on having due to circumstances beyond my control and my TA job pay is insufficient to cover them.

Take classes, and possibly work hard for a class that doesn’t count toward my degree just to get financial aid, or take an online College Algebra class and run the risk of learning nothing.  I have not had good success in the past with online math learning.  I know this is a problem for me and don’t want to go this route because I fear it will play out badly and I can’t afford to not “get” math, but if I don’t get in this class this summer, it creates scheduling ripples that may create serious problems in the fall lengthening my time in college and costing me more money in tuition.

And, then there is the issue of all other minor hiccups a change in plans of this magnitude causes, which in the grand scheme of things are like mosquitoes, annoying when you have one or two, but a whole swarm does manage to become overwhelmingly miserable.

I just want to crawl into bed and not get out again.  I’m tired of fighting and making virtually no progress.  I’m tired of working hard and planning carefully only to have things I can’t control wash away my security in an instant.  I feel like nothing I do matters anymore.

On the plus side, if nothing matters anymore, I can drive into the Big City where they have a massive grocery store that sells international foods and spend my remaining assets on my new obsession, and then fall into a sugar induced coma.  Massive Grocery store has Maltesers, and while I was excited when I discovered this fact, a new discovery trumps Maltesers:

bounty bar cropped

The Bounty bar.  Oh, yes, you aptly named sinful indulgence you.  A soft, slightly chewy coconut center coated in creamy, rich milk chocolate.  If you know Almond Joy, think higher quality milk chocolate and no almonds.  So ironic.  The day I discover my plan for my near future that I’ve carefully constructed is being annihilated I find a yummy delicious candy bar.  Perhaps that is my consolation prize.  “Thanks for playing You Have A Life, Janie Jones.  Sorry, you lose, but here’s a delicious candy bar.”

If I had a few hundred gross of these candy bars at my bedside I would never get out again.  They would find my bloated corpse under a mountain of coconut scented wrappers.

Oh, and an unfinished copy of “A Stranger In A Strange Land” would lie abandoned near by.

Well, I guess if school falls through, I’ll have absolutely no excuse not to finish this novel.  Now that’s really digging to find a silver lining.

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10 Comments to “Anti-luck, the dark matter of my life”

  1. Tilly may not forgive me, but I also prefer a Bounty to Maltesers. A Dairy Milk trumps everything

    • In the States we have an Almond Joy bar, which is similar, but has whole almonds in it, too. By the same candy company we get Mounds bar, which is dark chocolate over coconut without the almonds. I like them both, but I’ve often wondered why you can only get milk chocolate with the almonds. Who decided only dark chocolate is sans nuts? Sometimes I’m not in the mood for nuts, and sometimes I’m not in the mood for dark chocolate. Sometimes I really just want that coconutty goodness slathered in milk chocolate. Then, when I discovered the Bounty bar, I was sooo excited. Heaven on Earth is achieved. Almost good enough to make me forget my miseries.

    • I LOVE Bountys! Not as much as Maltesers, obviously, but…yum!

  2. Also, how can they make you do a course in order to graduate if they don’t actually run the course???

    • Well, my problems are partially because I’m working through more than one school. Right now I’m trying to take some classes at a local college and they are just a small town “preparatory” college. In the States we call them community colleges and you get a different level of education. These colleges usually offer two year degrees called “associate” degrees. They can be an end educational goal in themselves, but often they are just stepping stones to other advanced degrees. People like me try and use these community colleges to catch up on things the big major universities expect us to have done in high school that we didn’t do or did so long ago we forgot or didn’t do well in originally. Or, to save money on general classes that aren’t the focus of your field of study but major universities require you to take because it makes you “well rounded.”

      Stickittoyou U, the major university I am getting my degree from, costs 3 times as much as this local community college, and as I didn’t take things like foreign language and advanced math years ago in high school, I wanted to save on tuition for these requirements. Unfortunately the trade off for saving money is, up here where I live it’s such a small community, not enough people often need or want the same classes, so you may have to try for several semesters to get your classes. I don’t have the time to wait, and because I’m not looking to graduate from the Community College, there’s only certain classes I can take from Community College and still get credit for at Stickittoyou U, so when they cancel a course I need, there’s really nothing available to replace it with that would help me further my education.

      It’s a crazy screwed up system. I could solve many of my problems though, by moving to the Big City and paying through the nose to get all my classes for graduation from Stickittoyou U. I would happily do this, but I’m poor and can’t find a place I can afford in the Big City and I live too far away to commute every day to the Big City. So, I’m trying to keep my education going locally at Community College while I’m trying to solve my moving dilemma. As you can see, the operative word here is trying. I’m not feeling very successful. And, as Master Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” In the end all this trying does is make me feel like a failure.

      This probably makes no sense, but this is the shortest explanation I can give, and I doubt the long explanation would be any clearer.

      Just, thanks for listening to me rant and whine. I need to get this off my chest somehow.

  3. I’m not exactly sure I know what you mean by a silent collection. Is that like a private charitable donation or fundrasier?

    I joked a few days ago about begging on the street corner to drum up some more cash to buy a foreclosed (and likely nearly condemned) house and Tilly sent me this link to a web service that sets up a online donation site for you. I really hate the idea of begging for charity, but I am feeling pretty desperate so perhaps I ought to give her suggestion more thought. Then again, I don’t know, I’m so overwhelmed and exhausted I just can’t think straight anymore, much less make important life decisions. It would be really nice to have the proverbial windfall come my way, but I also hate to beg. Tilly says I should just think of it as helping altruists find an outlet for their desire to give.

    Anyway. Thanks for your kind words and moral support. Hopefully a good cry, a tall mug of tea and maybe a few more Bounty bars and tomorrow I’ll be better.

  4. So sorry to hear of your problems. Didn’t something like this happen before? Is it possible to change university? Sounds like this one doesn’t care.

    • Yes, something exactly like this happened last semester. I plan to graduate from a different university in the Big City, but until I can afford to move down there I’m trying to get some basics covered locally. With any luck a move will happen in the next few months. Please cross your fingers for me when you aren’t using them for blogging.

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