I Am Fried

Fried_egg,_sunny_side_upThis month I have made applying to colleges and scholarships my full-time job, and have actually spent more hours at it than at most jobs. I set myself a goal of 8 hours a day working on all of it, and I often went over and rarely took a day off. Yesterday I worked for fifteen hours with only a break for lunch. And now I feel totally fried.

In the last month, I’ve written 28 essays. If I have to write or look at another personal statement anytime soon I might spontaneously combust. I usually created each new essay by pulling from previous ones, and adjusting it for whatever particular purpose I needed, so it’s not like they were all from scratch, but still. And many were, because the questions were specific and not covered elsewhere. I have reached the limit. This isn’t even including all the short answer questions.

I don’t even know how many forms I have filled out online and in print. I’ve been to the local office supply store almost every day, faxing transcript requests, copying required documents and letters of recommendation, which I coerced out of many sources, copying all my tax forms for financial aid offices and scholarship committees (I actually had my tax forms filled out before I got my W-2/etc in the mail). I don’t even want to think how much paper I’ve gone through printing out application forms and required supplemental information. If the aforementioned office supply store was open right now Id probably be there b/ there’s much I still need to copy today for the last batch of scholarship applications, and one of them needs everything scanned!

In the midst of all that I also planned and scheduled visits to three schools before I fly out, replete with interviews, sitting in on classes, campus tours and the like. All the other schools I’m applying to I’ve already visited. It’s cool though, I’m sitting in on different types of classes at each place. At one, I’ll sit in on a writing class, of course. The cool thing about that is that in conversing via email with the professor to set that up, one of the emails she sent me had a piece of a poem in it, a poem by Tony Hoagland. I don’t consider myself very well-versed in poetry and I know that I don’t know my poets all that well, so when I know one it says something, and I know Tony Hoagland. Not well, but his “Reasons to Survive November” is one of my favorite poems, so I thought that was a cool coincidence.

Speaking of, I’m taking a bit of a quick detour here to say I watched Into the Wild this weekend, and LOVED it. I got chills big-time when he started reciting Sharon Olds’ poem “I Go Back to May, 1937” because that probably is my favorite poem. I first read it in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and have loved it ever since. It seems like now instead of music coincidences I’m having poetry coincidences. I can dig it.

Back on track. At another school I’m most likely sitting in on an interdisciplinary humanities course and at another, a class on environmental health and social justice. I’m very glad that it’ll be varied. I need variety.

But along with all of that came arranging all of it, arranging my travels, arranging whose couch to crash on at each place, getting bus tickets, etc, etc, etc. I actually thought I would also be able to plan a separate visit to Bellingham this month. I’ve visited Fairhaven before, twice actually (once in 2005, once in November) and had interviews and toured and all but I haven’t gone to a class. So I wanted to try to squeeze that in, and some friends were considering going, but shit, I think I was crazy to even think I might be able to fit that in.

All of this while also doing everything to get ready for India – apply for India Visa, all the medical stuff, getting everything squared away with my apartment and with the person who will be watching it and doing my bookkeeping, getting supplies that I didn’t have and probably more that I’m not even remembering anymore b/c I’m so fried. What I haven’t done yet is pack.

Somehow I also did manage to have a pretty decent social life this month. I hung out a lot and had a surprise visit from my friend Heather in Seattle (though I also worked on stuff while she was here). I feel pretty good. I got everything done that I intended to. All my applications and their supplements are submitted. All the financial aid forms are filed (there were sooo many of those) and I applied to all the scholarships I originally set out to apply for. Except for the copying and scanning I mentioned, I am pretty much done. And that is a very good thing, b/c today’s my last chance to mail stuff out before I take off on Monday morning. I just feel like everything is sort of squared away, like I made myself a goal and met it better than I might have thought.

That being said if I had to write another personal statement I might kill myself. And if I heard about another scholarship opportunity today, even if it sounded perfect and was for a million dollars, I might not bother. I am fried, completely and totally fried.

And so is my bank account – this shit is not cheap! Between all the application fees, the transcript requests (those get me every time, I’ve spent over $100 on that alone and luckily only one of my former schools charged for or I would be in the red), the College Board fees (for the financial aid profile and the sending of old SAT scores, which in most cases was optional and I opted for since my scores kicked major ass), all that copying and mailing and on and on and on, added up to over $600. Yikes.

And that is not to mention this is the same month as everything for India. I bought my plane ticket this month and paid a big chunk of the program fee, and paid for a domestic flight inside India as part of the itinerary, and then there were all the vaccinations, and the meds (!!!), and international insurance (funny I am insured overseas and not in America, go figure), and all my travel between here and San Fran where I’ll fly out, and supplies. I think I have spent more money this month than in some (most?) years of my life. Seriously. The hope is that it will all be worth it.

Speaking of the meds, wow, what a trip. I was a bit worried about taking mefloquine for malaria – it’s known to have serious emotional side effects and that’s something I don’t need, but the other option causes increased sun sensitivity, and I’ve already got that in spades. My doctor warned me that the Mef might cause weird dreams, and she wasn’t kidding! I took my first one on Wednesday, and early that next morning I was in some weird state of lucid dreaming, I’m not entirely sure if I was asleep or awake, because I was dreaming, but also completely aware of my body. I think if I had ever tried acid, I would’ve been having acid flashbacks, it was totally weird. Kinda cool, but I’m glad it didn’t happen again last night/this morning because there is just only so much I can take. If it happens once a week the night after taking the meds, I guess I’m cool with that. I don’t think I’m having any emotional side effects, knock on wood. And with my current mental state of being totally fried, I feel I’d be ripe for those side effects if I was going to have them.

So that’s that. My apartment is the messiest it’s ever been, it looks like a hurricane hit my kitchen, and a tornado of paperwork laid waste to the living room, and another hurricane of boxes and packing material (from things I ordered) hit my bedroom. So I’d better get to cleaning that up, and to packing, at some point today after I finish my shit later this morning.

I’m leaving here in THREE DAYS. I can’t believe it!

Currently listening:
“How to Save a Life” – The Fray – This song is on my computer b/c it’s on the Grey’s soundtrack. I don’t really know The Fray, and not sure I really want to, but I do like this song a lot and play it often. I really like the piano, and the chorus. It’s from the episode “Superstition” which I think is a really good one (I think Season 2 is just soooo good, probably my favorite) and during a pretty intense scene. Anyway while looking for the lyrics online, I found out this song is apparently written about a crack-addicted teen. I like that some of the songs on Grey’s, like this one, have titles that could make sense in a medical sense too.

Here are the words:

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it’s just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life
How to save a life

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2 thoughts on “I Am Fried

  1. Damn, Chrys, I wish I had half your drive and energy! Good luck with everything, I hope the trip is awesome and that you end up in a terrific school.And, man, wasn’t Into the Wild seriously intense? I had read the book years and years ago, but the film totally blew me away. It made me sad and angry and envious all at the same time.

  2. So much to say… 1/ I am SO proud of you – the school thing, the India thing; 2/ pay attention to the ‘coincidences’ – they aren’t; 3/ read INTO THE WILD. I blogged about the book last year – phenomenal. And I will watch the flick; 4/ I love the FRAY, especially that song; and 5/ travel safe and wise and BLOG OFTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will miss you… Peace, Linda

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