Impulsive Inquiry

uncontrolled questioning of the world I perceive.


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Why I would probably be quite happy in prison.

Well, maybe not prison, but boy do I thrive on structure. I have been at smith for a little over a week and I am happier and more relaxed than I have been in years. This is not to say that it isn’t hard. Grad school is HARD!

 

Let me give you all an example.

Each week I have 11 class meetings. Each class lasts 2 hours. To prepare for each class I have 50+ pages of reading to complete. This does not include projects, papers, group assignments or recommended reading.

This is no joke.

 

But despite the workload, I am not anxious. I know I can handle this and I am. I am relaxed and happy. Blows my mind.

 

Also, it annoys the hell out of my friends here ūüėÄ

 


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Re:Orientation

The past few days have been crammed with activities.

First, I moved into my dorm

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And ever since then my days have been filled with orientation activities. For the most part these are the same activities that any new student at any institution would be involved in. Things like how to check you student email and what a library is. Most of them are mind numbingly dull and fairly useless. The truly important information was imparted to us via the Facebook group weeks ago when we were all freaking out.

I realized, as I half listened to yet another person tell me how to swipe into my dorm, is that orientation is not about getting to know the Smith program or how to access moodle. It is finding a way to reorient myself and who I am becoming.

I have to reorient my mindset from professional to student.

I have to reorient myself from introvert to extrovert and make new friends.

I need to find the direction that I want to go in as a social worker without losing who I am as a person.

Orientation is giving me time to build the connections that will allow me to succeed here, not because I know who the kitchen staff are (though now I can ask them to stop garnishing everything with strawberries!), but through the support systems I will need to maintain my sanity throughout the upcoming year.

 

And I must say, If I didn’t know that social work was the right field for me, I would be sure based only on the amazing people I have met so far. The sheer number of people with similar personality traits here is astounding. I have found my people.

I was worried that everyone would be super touchyfeely and talkaboutyouremotiony. Which there are a lot of. But I have managed to find a great group of sardonic, irreverent goofballs and it is wonderful. Not to say that they lack the necessary empathy to be in the field, but they express it in a manner similar to me. And that, my dear readers, is the best part of being here.

 

I have never had to be anyone other than myself. I don’t feel like I need to work to fit in. So many of the social challenges I have faced in new situations just don’t apply here. It has felt so natural to be here that it is worth it to go hear someone tell me the dining hall hours for the fourth time.

 

This doesn’t mean I am not home sick. I miss my life so much, but as one of my new friends put it. “I don’t know why people are stressing, this is like summer camp, but for adults” and that is kinda how it feels.

 

We will see what happens when classes start on monday, but for now I am happy. Actually happy. Which is worth any future stress.

Also, I bought a long board. it is awesome!!!

 


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When I was a little girl…

Today I am moving into my dorm. I have dinner in the dining hall and orientation all weekend. It¬†sounds so ridiculous. A flashback to 2007 when I first moved into my dorm at Pitzer. Right now I wish I could move backwards in time to 2007 or 1997 because this morning I am sitting in the back yard of my grandparents’ house and I miss my grandpa.

 

For the past (almost) three years I have done a fantastic job of coping with his death in typical spear fashion. I kinda just pretended it never happened. I missed him in the same way that I always missed him. When there is an entire country between yourself and the essence of the person you are grieving it is easy to circumvent the grief. Sure we didn’t talk on the phone once a week, but that had stopped after he had his stroke in 2009. I never came back here after the funeral and I never truly let myself grieve.

 

But, fate doesn’t entertain alternate reality forever. So here I am. Sitting on the bridge over the brook in the backyard of the house that was once my grandparents’ is now my grandma’s and will soon belong to a stranger. I am glad to come back before the buyer moves in and I am sure I will be back again later this summer.

 

I managed two mornings here without eating eggs or really much breakfast at all. If my grandpa were here that would be unacceptable. He would have asked what I wanted for breakfast (standard answer: coffee or nothing) and proceeded to ignore my response making me fried eggs, tasty-wasties (potatoes) toast and juice. He, of course, would have eaten hours before his west coast granddaughter but would still sit with me making sure I ate it all an making me laugh. He never would have let me sleep until noon anyway.

 

I have a million stories of his humor (the title of this post being how he started all stories about his childhood), and kindness and love. But what I really want to share, and what I miss most of all is his gift for accepting people for who they were and loving them.

 

My grandfather is one of the only people I have had the honor of meeting who never tried to make me anything other than who I was right at that minute. He loved me for exactly who I was right then, no expectations, no pressure. A gift to a misfit. A gift to anyone who is growing up and changing. It is a gift that I can hopefully give to my grandchildren. (my children will be pushed and pressured, cause that is the job of the parent :D)

 

Everyone should be so blessed to know a true Tzadik. I did. He was my grandfather.

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Howard Arbetter¬†z”l


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welcome to, my little corner of the world.

(this was written this morning and typed up later)

Today I left my house without an end goal in mind. This is highly unusual, as I typically need a destination to be able to even leave the house. As a wanderer, I am not the person you would take on a spontaneous adventure.

This morning, I just had to get out of there. So I left, trusting my feet to take me where I needed to go. Naturally I ended up at the coffee shop I stop at every time I walk to (and many times from) work. Actually, I should say walkED. As of yesterday I don’t go to work at the UW anymore. When I come back in the fall, that won’t be my house, and this won’t be my neighborhood.

I reached the coffee shop (Essential Baking Company) and got my coffee and a pastry. At this point I should mention that I had been sobbing for about half an hour and probably looked gorgeous (I joke, I’m pretty sure I looked like a mess). The crying was a long time coming and quite irrelevant to this narrative, other than the end result.

Anyhow, the truly attractive half-crying/half-weezing I was still trying to contain while I ordered resulted in a free pastry (I refuse to believe that anyone could have found any other reason¬†to treat to baked goods at that moment). It was a lovely gesture and that kindness and neighborliness is something I will miss immensely. ¬†Which, of course started me crying again. Have I mentioned that I suck at transitions, change, conflict and general upset in my world? Cause I’m a bit overwhelmed right now (but that is a different story)

I left the coffee shop with grand ideas of walking down to gasworks (my favorite place in seattle) to read, drink coffee and (since I am being honest here) do a good bit of moping and seething. But as I crossed the street, I looked up and saw the space needle peaking out from behind the curve of Queen Anne (for all non-seattleites: a hill/neighborhood). The sun was shining on the sidewalk and my feet just stopped right there. So I sat.

And here I am, writing this on a scrap paper book cover I made to hide my book of crossword puzzles. (so it looked like I was taking notes at work, another long story). Just enjoying this odd, tiny, concrete corner of the world. The sun is illuminating the needle and life is continuing to flow around me. Normal, mundane, saturday morning life.

As usual, my feet knew exactly where I needed to be and brought me there in their, no nonsense, one in front of the other, way. Maybe I will end up walking down to the park and maybe I won’t. Until then I will stay¬†here, the oddity sitting on the corner, writing ¬†on the cover of a book.

Treasuring this little moment of peace.


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The Art of Procrastination? Perfected.

I have recently been hit with an odd ¬†Catch-22 about blogging. If you don’t know what a Catch-22 is then read the book. Once you have done that and STILL don’t know that that means look here.

My problem is not that I don’t have anything to blog about, but rather, I have SO MUCH to blog about that I am rendered incapable of¬†blogging at¬†all. Thus, the events and topics pile up and I get frozen in a loop of wanting to blog but not knowing where to start.

Well, no one has ever accused me of being short on words, and when I get an idea I tend to be a bit stubborn. I don’t want to give up on that blog entry! But then something else happens, and something else, and it spirals out of control.

The solution, of course, is to write. Not about all the events and topics I have thought about posting about, no, that would be to logical (and waaayyy to time consuming). Instead I will write about my posting dilemma. This simultaneously negates and exacerbates my problem. While on the one hand, posting anything at all is liberating me from:

I CANT POSSIBLY POST THIS UNTIL I POSTED ABOUT THAT BUT IF I POST ABOUT THAT I MUST POST ABOUT THIS OTHER THING FIRST.

On the other hand, it is really just extending my posting procrastination as it pertains¬†to the actual happenings or thoughts that have occurred. Either way, I’m screwed.

The upside is, this is my blog and I can do what I want. I have no obligation to post about certain things right when they happen! I have thoughts and opinions and experiences to share, but sharing¬†doesn’t have to happen RIGHT THIS SECOND.

And this, my dear readers, is precisely my style of procrastination. Mix¬†of ADHD distractibility with¬†Anxiety Disorder induced panicking that I won’t get everything done and poof! Stress with a side of binge-watching tv shows.

Luckily, the anxiety inevitably wins out and I finish whatever I have been putting of, usually with time to spare. Thus, I have procrastinated and yet, I have not.  Procrastination perfected.

I knew it was time to stop procrastinating when I started having the dreams. Whenever I am putting something off for to long I have stress dreams that always contain the same three elements.

  1. I have to go/move somewhere far away right that minute and
  2. I haven’t packed. It is time to go and NOTHING IS PACKED!!
  3. My sister is yelling at me to hurry up OR yelling at me about the fact I have nothing packed OR yelling at me in general.

 

The settings/trips/what is actually going on changes, but those three elements stay the same. And when I start having those dreams, I know it is time to get a movin’ on whatever I have been putting off (usually packing oddly enough, I am quite the literal dreamer).

To cross blog entry off that to-do list here is a highlights reel of what has been happening in my life/random thoughts/other things, that I may or may not expand upon in the future. Pictures included when applicable.

My Grandmother turned 100 years old last monday (may 5)

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I have a new baby cousin (as of this morning!)

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My whole paternal side of the family was in town for said grandmother’s birthday party (here are¬†me and my sibs)

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My dad (who was born on his mother’s birthday) also had a birthday.

I am learning how to pick locks (for fun!)

I have been on multiple dates with two specific men. One from the internet, one from the science fair.

I had the necessary ‘returning stuff to the ex’ meet up

I chipped my front tooth by wearing my new night-gaurd and had to get it filled in with fake tooth (hilarious story. really. Ask me about it.)

I had a wonderful day in the sun

I am midway through my second to last week at ILABS

I have 3.6 weeks until I head to northampton

I have to move

Now that the chaos from the family whirlwind is over I can finally take some time to focus on these important facts:

  • I have to move
  • I have to read all of the ‘suggested’ reading articles for the first week of class
  • I have to move
  • I have to wrap up things at work and clear out
  • I have to move

As you can see there is one particular issue I am struggling to grasp. And thus, the dreams.

I know I can get it all done( just as soon as that panic kicks in) ūüėÄ

oy.


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Relocation Avoided.

Yesterday I received the geographic placement for my internship, and I am extremely thrilled to say that I am staying in Seattle!

Throughout this grad processes many people have asked me iterations of these three questions:

“Why do you want to stay in Seattle?”

Sure they get that my family is here, and my life is here, still…

“Don’t you want to embrace an opportunity to live in a different city? It isn’t for that long…”

Yes, they know what a crazy year it has been, but…

“Don’t you want an adventure?”

No. I don’t want to live in another city thankyouverymuch.

I want to stay right here.

So to all those who weep for my lost adventure, here is a list of reasons why I really, truly, have absolutely no desire to move to another city for this year’s placement.

  1. The ludicrous span of time in which I would have to build a life. First of all, who can find housing to rent for eight months? Taking into account those eight months are from September to April, when nothing is for rent. Second, it is hard is to make friends and meet new people while starting a new job and learning about a new city. It takes time! It takes energy! Then once you finally settled in, it is April and it is time to leave.
  2. I have had just about as much change and instability in the past year as I can handle. I still have to move, but at least I can still live with my lovely roommates. I have to leave my job, but I will have my city around me.
  3. My cousin is about to have a baby (literally it could happen any minute, due date was yesterday!) and I want to be around for her first year. Just like I want to be there for the fab three’s third years and little farmer’s fourth year. I missed little farmer’s first year and that sucked!
  4. My people are here. I have support systems here that I am going to need to get through this first year. I am not ashamed to admit I am going to need my mom and dad (mostly for awesome home cooked meals, but still.) The friends I live with and the friends I don’t. I am going to need their support.
  5. Seattle is more than the city I live in. It is part of me in a way that is indescribable. Seattle calms me down and centers me. It helps me regain my footing and is a friend in a way inanimate objects or places shouldn’t really be but are.
  6. I will have another chance to live in a random city if I want to. A year from now I might want to go off and live somewhere else for eight months, and I CAN! In fact, the program encourages moving to a different place for the second year.

 

And there it is. There are a million more reasons I am glad to stay, and just as many reasons why I should go.

Either way, I promised myself no regrets.

Bring. It. On.SSW_LOGO_small_v2


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I am not good at waiting.

Fun fact. I am not good at waiting. I am a planner. I like to know what is coming around the bend three miles down the road. I knew where I wanted to go to college when I was 12. This is who I am.

I am not a spontaneous trip taker or a spur of the moment change in plans girl. I like to know what is happening, where, when, how we are getting there, how we are getting back, what we will be doing while we are there and any other details about it no matter how small.

This is why waiting to hear about my grad internship placement is killing me.

On Facebook, other people are announcing they have heard (another reason I hate Facebook). Some of them only know the geographical area, others also know the agency. I KNOW NOTHING!

Thus, I am cracking up. I am refreshing my email every minute. I am reading the posts and counting how many people are placed in Seattle so far and hating them for existing.

As time marches forward and I start arranging flights and last days of work and goodbyes it is even more imperative i know where I will be come september. I want to be able to say “I am leaving for northampton for 10 weeks then I will be back in Seattle, or moving to the Bay Area or moving to Chicago or moving to Colorado.” I am so tired of saying “…and then I have no idea!” AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Lord.

So now I have a last day of work (May 16th) and a going away party day (May 17th) and a flying to Boston day (May 27th) and a moving in to the dorms day (May 29th) and a start of orientation day (May 30) and a move out of the dorms day (August 16), but no idea what comes after that.

hoo-boy.

now, if you will excuse me, I have to check my email.