so it turns out

so it turns out

that a 21 credit music theory minor (Plan A) takes a minimum of 3.5 years, if you’re lucky. And a secondary teaching certification (Plan B) requires 34 credit hours.

Your girl here is getting tired of this mess. University seems to thrive on screwing it’s students over, over and over and over again.

No, but seriously, the last thing I want is to be in school at UH forever. After two and a half weeks back at BC, I’ve decided that I’m not a university type of person. Hell, I don’t think I’m a city type of person. Not long term. I get tired just thinking about going back in August. It isn’t that I don’t like it; I think it’s beautiful and exciting, and I love that there are people everywhere you look, but I don’t love that they’re harsh and unkind.

Also, walking on pavement all the time makes your feet hurt. Especially if you wear pretty shoes.

After much deliberating (let’s face it: I’m fickle, and I waffled) the practical course of action is to continue with the English major and minor in psychology, so at least I’ll graduate with something in my hands that doesn’t change my plans (much).

I swear, if I’d known college was going to be this complex, I would’ve followed the typical homeschool path and gotten married straight out of high school

(just kidding).

If you know me,

If you know me,

you probably know that I’m a stress-er. I live in an almost perpetual state of frantic anxiety, picking up another glass ball of worry as soon as I have a legitimate reason to drop the one that I had been holding before.

For three weeks, I’ve been carrying a knotted ball of stress re: finances. Because I’m one of those actual-adults now; I have bills and responsibilities and textbooks to pay for. I have to feed myself, and my car (which, recent Great Thing #1, I recently paid off and officially own), and I thought I was going to unemployed for the duration of summer.

In the last two days, I’ve been handed a freelance editing gig, a front desk position at my old writing center, and a few hours a week filing paperwork for my mother on top of the already-planned housesitting and nannying hours with my favorite nine year old.

When stuff like this happens, I imagine God sitting up in heaven with a sly smile on his face, nudging one of his angels and whispering “she doesn’t even know what’s coming!”

That’s probably after he’s spent a lot of hours rolling his eyes at the mountain of stress I’m almost-always attempting to dominate.



I called her liver a “battle scarred warrior” as she reached for a third drink

and thought idly to myself “so is my heart; so is my soul.”

My body is weary and worn beyond it’s years,

filled with creaks and groans and heavy sighs

every time I close my eyes.

*** and THEN WHAT??? ***

— accurate example of at least 72% of my journal pages for the past year

I haven’t written poetry in what feels like eons. I’ve been living in a desolate wasteland of practicality and efficiency, of numbers and definitions and cold, hard facts that don’t budge when you place your palm against their smooth surface, that don’t breathe and move and provoke feelings, emotions, the same way words do.

But a few weeks ago, some time in the last couple of months, I sat at a bar with one of my grown-lady friends, drinking a Hemingway purely for the satisfaction of his name rolling off my tongue, and I felt it — that spark, the movement of a tiny bird caught in my soul, and I caught it before it managed to flap away from my grasp.

I think it takes time to bring it back, to cultivate once again the reckless action of flinging black ink fragments of one’s soul onto white pages, the open-eyed dreaming of finding shapes within the clouds, to turn the most mundane objects and activities into riveting tales of bravery and heroism.

And it takes effort. It takes avid reading and spontaneous adventures and mug after mug of hot tea. Mostly I think, though, it takes patience, because I feel the start of it, nagging at the back of my mind, crouching in the curve of my fingers, dancing at the tip of my tongue — it’s almost ready,

but not quite yet.

I’ve been in denial

I’ve been in denial

for an entire year.

You know. You’ve read it, reader, every time I say that “it will get better when I get into my major specific courses; this isn’t my forever.”

I was lying to myself. And I’m done with that.

So now I’m an English major with a minor in music theory. I’m going to get my teaching certificate to teach high school English, I’m going to keep teaching piano, and I’m going to start saving to open my coffee shop. I’m going to open my own editing firm and I’m going to work specifically with the growing community of independent authors.

and I don’t think I could be more excited.

Why We Write

Why We Write

Originally posted on the University of Houston Writing Center’s blog.

When the rest of the social media team forced me — ahem, tasked me with writing the first blog post, my bones started to feel a little bit like lead, all heavy and cold.

Setting the bar for this blog is a big deal, especially considering the question that Matt posed:

Why do we write?

Okay, honesty hats on, friends, for a second, I was excited; I’m a writer — fiction, poetry, autobiographical pieces, personal blog posts, essays, book reports, argumentative pieces, whatever.  Anything.  Everything.  I love to write, and to share what motivates me is something that I love to do (wow, egocentric much?).


That was when I remembered that I’m writing for an official institute and we’re going, more specifically, for why we write as students, and the excitement dissipated a little.

Then I asked myself: why is it any different?

Why is there a line drawn between writing for personal enjoyment or expression, and writing as a student?  Who’s to say your motivation has to shift when moving from one activity to the next?  

Don’t hate me for what I’m asking you to do next, but go back to high school English with me.  Briefly, because high school is not a time any of us want to visit again for long.  Do you remember reading George Orwell’s 1984?  Did it scare the crap out of you?  It did me, because Orwell and I ran on the same wavelength — it wasn’t just a fun little scary story he shared around a campfire to spook his buddies; he wrote that novel as a very real and very necessary warning of totalitarianism, of communism, of a too-big government sticking it’s nose too deep in everyone’s business, of the loss of free-will and independence.

Well, good ol’ George also said at some point in his life: “when I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”

I first read those words in a dystopian literature course I took at the community college I attended before transferring to UH. I remember being hunched over a little, ink pouring onto the pages of my journal as an extremely diverse group of young adults discussed some really heavy themes from classic dystopian novels, and I remember having a eureka moment. I remember thinking, that’s it.  We write to be heard, to be given a voice, to expose a lie or proclaim a truth.

Except there are still a lot of reasons we write.  To tell a truth and to be heard, however, is probably the most accurate summation I’ve heard, and it’s one that can be applied to both personal and academic writings.

You’re probably thinking, “But this isn’t applicable to my field!  I’m never going to write!”

I’m here to tell you that words and writing will and always will be applicable to your field.  Communication, both oral and written, is and always will be necessary, whether you’re working on a personal narrative, a lab report, an argumentative piece, or any other type of writing.  

In your classes, you will, no doubt, be asked to make a claim and to support it with facts.  When you make that claim in your literary analysis or lab report and support it with facts, you’ll be utilizing many aspects of the writing process, like a thesis statement and grammar and outlines — you will need to know how to communicate clearly and effectively.

We’re here to help you learn and grow more familiar with the writing process.  As stated on the University of Houston Writing Center’s website:

Writing is thinking. It is an indispensable activity for every discipline conducting research within a university setting and an essential component of a university education. Ongoing instruction in writing helps to initiate students into the changing intellectual demands of university life and introduces them to the complexities of their chosen disciplines and professions. Because writing provides the tools to discover and articulate solutions to intellectual problems, improved writing remains a continual goal of university education.

To put it into layman’s terms — writing is essential in your coursework, and it will continue to be essential in your future career.  I know that sounds like world-shattering news, but it can be really exciting if you approach writing with an open mind.  Think about it like this: writing well offers opportunities to think deeper and to discover new ideas, as well as new ways of presenting ideas.  

And what could be better than that?


At Least

At Least

It’s the Last Week, and I’m so ready for it to be over. I have pretty much decided that I suck at school, at least these classes that I hate.  It’s difficult to be excited and invested in something that isn’t the least bit interesting.

At least the weather is nice.  Clear blue skies and a taste of cool air, but not so much that my fingertips and toes turn bright red.  I’m sitting in my last Stats class of the semester — well, it’s the last mandatory one.  I’ll be spending most of this week working on the exam reviews and finishing the last two homework sections; I’m trying to get ahead on those so that I can focus on reviews for the final.

I think it’s evil to have a third exam a week before the final exam, and then to make the final cumulative.

But at least the difficult formulas will be the ones at the front of my mental filing cabinet.  And we’re allowed cheat sheets on our exams, as well as access to r studio.

I’m about to be unemployed, for a short period.  Such is the life of working for a university, where summer is a break.

At least I’ll have piano students over summer, as well as a couple of nannying and house sitting gigs.  And maybe I’ll (finally) get my Etsy store going again.  And maybe I’ll hire myself out as a free lance editor — I’m good at that; I love doing that.  Heck, maybe I’ll go write a Craigslist ad for that right now (because, you know, focusing in class is so overrated).

Anyways.  I need to organize my week so none of my assignments get overlooked.  I’ve nearly lost my End-Of-Semester Sticky Note twice in as many hours.

But I can fit my End-Of-Semester to-do list on a sticky note, so that’s something good and exciting.

The List (2017 Edition) –> habits

The List (2017 Edition) –> habits
  • learn French
  • constellations
  • garden –> grow things
    • herbs
    • flowers
    • produce
  • dance –> ballet
  • sew –> how to work the machine
  • beach –> all day
  • museum day
    • fancy dress
  • formal dinner date
  • performance
  • 100 balloons

I feel as if there’s more that I want to do, but I keep reminding myself that I might be unemployed over summer and therefore need to be careful with what I plan.