Monday, November 07, 2011

Life Back With My Parents

Quick update on the S.A. front: my father (S.A.) has gotten to my aunt. What I mean by this is that he has convinced her that "he still cares," and she has been trying to convince me and my mother to send him a wedding invitation. The answer is flat out, NO. Especially because he seems to be cyber-stalking me. He told her that he was getting all of his information from the internet, which is funny, because I told no one over the internet that I was moving. What I think might be happening is that he is using my phone somehow, and getting access to my texts. I feel like no part of my life is being unobserved, like I'm on a reality TV show with some kind of horrible ending. I don't know what he's going to do, or where he's going to strike next.
On a happier note, I ran into Mr. D., my high school AP English teacher, the other day. My check engine light went on in my car because there is something wrong with it, so I took it to a mechanic, and they did some work without telling me what they were going to do and how much it was going to cost. So I was there, picking up my car, and Mr. D. was waiting in line behind me. Now the thing with Mr. D. is that he has his favorite students, and then he has the rest of the people in his class. When I took my AP exam, I got a 3, whereas the favorite students got 5's. I was never a favorite, and I was only in the class because I wanted to get into a top school, and rise above the rest of the SW high schoolers who really didn't care about school. Apparently, Mr. D. grouped me with the rest of the school anyway. This is what he thought of me, via a letter of recommendation:

"Dear Scholarship Committee:
"J.A. was my lovely surprise this year. I was her teacher three years ago in Regular (non-Honors) English 9, and after seeing her work I told her I was disappointed that she had not opted for our brand new Honors program (P.S. this is not true, but I did sign up for Honors courses starting in my sophomore year.) When she told me last year that she was considering taking my Advanced Placement English class in her senior year, I expressed grave doubts; I was worried she just did not have the background. Nonetheless, she persevered. She currently has an 'A' in the class, manages to surprise me at every turn with the quality of her work, and is one of the hardest working, intellectually passionate students in the class. I have to make it clear how rare that is. Usually (and this is a little sad, I suppose) a student begins high school right squack on the same track on which they end high school. J.A., on the other hand, has made such a huge step up from freshman year that I still cannot quite believe it at times.

"My only worry about J.A. is that her hard-working but quiet and unassuming nature might cause her to be overlooked in the whole scholarship process. She, however, does not seem to be worried at all. Her college attendance and college success are not contingent upon money nearly as much as they are contingent upon her passion and ambition. But still..... right? Please consider her as amongst the top candidates at the school for this scholarship.

"Now she is almost giddily excited about the college application process, applying even to several colleges which are beyond the hopes of a student with her background and test scores. She is aware of the challenge, but so in love with the idea of furthering her eduacation at the best school possible that she doesn not care. All three of her AP teachers (we only offer three AP classes!) are thrilled by her passion and her hard work, and we all share the hope that she will end up at a university which deserves her joyousness in living and learning. Thank you for considering this fine young student. Please email me or call if you have any questions.


Anyway, Mr. D. convinced all of us that top schools were good, that they held a lot of potential about helping you get jobs after school, and that student loans were okay, and everyone has them. I was convinced. So I applied to the best schools I could, and was accepted at all except one. NYU, Boston University, Willamette University, CWU, all of these schools accepted me, and Mr. D. was shocked, especially by NYU. Luckily, one of the private schools gave me a great financial aid package, and I was able to attend. Fast-forward four years, to me, graduated, but living with my parents, working as a Sales Associate at my high school job, just waiting for a promotion, and $30k in debt. I'm so glad I took Mr. D's advice about student loans.
Anyway, we ran into him at the mechanic, and he was very surprised to see me home, and not out on some epic adventure. I told him I graduated, and that he was actually at my graduation, which he didn't seem to know, even though I had been standing right beside him for about a half an hour, waiting for my turn to say hello, all the while, A.A.S., standing behind me, urging me to just do it. Let's just say I felt very justified rubbing it in that he overlooked me because of his favorites, and that I graduated, despite what he thought of me, and that I am planning on attending grad school next year, my top choice being UW, where they waive your tuition, my second choice being SPU. My mother couldn't stop at that, being the proud mother that she is. I was headed out the door, and Mom stood there, still talking; "Oh yeah, she graduated with a degree in psychology, and she has been volunteering with Marion County Victims' Assistance in the District Attorney's Office, and she's been doing really well, and, and, and," and I finally had to pull her out the door. As we were leaving, Mr. D. said, "Well, if you would like to come talk about applying to grad school, and preparing for the GRE's, feel free to drop in."
My reply came at the same time as my mom's, and we said the exact same thing: "I think I'll be fine, but thank you."