Messing About with the Many #Canva #Resume #Template

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In Review #AmericanHorrorStory

I can’t believe I waited so long to watch this show. I like the set up, because I’m not much of a fan of shows that go on and on forever. I like that the series limits its plots to 1 season and then moves on to an entirely different concept the next. I think it’s also great for new viewers who don’t have the time to watch the entire series from the beginning. I like how all the seasons are standalone, but I also love how the show connected the seasons.

 

Season 1: I couldn’t get enough of it. I love Connie Britton and Evan Peters. They’re absolutely amazing actors. I loved all the twists and turns, all the flashbacks. I never wanted it to end, but I loved the ending. Big names and lots of talent in this season. I’d totally move into the Murder House. Sure everyone dies there, but there are so many ghosts– it’s like instant friends if you play your cards right.

Season 2: The Asylum was so difficult to watch. Not because the plot wasn’t compelling, but because it was so sad and depressing. Mental health facilities in the past in the states and still currently in some places abroad exist in vile and horrendously unacceptable conditions. The scariest and more horror filled part of this season is that just about anyone could have been locked up there for the rest of their lives. It could happen to any of us.

Season 3: LOVED every part of this. Strong cast. Strong women. Strong storylines. I love that it was a primarily female cast. I love Gabourey Sidibe, she has so much sass on her. Emma Roberts plays a really good person/character to hate. Angela Basset is amazing in just about any role she plays. Sarah Paulson’s character really blossomed towards the end. Kathy Bates is also amazing in it, she’s so believable as an actress. Taissa Farmiga’s performance seemed effortless. She’s a natural. But the character that really outshone the others was Jamie Brewer– hands down.

Season 4: Freak Shows are such a bizarre concept. I can’t believe they ever existed. I mean, factually of course I know they existed, but how anyone could go to one and taunt others for their disabilities. How awful were people. Too awful. I was super excited towards the beginning of the season, but towards mid-season I just wanted it to end. I wish the entire freak show family didn’t have to end in murder, but I like that the twins and lobster boy got together. Probably the best part of the season was Pepper and her timeline.

Season 5: This season was difficult for me to get into. It wasn’t until midseason when I started to get interested. As much as I love Lady Gaga’s performance and was stunned at how versatile the performances from Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters are. I swear, they can act as anything. I love that the season turned its emphasis to Liz towards the end. I couldn’t love the first half of this season. I thought much of the sex scenes were unnecessary to the plot and the writers were trying to accomplish too many subplots and such. I wish they would have focused in a bit more.

 

Anyways. I love the show.

Virtuous Violations- #shortstory #fiction

MY GRANDMOTHER COMES into the room I once used to share with my fifty-year-old unmarried aunt, but has now become home to luggage waiting to be packed and clothes scattered about. My grandmother holds in her hands yet another gift for me to pack in my bags and take home to my family. “Here, take this jar of Labne. Your brother loves Labne,” she says to me as she puts the giant jar full of Labne Imkaabeli and olive oil in my face. “But Sitti, we have Labne in America,” I reply, while I sit on the floor and start to rearrange my clothes to find room for this jar. “Wait! I have some Khubayzee in the freezer. Let me get that and it is tiny, so you have to take it,” her voice thins as her round plump body wobbles out of the room with more excitement than when I first arrived. She suddenly reappears and hands me the Khubayzee to pack.

To continue reading the rest of this short story, please visit this magazine.

I Remain (Part II) #shortstory

But today, she mourns. She carries questions of horror through my mind. To eat or not to eat? To purge or not to purge? That was certainly the question.
I sat with a package of white chocolate Lindor Truffles in my lap like it was a ball of fire I couldn’t let go of. I held the gold and white package in my hands for a second and immediately dropped it into my lap, where my knees quaked at a 9.0 and I closed my eyes as the tsunami waves of haunting thoughts lurked through every curve of my mind.

The above is an excerpt, if you’d like to continue reading this short story, please go to this link. 

Unemployed Binge Watching Is My Expertise

My favorite shows to binge watch during this long stretch on unemployment, in no specific order:

  1. Pretty Little Liars
  2. Sense8
  3. The Blacklist
  4. The Leftovers
  5. Mike Tyson Mysteries
  6. Childhood’s End
  7. Resident Advisors
  8. Night Court
  9. The Jeffersons
  10. Shameless
  11. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  12. Fargo
  13. Blunt Talk
  14. Grimm
  15. Game of Thrones
  16. South Park
  17. That 70s Show
  18. Once Upon A Time
  19. UnReal
  20. Boy Meets World
  21. Divorce Court
  22. I Love Lucy
  23. The Golden Girls
  24. Sleepy Hollow
  25. Bates Motel
  26. Lizzie Mcguire
  27. Happy Days
  28. Silicon Valley
  29. Under The Dome
  30. American Dreams
  31. The Fall
  32. Gilmore Girls
  33. Arrow
  34. Deutschland 83
  35. Red Band Society
  36. The Goldbergs
  37. 8 Out of 10 Cats
  38. Would I Like To You?
  39. Penny Dreadful
  40. Looking
  41. Grace and Frankie
  42. The Newsroom
  43. The Whispers
  44. ANZAC Girls
  45. Younger
  46. Mr. Robot
  47. Humans
  48. Nurse Jackie
  49. Lizzie Borden Chronicles
  50. The Americans
  51. Wayward Pines
  52. Resurrection
  53. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  54. The Returned
  55. The Slap
  56. Banshee
  57. Fresh Off The Boat
  58. Mozart In The Jungle
  59. 12 Monkeys
  60. Allegiance
  61. Schitt’s Creek
  62. The Mindy Project
  63. Rectify
  64. Bones
  65. Black Mirror
  66. House Of Cards
  67. Teachers
  68. A Place To Call Home
  69. The 100
  70. Chasing Life
  71. Married with Children
  72. Arrested Development
  73. Revenge
  74. Sons of Tuscon
  75. My Name is Earl
  76. Torchwood
  77. Bomb Girls
  78. Sherlock
  79. The Tudors
  80. Lost Girl
  81. The Book Group
  82. Continuum
  83. Orange is the New Black
  84. Malcolm in the Middle
  85. Dance Academy
  86. Being Human
  87. Greek
  88. Raising Hope
  89. United States of Tara
  90. House
  91. Scrubs
  92. The Big Bang Theory
  93. Friday Night Dinner
  94. Fresh Meat
  95. The Inbetweeners
  96. Parks and Recreation
  97. Hart of Dixie
  98. Undeclared
  99. Dinosaurs
  100. The IT Crowd
  101. The Killing
  102. Accused
  103. Gavin and Stacey
  104. Coupling
  105. Trinity
  106. Hotel Babylon
  107. Sleeper Cell
  108. Degrassi
  109. The Office
  110. Drop Dead Diva
  111. Switched at Birth
  112. Jericho
  113. The Riches
  114. The Wonder Years
  115. The New Girl
  116. Community
  117. Gossip Girl
  118. Parenthood
  119. Breaking Bad
  120. Glee
  121. Skins
  122. Mad Men
  123. Weeds
  124. Prison Break
  125. Dexter
  126. 30 Rock
  127. Jack & Bobby
  128. Survivors
  129. Dead Like Me
  130. Friday Night Lights
  131. Rescue Me
  132. Doug
  133. How I Met Your Mother
  134. South Park
  135. It’s Always Sunny In  Philadelphia

 

And that’s just the half of it. I don’t think there were and repeats. But if you ever need something to binge watch, this is certainly a starting point.

 

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50 Bucket List Goals

What’s on your bucket list?

I have an ever long and ever changing/shifting bucket list. And it seems fitting to reassess my life goals in light of the new year. Here are just a few wants on my list. Some are simple, some are more challenging.

  1. Have my book published

    book
    http://cdn.toptenreviews.com/rev/site/cms/category_headers/121-h_main-w.png
  2. Write another book 

    download
    http://www.mycity-web.com/great-tips-for-writing-a-book/
  3. Get funding for a PhD

    phd1
    http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/22/phd-funding-disparities/
  4. Get into a PhD program that is right for me

    phd061814s
    https://techknowtools.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/phd061814s.gif
  5. Learn to surf

    Lakshadweep-1680
    http://i.cdn-surfline.com/surfnews/images/2012/03_march/destination_lakshadweep/full/Lakshadweep-1680.jpg
  6. Get healthy

    healthy-habits
    http://promobiledj.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/healthy-habits.jpg
  7. Go to a dinosaur museum

    triceratops
    http://www.fossilmuseum.net/DinosaurFossils/triceratops/triceratops.jpg
  8. Be an extra in a movie or show

    images
    http://www.actt.edu.au/media/1138/actt_difference_desktop.jpg
  9. Learn to spearfish

    spearFishing
    http://watercraftjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/spearFishing.jpg
  10. Own a home and piece of land where I can have lots and lots of animals like donkeys, horses, llamas, lambs, dogs, cows and more.

    images
    http://www.hallmark-farm-kennel.com/HallmarkFarmHouse.jpg
  11. Adopt and/or foster children tulsa-adoption-attorney
  12. Get a job that allows me to travel and pay off my student loans

    jobs-travelling-business-man-move
    http://globetrooper.com/notes/wp-content/uploads/jobs-travelling-business-man-move.jpg
  13. Get lasik

    Lasik-Procedure
    http://qualityicare.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Lasik-Procedure.png
  14. Get laser hair removal

    http://zoggdermatology.com/images/laserhairremovalstages.jpg
    The laser emits an invisible light which penetrates the skin without damaging it. At the hair follicle, the laser light absorbed by the pigments is converted into heat. This heat will damage the follicle.
  15. Start a nonprofit

    foundations_a_sm1
    http://boardsthatexcel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/foundations_a_sm1.gif
  16. Take horseback riding lessons

    Horse_riding_in_coca_cola_arena_-_melbourne_show_2005
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Horse_riding_in_coca_cola_arena_-_melbourne_show_2005.jpg
  17. Have friends

    friends-for-life
    http://www.newlovetimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/friends-for-life.gif
  18. Become more flexible

    extreme-flexibility-people-32_thumb
    http://lh3.ggpht.com/-M1Of3Z1Vg_U/UHaxA469Y3I/AAAAAAAC6Bo/4isPqvUU9F4/extreme-flexibility-people-32_thumb.jpg?imgmax=800
  19. Fly first class

    Etihad_first_class_bed
    http://www.first-class-flight.com/images/first-class-insights/Etihad_first_class_bed.jpg
  20. Make someone’s wish come true d760991e995d83172de94452f2319e06
  21. Go cliff jumping Woman_cliffjumping_3307605b
  22. Hang out by a serene waterfall

    images
    http://7-themes.com/data_images/out/71/7014890-beautiful-waterfall-hd-pics.jpg
  23. Name a star dCVnPp3
  24. Have my own private plane and/or helicopter

    Private-Jet1
    http://site.privatejetdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Private-Jet1.jpg
  25. Be in the fashion industry

    fashion
    http://reallifeauckland.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fashion.jpg
  26. Learn to dive

    Diving_into_pool
    http://www.basicspine.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Diving_into_pool.jpg
  27. Go scuba diving

    Scubadiving.png
    http://d236bkdxj385sg.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Scubadiving.png
  28. Befriend an elephant

    Twins
    Twins https://iso.500px.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/2048-5.jpg
  29. Have one of my plays produced

    william-chang-cheongsam-designs-for-theater-play-2
    http://www.elegantstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/william-chang-cheongsam-designs-for-theater-play-2.jpeg
  30. Have someone illustrate a comic book based off of one of my stories

    DARWYN-ORIGINAL-ART
    http://www.lightningoctopus.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/DARWYN-ORIGINAL-ART.jpg
  31. Have one of my stories turned into a film

    images (1)
    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQKJE7O1FQg2zWYPmN-kzI3IB5bPY9T6TuqRyyNK2fAK5Y58ZtBcQ
  32. Learn to draw

    http://orig04.deviantart.net/587b/f/2012/247/2/d/hand_drawing_hand_by_kenpjones-d5dl8kw.jpg
    http://orig04.deviantart.net/587b/f/2012/247/2/d/hand_drawing_hand_by_kenpjones-d5dl8kw.jpg
  33. Live in a castle

    download
    http://dreamatico.com/data_images/castle/castle-2.jpg
  34. Learn to sew

    blogdotcraftzine
    http://www.noellemunozjewelry.com/storage/blogdotcraftzine.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1331086348393
  35. Go Ziplining zipline-adventure-in-whistler-photo_7325314-fit468x296
  36. Publish a cookbook

    cookbook
    https://mathemagicalsite.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/cookbook.gif
  37. Own a car

    2014_bmw_x5_angularfront
    http://static.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/images/Auto/izmo/364333/2014_bmw_x5_angularfront.jpg
  38. Dance in the rain

    images
    http://www.sterlingsanders.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Sterling_Sanders_-_Dance_in_the_Rain.png
  39. Hang glide

    hanggliding1
    http://www.lakearrowhead.com/img/hanggliding1.jpg
  40. Go to a haunted house

    Haunted-House-HD-Wallpapers
    http://hdwallpapersbin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Haunted-House-HD-Wallpapers.jpg
  41. Throw a themed party mall-birthday-party-1
  42. Go through a corn maze cornmaze2009
  43. Witness a miracle

    miracles-2
    https://fromthedeskofmardrag.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/miracles-2.jpg
  44. Take singing lessons

    how-to-sing-higher-notes1
    http://vocalartsstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/how-to-sing-higher-notes1.jpg
  45. Take kickboxing lessons

    train
    http://www.myelitetraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/train.jpg
  46. Learn to knit

    shaun-knitting1-copy-1
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ryd7cNqmrOo/UBqBFijS2lI/AAAAAAAAAFE/e2jGlVXKl44/s1600/shaun-knitting1-copy-1.gif
  47. Learn to ride a bike

    bike-riding
    http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/bike-riding.jpg
  48. Go parachuting

    canstock6172634
    http://cdn.xl.thumbs.canstockphoto.com/canstock6172634.jpg
  49. Swim with dolphins

    Megan-Dolphin
    http://havebabywilltravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Megan-Dolphin.jpg
  50. Meet Harry Styles, cut off some of his hair and sell it on ebay for millions so I can afford to fund my bucket list.  harry-styles-loud-shirt-coffee-los-angeles

 

https://www.paypal.me/hebavsreason

Wish List

 

International Film Studies and Cinematic Arts Conference on Cinema and Identity

CINE CRI ’15: II. International Film Studies and Cinematic Arts Conference on Cinema and Identity

http://www.cinecriconference.org/

CINE CRI ’15: II. International Film Studies and Cinematic Arts Conference will be held in Istanbul on JUNE 10 – 11, 2015 and organized by DAKAM (Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center) and hosted by Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center as a part of the Istanbul Art Studies Days Spring 2015.

CINE CRI ’15 on CINEMA and IDENTITY

The CINE CRI ’15 Conference aims to explore the representation of identities in cinema. Artistic and documentary works that make problematic the concept of identity within its political, ideological and historical correlations are in the scope of this year’s conference. Besides, the lived experiences related to cinema and the industry, not necessarily represented in films, may be addressed.

Identity has been one of the most scrutinized concepts in academic circles in recent years. It has been the topic of debates in a variety of fields and disciplines of social sciences, humanities and arts. Cinema has not been opted out of identity matters as film-makers have produced considerable number of works that are relevant to different dimensions of identity. Regarding the concept is constructed within discourse, difference and representation processes, film is a convenient space to be explored as a medium that both reflects and contributes to the construction and reconstruction of multiple identities that constitute an individual, i.e. the spectator.

IASD ’15: Istanbul Art Studies Days:

Istanbul Art Studies Days (IASD ’15) will also include CONTEMPART ’15 / IV. Contemporary Arts Conference (June 8-9) and CONTEMPHOTO ’15 / II. Contemporary Photography Conference (June 9-10) at the same place. Several keynote lectures, artist’s talks and additional events will be organized during Istanbul Art Studies Days and a registration ticket for only one of the conferences will offer free entry to all of the sessions of the three conferences. Each conference focusing on different topics, identity issues has been decided as the common theme of the IASD ’15.

The full papers are going to be available online in DAKAM’s digital library and to be published in the proceedings book with an ISBN number before the conference. The book will be sent to be reviewed for inclusion in the “Thomson and Reuters Web of Science’s Conference”

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Professor David Martin-Jones from University of Glasgow and internationally recognised film director Yesim Ustaoglu (Identity and sense of belonging: Reflections on the cinema of Yesim Ustaoglu (from Journey to the Sun to Araf)) are going to be keynote speakers of the event.

AGENDA:

Deadline for submission of abstracts: March 27, 2015

Deadline for registration: May 1, 2015

Deadline for full papers submission: May 8, 2015

MAIN TRACK:

CINEMA and IDENTITY

– Nation, nation-state and diverse ethnicities

– Migration, transnational and/or accented cinema

– Religion and religious groups

– Gender, women, LGBT identities

– Family, familial bonds

– Class and struggle

– Isolated or neglected identities

– Identity, culture and politics

– Local and global Identity

– Multiculturalism

CINEMA and IDEOLOGY

– Ideology of a Film

– Public Life, society and cinema

– Film, Public Memory and Daily Life

– Art Movements

– Technology and Materials

– Communication Tools, Urban Space and Cinema

– Cinema from Psychological, Sociological and Psychiatrical Perspective

– Literature, screenplay and cinema

– Film Musics

ARTS and SOCIETY

– Director, Actor, screenwriter, art director, costume designer, sound designer: Artist as a Subject

– Characters, People and Identity

– Politics of Body in Space

– Social Stratification in Cinema as Gender, Sexuality, Class, Race, Ethnicity and Age

– Race and Affects of Racism

– Women, Art and Society

OTHER TRACKS:

CINEMA and CITY

CINEMA and POLITICS

NATIONAL CINEMAS, HOLLYWOOD and ART-HOUSE CINEMA

REPETITION, PROGRESS and REFERENCE IN THE HISTORY OF FILM

TECHNIQUE and PRODUCTION

DOCUMENTARIES

VENUE

The conference will be held at Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center (NHKM – www.nazimhikmetkulturmerkezi.org) one of the most popular cultural centers in Istanbul.

Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center hosts several art and academic events in different disciplines every month. NHKM, named after one of the legendary modern Turkish poets – Nazim Hikmet, has been established in 1996 and located in Kadikoy. Kadikoy is a large and cosmopolitan district of Istanbul, facing the historic city centre on the other side of the Bosporus. With its numerous bars, cinemas and bookshops, Kadikoy can be regarded as the cultural centre of the Anatolian side of Istanbul.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

The scientific committee consists of significant scholars, Asst. Prof. Dr. Levent Yilmazok – Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Prof. Julian Reid – University of Lapland, Asst. Prof. Ahmet Gurata – Bilkent University, Asst.Prof. Gal Kirn – Berlin Humboldt University, Asst. Prof. Tumay Arslan – Ankara University, Senior Lect. Andreas Treske – Izmir University of Economics, Asst. Prof. Andrea Meuzelaar – University of Utrecht

http://www.contemphotoconference.org/p/committees.html

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION

You can submit your abstract by entering the online registration system EASYCHAIR at

https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=cinecri15

You will receive a reply to your proposal within three weeks following a double-blind review process.

The Scholarship Blues

I earned a place for Doctoral studies at some of the most prestigious and competitive universities in the world, but it all goes to waste if I can’t fund my studies. I deferred my place last year because I couldn’t get the funds together or at all for that matter. I figured, I’d take a year and hopefully things will come together.

But no one wants to give me PhD funding because my grades weren’t the best in undergrad  due to my undiagnosed learning disabilities  which influenced my grades in areas like math and science which I had to take for my journalism degree. Math, science and classes like Amish culture were completely irrelevant to my degree, but prerequisites are prerequisites. I’m told that in order to get funding my grades need to be the best of the best, but this doesn’t take into account my mitigating circumstances. Surely had I had the financial opportunity to get diagnosed earlier, I would have gotten the opportunity to learn ways to study and learn what worked for me. But alas, I didn’t have those opportunities and there go my funding chances.

Another reason no one wants to fund me is because my academic papers are not published in peer reviewed journals or academic journals, but every time I try and publish, I get told “we only accept published academics,” or I get told that I need to pay in order to get published. So let me get this right: I need money to publish so I can be a recognized academic so I can get PhD funding, but I can’t publish until I’ve been published and have the money? Maybe things work differently when you are already an established academic, but realistically speaking, how am I supposed to get started out? I was a journalist, but when applying for PhD funding, no one seems to care about journalism publications. Or at least this is what the rejection emails tell me.

Next step was to contact charities with grant applications. A list of charities was provided by my prior university, so I used that as a starting point. These are charities that are known to give student grants. And the response there has been dismal. Charities have been rude, mean, have told me to stop soliciting them, told me I’m not Palestinian enough or Arab enough. They’ve told me I don’t meet residency requirements, I don’t display financial hardship, I can’t provide up-to-date information about my disabilities, my grades aren’t good enough, I’m not involved enough or not Muslim enough. I’m too old. I’m too young. I’m too this, I’m too that. I’m not enough of this and not enough of that. One person even told me that it was “illegal” for them to give grants, when I know other students who have for a fact received grants from them. One person even replied saying “We don’t have any money. You probably have more money than our charity does.” Really, Really?! You want to go there. Okay, let’s go there. If you have consistent working plumbing, you have consistent heating in your house, don’t have to choose between  paying your bills or buying food to eat, then trust me– you are way ahead of me.

Or what about the charity that tried to change my entire PhD topic of study, deeming my topic irrelevant and uninteresting. Firstly, I never asked for your advice on my topic of study, I asked for your sponsorship. Secondly, I have advising teams at each university that differ with you. Not only is my topic ever the  more relevant, as it makes headline news regularly, but the top academics in my field believe it to be interesting, important and relevant. Thirdly, you may not know how academia works. For example: I can’t enroll in a music doctoral degree, get there and ask my advising team to support me in studying cryptozoology. Fourthly, you changed my ENTIRE topic. Meaning I would have to reapply all over again with a different proposal. And lastly, by changing every little thing about my topic, you made it your project and no longer mine.

Keep in mind that I am not harassing these people, charities, organizations, entities, etc. I send one email: A grant proposal. A university approved grant proposal.  I don’t call, follow up, knock on their doors. I’m completely calm. And I’m not about to waste my life or time arguing with these ignoramuses.

Next, crowdfunding. Even though I have had limited success with crowdfunding. (By the way, I’m VERY grateful for the money I was able to raise. VERY!) Getting £1000 was not easy and almost impossible. I don’t know many people. The people that I do know don’t have money to spare. I’d even get emails in response to my crowdfunding that told me to give up, it was a waste of time, it’s never going to happen, that I need to not bother people, etc. I put myself out there. I tried. I got burned.

Tried the online scholarship search engines. I spend my life on those search engines. I qualify for nothing. Somehow, I don’t qualify for anything.

Even the Said scholarship set up for Palestinians won’t fund me unless I go to Oxford or Cambridge and even though there’s an academic at Cambridge who said he would take me on, I applied there twice and couldn’t get through the first round because my undergrad grades from 10 years ago in math and science were rubbish. I got rejected by Oxford three times for the same reason. (If you’re really polite, nice, desperate and willing to make contacts, lecturers/professor/staff will secretly tell you why you didn’t get in. Doesn’t work everytime, but you get lucky every so often.)

Bottom line-  no one cares that I have learning difficulties. No one cares that the American education system is different than the British, European and Australian systems. No one cares that my overall undergrad GPA was a 3.12, but my GPA for my major and minor was a 3.67. No one care that my first MA was on a pass/fail basis. No one care that during my 2nd MA I became registered disabled due to some serious problems in my back that can’t be fixed, but only coped with.

No one cares that I went to the 4th most overpopulated high school in my state, or that my high school teachers told me I wouldn’t succeed to my face or that 9/11 happened during my sophomore year or that the devastation of 9/11 turned our sophomore curriculum upside down or that some of my classes didn’t have classrooms, books, set curriculums or that so many times our teachers gave up, walked out of class and stopped teaching, or that there were 50 students in my classroom or that my high school suffered from riots, bomb threats and at least one major fight a day or that I got bullied mercilessly or that all of these problems affected my learning experience.

When I got to my first year of undergrad I had no confidence, I thought I was dumb, I didn’t know how to study, I had never had to sit through a class longer than 40 minutes, I never had to write an assignment longer than two pages, I never had to use citations, I had never done a research paper, I never had to memorize information, I didn’t know I could get tested for learning disabilities, I didn’t know so many things. I spent most of the first two years of undergrad crying because undergrad hit me like a brick. High school in no way prepared me for undergrad and in comparison to the students in my class that had better academic upbringings, I could tell I was behind.  No one cares that I can play a mean game of catch up. But catch up can’t change the past.

I worked my nerves to its ends and got into an Ivy League MA program, where again, I felt I had to play catch up because I was no longer studying journalism and entered into the wonderful world of Liberal Studies. I competed against students who had formal training in studying gender, culture and globalization. It was all new to me. I struggled, a lot. But I’m proud of what I accomplished there. And again I had to play catch up for my second MA as I competed against students who had their first degree is Middle Eastern Studies. Middle Eastern studies was  a topic I read about in my spare time. I never studied it intensely or formally, I dabbled, but everyone else was way ahead of the game. I worked day and night, in spite of my medical difficulties and hardship to reach a level in which I finally felt my peers were finally my intellectual peers. I stumbled, A LOT, but no one gets points for most improved on their transcript. If only their were a module in which there were marks for effort, motivation, time spent, passion, determination and promise. If only I could get graded against myself as opposed to against my classmates. Or get a mark for moving my life across the planet by myself to another country, to a completely different educationally structured system and succeeding.

My motivation and ambition doesn’t count for anything on paper because there will always be someone with a perfect GPA or academic standing that gets ahead of me. These things will never show up on a transcript. And if there is anything I’ve learned it’s that transcripts are more important than letters of purpose.

I can’t provide up-to-date information on my disabilities because I haven’t seen a doctor since being back in America. I signed up for that whole Obamacare business and my application for health insurance keeps getting bounced around from office to office and no one seems to know when I will finally have health insurance or if I ever will. Whenever I ask what I should do if I’m sick, they say go to this and this doctor, but you’ll have to play out of pocket. Yup, can’t do that. I have no money. No income.

That no income part, my loan servicers don’t seem to believe that. Seeing as they are federal loans, you’d think they can check and see if I am employed or not via paying taxes, but maybe that’s asking too much.  I have to pay back $130,000 in student loans starting in March because that is when my deferment period ends. I applied for unemployment deferment, got rejected and told to apply for income based repayment. Yeah, that’s going to be tough to do because there is no income to speak of.

Not because I don’t want an income. I  have been applying for every type of job under the sun since May 2014. Even physical labor jobs which I know will only cause my disability to worsen. And guess what? I still can’t get a job. Signed up with recruitment and temp agencies, LinkedIn profile, Craigslist, Indeed, Simplyhired, Idealist– I get maybe 20 emails a day from different websites listing all these job opportunities. I apply and apply and apply and nothing. When I finally do get the chance at an interview, I set it up, date and time. I’m dressed and ready and pumped and every time they cancel on me with no prior notice.

Even though I have no job and I’m living off of my maxed out credit cards, I still somehow don’t qualify for food stamps, unemployment benefits or any other kinds of benefits. How did I manage that? How? Beats me!

Despite it all, I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I’m upset, sure. I don’t expect a handout or pity. I’m not going to sit here and toot my own horn about how I’m an amazing human being or list all my good karma points. I’m far from perfect and I’m not entitled to anything in this world. But I want a fair fighting chance. I want more than what’s on paper to count. I want to live and not simply get by, but to really live.

I still remain optimistic that things will work out. I won’t stop trying and neither should you.

Opportunity: Look out, I’m coming for you!

Realistic Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars, how did I get hooked on you? I admit, I can’t give up on a murder mystery. I need to know “who done it.”

A few summers ago, like most summers, I found myself without friends or anywhere to go and so started my Netflix obsession.

I knew going into this whole Pretty Little Liars bit that  it wasn’t going to be the most realistic show. I’ve held it all in for a really long time, but here it goes:

1. How has no one screamed pedophile yet? All these grown men being attracted to 15-16 year old girls. In the real world there would be much more of an uproar and investigations galore.

2. When are the liars going to finally graduate? It’s like Saved By The Bell all over again.

3. I could NEVER dress like that in high school. Some of the things they wear would violate so many dress codes.

4. Speaking of dresses. They’re in Pennsylvania. PENNSYLVANIA. It gets cold there. Really frigidly cold in the winter. Where are their layers? Their scarves and parkas and snowboots. Come on!!!

5. Since when are high school kids allowed to use cell phones so openly in school? Am I getting old or have the times seriously changed that much?

6. How does ‘A’ not work for the CIA? She/He knows everything. EVERYTHING. How?!?!

7. Where are their parents? Their parents never seem to be around? These chicks are dodging bullets, cars, explosions, police, and who knows what else and their parents are clueless. They leave for long periods of time on business trips or wherever knowing that their kids have been targeted in the past. If I were a parent, I would never let that child out of my sight with a psycho killer like ‘A’ on the loose.

8. The plot has become so intertwining and redundant. Change it up. Please. Reveal a massive surprise so I can fool myself into feeling the hours I’ve spent watching this weren’t to waste.

9. With all the stress, how is their hair not falling out? How  have they managed to pass their classes? Do they even attend class anymore?

10. How do the liars have time for all of this? School takes up most of your day, then there are all the clubs and sports or whatever these girls are into. Then there is homework and after school jobs or tutoring.  Where do they get the time to go around playing detective? How do they even have time to shower, sleep or eat?

11. How are these high school kids managing to outwit the police? The police keep falling for it, going with it, or playing dumb. I’m not sure anymore.

12. With all the madness going on in Rosewood, how have they not been swarmed with more cops, FBI, private investigators and whatever else it takes to calm that town down.

13. NO ONE gets an interview with Oxford that easily. Even with connections, there are protocols and applications. Even with an easy in, certain things need to happen paperwork wise before you show up for an interview. Spencer didn’t even know anything about the College system and it seems she has no idea what she wants to study. That doesn’t fly with me.

14. Your sister travels across an ocean to stay with you in your apartment and you leave her with some random flatmate and make no mention of it at all to her?

15. If the Hastings are as loaded as they appear to be, why does Melissa even need a flatmate? She should be able to afford living alone by now.

16. Melissa’s flatmate is a schoolteacher. Have you seen that apartment? No way that dude could afford that flat on a teacher’s salary. Maybe his family is rich too? If so, why doesn’t he live alone either?

17. The flatmate was way over the top. I haven’t been bothered enough to imdb him, but if he is British, his act was way over the top. If he wasn’t British and it was just the scriptwriter who thought up that dialogue, idk. I spent 1.5 years in the UK and haven’t met a person that staunch and irritating. Oh and that Oxford professor interviewer. That conversation was SO annoying, staged and unreal. Please don’t tell me anyone out there fell for it.

18. That vial blood that leaked out of Spencer’s purse- Are you sure it was just one tiny little tube? Because that was a lot of blood. Enough for 10 vials.

19. Radley is a dump. So much so that I imagine there would be some sort of medical ethics committee that would condemn that building.

20. Ashley, you silly goose. You made a regrettable mistake with the DiLaurentis dude, but really, your name is still in the mud after that whole being a murder suspect deal. What responsible mother, knowing her daughter can’t afford college tuition quits her job? I’d imagine she would or should have toughed it out until she found another job.

21. I think they are all crazy suspicious. Everyone is a suspect. Everyone could have been ‘A’ or on the A-team at one point. So let’s arrest them all. The entire town.

22. Hefty Hanna: They really couldn’t get a more realistic fat suit or something? It looks like all they did was stick a pillow under her shirt. They really could have tried a little more than that.

23. If the writers of the show go all LOST on me and end the series by telling me that they are all dead and this is hell or if they are all crazy in Radley imagining this up or worse yet that they are all still in the barn having their sleep over before school starts and this was all a crazy dream— then I’m done.

That being said, I’m still going to watch PLL because I started it and now I have to finish it, no matter how painful and cookoobananas this has all gotten.