Leveled up

Another justified hiatus, spurned by necessity. The necessity to learn more than I thought I could.

An Unexpected Triumph:

I survived university level Calculus. This is the kind of math that will make you cry or quit. 8 weeks of classes combined with 8 hours of daily, frustrating homework, tests, tutoring, etc. The only skills I was able to leave with was the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and how to take the area of my cat.

The Costs of Leveling Up

So this is how much the nightmare cost:

Summer School Ouch

I think I overpaid for a class that was HELL to take. It was taught by a nearly senile old man who 1) stank like dirty diapers 2) would constantly forget what he was writing on the board and 3) did not correct anything on time. Visiting him during office hours was HELL because the stench would make you forget all of your questions. I was SO thankful that I did not had to re-take that class.

Learning How to Make My Own Kitch

Cutie introduced me to this program called Blender. This program will enable you to do 3D animation, 3D modeling and 3D printing. I am using it to learn how to make my own 3D models, then print them into game pieces for my board games or how to make my own kitch. There aren’t enough cat themed kitchen items so I’ve decided to start by making my own PLA wine charms:


Best part about this program: It’s FREE!!

The Worst Part: Not easy to use. You can’t directly 3d print from Blender. But you can use a slicing program that is also FREE called Slic3r (which requires a lot of tweaking!).

I have no clue if this type of skill set will be useful in the Computer Science field. But I am going to add it as part of my skill set because it is satisfying to design and print out your own prototypes.

Grinding Teeth

In order to become a better person, I’ve been going to therapy and following the advice from my therapist. It has been a mixed bag. Not impressed. I am still trying to control my anxiety. My depression has improved since I finished that god-awful class. The fact that I am in school is giving me hope for the future.  I also did not quit coffee because it is my elixir used to reboot my brain in the mornings. I do not feel ashamed about admitting this. My mood would be sour ALL DAY LONG and I would be sapped of energy if I do not drink coffee in the morning.





Hindsight and Numbers


This is what most people in the U.S. know about handling money.


I think there is a DIRE, no HUGE NEED to include a basic Financial Literacy Class in every high school in the U.S. It is unfortunate that within the current educational system you’d have to be a business major while attending university in order to have access to a Financial Literary class (or classes).  Hell, the university I am currently attending should get rid of that stupid “Welcome to College” 1-credit class and replace it with that.

Head Explode

My friend made the huge mistake of trusting her then-fiance enough to sell her car in order to help him buy a new car and share ownership of such vehicle. After the engagement ended, both her and her ex-fiance are trying to see who will buy the other out from the car. NOTE: The car is not-fully paid, so they are both still on the hook for the monthly payments.

Why is this making my head explode? Because:

1- I advised her NOT to sell her car in order to help her ex-fiance out. This is taking into account her current financial situation, mobility issues and the fact that access to public transportation is a pain-in-the-ass.

2- The ex-fiance has a 30 minute commute and works full time. My friend is a full-time student with no part time job. Guess who will need a car the most?

3-They both had cars that STILL WORKED. His car was fully-functional (but a few years old). His car was the same model as my current 10-year-old car that has NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER. Her car was able to take her from point A to B but not able to endure longer drives. Her car was able to take her to school and back because she lives 10 minutes away from campus. I use the past-tense because they both sold their cars to buy a new Hybrid car they are forced to share (for now) with shitty car payments because they both have shitty credit.


Pictured above: A an upcoming custody battle


Helping pick up the pieces

So far, I am helping her the best way I can:

-Helped her apply for food stamps (she won’t hear anything about it until JULY 😦 ).

-In case she can’t go to where she needs to go, I can give her a lift (within reason). I can’t skip any Calculus classes for her sake. Because it’s UNIVERSITY LEVEL CALCULUS!

-Helping her find part time work. The irony is too bitter and not worth repeating.

-She has access to the university’s food pantry offered to students. As least she won’t starve ( I hope).

What I CAN’T DO:

-Lend money. It’s more like GIVING MONEY in her case. Yes this is harsh but there is a reason why she has shitty credit. Not to mention Cutie would crucify me for it.

-She can ask her parents for money. Whether they will help her out (again) is up to them.

Love is trusting someone, but be aware of your own footing

This sounds harsh, but as I have stated before, we women have the HUGE luck of outliving the men in our lives and our current situations. I am conflicted about my friend’s situation because I also know women who completely trusted the men in their lives and such trust has paid off for them. But even so, having a backup plan (or even playing Devil’s Advocate) may label someone as  paranoid and selfish but it is part of human nature to try to look before jumping into ANYTHING. I know for a fact that someday, the unexpected can happen to me and to all of those women and we would find ourselves trying to swim to some nearby shore. The unexpected has happened to my friend and I am bitter about it.



Curved Enthusiasm

It has been a long two months, since I last posted.

The focus on academics has paid off: I managed to get a good GPA this semester.

Now for the damage:

Spring Semester Expenses

I managed to save money by doing the following:

1)Choosing a cheaper meal plan

2)Renting my text books through Amazon.com

3)Signing up for 13 credits instead of 14. It made some difference by not having to pay extra fees per credit.

I’ve managed to save some money (wee?), and spent some of it on purchasing a PC netbook/tablet for school:


ASUS X205TA 11.6 Inch Laptop (Mine has Windows 10)

Apple products are EXPENSIVE and if by some weird circumstance I am forced to use an Apple computer, I can go to the computer lab on campus and use one. With this model, it is light enough to help me carry in my backpack, whether I am cycling to campus or driving to campus. I hope it will not crash once I start programing with it in the fall. Speaking of which, this is how much Summer School is going to cost:

Summer Semester Expenses


I’ve submitted all of my paperwork for financial aid, so now it is a waiting game. Once it is approved it is going to be less than a semester’s worth of aid. These are the expenses for ONE CLASS, mind you. So I won’t qualify to take out a loan because I’d have to sign up for TWO CLASSES to qualify for one. And all of us students got the unpleasant news of tuition raises this year (BOO!).  The student loan restriction was definitely conjured up by insomniac maniacs who continue to fail poor students in this country. Once again, I am glad I don’t have to borrow to go to school (for now).


I finally caved in and sought therapy. I thought my depression was well under control (no crying fits or sadness), but the lingering mood of MEH did not change.

I have NO enthusiasm. I am in the constant state of MEHNESS. The best was to describe it is floating in a lake, with little to no waves to surround you. You are not sinking, but you aren’t actively swimming either. You are lethargically floating on the water, not wanting to swim to shore. This state of mind does affect people, especially Cutie.  I couldn’t come up with stuff to do during the short break I had between classes, other than much-delayed errands and house chores.

I tried to push back the idea that this state of MEHNESS is a problem but I couldn’t. Cutie is a WONDERFUL HUSBAND and he deserves the best of me instead of my worst. So I began to bravely muddle through the inadequate mental health system and hope that I won’t fall through the cracks. Or get medicated. I won’t get a definite diagnosis or treatment plan until next month. But at least I can say that I am TRYING. I am TRYING to get better/improve as a person.

Non-Traditional As Possible

When I signed up to join student organizations at the beginning of classes, I’d thought I’d have the time to do to. This was several months ago. I’ve only been to one meeting. I still keep getting emails about events and activities, but these occur when I’m in class or in the evening around dinner time.  I’ve managed to attend a few lectures in order to supplement my education, but they are once in a blue moon, when Cutie is well enough to wait for me to come home late.

Non-Traditional means “life complications + academics”. As in, if I am not studying, I am at home with Cutie. If you are single, there is more time for other activities such as work or volunteering. Great resume boosters with recruiters. But with students with families, life is constantly a balancing act. The “I can’t be an over-achieving student because of family responsibilities” just doesn’t bode well with recruiters.

Parallel Worlds

While my classmates are busy preparing for their sorority or fraternity activities and moaning about lack of time to complete anything, I am busy trying to plan dinner, paying bills and trying to fit in doctor’s appointments. As some of them even complained about their parents giving them crap about issues they are trying to handle, I chuckle in silence. It’s not as bad as it seems. Life will throw worst things in their way so parents are one of many headaches that will be the least of troubles.

The Blow

Whenever Cutie gets sick, my world falls apart. I was having a hard time concentrating on anything and would trudge along just to get some work done. This is something that I have no control of whatsoever yet when I come home, I have to face it full-on and find a way to cope and do the best that I can to help Cutie. Sometimes I have to work on my Plan B in case Cutie’s health deteriorates and would be forced to quit school.  To me, that would be a blow to me for if I were to become a full-time caretaker I would be 1)unable to work 2) not able to contribute to society and be one medical emergency away from homelessness.

Is there any hope at the end of the tunnel? I’m still trying to figure it out. I could use some suggestions.

Pulverize your SIM Card: changing the way you see the world

I am taking a break from schooling to talk about how the way you view the world changes through the process of education. I will explain further by showing an example of changing fields:

When I was studying business and working through my internship, I started to see the world differently: I saw dollar signs on EVERYTHING. This was due to years of studying macroeconomics, microeconomics, accounting, finance, etc. Not only was I able to see things are they are from an economic perspective, but was able to read through language that people would pay other people to sort through. By the time I started working full-time, this vision I developed not only helped me professionally, but personally:  I was able to tackle the dreaded month of April each year without sweating an eyebrow, and developed the ability to read through every STUPID credit card offer that came through the mail and know exactly what it said (and crunch some numbers). I even developed a super-power of detecting coins on the ground within a hundred feet on the streets, in spite of having poor eyesight.


A woman showing my weapon of choice


Once I switched to studying in the STEM field, my vision changed. It was not limited to seeing the world with dollar signs on them: that vision was downgraded (but still existing)  in the personal finance realm and has the same urgency as getting laundry done.  I accidentally developed a new vision this week while studying trigonometry for hours. I began to see every square corner as a damned right triangle and could not turn off this vision before I entered my communications class.  While my classmates were giving boring speeches, I tried to avoid looking at square and rectangular shapes in the room by looking at their shoes.

Converse All Star Black Lo

Thankfully no one was wearing heels that day.

Once that faded, my next accidental vision was brought upon by a lecture I attended at the university. A visiting professor (who shall remain anonymous) is a Computer Science and Chemical Engineering professor that gave a lecture on case studies on how to extract data from every digital device from mp3 players, drones, credit card scanner to cell phones. The cases he and his students worked on ranged from national security cases to criminal cases that you may or may not have read about. Since I do read the news, my heart stopped as I recognized each case in spite of the professor using vague terms like “unnamed retailer” and “White House drone”.  Since this lecture will be used as part of my paper, I took as many notes as possible. By the time the lecture was finished, I looked at my old cell phone and was thankful I did not take any self-incriminating pictures of myself with it. Once I arrived in art history class, every time I saw a smart phone I shuddered. I had the picture of the SIM card the professor showed in the lecture stuck in my head and saw every computer and cell phone as piles of other peoples’ dirty laundries waiting to be sorted out by snooping underwear thieves.



Pictured above: a cuter comparison provided by obeythekitty.com.

The more I studied the realm of mathematics and science, the harder it was to shut the vision developed and saw the world DRAMATICALLY different. Since the society I live in based on consumerism, the vision from business school could fade in to the background of every physical object that surrounded me. But with math and science, it is becoming harder and harder: you start to see more numbers and if you had a background in chemistry, what things are made of (damn you chemistry!).  And every technological device I touched made me wish I were a Luddite. This is why there should be a warning label to each dreamy-eyed high school student who wishes to pursue a STEM education in a university: your vision WILL change and it will be hard to shut that vision off.

A Quick Post Amid the Chaos


Both leaders listening to the Canadian Anthem on the South Lawn at the White House (CNN)

As I was walking through the student union at the university, a large screen TV showed the CNN channel displaying the News Conference that President Obama and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau held at the White House’s Rose Garden. I stopped and looked at the screen for a long while in disbelief.

Was is possible that amid the political chaos that there is a ray of hope that sanity will be restored to this Republic?

I actually felt like crying. It was as if somehow in spite of the hateful lunacy that is tarnishing the reputation of this country, somehow someone is willing to visit this place to talk. Having lived in both countries, I can truly say that is takes bravery and a sense of conviction to continue with the duties assigned as representatives of their countries.

The students in the union, sitting in their couches and chairs ignored the news cast because the political media has been too much of a circus to bear. But I didn’t. For once I had a positive experience from watching the news.


Preparing for the long life


Above: Two Women on a Boat. Artist Suzuki Harunobu (Japanese, 1725–1770). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

More than once, I have gotten a few head bumps with Cutie about why I care so much about money. It is not about greed, I countered. But it doesn’t help that I did study Business for 5 years and used that knowledge professionally and to manage our personal finances (so far, so good!). I consider the gain of knowledge successful because it has helped aid in our survival in a industrialized society. However, such successes are short lived because like farming crops, there will be times of harvest and times of drought. This is why I care about money: to survive the droughts.

Some of my single friends have told me how lucky I am to be married because I have someone who will financially have my back in case I lost my job or some catastrophic economic event that would occur. Their views are in hindsight: they don’t realize that all married women at some point or another, will end up living without their husbands because they mostly outlive them or divorce them. They think about the times of harvest but not the times of drought, when you’ve only planned for 20 years of retirement but end up outliving that by more than 20 years because well because nature hates us.


Above: A monthly reminder

I have seen first hand the family history: all of the women of my family outlived their husbands and once they have became widows, they have scrambled for low paying work because they didn’t qualify (experience or education wise) for decent paying ones. Or found themselves penalized for being out of the job market for too long because of their child-raising and family obligations so they try to seek support from their grown children or from the government in the form of welfare or Social Security payments.  Some got lucky when their children were able to help, some weren’t and were forced to sell their houses and move into public housing.  I don’t want to share such fates. That is why I go to school and switched to a hard field (Computer Science).

In honor of International Women’s Day, we should all celebrate and acknowledge that as women we have many gifts but we also have a major drawback: the longer we live, the more we have to prepare for that long life. We women have to acknowledge that if there are gains in science that will allow us to live longer (men and women alike), we women will more likely out live men even more and with that brings the necessity to plan ahead.  And planning ahead includes financial literacy, continuous education and continuous participation in the workforce.  Because the awful truth is that we are all in the same boat in life and we women will be the ones left sailing after the crew has passed on.