Sorry that I’ve not posted in a while. It isn’t that I’ve fallen away from blogging, but rather that, like always seems to be my lot in life, I’m too busy trying to solve problems and then find myself too exhausted to blog.
I’d hope this would be a “look at all the amazing things that I’ve accomplished/have happened to me” so far in 2020, but no, I’m stuck trying to solve an ever increasing list of problems. A while back I did a blog post entitled, “Sometimes the Bear Eats You,” and while it isn’t quite that bad, it is creepy closer and closer every day (esp. since the calendar turned to 2020). Here is a look at one of those problems:
A Tale of Two Offices: Financial Aid & College of Graduate Studies
So, I won’t go into excruciating detail about the problem (believe me, I could), but the basic crux of the problem is hours: Financial Aid Office says I don’t have enough while CGS says I have the appropriate amount.
Basically, it boils down to the fact that now that I’ve finished my course work and only have Dissertation hours left, I only need to use 3 of them a semester. This is fine for CGS as long as notify them with a form (which I’ve done) and get signatures from two relevant professors (which I’ve done) and then they’re supposed to notify the relevant offices and all is good.
However, that’s NOT what’s happening (of course not, otherwise my life my not be so hectic and stressful and I might actually get a chance to work on my blog–or the 50 other things that I want/need to do). When I went to “talk” with CGS yesterday, they assured me they talked to the “bursar’s office,” but apparently that is not the same as the Financial Aid office as my Financial Aid was NOT applied.
When I went to talk with the Fin. Aid office, I was told that I didn’t have enough hours–that 5 hours was the mandated federal limit for hours (even though I’m a PhD student working on my dissertation and am not taking “classes” per se–I STILL have to “honor” this stupid requirement if I want Federal Financial Aid).
Living Graduate Student Life as an Undergraduate Student
A similar, but slightly different problem caught me out last semester and put me on the backfoot that helped to keep me behind all semester (a significant contributing factor to me not getting work on the blog as much as normal last year) as I had to go down to the wire in order to get Financial Aid at the 11th hour. I like MTSU, I really do, but large colleges really need to do more in terms of either lobbying or engaging with their student population to lobby on their behalf about changing regulations that are detrimental to their student populations.
As a graduate student, it is assumed (in the university, at least) that I know how “do school.” I’m expected to know how to research, how to manage my time effectively, how to teach (a major part of my Graduate experience as I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant), and how to do all of the major “school” functions as necessary. Yet, the Financial Aid office (and the regulations they operate under) treat me like an “undergraduate.” Why, if I’m working on a dissertation, do I need the archaic “5 hour” rule? I’m not a neophyte who is taking federal money just to sit around and do nothing–I’m a neo-professional, who is trying to learn the craft of “being a professor” (being a GTA) while also producing something original at the same time (the dissertation). The only thing the 5 hour rule is doing is blocking me and keeping me from my goal. I have to have the financial aid in order to continue here, but I can’t get it unless sign up for an arbitrary number of hours just to prove to the “US government” that I’m not a “layabout” sponging money off the American Taxpayers (money that I will have to pay back, I might add as the only financial aid good ol’ Uncle Sam provides at my level are Federal loans). Sorry to break out an oldie, but it is one of those “things that make you go hmm.”
As I’m sure you might have noticed from my acerbic parentheticals, I’m not happy about the situation. I wasn’t thrilled the first time I was caught up in this morass, and I’m even less thrilled to be going through this a second time. Anyway, hopefully the year will get better so that the tone of the blog posts can improve. However, if the beginning of 2020 is any indication, it’s going to be a llllllllllllllllllllooooooonnnnnngggggggggggg year (and I had so many high hopes as Sealab 2020 was a fun show that I often watched as a child. I find it amazing how a year can go so wrong, so early in its tenure.
Please consider supporting these fine small press publishers where my work has appeared:
- Purchase HawkeMoon on Amazon.com (Paperback) or eBook
- Purchase Dragonhawk on Amazon.com (Paperback) or Kindle
- Purchase WarLight on Amazon.com (Paperback) or Kindle
- Purchase Ship of Shadows on Amazon.com (Paperback) or Kindle
- Purchase Faerie Knight on Amazon.com (Paperback) or Kindle
- The Independent (Sci-Fi Short-Story)–
3rd Draft of 3 Drafts
Drafting Section 2 (of 3)
Mythic Mag. Deadline = January 31, 2020
- I, Mage (Fantasy Short Story)
Pre-Production Phase (Planning)
Pre-Writing on Rough Draft & Character Sketch
Mythic Mag. Deadline = July 31, 2020
- Current Longer Work-in-Progress: Ship of Shadows Graphic Novel
(Sci-Fi) Issue # 2, Currently on Script Page 32
Personal Deadline = December 30, 2019