Dear Diary Posts 2003-2008

1 Jul 2008 My Grades and My Boyfriend’s Move

So I actually did pretty well this past six weeks. Two Bs and 1 A. I am excited about that. I can work with that. Definitely. I haven’t made any decisions about the future quite yet. I have applied to some more jobs. I have applied to a couple that a friend of mine sent me from her job, and I applied to one my boyfriend sent me from his job, four in all. I also have a lady to call about jobs in technical writing, and a few other options. Hopefully, I will get some interviews soon, and some job offers. Preferably in Orlando where my boyfriend is.

My boyfriend moved to Orlando on Friday. He is officially a Floridian! He’s been to work already, and so have I. I had to leave him last night to come and work for my aunt. I need all the money that I can get right now. I am also waiting on all of my announcements to come in the mail so I can send those out. All while still taking two classes.

So, to recap…two classes, graduation announcements, graduation party planning, boyfriend just moving into the area, finding a job, finding an apartment, teaching my Sunday school class, working with Single’s Ministry, and keeping my sanity. Yeah, it’s a lot.

Beyond all the stress is my boyfriend. My boyfriend being here makes everything less stressful. He is very logical, practical, not at all flustered like me. He worries a little, but not about me. He knows I’ll do wonderfully. Not that my family isn’t equally reassured, but it makes so much difference coming from him. Although he is very much invested in what I choose to do. The main problem that I am having is not whether or not I want to stay in Orlando, but whether or not I will be able to find a job that pays the bills AND allows me to stay in Orlando. I am praying about it, and applying for everything that even remotely fits. That’s all I really can do, is keep trying to find something.

Please pray for me and all of these major life decisions that are upon me. I have five and half weeks to secure a future, at least for the next year (the usual term of a lease).HELP ME, LORD!!<P>In need of guidance,

Erica
21 Jun 2008 An Issue

So here’s an issue that I am wrestling with at the moment. So I do have one job offer. I have, for the past few summers, worked for my aunt. While working during that year off, I also worked the entire year for her, full-time. Now she wants to hire me. You see, my aunt, at present, owns two group homes and is in the process of acquiring another. Over the years, I have gone from a regular group home worker, working with clients in the group home, to being the activities coordinator and working with clients, to doing paper work and other administrative duties (typing, emailing, faxing, answering phones) being activities coordinator and working with clients. What she wants me to do now is to be the administrative assistant. Basically, all paperwork and mailings, ordering, billing, phones, faxing, grocery shopping, and ensuring all the group homes run on all four cylinders.

I don’t have a problem working at the group home, especially if I make enough money to get my own place. In fact, I was the one, back when we only had one home and were contemplating house two, who put forth the idea of me having such a position. The problem is I would be 2 hours away from my boyfriend (we’ll get to him later), who is relocating to Orlando partly to be closer to me. While it’s not out of state, gas is expensive. I haven’t, however, found a job, a roommate, or a place in Orlando. Whereas here, I have a job tailored to me, with assistance in finding a place and moving.

Drawbacks–not close enough to boyfriend, nothing to do here, and no health insurance with this job. I am considering my options. Do I take the job on a conditional basis for a year and see where it, and my relationship with my boyfriend, leads. I don’t want to let his preferences control what I decide, nor my family’s. In truth, if he was not in the picture, I wouldn’t hesitate to at least give the job a try. I all ready know most of the job, I don’t have to interview or work hard to get the job, the expanded role would look wonderful on my resume, and I will be near family. But I like the new church family that I have in Orlando, and I have become involved there, teaching Sunday School, participating in Singles’ Ministry, and going regularly to Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night services.

What’s a woman to do?

Erica
17 Jun 2008 Trials & Tribulations

I have run into so many roadblocks that I’m not sure there’s any road beyond the point where I am right now. I keep meaning to relate some of it here, but with all that’s been happening it’s hard to find the time. At present, I am sitting in my apartment in Orlando, Florida (yes, I’ll have to explain that later)wondering where the heck I am going to live in seven weeks, and who is going to hire me for a job when I graduate with my B.A. in English Literature (also in seven weeks). If you actually have been counting, yes, I am one year and a summer session late for graduation, and I am in a completely different state going to college than I was when I last wrote here. So here’s comes the explanation part, or at least a shortened version of it.

I ran out of money at Purdue, tried to go to Oakland University in Michigan but never got financial aid, then worked for a year in Florida to establish residency. I finally ended up here in Orlando at the University of Central Florida, which was a major blessing. Even if my financial aid had come in at Oakland University, I would have had to do a lot of extra time. As it is here, I’ve only had to do a regular school year and a summer session (because summer sessions are mandatory, and I don’t want to drag this out into the fall), which puts my actual college time at 4 years and 3 months. In short, I am pretty much on time here. And I only had to take 7 regular school year classes and 5 summer session classes (shoot me!).

Now, all of that sounds a lot more wonderful than it is in practice. In order to do this, I have had to take, as mentioned, 5 summer sessions, which is like taking 5 sixteen week regular semester classes in six weeks. I have 3 now, all upper division English courses, and starting next week Creative Nonfiction (a writing workshop) and Physical Science (yes, I did save the lab science til last…and?) On top of which, I am trying to find an apartment, as my lease here is up July 31st, and a job, as…well, you need one of those when you no longer get financial aid checks to pay for rent and food and gas. I just had the disappointing experience of getting a rejection letter for one of the best jobs I had applied for, and I haven’t heard from most of the other places yet.

As for my writing, I wrote some really good things, particularly in my creative writing intro class, and I submitted some pieces in December of 2006, but I haven’t submitted anything lately. I’m too busy imagining myself starving, working at Wal-Mart with a degree hanging in the break room that everyone throws darts at, wearing the orange traffic jacket and chasing down carts in a Florida thunderstorm. Okay, so that was melodramatic, but it’s looking that bad.

I don’t have time to get into the other issues with you. But trust me, there are others, like the graduation party I am planning for myself while doing all this other stuff, and the potential roommate who I can never catch up with to fill out applications.

I need a vacation.

Erica
6 Sep 2007 It’s Been a Long Time

It’s been a long time since I’ve used this diary site, and that was intentional. I had some things going on that I wanted to express elsewhere because there were people here that were familiar with me. There has also been a lot of unfocused energy, a lot of frustrations in my life. There have been a lot of things that had been allowed to lapse to retrieve other things. I’m glad I had the time to deal with those things, to do what I needed to do. Now it’s time to get back to me.

This diary is no longer about being an almost grown woman. I have grown into a woman, not just because of age, but because of experiences. But I have found that there are still adventures (and mis-adventures) to be undertaken, and there needs to be a space in which I can experience and relate them to the world at large.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers, as Langston says. I know what that means now, on more than just an intellectual level. So, I am trying to reconnect with myself, to find out who this new woman is, beyond the sadness, and the trials, because those things are not the only things that make a woman. Those are the things designed to break or refine a woman. Neither one of those has an intrinsic negative value; sometimes being broken is the best thing for you and accomplishes what refinement can’t, even if it just proves to you that you can be broken, that there are still weak places in you, no matter how invincible you have grown accustomed to thinking you are.

So much has changed, and yet so much has stayed the same. I’ll take you back down what for me is memory lane and get you up to speed with me…tomorrow.
27 Apr 2005 Family History

I’m trying to do my family history and that is not going like I want it to. I thought, for whatever reason, that this would be an easy process once I got a few opening pieces, that with all the technology and information, it would be a cakewalk. Well, there is no cake and no walking. I feel like a snail. I haven’t learned much of anything. I am just covering the same ground. I still don’t know my paternal grandparents’ names or birthdates. I do know what number child my mother was and how many infant deaths/miscarriages her mother had, stuff you can find on her birth certificate, but I couldn’t find birth, death, or marriage certificates for her parents. I know nothing about my father’s mother and father at all. I know how my mother’s parents died, but not much of anything else.

Don’t really have anything else to say. Just wanted to check in with you guys.

Family tree looking,

Erica
17 Apr 2005 Still Biting

Side note: So I procrastinate a little. Big deal. I always do and it brings out the best in me.

This appears to be a season for premature senioritis. The days are longer and beautiful, there is warmth out there and a chill in my apartment, I have nearly 2,000 songs on the MP3 player and a few pounds to lose to get right for the summer–it’s just all too tempting. This week is the last quizzable, testable week of the school year! Next week is dead week, and the first week in May is finals week! It’s all too close and yet too far away! The agony!

Let me not lose it before I finish out this semester. I need to finish strong and cement some A’s and B’s fast. You know? I cannot stand the thought of getting all this way with great grades and finishing weak and ending up setting myself back a pace or two. I need my scholarship money back. And the only way to get it is to keep focus. So, I’d better go and write this rough draft. I can’t afford to lose points on it. Peace.

Bit by senioritis too early, and tired of getting bit. Need shots.

Going to be vaccinated,

Erica

P.S. Peace, Love, and Hair grease. Footer

11 Apr 2005 Priorities

This week I have to get my priorities in order. These teachers keep coming up with new and exciting ways to test my patience and try my nerves. I have no caffeine in my apartment, nor in my veins, no money, and no fast food. It’s not fair exactly how much of a disadvantage I am at. I have six classes instead of four or five, three of them English and another philosophy, which translates into a lot of reading. I also am behind because of recent illness and teachers piling work on me so heavily that other classes get neglected. As a matter of fact, I have so many assignments due this week, plus going in to work, I just may have to give in a pull a few all nighters. From here to summer vacation is packed so tight I can’t even zip the suitcase. Isn’t it amazing how professors tend to think that their class is the only class that you have to take? They never take into consideration the fact that you have so many other classes and commitments.

Well, I would love to tell you all about the other happenings in my life, but frankly, I don’t have time to. I have to get sources for papers and the like, so I will write more later, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow. If I don’t write for a while, it’s obvious that I’m buried under a pile of work.

Procrastination came back around and bit me in the behind.

Sitting carefully,

MissThang22485
8 Apr 2005 Can You Hear Me Now? Good!

I’ve spent most of my day programming phone numbers into my new cellular phone. I’m IN, as in Verizon Wireless In program. There’s no other great, pressing matter that I can write about. I just thought I’d share.
6 Apr 2005 Just Counting the Days

I’ve already begun to count the days until this torture is over. My roommate is nuts, my teachers are nuts…I am beginning to think I’m the only person here that hasn’t gone nuts.

Okay, so my roommate has been nuts all school year, but that is beside the point. She is driving me crazy. She has dirty dishes that have been in the kitchen since before Christmas break, her futon is constantly piled high with stuff, and her whole spring shoe collection is in our floor. Everything she wears ends up on the bathroom floor. And to top it off, she is never here, in this filth that she’s created. She’s always at her sorority house or at one of her friends’ apartments, so I’m the one suffering. I feel like a recovering alcoholic…I have to take it one day at a time to keep from hurting her.

My teachers all of a sudden realized there are only a few weeks of school left and they have things left to teach us–lots of things. So I have lots of last minute tests and homework that makes me feel like they are trying to find my breaking point. I have enough work to do without all of this.

Financially I am so broke it is not funny. I can’t even make ends meet because I’ve taken so much time off for sickness.

So yeah, life sucks right now.

Counting the Days,

Erica
4 Apr 2005 Stress Runs in my Family

This whole past week was beyond stressful, and the stress continues. March Madness has nothing on April when you’re in college. So I have so much more work to do, and I had to increase my hours at work, so that means more work to do in less time. And of course, the weather is not cooperating. It’s so beautiful outside, you don’t want to do anything but sit outside and enjoy the sun and warmth.

So to add to typical stress, my mother was kept in the hospital overnight for–that’s right–stress. Of course, no one bothered to tell me all the details until well after it all.

So I figure that a major portion of the “stress” that my mother was hospitalized with is me, and my whole financial situation this year, so now I’m wondering whether or not to come back next  year because it’s so much stress, and not only on me, but on my family as well.

Oh well, I have a stat test to fail so I will have to go.

Getting the most education for my buck,

Erica

P.S. Peace, Love and Hair grease. Footer  28 Mar 2005 Attack of the Green Eyed Monster

Don’t even pretend you don’t know what the green-eyed monster is. Jealousy. I don’t really know if it’s appropriate though. I mean, for one thing, I’m not a hater, and for another, jealousy is hostility to someone believed to have an advantage, and that’s not really the feeling, either. This is one of those times when I wish I knew one of those words for feelings in another language that doesn’t translate into English, one that means…well, let me just explain the situation.

I’ve know Jessica about four years. We went to high school together for two years. Jessica just happens to be a really good singer. I can carry a tune, but I’ve never been the person to sing anything in front of anybody. I’m a writer, it’s my calling. So anyway, I met her when she was a freshman and I was a sophomore in high school. Flash forward in time. I’m a sophomore in college, struggling, and she is recording her first album.

I don’t call what I’m feeling jealousy, because I don’t want to quit college and go to New York to cut an album or anything. I don’t want to sign album jackets, or give live performances. The problem is that here I am, 20 years old and not having published a major work, and I’ve been doing this all my life, and she’s 18 and meeting big names and recording and doing what she’s always wanted to do. That makes me feel behind. It makes me antsy. It makes me think “Why am I not publishing now? What am I waiting for? Am I any good anymore?”

I hope this trip to Florida comes through. I haven’t heard anymore about it from my aunt yet, but if it does go through I’ll have a wealth of material to work with. I really want to look into my family history, to hear some of those stories and see where I’ve come from. I’ve been really getting the impression, from whatever instincts for writing that I have, that there is a story that needs to be told there.All I need to see is the picture on all the aunts’ and uncles’ walls of the house they group up in– all framed, all the same size, to know that there is something in that shack that need to be let out.

I have to talk about a Shelley Poem in a paper– actually two stanzas of a Shelley poem, Adonais. It’s credited as being a poem in defense of the imagination, and features a weeping muse, Urania, responsible for elevating man’s thoughts from the terrestrial to celestial. I want to know where she is now.

Courting Muses,

Erica

P.S. Peace, Love and Hair grease. Footer
26 Mar 2005 Might as Well Start from the Beginning

Well, I won’t begin to tell you exactly how much stuff you’ve missed, dear readers! Nearly a year! I will just give you a brief overview of the highlights and lowlights, pledge to be better about writing, and responsibility, blah blah blah…

Academically, I only passed one of those classes I last wrote about, ethics, and failed Great American Books, Old Testament Survey, and Horticulture. It was awful. For the first time in my life, I had to beat family members to the mailbox to hide a report card. And of course, since I wasn’t proudly flashing it around and demanding money, everyone asked me about it, how I did, etc. It never ceases to amaze me, my family does. I don’t think you can come across a group of individuals who will not only use your success to belittle other members of the family, but delight all the more in tearing you down. It’s one aspect of my family that, until that point, I had only been slightly aware of, sort of a vague discomfort. But once it started with the grades, it didn’t stop. Then it was, what are you doing with your hair? Why don’t you keep your eyebrows up? Why aren’t you grateful for all we’ve done for you? You sure are getting fat, aren’t you? So much for the ties that bind.

Over the summer, I realized so much that I had done wrong, not, as previously, so much that had been done to me. I claimed responsibility for my failure, I refocused and determined myself. I fell off the bike, but I had to get back on, but I had lost my scholarship and I wondered, how am I going to pay for this? I never questioned coming back. Too many people were already counting me as a failure, just waiting for the grand unveiling of how badly I’d fell so they would know how heartily to laugh. I had to prove to myself again that I wasn’t a failure, that college wasn’t going to defeat me.

So I came back. I went straight to work. I got a 3.2 with 15 credit hours and working 15 hours a week. Now, I have 18 credit hours. So far, all A’s and B’s; I just have to find a way to maintain. Anger got me through the first semester. Anger and a desire to prove that I deserved that scholarship that I was given, but now I realize I didn’t prove that. That person that got that scholarship already had the credentials to prove she deserved it, but she didn’t have the skills to keep it. I just proved that, this year, had it been last year, there would be no questions about my abilities and qualifications.

Because of the loss of the scholarship, I don’t have much money, but I found a few ways to cut corners and make this thing work.

P and T moved off campus, so I don’t see them anymore, around campus or at work. I never did go back to the Black Student Union Board meetings. I found the most wonderful group of people at the CSC. I have been so much more involved this year, and I’ve talked to them a lot more personally, and I feel like I have a little space carved out for me there. It’s amazing what God has been doing in my life. He’s really made a way for me this year, to get back to campus, to pay for classes and housing, to create deeper friendships, to be a better worker and co-worker at my job, and to be a little more responsible than I used to be. Last year was horrible, but I had to go through it to be this person now. Who you are is a direct correlation of the decisions you make to how you allow those decisions to influence future decision-making processes.

Well, have to go and be productive.

Reunited and it feels so good!

MissThang22485

P.S. Peace, Love, and Hair grease! Footer

Wow, a 3.2 GPA.  That’s pretty good.  I have the same right now.  Keep it up.  Taking 18 credit hours can be brutal, but I’m sure you can maintain.
22 Apr 2004 Responsibility Means What?

Yeah, well…that whole real deal Holyfield didn’t happen…but I’m sure you guessed that. I did a good job of Holyfielding that ethics class, though. I haven’t missed a class since March 2, 2004, which is over a month ago. I got a 93 on the midterm, a 96 on the 3rd exam, and I am well on my way to passing the final. The English class–not so hot. I am behind two papers and a book–the hardest book of the semester, and the final project is coming up. I have two weeks to watch nearly forty lectures, take two exams, a final exam, and do a final project in one of my online classes, and the other one isn’t a big concern b/c I have until August to complete it. But with all that to do, of course I can’t say much, except someone shoot me please, and thank you.
26 Mar 2004 Working on a Wing and a Prayer

I haven’t written in FOREVER, but for a very legitimate reason…I did eventually buckle down and pull the biggest hat trick in academic history, yes, but then I got in a car accident over winter break. I came back and started second semester off right– with a bronchitis infection that lasted a good month. To top all that off, mid semester I had to drop two classes and pick up two online course due to complications from my back problems and bronchitis. So it seems that I am right back where I was the last time that I wrote, hoping that I can pull another academic hat trick. But don’t worry about me…I am gonna do it again…I had a three-peat going last year, and, in that respect, college really isn’t any different. Once I can concentrate, can buckle down and do it, I will finish it and finish it well. The hard part is always getting my lazy behind to the point where I CAN concentrate. I have pretty much fixed my ethics holes up nice, but English is waning and my two online courses aren’t moving fast enough (one because I need a VCR to watch lectures, and one because I get a headache just looking at it!)

Right now my hands are crusty from working in Pots & Pans today, my back hurts, my throat hurts, and I am tired…so I think I will shower, nap, and then get to the real deal Holyfield on this homework. Wish me luck, this responsibility thing is nonsense!

Wanting to be a Toys R Us Kid again,

Erica
1 Dec 2003 Whoa, Nelly!

I am so happy to be back at school after spending Thanksgiving in Tennessee with my dad. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped, which wasn’t very well itself. I am still trying to figure out what his problem was the whole break. Leave it to Dad to ruin my first trip off campus in three months. But anyway, I am back and now it’s time to get to work again. It’s time to buckle down and focus on this schoolwork and make sure that I go to work everyday I am supposed to so that I can be more responsible.

I just found fraudulent charges on the debit card. I think I need to get a new one and try all this mess again, because I keep getting charges for things I didn’t buy and haven’t benefited from. I should have gotten the secure Visa or something. This debit card ain’t working out. Which reminds me, I have to clear my credit report. I don’t think I like being an almost-grown woman anymore. Check that: I don’t like being an almost-grown woman with jacked up credit and a lot of bills. <P>Drowning in debt,

Erica
21 Oct 2003 Life Has Got to Get Better

I haven’t been doing well lately…too much pressure to do better in school, too much pressure to look good, too much pressure to ignore and avoid p, someone I thought would be my friend and has turned out to be nothing more than yet another source of pain…wish I’d never started talking to him…He called me today yelling at me because my friend called him and cussed him out because of the way he’s been treating me. I didn’t say much, just kinda let him blow more hot air, then proceeded to say goodbye as soon as possible. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you have the right to frustrate me by yelling…I tune yellers out anyway, I am not good with confrontation when I am already sick and tired anyway…I’ve been unaccountably exhausted for days  now, dosing while walking down the street even. I wasn’t in the state of mind to tell him what I really felt like saying, how I really felt. It doesn’t matter because he didn’t even listen to the little that I did say. I just will avoid him from now on, because I don’t want to deal with him at all anymore.

~*~safely gives you a hug~*~
~*~only if you want one~*~
~*~TeamOpenArms~*~
20 Oct 2003 It’s About Time!

I know, I know, I haven’t written anything in a long time, but I have been busy not doing what I’m supposed to do. Hopefully that will change. I try very hard to keep up but it is not working very well at the moment. This diary isn’t the only thing that I have been neglecting. I really need to concentrate on my studies before I get sent home Christmas break and I am told not to come back.

Other than that, life is  better, it really is. I am not just saying that to convince myself it is true. Ok, at the moment life really sucks, but it  does have the promise of getting better. I am trying to get out of the habit of d/l a lot of music and buying stuff I can’t afford at the moment. But you know, it’s really hard! So I don’t know what I will do…and I also know that I won’t figure it out sitting here right now, so I am going to go to bed. I will write more later, especially about my exploits with P and T…I’ll explain who T is tomorrow.
30 Sep 2003 Adventures in the Little Shop of Porn

Yesterday, I was bored around ten-fifty and had nothing to do. I went to visit my favorite student dorm employee, Angie. I was surprised to find that Angie was in a good mood. Usually she is so “I hate my job”, but tonight she was, in her words, “all about it”. She invites me to go with her and her friends to hang out and I’m like sure. But guess where we end up? You got it, the porn store.

Well, to start off with, Priscilla’s is not exactly the type of establishment you think of when you hear the words “porn shop”, it’s of a more upscale quality, unlike some shops that give the whole grouping a bad reputation. Now, to start of with, there is, in plain view of the street, a large display of female undergarments. It is not one of those seedy looking brown buildings.
26 Sep 2003 Too Many Tests!

Well, this seems to be the week for tests and mean teacherdom. I am so tired of studying and cramming and cramming and studying that I don’t know what to do. I have already taken two test (on the same day) and turned in a first draft (the next day). Tomorrow, I have two more tests to take. Ugh, why can’t college professors learn to spread things out, converse with one another like the CK faculty and decide which department can test which day? But they have too much arrogance here; college professors think you live and breathe for their class and their class only. Well I have news for you: I don’t! I have other classes that are just as important. I have a job, and I am trying very hard to have a social life. Stop screwing it up!!!!!

But I digress. I have to get started soon, so I won’t right much else, but I want to give you an example of why our learning community is failing to be a real community–our one unifying factor seems to be food. When we were told there was going to be free food at the study session, everyone was game, hey yeah, let’s spend time studying and having fun with one another. But once the teacher announced that we weren’t able to get pizza, no one showed up for the study session. I think that’s the story of our learning community right there. Sad, isn’t it? We all dislike one another for some reason or other, very few people in the community hang out with each other outside of the classroom. It’s strange, how so many people can have classes together, study  together, and manage to hate one another still, after all of that togetherness, but it happens. People are successful at it, too. It should be an Olympic sport. Anyway, that’s basically it for today. I’ll write more later.

Crammin’ like a Salmon,
Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease; Read the Footer

I know how you feel.. I had a test Monday, I had a paper due today, 2 tests today, and a test tomorrow… There’s just no time for anything else…
21 Sep 2003 What is There to Say?

Well, life has gotten better. I have been doing a lot of things with the Christian Student Center and it has really been helping me to focus. I know now that I cannot hold on to anger over stupid things, but I can’t really say I am horrified with myself for feeling that way. We all have our petty moments, all feel like little kids who need to have a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store when Mommy won’t buy the cereal we want. God, our father, gives us a sharp tap on the behind to straighten us up. Mine was almost losing a hundred dollar check in the PEFCU one touch machine, and beginning to fail classes because I am trying to worry about someone who has no place in my future. My horizons counselor asked me, “How would you feel if you had to leave after this semester?” That question really stuck with me. Above all else, in whatever arena, I don’t want to be a failure. So I have to let the petty things go so I can have a free hand to grasp onto the important things.<P>Quote of the day: “Filling up holes inside you is an inside job.” Anne Lamott, Author
17 Sep 2003 Boys Suck!

P is back in the picture again in a very dumb way. He talked to me earlier today. Here’s how that went:<P>I tell him that I got money and did he want to go shopping with me. He tells me that he will if I buy him something (just kidding). I say well what does he want? and he says “u”. and I said whateva and he says for real. A little while later, he says, like another famous jerk from my past, that his friend wrote those IMs and he didn’t say any of it. “I don’t remember saying that. My friends were using my computer.” ??????????

America, Britain, Canada, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and others, I am tired of boys sucking! Where are the knights in shining armor? Who kidnapped them and where are they holding them hostage? I say we women form a search party and find our men! Their absence is making my heart not only grow fonder, it is making me sick!

I am too upset to say anymore.
16 Sep 2003 No Name Woman

I hate how college is turning into high school all over again for me. I thought that when I got to college it will all be different. People will be more accepting of individuals and how individualistic they are. They accept you as long as you are true to yourself. There is no mold to fit. And with 40,000 people on the Purdue University campus, you are bound to make at leat one good friend.

Well, the more things change and all of that rubbish just happens to be true. I kept forgetting that the people who are college freshmen just moved away from being high school seniors. The residue, the stink, of being in high school is still upon them. They are still petty, hung up on looks, catty, cliche-ish, wary of people who are different. They look at you and judge whether or not you are worthy of their conversation, which usually doesn’t amount to much. They spread malicious gossip. They tear you down when you try to do something positive.

I am too young to be this tired of things, but I am. I feel like if I speak up in class, I will be labeled a goody two shoes, as always. I feel like if my hair isn’t straight and nicely kept, I will be ostracized. I feel like if I do not try to hang out with every black person, I am “selling out”, just the black people don’t feel like being burdened with my presence, so I end up in this oxymoronic state where I can’t win.

Enough analyzing of that. School is going ok, but it could be going better if I could make myself have the motivation to do things in certain classes. I got a new time management schedule that I have to follow for the week and see how it works out. I am still very much broke but I am expecting money. Yeah, and that’s really about it for me.

Your disillusioned writer,

Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the footer.

14 Sep 2003 What it All Comes Down to

Basically, people are the same no matter where you go. I thought that being in college would be different from Cranbrook, that I would be able to meet people who had souls that had “grown deep like the rivers” to borrow from Langston. So far, I’ve only found souls as deep as puddles. It’s the same stuff, different place. The petty, catty female things are still going on here. I mean, this is not high school, but right now, some of us are just too close to it to grow apart from it. Some of us will be in our senior year of high school forever. It still amazes me, though, how we can be so intelligent and driven that we got here, but we are being driven by others so very much. Yes, I say us because I can be just as petty. I’ve come to find that growth is trial and error, no one gets it all right the first time. That’s why you are almost grown, but not quite, for so long.

I just thought I would share that, you know, unfortunately, it doesn’t get better right away, at least, it hasn’t for me. It will though, because what it all comes down to is… it has to rain to fill the rivers.

Overflowing,

Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the footer.

11 Sep 2003 Purdue University Student Health Center, aka PUSH

I spent the afternoon in PUSH, the health center. I have the most aches and pains I have ever had at one time in my life right now. All because I needed money. You see, my dad sent me fifty dollars through Western Union, which is a lot farther away than I thought. I walked at least six miles before I figured that out and got a ride the rest of the way. Then I was talked into playing capture the flag. Yeah, so I over-exerted my muscles and now am on prescription painkillers and I was told to “take it easy”. In college, yeah right, because we don’t really do anything here. I am not sure that I can take it easy, but I will try my hardest. I am not trying to think about September 11, 2001 today, it just makes me sad.

I feel bad, and I have a lot of homework, and I don’t have much else to write, so this will be a short entry. What can I say? I’m a busy girl now. I just joined a new club–Student English Association. It seems like fun. I was the only freshman at the meeting–bummer. But that’s okay. I will still do things with them. Other than that, I have not done much with my day. Well, I will write more interesting stuff tomorrow. I promise.

Hurtin,

Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the footer

10 Sep 2003 Classes, Classes, Classes

I have mentioned just about everything that’s been going on with me except what my classes are like. Since I have 16 credit hours, a considerable amount of my days are spent inside the classroom, so I should at least touch on the interesting points. Well, there aren’t too many, but here it goes:

Introduction to African American Studies: I really love this class! There is a lot of reading involved, but I feel like I am not only learning about past events and people, but that I am also learning about myself. I have always loved history, as long as I didn’t have to become bogged down with a bunch of dates and “important bills and acts.” The teacher is a little on the odd side. He reminds me of a grown up Urkel, and he goes off on little spiels about current events or points that we haven’t gotten to yet, and he sweats excessively, but other than that, he is a really nice guy and his class is really.

The 1960s: A Decade of Diverse Groups, Ideas, and Causes is a very interesting class in which we learn about the origins and events that take place during different movements in the sixties, such as the civil rights movement, women’s lib, the Anti-Vietnam war movement. Our teacher has a dry wit that reminds me of my old history teacher Mr. Pierson. He is a good teacher, encourages everyone to participate and to form their own opinions on the material that we cover.

Math for Liberal Arts Majors: This is the lowest math I could take that will count towards my core curriculum requirements. It is going pretty well so far, better than other math classes that I have been in…we’ll see what happens. I sometimes get distracted because the Grad Student who teaches our course has a very intriguing accent…I sometimes find myself listening to it and not what he is saying…that could become a problem…

French 202: This class is mostly sophomores and some juniors. It is the last class to complete two years of college foreign language. It is an okay class, because 1. Our teacher is not really French, and 2. The kids in the class just want to be done with the foreign language requirement. I love French though. I don’t know what is going to happen in that class.

English Rhetoric of the 1960s: This class is paired with the 1960s class to form a Learning Community. It mainly deals with the way that rhetoric influences/prompts change in society, and how the rhetoric in the 60s helped to shape  the way that rhetoric is used today.

Well those, thankfully, are the only classes that I have. I hope that I will be able to keep up. I have 16 credit hours, which sucks, but not as badly as some people who have 18. I would never do that first semester–talk about suicide! I am cutting down my hours at work. While I would love to work all of those hours, I just don’t have time to do homework and go to club meetings, and to do everything else that I want to do with that many hours. I will miss that fabulous check, though. but my health and well-being is more important than any amount of money.
8 Sep 2003 New Events

I finally got a job! I am so happy to be a part of the workforce, even though I hurt in places I only knew the names of from Anatomy. Now I know for sure they exist! I work in Dining Services, doing all kinds of stuff. I haven’t really enjoyed any of my jobs so far, but I am so grateful just to be able to earn money. There is so much that I would like to buy to feel more integrated into the life of a college almost grown woman. Like tomorrow, I am going to find a place to get my eyebrows arched, find a hairdresser that I can both trust and afford, find a signature scent at the mall, and try to expand my wardrobe.

I haven’t had much contact with P since all of that stuff happened between us. I guess it is really over, even before it began. I don’t really know how I feel about it…It all happened so fast. I thought that P was a nice guy, but now I am not so sure. The girl that I saw him with keeps giving me these mean stares, but I don’t have time to play childish games. I am not going down that high school road with her. I have a lot more pressing concerns on my mind right now. As far as everything else, goes. You know the drill. Well gotta go…a busy day tomorrow. See ya when I see ya!

Busy
Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the Footer
4 Sep 2003 It’s a Small Campus After All

You know, you’d think on a campus with nearly 40,000 other people, you’d be able to avoid one particular person, but no, not at Purdue! Since there are so few black students here, just like at my old school, they all seem to find a way to congregate together. Now, being the conscientious, concerned African-American student that I am, I am truly interested in joining the Black Student Union. Of course, that will mean P every time we have a meeting, or every time he decides to show up. I really don’t have anything against the boy, it’s not his fault he’s capricious–he’s a male. But that doesn’t mean that I want to be confronted with his capriciousness every time I want to be around other students of color. You cannot hide from people around here, but then again, maybe that’s the point. A grown woman doesn’t go around hiding from people just because she doesn’t agree with them/doesn’t feel like being bothered by them; she has too much stuff to do in the day to be worried about who might be at this place when she gets there, or who she might see on the way to this place. I do have a life to lead, however mediocre it may seem compared to some of the heavy partying, continuous hooking up, and regurgitating that the average freshman here seems to do. No, I won’t say the average, I’ll say the very visible minority.

On to other news…I have finally gotten my books due to an emergency loan, so I have been catching up on my homework…I finally got a job, working 20 hours a week, where I get free meals during the time that I work, which means I actually get to eat more than once a day…I am finally getting into the swing of college activities–I went to two club meetings tonight, trying to find a club or two I would like to join. Of course, the Black Student Union was one of those. I am not sure if I will continue going. I have to reevaluate that one, what with P being in the club and all. Anyway, I just hope that I can keep up with all of my commitments and make the most of my first semester.

Chewing it over,

Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the Footer.
2 Sep 2003 Sunny Side Up

Well, after a rather hectic day of wrestling with financial aid officers for money to live off of, we finally reached a truce: I will refile for the two loans and they won’t send me packing! On the up side, I did get an emergency student loan that covered my books and tonight’s dinner. I have to stop payment on some fraudulent magazine subscription…I hate it when people take my kindness for weakness! I’ll just order from the legit place endorsed by the school. How dare he try to take my money and run, I have some news for you, you…fraud! But this is supposed to be all on the up side, so, let’s see…I have two job offers. And I found me a church home! Yay! I am going to bible study tomorrow, trying to iron out my schedule so that everything fits in.

I am going to have to find the time to catch up on all the homework I couldn’t do because I didn’t have the books…got a quiz Thursday in French and just got the book, which is always fun, but I am good in French, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Gotta catch up in math, gonna suck, but that’s no big deal either. Separately, none of it is a big deal, but together…well, together you have a reason for me to get out of this and do some major homework.

I put more money in my fledgling account…now to keep that piranha of a man’s hands off my hard earned cash. I could get food with that…or I could leave it be and just be happy to have a lil money…but I really need to wash…we’ll see who wins the dilemma.

Anyway, must needs that I go…oh, new quote of the day: His tongue knows no Sunday”

Not resting,
Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the footer.
1 Sep 2003 P is for Pathetic, Playa

Critical rule number one for an almost grown woman: almost grown men suck! I am so tired of guys who will lie to the death, even with confronted with the evidence of their games. Remember that guy, P, that I was telling you about? Well when it comes to jerks, P wears the crown! He had me laboring under false pretenses, saying that none of the girls up here were his type, how he couldn’t wait for me to get up here, how he wanted to “scoop me up” before all the other guys up here.

Well, ladies not only is talk cheap…it’s free, with no warrantee, and not considered a binding contract! He gets me up here, and he completely, after one meeting ignores me. Then I see him coming from some girl’s bedroom at 2 a.m.! Now, I may be a novice at the whole dating game, but I can certainly take a hint the size of the Eiffel Tower! If you didn’t want to be with me, why didn’t you say so? What is wrong with saying what you want? I don’t have time for nonsense. I’m still figuring out who I am; I don’t have time to figure out who you aren’t. Life’s too short and the line too long for good men to be hanging around with a loser in disguise. So, now I am single at college…single and looking. Not seeing very much though, wondering if I should get some glasses.

Anyway, on to other news…got duped into buying a magazine subscription that I can’t afford…another smooth talking male, but a really nice one. I have gotten another book for class! Only three more to go. I am still looking for a job, but right now I am also enjoying my free time. Have yet to get a comment on the diary…someone please write me one! Please!

Where’s the love?

Erica

P.S. Almost grown men suck. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the footer.
27 Aug 2003 Boring–Don’t Know Why

I don’t know why I’m writing today…just didn’t want to break the chain of days I’ve written, I guess. The only thing I can possibly write about is a few of the character sketches I did sitting in the lounge yesterday…well, tell me what you think of them:

1. It’s the first time she’s seen a black person before. She can’t hold my presence in her eyes, so dispenses it out of the wide “O” of her mouth. I think it’s funny, really, the way she swivels in the front seat, eyes wide, face placed on the glass like an enchanted child looking through a Macy’s window at Christmas. I guess to her I must be CNN walking along State Street. To me, she would have been one dumb hick in Osh Kosh overalls, engaged to cousin Bobby up the creek with the big factory job in the big city. But today, she’s a college student with no education.

Changed my mind…that’s the only one I’m gonna post.

Bored to the Brain,

Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Reader the footer
26 Aug 2003 First Day of Classes, Day 2–Bills, Bills, Bills

I am officially a debit card user! I finally had enough money to open an account at the credit union. I only have seventy dollars in there so far, but it’s way better than the 32 cents total I had to my name yesterday! Still haven’t been able to get books and already have homework. I will e-mail the teacher to work something out. Paid my phone bill (hopefully it’s enough and not too late). Still haven’t found a job, but I’m still filling out applications. It’s so hard being a new adult; I have no credit, no job experience, and, at the moment, no way to get either. Finally have enough money to do laundry. Really need to budget so that doesn’t happen again- no weather-appropriate clothes clean, no food, no school supplies. I really appreciate all the help I’ve had though. Anyhow, on to classes…

I didn’t have a class until 3:30 today, so I took care of some pressing business, as you read. My French class is really fun so far, I feel like I know what’s going on for a change, but who knows how long that will last. The teacher is not French this time, so I don’t think she will be as harsh on the pronunciation as Mr. Dagbovie and Madame Fuzet. But I don’t think she will be a pushover like Mme. Van Tassel, either. The people in the class mostly don’t want to be there, which I think is really sad. I really love the French accent, I’ve always wanted to be able to speak the language because it’s so beautiful when spoken properly. But anyway, I can still enjoy it without them.

English is going to be a really great class. Purdue is interweaving technology and research with their freshmen English programs; therefore, I will be able to learn how to use computers more efficiently while also learning to be a better writer. Also, there is no book for the class; our teacher spent the summer making these eBooks for us to use with the class, as well as making a blog for us to post things to. The eBook has all the features you need: you can highlight, use post-its, dog-ear a page, read an annotation…it is really like a textbook, and she gave it to us for free!!! She is super nice too. But she talks a little too fast for me.

Anyway, today went way better than yesterday…what with math and that teacher not showing up, but I have those classes again tomorrow…maybe it will be better.

Hoping for more attendance,
P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the footer
25 Aug 2003 First Day of Classes aka Professor Bueller’s Day Off

Well, the day didn’t start off exactly as I’d planned. First of all, I got to class on time (smile). Secondly the teacher didn’t come at all. Seriously! I sat in the class the entire fifty minutes and the professor never came. I don’t exactly know why, but at exactly 9:45, this one guy jumps up and leaves, starting a whole tidal wave. I wondered if maybe he was our teacher conducting an experiment? Well, enough of my conspiracy theories, here’s the low down on the rest of the day…

Well, it turns out that quite a few of my new friends are in my learning community, which, for those who don’t have them at their college, are groups of freshmen interested in a particular learning community. It’s purpose is to keep students enrolled at Purdue–i.e., they are trying to keep people from flunking out of switching schools. The politics side of it seems really fun, but the teacher seems like a real taskmaster. There is no slacking off in his class. He wants you to be on top of everything, no half-steppin’. Anyway, the class is up and running…we gotta read chapters in the book already, avidly participate, and no one has the book. Oh well, I guess he can’t get mad at us if no one does it…can he?

Math sucked, as usual. We had to take a placement test. The questions were really easy but, as usual, I froze on a lot of them and couldn’t get the answers out. It is so frustrating for me because it never happens in any other class, I don’t know what the problem is, so I can’t begin to find a solution…I can only hope this year will be different. I don’t want to end up failing our getting too low of a grade, because I don’t want to lose my scholarship, you know? But anyway, all I can do is try my best, something I don’t think I’ve ever done in any math class since algebra 1. But this is a new beginning, a new chapter and I have another chance to be good at math! Not real excited about it though.

I saw P today, walking with a female friend of his. He never even acknowledged me. Ok, so maybe he didn’t see me, but it felt like a brush off, and something inside of me couldn’t breath anymore. I had pinned so much hope on this relationship, I guess, that every little thing has me scared that it won’t work. He’s been ignoring my messages all day, as well as avoiding me personally. Well, look for First day number two tomorrow…

Come back with my sanity!

Erica

P.S. Peace, Love and Hair grease. Read the footer.<P>

24 Aug 2003 P’s Visit/ My Roommate

P was supposed to come over yesterday, but he ended up getting here this morning. I stayed here all day waiting on him too. He is really sweet though, because he walked a long way at 2 am to come see me. He looked like he was really tired and dead on his feet, but he came anyway! We just sat around and talked for an hour or so, just kickin’ it. Then he left because he was tired and had a long walk ahead of him. I think that it was sweet, but I don’t know whether or not he likes me as a friend or something more. I just got a weird vibe from the whole thing–a lot of tension. I don’t know, maybe it’s just my low self-confidence rearing its ugly head. I sometimes feel like no one likes me, not really. Even though I know it’s not true, it makes me sad. Anyway, maybe we will remain friends and maybe we will be something else. Only time will tell. I don’t want to push him about it, you know? I’m trying to be mature about the whole thing, but I don’t know what a mature relationship is like. I had very few immature ones! I don’t know what experience P has with relationships; I never really asked him. Maybe he thinks I’m childish. Oh well, I can’t change that, so moving on.

My roommate is finally here! I am, so far, really happy with the pairing, but she’s only been here a few hours and we haven’t spent that much time together. For those of you not at Purdue, we have this evaluation to fill out w/ our roommate to set some ground rules about the room, general stuff like use of property and having guests over. We haven’t done it yet, but I don’t expect there to be any problems w/that. I am so ready to get to know her, study together (she has two of my classes), and live together. I have had a roommate before, but I didn’t get along with her on a friendship level; we just took up the same space. I hope this time things will be different. Maybe they will maybe they won’t, but I tell you, you missed out on some stuff that year. If only I’d known about this then…hmm.

Anyhow, she seems laid-back and not too pushy so we will see how it goes. Well, I won’t let my insecurities get the best of me. I have a long day tomorrow. Look for the first day of class one…sure to be interesting.

Hey come back with my self-esteem!,
Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Reade the footer
23 Aug 2003 First Frat Party

An old acquaintance from high school invited me to her boyfriends frat for a party tonight. I wasn’t doing anything special so I went. Now, just for reference, I’d like to reiterate something: I’m black. Kappa Delta Rho is a predominately white fraternity. So in short, there I am, just me and the token black guy, character #1. Now, characters are typical people for typical events. I will refer to them often, so pay attention.

Character #1, aka Token Black Guy, is very easy to spot, and not just because of his color, no, no, no. He is Uber-black man. He is darker than average, with dreads or a fro, great at all “black things (in this case, having rhythm)”, yet willing to deign himself to party with the white crowd. He drinks too much, doesn’t say a whole lot, and is a major follower.

Character #2, also at KDP, is your token light-weight in the drinking arena. Light-weight drinks like a heavy weight until he is TKOed by his drink of choice. He is usually an underclassmen, who will insist he isn’t really drunk yet “he’s only had a few.” He sways when standing still, asks you the same things every five minutes, starts to talk and forgets why he’s talking, and is either a happy drunk, a sad drunk, or an angry drunk. They will talk constantly about nothing. Beware, they are fun to watch, not to talk to.

Character #3 is the happy drunk. Happy drunks laugh at nothing, smile a lot, and talk a lot. Even so, they rarely remember anything you say for two seconds, and ask you the same questions every five minutes, like a looped pre-recording. “What’s your name? Cool, cool. What’s your major? Really, I think English sucks. My mom’s an English professor. What’s your name? cool, cool…” Happy drunks are harmless, really, just not a lot of fun to the people who try to keep them from alcohol poisoning. More Characters tomorrow (Did I ever meet a cool guy? Stay tuned to find out). Until next time, read the footer. Peace, Love, and Hair grease.

23 Aug 2003 P!

Even though P and I are still deciding whether to stay friends or move forward, I feel like today is going to be a very big day for us. P is moving in today, which means that we will get to hang out, something that doesn’t happen with him living in Indianapolis and me in Pontiac, MI. I guess that’s the great thing about college, you meet people from all over.

Anyway, P is a sophomore here at Purdue and I am a freshman. It’s still a little difficult for me to believe that he doesn’t already have a girlfriend. Someone like that isn’t usually left to waste away on a college campus with tens of thousands of people on it, but then again, I think I am a pretty good catch, and I am all alone too, so maybe people are just clueless.

I can’t say that I know what will happen today. Maybe, after spending time together in person, we will decide to be just friends. Maybe we’ll have too much chemistry to stay that way and start dating. Maybe, after a while, I’ll grate on his nerves and he will forever avoid me. But what I do know is today is a day to be different from the girl Erica I was and to step into the new Almost-Grown Erica that I am becoming. I am working on the being shy around guys thing, so hopefully I won’t do anything really embarrassing. I am so excited!

I am not one of those uber-women yet, the ones who know how to put on make-up, are always color coordinated, have a signature scent, know how to talk to guys, who have the ability to read a guy and mold herself into his perfect woman, so needless to say it is taking me a while to do stuff…I couldn’t decide on a scent to wear, I couldn’t choose any outfit (nothing seemed quite right), my shoes are specifically matched to the outfit, and don’t get me started on my hair! I am just a mess, but P seems to like me being me, lip gloss, tennis shoes, large behind and all (no, not fat, but I have junk in the trunk, just a little :-)), so I guess I need to just relax and be myself. However, myself is alone, therefore, would it be so bad to want to be someone else, just for a little while? I mean, I know everyone knows that girl who has no problem getting any guy she wants. Don’t you sometimes wish you could have her charm, her wit, her looks, her natural grace? Speaking as the most graceless female you will ever come across, I do wish that. I wish all those things sometimes, but I have to work with what God gave me.

Anyway, I’ll stop complaining now and hit the showers. Maybe my roommate will be here today. I’ll write later about P, my roommate, BGR (explain later), and continue the exposition on the Frat character types.

Suddenly Desperately Seeking Susan,

Erica

P.S. Read the footer. Peace, Love, and Hair grease
16 Aug 2003 Doing the College Thing

Well, first of all, sorry I have written in a while, but life as an almost grown woman has gotten pretty hectic, what with getting ready to go off to college and everything. I’m sure you know from the last entry that I had more help than I needed with learning how to care for a woman’s appearance, but no one prepared me much for having a woman’s spirit. I really needed the resilient, make-a-way-out-of-no-way spirit of some of my foremothers to get through all of the trials and tribulations of just getting here. First, remember all those people who were caravanning me to school? One thing I can say about my family, they talk a good game but none of them step up. My aunt took the time off and went to a wedding; grandma did the same; my uncle Danny, the only one with a legitimate excuse, has knee problems and has a UVB infection in one of his eyes; My great-uncle didn’t want to miss the annual Dream Cruise; and everyone else didn’t bother with an excuse. Our power was out in the biggest blackout in U.S. history from Thurs. until this morning (Saturday). I couldn’t find a rental van, we had no driver, no gas stations were open, and I was about ready to freak, but I told my mom, we are going to get me to school today, and I went and talked to my great-uncle again and got us a driver.

We managed to get a big minivan. At first it didn’t look as if my stuff would fit, but I said, “I’m not leaving anything. We’ll make it fit.” and we did. We got stuck in traffic because a moving van was on fire, we drove through dark, stormy weather for over half an hour, but we were going to get here, and I’m here now and I can’t wait to get into it.

All that adversity really helped me realize how much I really want this, and forced me to redefine myself. All of the beauty tips were really helpful, but I am here to gain the intellect of a woman, not necessarily a male counterpart. That, and signature scents, can come later.  Well, must finish unpacking. Look for a series on first college experiences coming up. You know what to do. Peace, love and hair grease.

7 Aug 2003 Bad Day

Today is not a good day. As a matter of fact, the past few weeks have been nothing but bad days. The stresses of getting ready to go away, really go away, for the first time are really getting to me and the rest of my family. Each and every person feels like they are doing everything by themselves, and even if it’s not true, it really does feel that, at least for me. It doesn’t help that I still have to do my usual chores as well as pack everything and make all the arrangements and decisions and keep track of everybody else. My stepfather has been getting on my nerves even more than usual, especially since my nerves are already on overload. He has been sliding little comments into the conversations that make me upset, like saying, “Oh, you only clean up once a month anyway, so what are you complaining about?” or telling my mother while we talk about what all we have to do “Y’all doing all this stuff for her, I just hope it’s worth it?” As if I’m not going to graduate or make something of myself. I have enough of my own reservations without somebody else’s someone who’s supposed to be on my side anyway. Don’t even get me started on my real dad. He has been promising to take some of the financial burden off of us, but so far he didn’t pay for the U-Haul like he said he would, he didn’t take me to register, which meant I spent $60 unnecessarily because of him. Of course, everyone is helpful enough to point out all of these things that I need to have to go to school and they know where to get it, but nobody has any money to buy any of this stuff that’s supposed to help me fit in. My family feels like certain things are beneath them, but they don’t seem to realize that no matter how high class they act, we are still poor and they can’t just say, “We are not going to be ghetto” and have this or that when no one has any money. We have to do what we have to do. I don’t know, it’s all just stressing me out. And now all my aunts and my grandmother are trying to make me into a “lady” trying to teach me to accessorize, wear make-up and start getting my eye brows arched, as if instead of going to college I’m going husband hunting. I feel like my head is about to explode; Oh, and I didn’t mention all the pressure about my roommate. Apparently, “she has no idea what she’s in for.” Oh, and she’s a freeloader who isn’t bringing anything and I shouldn’t let her use my stuff. I’m too nice. Oh, and since I’m arriving before her, I should take the best spaces for myself; first come first served. Sometimes, I wish I actually had the resources and the maturity to do all of it by myself, because everyone is driving me and themselves crazy. I can’t wait another week to leave. I was supposed to be leaving tomorrow. I was going to stay with Jackie, she and my mom were going to take me to school, and that was it. Now the whole family is going, including my grandmother to oversee things. Ugh.
26 Jul 2003 A Look at the Old Me

“So now my journey begins anew. It’s not going to be an easy one, I’m sure of that. I have decided on how to go about this Great Awakening and transformation…”

What the heck was I thinking when I wrote that two short years ago? I “decided” how I was going to learn how to be me? I was going to “transform” myself? I can’t believe I was that naïve, and, I’ve been assured, I am still not in the know about much of anything, I’ve only hit the tip of the wisdom iceberg. I guess, in defensive of my two years younger self, that it was a step in the right direction to at least be open to the fact that I was going to change, embrace it, actually, and begin to prepare myself for that inevitability. I’ll say one thing for her, when she was tired of being unhappy about something she did something about it in her own little way. I am really happy that I got to know her, have grown, since I was her, to love her and her idiosyncrasies. I am thankful for the window into her soul I have through those journal entries. I guess that’s the real reason why I still keep a diary. My initial reason was to document everything that Jonis ever said to me or did to me, or any other boy for that matter. Even though it started out a little less than correctly, I got around to talking about me and my feelings aside from boys eventually (although I still mention them from time to time.). Okay so on to my writing, I’d love to fix this, but here’s the original for a comparison to later versions:

Bag Lady

I’ve never found my nickel bag to be a heavy weight,
Always thought that it was to be my fate.
I just put it in my Sunday purse and started on my way.
Not knowing all the bags that I would collect that day.
I met a guy and made an expedient exchange,
My heart for his suitcase was the deal soon arranged.
I went along my merry way to church, but stopped to take a look
And ended up trading my beauty for a bag of books.
If I can’t be beautiful I’ll dress ready for sex
Wear an out that speaks for my mouth, beckoning “Who’s next?”
Never realizing that to be sexy, you need not to dress hoochie,
I traded my common sense for a bag made by Gucci.
But I couldn’t afford Gucci, my nickel bag low on cash,
So I traded in my Gucci for a bag of trash.
The bags began to weigh me down, my strength began to wane
I tried to handle them all by myself, but they caused me pain.
I finally, finally came to the House of God,
Went timidly inside, afraid of his chastening rod.
But a tender voice said “Now that you’ve finally come back,
Leave your bags with me and leave her intact.
So I dropped my bags there, except my Sunday purse,
And although it held a lot of things, the bags I’d had were worse.
Erica Denise Hearns

Today was the kind of day that occurs in the middle of the summer to let you know that the sun’s warm rays won’t favor you forever. The clouds blocked any influence the sun might have had on the temperature, and the wind cried shrilly through the trees as if searching for a lost child. The oppressive atmosphere put me in a rather depressed mood. But then I came across a card from my old Self-Portrait teacher, and another from Amy telling me not to waste my talent, to keep writing, and here I am.
15 Jul 2003 Dating or Not Dating, That is the Question

P and I have entered into that slippery part of a relationship between friendship and dating. We’ve sort of been doing this balancing act, carrying on as usual, even though we both know it’s a little strained. My little cousin asked him if we went together and he says, “Ask your cousin.” When people ask me if we go together, I say, “Not yet,” or “We’re just friends.” Somehow, though, those answers are becoming more and more inadequate. I can tell that P really likes me, and he’s a real hard to find kind of guy, but I still don’t want to jump into dating him, possibly ruining our friendship, and have nothing to show for it. Then again, I don’t want to be his buddy, the one he shares every aspect of his other relationships with while wondering what might have been. Dear readers, please answer this question for me: What have you done in this situation, when you were in that slippery spot? Did you go for it or did you sit back and pretend like everything was the same? How did it turn out for you? Please help your fellow almost grown-up. Peace Love and Hair grease. Reader the footer.

13 Jul 2003 Catastrophe!

Remind me never again to go anywhere with my step-cousin, “Jacklyn”. We went to the mall yesterday, took 2 buses and an el to get there, but we got there. Once we got there, not only did she spend the whole time perusing for boys and collecting phone numbers, she left me. Mind you, I have never been to this mall, and she leaves me to go traipsing around with some scrubby looking guy who wasn’t all that cute to begin with. So, I ended up having to look for her. On the up side, I met a cute guy from Mississippi, but he had two gold teeth (ugh). I am just happy to be back. The heels were killing my feet! Then, she never did tell me my aunt said to call when we got there, or to be back around six. According to her, it was “Just gettin hype,” so we stayed until they closed the mall at 9 and it took us until nearly eleven to get home. When we got home, we got cussed out, and I didn’t even get to go bowling. I’ve been waiting to go bowling since I got here. Now, her daddy’s got us working like “Hebrew slaves”, all because she wanted to be fast. I don’t have time for this nonsense. How old am I? Thank you! But she’ll learn what’s what one of these days, cause you can’t tell young girls nothin’. And far be it for me to try to be anybody’s momma. I don’t have kids and I don’t want any.

Staying out the pimp game,

Erica

P.S. Peace Love and Hair grease. Read the Footer
10 Jul 2003 College Registration

Yesterday, I registered for college courses. Yay! Well not really. Sixteen freakin’ credit hours! As a freshmen. Shoot me now! Don’t you hate that, when you have it all planned out like, yes 12-14 credits this semester, 15 next, move on up as we go… and then here comes this perky white lady enrolling you in sixteen freakin’ credit hours! What the…? Stick to the plan lady, you messin’ me up…

Isn’t is great being on a college campus? You can smell freedom in the air, along with alcohol and funk from men free from showers. Speaking of men, I was happy to note that there are quite a few young black men at Purdue gettin’ their education on…all shapes and shades too. Whatever your pleasure. Tall, short, feminine fine, or ape ugly, you feel me? Of course, the guy that look like he thirty is the one that was eyeballin’ me. Are you serious? Aren’t you supposed to be at home with the kids or somethin’?

So, now that I am officially a college student (I got an ID and everything!), I guess I am supposed to be more adult, act more sophisticated, do adult stuff…but I think I’ll pass right now. Sophistication is hard, girl! You have to stay calm, dress nice, walk gracefully, sit properly, eat neatly and quietly… that’s a lot of effort. Let me be ghetto for a couple more weeks. Why can’t I tell this fat heffa that is in my face to get out of it before I make her eat that weave on her head? Why can’t I roll my neck and snap my fingers, sit like a thug, prop my elbows on the table? As for doing adult stuff…I don’t want to do that. Paying bills? Not my idea of fun. Responsibility? Girl please, I can’t take care of pet fish. But hey, I’m still learning. Besides, I still haven’t gotten the mature relationship thing down either… Apparently, neither has P, so I guess we’ll learn together. Well that’s it for now. Peace love and hair grease! Read the footer.
8 Jul 2003 Viva La Vacation!

I am in beautiful Chicago for the next two weeks… ah bliss, what a pleasure to meet you! I’m sorry about that rampage I went on the last time I wrote, but sometimes you’ve just got to get it all out there. I have to register for school tomorrow, which promises to be a day of endless papers to fill out and countless places to walk to… my feet are throbbing already! As far as being an almost grown woman is concerned, nothing much is going on. I haven’t made any adult decisions. As a matter of fact, I’ve been revolting against growing up. Stop the clock! I am never going to be mature enough to save my money to pay the light bill when a great pair of jeans is on sale. I’m not interested in having children or driving a minivan. I don’t like to cook wholesome meals and tell people to eat their vegetables. I most certainly am not ready to run a staff meeting or develop a strategic marketing initiative for a Fortune 500 company. Long live the days of complete freedom known as the college years. Who needs to grow up, just stay in college FOREVER! You won’t have to pay those loans back if you keep going, and you’ll never have to miss a party to cheer at a soccer game in fifty degree weather.

8 Jul 2003 P1

There’s this guy that I talked about earlier, at Purdue to whom I’ve been talking for the past few months. I’ll call him P, not because any of you care, but because, let’s face it, I’m real lazy at this point in the day (4:46 a.m., Chicago time). P, as I said, is a Mechanical Engineering Technology major at Purdue. Sounds like hot stuff, doesn’t he? But before you go off to barf at the thought of you favorite almost-grown woman going down in flames for liking a Tech geek, let me assure you, he is not. He’s really just a brotha out to get paid. I can definitely feel that, even though a sista is majoring in the liberal arts. We are all on a paper chase, one way or another. But that’s getting off track. P is a genuine guy, a real nice Midwest born and bred sweetheart. Of course, me being skeptical me, I didn’t take him at face value… I figured the guy was full of crap and not worth my time, but guess what? He has a great sense of humor, a nice accent (Midwest “twang”, not Nelly-ish, but cute all the same), a handsome face, and… hold on to your seats, my ambitious female headhunters… he has a job. Hallelujah (never did learn how to spell that quite right.)!

Oh, dear hearts, don’t think of me as any of those nasty labels that are floating through your minds… Golddigger, Freeloader, Hoochie… it’s not like that at all. I don’t have a problem with working myself, I don’t have a problem with a guy living at home with his mother until he is out of college and on his feet. But I do have a problem with guys who want to call themselves grown men who sit in their mothers’ basements watching MTV while drinking a six pack, sucking up yo mamas free air, yelling up the stairs, “What’s for dinner?”, and generally rotting away. Get a J-O-B! It’s not hard. I can work with a McDonald’s brotha, just make an effort. But my boy, P, he makes a good deal more money than a McDonald’s employee.

And it gets better. He calls when he says he’ll call, he’s honest, he’s not a hothead (like someone who shall remain anonymous until further entries), and he even goes to church. Amen! All the boy’s missing is the decorative ribbon. He’s so perfect he’s almost gay ladies! But, he’s a straight arrow, and I plan to be the bull’s eye. Because behind every Great Woman is a Great Man’s Wallet. (J/K. Let me try that again) Because beside every Great Woman, is a Great Man, a man who is provider, protector, friend, family, lover, colleague, counselor, and uplifter. And it’s that Great Woman’s job to love, honor, help, and uplift that man. Call me what you will, but you’ll be calling me in my mansion with my crazy-paid husband, a few servants, and a dog. “You have reach the answering service of the P family. We’re too busy spending more than you make in a year to answer the phone. Leave a message and a servant will get back to you. Thanx.” (“Oh, if you insist on a foot rub, who am I to argue?) Peace, love and hair grease, y’all. Reader the footer ~1~

Hello, dear readers. Sorry for the long hiatus, but this new woman is having new woman issues. First of all, the one drawback to being a woman that I’ve discovered is (drum roll please)… I have to get a job! 🙁 My dad no longer has to pay child support, even though he didn’t do me any favors until I was 13, and, since my ability to pay for my education is dependent on having that money, I have to get a job to supplement it. No big deal there, ok. But it comes at a time when I need money for the orientation fee, the internet access fee, the expected family contribution, and money to get a bank account. I don’t have that money, but of course it’s all due within the next two weeks. Not to mention my phone bill… but alas, I won’t bore you with my money woes for the moment, so moving on to other things…

I’ve finally begun the long dreary process of getting ready to leave home and spread my newly formed adult wings. So far, I’ve gotten the laundry thing down, and cooking my own meals. The budgeting and organizing… well, that’s another story. But I have a lot of books to help me out with some of the stuff I need to know. The first book is a book about succeeding in college, and talks about everything from how to buy and sell textbooks, to where to live, to credit cards/charge cards. Another book, called No Disrespect by Sister Souljah, isn’t really about college, it’s about an African American Woman’s life lessons… most of them in her college years. Funny, I don’t think I’ve mention my race until now, oh well, now you know. Anyhow, it’s a wonderful book. The Broke Diaries is just a fun read about a girl in college (Ivy League) doing outrageous things to keep her lights on and get textbooks. It’s hilarious.

I’ve met my first college boy. He’s going to be a sophomore next year at Purdue in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Don’t ask me what that means, other than the brother is smart and he is doing something with himself. He’s a really nice guy and I’m so glad that I met him and I can talk to him. He’s funny, but he’s not a good role model.

I can’t wait to step on campus. It’s crazy. I can be anyone I want to be when I step on campus. I don’t have to be the me I’ve always been, or the me everyone here expects me to be. That’s the thing I love about being a college bound almost-woman. The possibilities are endless! Until next time, read the footer. Peace, love, and hair grease! ~1~
2 Jun 2003 In Memoriam

Today hasn’t been a very good day. I found out some very upsetting news. It kind of puts a damper on the whole happy-go-lucky graduation atmosphere…

My aunt Catherine was in the hospital in New Jersey for her emphysema. She was hooked up to an oxygen machine to relieve her condition. Some incompetent at the hospital accidentally unplugged her breathing machine and didn’t realize it until nearly two days later. So her kidneys began failing and she had to be put on life support. They pulled the plug today…Needless to say death would be a sour note in any song, but it is especially sour when it means that when I graduate in three days, half of my family won’t be able to attend. Sadness…

Anywho, I don’t feel like writing much else… not in a good mood. Footer
1 Jun 2003 Just a Thought…

I didn’t do much today, just laid around watching movies with my friends. Even almost grown women revel in the little pleasures sometimes. Anyway, on to what I really wanted to write about…

Have you ever noticed that when you set out to accomplish something, all manner of things come up to thwart you? Take yesterday for instance. I began cleaning my room, and I developed this plan. I planned to clean up my entire room and study for my killer French exam for a few hours. Well, see what had happened was…I began reading online diaries on my break… then I began reading a harlequin romance novel… then my friends said “Come on, let’s watch this movie,” etc. To make a long story short, half of my room got cleaned. I did manage to make study guides for French today and even studied some. Go me! But I am still going to fail!

I have been bitten hard in the butt by senioritis. I feel like I am completely done, when, in theory, I still have two finals and a graduation before I am done. I’ve tried convincing myself of that, but it’s not working. I am so done, but I am so not done at the same time and all I really want to do is concentrate on my writing and look forward to next year when I will be in college… It’s all so close I can reach out and touch it. Well, that’s enough for now. Peace love and hair grease!
31 May 2003 Is It Enough to Dream?

I hope that I don’t get some crazy roommate, some uptight person that I don’t have anything in common with. I hope I meet a lot of cool people, people that I can hang out with. There are only two other people from my school going to Purdue next year, which is just the way I like it. College is another one of those opportunities to change, if you use it right. I will be in an environment where two people of 40,000 know who I am, or, rather, who I am supposed to be. It’s such an interesting prospect. I can completely reinvent myself, be who and what I really want to be…such a head rush.. I am in love with the new Whitney Houston song “Try It on my Own.” I feel you girl!

I feel like college is still a dream. But is it enough to dream? Am I actually going to risk it, be the person that I really am when I get to college? I don’t know, I’ll probably slip into the shadows, as always. I’m not a person who stands out. But then again, I’m becoming a woman, a very intelligent if not overly attractive one. I have a nice shape and a great personality. I think I can do it. Well, I guess that’s enough ruminating for now, gotta study  for a killer French final. Au revoir (Read the footer. Peace, love and hair grease!)
29 May 2003 That’s Your Opinion…

Being a woman is going to be a lot harder than I imagined. You have to be ladylike at all times– sophisticated and poised no matter how badly you want to act otherwise. Take today, for instance. I’m walking down the street, holding a conversation with my best friend via cell phone, when this woman on the passenger side of a pick up truck yells out of her window, “You look nasty!” Let me assure you, I was not looking “nasty”. True, I did have on my short shorts, but everything was covered, and I only weigh 100 pounds. And besides, was it really called for, her response to my shorts? You see, she is what we call a “hater.” Just because she wouldn’t wear something, or she wouldn’t look good in it, she felt the need to comment on my attire as if she’s Joan Rivers reviewing gowns worn to the Oscars. If I was anything less than a woman in training, I would have yelled back, “How dare you, you huge, masculine-looking human vacuum cleaner?!” This woman thing is going to be a trial by fire, and I’m not so sure that I can handle too much more of it, because, honestly, if she were here right now, I’d punch her lights out! Grrr!(Read the footer. Peace!)

27 May 2003 ID Deficient

I don’t have an ID. I have been eighteen for three months now, and I don’t have an ID. An ID isn’t really important until you turn eighteen, so I figured I’d wait until after my birthday to get one. You get to do all of the cool stuff with an ID at eighteen, you know, like buy cigarettes, see pornos, get a credit card in your name. Anyway, I go down to the Secretary of State’s Office to get my ID, and it turns out that once you turn eighteen, you have to have boatloads of “proper identification” that say who you are, stuff like birth certificate (I can do that), school transcript (I got you), marriage license/divorce decree (hunh?), immigration papers (nope), or driver’s license (don’t you need an ID to get one of those?) So they sent me on my way with a “Sorry, Loser. Come back when you have the proper paperwork.” So I have to wait until school ends before I can get an ID, because I don’t have time to go up there until then. See how life is already plotting against me? I had to get my cell phone under my aunt’s name because I don’t have an ID card #, since I don’t have an ID and all. Ugh!

26 May 2003 To Start Things Off…
I’ve been a slave my whole life– to my family, my friends, my schoolwork– but no more. You see, now I am eighteen (as of 3 months ago), which means that I am almost grown, able to do more than I ever could before. It is finally my turn to have expectations of people, not just having them expect the world of me. It means I can curse out little old ladies who bump into me if I want to–I am not forced to hold my tongue anymore. You know the deal. When you’re a kid you can’t do anything without the threat of a punishment over your head, but once you’re an adult… it’s all about you. But you know what’s real about being almost grown? Making the big mistakes every keeps telling you you’ll make before you get it right. That’s the scary part, I guess. To me, it’s just a bittersweet tingle down my spine, anticipation mixed with anxiety. I’ve been trying to figure out what my big mistakes will be for a while now. Only time will tell. But as soon as I know, dear reader, so will you.

To date, I haven’t had too many misadventures, other than the rapid fall of my grades due to a little thing called senioritis. I will be at Purdue University in the fall (if I pass my finals), which promises to be filled with opportunities for misadventure. Until then… well, u can read the footer. Peace!

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