18 December 2014

Another semester down, a page and a half from now

I have about a page (and a half) to write on a research paper, some cleanup to do on the works cited page, one last look-things-over review, and then I can hand the beast in-- which will end my semester. Considering I should pass the class-- I hope I'll pass the class, although I'm not that worried. I'll have completed all of the assignments and only missed class once all semester. I was still homeless when the semester started, fer cryin' out loud, me being a couple of hours of work away from actually completing a semester is pretty good. I'll be nervous, really nervous, until I see the final grade posted. I very rarely drink anymore, but there's a bottle of good Irish whiskey that's going to surrender a couple of ounces upon seeing a passing grade.

It's been a hard semester. Academically, the coursework has been easy-- reviewing journal articles and writing research papers isn't anything I haven't done before-- but I've also been trying to adjust to Life After Being Homeless for which there is no manual or textbook. I've been doing it on my own, too. My Vet Center person transferred to another city early this fall, and while the Vet Center did call me to start up going back again I've not called them back. A big part of that is just being tired of therapy, and rebuilding, and managing, and being in transition, and most of all being in 'the system'. I really do loathe the idea of having to explain my situation with the PTSD and the problems in school and the homeless thing yet again to someone who needs to be caught up on the story.  What's he or she going to say or suggest that's new? Same goes for the mental health clinic at the hospital-- I've been through all of the therapy. What else are they going to tell me that they haven't already?

I haven't been taking my meds very regularly lately either. I take a handful of pills every day-- pills to improve my mood and even out the PTSD, pills to reduce nightmares, pills to help me sleep, pills to lower my cholesterol and blood sugar. Go ask Alice. The diabetes ones are the worst, and I've thrown up the whole mess plus meals several times lately and otherwise felt generally sick most of the time because of them. I'm also tired of taking pills, and the number of them I have to take in a day seems insane. I went from an occasional aspirin a few years ago to fourteen pills a day now. I also don't take them some days because it bothers me to have other people see me taking pills constantly-- I'm on campus most of the time, and I just don't like to let people know about my business. Diabetes right now looks to me like an indication that over the past two or so years, I've aged more than normal. A lot more. I look in the mirror and I'm not always sure I recognize the face staring back at me. So many things used to be that no longer are.

I've applied for several hackathons in spring 2015 and even been accepted to one already-- MHacks, at the University of Michigan. I'm also on the organizing committee for the inaugural MadHacks at the University of Wisconsin. Hackathons are definitely not something that most people my age are into. I'm without fail the oldest participant at every hackathon I attend, and most of the time people assume I'm with a sponsor or I'm a mentor at the start of the event. After 36 hours of hacking, when I'm standing next to my laptop pitching my hack, more than one other hacker has just laughed and said "Yeah, you're a hacker all right. Damn."

Just in case life hasn't been enough of an adventure so far I'm starting to look for an internship for next year somewhere in California-- Silicon Valley, I am so looking at you right now-- but I have a research paper to finish, first.


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