Grad School at a Glance
Ashland University MFA
A whole new world
Don't you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath - it gets better
I'm like a shooting star
I've come so far
I can't go back to where I used to be
-- from Aladin "A Whole New World"
Orange chalk -- I'm hoping some Tums will settle the flip-flops
in my tummy. We haven't even left the house yet.
I feel so content sitting on my recliner with Bast on my lap. She
knows I'm leaving and is trying to use kitty charm to change my
mind. Joseph, on the other hand, is using the teenage whine. It
won't work. It's time. Here I go....
Freak out and panic time. I want to go home right now!! Wait...
Now it works. I can connected to the wireless. I guess I'll stay
This apartment is huge. It's a maze and I'm little mouse Angie.
Lamps are wonderful things. To find a lamp means there is a cord.
A cord means there is a wall socket. Un-plug the lamp, plug in
assistive technology. It's easier to find a lamp than a socket.
The freak show has begun. Get yourself a good stare. They say i'm
equal to you. Don't worry. I know i'm just a charity case.
Mobility is a nightmare. It takes me forever to walk from one
building to another. I'm exhausted and out of breath when class
God, this is not going well!
Skipping dinner so I can take a short nap.
Major disaster -- Braille labels fell off the microwave, and I
can't get it to work. All I have is popcorn and frozen food.
Met two dogs on my way back to the dorm. They gave me my first
real smile since I arrived here.
There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see
This is a land of confusion.
-- Genesis "Land of Confusion"
I start each day with a three hour writing workshop with four
other new students. These will be the students and instructor for
Fall. I thought the small class setting would help me keep up and
be able to participate. I was wrong!
Everything is so fast. I'm a total dud here. I need to find the
bell tower to hide in.
Mobility issues have been worked out. I've got a wheelchair and
someone from the university will drive me across campus to the
cafeteria. I'll have time to eat and won't lose so much of my
Talked to the terps about their need to slow down and be clear. I
guess they are having trouble keeping up, too. Everything is such
a giant mess. If I wasn't so damn willful, I'd just go home.
I can now work the microwave. That's a small miracle.
It just gets worse. I couldn't sleep last night. I was fussing
and worrying. So my muscles never relaxed and now I'm in really
bad pain. I decided to skip the morning workshop. The professor,
who is the director of the MFA program, is totally understanding.
I need to remember that I'm not in this alone.
I took a hot bath at 5:00 AM, slathered Biofreeze on my neck and
shoulders and tried to go back to sleep. I got a few hours.
Scott would be proud. I ate a full meal for lunch, including
meat. I figured I need the protein. The Oreo pie was just because
it's illegal not to eat it.
The fancy dinners are a problem for me. I just don't like the
food. I'm not getting enough to eat. I didn't bring much food
with me, and it's running out. Someone is going to shop for me.
I'll have fresh food, too.
They serve muffins and fruit in the lobby before the morning
workshop. The muffins are awesome but really messy. The fruit is
not cut. Unlike the other students, I can't eat during class.
I'll be eating breakfast in my dorm.
Biofreeze is a blessing.
I think it's funny when the visiting poet wants to meet me. I'm
like, "Hey, you are the star and successful writer. Why do you
want to meet me?" But I don't say that. This time it was Rosana
Warren, author of "Ghost in a Red Hat." We will study that book
in the Fall.
My food has arrived! I've already started on the Oreo cookies and
grapes. I think I need a banana before bed. Since Scott isn't
here, I'll just have to eat a banana.
The biggest shock of all time: I am having a good day. The
morning workshop was great. I was able to participate more this
The daily schedule
9:00 to 11:45 Workshop with Dr. Haven and four other students.
(I'm the second youngest in the group.
1:00 to 2:30 Craft seminar
7:00 to 8:30 Reading
Next Tuesday I have to meet with Dr. Haven about my plans for the
Fall semester. I'm glad he thinks I'll still be here in the Fall.
A girl wrote a phrase about the "howling of the hounds."
The class felt it would be better to say "barking of the hounds."
I suggested "baying of the hounds." Dr. Haven loved that. Well,
thank you my little half Beagle, Starr, for making me look so
Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
-- From The Weird of O "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
Sometimes these interpreters frustrate me. We have a professional
relationship only. I'm used to interpreters and SSP's who are (or
quickly become) friends. It's far more formal here.
They always want to make sure I'm making the decisions. I have to
be very clear about things. The workshop is over. Everyone has
left the room. There's one hour for lunch. A driver is waiting to
take me to the cafeteria. I must say, "I am ready to go to lunch
Using the bathroom became an issue today. First I had to decide
which bathroom to use. I've never been to the restroom in the
cafeteria. We decided to go to the other building, because it
would be easier to push the wheelchair in there.
The terp was very precise in asking where she should park the
wheelchair. I said I would walk into the stall. Honestly, i'm
only using the chair to make mobility easier. I CAN walk. But she
put the chair to the left of the toilet. I got out of the chair
but couldn't get past it to reach the toilet. It's ridiculous
The building my classes are in is called Scar. That's not how
it's spelled, though.
Another day is over. Now the mighty grad student must do homework
and wash dishes.
contact me at Angie.C.Orlando@gmail.com