Six steps and a patch

Hey Guys.

Turns out, graduate school= no time to write. In fact, this very second I am putting off 30 pages of Making Task Groups Work in My World to write this update. I’m risky like that.

The thing is, crazy Ike is right outside my window knocking things around, and Chelsea Handler’s book, Are you there Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea (which I got 60% off thanks to my nice gig at the bookstore) is staring up at me from the night stand begging for a quick chapter or two. I need a break.
I came home and the building next to me was on fire- FIRE- and smoke was coming into our lobby. Also, we were having 50mph wind gusts that blew open all the doors at Starbucks on Magazine St. (I know, what am I doing at a Starbucks on a street like Magazine, right? Comfort in familiarity…) and I couldn’t walk around outside without having to hold onto a building. I decided today was not the day to quit updating. I need a program with at least 6 steps and a patch.

School is overwhelming and time consuming, and I am in full list mode. I walk around with a highlighter crossing off things like: call the grandpa, microwave dinner, wash face, etc. because I have forgotten how to manage my time. I set my alarm 20 minutes earlier than necessary because I know that I will need to lay in bed and pretend to feel carefree. Even with the structure, every single morning I end up running down the street trying to catch the 7:45 bus at 7:46 with my keys, phone, granola bar, sweatshirt, ipod and bookbag hanging off me.
I have not had time to unpack from Gustav yet, either, so every morning I dig through laundry baskets and boxes to find an outfit that is less wrinkled than other outfits, and spend another 15 minutes locating things like my watch, or earrings or matching socks. Usually I forget my lunch or something and spend $7.50 in the food court on carrot sticks and a diet coke, which I am half-tempted to eat in a bathroom stall for lack of friends, still. I wonder if they are secretly lunching in some special grad school cafeteria laughing about my 4 inches of grey hair. I have not yet managed to color it, because finding another Hannah is a hard task.
Even harder are things like biostatistics and health and economic development and policy: the core of the MPH program, which I did not understand would be the case. I could spend 5 years explaining the confusion of the last week and the revelation of an outdated program description on the school’s website (from 04) or I could just tell you that I dropped the MPH component. It was not the program for me. I am strictly an MSW girl now, focusing on Disaster Mental Health and International Social Work. This decision saved me $30K and an extra year of school, thanks to a competent and honest advisor and a surprising ability to advocate for myself. But you should have seem my face in that biostatistics class-omg.

Whatsoever things are praiseworthy:
In the middle of this mess, an anonymous friend paid the balance for my Belize trip.

(Stop. Breathe. Smile. Breathe. Relax. Breathe. Cry.)
This friend has pointed my over-ambitious, under-resourced heart straight to God’s eyes. He sees me. He sees Belize. He loves me. He loves Belize. He can juggle what I can’t, and he helps us care for each other.
I love you, friend.
What I need now is a good coffee with my good friends. I would give anything for a Saturday brunch or Firefly run to sit down, throw my purse on the table and say, “You guys will NEVER believe the week I had…”

Cone of I’m-never-getting-back-in-this-car-again, Ike, so back off.

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Every time this blasted Cone shows up I am in need of 8 Ibuprofen, a bag of Oreos, and $150 in gas money. It has been called the Cone of Uncertainty and the Cone of Probability, The Cone of Error, The Cone of Terror, The Cone of Confusion, The Cone of Contradiction, The Cone of Complete Cluelessness, and, my favorite: El Cono del Muerte.I don’t even think I can evacuate to the Grampies this time because they happen to fall inside the Cone of Insanity, too.

I woke up today feeling tired and desperate bright and hopeful to return to NOLA tomorrow upon the dorm’s reopening at noon. Here is what lay in my inbox, a present from the devil:

Welcoming Students and Watching the Gulf

As we continue to prepare for the reopening of campus, we are still monitoring Hurricane Ike, which we have been doing since Tuesday. Originally, Ike’s track was predicted to travel along the east coast of Florida and up the Atlantic seaboard. However, in the last day this track has changed to indicate that Ike may enter the Gulf. If it does, landfall is projected toward the end of next week. 


While this current projection is not news we want to hear, it is too soon to determine whether the storm poses a threat to Louisiana or the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, the university’s leadership group is receiving multiple daily updates from our weather service and is ready to respond quickly if necessary.

I need to go to school. This no-school thing is responsible for 40 blog posts a day, so YOU need me to go to school, too. Please join me in worrying about—I mean—praying for Ike.