Getting over it...

First off, I'd like to express my undying love and gratitude to my family, who have been my biggest support base, even though I feel undeserving of it all recently because I don't feel whining deserves hugs. But anyway, thank you and I love you so so so so much.

I just came back from an informational talk with a representative of the Washington Internship Program. They sound amazing, except that there's always a catch: they cost $3,400 and, though you are guaranteed an internship, it most likely will be unpaid. Not only that, but Room & Board is extra, plus your own spending money. You're sent to D.C., though. Aaaannnddd....maybe Laura will be ever so kind as to let me be her roommate, as she's back to working for the Treasury. I won't overstay my welcome, I promise, I'll get a part-time job. If I know I'm doing that I want to do, I wouldn't mind the extra little work because I know that later I'd be doing what I really want to do. I can be in an internship for up to 18 consecutive months.

And with that cost, you're place smack dab in the middle of the best place to find job placement, networks, and a career. Included in the cost are classes and seminars from universities and institutions all over the D.C. area and even extracurriculars, such as Bush Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. With this program, I could really make it in whatever I decide doing - and I'm really feeling a pull towards International Relations of some kind.

Oh yea, the other catch - this is only if I'm accepted. At the rate I'm going in that area, I don't feel so confident. If I can just drag myself through some menial summer job to earn the money to pay for this, I'm set.

Alright, I think I'm back on track...I just hope I don't lose sight again.



You know, I could very easily pull myself out of this funk, but I don't want to. I want to kick and whine and throw a tantrum. I've put up with enough bullshit thus far and really feel I deserve it. Then the mature part of me comes stomping in and makes me feel guilty. Not sure what part makes me feel worse right now. I really need to kick my butt into gear and get stuff done, but since finally getting my official rejection letter from UPenn last week, I've been feeling like a down-right failure. It's severely put a strain on my current work, that's for sure. I've lost the drive since I know I'm not making it to grad school. What the hell do I do now? Yea yea, I've already thrown out all my options, but most of them, well...they'd all be for NEXT year as well, when I'd be re-applying for grad school.

I've talked with professors, I've gone to networking events, I've put myself out there, but I feel like all the answers I've been given is, "You're a good student, you go to a good school, you have good interests, you'll get there." And I'm SICK of hearing it! I KNOW all that! I've been told it for years! But what the hell can that REALLY get me?!

You know what I really want to do? Fall off the earth. I want to crawl into a cave and just sit for a gooood loooong while, and I want to be left completely alone. I've never ever wanted that before. I've always thought of how nice that would be for like...a day. Then I'd feel lonely. But right now I'm desperate for an escape. A really long escape. I just don't want to deal with all the bullshit anymore. I don't want to get a job because, frankly, I can't think of anything that I'd really enjoy. I don't want to reach my full potential right now. I want to wallow. No, not wallow. I want to search deep deep deep within myself, and that's going to take a lot of seclusion. Completely and utterly alone, with nothing connecting me to the outside world. Maybe I'll put myself up in a Buddhist monastery for a few months, where I can meditate and think about what my place is in this crazy fucked up world because I'm lost.

I always knew that my most comfortable place was school. I always hated doing a "job". So I always just assumed I'd always be in school until I became a professor. But that doesn't look like it's happening. So...now what? What do I really want to do? I want to spend time at home. But I want to go away from everything. I want to do some help with the world. But I want to re-figure myself out. I want to keep learning. But I feel oh-so done with school. I just don't want to do it anymore.


More Opportunities?

It pays to listen. A prominent archaeologist of the times, Dr. Thomas Davis, came to give a talk yesterday. Luckily I happened to still be in the caf when Dr. Johnson and Dr. Knauth brought him down for lunch. Dr. J went around the entire caf looking for arch students to join them. I'm so glad I did! Turns out, he's the director or something at the Fulbright Institute in Cypres! He gave me some advice, though I missed the deadlines for applying for this year. He gave a fire-side chat in the afternoon which Heather and I decided to go to. We originally planned to only go for 30 minutes, but ended up staying for damn near the whole thing. haha. He mentioned some things to look into:

CRM: I'm not sure what it stands for, but informally it's known as Salvage Archaeology, Rescue Archaeology, or even sell-your-soul-to-the-devil-archaeology. haha. It's a requirement by the Federal Government that any type of major construction MUST employ archaeologists to survey the site for some kind of "historical integrity" before breaking ground for construction. It's bitch work, but hey, it's also archaeology. Dr. Davis (hehe, I hope that's what my name will look like) said it was also some of the best 12 years of his life. You're sent all over the country and learn so much about American history and/or Native American culture. If you find a good place, you're salaried (though not much) with permanent benefits AND you're working for the government, so you get government benefits AND a credit union! woop woop! Plus, you're given a travel stiped of a small amount for hotels and food. Sounds like a great deal to me!

He also told me that my specific interests in ancient Mesopotamian languages couldn't have come at a better time because all the big names are dying out/retiring, so I could pretty much consider myself the world leading expert once I finish a dissertation. Sweet deal! Now I just need to get in to grad school!!

I also told him my new interest in Internation Peace and Conflict Resolutions and he said, "Archaeology, Conflict Resolution, they're pretty much the exact same thing. In fact, in Cypress' Fullbright Program right now, we only have Archaeologists and Conflict Resolutions people." He suggested I look into Georgetown for that.

Then Heather and I talked to Dr. Knauth this morning. That was extremely helpful! She told us to go talk to the schools (i.e. UPenn and Johns Hopkins) about getting in under "special student" status. We'd have to pay the tuition and wouldn't be under a program, but we'd be in the school and taking classes, and if we performed well, we could get into the program for the next year with tuition assistance. She also told us to look into volunteering at the local museums (i.e. UPenn's Anthropology and Archaeology Museum and the Walter's Museum in Baltimore). I will DEFINITELY be going to UPenn to talk to them then. My momma told me to send a follow up letter to these schools, and this would be just one step up from that. Go to them and ask them specifically why I didn't get in.

Well, now it's time for breakfast. I'm hungry!


Just Pondering...

I talked with Dr. J Friday afternoon about not getting into grad school and listing some options that I've been mulling over. He suggested I look into the Fulbright Program, too. It's a fostering of international relationships with the U.S. all over the world - in fact, our Foreign Language TA's come through the Fulbright Program. You can do this as a student, scholar, or teacher, and they give you the money to make it happen. I think I have the choice to go somewhere in the world or to stay here, though I'm not sure - I haven't looked that thoroughly into it yet. I told Dr. Cagle about it today and he seemed very eager to help me with it, too. Just another thing to add to my list, which is growing.

Dr. Knauth also just sent me something interesting (through Facebook, nonetheless, haha) about getting an online MA in Museum Studies through Johns Hopkins. That would be interesting too, though I'm a little warry of online courses, just because I'm such a hands-on learner. Being in class motivates me, and if I don't have to go to a physical place, I'm afraid it'd be hard to make myself do it. haha.

I also took up one of my dear momma's suggestions about looking into Arcadia's International Peace and Conflict Resolution MA degree. It doesn't look like I'd meet a lot of the criteria, but I think it's nothing that I couldn't quickly gain or substitute with what I already have - mainly they're looking for a basic humanities BA with some time spent abroad...which I basically have. However, I do need some political science courses. But I wouldn't mind that at all. Plus I'd also be with ma cousine for a year! hehe.

So now my list consists of:
  • teaching English in Asia somewhere
  • Peace Corps/New Community Project
  • online MA in Museum Studies with Johns Hopkins
  • Fulbright
  • Arcadia's International Peace and Conflict Resolution
See? Doors open all the time! :)


My New Haircut! Relay for Life and Hair Donations!

Here they are! The pictures you've all been wanting about my hair cut! Elisha and I were planning on doing it for a while, but then Denise decided 5 minutes before that she would do it too. The following is a montage of how the hour followed...

Here we are being super nervous and clutching our hair protectively.

My "before" pictures. Front...

...and Back.

Trying to laugh off the nerves...

So is Denise...

Well really, we all were...

All the girls who volunteered. I'd guess and say there were about 15 in total?

Denise pretending she's not worried while Elisha and I wring our hands waiting for the stylists to walk our way.

Denise was up first...

Tying it...look how short it's gonna go!


There it is! One down, two to go!


Elisha's turn...*snip*snip*

Aw, good job, Elisha!

"I'll hold your hand, Alli!!!!"

OMG, there it goes!


*snip*snip*snip*snip* "OMG, why is this taking so long??????"

"She's still cutting!!!"


And there it is! Four years of hair growth going to some lucky person's wig! I almost cried, but I restrained myself. I think the only reason I didn't bawl was because I've had short hair before and I know that I liked it.

There we go, the after picture!

Denise didn't tell Melissa she was cutting her hair for this, and when Melissa found out, she freaked! It was really funny...

Then Dr. Knauth was inspired to get her hair cut, too! There was a bit of a problem concerning the amount of gray. But it looks like she hasn't cut her hair in like 10 years because it still had color on the bottom. They don't take hair that's more than 5% gray, but she decided to give it a try.

She looks nervous, too!

And there it is! The shortest her hair has been in like....maybe forever?

Her archy students gave her the biggest applause.

The group shot: all of us (well, actually, I think some people are missing, but that's at least most of us) who donated our hair!

They brought in real stylists just for this next part. They were going to fix our hair to make it look acceptable until we can come in to get it styled the way we want - for FREE! yay! I get a free hair cut out of this!

Yup, still a little shocked about the whole thing.

Denise looks disgusted about it?

She was nipping the hair off in such a way that it kept falling into my face...

The finished product...

It was also free water ice day at Rita's, so Eric and Jordan went and got us all some Rita's, how nice of them! To quote Eric when he saw this picture: "Denise is like aw yea I got Rita's!!!!"

The new hair cut from a different angle...It feels so weird. As soon as she cut it, I turned my head and nearly gave myself whip-lash because I don't need to use as much force to turn my head anymore!!!! hahaha.

Yea Denise, lookin' good!

Hazel came for the event for a little and she brought baby Grayson! What a fat little baby he is! Denise likes to constantly remind him what a fat baby he is. Grayson seems to approve, though. He always smiles.

"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks...."

There were a bunch of games to keep everyone pre-occupied throughout the entire event...because it was 12 hours long. This one is human musical chairs.

Eric was the last chair standing...erm, sitting.

Later there was a scavenger hunt. Here are some pictures as a result of the silly game:

We had to re-enact the bow-scene from Titanic.

And get a picture of 4 people jumping with no feet on the ground...

Make a 5 person pyramid...

Take a picture making our best fishy-face in front of our butt-ugly fish statue.

We lost the scavenger hunt. By that time I was exhausted. It was like...2am. ugh, 4 more hours to go...

Denise panted Melissa's face to make the night a little more amusing...

They had the Roommate Game, which is like the Newly Wed Game. I signed Denise and I up for it. We got I think 3 wrong...I got more wrong than Denise. :( But we got all the really hard questions correct! Like, what tangeable thing best describes you? Denise: Panda, Me: Squirrel. woop woop!!! We laughed every time we got it right.
Final picture of Denise's hair cut...

Final shot of my hair cut. Oh, I'm drawing the squirrel and panda hugging! lol.

Overrall the event went well, though the last 3 hours dragged on something horrible. We raised over $22,000 total, but our goal was something like $23,000 I think. That's still really well. It was a good time, but man was I tired.

I'd like to thank my super awesome family for helping me personally raise $115, which meant I got a Relay t-shirt! I tie-dyed it! yay! haha. So thank you thank you thank you soooo much for any monetary donation you made and just your support and approval! :) I love you all so so much!!!!! And I miss my hair! hehe.


Good News and Bad News

I guess I'll start with the bad news because it happened a few days ago and apparently it didn't really affect me as bad as I thought it would. Or maybe worse because I haven't talked about it. I didn't get in to UPenn either. I called them Monday because I still hadn't heard anything. I had called them last Tuesday and they said letters were just sent out, but I still hadn't received mine. When I called the lady said some letters were sent and some weren't and she'd check to see if mine was sent yet. Unfortunately the system was down and she said she'd email me when it came back up. Very nice of her. Unfortunately she took the liberty of breaking the news to me in the email, too, and said my letter should be arriving in a few days. Psh, whatever. That was my last hope for grad school.

I went to our Career Development Center to look up information about teaching English in other countries. I think it'd be neat to go back to Germany and do that. But really I'd be happy going anywhere...I just sort of know the language of that country already. Though I'm very willing to learn whatever language, so it doesn't matter to me. Of course, there are a few places in the world right now that I'd rather not be just because of current events, doesn't mean that someday I wouldn't like to go there.

I've also been thinking about this New Community Project thing. Every year LEAF invites this guy David Radcliff to come and talk to the campus about environmental and human rights issues - since most times they go hand-in-hand. The New Community Project takes volunteers to bad-off parts of the world and they try to make things a little better for one community, like bringing running water from the stream at the bottom of the mountain to the top of the mountain where the village is using only physics and no electricity. Or bringing sewing machines so a village as a way to bring itself extra income during a drought time. Or figuring out a way to irrigate the fields more effectively while reducing the amount of water used. I wouldn't need to be the person to figure this out, just the person who helps get it done.

I don't know, now that I'm not sure what to do with myself, doing something good for the world first-hand seems like a good idea. I've always been interested in doing this, but I've always been a little scared and used my rigidly-planned-out life as an excuse not to. But I think this time I'm going to do it.

I guess that's it. I've been feeling a little better, health-wise. I don't feel crappy anymore, I just cough, sniffel, and sneeze a lot. It's just annoying now. I've been chugging water, drinking tea, taking tylenol, and taking vitamin C tablets and it seems to be working.


The weekend started out nice, but I now i just feel shitty. I woke up Friday with a severely stuffy nose that wouldn't stop dripping, but it bother me too much. I took some non-drowsy Sudafed and decided to just remember to bring a ton of tissues to the cabin. We had a good time once we got there, though it was pretty chilly. Once the cabin warmed up a bit, we played Apples to Apples and Stuart and I had some sake. My face felt so flushed at one point, but Jake said it was probably because of the heat from the oil lamps. After the game, we went outside to look at all the stars, but it was cold out, so we went back in to warm up. But I never warmed up. Everyone was telling me to take my coat off because it was warm, but I was like, Dude I'm freezing. Then I started shaking I was so cold and eventually I started getting cramps and a headache it was so bad. I went upstairs where it was warmer to lay down in one of the beds to warm up. Stuart came up to try to help me warm up. He said I was shaking so bad. I was so cold. I figured I had a fever, so got some water and tried just sleeping it off. It worked - by sun-up I was boiling because the wood stove was still cookin' and the room I was in was the hottest in the cabin.

The next morning the nose cold moved into my throat. boo. But we shot his rifles at some soda bottles (I had some super excellent shots, by the way) and it was Stuart's first time shooting a gun. He damn near became adidicted. lol. We came back and I went to the fancy Multicultural Awareness Group's International Dinner. It was really nice. The food was super delicious. But then I really felt like crap and started coughing. I talked to my momma afterwards because it was seeming like what she had right before Eric and I came back. She said hers turned out to be bronchitus. Great. So I'm skipping my gym class tomorrow and I'm going to health services instead. I took some Nyquil last night to help me fall asleep (at 11) but I woke up 5 hours later and couldn't breath out my nose at all. My throat was real scratchy, too, so breathing in through my nose kept making me cough. I didn't fall back asleep until 5am and then I kept waking up because I couldn't breath. It was horrible!!!

And now I'm talking to Jordan, who said that Susan bitched him out last night because we went to the cabin instead of taking Kat to the airport. We had planned the cabin trip because we wanted Kat to come with us. It wasn't until we'd settled everything that we found out that she was leaving Saturday and not Sunday - just a mistake in talking. Susan apparently got real mad at him, as if we did that because we didn't want to say good bye to Kat or because we hate her or something. Maybe her and Kelley shouldn't have cooped her up in their room and not allowed us to do stuff with them while she was here. The only times I was able to even make plans with her was when we ran into them in the caf - Susan and Kelley wouldn't respond to my IMs and Susan never mentioned any plans they were making when we were in class. Oh wells. For now I'm just gonna worry about getting better and doing some homework in case I miss any classes this week. I don't want to start falling behind.


Finally Home!

and hardly any time to update. Taking Paulie in to school today with his science fair project (they had a two hour delay), and then picking both Matt & Paul up after school. Then around 5 or 5:30 Eric and I are heading down to the Baltimore area to Kelley's house, where we'll spend the night for easy heading-in-to-DC. I'm so excited! I just wish I'd remembered my winter coat. Though, I guess I'll check the weather. It's always like 10 degrees warmer in Maryland than it is here. I was thinking of inviting a friend to lunch I met while in Germany who's recently moved to DC, but that was when I was expecting to be there for two days or so, which isn't happening now. So i think I'll just send her an email and say sorry. It'll be too much to try to do.

Yesterday was really nice. Everyone had a snow day, including my mom and dad, since they couldn't get out our enormous, dangerous-when-icy driveway. lol. It was a really nice time with the whole family - a nice surprise. We played UNO together at one point. Oh my God, my brothers are INSANE. It finally got a point where my mom had to sit in between Matt & Paul, who were starting to get carried away. Then after three rounds (my dad won all three!!!) my mom was like, ALRIGHT THAT'S ENOUGH! They were getting rambunctious and very annoying with their noises. Eric was like, "Yea, give us some peace and quiet and go play your pipes and drums!" OMG we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt! It was so funny. At least when they play their pipes and drums there's a rythm involved that makes it not so horrible to stand. hahaha, it was a good time.

Though once dinner came, we all started to get a little annoyed with each other. My dad said, "Oh my God, now I know why I go to work everyday!" lol. I got a bit of grading done, too. We watched No Country for Old Men and then Apollo 13. My mom didn't really like No Country for Old Men, which I expected. It is a strange movie, but I think it's a really nice movie, too. Pretty.

Apparently I slept really well last night. My dad woke me up at 7 and I bolted up. I didn't even hear him come in and sit down on my bed until he said something to me. He was like, "Ooo! You were out cold!" That was to tell me that I had to take Paul in to school and that they had a two hour delay. So I went back to sleep for another hour and a half and woke up to the sound of a mouse scurrying up the wall. Man that gave me the shivers!

Oh, walls remind me - I finally got my birthday present from Grammom! She said she had something special for me this year. And it was! It was this huge world map in a beautiful frame! It came with PINS! Red pins for everywhere I've been, Blue pins for my dream locations, Yellow for my next trip, and Green for my favorite place. There's even a little plaque (not plague! lol) in the corner that says, "The World Travels of Allison Davis"! It's the best present I ever got!

Oh, time to take Paul to school!!!!! WANT COFFEE!!!!


Update: I forgot to mention this since it happened. Friday before I left I got my letter from Johns Hopkins. Well, I didn't get in, but it was at least a nice rejection letter. I'll copy it exactly as they wrote it:

"Dear Ms. Davis,

"I regret to inform you that we are unable to approve your application for admission to doctoral study in our department. Each year we receive applications from many more qualified candidates than the number we are able to fund (only a few actually). This year our application pool was extremely strong and the economic climate somewhat dire.

"I realize that letters such as this are tortuous to receive. Please do not interpret this letter in an overly negative light. You have amazing skills and abilities, and the department that is able to secure your admission will be fortunate indeed.

"We are grateful for your interest in our department, and we wish you every success in finding a congenial setting in which to pursue advanced study.

"Please accept my best personal wishes for your future endeavors.


Ted Lewis, etc..."


At least they made it sound like they wanted to accept me. But now I'm feeling desperate to find something to do after graduation. My chances of getting in to UPenn are looking slimmer and I did not properly plan for something like this to happen. Now I'm panicking about what my life is going to do. One thing that I've been thinking about is something like the Peace Corps. I've always thought about on a mission or doing something to help the people in third world countries first-hand, but I never thought I'd have the time to spend on it because my life plans were always pretty immediate. Now it looks like I may have the time to do this. Best part is that my loans will continue in deferment for time spent in the Peace Corps! woop! I think I'm also going to start looking in on teaching English somewhere. Denise said she found a government funded something where they send you somewhere (you sort of have a choice, but not entirely) to teach English. They find a way for you to learn the language there, pay your airfare and apartment, and will even give you a bit of a stipend along with your pay for teaching English. If it's government funded, then I expect I'd also get loan deferments.

Just something that's been running through my mind since coming home.

Tonight Eric and I leave for DC and I might try talking to Denise about what she's found so far for teaching English. As for now i think I'm going to get some grading done.