Blog Series: The Graduate School Adventures of a Black Female Nerd

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A new Blog Series that will take course over the next several months regarding my journey towards graduate school. It will be featured once a month alongside my other posts.  

Part One: The Spark

What causes someone to think that taking the next step in their academic or professional career is graduate school?

Is it because of the path they have chosen? A focus in STEM fields, perhaps? The desire for higher income? The urge to become an expert in their specialty? Did hitting a brick wall in their current position cause them to think that it may be time to move towards the next level?

Or, was it because you were slapped in the back of the head by reality and realized your life wasn’t going anywhere with just your bachelor’s degree?

That last one is definitely close to what caused me to finally, after five long years from undergrad, prepare and apply for graduate school.

In my family (which is large… like if I count all of my aunts, cousins, uncles, grandparents and my mom… Its over 30 people at this point), there are currently six individuals (including myself) who have received a bachelor’s degree; only two have post-secondary degrees (At the moment. Someone else is working towards it as I type).

Of these six, two are in mathematics, one in physical therapy, one in criminal justice, and the other is going towards non-profit management/public policy.

Then you have me…. The oddball who majored in Anthropology (I still get asked by family members what the hell that is).

Honestly, it did not start out that way. In middle and high school, I had already established what I was going to do. Major in business (international once I hit junior year of high school), with a focus in marketing and hopefully by the time I was 35, have my own business. I took and excelled in business courses in high school, along with enrolling in school organizations that offered opportunities for me to attend conferences and competitions.

When I moved on towards college, life began to lead me right into a black hole.

My grades in my business courses were horrid. I was failing accounting and economics courses, which was a breeze in high school. My personal life was in turmoil (for reasons I’d rather not disclose) and I had lost all focus.

I had fallen out of love with the idea of business. The interest of owning my own establishment had drifted away. I was in undergrad with no idea of what to do.

Then, while driving in the car with a friend of mine for lunch off campus, we got into an interesting discussion of major switching and “finding our passion” in college. She told me that while she always thought Anthropology/Archeology was her one true passion, cryptology specifically, she was falling out of love with it entirely. There were certain things in the courses that she did not agree with, the practices and methodologies did not suit her mentality. However, the more she talked about it, the more interested I became.

Studying many different types of cultures? Observing subjects for a critical purpose? Writing papers on varying topics? Collecting data and analyzing it to present specified results? SIGN ME THE HELL UP!

I took a cultural studies course with her next term, just to get a glimpse of what it could be like if I decided to switch.

I excelled in it, getting high B’s and A’s on the homework assignments and research papers, while she averaged out at low B’s and C’s. After ending that course with an A in comparison to her C, I decided at the end of my sophomore year to switch my major to Anthropology.

Granted, those 2 years were not easy with two part-time jobs, a full-time course load and my personal life slowly changing for the better (after a bout of chaos). I finished four years of undergrad with a sub par GPA and (thanks to my earlier years as a business major) with a BA in Anthropology.

What I failed to notice and think about was this: What in the world could I do with an Anthropology degree?

Considering the area I was living in, there were not a lot of jobs in the market for anthropologists. It also did not help that the market crashed the same year I graduated, so I was hit with chaos from all sides.

I worked odd jobs for the past 4 years, just to make ends meet and attempt to pay back on my student loans in a timely fashion. I searched for that so-called “passion” that I thought I had found in undergrad.

Then, in 2014, I had lost a very good position I had strived so hard to get with the local city government. The reason for my dismissal? I was “too outspoken, not inclined to follow set rules and too opinionated with a very critical mindset.” I always thought these traits were important in any job (save for the following rules part). Nevertheless, when you have a ruthless dictator with unlimited influence and power ruling over the department, any form of conflict is not normal to them. I was not a mindless robot and I had to be removed.

For a month and a half, I sat unemployed, wondering what I could possibly do with myself. I had no direction and no desire to even work. But, that’s not an option in this society, so I had to find something.

At that point, I decided that it was not going to just be any job. If I was going to work, then it was going to be something that I would enjoy; in my field of study that I pursued in undergrad: Anthropology or any form of social science.

With that, I wrote down in a notebook all of the jobs I ever had since my first one in the 8th grade. My job history was long: 20 positions over 16 years. I wrote down all of my tasks and assignments, highlighted my pros and cons, and figured how long I stayed in each position. From there, I picked the jobs I enjoyed the most and the ones I loathed.

At that point, I figured out that I needed to be in a job that catered to the non-profit sector with a focus on community outreach, education or urban development. I also had experience with working with youth and data analysis.

With this focus in mind, I searched for jobs in these areas. Within that month, I had found two amazing jobs that I still have to this day: A Youth Development Coordinator position and an Intern for research with a STEM centered non-profit. There may have been days where I was tired and frustrated with these jobs, but I honestly enjoy going to both of them daily.

While working these jobs, the urge to want to excel in these positions and possibly do more in them came to mind. However, I felt there was one component missing from this: a master’s degree.

I figured there was no way I could go any higher in these establishments without a post-secondary education. Alongside my desire to work in areas I love (which I did accomplish), I began the frustrating spiral towards attaining something I never would be possible to get: a graduate degree.

I’ll be uploading part two of this series sometime in July. Let me know what you think about it and look forward to another post next week! I’m back on my regular posting schedule, so look forward to some new content. 

Status: Not Forgotten & New Ideas!

I swear, I haven’t forgotten about this blog.

Its just that the 9 months of consistent running around is slowly coming to a close.

After 9 months of suffering, I have finally been admitted to a graduate school and accepted their offer.

With that note, I plan to document the entire graduate school process. From start to finish.

I will be labelling this: The Graduate School Adventures of a Black Female Nerd. I plan to go as far back as when I first decided to apply for grad school until the day I (hopefully) graduate with a masters degree.

Also, do keep in mind that my dating stories are still on the plate as well. Believe me when I say there is plenty to write about!

Keep checking back! Things will most likely go down around June!!

Status: New Year, New Rules

I disappeared for a while again (More like 6 months). There was a good reason for it! Well, more than one good/bad reason!

  • Lost full-time job.
  • Became incredibly ill for several months.
  • Decided to put in effort to go to grad school (very time consuming).
  • Found new jobs! That’s right, I said jobs. I’m working two wonderful part-time jobs now.
  • Submitting applications for grad school as I write! (8 total. I know, I’m insane).
  • I’m a somewhat healthy creature again! After some procedures, medication, change in diet and exercise, I’m as close to healthy as I’m gonna get!

So, within those 6 months, my life was an emotional and physical roller-coaster. However, I think I’m slowly getting back on track and I decided to make sure that this year, this blog gets the attention it deserves.

Nothing changes, except for my posting frequency. I’m going to once a week, mostly on Thursdays.

My topics will remain the same, style, etc. I’ll even make sure to work on that “Dating Misadventures of a Nerdy Black Girl” series I was so adamant about writing!

So, look for some dedication to finally stick around with this thing. I promise, unless I get sick again or get hit by a truck. I cannot predict the future.

Blog Series: The Dating Adventures of a Nerdy Black Girl

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I know I’ve been MIA for a few weeks since my last post. There were some issues that I couldn’t avoid, physically. I was submitted to the ER twice and had multiple visits to my doctor because of this. At the moment, the cause of it has not been pinpointed. But, I’m sure I will find out the reasoning is soon.

Moving on! As the title suggests, I’m going to start a blog series for everyone to enjoy and learn from. The Dating Adventures of a Nerdy Black Girl will be my own personal stories on the dating scene. I’ve dated some interesting guys (to put it lightly), as well as some really great ones.

But, my reasoning for posting these future entries will be due to the fact that most of these were interracial. I’m noticing lately that interracial dating has become more apparent and I’m happy about it! I really do believe that love has no boundaries and people should be open-minded about dating outside of their race, if I must use this phrase in that context. I wanted to share my own dating experiences with people who were not African-American. Of course, I have dated black men and I will talk about them as well, but I will also include my dating stories with other races.

I plan to post a story once a week, as I do want to continue with my other topics and interests on this blog. I hope you guys read and provide some thoughtful comments!

Thoughts: “Retarded Festival” – How A Coworker Insulted Two Issues With One Statement


I’m sure it doesn’t help that I am the youngest person in my department at the age of 27 (which I still think is old), but my tolerance of nonsensical drivel that comes out of people’s mouths has decreased with every passing day.

I work in an office environment, if I can even call it that. I call it “Prison w/ Decent Benefits.” I barely have anyone that I can relate to for 8 hours of my life, 5 days a week. Most of the employees in this department are in their late 40s or 50s, close to retiring or barely alive (Here’s the real reason why you can’t find a job, 25-35 year olds!). Anyone that I can even consider close to my age is nearing 36, is married and has kids. So, the stench of the generation gap is strong here. Or it’s the old people smell. Close enough.

As I was sitting at the front desk of the lobby area, covering a break for the young temp worker they hired until the big wigs figure out what they want to do with this open position, an older gentleman (dare I call him that) appeared at the front desk. He began to create idle small talk about the new mailing system that had been installed earlier that day, along with the utilities department coming tomorrow to fix issues with carpet bubbling in certain rooms. Earlier that week he had to stay late, along with our head administrator, to make sure that each room had gotten done. However, they missed a few spots and would be returning Saturday morning.

“She told them they better be done by 10am.” He proclaimed, regarding the head administrator’s comments about having to come in on Saturday morning. “She said she doesn’t want to get stuck in that mess.”

“What mess?” I asked, confused. “Is there an event this weekend or something?” I’m completely unaware of major events happening in my current city, because I’ve been too preoccupied with trying to stay alive. The struggle from the recession is real.

“Uh, yeah.” He answered, surprised at my lack of knowledge. “The retarded festival is this weekend.”

A blank stare appears on my face, signaling that I’m still lost on what the hell he was talking about.

“It’s that Gay Pride festival they have every year that clogs up downtown for 5 hours.” He states, shaking his head in annoyance. “Like I said, the retarded festival.”

I laughed in utter disbelief, not at the fact that poor residences or even businesses in the downtown area would be trapped for a very large event and parade. But, at the terms he used to describe a Gay Pride festival and parade that has been a tradition in this city for well over 30 years (With George Takei being the Grand Marshall for the parade this year. Oh my!)

“Really? The retarded festival?” I asked, my brain still trying to process how he came up with such a name.

“Well, that’s what that stuff is: retarded.” He stated with a laugh as he made his way out the glass doors, probably to spit more crap from that hole on this face.

Listen, I get it. Not everyone is in support of Gay Rights and the LGBTQIA (that’s a lot of letters, guys) fight towards equality. Whether it is for religious reasons, personal disdain towards people of the same gender being able to love each other openly, or fear. There is no reason to give it such a shitty name. Not only does it offend the very people risking their lives for this cause, it insults people with disabilities and mental incapability.

I mean, come on, “Retarded Festival?!”

2 reasons this hit me personally:

I have a great-aunt, who I love deeply and need to spend more time with because she is downright awesome, that is a lesbian.  This woman is in her 50s and still looks like she’s in her late 30s (Black people age well. Be jealous). She has been openly gay for many years, has a daughter and a granddaughter that she loves dearly, has a fun and hilarious personality and a great outlook on life. I mean, she can out skate me at a roller rink with ease and dance me under the table! I can’t dance well anyway, but that’s not the point.

I also happen to have a cousin, the same age as myself, with downs syndrome. While she may be hard to comprehend when she speaks, and may not be able to grasp things as quickly as her peers, she’s still a feisty, fast talking girl who will probably beat your ass if you insult her or her family. She can argue with me about certain subjects and had more boyfriends than I ever will.

They may not be the societal “norm,” but they are still humans; with lives, passions, ideas and rights.

People are not going to accept them and they know that. Do they care? No. They couldn’t give two shits about what people think of them, yet they still exist and persevere. That’s what makes them even more courageous.

So, old man with a growing back problem who is married yet still hits on girls that could be his own daughters and thinks his voice matters, keep your opinions to your damn self. I’d dare you to say that in front of the very people you insult. But I doubt you will, because you’re a damn coward.

This is why some old people need to die off already. You’ve done your time. Please exit, stage left and off a cliff.

Status: Surprise! I’m back.

Yep. I obviously fail at keeping track of how long time has passed.

Yep. I obviously fail at keeping track of how long time has passed.

Oi, it’s been over a year, hasn’t it?

Time flies when you’re not having much fun being a functioning adult. I’m sure that’s not how the saying goes, but it sounds much better than the original.

But, real life just took over for quite some time. Then, I realized that I had been neglecting my little space in the Internet for too long. I decided that it was high time I gave reality a smack in the face and took charge.

So, it’s time to dust and vacuum! This space will currently be in use. I plan to update much more frequently, since I have plenty of topics and experiences to discuss.

Hope to be welcomed back with open arms!

Thoughts: Motivation

And here it is, folks! Another New Year, another plague of people making lists of resolutions, only for them to never do it or forget about them.

I try not to make resolutions. I just carry everything over from the last year that I didn’t get to accomplish, because I know that some things do take a long time to complete.

But, my problem with getting anything of purpose done is motivation.

Seriously. After a while, I just stop caring.

After a while of making lists, writing down things to remind me of what I need to do and accomplish, eventually I just don’t care. I have no motivation whatsoever to do things, whether they are little or small.

Where did this attitude come about? I think it started around my first two years of college. I had goals, I had dreams! I was focused, organized and dedicated to my major and following this path that I had created and tried to pursue.

Then, something that resembled a speed train hitting a car appeared out of nowhere and crushed any hopes I had. It’s called reality.

Some of these goals were just unrealistic. A lot of these things were put on hold to never gain fruition. Most of it was financial, while the rest was environmental, mental and due to lack of confidence. I failed 3 classes, which is something that has never happened to me before, and they were pre-requisite classes (classes needed to be accepted into the program). I figured that if I couldn’t even pass these classes, there was no way I was going to succeed in my major courses (if I even got accepted). Having been hit with a huge bout of disappointment, (in myself mostly), my once powerful and headstrong nature disappeared. You see, I was a very shy, low confidence kid growing up. I was the nerdy, teacher’s pet from pre-school through the 9th grade. It wasn’t until 10th grade where I finally just grew a pair and stopped giving a shit about people. I’ve kept that part of my demeanor and I plan to never let it go. I became motivated and determined with everything in life. But, after college, I just stopped caring. I graduated with a degree I loved (despite the department and some of the professors being useless and horribly demeaning, along with being the only black student in the whole major. That can be a bit discouraging) and decided to get a job right out of college (You know, back when most of us had a choice before the recession).

But now, I’m not happy with the way things are going for me. I’m working (a full-time job and a small part-time one tutoring English), living in a nice city that’s active, have a great boyfriend and my family is well and healthy. But, I’m not fully content.

I need MORE. No, not superficial things like more money (which would still be a nice perk) and things. More fulfilling items.


If I could find this in poster size, I would have it up in my second bedroom/office.

One word out of that whole block of word mess sticks out to me the most: Passion.

I seriously don’t have it. I did a few years ago, but it disappeared and I haven’t been able to find it. I’ve been trying to get it back, but it’s hard to do once you lose it. You get into a rut, a pit really, and you have to claw your way out.

I had dreams and hopes of what I wanted to do. But now, I’m back to the point in high school where I was asked, “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?”

I thought I knew, but…. I don’t think I do anymore. Is that anyone else’s fault? Goodness, no. It’s mine and I need to focus on it.

I need to fix it.

So, for the past year or so, I’ve been trying to get back on track. Get motivated, so to speak.

Last year, around my 25th birthday (will be 26 this Monday! SEND PRESENTS), I made an account on a website called Day Zero Project.  While some of those goals will obviously take quite some time, there are many others that are short and easy to accomplish. I just need to find the time to do it. What I should add to that list is, “Get organized.” There are so many things I want to do or try that I lose track of them. Writing them down never helps, because I lost track of the paper or book I placed them in. What I really need to do is use a site like this to track my progress. If I had html or developer skills, I’d just make my own website (HEY, I could ask the boyfriend about it, since he’s a developer).

So, small things like that are what keep me a bit more motivated. Making lofty goals and dreaming of doing things just kills any motivation I have in the long run. I need to start small, then work my way up to the bigger dreams.

And, of course, be positive.