Rising Above Poverty

I am a third year graduate student that has been trying to rise above poverty almost all my life. My experience has not been easy. Yet, with some optimism and a lot of hard work, I am sure I can make a better life for myself. Mostly, this blog will highlight my experiences, as well as, discuss some of the issues that surround poverty and those that are trying to overcome it.

Location: Davis, California, United States

I was born in Hayward, CA and raised in the Central Valley(Modesto to be exact). Most of my undergraduate work was done at CSU, Stanislaus. Two years ago, I came to grad school at UC, Davis.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It has been a while since the last time I posted a message. I was at my parent's for the last 2 weeks and they have very poor internal service - read only dial-up if I am lucky. After a short tiff with one of my roommates friend over treatment of cats, I thought it was best to go home. I was not quite sure if everyone in the house was mad at me after that. It is very hard for me to gage such things. I always assume everyone is either upset or disappointed with me.

On that note, today was a major disappointment for me. First, I talked to another student in my grad group and it seems that I was not as thorough as I thought in my first draft. She did much more than me on her first draft. Also, I finally received a paper I turned into a professor 8 months ago. She hated it. However, another professor gave me an A on a very similar paper.
Is it her? Is it me?

I feel so ill prepared for school most of the time. It seems that almost everyone else in graduate school and most undergraduates have parents that went to college. Most have parents that are professionals and are very supportive. No one bothered to help guide me through school. I am completely lost.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Now that the site is back up, I wanted to post a few things that have been bothering me over the last few weeks.

I just moved into a new place a few weeks ago and I felt quite strange. It seems that my housemates are excluding me from their mutual activities. This would not usually bother me. However, we are all from the same religon, have some mutual friends and few other things in common. In fact, I heard about a vacancy in this place from a mutual friend of my housemate and I.

Today, though, my housemate's family came over and went out to dinner. My other housemate (who is her best friend after only a month and a half) and her friend were invited but not me. I was right there in the front room were everyone passed by me several times. It didn't even seem like this was an exclusive activity.

Am I just over senstive? Is it me? I know that sometimes I will be quiet or stay in my room. Yet, this still seems like a big slight. I wonder if they do it on purpose or are just oblivious to anyone outside their immediate circle.

This is not the first time this has ever happened. I have been locked out of conversations countless times. Well, as if I really want to talk about boys and clothes anyway. They are graduate students and only have conversations that reach the level of high school students.

For one of my housemate's credit, she did see how upset I was (though I tried to hide it) and asked if I was alright and if she could do anything. I said I was fine of course.

Honestly, I am tired of this. I have been ignored far too long. At least when I was younger they made it more obvious and seem to have more of a reason (I didn't have the right clothes, my parent's did not have nice jobs and so forth). I cannot help but think that this is do to the same reason. They go shopping together and have lunch at nice restaurants. I cannot afford to do either of those activities.

Such problems extend for me beyond my housemates. In graduate school, especially in this institution, I am looked over countless times. It seems that the attractive, wealthy people are the ones noticed. Unfortunately, this means they are the ones to become most successful in life.

Do you ever experience the same issues in school, work, relationships?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Okay, I just wanted to tell you why I decided to start a blog at this time. First, I was just told by my sister that our dad is getting his wages garnished, again. This is not unusual considering our history. Wages in my parent's household has never matched up to the cost of living. Though I don't live at home anymore, this still does affect me. I neither have any source of financial or even emotional fallback (no one wants to hear my whining if they have their own issues). Also, I will somehow be expected to helpout.

Second, I just checked my bank account and I don't have enough to pay for rent and utilities through this quarter. That means I will have to take out an emergency student loan through the school. I hate to do this. I would rather make it on my own , but I can't. I budget everything and never, ever overspend. How could this happen??? AAHHH!!!

Third, I just realized that the groceries I bought at the beginning of this quarter will have to last me until December. I only spendt about $170 or so. If I divide this into three that is $56 each month. Way below the USDA statement that $132 per month for a women from 20-50 is the lowest amount to spend on groceries and stiil be healthy. I don't even eat out and cook everthing from scratch. (I have a new love affair with my slowcooker BTW. It really is a lifesaver.) I have already been through this before. No having enough to eat and going hungry from at least half the quarter.

And what am I too do about transportation. Undergrads take the bus for free but, grad students have to pay a buck a ride. Hopefully, I can fix my bike soon.

Anyone else going through the same problems. If statistics and poles are correct it should be a good percentage of our nation's population.

Talk to you soon

Hi Everyone

I just started this blog so, I don't expect anyone to read it for a while. However, if someone has decided to read this welcome.

I decided to start blogging after reading other other people's stories about their journeys through life. My life is somewhat interesting and I hope that people may find it insperational (or at least we can giev each other support).

Mainly, the purpose of this blog is tell about my experience over a number of years trying to rise out of poverty. I am currently in grad school (about to finish my masters and hopefully go on to my Ph.D.) in hopes that an education will change my prospects in the future. Yet, it does not seem that easy. Especially, if you subscribe to all those Hollywood movies that make it seem that overcoming poverty is easily fixed my going to school or becoming a celebrity.

It has been really hard in a school were most people have wealthy parents that pay for everything and don't seem to understand the word 'strugle'. I have tried my best yet, I am always fusterated with other students (and professors). Why do they have it so easy and still don't appreciate it? Do they understand what it is like to pay for school, housing, food and other expenses on an inadequate student loan and ocassional block grants?

Sometimes, I feel so alone. There are few I can talk to about this that understands, much less is willing to listen.

What to do? What to do?

Tell me your ideas or your own experiences trying to overcome poverty.