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:: 2014 17 February :: 9.27am
:: Mood: pensive

I'm twenty-six and probably buying a house in a few months.

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:: 2013 15 September :: 8.47pm
:: Music: Man on Fire-Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

PhDing and teaching. It involves lots of reading. And grading. Eventually, there will be writing. This year marks my 4th academic publication, and 2014 will hold conference presentations 7-9 at major conferences.

I really hope there will be some semblance of a good job at the end of all of this.

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:: 2013 31 July :: 3.18pm

We move to Indiana in five days. I start my PhD in two and a half weeks.

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:: 2012 14 September :: 6.49pm
:: Mood: sick
:: Music: Fun: Walking the Dog

I survived getting sick from my students/colleagues until the end of week three. I'll take it.

I'm getting back in the groove. Things seem more like a clusterfuck, but they seem easier.

I'm taking Old English this semester, for no other reason than it's a degree requirement for a linguistics credit. I'd rather take French. With that being said, apparently two hellish years of French have really beefed up my language skills, and it's going quite easily. Perhaps I'll be one of those people who knows like five (useful) languages eventually.

Thesis. Blech. I don't want to talk about it.

Teaching is going well. I get their first drafts of their first paper by Monday at midnight. We're having fun in class, and they're all really good kids. I expect at least a quarter of them will fail the first draft, but the good thing for them about English is that we offer revisions. Lots and lots of revisions.

Other things are going well, but clouding the periphery--union stuff, graduate literary journal, other groups, non-profit work, academic senate/the eboard for that, too, and now I'm enrolled in a teaching academy through the university (only about 15 people university-wide were selected in total).

PhD applications in a few months.

I guess I should go parse some Old English or grade some papers. What else is there to do while being sick on a Friday night?

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:: 2012 17 August :: 8.48am
:: Mood: contemplative
:: Music: Fun: Carry On

School starts again in about a week. I'm able to get in my office on Monday (hopefully). I just had a student email me about the syllabus for class. I don't have it done. Prep week doesn't even start until next week, and I don't even officially get paid for my work until the week after that.

Lots of things going on. I'm the president of the Graduate Student Union this year. I'm on staff of our creative writing publication. I'm teaching, taking classes, writing my thesis, and on the board of a non-profit. I'm also probably doing a innovative teaching academy program, and applying to PhD programs. Of course, all of these things are unpaid, and when it's all said and done, I make less than minimum wage. Oh, the joys of higher education.

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:: 2011 15 July :: 7.52am
:: Mood: anxious

So many things going on. I'm taking classes and super involved in a shit ton of stuff.

Good things:

-I got my first poem published in an online Canadian Zine this past week. I don't write poetry much, so it was kind of a "I'll submit just for the hell of it and see what happens." It's nice to know that at least one person likes at least one of my poems.

-I'm the newest contributor for a fledgling online commentary website. No pay, but it's definitely more legit than just my wordpress blog. I wouldn't mind spending a few years of my life writing political and social commentary as a job. It'd be kind of fun, I think, just so as long as I don't get my voice totally edited out. We'll see. Maybe something will come of this, maybe something won't. Just another thing to put on my resume at the very least.

So much more is going on, but these are the things of which I am very proud. Sometimes it's really overwhelming, but I know that opportunities like these are what are going to make the difference between getting a job and having a career I love.

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:: 2011 26 April :: 7.42pm
:: Mood: calm

My life is set for approximately the next two years. Hopefully, with little to no deviation. I'm almost done with my first semester of graduate school. I just have about 14 pages to complete before the end of the semester next week.

I'm slated to graduate with my Master of Arts in English Language and Literature in May 2013. I've been offered (and I accepted) a position to teach two sections of English 101: Freshman Composition as a Graduate Assistant. I even got hired by the University and all. I get a small (small) stipend, and a tuition waver for up to 20 credits per year.

I really want to teach when I graduate. I know that I will probably teach composition (hopefully at a community college) for a few years, and then I'll think about a PhD program. I'll see when I get there. I'll also be able to get a job as a grant writer for an organization, as I will be trained in that by the time I graduate.

Things are going. Things are happening. Good things.

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:: 2011 28 March :: 8.21pm


Graduate school is easy. I started in January. So much less crap than undergrad ever was. With that being said, it's getting to the crunch time of the semester that I haven't quite prepared for because I've been busy doing stuff such as:

1. Working at the Writing Center 15 hours/week
2. Organizing a huge fundraiser for the Theodore Roethke House in Saginaw
3. Presenting at the Eastern Central Writing Centers Association Conference
4. Presenting at the Michigan Women's Studies Association Conference
5. Founding and hosting meetings of Anarchists without Adjectives
6. Applying for Teach for America
7. Applying for a graduate assistantship position to teach English 101 next year
8. Sleeping
9. Planning
10. Blogging

Between now and April 9th, I have a presentation and a 15-20 page paper to write for one class. Between now and May 1, I have a 12 page paper, a presentation, and several smaller assignments to complete. Oh, and probably about 2,000 pages of reading. Eh.

The library is my home skillet.

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:: 2011 24 January :: 9.01pm

I keep getting asked what married life is like or how married life is going as if I underwent some magical transformation at 5pm on October 23 and I woke up as a new species, a new life form, on October 24: Wife.

My response is always: it's exactly the same, nothing has changed.

And in a way, that's true. But really I only respond that way because I don't know how else to answer and I don't think people are really expecting an answer beyond "fantastic" or "wonderful." So I answer the same way every time I'm asked.

It's exactly the same. Nothing's changed.

And really, the day to day stuff has not changed at all. That comes with territory though and has nothing to do with marriage or our marriage. When you date someone for 6.5 years and live with them for 3.5, there's not much that changes once you put a title on the relationship.

However I'm still lying when I say nothing has changed. I have changed. Nick has changed. My name has changed.

My name has changed. I didn't think this would be such a big deal to me and I still don't feel it is that much of a big to-do but I do feel the change intimately. I never was really in the feminist/non-name changing camp as I always felt that changing your name was a part of the marriage just like middle school follows elementary school. It is what you do. So I did it because that's what you do. And despite changing my name on Facebook almost immediately (peer pressure is a thing, children) I procrastinated and didn't process the legal name change until January. And now this is who I am. I am not a Greggs, I am a Hazen. My voicemail still says Greggs, at work I am still Greggs but in the eyes of the government of the United States of America and the state of Michigan, I am a Hazen. Who I am as a person and who I identify myself as has changed.

I always thought names were strange. Nick's name isn't Nick, it's Nicholas but to everyone and to himself, he is Nick. Oliver and I were talking about this the other day in relation to celebrities. He was wondering if celebrities' spouses call them their birth name or their stage name. He used Fergie as an example. Is she Fergie at home? To her husband? To her friends? Is she Fergie to her parents?

Now I'm not the person I was for 23 years of my life. I'm someone new, someone different, someone married. I have to learn to respond to a new name, a new title. I'm a wife, I'm married, I'm a Hazen, I'm a Mrs. It's all so very strange that I don't know how I'll get used to it. I'm sure that 23 years from now, I won't be able to imagine it being any different.

I always knew that Nick and I were together for the long haul and we were in this forever, even before we got married. We were good kids and we talked about marriage for quite some time. We talked about getting married like it was some great accomplishment far off and far away from us. Being married was something that happened to other people. We would get there someday but it wasn't today and it wasn't tomorrow. Then suddenly it was tomorrow and then just as suddenly it was today. And then just as quickly it was yesterday and a month ago and two months ago and yesterday it was three months ago and I didn't even notice. We passed this great threshold, this life defining moment, this milestone, this sacrament and it was just a day. Now we're here and it's exactly the same.

But it's not.

I don't know how to describe this feeling to people who aren't married and that's why I haven't been trying. I'm married. I have someone who will always have my back. I have someone who is always on my mind, who is the most important person in my life and someone who is my best friend. All these things were true even before we signed a piece of paper and said those vows but now it's different. Now I have someone with me for the rest of my life. I have someone who will always be there and someone I know I can always turn to for help. I have someone who I can call my husband. I have someone I'm legally bound to and who is bound to me. I have someone who loved me enough to spend all that money on one day to celebrate being us. Together. Finally.

I am married to a wonderful man and someday I will be married to and will have been with Nick for longer than I've been without him (June 13, 2021 to be exact). We will be with each other for the rest of our lives. It's an amazing feeling that didn't really hit me until our "staycation" honeymoon when I cried that afternoon in our hotel room, holding on to my new life. I was a wife celebrating her marriage to her husband and the overwhelming non-change change just threw me. It still hits me hard sometimes and it always surprises me the most when people ask me how married life is. It's not exactly the same but I can't very well tell this story can I?

I also am now deeply affected by any sad/happy stories about married couples. Whether reading a story about the death of a spouse or a child or just thinking about how hard it must have been for immigrants to leave their families behind, I get upset. Thinking about how my great-great great granduncle (or whatever he was) left his wife and traveled on the world's largest unsinkable ship to America, I get teary. I know how Fahim Leeni must have felt when he left his wife of four month for something better. I know how people feel when they are separated from their spouses. I know this because I know this feeling, I know how people feel when they are together.

How's married life?

It's about the same.

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:: 2010 11 December :: 10.56pm

I graduated from college today.

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:: 2010 5 December :: 8.49am

I turned 23 years old yesterday. It's hard to imagine that I've had this journal for about a decade. Almost more than half of my life.

I didn't really do anything 'special' for my birthday. It's the weekend before finals and I'm entrenched in some tough paper and exam writing--but I know that I'll get through it. I just keep chugging along and crossing things off my list and eventually it will be Saturday.

Oh yeah. I graduate from college on Saturday. I'm going to walk across the stage and everything. I'm graduating Magna Cum Laude (I think, whatever the second best one is). I get to wear a big metal, but not as big as the highest honors people get to wear.

Last week was a week of lasts: last undergraduate classes, last Kappa Kappa Psi meeting as an active Brother, my last band concert at CMU, last week of being 22 years old. I thought I was going to be a mess, but I'm actually quite zen about it. I will miss it, but I have the feeling it's just time for me to go--to move on, to do other things.

I will be a graduate student in January and I think being a graduate student is going to be easier than the last few years of undergraduate work. I'm only taking 6 credits, and they are both literature seminars. I'm waiting to take more until I get full funding at a graduate assistant. That is, if I'm still at CMU.

I'm almost done with my application for the joint PhD program (English and Women's Studies) at the University of Michigan. I'm scared to move away, scared that this could be a real possibility, but at the same time, it feels so good that I've come this far. They only accept 3 people per year, and that would mean that I would beat out out over 100 other applicants, most probably with Masters degrees already. We'll have to see. It would mean that Rueben and I would be apart for a semester, so that would be tough, but fuck, it's a PhD program with complete funding.

Exciting, exciting things happening. I can't wait until Christmas break when I can sit around in my owl pajamas and eat bon bons (well, okay, popcorn).

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:: 2010 13 October :: 5.52pm

I'm getting married in a week.

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:: 2010 1 October :: 9.38pm

I took the GRE today. The testing center is in the basement of one of the old dormitories at Central. It was weird. And dark.

I earned a 550 on the verbal section and a 480 on the quantitative section. I'm going to take it again in a year if I don't get admitted to University of Michigan's joint PhD program in English and Women's Studies.

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:: 2010 2 September :: 1.16am


This freakout brought to you by wedding stress. For when you really want to stay up all night worrying about shit you could not care less about, there's wedding stress!

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:: 2010 21 August :: 11.10pm
:: Mood: calm

It's the end of the week, but only the beginning of the end. This is the Saturday before I start my last semester as an undergraduate college student. This was also the first week that I have been on educational leave from The Company since my freshman year of college.

I spent the entire week devoted to volunteering at CMU's band camp: meal set up, instrument sorting, wind suit dissemination, water cooler wrangling, to name a few of the tasks. Tonight, I and several of my Brothers went to see Jeff Daniels perform a concert in the streets of downtown Mt. Pleasant as volunteers for the Red Cross. They were raising money specifically for their infant pantry and I was able to collect the largest single donation: a $100 check.

Standing in the middle of the barricaded road with my Red Cross Volunteer Vest made me think about what I am doing. I intend to apply for a joint PhD program in English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan this fall (for fall 2011 admittance). I want this degree because I think it will allow me to have a job in the eventual downfall of the University English Department; but the real reason I want it is so that I can understand. I want to KNOW. I want to examine those socio-economic hetero-patriarchal hegemonic power structures so that I KNOW how to turn them in on themselves. I want to expose them and say "AHA! I've got you now!" I want to understand why things happen the way they do so that I can make others understand. I want them to be empowered so they have a chance to make a choice for themselves; to be able to have some semblance of freedom (I know there are several hundred theorists which would, at this point, as if freedom is even possible; Janis Joplin would tell me it happens when there's nothing left to lose).

But, at this point in time, an academic has just so much hold. There is so much to do and not every woman (or man that cares about these power structures-yes, men can be feminists, too) is going to be going through a university class which others like me will teach. What to do? Why aren't there more of us helping organizations like the infant's pantry? Why didn't I know that the Women's Shelter probably needed volunteers? That's how I can start to make a difference.

I was thinking this as I stood there under the street light as the sun began to go down and about one hundred people crowded around the small stage to meet Jeff Daniels. I stood there, holding my donation bucket, smiling as everyone walked past me, guiltily looking away because they did not want or could not afford a donation. I didn't donate any money simply because I don't have any to give; but I have my time. I gave my time and my thoughts and stood there, smiling, hoping that at least each person walking by thought about what it might be like to be a woman or a man going into that pantry, how he or she got there, and why.


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