Notes from Ann Arbor

# of $10 BLTs purchased and eaten: 1
# of times I said, “Mmm” while eating $10 BLT: 4
# of bookstores persused: 4
# of bad cups of coffee consumed: 1
# of ugly clothing stores walked by: 9
# of hot black men spied: 5
# of hot Arab men spied: 2
# of hot Arab women spied: 1
# of hot white guys spied: 0
# of hot Jewish guys spied: 1
# of indy movie theaters: 2
# of times I felt guilty: 1 (The chick at the motel front desk said she’s been living in Ann Arbor for 24 years and never went to college because she couldn’t afford to. And here I am hesitating about going to school when they’re throwing money at me.)

4 thoughts on “Notes from Ann Arbor

  1. Help the chick get to community college. Couldn’t afford to also may mean didn’t have the organizational skills/family skills/support. Because penniless Russians (and Lebanese) come here and go to college, but they usually have some kind of background that helps them figure out how to make it work.

    Meanwhile, please don’t feel guilty about any benefits anybody offers you. You have done your time in privation, my sister. You deserve any money they throw at you. Not to take it would be to deny yourself your true path; you would then be denying all the rest of us whatever work you would have done and shared with us.

    Take it from me, a person who hid out and turned away from gifts for too long. You are pretty young now but you really don’t want to wake up fifteen years from now saying ‘ why didn’t I do it?’ You completely deserve it (and I don’t even know what it is – a scholarship at Ann Arbor?)

    Also – think about your son. If you can’t convince yourself to be good enough to yourself to take every penny just for you (and you ought to, because you deserve it) then think about how much your son deserves a mother, his primary care-giver and support, who has come into her power. Money is the least of it. It’s not just that by getting your Ph.D. you’ll move into a profession (and I know you will find good and meaningful and remunerative work) it’s that you will be in your power and modeling that for him. You don’t want him denying himself his truest desires because he thinks he’s supposed to, because you did, etc. etc.

    Okay I’m ranting. Sorry. It’s just that there’s so much suffering in the world; please don’t feel guilty about getting some good stuff for you…You completely deserve it.

  2. thanks, leila. i actually had many of these same thoughts and i’ve accepted the offer at U of M. it’ll be a great new beginning for me and for my kid, and it’ll be really good for my writing.

  3. Glad I wasn’t off the mark there. I felt compunction after posting – I’m being so bossy!

    But I decided that an Arab sister would speak her mind so I let fly. Good for you.

    Which Michigan campus?

  4. ann arbor. it’s tiny, god help me, but it’ll be good. it’s cute there…

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