Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring almost

Well, I did change my major. I had a meeting with a career advisor today who told me that almost all of the courses needed for psychology and sociology were compatible, and that a Bachelor's in Social Work is one of the most versatile degrees available. Add ASL to that and I have probably the best chance of good employment I could ask for. So that's what I'm doing, and later on when the kids are older, if my situation allows I can go back for my doctorate in psychology without having to take many extra courses.

My sociology professor was fired. Not sure why. The emergency fill-in professor is fine. I don't like his method of teaching as much, but I like him. He's an older man, a practicing psychologist who has worked many years with psychotic and juvenile delinquent populations. Lots of life experience to bring, just not directly related to sociology. Whatever. I'll get through this and move on. I might not be learning what I expected from him, but I'm still learning things that interest me.

I'm expecting we will be joining the Orthodox Church around the end of May. I'm still very nervous about that, but not because I think it might be the wrong religion. I'm just having a hard time with any religion right now. I need a church family, though, and so do the boys; and I'm far too spiritual a person to believe in atheism. I can't even when I want to. I believe there is a Creator, and that He is actively involved with creation; and I no longer think it matters exactly HOW we worship Him, just that we do it without causing harm to others and without selfish motives. I think that faith is everything, while religion is just a material casting to give us a sense of unity. The mysticism of the Orthodox faith is comforting to me, because I no longer see any logic whatsoever in religion. The thing that keeps me believing in God is the power of prayer. That's mystic. There is nothing logical or scientific about prayer. It's 100% spiritual.

Because of all this I've thought a lot about whether I believe Jesus is the Son of God, and I do. I have read a lot about the origins of various religions in my history course, and although there are sometimes miracles ascribed to other religious figures, it's nothing remotely like the historic descriptions of Jesus. A lot of people witnessed a lot of supernatural occurrences surrounding him, and even for centuries afterward there were eyewitness accounts of supernatural occurrences involving early saints and martyrs. These seemed to wane as time went by, but they can't all be ascribed to people's active imaginations. If that were the case we would have similar numbers of similar stories around other religious figures in other places. But we don't. In comparing these stories with the social timeline of history, the dropoff of these supernatural events seems to coincide with the emergence of science as a leading authority. And we know today that many people will witness unexplainable events and simply deny them or block them out because science says that what they just saw couldn't be.

Anyway. The Princess is doing well in daycare 3 days a week. I was really feeling guilty about "institutionalizing" her, but she enjoys it, and I'm glad I signed her up since my Grandmother has set out to make my mom's life as difficult as possible. Just tonight, after being up and about all day, she was condemning Mother to terrible fates for not assisting her into the bed IMMEDIATELY upon request. She refused to hear that Mom was in the middle of something important and could not stop right away. It was hard for me to keep quiet, since she could easily have done it herself but chose to harass my mom instead. I went down because she was wailing and moaning for help, expecting to find her fallen off the bed or something. But she was sitting in the chair perfectly fine, apparently just being dramatic because Mom had committed the awful offense of leaving the room before Grandmother excused her. When I came down, she got up with very little assistance and went grouching to the bed, calling down wrath on my mom for being so cruel. I wanted to tell her that Mother is an icon of patience in dealing with her nonsense, but it would only make things worse. It's good to have a couple of us she DOESN'T hate so that someone can calm her down when she gets carried away.  She's thrown things several times.

As you may imagine, however, this has made it nearly impossible for my mom to watch the kids or cook meals, etc. So if the baby wasn't in daycare I'd be in serious trouble right now. The boys will be in summer camps 6 weeks, spread out over the 14-week summer; and I'm thinking I might need to increase those numbers. I don't want them in ALL summer, but their care is subsidized weekly, not daily; so when they are home they are home for a week. And I will have to raise the baby to 4 days in order to get sufficient study time. I was hoping to get to the end of this semester without doing that, but it's looking more and more doubtful. I really can't study here at all now. Little Bear will be in 1st grade this fall, so school will last all day; and I'm thinking rather than put the boys in aftercare and try to cram all my study into the 3 days I have classes, it might be better to do 4 days a week with the Princess and make them shorter, so I can be home in the late afternoon and evenings. Right now I don't drop her off until after 10, and then two days I pick her up after 5:30. But I'm going to have to take her in earlier because I'm not getting enough study time. I think she will do better overall with more days, but shorter. She likes going there, but 5-6 hours seems like her tolerance level. By 4 o'clock she's ready to go home.

So, hopefully all this will produce something good in the end.

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