Why Unions are Important in Universities

rats

Description:  A grey cat with golden eyes has a brown rat between their pays while they’re biting through the rat’s neck. The rat is clearly dead and the cat is sitting on grey painted wood with what looks like snow in the background.

Taken from: http://asianetindia.com/natural-ways-to-kill-rats/ ]

A few weeks ago, I received an email York University with a response to my PhD application. I was terrified when I saw the notification, but was at work. I left the email unread until I arrived back home so regardless of the results, it wouldn’t impact my job. …Much. I spent the rest of my shift low key anxious and Facebook messaging my kyn (the word I chose to describe chosen family) with plans to look at the email as a household.

By the time I was in the door and greeting my kyn, my anxiety spiked. But I was surrounded by people who’d be there for me regardless of the results of the email. Hiding in one person’s shoulder, the other read the email for me and told me the results.

I got into a PhD program! This was such a huge relief for me. Finally! My life can begin! I’ll be able to fix up my body. I’ll be able to fix up my brain. I’ll be able to have nice things and not feel like a burden on my kyn as the poorest one in the house! (Regardless of how much they’d say otherwise, the reality of making approximately $800 a month is real…)

Getting into a PhD program at York has been my goal for the past few years. I live in a household of PhD candidates. We all met in the same MA program (in various stages of completing our degrees) and eventually became a household. Being marginalized in multiple ways hasn’t made it easy for me to get employment regardless of how much experience I have. But for some reason, my abilities are recognized most often in academia. It’s my best chance at doing what I want and making enough to pay the bills. And specifically at York, I would have access to things that no other university could provide.

And then I received my funding package. $22,000 a year which was higher than the (rounded up) $10,000 a year. (Keep in mind, this is still below a living wage). But then at the very bottom of the page, it mentioned that I was going to be offered either a Fellowship, TA, GA, or RA position. And my world crashed down upon my ears.
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Post Op Months 5-8

fireworks-1024x1009

[Description: Fireworks on a black background. There are four bursts of colour in the image. Two reddish gold fireworks in the foreground that overlap and are located close to the center. There’s another gold firework above it and a green one to the right of the gold.

Taken from: http://www.hormonesmatter.com/female-orgasm/ ]

I started my fifth month post with silver nitrate applied to my vag which was less-than-fun. The application didn’t take long fortunately. My gynecologist took what looked like a matchstick with a silver tip and gently brushed it against my labia. And then came the burning sensation as the silver nitrate did its work.

For those who aren’t aware, silver nitrate is used to treat hypergranulated tissue – when your body heals up too much and there’s what looks like a red, shiny scab left behind. It needs to be burned off in order for your body to heal properly, hence the silver nitrate.

The whole procedure took a couple minutes and the burning sensation lasted a few minutes more. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. The pain was nowhere near as bad as getting a tattoo. Or even getting a needle. It stings, but it’s over within a few minutes. It’s akin to getting a cut disinfected.

After the silver nitrate is applied, your body has to heal. And part of that healing involves bleeding and old skin that looks like grey goo coming out of the vulva. I joked with my kin that this was the period that I’d never get. My cloth pads were finally getting used for what they were designed for. I felt sore and sensitive for a few days as my body healed. And I had to continue douching and bathing to wash out the gunk. The whole process was messy and made dilating less pleasant, but by this point, I was getting used to cleaning blood out of my sheets and the sight of weird gunk coming out of my vag.

Continue reading Post Op Months 5-8