Living on a Budget

Are you a penny pinching coupon clipper? How about just flat out broke from the cost of a college education (or just the cost of life in general)? Did you know that you can often get a meal, a ticket to the movies, a doctor’s medical advice, or even a beer for free?

I spend a lot of my procrastination time browsing deal sights such as Groupon, Living Social, or Deal Monkey and fantasizing about having the money and free time to purchase the deals to take a gourmet cooking class or go on a dog sled adventure complete with wine and fondue (yes, most of these fantasies include food).  However, when I snap out of these fantasies I usually find myself on one website: Mile High on the Cheap.

Mile High on the Cheap has allowed me to turn some of these fantasies into reality.  While the cooking classes might not be gourmet and the wine and cheese not accompanied by a dog sled adventure, the most important aspect is that they are free (or cheap!).

Mile High on the Cheap’s editors work hard to keep the readers of the blog updated with the latest deals and freebies.  The features of the blog range from finding the cheapest place to get gas in your area to a map of local garage sales in the summer and craft fairs in the fall.

Mile High on the Cheap has helped me to have the social life I never thought I could afford while in graduate school.  Through their daily emails (an optional feature of the site), I have found out about and attended a green chili cook off (free green chili from 15 local restaurants!), a free day at Denver’s Botanical Gardens, free weekly showings of the latest episodes of Walking Dead at my local Cinebarre, a free breakfast at Chick-fil-A, among many many others.

So, if you are broke and cheap like me, check out Mile High on the Cheap and start saving!

-Poor Graduate Student

When Personal and Professional Worlds Collide

During my concentration year at GSSW, I have been interning at a hospice/palliative care agency. As part of my training as a palliative care social work intern, I have learned about end-of-life issues, advance directives (e.g., a living will), and the components that go into good hospice care.  When I accepted a position at my field placement, I had no idea that my work there would so strongly affect my personal life in a few short months.

Last September, my grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Though he made initial improvements with the help of chemotherapy, the tumors initially present only in his chest cavity spread throughout his body. He spent most nights during late January and early February painfully coughing up blood.

About two weeks ago, I received a call from my grandmother. She told me that grandpa had decided that though he put up a good fight, he could no longer fight his illness. It was time to look for appropriate hospice care. My intuition told me I needed to go home to assist my family with this difficult decision.  I drove back to St. Louis on Friday, February 8.

My grandmother, aunt, fiancé, and I met with the hospice team affiliated with a local hospital the next morning. I was grateful for my knowledge of hospice as the admission nurse reviewed the process of end-of-life care. Before interning at my organization, I would have been frightened by the idea of hospice. I might have believed many of the myths surrounding end-of-life care. Instead, I knew that hospice was a comfort-based option for individuals who no longer wanted to pursue curative treatment.

I had enough knowledge about hospice to ask key questions about the kind of care my grandpa would receive. Based on my field experiences, I felt that this hospice team could offer my grandpa a high level of comfort. My aunt and grandma agreed. Grandpa moved into the hospice house later that day.

When we arrived at the hospice house, grandpa seemed immediately calmer. He was finally able to get the pain medicine and care he needed. Grandpa slept for over four hours for the first time in months. He was able to see all of the people he loved over the next few days. Grandpa tied up his loose ends, pain-free. It was a gift to watch him enjoy his last few days on Earth. He died on Wednesday, February 13, in the middle of the night. His passing was peaceful.

I am grateful for the knowledge and support imparted to me by my agency. Not only were staff members very understanding that I needed to take time off to be with family, but they provided me with much-needed grief support when I returned. My first week back has been difficult, but thanks to this new connection between my professional and personal self, I am confident that I will be able to appropriately grieve my loss in a supportive environment.

 

The Many Parks of Denver

So even though graduate school is busy, Denver is a great city for going outside and taking a break.  There are several wonderful parks in the Denver area.  Also, with 300 days of sun a year, parks are the perfect getaway for a little self-care.  For a map of Denver parks, go here. Enjoy!
 
City Park (1700 N. York St.)
  • Facilities: 

    Benches, Drinking Fountain, Picnic Tables, Playground, Flower Beds, Walking/Jogging Path, Interactive Fountain, Lake, Baseball / Softball Field, Handball Court, Soccer Field, Football Field, Tennis Court, Horseshoe Pits, Museum, Zoo, Pavilion, Historic

Cheesman Park (1599 E. 8th Ave.)
  • Facilities: 

    Benches, Drinking Fountain, Pavilion, Picnic Tables, Playground, Flower Beds, Fountain, Walking/Jogging Path, Bike/Pedestrian Path, Shelter, Scenic Views

Washington Park (701 S. Franklin St.)
  • Facilities: 

    Recreation Center, Flower Beds, Picnic Shelter, Benches, Drinking Fountain, Grills, Picnic Tables, Playground, Lake, Fishing, Paddle Boat Rentals, Restroom, Tennis Court, Basketball Court, Bike/pedestrian Path, Horseshoe Pits, Lawn Bowling, Jogging Path

For more information on Denver parks, go here
 

The Calm After the Storm

There is a sigh of relief goes over me after I turn in my last midterm paper. Last week I barely slept, and there was so much work to get done.  Not only was it midterms, but the Field Fair was also last week and I had to work.  It makes you realize how important time management is when you are a graduate student. I know that for the next 4 weeks I am still going to busy, but it won’t be as stressful as it was week 5 and 6. No matter how stressed out you get during midterms, it is always important to remember that there is calm after the storm.

CG

The Waiting Game

Hello again,

 

I just wanted to chime in about my experience on the acceptance/denial waiting game for graduate programs.

I know that it can be frustrating and nerve wracking to wait around hoping that some college or university will accept you; I felt the same way too. I even thought about what I would do if I did not get accepted into any program.

 

Thankfully that did not happen, I was accepted into four different schools and took my time in deciding.

 

However I do have a few tips while in the waiting game.

 

1) Keep Busy

 

2) Do think about other job options if you feel the need to

 

3) Focus on yourself, do some self-care activities

 

4)  Do not get discourage when others talk about their acceptance

 

5) Remember that no matter what happens, you did all you could.

 

Well those are my tips, I hope they help 🙂

Emily