My worst week started on the first day of my summer tennis program, Sunday the 13th. Since May, I had been anticipating the free tennis program held by the West Suburban Tennis Patrons every summer. Then, after a dry week, it rained.
The rain did stop, but it was gloomy and damp out. I soon found out tennis was indeed cancelled.
Thus, Sunday ends leaving me to wait for Wednesday, the next tennis class.
Monday the 14th
After eating brunch, I checked the mail. I finally got my long-awaited revised financial aid package and billing sheet for California College of the Arts (CCA). This financial aid package has been a big headache. I went from a $20,900 scholarship to $15,900, and then fought to bring it up to $17,900. Such a headache.
Anyway, after I got the letter I called my financial aid advisor to help me fill out the paper work. I did not get to speak with her; she was in a meeting. I decided to call again Tuesday.
Tuesday the 15th (Journal entry):
Today is an upsetting day. I called CCA again and got no answer. I really need to send back those financial papers, but I need to make sure they are filled out correctly.
To complicate matters I humored a Kaplan University representative for an online animation course. I am such an agreeable person and the representative was very personable (most are).
Kaplan classes start July 7th so they worked really quickly with me, they even figured out my financials in one sitting.
I really want to see if CCA works out before I agree to another school. When the advisor calls me again tomorrow I will tell him I have to think about all my options. Kaplan is definitely cheaper, but I do not just want what is cheaper, I want what is best for me.
There is no way you can hit the ball if you are thinking about all the ways to miss.
Wednesday the 16th:
I called CCA financial aid office again and missed my advisor again. Right after the missed call Kaplan contacted me again. I explained that I want to go to a campus and wait to hear about the loan for CCA. He graciously agreed to delete my account and said if anything changed, I could try to apply again.
About an hour later, I woke up my sister, Amber. We heard a beeping noise. It was our alarm system. We were confused and I checked all the doors and windows, which were all closed and locked. When I turned off the alarm, I noticed that the clocks in the kitchen were off. I opened the fridge and the light was out. I flipped light switches all over the house, but none worked. The power was out.
Around 2:00, my dad came home. Amber and I immediately said: “The power is out.”
Dad asked if we tried fixing the fuse box. We did try but nothing we did worked. Dad had the same luck. No other house on the block was having the same problem, we checked.
After all, of the above events, my dad called ComEd, the electricity provider. He talked for a while and I was getting restless. Tennis started within the next 30 minutes.
Finally, my dad took me; Amber came too, but only to watch and socialize. I had not played in about 8 months, so I was less than glorious, but I had a great time.
Immediately after tennis, I saw I had a missed call on my cell. My enrollment counselor called. I forgot I scheduled to register my classes at 4:30, which is the time tennis ends. To my frustration, my dad was about 10 minutes late to pick me up. When I made it home I apologized and registered for my classes. I have 3 classes on Monday/Wednesday and 2 classes on Tuesday/Thursday.
I asked my dad why the power went out. He said ComEd hasn’t gotten a payment from us since we moved here around November. He never put the electricity under his name, it wasn’t under anyone’s name actually. I don’t know the details but I think ComEd should have done a better job at trying to contact us about it before turning everything off.
Between 5:30 and 6:00, we left to take Amber to martial arts, which, starts at 7:00. It is an hour drive there and back, 40 minutes on a good day, 90 minutes on a bad day. The hour-long class loosely ends around 8:00. We return home around 9:00 to an abnormally dark house. Mom was sitting in the kitchen with a few candles and a battery-powered radio playing. Grandma had gone to one of her brothers’ home to stay for a few days.
Amber and I dressed for bed, but stayed at the kitchen table to draw and write by candle light while trying to finish off the milk with dad.
This night we all headed to bed early, I went upstairs to Grandma’s room to be close to everyone (my room is in the basement). I didn’t sleep well. The combination of staying up past midnight every night, a hot non-air conditioned room (the basement is always cool), and noise (snoring and birds I don’t normally hear) kept me awake. I never noticed how perfect my quiet, cool den really was.
The first day of darkness had passed.
Thursday the 17th:
I was forced to get up early so Dad, Amber, and I could go out for breakfast. We went to Simon’s and I annihilated a huge cheese and ham omelet.
We drew pictures/wrote stories until we got bored. We decided to go to a park, play tennis, and then sat on the swings for a while.
Once again, we all went to bed early, not without last drawing by candle light though. This night Mom and I slept in the basement. Mom had my bed and I had the couch, she went to bed first and I didn’t want to wake her.
Again, I couldn’t sleep. A strange nightmare kept me awake. It took place in Africa and there was a rouge demon elephant spirit that kept tracking me down. The details are too fuzzy to explain.
Day 2 of darkness had passed.
Friday the 18th (Journal entry):
Today Dad called ComEd again under Mom’s command. They told him the power should have been turned on already. It turns out a little power box on the side of the house was broken. ComEd said they would send someone to fix it. Dad had already promised to help one of my aunts with some housework and made sure no one had to be home for the box to be fixed. Our presence wasn’t necessary so, we headed to my aunt’s house.
The drive to her house can take some time when there is traffic and there was traffic. About half way there, we heard a flapping noise. Dad gets out to check the sound. We have a flat tire. We don’t have a spare tire or a jack, so we went to a gas station, put more air in the tire and headed back home. We were sitting in a car with broken air conditioning in 90-degree weather for almost an hour. Jeez what a week.
When we get home the power is magically on! It was the first good news since Wednesday. Dad couldn’t enjoy it long though because he had to take the car to the shop. Amber and I on the other hand jumped for our laptops. We missed the internet so! I had 100+ emails, 320+ messages on deviantart (an art site), and Facebook.
Shortly after I went through all of my mail, there was a horrible thunderstorm. The lights flickered for a few moments. Amber and I were very upset. Of course, the moment we have power there would be a storm to knock it out again. We were lucky though. The power didn’t go out even though many other homes lost power around the city.
With our electricity restored, everything went back to normal.
The third and final day of darkness was over.