I am looking to finance my residency and graduate studies in London next year. I started my educational trek more than a decade ago, before the internet was readily available to anyone really. I had to rely on the knowledge (and willingness to help-which, let’s face it, was pretty much non-existant) of my high school counselor (snort, laugh…). I went to the library and found grants and scholarships in biannual publications (books). I figured this time around would be easier. With the click of a mouse, I can find lists, caches of information on scholarships and grants to help me study in London and not be homeless. As I search the bounty (snort, laugh…) of scholarships and grant funding available for my particular educational venture (snort, laugh…) I am seeing a common thread. I fall into that gray area, the slimy soupy pool of those who are too normal for help but not wealthy enough to mooch off of your family. I have all four limbs, my mom wasn’t a crack head, I had a house where my dad regularly mowed the lawn ( somewhere amongst the 100 hours he worked every week ) , I am slightly hearing impaired but not enough to qualify for anything of merit, etc, etc… I have never built houses for tribes people in the jungle (mainly because I am terrified of snakes and guerilla anarchist rebels with automatic weapons who really hate women and Americans-two strikes for me). I am waiting to click on the one blue title and read the description ,” For Intelligent American Students who wish to study art abroad with two employed, middle-class parents who followed the rules and paid their taxes.” I’m not finding any of those. I know it is more than wrong to even begin to complain about a life of normalcy. I was most always healthy and had parents who cared for me and our home. They worked hard to keep our family afloat and followed those unspoken societal rules that you care for your lawn, walk your dog, wash your cars on Sunday afternoons and don’t let your kids drink too much soda. I have had very little hardship but don’t have the luxury of everything in my life being paid for. Student loans will get me part of the way, saving what I can will add a few rungs to ladder but I will continue to attempt to bridge the financial gap. The more I think on it, the more I realize that nearly half of the people I know intimately fall into the same category as me. We are simply too normal. BUT…I refuse to give up because, as I recently expressed to someone, this is one of those things that if I don’t do it, I will regret it for the rest of my life. The very first day of art school after I quit my job as a teacher, I remember saying that I WILL go to graduate school in London. Money is the only thing standing in the way. I have a few scholarships and student loans but there is still a deficit. I will continue to sell everything I own on eBay and comb that annals of the scholarship databases. I will not give up.