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"Someday, I'll be a knight."
"A thatcher's son? A knight? You might as well try to change the stars!"
"Can it be done, father? Can a man change the stars?"
"Yes, William. If he believes enough, a man can do anything."

--A Knight's Tale

I have, through my own efforts, the grace and support of my friends and family, and the Paper of Awesomeness (no, seriously, it was just that awesome) managed to land a berth in Case Western Reserve's MA/PhD English Studies program. Case Western is a Tier I school. Its closest rival is Carnegie Mellon, both athletically and academically. It's small, it's private, and it doesn't let just any yahoo knock on the door and come in. I also was offered full funding for this position, which I gleefully accepted. I have a teaching assistantship that'll put me through it for two years, and then we'll see about getting the funding extended once I'm accepted into the PhD half of the program.

I think that I'll be pretty good at teaching and being a grad student/professor-in-training. I am, however, unemployed still, living in Seattle, and having to move to Cleveland, OH this summer. Time to ask for help in moving this one last mountain.

I need to move cross country in three months. I need to get my brakes fixed, maybe get some new tires, pay off some bills, and have some money to put down for a new place to live. I have been unemployed since September, and while I do a little work on the side that I try to stick some back from now and again, it is not going to be enough to get me there. I'm looking for work still as I finish this last quarter, but whether or not anything comes of it will be impossible to say.

I didn't start any of this because I thought it was a good idea for anyone but me. That said, people have come to me and told me that what I'm doing gave them the inspiration to make changes in their own lives, to change their own stars.

For that reason as much as any other, I need your help as much as I hate to ask for it. My life is waiting for me on the other side of June -- all I have to do is get me and a small modicum of furniture there. Moving is going to cost about $2500 according to the estimates I've gotten. Car repairs will probably hit about $1000. First month's rent and deposit is likely going to hit another $1200. That's $5000, easy. I'm asking you to help me raise that money by contributing to the "Get Michelle To Case Western" fund.

I've got 400 friends on Facebook alone. If each person were willing to donate $10, that's most of the money and I can make up the rest. Anything is useful and appreciated, and will not go unrewarded: oh no.

In return for your awesome assistance in this matter, every donor may choose one of the following:

1) A handknitted hat or pair of socks in the color(s) of your choice, to be delivered sometime before I graduate with my PhD;
2) A batch of cookies, flavor of your choice, mailed to wherever you like;
3) 5 hours of my writing/editing time to do with what you will. I'll write you a story, I'll edit yours, I'll offer criticism... whatever.

These prizes are all assuming a $10 or so donation. Prizes for larger donations, should anyone feel moved to do so, can be revised accordingly within reason. Be warned: I am a slow freaking knitter, so bear that in mind. I do make awesome cookies, though.

My Paypal account is michelle.lyons@gmail.com. You can repost or forward this to whomever you think might be interested in helping with such a project (or some socks), as I'll not turn down help from whatever corner it comes. I can provide references to interested parties to prove this isn't a scam. In case this gets shown to someone that doesn't already know me, I'm a 39-yr-old single mom of two sons, a writer and editor of RPGs, a citizen of Seattle for six years, and a pretty spiffy roleplayer. All of these facts are well documented and can be verified -- well, maybe not the last one, but it's true, I promise.

Thanks in advance for any help this might get me. It means more than you know.

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eurydicebound

March 2013

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