Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Parade Of Recent Clusterfuckedness, or My Academic Career Thus Far


When I asked on Twitter what I should wear for today's extensive psychiatric evaluation, and what confounding book I should bring along a) for the wait and to b) irritate and disturb this psychologist, I dressed the part but forgot a damn book. Alas, I had a litany of forms to fill out when I got there anyway, and sat alone in the waiting room, when I was looking forward to people-watching some of Maine Township's Resident Loonies, er, fellow patients.I ended up not wearing, against my friend Wampus' advice, bedazzled cullotes and a reading a Glenn Beck book. I chose my t-shirt with a sad-faced snare drum on it that says, "I have a headache."

It was a toss-up of a couple of books I haven't finished, Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" and Keith Richards' "Life." They both seemed too obvious. I strongly considered my parody book, "Goodnight Keith Moon," but was so busy throwing my evident medicine bottles in my purse, that it slipped my mind.

I had been caught up in getting the veritable gaggle of potential Adler School materials together all weekend, a statement to the school about my intentions/history, and lining up my 3 letters of recommendation. Knox miraculously released my transcript after, I suppose, forgiving the private loan I took out as a student of the college almost 20 years ago, even though I openly said that I still was in possession of their entire Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg collections from Seymour Library. (I'm happy to will them back to the alma mater when I die.) Applied for Federal student financial aid, touched base with Adler today, and am having a helluva time navigating the College of Du Page's website to attempt to sign up for Research Methods, since Oakton requires either a) evidence of mathematical coursework elsewhere (18 years ago!) or taking a math placement test. Me + a math placement test?

Guy Friend's home from his week of Controlled Boredom and is doing one of my letters of recommendation, which he has to do online, save his mustached soul. As is my Abnormal Psych professor and my former Russian Lit professor, who happens to be Kate's husband. Let's go, guys, classes start before you know it!

(Dang, Rabid Remarried Mom is gone. And all these great ecards came out today:)

Putting away the academics for a few hours today, I answered two hours' worth of questions regarding my mental health, during which I actually emerged looking a lot saner than most of the people who walk in the door. Nothing was left to chance in this interview, and I wasn't cocky, well, until SHE TOO, a licensed clinical psychologist, didn't know what NSSI stood for, couldn't spell Estazolam, her computer fucked up & she had to call for backup, couldn't spell Vicodin, and was impressed with how much knowledge I had about all of my mental afflictions. In any event, I tried to not outsmart or snark her to death, since she's trying to get me help, and an appointment with a psychiatrist for med management is slated for September 4th, with a female psychiatrist. I've never seen a female psychiatrist, but I can only hope she's more with it and compassionate than Dr. K was, and understands why I take everything I take, when and how.  Coincidentally, many of their in-resident therapists are Adler students. What a coup! (Though I found great humor in the question, "Do you have any friends?" Um, duh. She should've asked me if I had any enemies. That list is even longer, it would seem.) Why schlep to Swedish Covenant in the city if I can get therapy in my own township, given I was just assigned a new intern (the other one who didn't know what NSSI was) and I could work with interns from the school I want to attend? Meh, I'll address all of that at my September appointment, during which I've been granted a whopping 40 minutes, when a typical psychiatric appointment is 15. I'll have to go monthly for the first few months, as I did with Dr. K, then can spread it out to every 3 months. Beautiful.

Speaking of friends, talked to Kate tonight. If we were Daria and Jane, she'd totally be Jane. I'm perpetually Daria. Except I would never steal Jane's boyfriend away. Kate's back in MA and in ill health, but her delightful giggle on the phone is perpetual, her sharp wit intact, and it's always a delight when the phone rings and it's her, even when the news is less than, er, good, and my friend is suffering. Somehow or another, even when we're both in shitty moods and the world is falling apart, we manage to laugh. That's the mark of a best friend, and I could go on and on about her, but you all already know how much I love Kate.

Nothing ever came of the short, I can only assume was surveillance of my blog after the debacle betwixt Rabid Remarried Mom, her Snippy Daughter, Luke and me. And "the cops." She evidently *didn't* unfriend Luke, so we still get to see a lot of what she posts. Big surprise! To this day, Pastor Dave still hasn't cast me aside and notified me of my reprehensible sins towards this particularly unimaginative, shit-for-brains family. P'Dave and I have texted back and forth several times since RRM's proclamation and he hasn't said boo about anything either I or Luke may have done. Our biggest mutual worry is getting the squabbling singers to become a unified front for the contemporary band, ASAP.

Kind of like gristle in a piece of meat one stumbles upon accidentally, which grosses one out for the remainder of the meal, Rabid Remarried Mom appeared on my intellectual radar last week, and the fight was soon over, with Camp Miklasz/Bechtel the resident heroes. My blogs pointing out the error of her lying ways helped, I'm sure. The last status update she penned regarding the matter HAD to have been ghost-written, because it lacked spelling or grammatical errors. I can only assume. Read: It was intelligible.


Wow. Woke up at 5:12 am, wished Jordan Zevon a happy birthday, had half a pot of coffee and was totally snoozing by 7:30 am, re-awaking at 10:30 am. The goal for the day? Shower and dress before Luke gets home at 2pm. I'm sure I have more disparaging grad school paperwork to deal with, or is today a declared day off? I'm honestly not sure.

Wow, I spoke too soon. I'm trying to register for this online sociology stats course through the College of Du Page (another community college, for cripe's sake) and there's all this bullshit about math or behavioral science prerequisites. One *can* gain entry via the instructor's permission, so I shot him an email with my recent coursework vitae (my 2 psych classes count towards behavioral science classes) and the fact that I did, in fact, duh, take not only a "How to Take Math" class and got a B+ but also a math class 18 years ago, pass/fail that I passed!  (One also must pass a reading competency test. Jesus H. Christ. No, I don't know how to read. You're, however, exempt from this ridiculous test if you have a BA/BS from an accredited undergraduate institution. Ack. Another transcript request to fill out.) 

I pretty much have to do a class online if I get into Adler so it won't conflict with my graduate coursework. Always a wrench in the system. Aggravating. Some would argue I'm just getting what's coming to me in terms of my aggravation. Thank you. And fuck you.

Absolutely nothing, as it were, is working out today. I'm the one eating the Karma cake, for fucking sure. After Knox told me they'd happily (yesterday) send my transcripts out to the various institutions of note (today including the College of Du Page), the ol' alma mater, "The Harvard of the Midwest," emails me that they can't *get* my transcripts out today because their copier is broken. And apparently, there are no other copiers at the entirety of the Knox College institution. The whole college. No other copiers they could use. That was Glitch A.

Glitch B came later this afternoon, when my karmic wheel came to a complete stop. The Registrar at Knox bitch slapped me with my 20-year old debt of $425.00 that I privately owed the College, which, if it wasn't paid TODAY, my transcripts would be indefinitely held and I'd never get into grad school, ever. Right now, collectively, I have about $15 to my name. My mom, yellingly, begrudgingly, angrily but ultimately lovingly coughed up her credit card (they only, apparently, take MC/Discover/AMEX, otherwise I would've asked my emergency lifesaver w/a Visa) & ripped me Asshole #615 for fucking up the entirety of my young adulthood (my 20's and 30's) yet again, deservedly so. Made the goddamn payment, and Knox said "Thanks!!!!" and said they'd probably release my transcript tomorrow, you know, when the copier gets fixed. 

Glitch C. I'm dizzy with fret, haven't eaten anything since 7am, and am chain smoking, and I haven't even begun my email to Craig about how he needs to pay for Luke's school registration fees next week. Between my mother and I, we handle his tuition, and he gets scholarships, but I have to get over to the school and get all the financial aid nonsense taken care of, at the same time I'm doing my own. Luke's school owes me 3 months' worth of lunch ticket money from last year when they neglected to inform us that Luke qualified for the free lunch program due to my lack of income and I kept paying $35 a month, which they said they'd credit towards his registration fees. 

Craig always complains that if Luke went to the public school, it'd be cheaper, but registration fees for our public district are even higher than that for Luke's school. Camps Miklasz/Bechtel are just BLEEDING money out right now between school, my medication, therapy, medical bills, etc. I have to see if Luke needs pre-school physicals or dental exams, blah blah blah. It's literally more than I can manage by myself with my schooling and its urgency taking seeming precedence. I need Craig's help, and not just his checkbook. I can't do all of this. I'm not manic, but I feel like I'm going to have an utter and complete mental breakdown, citing to my mother earlier that perhaps it'd been best I not, in actuality, survived all this bullshit just to deal with more bullshit piled on top of more bullshit.

I gave Craig a sheet of paper re: my Oakton transcript to be sent to Adler yesterday, that he said he'd fax today. It had my signature on it, a bar code, and everything Adler needed to get my information from Oakton, which I paid for myself. What just bounced back in my email? An "urgent reminder" that this hasn't been taken care of yet. I gave Craig one sheet of paper to please fax for me today. Listen all o'ya'll, this is sabotage.

Wait. It got better. Please, Jesus. Pull me up by my boot straps, man, I'm sinking!

OMFG. OMFFFGGG. Knox just emailed me my "unofficial" transcript. It's really, really not good. Fuckin' bipolar disorder, tomfoolery and "All My Children." I'll say this: Only 24 students in the 1995 January graduating class did *worse* than I did as an undergraduate. I think that "Rite" in Latin means, "You're really, really fucking lucky that we graduated you 'in good standing' given there was no option for a BA/BS in Fucktardery." I realize I'm being too hard on myself, and that I was really sick a lot of that time, but it's still, on paper, veritably awful. 

The Entire Annie Package better very well be SPECFUCKINGTACULAR, for the Adler School, or else I'm screwed. My undergrad grades reflect clearly and definitely a woman who was suffering from severe mental illness. I can pinpoint distinct episodes of major depression or mania just by the reflective grades. Clearly, I'm an intelligent person capable of graduate studies. Clearly, I had some trouble as an undergrad.  But I wrote a bitchin' personal statement, my letters of rec should be really good, and there's always the personal interview and the Oakton GPA. My saving graces, please Lord. 

I didn't do as poorly as I had remembered in studio art, remember where I painted the studio floor with my artwork and was threatened to fail if I didn't paint it over into its natural hue of army green? I got a B! Who knew!? Yet, things like Romantic Lit, in which I'm not terribly interested, while in my major, I got a C-. In fact, most of my English Lit classes were less than stellar. I pulled a B in Russian Lit, because we read books that were hellla good, and while I don't think it worked in my favor that my best friend was the professor's wife, and he's a notoriously tough grader, I managed. God knows why I took Irish History or Genetics (in the hopes I'd some day fall in love with an Irish scientist, perhaps?) because I got D's in both of them. 

My Chicago Arts semester, my final semester of college, off campus? I got a B+ on my Music Criticism independent study, an A- on my Q101 internship (over which I debated with James Van Osdol, my former supervisor today...I was like "You couldn't have given me a straight A? Dude. Was it the Sting promo CD I lifted? Too many smoke breaks? Flirting with The Flaming Lips? Come on!" and he heartily apologized.) I got an A in Music Composing and Recording, though I can't read music, can't write music and am an average drummer, which no one knew at the time. Then there was the mysterious D+ from this really bitchy art prof on "Negotiating the Chicago Art World." Fuck that. I don't remember much about the class itself, other than the "professor" was a real piece of work. Anyway, my graduating GPA remained a mystery, as the unofficial transcript didn't reflect the work that final Semester in the Arts. Up until then, I had a 2.5. Adler sort of requires at least a 3.5 for admission to grad school. My sweet Lord. Perhaps had I been mentally stable at the time, that would've happened. 

Kate called during a crucial time in my wallowing last night, of all reasons, to troubleshoot her laptop, oh which she spilled pop. "Did you shake it upside down?" I asked her. "Yes," she said. "It won't boot up?" I asked. "No," she said. Then I got the idea to spray it with a can of compressed air, which she luckily had. I reminded Kate to put the straw in the shooter, and let her at it. Waiting a couple of minutes and chit chatting, soon thereafter her computer booted up with no problem. Yay, I did something right today!! She cheered me up about my uber-paltry Knox grades and I used what was left of my ingenuity to help her with her computer. "The keys might be a little sticky for a while," I said. Ironically, she'd been trying to look at a picture of Steven's missing tooth at the time. 

Craig finally texted back that he did, in fact, fact the document I asked him to fax. 


I sat at the keyboard trying to finish this last night and at about 10:30 pm, my eyes were closing. For once, which is uncharacteristic of me, I gave in to the sleepiness and put the computer to rest, channeling my Pandora ambient music and falling dead ass asleep as soon as I hit the sheets. I had a lengthy email I was trying to simultaneously respond to whilst finishing the blog, to an old college friend, but just couldn't stay awake. 

Papa Nez wrote a riveting status update last night about having made gazpacho, and happened to throw in there that he, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz were planning to do a dozen dates in the US in November! Holy crap, it's the Monkees!! It's sad that it took Davy dying to bring Nez out of his Monkees shell, but it's a can't-miss event for sure. Consider it a Christmas present to whomever I can wrangle into buying me a ticket. I know Guy Friend won't want to go...we've already had the Monkees discussion.

Today pretty much has to trump yesterday in positivity. It can't get much worse than yesterday. Errands to run with Luke today, including getting his financial aid forms from his school, running to Walgreens and blowing a buck and a half at Dominicks for a 6-pack of seltzer water. Luke wants to buy his umpteenth deck of playing cards at Walgreens, which is fine with me, as he's using his own money. That's as much as we can afford until pay day tomorrow at Camp Miklasz.

Darn, the police weren't stalking my blog last week when all those strange IP addresses showed up on the tracker. It was a system error on the server end of the blog tracking company, per their email to me. They apologized for the heart attack they nearly gave me. All is well.

Guy Friend texted that he was dizzy reading my bullet points of the events of yesterday, to which I answered that I was, in fact, going into cardiac arrest and while he said he hasn't forgotten about my letter of rec, I urged him to Please! Get! It! Done!

That's all I've got this morning. Could've posted the original of this, my favorite Sebadoh song, but I've just awakened and am feeling hush-hushy. I don't even have the energy yet to edit this entry and bother with it sounding all awesomely-written, like all of my other not-awesomely-written crap. My coffee hasn't kicked in yet. What you saw was what you got.

"I gotta find a way to loosen up. I'm wound tighter than a magnet's coil..." (Oh, Lou, I hear you.)

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