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Micah's Musings
or the Artist Formerly Known as Ashke
tehuti
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For those of you that are unaware, the Princess has taken a major step in her career. She has her own office downtown, around the corner from the court house. As part of her move-in deal, we're repainting it. She has two rooms, both decent sized, with a nice pair of windows overlooking Main St.

On Saturday, I was there with our beauty queen roommate doing some more painting work. I'd been wearing an old pair of jeans and super baggy, ratty old T-shirt when we go there, like you do when you're painting. The jeans had a small hole near the zipper, which is why they got relegated to project-clothes only.

After working for a bit, I went downstairs to a deli to get us lunch. Surprisingly, it was open a half-day on Saturdays, a bit unusual for downtown eateries in Springfield, so we wanted to take advantage of it. As I gave my order to the attendant, I looked down to grab my wallet, and saw some strings hanging down from my pants, along the seam.

At some point, probably while climbing up and down the ladder to paint, the small hole turned into a full split, from the top of the crotch to halfway down my thigh. I hadn't noticed due to the aforementioned baggy T-shirt. And thank the gods it was, or I'd have exposed myself to the entire restaurant. Which, since it was one of the only places open in downtown Springfield in the middle of the day, was pretty full. I quickly sat, pulled my T-shirt down as far as I could, and retreated to safety as fast as I could.

So I had to call home for Emergency Pants. And since my family loves me, they brought me a pair. Ultimately, no harm done, and now I get to tell the Internet about it. :-)

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I've been working at my new job now for almost two months. I've been slowly ramping up, trying to be careful not to over-schedule myself. My clinic works with children and teens, providing in-home therapy. As such, most of my work is in the afternoons and evenings. This is good, in so far as that's the time of day when everyone else in the family is potentially available for baby-care. It's not so good since that's the only time of day everyone else is home, so I don't see them as much. With the Princess and I both working from home during the day, we're bumping heads sometimes, trying to juggle our respective responsibilities, household chores and the baby.

Don't read this the wrong way. I think we're doing ok, and getting used to the new patterns. But they are still new. Frustration and "growing pains" are a part of the process.

The work itself is rewarding. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it at first, but I can honestly say I think this is a good fit for me. We'll check in again in six months and see if I still think so.

Speaking of the baby, we're making daily adjustments there as well. He's completely mobile now. Not walking on his own yet, but cruising easily (meaning walking while holding onto something for support), and crawling quite quickly. This newfound mobility means he can and does get into ALL THE THINGS! But he absolutely refuses to be constrained. Putting him in the playpen produces fits. Even just moving it into the hallway to confine him to the living room doesn't work. As soon as he realizes he cannot go wherever he wants when he wants to, the tears start to flow. Our little Raspberry is perfecting the art of the temper tantrum.

Some days, we seriously consider selling him to the gypsies.

But most of the time he does stuff like he's doing now; standing with me in the living room, holding onto my leg for stability, watching me type on the magic screen and babbling away happily.

One area we have absolutely no problems is eating. This kid will eat ANYTHING. Salsa, rice puffs, avocado, pancakes, bananas, every kind of meat available in the US, Indian rice and beans, cheerios, all the veggies we get from our farm share, crackers and cheese, mole sauce, bits of whatever we have for dinner; you name it, he eats it. Or will, if he hasn't tried it yet. I hope this is a life-long pattern. We'll find out in time, yes?

My favorite event of the year is coming up this weekend. I know I'll see a bunch of you at Arisia. I'll have a con report next week. This is our first year with the Munchkin in tow, so I expect the con to be very different for us. We'll find that out in time as well.

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The year that just passed was a particularly difficult one for many people in our country. My own family was not unaffected by the shaky economy. But despite our economic hardships, this year was undoubtedly one of my best on the planet.

We started the year off by bringing Homer, our shiny new minivan, home from the dealer. Over the course of the next twelve months, I finished my last semester of grad school, passed my exams, found a job in a completely unexpected field, ran and completed my first timed half marathon (plus two more for good measure!), got paid to be a freelance writer and our little boy was born. This list wasn't in chronological order, of course, nor in order of importance. Well, maybe that last bit, making it last to emphasize it. No matter how you add it up, all of that wondrousness makes for a good year.

And lots of wonderful things happened this year, big and small. A lot of them revolve around the Munchkin, which is only natural. Babies tend to take over the lives of their parents. Which is an excellent segway to my Resolution Report.

I was not terribly successful with many of my 2011 resolutions. I can blame/give credit to the baby for a good deal of it. In one case, a stupid hurricane derailed my plans. But no matter. Time for the reckoning.

----------

Success:

Earn my Master's Degree - Check!

Run at least one timed 10k race - I ran three half marathons, which is just over 21k. Check!

Go on at least one family vacation (weekend or longer) - Relaxacon! Check!

Apply to at least two academic conferences - Applied to two, accepted to both. Check!

Go to at least three cons this year that aren't TBC - Arisia, Relaxacon, Pi-Con. Check!

Get at least one piece other than a book review published (Fearless Press does not count) - Demand Studios, Examiner.com and Yahoo! News all published my work this year. Check!

Partial Success:

Run at least ten timed races - Only made it to eight. I'm marking it partial because we had economic difficulties that interfered with this goal. Plus, I totally ran races I never thought I'd run in 2011.

Read 25 books for pleasure (and count them this time!) - Partial because I more than met this goal but again forgot to record them. Finishing grad school was good for my "must-read" pile.

Make at least one new blog post per month on Poly Living for Fearless Press - Partial, because even though I didn't achieve this, it was partially because the site is on hiatus.

Write at least three more book reviews for the Journal of Massachusetts History - Partial, because I am still working on the last bit that will fulfill this resolution.

Failure:

Break 30 minutes in a timed 5k race - Nope. Need to work on speed.

Visit at least one new state highpoint - We had hoped to visit High Point, NJ, this year. Never managed to find the time or monies.

Visit the remaining county highpoints on Long Island - see above response.

Visit at least ten new county highpoints - see above response referencing above above response.

Climb a peak higher than Mt. Mansfield (4393ft) - see a pattern yet?

Visit at least two more VT county highpoints - Aimee and I had planned a trip to Vermont over Labor Day weekend to go hiking and highpointing. Two weeks before, Hurricane Irene tore Vermont to bits. A lot of the roads and trailheads we wanted to use were inaccessible, and the trails themselves weren't likely to be any better. Our friends up there, who we had planned to stay with, advised us to stay home. So we visited some county prominence points in MA instead. More about that later.

Find at least 100 more geocaches (1213 finds as of 1/24/2011) - Geocaching has almost completely fallen off my radar. Aimee's, too. Highpointing is wayyyyy more fun and challenging.

Break 450 total membership for TBC 2011 - Nope. Topped 300 paid members, and 350 total through the door. Good, but not the goal.

End the year with my weight below 210 lbs - Never got close.

----------

Not too bad, now that I actually thought about it. This next part will be a bit repetitious. My resolutions for 2012 are as follows:

Run at least once a week.
Run at least ten timed races.
Break 30 minutes in a timed 5k race.
Set a Personal Record at the half marathon distance in a timed race (2:41:05)
Visit at least one new state highpoint.
Visit at least two more VT county highpoints.
Visit the remaining county highpoints on Long Island (2).
Visit at least ten new county highpoints.
Climb a peak higher than Mt. Mansfield (4393ft).
Complete the county prominence points of Massachusetts.
Write in my own journal at least once a week.
Produce more copy for Yahoo News.
Finish a novel-length story of my own.
Read 25 books for pleasure and blog about them.
End the year with my weight below 210 lbs.

Thoughts and musings:

I really am enjoying my new job. That isn't stopping me from still looking in the history world, though.

I am very glad that the Downstarians moved here. It's worked out on so many different levels, it would take an entire post of its own to explain. So that's for another time.

Let me explain the whole "prominence" thing. It is a mountaineering term. Prominence is the height of the mountain or hill's summit by the elevation between it and the lowest contour line encircling it and no higher summit. Think of it like this. Suppose that the sea level rises to the lowest level at which a particular peak becomes the highest point on an island. The prominence of that peak is the height of that island. Follow? Mostly, my interest in prominence is only that it gives us another list of places to visit and hills to climb that aren't multiple hour drives away.

I have definitely enjoyed getting to know some of our farther-flung friends better this year. Particularly the other poly families (all of whom know who they are). I hope this trend continues in 2012.

Definitely loving the parent thing.

Regarding Yahoo, I was recently given the option to write for them on a daily basis. I've been bad and not taken full advantage of that. So that's what my resolution above means. Not to write for them every day, but definitely more often than I have been. Since I can, it's fun and they pay me.

I am so glad to be back role playing regularly I cannot even begin to describe it. And both of my groups are great!

May all of your endeavors be successful in 2012!

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I did a year-end wrap-up post of my races for 2010, and now I continue that tradition for 2011.

Big Fourth 5k, July 4, 2011: 32:43, 10:28/mile

Rock n' Roll Providence Half Marathon, Aug 7, 2011: 2:48:08, 12:46/mile

Greater Springfield Harriers Summer Sizzler 8k, Aug 17, 2011: 53:32, 10:57/mile

Greater Springfield Harriers Summer Sizzler 5k, Aug 24, 2011: 39:23, 12:43/mile

Run to the Rock Half Marathon, Sept 10, 2011: 2:52:41, 13:06/mile

Hartford Half Marathon, Oct 15, 2011: 2:41:05, 12:11/mile

BayState Rays of Hope 8k, Oct 23, 2011: 1:05:08, 12:26/mile

Hot Chocolate 5k Run, Dec 4, 2011: 35:19, 11:09/mile

This year, we missed the Tomato Trot because of Pi-Con, the AIDS Run because of Run to the Rock, And the Bridge of Flowers because of Rock n' Roll Providence. As the results show, in that last case especially, it had nothing to do with fitness level. Our timed runs this year were limited by available funds. When I finished school, my income went with it, so we cut back wherever we could. Hopefully, now that I am back to work, that will change for next year.

I'm going to start working on a general year-end wrap-up post, where I'll talk about these results in more detail. Some of my resolutions last year pertained to running, and although I didn't keep them, I'm still pleased with my times and accomplishments this year. I'll explain later, I promise. Just be patient, and you'll see what I mean. :-)

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I did this meme last year, and found it helpful to remind me of some of the cool stuff I did. So I'm doing it again.

Springfield, MA
Lowville, NY
Hyannis, MA
Boston, MA
Seekonk, MA
Somerville, MA

Compared to last year, 2011 was much less busy. But only in terms of going places. Two cons, one academic conference, one half-marathon and one funeral. But I'm missing something important:

Special mention - Bay State Hospital

I know, it's in Springfield, too. But this was for a very special occasion! :-)

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Transcending Boundaries 2011 is officially in the books. Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It started about 6pm last night, right about the time I turned to our fabulous conference chair and said the magic words, “You’re fired!”

I don’t think I’ve ever made a dead girl happier.

Today is one of my favorite days not because the conference is over. Well, not exactly. I love today because of the effect TBC has on its attendees and staff. This magical sense of calm, belonging and community overcomes me, and it lasts until the real world finally reminds me that we’re done for another year. It’s mingled with a sense of satisfaction and pride, knowing that, for three days a year, we create this special place where everyone is welcome, everyone belongs and the rest of the world can piss off, but in a nice way.

I still don’t know how or why it happens, I just know it does. And it lasts for about a 24 hours. So today is one of my favorite days all year.

TBC provides brain food like no other event I’ve ever attended. And that’s really saying something, since I’m usually so busy I’m lucky to get to more than two panels. I cannot imagine how people that go to things all weekend manage to keep everything in their heads. Walking to the closing panel, I was joking with one of our past keynote speakers that I’ve never really attended a TBC, and in a very real way, I haven’t. As staff (and senior staff at that), TBC is a very different experience for me. Not worse, just different.

Deep down in my secret heart, I think my experience is better.

There were so many “take-away” moments form this year’s conference; I couldn’t begin to list or rank them. I already mentioned one above. Another I posted to Facebook last night, on Robin Ochs Wall. During the Panel of Awesome, a closing panel discussion on the future of the GLBTQ community, featuring three current and past TBC keynote speakers, Robin asked the room how many of us had ever felt like we were too queer, or not queer enough, to be in the community. Nearly every hand in the room shot into the air. It is the first time I really and truly felt like I belonged with them.

I’ve struggled with this for years. Decades. I’m a poly, kinky, pagan, bi, geeky guy. I’ve never in my life not been a minority. I was raised Jewish, and am still proud of my family heritage although I, like my new long lost Auntie Kate, choose not to believe in an Angry God. I was a fat kid, and still struggle with body image and self-esteem. I have a learning disability that I hid from my teachers by overachieving in school. I was adopted, and still feel guilty that I don’t have the connection to my family of origin that so many other people seem to have.

I was bullied cruelly for all of these things. I don’t have many memories of childhood that don’t involve persecution of some kind for some reason. I struggled with gender and sexuality when I began puberty. I questioned who and what I was, who and what I was expected to be and what was happening to my body. In the early 80s, there was no one to tell me that what I was feeling was OK, that I wasn’t a bad person and that it was perfectly normal to be confused. Not that I knew or could find. Everything and everyone around me told me that being queer, whatever that meant, was bad and shameful. So after being bullied by my peers for my entire life, there was no chance in hell I was telling anyone about any of it. I muddled through, survived high school, and it wasn’t until my thirties that I finally accepted myself for myself. Even now, I still struggle.

All of the choices I’ve made in my life mark me as “other”. I’ve never been anything resembling “normal” or “average”. But if you look at me, I look like a fairly typical white male. Even my long hair isn’t that unusual in my part of the world. It’s not obvious that I’m different. Even people that should know better than to judge a queer by his cover can’t get past my white cis-male appearance. Last night, our amazing friend Lorelei said we (meaning my family and I) were some of the most radical people she knew. And I don’t see it, because when I look in the mirror, I see a white male staring back, and I know what that means to far too many of the people in my chosen communities.

And that’s why Robin’s simple demonstration hit me so hard. She proved to me in a way that I will never forget that I belong. That I shouldn’t feel like a fraud anymore. I belong, and not because I go to munches, or make TBC come alive, or go to Pride events, or anything else I do.

I belong to the queer community because I am one of them. They are my people.

-----------------

I’m going to finish this post with my typical random “bullet thoughts” after-con report. Otherwise, I’ll keep writing all night.

From an organizers standpoint, this was our best TBC yet. 315 registered attendees, 350ish total attendance.

The venue loved us. We loved them. Working hard to get back into the Mass Mutual Center for next year.

Got to be a different weekend, though. The largest horse show in the northeast was this weekend at the Big E. Which explains the complete lack of hotel rooms anywhere within 20 miles of Springfield.

And this weekend next year, the damn cheerleaders that plagued us in Worcester will be in Springfield. DO NOT WANT.

I cannot say enough how awesome the venue staff is, from managers and sales folks to the security guards and catering staff. If any of the high muckity-mucks of the Mass Mutual Center are seeing this, please give me a job. I want to work with you all every single day!

To the outgoing con chair; TBC 2011 was only as good as it was because you knew when to beat on heads and when to stand aside and let things happen. It's a rare skill. I know you don't think our success had anything to do with you. You are wrong. Well done.

Practice “Radical Welcoming”.

Dear Gods, way too much eye candy at TBC this year. And not all of it was the attendees.

Wait, what the hell am I complaining about? MOAR KANDY!

I wish I’d discovered Kate Bornstein’s work twenty years ago. Would have saved me a lot of pain.

Speaking of, Kate is amazing. In case there was any doubt. And not just because of the “Old Starbuck” costume she wore at the keynote.

Or her sonic screwdriver.

We’re getting really good at this event-running gig. A whole lot of stuff seemed to happen way more easily than I remember in the last two years. Go us!

My family HAS to get involved as presenters as often and wherever we can. We’ve got stuff to say, and it’s about time we started saying it, often and loudly.

Mark, you can never quit staff. We'd miss your enthusiasm too much. First thing in the morning on Day Three, it's the only thing that gets us going.

TBC had its own “Bread Fairy” this year. More like “Bagel Fairy”. If you are reading this, hope you enjoy them, Katie.

Dear Mass Mutual Center. Please install some giant retractable sun shades. That huge glass wall faces southwest. And the sun is bright, especially during the daytime. Love, TBC Staff and Attendees.

I think that the Munchkin single-handedly put a smile on the face of every single person that passed through Registration. If we had a dollar for every minute that someone other than one of his parents was drooling or cooing over him this weekend, TBC would be set for years.

There was a small Occupy Springfield protest across the street from us Saturday. And there was a cute little Tea Party counter-rally on our side of the street. Some signs supporting the Occupiers magically appeared on the glass wall, facing outward so both sides could read it.

I may or may not have instigated that. ;-)

I was completely and totally wrong about starting programming at 1pm Friday. Close to half the attendees came in Friday because we started early.

Random Happy Moment: Saturday night, watching two of our attendees grooving on the dance floor. In their power wheelchairs.

Nick Krieger, if you happen to see this, please come back to TBC again. And that goes for everyone else that was there this weekend.

In fact, if you have ever been to a TBC, as a vendor, presenter, staff member or attendee, please come back next year.

On that note, if you found this blog through the TBC website, Facebook, etc., feel free to stalk me, friend me, whatever. We’re probably best friends and don’t know it yet.

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I was literally just about to post this to my blog last week when the Halloween Blizzard took out Comcast, plunging our household into darkness for two days. And by darkness, I mean no internet or cable access. It was a truly harrowing experience. OK, mostly it was just inconvenient, and we we especially lucky, considering that even now, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses still don't have power five days later. But that's another post. Last week, I went on my most promising job interviews yet, and after a bunch of curious questions on Facebook, I figured it would be easier to tell everyone at once.

After a couple of months of almost nothing (a grand total of one interview since July), I suddenly found myself with multiple potential employers on my radar. A week ago Monday, I went on my most promising interview, and that's the one I talked about on Facebook that prompted this post. Here is the promised update, filling in most of the blanks.

The job I interviewed for is with a place called the Academic and Behavioral Clinic. I met the head clinician at a job fair at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Under her direction, I would do assessments on children and teens, up to college age, and develop treatment plans to help them overcome their issues, whatever they might be. Part of the job is in-home, some is out patient, and starting next year, a day program will begin for developmentally disabled teens and adults. They specifically are looking for people that are non-traditional and non-threatening, to immediately put clients and their families at ease. Basically, if you look like a social worker, that's what they don't want. And I don't. :-) Each person working for the clinic has their own clientele, and makes their own hours. You can work as much or as little as you want. That flexibility would be fantastic for us. 

They also want people that have teaching experience, which I have. If you have experience with the system, or with therapy, that's a plus. I have some of both. Finally, they prefer people with graduate degrees, because that proves that you are intelligent, can learn new skills quickly and aren't afraid of writing and paperwork. So my expensive diploma, even though it isn't in psychology, is what got me in through the door in the first place.

The interview really wasn't. It was more like a couple of people sitting down to get to know each other. I made quite an impression on the director and the office manager at the job fair, and it continued through the interview process. I met with the manager once for about 90 minutes, and the director for over two hours. They like me, I like them, and we all want for me to come on board. After the first interview Monday, I received a pre-employment packet, which required a renewed CPR card, thick application, professional references and a physical and TB test. They told me to have it back in ten days, and no one had done it faster than twelve.

I did it in four. Don't challenge me. ;-)

My packet went to Boston last Saturday. All I can do now is wait. So all digits crossed!

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As I walked through the chute after finishing the half marathon Saturday, I turned to the Princess and remarked that, one year ago, I'd never have imagined completing that race. The fact that it was my third timed half marathon this year would have been complete lunacy to contemplate. But there I was, walking through the line to collect my third finisher's medal in as many months.

I often forget that I've only been running for slightly more than one year. Sixteen months, give or take a week. I know that my hiking experience gave me a good base to build on, but it still feels like I shouldn't be able to enter or complete the races I've done this year.

But enough rambling. This post was supposed to be about the Hartford Half Marathon. As I mentioned briefly on Facebook the other day, I am ridiculously pleased with how this race went. So let's get to it, shall we?

First, the technical stuff: 31.11 miles, 2:45:22 gun time, 2:41:05 chip time. Gun time means from the moment the starter's gun fired. Chip time starts the moment we crossed the start line. Aimee and I were near the back, so it took us a few minutes to actually get going.

Splits:

Miles Time

1 10:51.5
2 10:50.0
3 11:25.7
4 11:37.9
5 11:56.7
6 11:56.1
7 11:38.2
8 12:14.3
9 13:18.1
10 12:51.4
11 12:49.9
12 13:15.8
13 13:08.9

For the non-runners reading this, these splits are really good for runners like us. Like most racers, we started at our planned race pace (a bit faster, actually, but that's also normal) and lost speed as we got tired. The goal was to finish sub 2:45, which we achieved. Up until the last two miles, we were as much as seven minutes ahead of pace. We were so far ahead that, at about the eight mile mark, we took a potty break and still made our goal. Our average pace was 12:18 per mile, which is a really good time for us at this distance.

Physically, we both held up well. We're planning to go for a short run tomorrow, to stretch the muscles a bit. The first time I ran a half marathon, it took me a full week to recover. Aimee wasn't any better. So not only are we getting better at running this distance, we're also recovering faster. Another thing to be pleased about.

A few quick points before I post this and head to bed:

The weather was fantastic. A bit cool at the 8am start, but it warmed up nicely. So did we, which helped.

The rain the day before made for a muddy post-race party. Mud and Vibram Five Fingers don't mix well. Bushnell Park was all squishy! :-P

As we crossed the finish line together, Aimee and I rang the cowbells we snagged halfway through the race course. The crowd's cheering was awesome.

Sadly, they weren't cheering for us. The winner of the women's marathon happened to be crossing the finish at the same time we did. Completely stole our thunder. Sigh...

Didn't see as many toe shoes this year as we did last year. Not sure if that means anything, just an observation.

Did see one guy running the half while barefoot. I thought we were hardcore...

Michy and Ian found a nice little breakfast place on Main St. Turns out that the course ran right past it. Also turns out that she came out with the baby at just the right moment for us to run over, swap kisses and keep on going.

Going to the Town Line Diner for our family post-race meal is now officially a tradition, because I said so.

So are chocolate milkshakes.

Next year, we have to finish a lot faster. We crossed the line in 4736th place, out of 5156. The lines for everything were so long, we skipped a lot of stuff, including the free beer.

It's kinda nice being near the back of the pack, though. We all know we're slow, and encourage each other. It's a nice camaraderie, and I hope that we don't lose that if we get faster.

Micah's Racing Goals: Don't be last (check!), finish the race (check!), post a personal best (check!). Two out of three is a win. Three out of three is fantastic.

Was it really only last summer that I struggled to finish a 5k? Feels weird, looking back now.

Even weirder? When we ran the 5k race in Hartford last year, Aimee was four months pregnant. Where the hell does the time go?

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Last week, I posted about a potential snag with my Master's Degree. Seems the class I took that I thought was in place of my language exam was not on the pre-approved list, so the graduate registrar held up my degree.

I got an email to me student address yesterday saying I've been cleared to graduate, and my diploma will arrive in the mail shortly.

I am genuinely shocked. The UMass administration did something quickly, in my favor, and I didn't have to kill kiss ass kick ass do anything?

What a nice change of pace!

You may all call me Master. ;-)

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About a week ago, I got a phone call from the UMass History Department. The grad school registrar was processing my degree paperwork, and did not have any record for me passing the foreign language exam. Patty, the department assistant, called to ask me about this.

The registrar had no record because I didn't take one. The department (meaning the current program director) approved a course I took in lieu of an exam. The class in question was my GIS course from last spring. According to what I was told, it had been used as a substitute for the foreign language requirement in the past, and since all of my foreign language classwork is more than twenty years stale, taking a class in "an alternative tool of research" (to quote the grad handbook) instead.

According to the registrar, they have no record of this class being approved in place of the language exam. They have a list of pre-approved classes, and mine ain't one of them. So my graduation is on hold.

AGAIN.

For those of you keeping score, this is the second time in two years (technically, 27 months) that I've been this close to earning a degree at UMass Amherst only to find out at the last gorram minute that, actually, I might not be done. So sorry about that.

And true to form, there'd be precious little I could do about it. I'm not ready for an actual language exam, if I could even take one. Which would require special permission, since they've already been given for this semester. And the add-drop period is over, so I couldn't enroll in a class to try to fix it. Even if I could afford one. Which I can't.

The grad registrar is not in his office today, so there's no one I can talk to. The office people were sympathetic, and both thought I'd probably be fine, but they don't know for sure. You can bet your sweet ass I'll be calling to talk to him Monday. And it should go without mention that I'll be talking to my department.

This shit cannot be happening to me AGAIN. But doesn't it just make sense that, if it were going to happen to someone, it would be me? The guy that has NEVER had anything happen in the academic world according to plan? That has dealt with more roadblocks than I can count or even remember?

Dammit...this cannot be happening again...

And I'm starting to hate this place...

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