It's been torturous

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Monday November 22, 2004.

I have been living in a lie. Yes, I’ve written about lying in your life before, but this time it’s different. It’s me. And let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy.

This all started about three years ago now. In May, 2001 I left my fully-employed job as an upward moving bank hoser. I decided after realizing that I needed roughly 30 credits to graduate and begin a better life, that I really, really needed a way out of that life and into one whre enjoyment was an ingredient. I told my boss I was going back to school. I moved to a part-time position and began taking classes. The timing was crucial here. In the Summer, I was able to take 15 credits, and in the fall I was able to take 15 credits. That meant I would graduate in December. I had it all planned out. My schedule was in place, and I was ready to rock. Plus, since I had been smart enough to tell my job that I planned to stay with them following graduation, they let me stick around and collect on the tuition reimbursement program. Not bad.

After completing what we deem here the “Mini Term” I moved into the first term of Summer. It was five weeks long. By this time things were not going well at my new part-time job, in which I was supervised by someone who had previously been my equal. Basically, the day after the end of that term I walked out, happily. I was done. And I still got my money for the tuition.

I went into the fall semester 15 credits away from graduation. It was an exciting time. I had enjoyable classes, and was even considering grad school. Political Science was what I was into. And as a result, one of my classes was an independent study with the remarkable Stacy Gordon (click around and you’ll find a few pictures of me in the 401 class site. I also wrote that damn State of the Union speech, as I was the president, bitches). We had a plan. My grades suffered early in my college life, so I needed to do something special to get into grad school. We were going to write a paper and present it at a conference. If/when I was published and had presented, I would have a major in at a good grad school.

We met regularly, and I researched. But I never put words to paper. It was a bad move. The semester passed, and I was still not actually doing anything of substance on the project. December came and I went to graduation, had a big-ass party where people gave me money, drank, went to Christy’s Christmas party and offended people. It was my graduation day, man, get off me. But I never graduated. I never wrote that paper, and Stacy finally had to give me an “F” for not completing the Independent Study. I’ve been ashamed to talk to her since, and rightly so, I think, because I was a fool. And that sucks because I really admire her. She was probably the best teacher I had.

A year ago I decided to take my final class. Sitting three credits from graduation for two years sorta sucked. So I found one I would enjoy, and I took it. When it finished, I knew I had done enough. But my flakiness led me to blow off applying for actual graduation again until it was too late. Not too late for the Fall, like it should have been, but too late still for the Spring. So I picked August and waited. Then I got a report in the mail. I had not met my minor requirement (German). I had met it, but the report was screwed. I had to go back, again, to have the German department sign my thing saying I had taken all their stuff. It was yet another opportunity for the head of the department to try to talk to me in German, only to learn that I really didn’t know it. Hell, it had been 6 years since I took a class, and I was never all that good to begin with.

To top all of this off, the correction was due a week from then. And we were going on vacation. And the department head was away for the month. So I had to find out who was in charge, if they’d sign it, and if they would be kind enough to send it on. I found the guy. He had been a professor of mine whom I had spent several classes frustrating the shit out of. Luckily, he barely remembered me. But he wasn’t in the office but for a day a week. This was the Summer, remember. He agreed to head in, look it over, sign it, and forward it. But I had to rely on faith. I wouldn’t be there to see it through. So I waited. Oh, and in the meantime, my advisement had been transferred to an entirely different division within the University.

So I waited a few weeks for the stuff to happen within the system. I called to find out, and no one kew who I should talk to about my situation. Then I remembered that I had owed the library money. I disputed it when it happened, but never heard anything. I knew I had turned the damn book in, so I figured they would find it, if they hadn’t already. Finally I got ahold of someone who told me that it looked like I had graduated, and that in November that actual paper would arrive. But they were real reluctant to tell me anything specific because they really didn’t know it was me, and I can understand the privacy thing. So I waited again. Actually, I forgot, but waited sounds better.

Saturday, this arrived in the mail. So, it looks like now I’m ready to be employed in a job that pays a shitload of money. Anyone?

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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