Uncomfortable Truths and a Few Opinions

I have no idea what a mathematician does. I’ve spent 5+ semesters studying to be one, but any time I try to learn more about the work itself, I make no progress. Last summer I spent 10 weeks on a real mathematical research project, which consisted almost entirely of doing nothing and some minor programming. Any time I take a math class it’s all very straightforward, basic introductions to a field with no information about what good it is or what people do with it. There’s nothing like that in any math class. I don’t know why.

I am terrible at interviewing for jobs. However, I have to find a job soon or I will be forced to eat dirt. I’m trying to find clerical work or something like that, but I have no degree and few marketable skills. All of the good jobs require at least one of those two things. What’s more, my resume sucks and I have no references. All of my previous jobs are school-related. I had to put “health problems” as my reason for leaving my most recent job, which they say you shouldn’t do. I have no other option, as far as I can tell. Plus I have no self-esteem and I’m socially inept.

Talk therapy does not make your life suck less. It barely helps you deal with what’s going on, much less the entirety of your problems. It is like building a sand castle to protect you from a tidal wave of shitty events.

Psychiatric drugs are pretty much bullshit. I feel at this point that Ecstasy would do nothing to improve my mood. I’ve been sticking with a combination since July, but I now realize that it did nothing except squeeze a tiny breath into the lungs of my optimism, which has now been conclusively expelled.

Speaking of expelled, I am banned from the UNL campus. After they finally provided a list of requirements for my readmission, which I admit is a reasonable, they also added that until I fulfill them I am forbidden from entering any University of Nebraska property. I suppose that after they denied me readmission without due process, they probably feared that I know how to make high explosives in addition to poison (I do.). I can also do smoke bombs.

I never want to go back to school, but I will probably have to. I can’t imagine keeping my mind engaged without doing some kind of academic work. I also can’t imagine waiting a year to continue work on my degree, which will probably take several more credit hours of bullshit classes if I go to another university. My impatience is really kicking in now that I have no future.

In other news, my older dog seems to be dying. She has heart problems now and is taking aspirin every day, but given her current heartbeat, I think the end is in sight. She’s had a good run, though, and she definitely doesn’t do much anymore. I wonder if she’s in pain most of the time.

As for the rest of my life, it doesn’t seem so good right now. I’m going to end up doing 40 hours a week of shitty work, likely making sandwiches at the local Quizno’s. I can’t visit my friends on campus. I have no money for rent right now. As soon as I have money, I won’t be able to spend it on anything anyway. I can’t play the piano anymore. I’m getting out of shape again but I don’t really care. I can’t sleep. Nothing I ever do provides me with any happiness at all.

The only good news is that my Don Hertzfeldt DVD should arrive on Wednesday. Watch that get fucked up too.

Recent Quotes:

“Being a therapist is like having permission to ask any question.”

“…remember, you always have friends at UNL.”

“95 percent of life is just showing up.”

“Mr. Davis had obtained chemicals in sufficient quantities to produce more than 500 lethal inhalation doses (Merck Index) of HCN [hydrogen cyanide].”

“Your desire to return to UNL is laudable.”

Getting Fucked Big Time and Moving On

Yesterday evening I finally received notice from UNL about my re-enrollment. In short, their answer was that I had not showed enough progress to be readmitted. The decision was not based on any direct or recent evidence as I can tell, because they have refused several times to interview me or make contact with either my therapist or psychiatrist. All they have is the rudimentary information they requested (in full, as soon as they requested it) and the letters from the professionals I’m working with, which as far as I can tell is all they have used in this decision.

Based on the tenor and content of the letters I have received, I have come to the rather paranoid conclusion that UNL is absolutely refusing to consider my case. I now believe they will find any excuse to reject my request for readmission even if Christ Almighty tap dances a recommendation letter in Morse Code.

Can I blame them for being cautious? No, I can’t. They have the safety of thousands of undergraduates to think about and my record is far from clean. However, I can see no reason why I would not be given fair consideration except that they have already made their decision. That kind of bias is not representative of what I would consider the spirit of UNL, a school I am still proud to have been a part of.

I would be satisfied with the decision if I were sure it had been reached after a reasonable amount of serious deliberation based on evidence. However, because the process was unclear, ambiguous, and as far as I can tell, biased, I am pursuing legal counsel. I am going to make an effort to see if there is anything I can do about this situation while I still have a chance. I suspect that I’m out of luck, but who knows. If there is any possibility of me returning to UNL soon, I will try to do so. If not, I will never attempt to re-enroll at UNL again.

Because my experience at UNL has been largely positive, I would still be proud to graduate. Because of my more recent experience, I would not be ashamed if I failed to graduate at UNL or any other school.

From here, I plan on further discussing the situation with my lawyer to see if anything can be done. If not, I will look for jobs in Lincoln, because I would still much rather live there than anywhere else right now. Failing that, I will remain in Leavenworth with my family, although that is a distant third option.

I hope I can finish my degree. I hope I can find a job. I hope I can live with my brother and friends instead of still being stuck here. I hope I can move on. I hope. I hope. I hope.