Wednesday, January 14, 2009

university business

I periodically receive a phone call from a current UCSC student who tells me what is happening on campus and asks about my affairs. This is always a pleasant conversation. They always come at it with a preparation to hear anything and adapt to my circumstances. They know i gave the university twenty dollars a few years ago and they ask if I can give again. I cant but I don't mind them asking.

The physics and astronomy professor who served as my senior thesis advisor, George Blumenthal, has been appointed chancellor of the campus. He is popular. He also doesn't answer my emails.

The UCSC police when I was homeless and causing consternation on campus took me to the base of the hill where campus is located and dropped me off. On a later occasion when I visited I knew they might not want me there so I dropped in at the police station. There they told me I was welcome again.

Yale is not so forgiving. They're still consternated. They sent me to jail a number of times. The last time the judge told me to leave town. They were not comfortable with my use of campus facilities to escape the elements. Any alumnus with a bank balance would never be treated the way I was for doing the exact same thing. I will say the alumni organization office treated me like any other alumnus. They have a big common room and keep hot coffee and current newspapers for free to visiting alumni. And when I wrote from Chicago to the secretary of my Yale class that I was starving he sent me a package of gourmet fruit. That was nice and it changed the whole landscape of my relationship to the university.

IIT has become a combattant against me so I am fighting back. I went to a monthly social hour for graduates at a downtown pub—universities usually treat anyone who didn't graduate but was in good standing for at least one term as if they are full graduates. They treated me nice until they found out a) I have been in fights, and b) I am mentally ill. Then I detected the gearing up of a blackball behind their backs. I asked to participate in volunteer activities for the university. They told me you have to contribute $50,000 if you want to be on the board of directors of the alumni organization. I offered to do something less grand. They said they would contact me. I haven't heard from them in two months.
So I took action. I put the whole school officially at the bottom of the list of lists until I give the signal.
I'm not going to give the signal until they stop blackballing me and make good all the bad will they have created. Like everyone, they only listen to power and don't recognize power until it's too late. My fights and the onset of mental illness occurred before I entered IIT. That didn't keep them from taking my money for tuition and room and board. It shouldn't keep them from keeping a working relationship with me, but for some reason it does. The development office representative who must have blackballed me was named Kristin.

I carry a weighty responsibility everywhere I go and sometimes fallout is violent. Eventually the population will learn, some more some less. I have my lessons to learn. Others have theirs. They are not the same lessons.