Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another twist of the screw

Just received this dainty missive from Dr. Dragon:

Dear Ms. Survivor,

Dr. Jerk forwarded me your email where you state that you are withdrawing from this semester. I understand from him and other faculty that you have not been attending classes since our last meeting where you were informed that you would be permitted to complete the fall semester but that you would be placed on leave of absence beginning December 21, 2006. At that meeting and a follow-up letter following the meeting, you were given the option to withdraw from the program and were also informed that you had the right to appeal these decisions.

Students are not permitted to withdraw from a semester without penalty and without permission from the faculty after October 6th, 2006. You were not given permission to withdraw from the semester at any time. As such, you are considered enrolled in the classes and will receive grades for these courses.

Please let me know if you have any questions or needed further clarification on this or any other matter.

Sincerely, Devona Dragon

This is the email I wanted to send her:

Dr. Dragon:

You will be contacted soon by my legal counsel. Please direct all future communications to him. This is no longer an internal faculty-student matter; it is a legal matter, and you, Dr. Jerk, Dr. Freud, Dr. Octopussy, and the control-freaky T.A. will be held accountable for your actions this semester.

Happy holidays.

Ayelet Survivor, M.A.

Of course, I didn't send it. I did give my rabbi a draft email that he can modify and send to the university president's special assistant, who is a friend of his. I can only pray that the higher-ups will want to intervene on my behalf.

And I'm so miserable that I considered buying a bottle of wine and drinking tonight. Which I never, ever do. I'm really not a drinker. But tranquilizers don't make you happy -- they just take the edge off your troubles. And my troubles are so big, losing an edge doesn't make much difference.

Only thing cheering me up is my conversation with Matt Stein last night. After not hearing from him for a long, long time, I wrote him a brief email asking if everything was okay -- I was afraid he was still unemployed and drinking too much.

Well, I was fortunately only half right. He wrote back:

Great to hear from you, and Happy Chanukah! I actually have wanted to say 'hi' for a while, but put it off for some reason. I've been working at the a small paper for three weeks now, and I like it a lot. It's a much smaller and funkier production department, and I get to do graphic design on top of my routine production duties. Ironically, I have more responsibility than I did at my last job, because in this small department I am the last person to proof every page of the paper and send it to the press. They seem pretty happy with me, and I've been credited with catching design, spelling, grammar, usage and factual errors which would've gone to press without little ol' me.

How have you been? Nice weather we've had for December, eh? School going well? Ready to shrink my head or grow my heart? I really do hope I can visit you in The City some time soon. Drop me another note with all the spicy details of your fabulous life in New York. OR... turn on your Skype at night and I'll ring your computer.

We talked last night, and renewed our plans to have the prom we never had back in high school. We both went to public school, since our small town didn't have a yeshiva high school option, and he never asked me to prom -- I ended up going with a friend from NCSY. He ended up going with a female friend, and always felt that he should have asked me.

I've saved a bunch of '80s songs to a youtube playlist, and I've got a dress that would almost be acceptable for a prom. So when he comes to visit me, we'll have the prom we never had. In my living room. But -- that doesn't help me now, sitting sadly in my lonely apartment.

I did get some positive reinforcement from my rabbi -- today we met with the Partner in Caring candidate whom we might hire, and talked about some of the programming we want to start. He kept saying what a great contribution I had made, and what a greater one I would make once I was done with my schooling. It means so much that he believes in me, because it feels like no one else approves of me.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"

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