no-go

going back to my stream of thoughts that began late last month allow me to give a timeline. during the month of july, there was a family reunion in georgia which came on the heels of my attempt to go away to school at "mission college". the liberal arts school that "mission" represents is in georgia.

that experience was cool but academically and financially it didn't do me a whole lot of good. had more freedom but little experience in dealing with it. even met a young lady – nicole – whom i wanted to meet again even if there was uncertainty if she actually did like me like that. though that story came to a very hostile end much later.

before going back home in a state of uncertainty about whether or not i'd be able to return i went to a family reunion meeting picked up by an aunt from campus. then was sent back to campus via cousin natalie and her husband who attempted to talk my head off the whole way back. then on to the reunion where i still had uncertainty about my eventual return.

not long after the reunion my mother went on a cruise so i was at home for a whole week as she sailed around the Caribbean with her sisters. even still have a t-shirt from that period of time. then eventually my mother came back and not long after that one quick question, "are you going to register for classes at the community college?" well my answer was negative basically and she mumbled under her breath that i needed to finish those last few credit. before saying very clearly "it's your life".

little did i know, this was a warning sign. she was setting her expectation without just coming out and saying that this is what she wanted. she already hinted at it before i left for "mission" i was a few credit shy of an associate's degree and had little interest essentially in attaining it. perhaps this was me being 21-22 years old and trying to have it my way.

then because i hadn't yet found a job right away she started sitting me down convinced that i needed help strategizing. she starts putting on the pressure, though sadly finding a job takes time. bottom line this would ultimately help me return to "mission" although it was decided at this point it wasn't going to happen that particular year.

one thing that came up during those "strategizing" sessions was i needed to have this sense of completion and finish the associate's degree. my inclination was to reject that to my mother's disappointment. and i came up with excuses to not go back and clearly this is something that was just on her mind no matter what i said. it really bothered her that i could get a degree just like that and i wouldn't do it! unfortunately trying to convince me didn't work.

when it came closer to registration it was less of a discussion than simply a command – "go and get registered". ultimately i did, however, it was only for just enough classes where i'd still be short of the degree. when it was time to pay for the classes i went to the college that afternoon just to wander because i hope that at the end of the deadline it would be too late to pay. so i came home and not long after arriving my mother shows up from work unannounced. she wants the phone number and when they close which i complied quickly, however, she expected more from me and in a huff told me that "i wasn't even trying". she went back to work to get those two classes paid for.

during my time at community college, she was never in a huge rush to pay for me classes. she was giving me everything and i offered very little in return, taking it for granted. however, i showed little enthusiasm and she wanted this more than anything.

sometimes i wonder if her family put a "bug" in her ear. two of her sisters called the house and outright asked me if i was getting my associate's, and for the most part i only offered a bullsh*t answer. put without proving it my first thought was she was telling them that i would return to finish my associate's and they decided to make it part of the conversation.

as my mother just made it clear i needed to finish the associate's degree she advertised this as a way to really help me find a job. she also used her future demise as an argument. and of course as my reticence to really have this as part of any job application – perhaps in light of my naive belief that an undergrad degree would solve everything it didn't – she merely suggested just leaving it off my resume which was a direct contradiction to this would help me find a job.

all the same at least i never had to answer for my response to this attempt at parental coercion. i was very tempted to tear up this degree in her face to show how i'm not proud of it at all. she probably wouldn't have been entirely moved by it as she got what she paid for. it was what she wanted and for my young mind that wasn't enough for me. thankfully this never happened.

to continue my stream of thoughts what happened when i returned to my community college in spite of myself. what was the difference between spending one term at "mission college" vs. starting my undergrad career and a community college.

family reunion

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the reunion was something of an awkward affair actually there have been quite a few awkward ones over time. i briefly told about how my aunt laura was trying to talk to me early one morning – and while i was still half-sleep – she just decided she had to go in on me quickly. it turned into more of an ordeal than she really and a bit before she finally recognized i didn’t really want to talk.

in fact on two occasions she had little problem asking me for a mint or a piece of candy. she just had the need to ask just to get something out of me, i complied silently just to keep it moving. otherwise she finally recognized that i wasn’t feeling it.

incidentally there are other situations with her i had where her awkwardness is just apparent. for example in her interest in trying to talk to me she has little problem getting close to my personal space, especially since i’m trying not to show any interest in talking to her. some people have the need to force the issue especially if someone doesn’t want to be bothered.

since i had attended “mission college” there were some people bragging and without many details i let on that i didn’t do that well. to which one of my uncles just outright blurted out to other family and they start saying we got to fix that. of course upon hearing the action almost always never happens.

my uncle richard i have a bit more of a close relationship with and i express interest in joining his frat. though often he seems busy so perhaps he’s not that accessible and also i had to remember that he has his own family too. he definitely is big on we got to make sure you do better in college.

for the most part i wasn’t particularly sociable during this reunion other than with those i’m most comfortable. you still have natalie and her husband nathan – who was very quick to force a handshake and a quick “thank you for stopping by” after we found ourselves at their mcmansion in the suburbs.

then soon it was time to return home to chicago and then figure out how i’ll go back to “mission”. first my mother soon will go on a cruise and after that sets her expectations somewhat randomly and that means she expects me to go back to school to finally attain my associate’s degree. soon i will tell that story.

past tense: the ride back to “mission”

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right now i’m in the mood to reminisce. tonight jack v discusses again the period of time after his first semester away at “mission college”. let me assure you the above image doesn’t entirely reflect how i view the situation.

the summer after i went away to school at “mission college” there was a family reunion. i briefly told one story about attending a family reunion planning meeting hosted by my aunt laura. this meeting was where she decided to see if i wanted to speak where i briskly said no and she jumped in her seat as if i struck her with lightning.

my aunt nadine had picked me up at “mission” and then brought me further out to a local restaurant for this meeting. after the meeting nadine went home and sends me back to “mission” with cousin natalie. had no choice in this instance as i didn’t drive myself needed to go back to campus and my aunt does a lot of driving so perhaps she was tired.

unfortunately with natalie & her husband nathan this ride wasn’t going to be a quiet one. natalie wants to have a conversation and i likely wasn’t that interested. probably was tired myself as it’s a long ride to where the restaurant was. as often as she could both her and her husband forced themselves to laugh at whatever weak witticism i seemed to have. i tried to be funny, but honestly i was in an uncomfortable situation and was unwilling to adjust to it.

she tried hard to get me to talk about the women i met from “hillman college”. if you remember natalie tried to get me to talk about essentially “nicole” – who i actually met during this first semester away from home – almost two years or so later. when i return after a year-and-one-half absence i attempted to make some moves and it didn’t work out for me – may tell that unfortunate story one day.

as for this particular period of time with my roommate introducing me to women at “hillman” i was a long way from establishing anything remotely resembling friendly relations with the ladies. unfortunately my cousin wants know about my romantic life it was her primary expectation. however if she was starting to decide if i was going more and more anti-social perhaps she was wondering if i wasn’t able to form a bond with women as i was unwilling to bond with her as a cousin.

here’s the thing, natalie likely knows that i was close to her younger sister. she tried to really stir something up in me with regards to her. at first mention, her husband responded.

nat: tasha is coming to town later this week.

nathan: oh yeah?

nat: jack?

yours truly: yeah?

nat: tasha is coming to town later this week.

yours truly: i heard

you know to explain i can’t remember if my aunt or mother told me she was in town or i just heard this for the first time from natalie when her husband responds. the fact that she brings this up is trying to change the dynamics of the conversation hence when her husband answers she merely calls my name and repeats what she just said.

in a few short minutes we arrive at my dorm. nathan wants to know – likely being nice – if he should drop me off in the back. i tell him he dropped me off in the right place….in haste. get out and acknowledge because they were expecting me to wave and they drive back to the burbs. meanwhile after that adventure near the end of the term back to reality and finish my semester as it turns out not so strongly.

perhaps another time, i’ll discuss the family reunion. there will certainly be more to say about this particular summer. especially before eventually talking about my senior year of high school.

may 2007

so i go way back for this one 10 years ago. so the actions set in motion from this period would likely set the tone for the next 7 years at least. i will begin to explain.

i was at “mission college” still plodding and largely floundering. i was actually a senior and it turns out i won’t be graduating that spring. i had my ass handed to me in several of my courses during the course of that year. mostly Fs with a splash of D’s and D+’s. and by the end of this summer i would be kicked out of school again and had to fight my way back.

yeah remember that brief blurb i wrote about a girl named nicole (yeah the post involving my cousin) well during that period i had also been kicked out of mission and appealed for re-instatement. i chase after some woman and got nothing for my troubles and almost lost my opportunity to get a degree from this prestigious college.

all the same i made quite a few key mistakes and paid for it with bad grades. i was lucky to come back out alive the next semester when i fought my way back in with an appeal armed with a spreadsheet determining which grades should count. if only i was that much of a genius so that this didn’t happen in the first place.

now why this sets the time tone for the next seven years – from 2007 to 2014 – because this would be the one time i just said fuck it. i was finally alright with letting this go. no more designs on getting a prestigious degree from “mission college” and i could jump start my life during what was left of my 20s. just come home and start job hunting and get my life in order.

while this life wasn’t exciting it was unconventional. this also would mean no more looking at those “hillman college” women as a college student. no more student loan debt, studying, expensive books or even courses made difficult.

i can only imagine what i would’ve done if i never got reinstated. i know i’d be looking for another job and i’d have to explain what happened with my school. why i never finished my degree and better yet where have i been since i really hadn’t held down employment. i’d have been a very risky hire surely.

then i wonder if i’d have found myself at “the show” and perhaps i’d be in a better situation in my early 30s if i had never finished at “mission”. to be honest i have little idea today. if graduating from “mission” was my goal i reached it to my surprise…

so what’s in a name?

you know many of the places i discuss especially a workplace are based on real locales. i don’t like discussing the actually names of these places and often choose to keep it vague.

for example while i have been a college graduate for a number of years i still have chosen not to name the college only the state. allow me to change that in this post.mcg

when referring to that liberal arts college that i attended in georgia, it will referred to as “mission college”, a fictitious college in the film school daze directed by spike lee. i recommend that movie it’s good and addressed college life for young black people. it also has some messages therein.

btw, it turns out there is a real mission college located in california, but i had no idea about it until i looked for anything related to the mission college from the movie school daze.

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the all-girls school will be referred to as “hillman college”. “hillman” is the fictitious college shown in the tv sitcom a different world. it’s a spin-off the cosby show which portrayed one of the daughters of bill cosby’s tv family going away to school. unfortunately that character dropped out and the show carried on with a different focus.

as for all the other places say the community college i attended before leaving for “mission” i haven’t decided an appropriate pseudonym. perhaps i will as there are some stories to tell from that period of time. indeed i’ve told one and it won’t be the only one although not the only one involving women.

perhaps while i’m at it i can add names to the various place i have worked for. that’ll be a project for later. perhaps a new name for “the show” and the dine-in show i briefly worked at.

also a new name for the current job, i had thought about what i wanted to name that place. even thought about using the brand name of grocery stores that are long gone. to be determined for that.

college graduate “job”…

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how jack v got the job at “the show”

it was almost simple as how i got my current job at a grocery store and my recent part-time job at another company. i applied like you usually would but i chose a much more indirect way to get the job.

now as i’ve stated i learned how to find a job real quick and that was to apply with college bookstores. which i did not long before interviewing with “the show” before they opened. and in fact my first post college job was actually with a college bookstore…surprise, surprise.

through a real estate website i found out about a movie theater about to open near downtown chicago. i found the corporate website and sent an e-mail indicating my interest. for a while i heard nothing until eventually i got an e-mail from them letting me know of a job fair which i attended.

ultimately i got the job with them although it was a while before i heard back from them. orientation was so disorganized and i compared them with another company in the same theater business years later. new hire paperwork seemed to have taken a long time and one of the managers handed me a phone to ask some questions that asked about whether or not i had received government assistance. it was annoying but i got through it. other than that not a very smooth experience.

it didn’t help that i had to do this halfway across town in an unfamiliar area and do so in the evening. thankfully this was only for a brief time and soon i’d be doing far more at the facility where i will be working.

in the meanwhile i’m working at the college bookstore until i get my actual schedule from “the show”. it seems to be an acquired skill, but speaking up is one way to insure you get what you want from any situation. i e-mailed them about any extra hours and they finally gave me my schedule.

it was time to quit that college bookstore job. it was a cool job to have worked there like any job it seemed particularly difficult our manager briefed us on how even though many students use government assistance to attend they still have a sense of entitlement to textbooks they didn’t exactly pay for.

still this job prepped me for the future long-term assignment at the theater. it didn’t prepare me for everything but at least i had some more experience under my belt before having to quit this job. was glad no more early mornings and transfers and much closer to downtown chicago.

possibility

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A few days ago I ran into one of the many young women I only know through fb. We’ll call her Andrea and who knows where she had been coming from but we ran into each other in downtown Chicago. She apparently recognized me as someone from our respective colleges – i.e. I attended that liberal arts college & she attended the all-girls college.

To be honest it caught me off-guard so I didn’t adjust accordingly. Andrea is a petite woman with full lips and on this day sporting braids. She said she was in town from New York visiting family. She is originally from Chicago and said she’s staying at a nearby hotel at least until the weekend.

When she saw me I was just leaving the movies nearby and told her what I saw weirded me out. It was funny but just weird. She was aware of another movie of local interest about the Obamas and their love story. Sorry to have disappointed her but I didn’t go see it.

Either way we had a nice chat and spoke of finding my way to New York to catch a tv taping in future. Possibly SNL although I no longer consider myself a fan of that program but something worth doing absolutely. Other than that I suggest we keep in touch through fb and we parted.

Also should be noted that we had over the years talked to each other on fb. Sometimes it’s as much sizing each other up more than anything but sometimes my idea of being a potential match is funny. Perhaps I’m looking for pretty girls who won’t give me the time of day.

Either way just for an exercise what if I chose to pursue this young lady?