Mom is better but school is becoming a drag…

My mother has come back to ground after 5 weeks of wandering in her mind.  It can be frightening for her, and dismaying as she is sometimes aware of what is going on. The past week, however, has seen a smoothing out of the rough edges.  Most of the time she knows where she is and, thankfully, she has not forgotten who I am or her other family members.  Her condition is called ‘sundowning’ and it causes her to become disoriented in the early morning after waking and beginning around 4:30PM until about 7:30PM.  I think much of it actually has to do with light and stimulation to her eyes.  Her attitude towards this can be upsetting for her, but she seems to be taking it in stride.  In short, she knows that she is safe and loved and at home.  What a relief.

In my academic life I am up against another bureaucratic wall.  I am currently finishing my history thesis and working in a darkroom for an independent study–this you all know.  After this summer is through, I will have only 20 credits left to fulfill, all of which are electives.  I have submitted the changes to my degree plan.  One of the changes is a possible 12-credit semester in Greece next spring at The Aegean Center for the Arts on the island of Paros.  I have visited the school already and met the director, John Pack.  I would be taking Digital Photography, Figure Drawing, and The History of Photography.  That would leave only 8 credits left before graduating.  The ACotA has a credit exchange program with a huge list of colleges and universities here in the US and abroad, including several from  the same state institution I attend.  It is also accredited with the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  This seems like a no-brain-er and  it would be except for a woman named Milly Dean (not her real name). She is on the academic assessment board at my school and probably one of the reasons I had such hard time last year with my Prior Learning Assessment for culinary arts.  She says that since the Arts Center is not “regionally accredited”,  Empire State College cannot transfer the credits.  She has also denied any of the changes I have made on my degree plan.  I have finished my major; the only credits left are electives, which I am taking in the arts and photography in preparation for trying to get an MA or an MFA.

My mentor is working on this for me and I will go above Ms. Dean’s head if I need to. The worst case scenario is that I transfer all my credits to SUNY Purchase and finish my BA there.  I have been told that there are two reasons Milly Dean has it in for me (and others as well).  The first is that a creative strategy for learning does not fit into her neat little unimaginative box.  The second is that ESC receives no money if I go to Greece.  It comes down to the fact that Milly Dean and others like her have no imagination and, maybe, but only maybe, are even jealous of those who do.

It is sad to see that the world of education has been co-opted by the bean-counting idiots who sit on their fat asses and eat chocolate all day.  This is true.  I’ve seen it. They have fat asses and they eat chocolate all day.  The counting of beans is an idiomatic statement.

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Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

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