Did I tell you I impulsively dropped my summer class last Thursday? I was heading in to finite when I made an immediate, unplanned right into the registrar’s office and asked how long it would take to get a refund. I felt liberated when I left, and slightly giddy, like I’d done something a little bad. It was a little bad, because I don’t know that I’ll be able to pass it at IUPUI. Maybe Cavan will stick around long enough to tutor me when I do take it? Charlie has already made it clear he can’t help.
I have tried to encourage some of my older friends, and those who have been out of school for a long time, to consider taking courses at Ivy Tech. It’s a good way to get started, and you can transfer many of the credits, I tell everyone. But I’m sick of the place. The courses are, for the most part, a joke. The instructors either couldn’t care less or are way too gung-ho about convincing you that this is a “real college.” It’s a poorly organized school that’s trying desperately to be taken seriously. I think it may be experiencing growing pains.
Yesterday I stopped in between work and my counseling appointment at IUPUI for free HIV testing. They were doing it on Ivy Tech’s campus with mouth swabs, which appealed to me because it means not getting blood drawn. Results were immediate. I walked up to the classroom where it was being held to find an empty, dark conference area strewn with pamphlets about HIV and STIs. Stuck to the wall was a barely-legible note reading “gone to lunch.” The testing was, according to the email I received, to be between 10am and 2pm. Four hours. And the guy’s gone to lunch already? I waited for as long as I possibly could, a little over 35 minutes, and no one ever appeared. I went so far as to call the number listed on the classroom door for their conference schedule (a big deal for me. I am not one to go about calling people, willy-nilly) only to be told by the young, apathetic man on the other line that he had no idea what I was talking about.
I think that was the point at which I decided I will never, ever return to that campus as a student. I don’t care how many classes I have to take to graduate, I absolutely cannot stand dealing with the ridiculous, uninterested parties who are supposed to be responsible for some part of my education. If and when I do return, I imagine it will be as an instructor, and I won’t ignore emails from students, or talk about how great it would be to work for a “real university.”
I was irritable when I went to see my therapist, and I told her about it. She asked what was so irritating about it. Obviously, I said, I have issues with control, and this situation was out of my control. I was mad that I went out of my way to go to have this test taken, frustrated that it didn’t happen, and annoyed that Ivy Tech seems to have its thumb up its figurative ass.
We also spoke about my fear of screwing up a kid, concerns that it’s “now or never,” and my concerns that people have started to ask me personal questions like “Is there something wrong with you? With his sperm? Have you gotten fertility testing?” She concluded by saying it doesn’t sound like I really want to have children, which also bothered me a little bit. I asked if every woman should have a burning desire to procreate, and if someone doesn’t, does that somehow void her decision to have them later on? She said that was a good point, and we agreed that perhaps the best kind of parent is the one who can look at their child as a small person who needs tools, training, and resources to be a contributing member of society. Not, I said, a “best friend,” a tiny “me” to be coddled, cooed over, and spoiled for the rest of its natural life.
In other news, I’m content with my decision to drop that course, but I have made a deal with myself — I have to utilize that same time working on homemade gifts for people. Thus far, I’ve already made three, and am working on a fourth, something for my grandma that is not like anything I’ve ever done. That is, very much the kind of thing for a grandma (pictured above). I have also started working on fabric paintings to show at the coffeeshop in December. Whether I’m employed there or not, I can still put up my photos and textiles. The first thing I’ve made is a paper octopus swimming in fabric that looks like seaweed. He (or she) is holding buttons. I call it “We Toss Them in the Current Like Toys.” Octopuses play.