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monday, may 13, 2002
warning: rant ahead!

no title today. no title could convey how pissed and bitter and disappointed i am right now. 4 people failed me. no, i take that back, 3 people failed me. they broke their promises. and when i got the first result of those broken promises, i thought it was my fault. i thought i wasn't good enough.

i applied to 2 mfa programs this year, a process that cost me - cost my family - over $100. that's just for 2 programs. and anyone following this journal even haphazardly would know, that's an incredible amount of money for us. that's almost half my rent, 2 utility bills, or groceries for about 10 days. i knew that $100 was a gamble, but i thought it was a well spent gamble. i thought i was good enough to get in and once i got through i would have the equivalent of a phd. that meant i could teach at university level, which gave me two very valuable things: more money than i could earn at the secondary school level and a more flexible schedule so i can be with my son when he needs me. this was not just my future, this was OUR future. i could support my family at last and still be there for the one who needs me more than anyone else. so everything i wanted, and that i felt i needed, for my future rested on this.

and, of course, when bennington rejected me, i thought it was my fault. i wasn't good enough. or, maybe, it was because i am a fantasy writer and fantasy as a genre is frowned upon in literary circles (a rant for another day). but then i get a letter from my second program saying they haven't received even ONE recommendation letter. it's been 5 months since i applied. 5 months since i told the people who said they would write recommendation letters for me that i applied and at least 7 months since they agreed to write the letters - almost a year for the one person who OFFERED to write the letters without my asking. my reminders to them to date have been polite and have repeatedly asked them to let me know if they could not write the letters so i could try to find others who could. one instructor told me honestly that he has tried to write it, but i haven't been his student for so long, nor long enough, that he's struggling with it. but he's it. as far as i know...or i should say, knew, no one else had any problems with it.

apparently i was wrong. these recommendation letters are vital to getting accepted. not only are these people NOT writing them for me as promised, but they are not informing me that they can't or won't write them either.

ok, so they are busy people. but they said they would do something. when i say i'm going to do something, i do everything i can to do it or i tell whoever i made the promise to that i can't. and i try to tell them i can't in plenty of time for them to find someone who can. to me, my word means something. i rarely lie. there is one lie that has been said to protect my youngest. it was a lie agreed upon by everyone involved to protect her from a vindictive, vicious grandmother. there is one other time i can remember when i lied and i didn't even think about it - i felt threatened and lied to protect myself, only to end up having problems as a result anyway (which reinforces my belief that one should not lie). i present myself as i am. and, above all, my word means something. i don't make promises lightly because when i make a promise i do everything i can to follow through.

and, maybe, i've been let down a lot in the past.

whatever the reasons, i don't tolerate broken promises well. too many people make promises just to get you to go away. they can't be honest with others or themselves about their time. and they never let on that they can't or won't do what they've said. i once dated a guy that would tell people he would do something and never, ever do it - even if it left them stranded somewhere. the irresponsibility always floored me.

and that's what these professors are being. irresponsible. yes, i understand they are busy people. i understand they have lives. and i understand they don't HAVE to write these letters. that's not the point, really. they point is that they said they would and, not only have they NOT done what they've said, they haven't bothered to tell me so i could look for others to help me out here. if they can't find the time to write these letters, then maybe, just maybe, they should TELL me that. either write it or let me know, but do not put my future - someone else's future - on hold because you can't seem to get to it or whatever. when someone is relying on you for something they cannot do on their own, either do it or tell them you can't. don't put their lives on hold just because you're too busy and don't have the guts to be honest enough to say you can't do it. it may be nothing to you, but sometimes it's that other person's whole future you're just tossing down the drain like so much garbage.

i am going to contact a prof who takes his "responsibility" to his students seriously. my grad prof who told his wife he really enjoyed having me in class and that all i need is a little confidence. my grad prof who solved my writing class problem last quarter. the prof who thinks i deserve the mfa program. i know he's busy. but i also know that if he says he will do it, he WILL do it. he was quite clear last quarter when my writing prof backed out on my independent study: professors need to take their promises and responsibility to their students more seriously.

me, i just think everyone should take their words more seriously. someone else's dreams may rest on them.

site of the moment:
site of the moment:
word of the moment: ceilinged

adjective form of ceiling: the overhead inside lining of a room; an overhanging shelter or a lofty canopy; the height above the ground from which objects on the ground can be seen and identified; an upper prescribed limit