Ask A Bastard: Lost Posts Edition

Thanks to last week’s edition, I’m 99% sure of what I am I going to do. By the end of the year, I’m going to apply to there different schools for admission into an MSW program. The CSSP program, while awesome, isn’t really what I should be doing (or really, what I want to do). The money issue is only of concern in regards to what sort of private-practice or teaching I could do. Thank you, everyone, for providing me with the direction I needed.

Now I need to finish what I started. Onto the questions:

Aerin asks:
-Why did you choose Beloit for undergrad (apologies if you’ve discussed this before). Were there other schools you were looking at/investigated/applied to?
-Do you know the story behind your middle name? Just out of curiosity

As for Beloit, in my senior year at LT, I applied to four schools: Loras, Ripon, Knox and Beloit. My parents sat me down and forced me to write out my apps to all of these schools, and a few more, even though I was talking about going to a community college and then transferring to a four year school. My parents shot that idea down. They both said, “You’re going away to school.” When I kept pushing, they both told me about their college experience. My dad’s words stuck with me: “I got a scholarship to any school in Illinois, and we could afford to send me anywhere. I couldn’t afford the boarding and the books. We can send you away, so you need to go.” So I went.

I visited all four and Marquette. I was going to apply to Marquette until my dad pointed out where Jeffery Dahmer lived. That, and the consistent smell of stale beer, nixed Marquette.

I visited Loras first. Small rooms, a bad radio station and a psych department that didn’t interest me. I went to Beloit during the Prospective Student week. I met about five people who stayed in touch with me over the year, who took me to parties and my first late night IHOP trip. Beloit also gave me a huge scholarship. I knew then and there that I was going to Beloit. To be completely sure, I visited Knox and Ripon.

Knox, your Alma Mattar, was next. The tour was boring and the chalkings seemed flat to the ones I saw at Beloit. My dad and I just kept saying, “it’s no Beloit.” I spent the night at Ripon–my host was boring. He didn’t take me anywhere and he said, “most people just stay with their own friends.” He didn’t even take me to the cafeteria for dinner.

The next morning, I spoke with a football player and philosophy major. He told me a story about being pelted by food by Beloiters during a home coming game. I thought to myself, “this place sucks so bad, I want to throw food at you too.” When I got home, I called a bunch of people and said, “Beloit it is.”

I never looked back. I never regretted my decision. Beloit was the best decision I made in high school–and helped me become who I am today.

Von also asked about my middle name (Anton). Here’s that story.

My maternal grandfather was Anton Paul Pristo. My birth was difficult (foreshadowing!) and I had to be delivered via c-section. Because my parents weren’t sure they could have another child, and how much my dad loved my grandfather, they named me after both grandfathers. Martin Gleason, my dad’s father, died in 1961, long before my dad met my mom

Von also asked:

Seriously. How much damage could I have done to my vocal cords by screaming for like 2 hours non-stop? Could it be permanent?

It’s possible that you will develop nodules on vocal chords, but considering that you did give up smoking I don’t think you have done any permanent damage. If your voice starts to squeek or you’re hoarse after a week, you should see a doctor. Repeated, long term shouting can seriously damage them. What on earth were you shouting at for two hours? The Cubs?

That’s it for this week. Please, please, please email or post more questions. It gives me something to do on Monday morning.

Rusty Brain

Two blogs have me thinking quickly today–one of them is a blog I read offline, the other is one I unfortunately stumbled upon monday night.

Res on the Republic of Dogs Blog posted this piece on feminism and progressive thought. I have not had my head spin so fast since I was in Beloit. By spinning head, I mean reading and taking in a number of opinions quickly. Some were well written, wonderfully articulated easy to read pieces. Others were somewhat rambling gems of thought. A few were emotionally tinged, reminding me of more heated exchanges I’ve been apart of. It was one of the best pieces, comments included, I’ve read in the blogosphere in a long while. Read the post. For my rusty brain it was some very heavy thinking.

At this point, I do feel the need to say that it is my second favorite post on RoD. My favorite post is anything by AG.

The other blog I won’t post here yet, as I’m still digesting it. I know Shannon is planning on posting a series of comments and posts that almost make me feel bad for the guy. Almost is the key term here. This blogger presents as an entitled, suburban cobag of the third degree. Everything he writes is from this position-but that alone does not explain why I am so irritated by him. There is something else that is bugging me about his blog that I can’t yet put my finger on–something that is preventing me from going after him as much as I want to. Is it the ignorance, arrogance, misogyny or entitlement that is irritating me? This is something I need to sort out before I start cross-positng or commenting.

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Years ago, friends of mine came up with the idea of living in a commune after college. This was a much better idea than my high school friends’ idea of living in a co-ed convent. Given recent events, I’m floating the idea again.

If you were going make a commune, where would found it? What would be the purpose of the commune? Who would you invite? Who would you exclude?

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I first met Molly when I was a sophomore at Beloit. I was anxious to get back to campus to see all of my friends and to meet more exciting, smart people. That first week back on campus, I was lucky enough to share a floor with Molly–a bright, vibrant and intelligent woman who quickly became a part of our elitist group. She made me a series of business cards–of which I still have some–that I had talked about one day in our communal lounge. One is stock black card with “Whitey” in white. The other is stock white card with “The Man” in black.

We drifted apart a bit the next year, but Molly wouldn’t let me disappear from her radar. She would call me, write me and just drop in to say “hi” whenever she missed me. She called me and Skyped me when she went to live in China–hell, she brought me back a beautiful red lacquered serving tray–and we had always talked about hanging out again.

Then Molly got sick. Back in school, she had a few weird illnesses, but she always came back stronger than before. I didn’t think anything of it. I don’t think she thought much of it either as she had a giant tumor removed from her abdomen. I remember talking to her about it–the damn thing had teeth and hair, and it freaked/amused her to no end–that we would hang out when she was better. I offered her and her husband my condo while she got better.

This time, Molly never got better. When they removed this tumor, the doctors discovered a rare and very aggressive form of ovarian cancer. Last night, at 10:55 she passed away.

Last week, when I was talking to our mutual friend Zach, I mentioned that, “If anyone can beat this, Molly can.” I believed that then–even though I thought her chances were slim–and now I’m in shock. I arrogantly thought that because I’ve experienced loss before, I would be able to deal with this better. All I can think about is how much I will miss Molly–how we will never get a chance to reminisce or rebuild our friendship. I can’t help but think about her husband Matt, and the pain he is going through. My heart goes out to him, and the rest of Molly’s family, as they go through this.

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Help my Jenny

My friend Jenny is doing all sorts of amazing and interesting work in forensic anthropology. She’s in England working her butt off and drinking more beer than I can dream of. And I frequently dream of beer.

This morning I got an email from her asking for help in her dissertation. It ‘s a survey and it takes ten, fifteen minutes, tops. Go here and help her out.

This isn’t a Chicago thing, so you only have to do it once and it doesn’t have to be early. However, you do have to do it.

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