I still have lots of reading to catch up on

At least, now I know.

On a conference call interview for the Social and Cultural Anthropology program at California Institute of Integral Studies, one of the professors began by praising me, acknowledging all that I have been through, recognizing my qualifications, and then, just as I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, reiterating what she had said at our first encounter, that it would be seven long years for me to complete their program. Her feeling now was that that was too long for someone of my accomplishments.

Another asked me to confirm that I had been admitted to Saybrook. I replied that since it was unclear I would be accepted by the Anthropology program, of course, I had applied elsewhere. And that Saybrook had admitted me.[1]

They all jumped in—and with an obvious sense of relief—to say what a prestigious school Saybrook is and how I should by all means proceed with that school. I will be welcome to attend any seminars (by prior arrangement with the professor even while unenrolled) at CIIS in the Social and Cultural Anthropology program I want, and they want to stay in touch.

Saybrook is also located in San Francisco and the program is only partly on line, so the logistics of this are, conceivably, quite feasible.

One said I could be teaching some of these classes—I’m not sure which classes he was referring to—but I do have a Master’s in Speech Communication and I am now fairly qualified with systems theory. Of course, that was the plan when I finished my Master’s: I thought then, that I would find a teaching job at a community college somewhere. It didn’t work out and I’ve been told by a couple people now that the hiring is rigged; two-year institutions only advertise openings because they have to, that they already have candidates selected, and that they aren’t really looking for people.

The interview committee at the Social and Cultural Anthropology program rejected me in the most flattering way possible. It’s impossible to argue. But the underlying assumption is that I’ll somehow be okay even without being enrolled for the next several months. And I guess I will be okay. I’ve been relying almost entirely upon financial aid to have any money at all. I’ll now be relying even more heavily on family.

And I sill have lots of reading to catch up on.

  1. [1]David Benfell, “A week of personal hell,” DisUnitedStates.org, March 18, 2011, https://disunitedstates.org/?p=2216

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