Three Years A Vagabond | Part Two

January 15, 2020
December 2014 - September 2015
two graduation caps used as overhead lighting by Suad Kamerdeen, courtesy Unsplash While the turmoil unfolded home-side, CV was creating issues for me at school, too. I wanted to go to college so that I could make a living for myself, and get a degree that would allow me to put my technical skills to good use in addition to getting me a job that would make me less reliant on SSI. From a very early stage, I wanted to be less of a burden to taxpayers, especially in the second richest county in the country. This is a point I have repeatedly made during recertification. By infecting my school with the same nonsense they told my landlord, the school began to invest an unhealthy amount of time in my past, even though they had only known me for six months. They kept saying and suggesting things as if they knew best, and constantly talked down to me. It was beginning to irritate me.
The actions I took in the month leading up to my eviction allowed for a less hard landing when I finally got the boot. I did have sessions with [#a3r62s] on the SUNY Westchester Campus. In addition, I ran into problems with two of my Spring 2015 instructors ([#a3c74t] and [#a2j79w]), who kept talking down to me and singling me out in the middle of lectures. My CIS 120 Instructor even went as far as encouraging a student, [#p2a93d] to stalk me on social media. I attempted to sort out my concerns by contacting [#a3r62b], then the Judicial Director at SUNY Westchester (I believe he has since been promoted). Despite me providing key details and frustrations in a non-emotional manner, he sided with the instructors, upsetting me further and making me feel as though the system had failed me.
Later that week, I got an email from my curriculum chair, [#a6d69s], who expressed concern that I hadn't yet submitted any of my Blackboard assignments. I attempted to address the backlog in a computer workspace across from the cafeteria by using the patch cord from an unused computer to get those assignments submitted as she asked. However, I was approached by a campus security officer asking me to disconnect the patch cord. I said I am a student trying to submit assignments and I'm using the patch cord because the WiFi network is congested (it was, too. Not enough bandwidth). The officer ignored my plea and became hostile. I then said, "All right, I will, just let me log off Blackboard and my computer" but the officer upped the ante and called the County Police. Before I knew it, everyone in the lunchroom was staring at me. Some had their phones on record. Unbeknown to me, [#a3r62b] was in a meeting nearby and walked into the scene.
I later got in touch with [#a6d69s] and asked if I could withdraw from my classes, citing the mounting issues I'm facing both on and off campus. She obliged. I ultimately took this frustration out on my campus therapist. However, there were warning signs that I tried to address in therapy that were deliberately ignored. I insisted that they "keep the worlds separate" and focus exclusively on academic concerns that I raised, but they constantly redirected to my past and non-academic concerns throughout all six sessions. I pleaded with them to "please keep my past out of this." After sitting down with CV and SUNY Westchester liaisons in a contentious President's Week meeting, I signed a consent form allowing greater communication and asked to be kept in the loop, emphasizing that in the signature. They whited that out on the official form later. I regard that decision as a huge mistake.
The key to maintaining control over a crisis is maintaining control over the narrative and all lines of communication. That's something I botched horribly. My anger got to a head when my psychiatrist called me one morning, and suggested an increase in session frequency (which would come into conflict with my classes), and I said "I need to get back to you later" and hung up. I then sent a profanity-laced email message to [#a3r62s], who then forwarded it to [#a3r62b], which was then added to my disciplinary record as the third infraction, resulting in me being suspended from campus grounds for a week. After my eviction, the ban was eventually lifted, and I made use of the food pantry while my SNAP benefits were suspended between April and June. SUNY Westchester banned me from the food pantry in mid-May. My last presence on campus was on September 2015. I waited for my last bus ride out next to a snake. Fitting.

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