Today wasn't particularly special. Yes it was graduation day and that's something I shouldn't just brush aside as if it were nothing. I sort of regret not going now, not because I think it's a big deal or I'll care down the road but just because going would have been sort of inconsequential in terms of its downside and it just reinforces my isolationism. That's one of my major problems right now. I still think it's a rather silly ceremony and the nonconformist in me is proud to have said "fuck it," but from a rational perspective I probably made the wrong decision. Not worth dwelling on though, it's unimportant and over.
On the other hand I had a bunch of chores to do today. Mostly to find out about my registration status for the summer and tuition exemption. It turns out that my registration status was on hold until they got my final transcript, which is sort of INSANE since registration starts tomorrow and I just graduated today (plus they can just CHECK my status on their computer system), but far be it from Columbia to make sense.
I also had to go check up on my tuition exemption, and after a little bit of a mixup I found out that I CAN take courses for free, although the woman who heads up the program ominously said "for now" and kept repeating how expensive this benefit was for the University. You know, while I appreciate the fact that I was given a $120,000 education for free, and that this is not exactly chump change, my father died in part because of this school. They insisted that he be chairman of the department when he didn't want to and the stress was a contributing factor in his suicide. Given the circumstances it's tough for me to feel guilty or even all that grateful for the free education. It's really the least they could do, PLUS it was written into his contract so it's something that I legally deserve. I recognize that it's an expensive benefit, but it was part of the renumiration for a job he held for 24 years. Why should I feel guilty about taking advantage of that?
And I don't. But today while I was out walking around doing errands all these really uncool thoughts kept popping into my head. Thoughts like "You should kill yourself. This is the best your life will ever get and it isn't that good. You'll never amount to shit. End it." I'm in no danger of actually following through with it, and it doesn't even affect my mood that much. It's almost like an OCD compulsion to think it, just something that I do while I'm crossing the street or waiting for the elevator. I have other ones. Whenever I have to urinate I tend to have romantic fantasies because the pressing of the bladder against the pit of my stomach creates that...well...pit of the stomach feeling that longing often stimulates. They have a rather consistant narration and set of imagery, frequently focusing around the idea of sexless marriage. They are reasonably pleasant and pass as soon as the need receeds or I reach the bathroom.
The suicidal thoughts are more problematic though because I'm not sure where they come from. I'm not going to say it's some kind of psychotic break type thing where I hear voices. That's not it, they are in my head in my own voice and they seem to come from the same place that other compulsive thoughts spring from. They are not particularly pressuring, and in some ways they are reassuring. It's almost like it's saying "Dude, it doesn't matter what happens today because you can always kill yourself and relieve whatever suffering you might face." It's still a somewhat disturbing phenomenon.
I didn't get my diploma because I was too late. It will be mailed to me later but I miss out on the spiffy beach towel and Columbia 250 DVD that I could have gotten with it. It was FREE STUFF, but on the other hand...well...crappy free stuff. I don't want to watch Brian Dennehy's giant floating head, no matter how good an actor he is. As for the Columbia beach towel, I suppose it might have been of use if I was trying to seduce status whore women at the beach (I'm Ivy League in the boardroom AND the bedroom, baby. Where are you going?) Still, FREE STUFF. I was busy going around setting up the summer classes. The woman at the benefits office was surprised to see me on graduation day. She thought I went right over after graduation. I told her that I was the type to never stop moving, and though that didn't used to be true of me I think it might be now. I'm excited about these classes. Excited about the idea of going to film school. It's something I want to get involved in.
I feel pretty good at the moment. This Chumbawamba album is just the bomb diggity. There are certain albums that just click with you and this one has. Amnesia is like the best song ever.
I saw First Blood (featuring Columbia Alum BRIAN DENNEHY of all people) for the first time today. It's a much better film and a much worse movie than I thought it would be. The action was kind of blah (plus no titties, bare or otherwise! Barely a female in it.) but it was actually dramatic and somewhat interesting, and the plot made sense and had characters with complicated and nuanced motivations. No real good guys and no TRUE bad guys except for the deputies. I liked it a good deal and thought Stallone did a credible job as Rambo. I always enjoy Dennehy (except when he's a giant floating head extolling the virtues of my school in a propaganda film about it). His nuances are just picture perfect. The diner scene where his character is talking to Trautman, the understated way he looks around while he talks...it's just great work.
On the really nice side of things a classmate from school sent me an E-card today with some really nice sentiments. These things usually bounce right off my compliment proof chest but this was unsolicited and I respect this guy a good deal so it meant a lot to me. I reprinted it below for your enjoyment, and archival purposes for me, with his name removed so he can maintain plausible deniability for having endorsed a loser like me.
You are without question the smartest and among the most decent clasmates that I have ever shared a classrom with. I am sure that sentiment is shared by all in Judith's class.
I wish you the best and all great success in your post-Columbia life.
I know you will leave your mark on this world.
Stay in touch.
Very best regards,
Mr. Z. (Nobody who reads this journal will remember Dr. X, an ex-reader, ahaha the punnery, who was incredibly juvenile and assholish when she decided she no longer liked me and helped poison me towards the whole LJ friends idea.)