Previously on Light From A Lamp:
Blah blah procrastinating, blah raves and trauma, blah healing, and now we can continue.
Upon returning home, I tried my damn hardest to not fall into a hole of depression. Because if I did, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Although I had a lot of things on my mind, the most batshit crazy one was, “What am I going to do about school?” I had just a fucked up Saturday, partied that night, partied even harder that Sunday, got assaulted that night, spent all of Monday dealing with that aftermath, cried in a airport that night, finally got home, and my first thought was what am I going to do about my classes? That type of mentality is not okay and I completely believe that says a lot about the pressures of being a student. We consistently are told that this, our assignments and quizzes, are the most important things in our lives. We spend hours focused on the same piece of stress-inducing work because we’re told it’s due in less than a week. It makes us feel like nothing else should matter. But we’re told that by 6 different professors or coaches or directors, and neglect the important things that actually do matter; ourselves.
I know I’m not the first to say it, but I will say it again; OUR CLASSES ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT. They’re not. The thing I think we forget about college is that it’s designed to be filled with second chances or thirds or tenths because this system is one that will always be there. I can’t say for certain, but college is never not going to be around. Whether we start when we’re 18 or 48, we can always start sometime. That’s sort of the beauty of the thing. It doesn’t matter when we start or finish, it only matters if we’re living how we want to live during the journey. (That was a little deep, wow.)
So I just went through a series of unfortunate events, (hey that’s the name of the post) and my first thought was the status of my classes. Fuck that. I had too many battles to fight to care about what assignments were due that week. As we all know from my first LAMP post, I was removed from the marching band because apparently, it’s a horrible thing to have a mental illness and put your well-being first. For those last couple months of school, I was in and out of offices telling multiple people the same story. So update!
Surprise, surprise. Nothing happened. The Office of Equal Opportunity proved themselves to be a waste of time. The Dean of Students clearly didn’t give a damn about the actual situation, just getting me to pay for the actions that arose from the repercussions of the situation. Now it’s a new year. A new semester and I really had hope that someone in the administration would wake up and hear the message I’ve been saying. They’re not. I wish I could extract the voice in my head to say exactly the right thing, but this is the best I can do;
In every single ad (EVERY AD) that we see for UNM, the one message that is relayed is that this is a school for everyone. No matter where we come from, what we want to do or where we will go, UNM welcomes all people. This is a place to think, create, innovate. How would we be able to put this much heart and passion into a singular slogan? “The University of New Mexico; Where each of us defines all of us.”
What a joke.
Let’s get literal for a minute. If each of us were actually to define all of us, then this school would be number one for everything all the way down to cleanest grass in the state. The support given would be momental and we’d all be considered equal to each other. Me, a simple farm girl equal to the team’s quarterback. Imagine that. Keep imagining it because it’s never going to happen.
For an institution that promotes unity, there seems to be none. I got kicked out of a program for totally unjustified reasons. Tell me why no one has held that director responsible for their misdoings. Not just in the administration, but the day of. How is one person going to get mistreated in front of 100+ people and no one says anything? Not anyone on the staff, in the section, in the band? The bystander effect is real and damaging to our humanity.
I’m not saying someone should’ve come to my rescue, but for those who know me outside of the interwebs know that I believe in fairness and standing up for what you believe in. So if I were to see a member of my section, a member of my band, someone I know for certain is a pretty stand-up guy unlawfully get removed for something as petty as missing one practice for reasons out of her control, I wouldn’t just stand there and watch it happen without interjecting. Even if no one listens, it’s better to stand out and speak up than not do anything at all. (Sorry Spirit Marching Band, don’t take this as a personal attack. It’s not your fault this is the way things are.)
If this was an institution that really valued its token slogan, then we would all recognize each other as one and would fight for each other as one. We wouldn’t let our peers get harassed and tormented by faculty. We would hold people accountable for their actions to create an environment of peace and understanding. And we wouldn’t let human beings be degraded for show by another human being.
I’m not waiting on some effective-immediately policy to be implemented. I’m waiting for an apology. I’m waiting for Chad Simons (oops, she called him out) to look me in the eyes and admit he was in the wrong. Then we could discuss future policies. I know some things take time to fix and [perhaps] my expectations are too high, but if all I want to see is this school show some care about each of us and all of us, that shouldn’t be something too difficult to deliver.
Now my case on the other hand is another story. I don’t want to speak on behalf of the police department or whoever is in charge of picking what cases are deemed valuable enough to pursue, but I’ve lived on this planet long enough and have seen enough Law & Order: SVU to know that justice is rare. We could do everything that we believe is right and still know that there is no hope. I have a strong feeling that this won’t go anywhere; a police report filed in California by a woman living in New Mexico against a creep living in Arizona isn’t going to go anywhere. The sad truth that I knew from the beginning. I knew what the outcome would be and I still took that leap of faith in attempt for justice.
I’m ending this post here because the finale of this series needs a proper farewell. A farewell that only a Liz could do. Entering this new year, one of my resolutions was to have no filter. Most assume that means I’ll be savage with no consideration to other people. That’s not it. When I say no filter, I mean I’m done censoring myself. I’ve had too many people give me their inputs on who I should be. While I can appreciate the thoughts of others, I have completely let that warp my own. I’ve spent years going through an identity crisis because everyone had something to say about me. Everyone had to give their opinion in hopes that I’d tweak my personality in their favor. Now gaining some sense of what kind of life I want to leave behind, I have realized that I need to listen to my voice. She’s pretty dope anyway.
To Be Continued…