Welcome back to College! (A short story)

This is a letter I wrote to my instructor explaining my absence yesterday.

Hello, I unfortunately missed our first class this evening. I am fully
aware of your attendance policy, and as I was just explaining to my
supervisor, I’m currently experiencing time management issues. This is
not my normal behavior, and I certainly will do my absolute to ensure
that it doesn’t happen again.

If you choose not to read further than that paragraph, then that’s fine.
If you’d like to read why I was late, please continue on.

You see, I had been planning out how I was going to acquire my books
before your class started. I originally had intended to go to the
bookstore on Monday, when the time crunch wasn’t an issue, but I decided
to go home instead- it was quite cold outside.
Instead, I took off work a little early today (after being a little
late, this morning) to catch a bus that took nearly an hour what a car
could have done in 15 minutes- get me to campus. I arrived on campus
within the time frame I had planned out.

Please also understand, I had planned all the major points of how this
operation was going to go: Bookstore- get books. Be in checkout line by
ten til. Be on to class- 5 minutes late tops.
Possible alternative- bookstore- get books. be in checkout line by 10
til. Wonder around lost looking for the class, until finally getting
directions- 15 minutes late.

These are the only two scenarios I considered all day.

But this is what happened. I reached campus on time, took longer than
necessary trying to cross the really slick parking lot. Then, spent a
little more time looking for certain books than intended, and was in the
checkout line with 5 minutes to spare.

I walked up to the register and the cashier was kind and greeted me like
we were old friends, even though we had never met. I was planning on
using my wolfbucks card to pay for my books, and so handed her my card.
Even after budgeting the cost of my books, I was very surprised to see
they totaled over $400 for three classes.

“Ma’am, were you hoping to pay with your credit card for the rest of it?”

Excuse. Me. What?

“Your wolfcard only has this amount available.” Trust me, it was not
anywhere close to what it should been.

What am I supposed to do about this then? I’m 3 minutes late already!

“Student information desk might be able to help!” The cashier offered.

At this point, I was kind of defeated, and still had no idea where my
class was located. I wandered out of the bookstore, and after much
deliberation, decided to continue to follow the ridiculously plan I had
already set in motion, and went left, the way I imagined the class was,
each time I imagined this scenario.

The class wasn’t left. I was near the Wendy Williamson Auditorium before
someone came along for me to ask directions.

Excuse me, can you help me? I’m lost.

“Sure, where are you trying to go?”

SSB. I don’t even know what it stands for.

He cocks his head to the side. “SSB, you say?” Suddenly he sees
something in the distance. “You mean the Social Sciences Building?”


“The one that’s like, part of the library…”

On the other side of campus.


You know I just came from there, right?


From there, it was just a short hop skip and a jump through the up and
down sky way bridges, until I reach the social sciences building.

I’m hot. I’m tired. I take the elevator. I wind around the second floor,
until I find 258. I pull out my ipod, turn it off, unzip my coat so I
make as little ruckus as possible. I pull out my phone to make sure its
on silent, and to check the time. Its 6:21. Whew. It felt like an hour
had gone by.

I peak my head around the corner of the room.

No one’s there.

There was no one there 21 minutes later.

I took one of each of the handouts I saw on the table.

Again, I just want you to know, this really isn’t my normal behavior. I
would always prefer to be 20 minutes early, than 5 minutes late. I’m
really quite excited about this women’s studies class, and the only
thing that makes missing your class worse, is that I wasn’t able to take
any of my books with me either. I promise to see you next week.


And The World Spins Madly On…

So. Anchorage. For a minute, I was really proud to live here. And then Dan Sullivan decided to go with the majority and veto AO 64s which added sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination law. So technically we’re back to square one. However, there is a chance to get one Ms. Ossiander to change her vote and override the veto. Here is my letter to her.

Ms. Ossiander,

My supervisor who is a registered voter and Alaskan born, is generally very progressive regarding his politics, was confused about AO 64. “Why does it matter if this is passed, isn’t apart of federal anti-discrimination law already?” he asked me after seeing my picture in the newspaper from the protest the day before.

I had to explain to him that, no, it’s not. It is not mandated by federal court. Any and all protective measures for the LGBT community are at the city and state level currently.

There is a huge problem with discrimination in this town. Its even bigger than anyone thought because even the Mayor is under the impression that it doesn’t even exist. The citizens are under the impression if it doesn’t exist then it doesn’t need protection. However, by saying that it doesn’t exist and doesn’t deserve a paragraph in Anchorage’s anti-discrimination law, you are discriminating. You are refusing to acknowledge the handful of citizens who might be protected by it. Discrimination rarely comes from the minority, but rather the majority.

It is so frustrating to try and explain why this fight is so important. How can we possibly ask for equality in marriage and death and children when we can’t even get it at the most basic civil level of housing and employment?

My supervisor was very surprised to learn that LGBT rights is not covered in the EEOC. He assumed that it had been included because why would it not be? As soon as he had learned this fact, his entire opinion and demeanor changed. It changed because he believes in the Declaration of Independence which states, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I worry about how many others in this state (and the country, for that matter) don’t realize that there isn’t that basic protection. I wonder how many votes, how many minds might be swayed if they realized they were wrong to assume it was already a protected right somewhere at the federal level?

I am very lucky to work in a place that I don’t have to fear my termination because of my sexual orientation. The fact remains though, my supervisor could fire me for being gay if he so chose.

You have the ability to affect real change. You have the voice, the gavel and the opportunity to do the right thing.

As a resident of anchorage, and a registered voter, I am asking you, please do the right thing Ms. Ossiander, and override Mayor Sullivan’s Veto. Take a stand with your fellow assemblymen and show this city, this state, and this country that Anchorage is accepting of all its citizens, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

Thanks to henkimaa.com for the pic. I didn’t ask.

To Assembleyman Chris Birch of District 6 in Anchorage Regarding your No Vote:

On the Gay Rights Ordinance. I don’t have any nice to say, and generally I don’t say anything if that’s the case. After reading this story that states you’ll vote NO regardless of the testimony in front of you, I just have to say this:

I hope your children, and grandchildren grow up and realize they’re gay. And then I hope they get fired, and evicted for being gay. And then they can blame you because you didn’t protect them when you had the chance.

You are a poor representative of this town.

Some say the Apocolypse is a’comin’…

… and others say its just evolution. I don’t care either way. But its been a very busy weekend.
GOP Maine Senator behaves in a dumb fashion, out of touch with the realities of today by voting to strip pandemic monies from stimulus fund, Mexico becomes diseased with Swine Flu, which we can’t protect ourselves from because of Maine, then has an earthquake, Ms. California still doesn’t get the punchline, probably because she’s trying to smell a scratch n’ sniff at the bottom of a pool.

Good news though, Gays are lining up in Iowa to get married, because their state government doesn’t suck as much as the rest of the country’s (certain states excluded, of course).

It looks like rain outside, and that makes me sad. I hope I don’t get sick.

Could this be the beginning of the end for Amazon?

I’m sure it won’t get that bad. But from where I’m sitting, I feel as though we are on the edge of a precarious cliff, and this could be what makes the Fight for Equality go either way.

An Author, Mark Probst has noticed sales rankings being stripped from LGBTQ books on Amazon.

This is going to be huge.