Columbia University

All posts tagged Columbia University

I’m too old for this shit

Published March 3, 2014 by Sandee

manhattan

You’ve seen those Buzzfeed tests with results revealing what “Friends” character you are, which 70s rock band, what sandwich — what arbitrary thing you are – these tests are clearly out of control.  By the way, I’m Courtney Love, the group Heart, Captain Kirk, and should live in the State of Washington.

Facebook friends who got the State of New York were pleased, proud to be associated with a high-powered, sophisticated city.

I was born and raised in Manhattan.  My dad, an artist, had a studio in the west 20s, and my friends and I took trains all around the city.  My mother’s from Harlem.

But when my results said that I should live in Washington, I thought – exactly!  This city was always too much for me.  My dad thought that I should live in Berkeley California, where it’s laid back and bohemian.

He had to make me go out and play with the kids yelling up at our window for me to come outside.  I was content to stay in my bedroom and dream, play with dolls, and write stories.

So I went outside, and before you know it, I was an alcoholic.  The cliques, the rules, the pace to keep up — I wasn’t suited for it.  I didn’t even care about going to college, though I scored high in my elementary school tests, and could read when I was three.

Early on I was anti-establishment – I saw how people were influenced to think the same way, and to follow trends.

I still live in Manhattan with filth, noise, and rude people.  I have principles and try to have manners, but in the city it’s hard.

In Whole Foods, I was nearly run over by shopping cart speeders.  I wanted to yell, “Where are you all going!!”  There were mostly upper-middle class young people, who pretty much own the island.  Yes, Manhattan is Dubai now — very expensive.

I was on the Upper West Side, a place where the gritty, the working class, and the intellectuals coexisted way back; the northernmost tip of that area being Columbia University.  At the base was the area immortalized in “Panic in Needle Park,” where junkies were.  A lot of that area was dangerous.

We knew a doctor in the seventies who bought a brownstone in the west 90s.  She was warned against moving there.  That house is probably a couple of million dollars now.  The people in that area today are wealthy, designer people.

Where I live is not like that, but it’s a matter of time.  Even though my neighborhood is considered good, in pockets it’s still noisy, dirty and overcrowded.  Even the airplane traffic is excessive.  I can’t take a decent nap because I’m hypersensitive to the noise.

I would love living in the woods of Washington State.  But for now I’m thinking about New Mexico.  I’m too old for this shit.

Explaining things to those of the dumb

Published August 22, 2012 by Sandee

George Weaver  thought I was in Mensa.  Mensa’s that group where people with high IQs commiserate about explaining stuff to those of the dumb.  I basked in the glory of being seen as somebody really really smart, but I don’t want to mislead anybody, so I immediately told George that I was dumb.  My About page says that I’m published in Calliope, a journal printed by Mensa.  That’s how she got the idea that I was a genius.  This is her fabulous photography site.

I went to Columbia University and got an A minus average.  I feel like I can tell you that because I was old (25) when I went back to school after a drunken stint at community college; and also because I dropped out after two years of credits.  Once, I asked this girl what college she went to.  Embarrassed, she cast her head down and said Yale.  I gathered that it’s bad taste to brag about going to an Ivy League school. But only if you did it when you were supposed to do it. It’s okay if I tell you where I went to school since I’m one of those handicapped cases who goes back when they’re old.

Somebody said I probably got into CU because I was black and at that time black people were ‘in’.  Maybe.  Plus during my college interview, I had a platinum afro, a nose ring and my college essay was about being an alcoholic.  They thought, Aw the freaky black chick’s trying to improve upon herself – let’s give her a chance.  Besides, I’d give them diversity. They wanted to throw somebody freaky into the mix y’all!

I got a scholarship and took out a loan to pay tuition.  After the second semester, I decided to work there because they offered tuition remission.  This was 1988 when you could get jobs anywhere you wanted.  For the youngins — back then, you could have three jobs, jobs coming out of your ass – nowadays, you can’t buy a fucking job.  Anyway, after working there almost five years, I was laid off at the same time I was offered to be published in an anthology.  I would get leverage in my field of interest.  So my anti-establishment ass says, ‘Fuck it, I don’t need no degree to be no writer, plus, it’s more romantic to be a rogue writer. Why, I’m an auto-didact, I am!’  You see folks, why I could never have been in Mensa?  These are the kinds of backass decisions that those of the dumb make daily.