An Open Letter

Mom & Dad -

I did a lot of thinking after we got off the phone this afternoon. I've decided that there are a few things that need to be said on my part, and maybe I haven't been the most clear in communicating them. I'll attempt to remedy that with this letter, and probably the subsequent phone calls and letters which I'm sure will ensue.

First off, let me say one more time how grateful I am that you two are helping me. You have been there for me, no matter what, not only when its come to college, but in my life in general. You've probably saved me from myself more than I'd care to admit. I will never be able to begin to repay you for the generosity you've always shown me, with your time, your love, and your support. I can only say "thank you," and hope that by developing into the independent, mature, self-sufficent adult I'm aiming to become (sometime before I'm old and gray,) that I can somehow find a way to express that sentiment more fully. I would never have gotten this far without you.

I feel that I should first address the problems with money I've been having for the past 2 years or so. There have been situations beyond my control which have made things difficult since leaving Virginia and the dorms. There have been situations completely within my control that I've screwed up, too. I've picked roommates poorly, apartments without researching, and pastimes that have taken up too much of my life for too long. I've been floating somewhat aimlessly for 2 years, taking classes, working, looking for all the world on the outside like a normal American college student. I've hated it, too. I despise school, I loathe professors and counsellors, and the thought of financial aid makes my skin crawl. I've been letting the dip in my grades happen because I've been neglegent, preoccupied, and irresponsible. It hasn't been a job to me. Its been something to creep by, something to avoid, something to blow off. It's been my unreal life, and classes are just ethereal places where words are spouted at me and I write them down to regurgitate them later. Sometimes I get them right, but more often than not, I don't.

I've fucked up.

This can't be easy to read - it's not easy for me to write. Coming to terms with my responsibility and lack thereof when it comes to my education has not been easy. I've let myself fall into the fantasy that I never had to work in high school - that it all came easily. The truth is, I did have to work back then. I worked damn hard for those grades, too. Selective memory isn't so much fun when the memories start to come back more vividly, and start telling more of the truth of the matter. I had to work hard and long for those grades, and I don't know where I got the idea that it could all just stop when I came to OSU.

I realize that I've run out of second chances. I ran out of umpteenth chances a while ago, I think. I'm not asking for a second chance this time. By the end of this summer quarter - 10 weeks - June 23rd to August 29th, I will have A's in both classes I'll be taking. It won't help much - but its a definate start. I plan on only needing three quarters after this summer - fall, winter, and spring - to complete my requirements and recieve my BA in Medieval/Rennaissance Studies. I plan on graduating with the same GPA I had my freshman year of college or greater - a 3.2.

I'm through asking for help anymore. I've wasted not only my time and yours, but money that none of us have, and I certainly have no right to throw away. This was an investement for the two of you, and its certainly not looking like the best horse to back right now. The race isn't over yet, though. I still have one last leg to run.

I will not be moving into the dorms here at OSU or anywhere else. I will not be moving home to attend Cleveland State. If either of those conditions are or were deal-breakers, then I'm sorry. I will finish school on my own if necessary. You have raised a fully capable adult, and it's time I started acting like one. Our arrangements over school from now on will be handled in the same manner any other business arangement would be handled - and while that won't change much from your end, things on my end of the line will be greatly changed. More efficent, less unneccesary costs, and a different attitude, one of renewed responsibility and persistence. If the terms of the deal change, (such as having to remain at OSU for an extra quarter,) then we can re-negotiate at that time. If it turns out that you deem your investment with me as a loss, then I will more than understand and will proceed on my own. Sink or swim, this time the responsibility is all mine.

You will have a daughter with a degree from a top ten school inside of the next year. There is no doubt in my mind on that point. I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground most days, but I do know that. I also know that I will live this life on my terms from now on. Don't mistake me as ungrateful, because that could never be said. I am in fact, bull-headed and 21, which essentially makes me invincible. No more wasting time or money, mine or anyone else's. If I'm not here getting the grades I expect, there's no point for me to be here at all. I could be washing dishes somewhere and making more money than I do at the library. But I will be stuck washing dishes for the rest of my natural life unless I get out of here with a degree. Essentially, what I'm saying boils down to this - I will graduate, either on my own or with your help, and will live up to your expectations of me as an adult. I owe you a hell of a lot more, but I can at least promise that. This really is my life, though. No amount of solitude in the dorms or seclusion in Cleveland will change that. These last two years haven't been a total waste, I have learned more about what not to do than anything else. And though I've learned some pretty tough lessons, I've always trusted that I could fall back and someone would catch me. The time for that has passed though. Kindergarten is over, and its time to stand up, and start trusting that I won't fall, even if it means holding on by my bare nails.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for everything you've done for me and given me. Thank you even more, for the life we'll all have in the future. It's time I showed you the kind of kid you really did raise. I promise you won't be disappointed.

All my love,