After I moved to Sacramento, the mother of the girl I was dating convinced me to enroll at American River College and wouldn’t take a simple no for an answer. She kept pushing me to go with her to school and check out registration, so to get her off my back I went. I ended up enrolling and choosing a class that I was sure to get a failing grade in which would end the charade of me going to college. It wasn’t that I thought I was incapable of doing it, I just wasn’t sure that I could do it with my current skill level. Self doubt of my abilities but not my intelligence. I enrolled in English 1a, the first English class required for a degree. Instead of failing miserably, I got an A. So the next semester, I enrolled in English 1b, the second class and things took a turn for the worse with my living situation so I withdrew the class with a “W’ on my transcript. Thus ended my Fall 1993 school semester and my first attempt at college.
My first attempt at college netted me one friend, a girl named Diana. We became friends and I honestly thought we were going too eventually become boyfriend and girlfriend, when she suddenly dropped out of school in the middle of a semester. We had spent a lot of time together and then she stopped answering my calls. Keep in mind this was before the advent of cell phones, but after the advent of pagers and I had one. So when I took it as a sign, when one day, out of the blue she answered. We got together and she basically gave me the kiss of friendship on the cheek and told me about her new boyfriend. She explained how serious it was and I fully took that as meaning the friendship was over.
When I met my friend Mykl, I had flirted with going to Sierra college and taking classes but I could never work up the courage to discuss it with Mykl. Much like a lot of things, I never really allowed myself to truly confide in him at the time because I couldn’t really understand why he was my friend. Especially because it seemed like very few of his friends actually liked me, and some I later found out barely tolerated me while mocking me to my face and behind my back. I never really knew about Pell Grants and financial aid or the public assistance network available to newly, out on their own young adults. From conversations and interactions with Mykl, I soon realized that he knew all about both systems and he helped me navigate them at one time. If I had of asked, he would have told me and I might have enrolled at Sierra College. That could have potentially changed my life in ways that I cannot fathom now. But really, hindsight is like that.
So when I relocated to the Sacramento region in 2008 and found myself without a job, I enrolled in the Fall 2008 semester, just as the Prop 8 madness was creating hostile and sometimes violent altercations between the Russian speaking Christians on campus who had taken control of he Associated Student Body, the student government on campus, and issued a decree endorsing a Yes on Proposition 8. This basically translated that the entire student body at ARC agreed with a Yes on 8 vote to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. My classes were all in the evening Monday through Thursday from 6pm until 10pm and the curriculum was the Cisco Certified Network Engineer course. I learned an incredible amount and became friends with most of my class during the four semesters that I too the classes. I got incredibly good grades in the class and learned an incredible amount. I was ready to do some real world hands-on work with Networking so that I could comfortably take the test utilizing the recall of the information that can only be developed through muscle memory. Where you recall the answer based upon having seen or encountered the proper scenario before, this is how troubleshooting works. But in Sacramento’s economic turmoil, I was truly unable to find a decent job utilizing the skills.
Life issues and personal issues began to take its toll and at the end of the Spring 2009 semester, I neglected to enroll in classes in time to start. Up until this point, I had been paying for all of the classes out of my own pocket with only the Board Of Governors Fee Waiver as assistance. I was still sort of unaware how the Pell Grant worked, so when money got tight, I chose not to enroll. After I got sick in 2011, I decided that once I got healthy, once I could effectively work again that I would go back to school using financial aid. I enrolled in the Spring 2013 semester back at ARC with the intent of studying Business Leadership, and that is still really my ultimate declared focus: transfer to a California State University or University Of California school to obtain a BA degree in Business Management. I took an Introduction To Management class and it taught me a lot while at the same time helping me refocus and change my mental model.
During this time of transition in my life, I have met a lot of people through the computer via BBSes, the Internet and Social Networking. Even though I met a lot of friends through college in both of my previous attempts, I never really maintained those contacts and never interacted with them outside of school. Even through social networking sites like Facebook. Not until I took classes in the Spring of 2013 when I met MooSe and a few other people. Some of them have been friends since then and others have drifted away as life currents have pulled us in different directions. All of them except a core few who have become good friends. I met Aaron at Starbucks at the same time and we started talking since he was also a regular. We would watch each other’s shit when the other went to the restroom or out for a smoke. Slowly we became real world friends, exchanging contact information. Sitting together. Hanging out together. This is the power of Starbucks. Now, Aaron and I are taking classes together. MooSe and Aaron know each other.
We all gel really well. Did I just write that trite? Shit, Sounds like a horrible Dr. Sholl’s Commercial. Are you gellin? I also met Jarom at Starbucks at the same time and slowly we have become close friends. My circle has begun to grow. Jarom, MooSe and Aaron all know each other and they communicate with each other directly. They are friends connected to each other and me. MooSe and I have mutual acquaintances from the various classes we have taken together and those friends know Jarom, Aaron and MooSe. My network. My circle. My people. Which brings me next to Riddler and his family, I have already blogged about how we are connected, Riddler and I. But what I haven’t mentioned is how amazingly awesome Riddler is. You see, there have been times when I my actions have irritated him and he has let me know. Often times, the reasons for his ire show a similarity in our belief system but more importantly they show that he values and cares for our friendship as much as I do. I have spent so much time around his family that his kids no longer view me as a visitor which really is heart warming in and of itself. These are the people around me, who through their sustained and daily interactions have shown that I matter to them.
The mascot at American River College is a beaver that was named Igor Beaver by the people who established the college. Say the name quickly. Now say it slowly. Yup. Eager Beaver. Now, my inner Beavis has me making all sorts of snarky comments about Beaver Pride which I saw written in chalk outside of the school’s outdoor swimming center after seeing the girls water polo team playing during cold, wet and rainy day. The conditions were such that there was steam rising off the surface of the luke warm pool. The steaming wet beaver comments were just too hard to resist and someone made the joke that I was too eager to make the reference to beaver. We had just watched the Mike Judd, creator of Beavis & Butthead, movie Idiocracy and there is a Pimp in the show named Upgradde pronounced Upgrade. The double D is because he has a “double dose of of pimpin’.” So I joking said “My name is Eegore Beaver for a double dose of Excellent!” to a round of raucous laughter all around. This was of fueled in response to a tale of Aaron’s about a Starbucks barista pronouncing his name as “Ay-Ay-Ron.”
Then the other day, I learned that the school had rename the name of the mascot from Igor Beaver to Bucky Beaver and I couldn’t stop my inner Beavis. I exclaimed “Fuck Bucky.” Someone said “You go Eegore.” So one morning when waiting for MooSe at school, I came up with this little Gem of an origin story for the cartoon! You remember the cartoon right? So, here it is:
I am Eegore Van Fracken son of the famed Hunter Van Fracken who married the the Dutchess Of Bevor who forced him to take her name in the pre-nuptial negotiations. Yes, my father’s name became Hunter Van Fracken-Bever. I was named Eegor Hunter Fracken-Bever but when I came to America the INS shortened my name to Eegor F Beaver-Hunter because they felt Fracken was too obscene sounding in polite company. So my documents actually read Eegore F. Beaver-Hunter.
This is what happens when you text back and forth while MooSe is using the Sacramento Light Rail to get to school in the morning. But it was good for more then a few laughs. So tomorrow is the beginning of my 45 year on this planet since ejection from the womb. I share this anniversary, also called a birthday with my daughter Kethry. I have two papers due for school and both of them are for Anthropology classes: 300 – Physical Anthropology and 372 – Primatology Field Studies. The 372 class ends tomorrow and the final paper is due. It is also the most intense of the observations we are required to do for the class and involves my favorite species of non-human primate, the Common Chimpanzee or Pan troglodytes. And best of all, It’s my birthay!