Today I began the very last class that I need to graduate. It is, very fittingly and significantly, about prisons. Once I have completed those remaining four credits, I will finally — after more than a decade of drifting, drugging, and doing time  — be done with undergrad.

For anyone who is not a regular reader, as my Home page explains, I was arrested in 2010 during what should have been my final semester at Cornell. As a result of my arrest, I served just under two years in prison for a drug crime. After my release in 2012, I was still suspended from school — but Cornell finally readmitted me starting in the spring semester of 2014. I just got my grade from the one course I took — an independent study in memoir writing — and found that it was an A. Now, I have just this one course left and it’s a perfect ending to an insane and detoured undergraduate career. I couldn’t write a better ending if I tried.

There’s been some other good news this past month. I’ve been hired full-time by a local newspaper, so — despite my felony — I have a job waiting for me once this class is done. I’ve already be freelancing heavily for this paper for a few months, so I know the people, the beat, and the office environment — and I like it all. My boss is one of my closest friends. It’s truly a wonderful development.

photo
Once crappy tattoo, now fixed.

Because I’ll still be freelancing for the paper over the next few weeks while I am also taking a class in which an entire semester of work is condensed into four weeks, I expect that I won’t have as much time for posting as I usually would.

In other news, I completed another of my New Year’s Resa-Plan-Goals — getting my tattoo fixed. It wasn’t horrible before, but it certainly wasn’t very good. Without ever giving it much thought, I had let the tattoo go half-finished — or at least looking  half-finished — for ten years, until getting arrested. Once I got arrested, I quickly realized that one of the things I most definitely needed to do upon my release was get that tattoo fixed. Every single time I got moved to another facility I would have to describe it in detail and found myself at a complete loss every time. Although I don’t ever plan to be in a position where I need to describe my tattoo in detail like that, I am quite glad to say that I am now at lease capable of describing it! It’s a Narcotics Anonymous symbol with fire encircling it.

 

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7 thoughts on “Light at the End of the Tunnel

  1. Congrats on getting hired by the newspaper! 🙂 It sounds like a great work environment overall. And I can vouch from personal experience that having your boss as your friend is a definite plus! If nothing else, knowing they’ll have your back should the shit ever hit the fan is invaluable.

    Nice work on the ink, too! It looked somewhat different back in the day, and I had always wondered what it meant, if anything. It makes sense though if it was never finished (one of my and Laura’s friends also has a massive back tattoo that still hasn’t been finished yet).

    Looking at it, personally it reminds me of the symbol used by the Progressive Metal band Coheed & Cambria for the character of Jesse Kilgannon (AKA The Prizefighter Inferno), who appears in the story of “The Amory Wars” that’s chronicled in both their albums and comic book series.

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