Life After SMC
Think a college degree slips you into a comfy career? Think again. As a graduate of Santa Monica College, I have a deep respect and admiration for the college, professors and administration. I enjoyed my time here, graduated a Journalism major (thanks to a professor who recruited me) was in the honor society, had plenty of school spirit such as initiating schmaltzy bake sales to raise money for the Journalism Club for which I was president for a semester, and enjoyed other school involvements. I met great people here, and enjoyed the teachings of my professors. I did well and went on to Pepperdine, thanks to my college professor here at SMC who initiated an academic scholarship.I was on a fast track to success. I am now horrified and puzzled; I now face being homeless. Did I not make all the right choices?
I recall as a child, asking my mother what "Los Angeles" stood for. She said it meant a special place where angels lived. I felt protected. When jobs were scant in Los Angeles back in the early 1990s (not many recall that recession) I moved to New York to pursue journalism. Amid the energy and excitement I did work as a reporter for trade publications, special promotional consulting to a few Fortune 500 companies (O.K. I was in over my head but did receive $100/hr. for my services). And so on. Then, after locating to D.C. where I still pursued reporting, I moved back to Los Angeles in November of 2001 after the tragic New York and D.C. events in September. In retrospect, perhaps - big mistake.
But a personal tragedy of my own loomed and I was caught unprepared; I developed a hearing disabilty. The slide downward began, support from friends, family, security in some cases came to a quick grinding halt. Others gave arms length support. People with disabilities are not treated well, it's heartbreaking. Despite feeling so severed, I have been obsessively job searching for nearly three years now. I apply for everything, even as a groomer to clean up after police horses. I began thinking someone was or is hacking my emails, phone, etc. and perhaps they are. Did I make enemies? Or is this a game to someone.
However, I have been interviewing at SMC for various entry level positions that I am well qualified for. I have been tempted to beg, or at least level with my dire situation.
Just recently I interviewed for a file clerk, data entry position here. A no-brainer that I happen to have an apptitude for. Who doesn't? Overqualified? Yes, but never mind that.
Think survival. Think food. Think new shoes or socks.
Still the larger picture looms. In a society that respects education, knowledge and professionalism, I should be the embodiment of that - the poster child. How can it be that a reasonably successful college stint results in nothing. I am swirling down a vortex I cannot stop. Even at minimum wage, I cannot get a job. And sadly SMC turned its back. It hurt(s) refusing to save an angel flying too close to the ground.