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My 17-year story through colleges.
Nudist, Naturist
Physics and Computer Science today.

I started my freshman year in 1995, then Chemistry in 1996. Then ADHD put me off school several times in the past 17 years.

Left Venezuela and school in 2000, I got sick and tired of being in the fucking closet and living as a second class citizen there. I had no money to go back to school, so when I got admitted to Université de Montréal in 2002, I had the brilliant idea to work full time and "study" full time. The obvious: I failed my courses. I continued Chemistry while doing a Certificate in Applied Computer Science parallel to it, I kept doing it until I got clinically depressed in 2004.

I had no funding from the government because refugees weren't eligible then, which really pissed me off. I realized then that going to the classroom wasn't enough. So, when I got Permanent Residence in 2004, I got funding. Comically, that same year, refugees had become eligible for college funding and financial aid. I got sick of Chemistry, and the Certificate. I worked my way through Minor Physics in 2004-2005 and got admitted into Honours Physics and Computer Science. But I wasn't happy with anything below B, and there was a student strike in 2005 that put me off balance and I had C's in the end. I hated the student movement for so long... then problems started with another strike, this time a professor strike.

I got funding cut off in 2006 and I filled all the requisites for an exchange program in Germany, but the school authorities didn't let me because I needed an appointment to drop off my duly completed file with professor recommendations and all that jazz. Nowhere in the fine print said anything about "an appointment", I yelled out of my lungs that I didn't need them, they said "you need a permis de séjour to go there" and I said "Guess what? I will get it! I speak german!".

Then I worked in Germany for 6 months as an intern. The german consular officer in Montreal saw that my Permanent Resident card had a PR status code called Refugee Class. So she didn't let me apply for a visa with a Venezuelan passport. I wasn't a canadian citizen then. The company in Berlin begged me to go back and work under the radar, which I did through invoicing from Montreal and working offshore and outsourced.

I got back to Montreal in 2007, and problems started again with funding! I got HIV in 2008 and they cut me off again, welfare cut me off too, I was sick for so long, 4 months I think seroconverting. I was depressed again. It wasn't getting HIV. It was the pain from being sick. The faculty asked why I failed so many times some courses, I told them about my HIV and they were heartfelt but nevertheless I always felt like they never gave a shit about students. I got funding again, but not the student loan I am still trailing behind my back. This time, it was a scholarship. I left school for 3 years, 2009 until now.

I needed a big break, and think about my life, whether I wanted to do this for real or now. I went four times to Burning Man. I got back in January this year, and the second student strike happened. I was afraid I wouldn't get funding anymore after the strike screwed up this year. So, after talking to the student bodies and getting mocked and laughed at after teling them about my HIV and escorting, I lost it and got into a psychotic breakdown. I wanted to set the school on fire! I wanted to spray the student demonstrators with gasoline and set them on fire! I wanted to access the labs and get liquid hydrogen (highly flammable) and set the whole school on fire. They locked me into the psych ward for 4 days. I'm fine now. But all this anger is fuelled by the last 12 years living here. I got funding for 2012-2013, but this is the last year I get it, they already said. I am repeating some courses while taking other ones. 17 credits each term. It's a lot. But I am fucking motivated right now. I'm taking the summer term too. I wasn't planing on it, I'd really like to travel, I love summer. But travel can wait, this cannot wait. It's been 17 years. It's A's and B's now.


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