Hi everyone - remember me? How about a roll call? LONG

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Registered: 02-14-2000
Hi everyone - remember me? How about a roll call? LONG
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 3:07pm

Sorry I've been away so long. This summer has pretty much been the summer from he** but things are looking up now. When I last posted Jason (26) was finishing up his 2nd year of med school and Justin (23) was living at home looking for a job and thinking about joining the army. Here's what's been going on since then:

Justin had finally found a job with a local asphalt company and started at the end of May - completely blue collar but it pays $15/hour and has full benefits. He moved out in July so we are once again empty nesters. DH and I took a short trip to San Antonio the end of May to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. So that was where the good news ended.

We got home from our trip on May 30. That night Jason sat us down and told us that he'd been called into the dean's office the prior week (hadn't wanted to tell us then and ruin our trip). He and was told that someone had sent an anonymous email that said they found Jason's tweets/FB status updates offensive. And many of them were over the top. He loves that 'anything goes' crude humor that pokes fun of anyone and everyone. We'd talked to him about it but what do we know? We figured at some point someone would talk to him. What we didn't figure was that the head dean evidently wanted to make an example of him; he was given the choice of withdrawing as a student in good standing (his grades were GREAT) or they would dismiss him and would be forced to tell future schools/employers the reason. They didn't even let him take his boards 2 weeks later that he'd been studying so hard for. And within a month the school had a new social media policy in place. They may not have been able to do that at a public school but he went to a Jesuit medical school and I'm guessing they can do things a bit differently. So there he was in Chicago with no job, no longer in school, and over $100,00 in debt. We were shocked, angry at both Jason and the school and finally just sad. Many of you remember that he struggled with an eating disorder several years ago. Every time we saw him in the next few months he was thinner and thinner. He really wanted to stay up there near his friends so we agreed to help him financially for a few months. He filled out tons of apps but didn't even get call backs. We were all getting discouraged. Finally he broadened his search and applied at Epic Systems in Madison, WI. Got an all expense paid trip up there for an interview in early August and got the offer the next week. He moved up there Sept. 1 and started on Sept. 3. He LOVES it. The campus is really neat - it was designed by the people that designed Universal, Google, etc. So things are great with Jason now.

On June 18 my dh had his first routine colonoscopy (he's 54) and 4 polyps were removed, one looking 'suspicious'. Within 48 hours the doctor was calling saying it was cancerous and he thought it may have spread to the blood stream. We were imagining the worst. He had some follow up testing the following week that showed pre-surgically the surrounding lymph nodes and organs did NOT appear to be affected so we were somewhat relieved but still nervous as it had spread into the colon wall. He had surgery on July 19 to remove a portion of his colon. Unfortunately they had to do a temporary ileostomy, which was very physically and emotionally tough on him. The following week we met with the surgeon and oncologist to go over the lab results. Thankfully the surgeon got all the cancer and the lymph nodes that he removed as well as the bit he removed on each side of the cancer were clean. This past Friday he had surgery to reverse the ileostomy and is doing great. Moving slowly but psychologically SO much better. He'll have to have a sigmoidoscopy in about 3 months and another colonoscopy in 6 months. If those are both clean he'll have to have colonoscopies every year for a few years. He'll continue to see the oncologosist every 6 months until he has 2 clean colonoscopies, in which case it will go to every year for the next 5 years. So for those of you that are over 50 and haven't had a colonoscopy - schedule one NOW. Had dh waited even a few more months I'm sure the results would have been much different.

Sorry this is so long but I wanted to let you all know what was going on around here. I hope you all had a better summer than we did!

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003

Congrats on your anniversary. Wow, so much going on! I am glad your hubby got in early and caught that early. I am sorry about Jason. Perhaps he can transfer or appeal. I will say a prayer for everyone!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

I find that most mission statements have little to do with reality. Dare I say many, maybe most, are just a steaming pile of manure thought up by public relations con artist hired to improve the image of the organization? Like a hamburger (taco, pizza, fried chicken, buffet, etcetera) chain calming something like, “Our mission is to provide our customers with a great hamburger at a reasonable price and a happy dining experience . . . .” The truth is that those items are all auxiliary to the primary mission of every corporation. That primary mission is to make profits for the shareholders and increase the value of the corporation for the benefit of the shareholders, which also benefits the management of the corporation in the form of increased income for the corporate officers. Nothing wrong with that mission. However That truthfulness would not sound good plastered on the walls of the local outlet of the chain, so you will never see such honesty expressed in mission statements.

Without disparaging the faith, exactly where was this “diverse community seeking GOD in all things” during the “priest pedophile criminality days?” What becomes disgustingly clearer with every settlement and release of documents is that a very large number of priests, bishops, cardinals, church lawyers, institutional folks at institutions of higher education were ALL well aware of the situation for decades and chose to conceal the facts, move the pedophiles around to different parishes, obstruct investigations, perhaps to the point of criminality, thus allowing these pedophiles to prey on even more CHILD victims.

In many cases the church hid behind the “statute of limitations” until many state legislatures changed their states laws to allow litigation to precede without being barred by the statute of limitations. (Not sure about this, but these changes may have to do with allowing these child victims to get their DUE PROCESS against the church who failed to protect them.)

“Due process,” and other similar concepts, is what separate the civilized nations from the vast majority of the rest of the world. Due process, as we understand it, does not exist in the Muslim world, the dictatorships of the communist world, and other dictatorships around the world. What we take for granted is nonexistent in most of the world.

At least two of those Cardinals, Bernard Law of Boston and Rodger Mahoney of Los Angeles clearly knew what was occurring for many decades and their policies enabled the continuation of these crimes. I'll even go a step further and suggest that these two consulted with other cardinals about what to do. What did Pope John Paul II know? What about Pope Benedict? Did these “princes of the church” (cardinals) conceal the truth from the men who stood “in the shoes of the fisherman?” What would JESUS say about this?

To me, these sins and crimes described above are far more of a bad reflection on the esteem and integrity of every Catholic and every Christian person and every Christian institution (including Loyola) than anything Justin could have posted on Facebook. I don’t even think this point is arguable or disputable.

I like to think that these legal revelations came as a disappointment to Pope John Paul. Pope Frances impresses me. He follows in the footsteps of the SAVIOR by being willing to humble himself and wash the feet of the common folks. The other day on the news was the story of a woman whose child was born out of wedlock who was concerned that no priest would baptize her baby. What does this Pope Francis say? “I will baptize your child.” IMPRESSIVE INDEED!!!! I like to think this was the type of Pope that Peter was.

Talk about a commoner . . . that was the first pope for certain. A man who could curse his LORD three times before the cock crowed. Be asked by his LORD a few days later, three times in a row, “Do you love me Peter? Yes LORD! Yes LORD! Yes LORD! Feed my sheep. A few days later this blasphemer preaches the greatest revival message ever recorded. Tradition has it that Peter chose to be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy of the same type of crucifixion as his LORD. What a man!!!!! This was what the SAVIOR saw in Peter when he was just a common old fisherman. I think JESUS also saw this same potential in Judas, but Judas chose a different path, which the SAVIOR knew in advance. Judas was the man who kissed the door to heaven after choosing to follow Satin. “Choice” is the gift of GOD to all truly free people.

Humor is like beauty in that both are in the eye of the beholder. What is funny to one person is often times offensive to someone else and vice versa. Sometimes things are said in satire or parody that are not understood or appreciated. Sometimes one person’s humor is considered crude. Maybe correctly so. However, as Musiclover alluded to above, we want to be careful about censorship of people’s private thoughts or comments.

Academia, which I assume includes Loyola, prides itself on “academic freedom.” This includes the ability to express differing views and thoughts, which may be repugnant to many folks, maybe the vast majority, without the fear of reprisal from the establishment or the majority. Shall we return to the days when the majority burned those that they found to be guilty of objectionable thoughts or expressions at the stake or stone them to death in the city square, or publicly behead them like currently occurs in the soccer stadiums of the Muslim world?

Baylor University, formerly known as Baylor Baptist University, chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 (perhaps the oldest university in the republic/state), had an interesting thing happen several years ago when PLAYBOY published some nude pictures of silly coeds and the university found these private actions to be objectionable and attempted to block the graduation of a couple of the gals. The university eventually realized that this was NOT something worth pursuing and quietly moved on to more important issues. (No, I was not one of those gals, nor did I attend Baylor. LOL)

Retaliation for exercising ones “academic freedom” may be a violation of the schools policy and procedures manual. According to the Butchman’s father (father of our youngest SIL who is an attorney), who is not a litigator, but has often provided support to them, says that this is the type of issue that litigators are very good at spotting, exploring, developing, and, some would say, exploiting. “Exploiting” depends on which side of the issue you are on.

He also says that the really good litigators often lack a complete understanding of all the legal details, but excel at understanding what the judge who decides what “law” applies and what “facts” the jury will be swayed by. Like good tennis players, they know how to handle and deflect problem balls to their advantage, and how to do it quickly and seamlessly without the jury understanding what just happened. The great litigators find a legal peg upon which to build a gallows upon which they convince the jury to hang the opposition on—metaphorically speaking.

Something else that great litigators excel at is reshaping the battlefield by changing the discussion as to what the issues are and what they turn on. For example, the question becomes, “Should the school be allowed to pursue policies that are arbitrary, capricious, oppressive, unconscionable, without merit, against public policy, punitive in nature, contrary to established rights and freedoms like the right to privacy and free speech. Is the school exceeding its powers to the point that it should be reined in by the court. Has the plaintiff been the victim of duress, overreaching, oppression, unconscionablility, adhesion contracts? Does the court have the power to redress these grievances? Should the court? If the judge chooses to gut the school’s position, that changes things immensely. If given the opportunity, what will the jury be thinking and decide?

Part of this reshaping the battlefield occurs when the defendant pulls out some contract signed by the plaintiff. Did the plaintiff have knowledge of what was occurring? Did they sign under duress? Were they threatened with, sign this or well really mess up your life big time. That may be what it says now, but not what it will say after the court rewrites it to what is fair and just. Litigators know how to make that point to opposing council.

Sometimes, those great litigators choose to take cases that they find interesting, deserving of the best lawyer available, or some other more sinister reasons, like they’ve hated Loyola since it rejected their application to law school. LOL Do they even have a law school? Or crap on them, they broke my sweet little niece’s heart when they rejected her undergrad application. Or, my third wife whom I detest attended there and loves it, so I’ll get even. The list is endless. That type of logic also applies to the judge or the jury. Those local biases are why you need a local litigator who understands all the dynamics of the battlefield situation.

(As a side note, these types of dynamics are a major reason that the catholic dioceses are paying large settlements into the hundreds of millions, rather than show up and try to defend the indefensible. What I find even more disgusting about the church settlements is when the attorney for the church starts talking about the church’s coming to the table, seeking to do what’s right. This is purely a LIE as the church has done everything possible to avoid taking responsibility and if given the chance would make NO restitution to the victims. Have these people NO SHAME?)

Certain litigators have a reputation that strikes fear into the defendants; while their lawyers are elated at the upcoming billable hours that they will be collecting. Jerry Spence, Joe Jamial, Willy Gary to name a few. Like all of us they are aging but others will replace them. Forbes magazine puts Joe’s wealth at a mere $1.5 billion, making him #833 on the list of Americas richest and the richest lawyer in the country and he is a big contributor to the University of Texas, which is #15 on the list of best law schools out of about 200. Willie used to fly into town on his own private 727, just to let the opposition know that this was serious business and they should get ready to write big checks. Joe Jamal and Jerry Spence enjoyed taking cases for the underdogs who had been victimized by the establishment folks. They got well paid for it also. There have been cases where Joe did not prevail, but felt compelled to write checks to his client because he felt they needed the money more than he did. if I recall correctly, I think Gerry failed the bar exam on his first attempt. Willie granuated from a lower tier law school; maybe that is why his wealth is only around $100 million. Interesting guys for sure.

Different tactics are used on different situations. For example if the student just wants to be reinstated and allowed to graduate, the litigator informs the school what is expected and seeks to accommodate the clients desires by negotiating that point. In situations where the opposition is unwilling to cooperate, the litigator often starts carpet bombing with those legal hell fire missiles to prep the battlefield and soften up the defendant. This may also include skillfully using the media to his client’s advantage. That is another form of “prepping the battlefield” which is also sometimes referred to by the defendant’s lawyer as “tainting the jury pool.” That is precisely what is happening when the plaintiff attorney starts leaking those internal records of the church, boy scouts, and Penn State.

If returning to school is your goal, you want to make sure that the lawyer is working to achieve this and not overreaching what is best for Jason’s interests.

Most of these great gunslingers have nothing but clients without the money to pay their legal fees; they collect their fee from the settlement or judgment, so they give free consultations. Maybe your case is one that they don’t see merit in or think they can prevail. Don’t get discouraged if you have to discuss it with several before finding one who is willing to take a risk on your case and one that you feel comfortable with representing you.

My point in this ramble is that I would start consulting with attorneys before accepting things as they are.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997

Pam - see your email.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

Having thought about Jason’s situation further, these thoughts come to my feeble mind.

What we would all like to see happen for Jason is that he be reinstated in the program or be able to transfer to another school, which may be difficult in his field of education.

(I truly have no clue as to lots of this, including transferring medical schools. Transferring is quite common in law schools. I seem to recall one of Al Gore’s lawyers, David de bois I think, whose law school arranged a transfer for him after he was discovered having an affair with one of his Prof’s wives. I guess the school did not want a murder illustration to occur on campus. David was the $400 per hour lawyer who wore $200 suits.)

Before hiring the gunslinger and carpet bombing the battlefield, a wiser approach would probably be to find a lawyer who specializes in mediation, where they seek to resolve differences to where both sides are reasonable happy with the outcome. Butchman’s dad has done a certain amount of this with estate planning and probate issues. (Some of the more bizarre ones have been battles over worthless dishes or trinkets or my sister got three cents more than I did—yes three cents.) My guess is that our Liz, Musiclover, who I think specializes in family law, does a certain amount of this also. (Carpet bombing probably does not make for good family relationships. LOL)

Arbitration and mediation clauses are very common nowadays and Justin may have signed one of those in his admission papers. These do not always preclude subsequent litigation and the courts do from time to time, strike them down, clearing the way for litigation to proceed. The foundation of these clauses is that both sides agree to do so in “good faith” This duty applies to the school also. They have a duty to be reasonable.

You want a guy or gal who can go into the mediation situation and appeal to the “better angels” of the schools character.
One advantage here is that people of the faith, our faith, lean toward “doing right.” The MASTER commended that to us. “LORD is forgiving my brother who offends me seven times enough. Nope, not even seventy times that is enough.” OUCH! MLK junior remarked, “The arc of history is long, but it always bends to the right.” (Right means correct and fair, not liberal or conservative.) Several of those congressmen who voted yes to impeach Nixon in the House committee room, quickly left, went to their office, closed the door, and wept. President Ford when he pardoned Nixon, probably was well aware that this would cost him any chance of being elected, but did it because he knew it was the “right” thing to do. Jack Kennedy would have written about this in “Profiles in Courage.” Ford mentioned in his comments to the nation that night that “Americans are not a vengeful people but a forgiving people.” I would submit that that is a hallmark of our faith. Early on in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, one of his key political advisers, Dick Morris, told Clinton that “the ability of the American people to forgive is either bottomless or the bottom has yet to be found.” This is another indication of the hallmark or our faith.

Another point is that Loyola seeks to inculcate “Christian values” into their students. I presume this would include such things as redemption, forgiveness, and restitution. One need not look beyond the “first Pope,” Peter the blasphemer, to see this work of the MASTER in a life. Born Simon, his named was changed to Peter with these words, “Upon this rock shall I build. . . .” Did CHRIST cast him aside? Nope, HE redeemed him, forgave him, restored him to the work for which HE had called Peter and sent him out to carry out the MASTER’S mission statement, which was quite simple and to the point: ‘The SON OF MAN has come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

I have no clue as to why Popes take on new names. Maybe it is a throw back to the first Pope whose name had been changed.

Who would ever have picked a murderer like Saul, changed his name to Paul, trained him in the desert, and then sent him forward to write large portions of scripture and the greatest missionary ever? The MASTER that is WHO?

This is a GOD who changes names as well as hearts.

When the rich young ruler came to CHRIST, asking what he must do to have eternal life, proclaiming to have kept all the commandments from his youth up, the MASTER peered into his soul and took the measure of it as only the CHRIST can and then CHRIST touched this young man where he lived. “One thing you need to do is give up your possessions and then come follow me.” The young man left with great sorrow because his possessions were great and he could not give them up. The MASTER could see that this young man loved the things of the world more than GOD. Few priests ever here a confession of the tenth commandment (Thou shalt not covet), but the MASTER could see this here. (I like to think that in his older years, this ruler came to faith, but the scripture is silent on that subject.)

“You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. But, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” MLK, Senior is said to have added something to this very popular statement: “You can’t fool GOD any of the time!” This was the problem for the rich young ruler as the MASTER sees everything.

Two thieves are hanging on crosses with the “door to heaven” between them when one looks over and with faith and says, “LORD, remember me when you come into your kingdom?” What an audacious request for such a sinner. But the answer was even more astounding, short version, “Consider it done.” The MASTER was continuing his redemptive work even to his death. The other sinner did not choose to avail himself of forgiveness. “Choice” is the gift of GOD to truly free people.

I like to think that even Judas could have returned for redemption, forgiveness, and restoration, but Judas made a different “choice.” I think “choice” in theological terms is called the “free will” to do with CHRIST whatever you want. And choices do have consequences. “Choice” is the gift of GOD to truly free people. It should be used carefully and wisely.

My point above is that the school should be interested in redemption, forgiveness and restoration also. Maybe this means helping Jason see things in a better light and then continuing on.

A secular point would be that the school has made a great investment in Justin that should not be wasted. Most law schools somewhat break even or better on operating costs via tuition. Med schools are generally money losers big time. Loyola may have several hundred thousand dollars invested in Jason that should not be wasted.

Several years ago my niece’s BF was accepted to attend the Naval Academy when she got pregnant. BIL knew there was no tolerance for married midshipmen and recognized that this could poison the lives of the two idiots and his grandchild in the out years if this “sank BFs battleship plans.” BIL called the Academy to inquire of what this meant and was transferred to the officer in charge of such issues. The officer explained that years ago midshipmen were summarily dismissed from the Academy when this happened and served out the remainder of their Navy duty as enlisted sailors. However, the Department of Defense has realized the lack of wisdom in discarding a student who the Navy has invested a half million dollars or more in. That cost is spent whether or not the midshipman finishes. The policy now is that the woman midshipman are encouraged to take leave of absence, have the baby, turn the child over to family until after graduation, or give the child up for adoption, and return to the academy to finish a year later than scheduled. Men are allowed to continue so long as they are not named in a paternity law suit or child support action. When possible the men are allowed leave and encouraged to attend the birth of their child. Once graduated the men and woman are at liberty to marry, and be sued for paternity and child support, with the complete cooperation of the Navy with the courts to serve process papers and schedule leave for court appearances. The chapel and various other locations around the Academy are booked solid for weddings that literally start about fifteen seconds after graduation. Many have a child in attendance, some with more than one child. What we would ask of all the people involved in this situation is a commitment by all to abide by these guidelines or surrender the slot for an alternate to take. Not attending here is not the end of the road for those interested in service with the Navy. Many of our finest officers come via Navel ROTC programs and Officer Candidate Programs. The Navy strives to promote on merit, not attendance here. Feel free to have anybody else in your group call me to discuss this or any other issue of interest. BF attended, graduated, and they married a few days after graduation with children in attendance.

My point to the school would be, why waste a slot that costs the same whether Jason finishes or not. America needs all the doctors it can get. Maybe this means letting Jason continue on next year after certain corrections.

The penalty for any situation, criminal or disciplinary, should be proportional to the harm caused. There was a time, maybe it still exists in some places of the world, when the penalty of all crimes was execution. Hanging for murder, armed robbery, petty theft, etcetera. Civilized societies no longer allow such. Likewise with such things as the use of deadly force by police officers and citizens (except in Florida with stand your ground).

In a fender bender, I can NOT collect for repairing a Rolls when I drive a Ford. I’m not allowed to run up my damages to benefit financially. I can only collect the fair amount for my damages. No more, no less.

Punitive damage clauses are unenforceable in contracts. The aggrieved party is entitled to no more than the damage caused by the contract breach.

My point here would be whether or not the punishment was excessive.

As I mentioned yesterday, courts can and sometimes do strike down harsh and unconscionable clauses the result in unfairness that can and should be avoided. The schools council will understand this.

When we had disagreements with the school district over things our daughters and their guys wanted to do class wise, Butchman’s father wrote the district requesting a meeting for all six parents with school staff, district staff, and the districts council. Butch’s dad had a case brief prepared by junior associates regarding the situation that he left with the district when the meeting was over. He doubts it was ever read as district’s council probably informed the district not to screw around with a group of crazy parents who could exact excruciating pain on the staff and squander large sums of financial resources that can and should be used on educating students rather than enriching outside lawyers in defending the district. Make reasonable accommodations for them with reasonable conditions like satisfactory academic progress. They may even be correct. Let’s hope that they are as their child’s academic success is our primary goal. And this was what happened.

This is an example of the “soft approach.” If necessary, you can always move on to carpet bombing.

So what happens if the unthinkable happens to Jason’s hopes and dreams?

Years ago I read a story about Pete Best, who was the Beatles drummer before Ringo Starr. Pete is currently happily married 50 years plus, two children, four grandchildren and content. Rich in the things that truly matter. Lucky man! As his old band sang, “Can’t buy me Love.”

Lee Iacocca was demoted as President of Ford and sent out to the corporate equivalent of Siberia to rot. In his autobiography, discussing his lowest point, Iacocca wrote a very spiritual paragraph: “If we could see the future, we might be sorely tempted to shoot ourselves. But, we have a merciful GOD who only lets us see one day at a time.”

Had JFK been on the democratic ticket as Veep in ’56, the ticket loss that year may have been blamed on him being a Catholic. That might have made him just a footnote in presidential election history. He would be 96 had he lived.

After losing to JFK in ’60, Richard Nixon lost his bid to be Governor of California in ‘62, departed politics with a cryptic comment to the press that ended with, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.” Politically, though it looked like he was deader than Scrooges business partner Marley in Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol, it was a lucky break because had Nixon won the governorship in ‘62 he would probably have had to run for president in ’64 and lost to LBJ. Two time losers rarely get a third shot for president. In some ways, it may have been better for Nixon to have won in ’62 and been crushed again in ’64 as he would have missed the grief of Watergate.

Had Reagan won the nomination over Ford in ’76, he might have lost and be only a footnote in presidential history.

In 1858, Lincoln lost the senate seat, but positioned himself to be elected President in 1860. No ’58 defeat, maybe no ‘60 victory.

Winston Churchill was another of those who survived defeat to bask in the sunlight again. As an interesting tidbit of history, back in the thirties when his father Joe was ambassador to the court of St. James and Winston was wondering in the political desert, JFK often went out into the countryside to watch Winston give speeches, never figuring on being president as that was Joe junior’s family duty.

Joseph, sold into slavery by ten of his brothers, falsely imprisoned in Egypt for years for a crime he did not commit, never had a clue as to what GOD was doing with his life. That is tough for us humans who want to know why, but GOD operates on a need to know basis and GOD often decides that we don’t need to know. GOD was positioning Joseph to protect the seed link between Adam and the SON OF MAN, JESUS. Joseph’s job was to keep the seed from starving to death in the coming famine, but the seed did not even travel through the linage of Joseph, but rather it resided in the lead brother who sold Joseph into slavery.

Life is full of these types of stories.

Maybe this momentary setback for Jason will clear the clutter of his life and allow him to become President of the United States. Maybe he will live what many would consider a mundane life with a wife he loves and who loves him, two children, and four grandchildren. Of all the Beatles, I would choose the happiness of Pete Best over the other four, every day of the week and twice on Sundays. In my mind the richest and most successful of the five is without a doubt Pete. Can’t buy me love.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Jason LOVES his new job and loves Madison. We think this may have been the best thing that happened to him - sometimes things have a way working out like that. If he had chosen to return to medical school his best bet would probably be starting over at a different school as it's very difficult to transfer because of the whole number of slots thing. Plus if a school does accept a 3rd year transfer they would require that the student had already completed the boards. At this point he has no desire to pursue med school. He also has no desire to pursue legal action (although originally dh was ready to hire someone and go in guns a blazin'). He did say once he gets his feet under him he may take some computer classes to give him more mobility options at Epic Systems (or other future employers). When he went to school originally in 2005 he was a criminal justice major and computer minor so he has some of the basics under his belt. Right now he's very happy. His FB status the other day said 'I have insurance and a 401K. I'm officially an adult'. LOL. We're excited for both the boys as they finally begin their real journeys into adulthood!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

Glad it all worked out for the best, Pam.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

That's good to hear, Pam. 

I know other students who have gone for professional degrees, especially law degrees, and then realized they did not want to be a doctor/lawyer.  At that point they were too far in debt to change course.  One acquaintance had to spend 5 years as a lawyer to pay off her student loans before she could get the kind of job she really wanted.  And a niece took on a low-paying job that would pay off her student loans for her (those kinds of public legal jobs are highly competitive).  5 years after graduating law school, neither practices law. 

Perhaps what happened to Jason was a blessing in disguise, which may unfold for him over time.  In the meantime, he seems to be making the best of it - and maybe he even feels that he dodged a bullet!

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 09-12-2013 - 10:23pm

Pam---wow, what a summer! I'm sorry to hear that things were rough for a while. Great news that your dh caught it early and has recovered, and that he was able to have the ileostomy reversed. 

Jason's saga....excellent that he has landed on his feet and is happy. I'm a believer in "things happen for a reason" and that where one door closes another opens, it sounds like that happened in this case. I saw that his new job is with a medical software company, is he working more on the medical side or the computer side, or a combo?

Is Justin still hoping to join the Army? When would that happen if it does?

I hope that this fall is completely uneventful for you---you deserve a rest!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

Jason LOVES his new job and loves Madison. We think this may have been the best thing that happened to him - sometimes things have a way working out like that.

Right now he's very happy


Dear Pam,

Thank you for coming back in with your latest post. It truly warmed my soul, especially the parts quoted above.

Lincoln is credited with having said something along the lines of, “I am convinced that most people find all the happiness that they “choose” to. Happiness is not everything, but it is important.

Two days after we visited the Land of Lincoln a few years ago we arrived at the King’s Graceland in Memphis. It was interesting to see how the King lived. I have read that shortly before his death, somebody yelled out to him, “Elvis when you started out you wanted to be rich, famous, and happy. Are you happy?” The answer was very reveling, “No, I’m lonely as hell.”

About two years ago on CBS Sunday morning, there was a Life magazine photographer who had been hired to follow Elvis home from New York City on the train. It was before the explosion that made him King. The photos were of him just sitting on the train, eating at a diner counter, walking around train stations, etcetera. None of the other people had the slightest clue that they were sitting next to the King. There was a final picture of Elvis walking alone the few blocks from the train station to his home, carrying his own baggage. The final words of the photographer were something along the lines of, “As an old friend of his said, ‘Elvis got what he wanted, but he lost what he had.’”

As Forrest Gump said, “It must be hard being the King and all.”

Character is revealed by adversity. Jason has responded most admirably. You and DH should be really proud of him as I’m sure you are. I’m proud of him and expect great things for him in the future.

If it were me, metaphorically speaking, I would have gone “postal.” (That may be why hubby keeps his guns in the gun safe, without ammo, and doesn’t share the combination with me. LOL)

Like Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery, Jason is looking for something good to come from evil. I’m betting he finds it. In the Beatitudes, JESUS said, “Blessed are the peacemakers . . . .” (HE wasn’t speaking of the Colt 45 gun or beer.) When the herdsmen of Abraham and his nephew Lot began arguing over the land available, Abraham offered Lot the choice of the land with the understanding that Abraham would take what was left. It was tantamount to letting Lot cut the candy bar and then choose which half he would take. Lot chose the best land and ultimately lost everything. But Abraham prospered.

Job, who lost everything before it was restored twice over, had no clue what was going on. GOD deemed that GOD’S purpose mandated that Job not know. (My pastor explains that it was GOD who cited Job during a conversation with Satin. With a chuckle the pastor continued, “This makes me tempted to petition the LORD in prayer not to ever mention my name in any future conversations HE may have with Satin.)

Ronald Reagan began his autobiography with this thought, “If had gotten the job I wanted at Montgomery Wards, I suppose I would never have left Illinois.” He continues by explaining how things, which seem inconsequential at the time, can change your entire life in major ways.

Ronny does not apply the above to this situation in his life, but when Ronny was 41 his first wife that he dearly loved, Jane Wyman, divorced him and left him emotionally devastated. That was completely her choice and came as a complete shock to her husband. For whatever reason, she just could not provide him with the love and be the soul mate that we all crave and need. Without disparaging his first wife or setting blame, I would submit that this divorce carnage cleared the clutter out of Ronny’s life and made it possible for one of the truly great romances to occur when he met Nancy who was fourteen years younger. This failure of the first marriage probably made Ronny a better husband the second time. A friend of theirs observed that without Nancy, Ronny would have been an oil spot on the highway of life. No Nancy, No White House.

Newt Gingritch observed that Ronald Reagan was able to seamlessly make carrier changes as necessary. Changes he may not have particularly wanted to make. He started off in radio, moved onto the silver screen, then television. When he was 55 and aging out of those acting opportunities, he moved on to be Governor of California, and when he lost the nomination to Ford at 66, he returned to radio making five minute commentaries and writing opinion pieces for the newspapers until being elected President at nearly 70.

During his time as President he was often characterized as being the Teflon president with nothing sticking to him. Others said he was made of rubber and could always bounce back. A critic took exception and said those are real world substances. Reagan was more like the fantasy product “Flubber” from Walt Disney’s studio because Reagan always bounced back stronger and faster.”

Colonel Sanders was on Social Security when he watched his motel burn to the ground, which left him with nothing but Social Security and his Fried Chicken recipe. Getting rid of the clutter allowed him to focus and concentrate on what was left. Surprising what you can do with just eleven herbs and spices and nothing else.

Jason is standing on solid ground to make a tremendous come back and I fully expect for it to happen. The above two men were forty plus years older than Jason when they started making their comebacks.

I would also submit that one of the hidden “blessings” of his father’s cancer is that it refocused Jason’s perspective on what is really important in life rather than his own problems. It also assisted you and hubby, I would guess. As you are aware from my previous postings, there is the grave of a seventeen year old girl a few blocks from our home that has and will continue to be a touchstone that reminds me of what is and what is not important. A more personal event occurred nearly two years ago in our extended family when a seventeen year old high school senior, being courted by the likes of Harvard and MIT, took his own life. His parents and grandparents would love to have Jason’s situation.

Another point is that Jason and Justin both have had a very valuable lesson reinforced in their minds and that is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” They will always evaluate their actions in light of this situation and that is a good thing.

I rarely, maybe never, see the Ellen show, but on several occasions I have heard the end where she always says something like, “Be kind to one another out there.” President Reagan’s son Ron says that his father said, “A gentleman always does the kind thing.” Those are similar words of encouragement from both the left and the right, politically speaking.

The boys will also understand why you never do this type of injustice to other people. In short, “There are people in life who suck. Don’t be one.”

Eighty plus years ago Will Rogers said something about this type thing that is somewhat on point. “Call me a rube or a hick, but I would rather be the fellow who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the fellow who sold it.” In today’s vernacular that would be something like, “I would rather be screwed than out screwing others.”

You often hear the expression, “What goes around comes around.” Or, “Karma will come back to get them.” Those are summed up in “Whatever a man sows, he reaps.” A poster man for that would be O. J. Simpson. How is life treating you nowadays Juice? Life can be like a lawn mower in that the blade eventually evens things up. Watch out Dean!

This is the 50th anniversary of “Birmingham Sunday” bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church. Few remember Bull Conner, the sheriff who turned the dogs loose or Governor George Wallace. There are few streets named after them, few monuments. Most every city and town has an MLK, Jr. Boulevard and a memorial stands in the nation’s capital near those of Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson. Time has a way of putting things in proper perspective.

In past conversations with Butchman’s dad, he says people really need to count the cost of fighting with people, physically or legally, because of the toll it can exact on you as a person. He says it can be like doing S&M on yourself and your family and cites the story of one Robert Kearns that spent the last forty years of his life fighting with Ford, Chrysler, and GM who ripped off his invention of the intermittent wiper in cars. He ultimately prevailed, but at a hefty cost emotionally. I’m guessing that Jason is at peace after counting the cost. Jason is a wise guy—another reason to be proud of him.

If Jason decides to ask for mediation or arbitration, it might be a good idea to start looking around in the Loyola Law School for a Law prof wearing a Jesuit clerical collar. Those do exist in these Jesuit law schools and he may have vastly more sway than a mediator in a normal business suit would have.

Others have alluded to people getting into professions that they discover they actually hate. Law school is probably at the top of that list because people go for lots of strange reason that have nothing to do with practicing law, which is the sole reason that anyone should invest three plus years of their life and upwards from a mere $150,000 in tuition and living expenses. And that is no small mistake. (Many walk out with total student debt well above $200K and are trapped for years or decades.) Another issue is that there are something like 43,000 graduates each year with only a need for about 23,000.

A few years ago I listened to some orientation tapes that the kids were listening to at the time. One of the speakers had been Dean of Admissions, Dean of Dropouts (actually titled Dean of Students), and Academic Dean. After a few weeks or months, lots of the law students would be visiting his office when he was Dean of Students uncertain of why they were there, but unwilling to contemplate dropping out because they hated to lose a year and $50K plus. He always suggested that they finish the semester in good standing, take a leave, clear their heads and ask whether it was best to waste another two years and $100K more. If you’re in a hole, stop digging it deeper.

As the pastor described it once, “You’ve sacrificed everything, family, friends, health, youth, wealth getting to the very top of the hill professionally, only to discover that it was the dung hill and worth nothing.” That is something to always look out for when you’re pursuing anything.

Butchman (our youngest SIL) is very adroit at sizing up certain things. Education is one. Over chips, salsa, and grease at our favorite Mexican restaurant, I asked him what a person with half an MD degree could do with that. LOTS was his answer. Take the Patent Bar exam for starters, which without a JD law degree allows the person to be a registered “patent agent” representing clients before the patent office. (Google “Patent Bar” for more info.) And that is no small thing as the holder can work independently or in concert with lawyers who don’t have the educational background to take the patent bar exam, but have clients who need that service. This can be a very lucrative occupation with the growth of “intellectual property law.” Very few law students have the qualification to take this exam and few have the time or the willingness to return to college for them after getting their JD. And if you get a JD later, besides being a “patent attorney” that half MD sets you up to understand and specialize in medical malpractice, medical product liability, suing, defending, or advising. Half an MD should also be a great foundation to getting a masters or PHD in medical research areas. Maybe Jason finds the cure for cancer, which might even be more important than having the letters MD or PHD after his name.

The world can truly be your oyster with that half MD degree, with or without going to gunslinger school and picking up a law degree. (Now, if Jason does get a JD he can be the “gunslinger” who targets Loyola for the fun of it. Ah the joy of them knowing why he keeps coming up like a bad penny—again and again! I’m bad!!! LOL)

All kidding aside, the greatest revenge is being successful, which I think Jason will achieve. When he is being sworn in as President or receiving the Nobel Prize for finding a cure for cancer, Jason may want to thank the Dean who made it all possible.

There is the story about a fellow without a high school diploma who looked for a job at the local high school as a janitor. They would not hire him because he had no diploma, so he started selling apples, added oranges, bananas, and before long he had a fruit stand. One of the neighbors asked why he didn’t add canned goods, so he did. A while later, he moved his fruit stand into a building and added a meat department. As he prospered he opened a second location and over time owned a chain of stores. The newspaper sent a reporter to interview him and when the reporter heard the story he marveled at where the man would be if he only had a high school diploma.

The man answered, “Oh, I know exactly where I would be.”

“You do. Where?”

“Janitor at the high school. That’s where.”

Even when he opened his third large store, back in ’67 I think, I doubt Sam Walton of Wal-mart and Sam’s Club fame had the slightest clue that within a few decades his business would be ever bigger than Sears, Penney’s, and Montgomery Wards combined. He was probably dreaming of a dozen or two stores. His store may be the reason that Wards is history, and Sears and Penney’s are on the ropes.

You may recall those cards with the poem “IF” for boys by Rudyard Kipling that are given quite often at graduation time. If you can do a long list of things you are a man. You can Google it up. It applies to this situation with Jason and you can see he understands it by his attitude and actions. As I said, he is a young man to be proud of.

Another great quote for times like this is the “The man in the arena” quote form 1910 by Teddy Roosevelt. You can Google it up. As I said he is a young man to be proud of. Must have had good parents!!!

When you’re standing among the likes of the many folks mentioned above, you’re in good standing with the world.



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Registered: 11-28-1999



I don't know where you come up with all these stories, but they are interesting. :)

I'm glad when I went to law school the tuition was only $5000 per year, which I paid for with loans.  I'm at the point where having practiced law for over 30 yrs, I'd like to be done with it but since I'm a single parent with 2nd child ready to go to college in a year, I guess I have to keep at it.  It's not the actual work that I don't like--it's my boss.  I've worked for him for about 17 yrs and the 1st 15 or 16 he basically wasn't that interested in what went on in the office & left me alone.  Now he's suddenly interested and although he only comes to work for about 3 hours a day (thankfully) he is coming up with all these plans & schemes and figures he's the smartest lawyer there ever was although he hasn't been in a courtroom since I've been here.  I hope some of his schemes come to fruition cause I'm also vastly underpaid.  A woman I know who is a college prof actually asked me in all seriousness "don't all lawyers make a lot of money?"  Uh, no--you make a ton of money if you work for a big big law firm or if you own your own business and are one of those really well known lawyers you talked about, but if you work for a small law firm, things can be tough.