A Wish and A Prayer

I received an email from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the school that also runs the Art Institute Online. I get way too many phone calls and the occasional email from these guys, and I finally got fed up. I usually ignore them, but this time I wrote Al K. back thusly:

To be honest, Al, I find it difficult to trust a school that has to solicit students. When I visited The Art Institute of Houston last year, the facilitator told us that the AI’s credits were transferable, then made us sign a waiver that stated they probably were NOT transferable – even to other Art Institutes. Charming. We paid to apply to the school (for my daughter, who is 19), but my daughter buckled under the art submission requirements for enrollment. Her stress at such a minor detailed showed me she is not ready for the challenge of higher education yet. Her maturity is more like a 15 year old (and she agrees on this).

Both of us are very artistic (it runs in the family), and she is a talented anime style artist. She wants to learn animation in a form that would serve her for comic art, film animation, and video games. We’re not interested in some cut-rate education that would teach her Photoshop and Illustrator that’s going to be useless by the time she graduates. We’re not interested in learning cheesy 64-bit graphics. We want something cutting edge that will propel her into her field of interest AND will allow her to develop her own style, rather than being pigeonholed into a cookie-cutter set of classroom assignments.

I don’t know what your position entails as the Asst. Director of the Online school, but I’m doubtful you can assure me that what we need is what your school offers. I’ve known too many people enter into these IT-Tech type schools only to pay a lot of money to learn how to run Word and how to make a spreadsheet. It’s pathetic and all of this can be learned on one’s own time if one truly has the interest. My interest in the Art Institute was twofold: to give my daughter a nurturing environment that is supportive of her career leanings (something my extended family does not provide), and to provide her with serious skills that would be respected by industry professional upon her graduation — and by “industry” I do not mean advertising or other menial drudge work. She is not inspired by that, and due to her emotional handicaps, a lack of inspiration is a guarantee of failure.

Feel free to tell me why we should choose your school, but don’t call me on the phone anymore. You can mail me materials to my primary email address at sheta@rendingtheveil.com or at my home
We do have a friend in Pittsburgh who wants us to move up there. I don’t think it’s likely to actually happen, but it’s a possibility. Perhaps you can provide additional incentive.

Have a good day,
Julie K.

The Prayer: That Kara will find what she needs to inspire her growth, and soon. She’s spent far too long coasting.

Another email I sent… I wrote to the guy who made the Cricket Moods plugin for WordPress, to ask him if he’d update the code for a javascript dropdown box we could use to choose our moods, rather than showing every single mood icon on the New Post page. I told him that my cable internet clamps down on the pull of loading that many images at once, and I end up having to reset my connection every damn time I want to make a new post. He replied that I had too many moods and that I could either reduce them or deal with it. So I’ve disabled the mood plugin, and I’m going to upload the mood images into a different folder and put them in by hand. Asshole.

The Wish: For someone to write a mood program that offers the mood list via javascript box and then gives a preview of the mood selected.

Sheta Kaey About Sheta Kaey

I teach people to perceive, communicate, and work with spirits. Beyond that, I'm kinda normal.

Sometimes I write things. Sometimes I edit things. Sometimes, people even see them.


  1. I hope she finds something good. Don’t give up hope though, my sister didn’t really go to school until she was 24 or so and now she’s 29 and has all these degrees. I’ll hopefully do something like that that too. I think I’m a late bloomer. :)

  2. Did K graduate high school? I’m more inclined to suggest people do college in general to get a more full education and also the experience of doing different kinds of classes. Even a good community college will be a big help, plus it might help her to mature.

  3. I spent 6 years to get a BS in Psychology. Currently, I’m a home health aide. Go figure. I’m not saying that uni isn’t worth it, b/c it is. However, you do need a plan for after uni, which I’m bad at. It happens.

  4. You have done me an enormous good deed by posting this! The Art Institute is one of the schools my younger daughter is (or shall we say “was”) considering. I’ve been pushing for her to consider more traditional 4 year liberal arts schools, and this was the ammo I needed for my argument. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    And, I think that Soli had a really good idea. Would Kara consider getting some of her credits at a community college, first?

  5. My son is going to Fort Lewis college for an undeclared major. He has interest in languages and history. He had a difficult first semester–was hospitalized for a week, and this put him behind on his work to the point where he couldn’t catch up. The head of the counseling center called him in and advised him to withdraw from his courses on the last day of classes to avoid academic probation and re-enroll in the same courses next semester. I was highly impressed by the fact that this school takes this kind of interest in their students’ success. My son is doing much better and will return next semester ready to succeed. I think a small liberal arts school such as this might be good for your daughter too. My son has really matured a lot since going there, even with his very difficult first semester.

  6. @aydira: I worry for her because I don’t want her to get blindsided by the harsher aspects of life. She’s content to sit on her computer all day and ignore everything else. It’s been three years of this, and she needs to do more. I won’t say it’s completely wasted time, but she’s really used little energy toward developing anything other than her drawing and roleplaying skills.

  7. @Soli: She did not finish high school. I took her out during her junior year due to extended illness, but the fact was that by the end of junior high they were just shuffling her into the next grade without her retaining enough information to excel. Her grades began to fall and kept falling. I fought with the school district at length, even asking for a math tutor, but they refused and kept stating that she was doing fine in class, she just didn’t do the homework. At home, she would get upset because she didn’t know how to do the homework. And so we went round and round for 4-5 years before I gave up and took her out. We transferred to “home school,” which in Texas is pretty much anything goes. But she didn’t learn much, and I don’t know higher math for shit. She needs to study and get her GED, and to move on from there. Community college is a good idea, and we have several in the area. She is just very difficult to motivate to even simple & quick tasks (like feeding the cats), and until she really wants to learn, I don’t know how I’m going to get her motivated. I’ve always been a hands-off disciplinarian, allowing her pretty much total freedom as long as she wasn’t doing anything illegal or just plain stupid. It’s worked well for everything except conscientiousness and self-starting.

    I am lousy when it comes to maintaining routines. I can’t keep to one schedule — I’ve tried, and my health will do stupid things like give me diarrhea right when I’m laying down to sleep, and then keeping me up all night. (This happens a lot.) So I sleep at chaotic times, and waking hours differ based on what times I am awake, etc. She’s going to have to do a lot on her own, no matter how we move forward.

  8. @Ren: Yeah, having a plan is hard — most people can’t plan for something they’ve never been through, because such a plan assumes the world will fall into place for your plan, in a sense.

  9. @Lavanah: If you want to see the guy’s reply, I can forward that to you. :) I admit that stating Kara should be able to bypass the drudge work section of working after college is pretty arrogant, but I’m going by what Kara can handle.

    There’s nothing wrong with learning Photoshop and Illustrator, of course, but I think a $50,000 a year college should be doing significantly more than that.

  10. @Lily: That was really cool of them to do! :) I think community college is probably the best idea, yeah. She can take a few classes rather than a full course load.

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