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Pass the Bill

Pass the Bill

The climate in Liberty was getting more and more extreme, otherworldly, and ripe for change. I really needed things to change at this point. I knew eventually the tide of politics would turn against me on campus, so I had to act quickly. My work on “Contesting Admission” went into high gear. I worked endlessly and relentlessly on the manuscript. The paper was my last hope at overturning the admission decision and moving forward with my education.

I was running out of money, supplies, gasoline, and everything needed to carry on affairs independently and living as a non-matriculated graduate student with no funding or plan. I knew if I didn’t mobilize everything I had left, for one last fulcrum to launch my education forward, I would be in serious distress. It was time to rally everyone left in my corner—the doctoral guard, and whatever family or friends still believed in me—to carry on as a student in New London.

I began sending the manuscript out to friends, family, and anyone who would read it. Most people didn’t respond to my emails and inquiries about the paper. This was my bill. This was my own modern-day regency bill for the English department at New London. Once published, the bill would provide and justify my admission to the graduate program.

Throughout the paper, meta-power, the word I dispensed to alter and change the course of events at the college, would enter into language itself at the university and change the course of meaning-making in the academy forever.

The bill was circulated far and wide. I sent the bill out in emails, with the subject line “Pass the Bill,” with the paper attached to everyone in my network. Convinced I was at the precipice of a new era, I was generally excited and happy to experience the momentum and shift from deployment of my new word into university affairs— specifically, the English department. Not getting anywhere with the bill’s passage, or confirmation of its acceptance into a literary journal, I looked for answers elsewhere.

 

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."
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