Wednesday, June 17, 2009

John Wood

The name is legendary at Landmark College. This man serves on campus as an honorable RD, coach, and father. He's been with Landmark College for close to its 24 year history.

As a new student at Landmark College, you will grow familiar with John Wood in the first few brief days you spend on college. As a Resident Dean, he is responsible for acclimating you to the college experience. Of course, Landmark College is far from your usual college experience.

A new student’s first exposure to Mr. Wood is his freshman orientation talk. This is where you learn of his intimidation tactics. Being only four eleven, he's developed a Napoleon complex that both intimidates and frightens anyone for their first impression. He uses his foul mouth and crude metaphors to make you feel inexperienced about life. "You’re a college student now", he says "if you haven't heard the word fuck yet, you've been living under a rock. You can leave now." This is the beginning of freshman orientation. With a thick wad of tobacco under his lip, he goes into a routine about sex or 'fucking', doing drugs, drinking, hygiene and red squirrels (stupid rant about not feeding the fake 'red squirrels').

The best part about this whole orientation is hearing about his drinking experiences. He explains how his binge drinking led to naked debauchery and humiliation, causing him to be expelled from five colleges. He is a shining example of what not to do. In fact, he has no license, no college degree, and no home. He is quite the role model for learning disabled students.

He actually lives on campus with his family of three. They live in a dorm with other students, and raise their children there. His wife is also a Resident Dean.

His diminished intelligence and poor communication skills often cause him to get very angry, very often. Do NOT by any means cross this man. When you engage into conversation with the man, ALWAYS be willing to accept that you are wrong. Cause you are.

Mr. Wood is also the coach of just about every sport on Landmark College. His coaching experience is limited to the years picking up various jobs at Landmark College for extra pay. He coaches baseball, basketball, and various intramural sports.

Mr. Wood is also a native to Putney, VT where Landmark College is located. He is loathed in the town and, for his safety, chooses not to leave campus too often. When he does, his wife acts as his chauffeur and drives around at his bidding.

All in all, this man is everything you do not want in a Resident Dean.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Landmark College Creativity

This work is an example of Landmark Colleges creative geniuses:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fighting Uphill

Usually I am able to see the humor in even the most humorless situations. I would usually be happy to write about them for others to enjoy. Unfortunately there is nothing funny about spending three months in the dead of winter at Landmark College... Sorry I'm feeling pretty pessimistic. Which, in my defense, is probably how most people feel when staring down the barrel of a gun that is sure to send you straight to purgatory. And if there is anything close to purgatory on earth, it is certainly inside those cold 8 acres tucked away in the North East corner of the United States.

Since this is my first post I'll start with a synopsis of Landmark targeted specifically for people who are thinking about enrolling. Even more specifically for people who are intelligent enough and concerned enough about their future to scower Google for information on what life at Landmark may be like. Since you've dug up this blog I'm going to make some assumptions about you. You're independent enough to find out what you're getting yourself into. Maybe you've even been to a college previous to Landmark. You have (maybe) met some new people recently and enjoyed yourself while doing it, your social network extends beyond your parents, you are aware of your body oder and actively work to control it (i.e you shower regularly). I could go on but I think you're getting the point. Basically ignoring your academic stumbles you're a normal functioning human that does not engauge in sword fights with yourself and certainly does not talk to a higher power that only you can see (seriously... I'll save this one for a later post).

So, welcome to Landmark. You're going to be desperate to find friends that breath through their nose, wash their hands after they take a crap, and don't throw temper tantrums in the Library (sigh... again, I'll save this for another time.) It is going to appear to be a depressing and uphill fight at first, but fortunately you're probably going to find them, though it may take some work. Most sane people are a little put off by some of their fellow classmates and may shrink into their studies prematurely. Don't be discouraged, they are there. This doesn't mean that you are going to have a fun and fulfilling social life at Landmark, though. After all, the ratio is 80:20. So that oh-so-briefly summarizes what your first few weeks at Landmark will be from a social perspective.

As for academically I believe I can summarize the necessary attitude for survival at Landmark quite briefly. Do not come here unless you are hell bent on getting a 4.0. This is 2 years of your life where you're going to have to work and when you do it is going to pay off. You're being given the opportunity to shovel dirt into those massive potholes you've made during your academic career and show up to your transfer admissions meetings with a pretty damn good looking academic trail. Don't fuck this up and blow a shitload of money and time.

If your goal is to go to Landmark in order to learn how to manage your learning disability well enough for school beyond, don't get your hopes up. I recently had an interview with the dean of admissions at a fairly selective college who had some experience with transfer students coming from Landmark. She kindly explained to me that students she had accepted to her college, and who had decided it was necessary while at Landmark to take the remedial classes, tended to struggle and fail in higher education. There are two kinds of Landmark students she explained. Those using it as a stepping stone for their next school, and those who go hoping to learn the skills that they may not have developed in high school. Even though I had my suspicions of this before the interview, it was shocking to hear it said so bluntly. The moral of the story is this; do not come to Landmark hoping that it is going to solve all of your LD related problems. If you come to Landmark with no idea how to "do" school, you're not going to be ready for the next step soon enough. But please, the last thing I would want to do is tell someone who struggles with their learning disability that there is not hope. Far from it. Just do not put all your faith and hopes in Landmark. The change is going to need to come from you because Landmark isn't capable doing all the work. They may help, but rolling a rock up a hill isn't easy unless there is someone on the other side pushing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The First Step onto Landmark College's Campus

Immediately upon stepping foot onto Landmark College’s beautiful 8 acre campus, there are a few things that stand out. Usually guests or new students marvel at the majestic scenery that Putney Mountain provides the campus. From the upper campus one has access to a tri-state view of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. While the winter months typically sabotage the beauty that spring, summer and fall provide, there is the occasional glimpse of beauty on the few days where nature provides a fresh snowfall and blue skies. These usually make enduring the winter months in Vermont all worth it.

While schools in session however, students have only the first few weeks of the fall semester, and the last two weeks of the spring semester, to really enjoy Putney. After that dull gray skies and unbelievably harsh winters with grueling winds and unrelenting rain and snowfall make sure life is pretty much unbearable.

After the initial ooing and ahhing at the landscapes, something begins to stand out immediately. Something that many have trouble putting their finger on. Every additional minute spent at Landmark it becomes more and more obvious what kind of school this actually is. A school for students that learn differently. These students are typically comprised of every underachiever (some with good reasons) at their school. Many are socially awkward, if not just 'weird as hell'. The majority of students at Landmark have social issues accompanying their learning disability (LD). Psychologists have found that because students spend so much time trying to overcome their LD, they end up maturing later than most students.

As a result the faculty and staff at Landmark treat every student like they are very special, providing infinite patience for their crude behaviors and childish antics. The draw back is that the students are treated exactly how they act: like children. For the socially developed students with high intelligences this is disconcerting when every action they make is closely monitored for safety or liability issues.

Recently a father and his son took a campus tour at Landmark College. During lunch he confessed that behind all the marketing glitz and glamour, something was strange about Landmark. He felt as if he was surrounded by little Napoleon Dynamite's and Kips. I have yet to hear a more accurate and resonating depiction of the average student going about his everyday life at Landmark College.