Annie's Hospital Adventure

Leroy and I arrived at Kaiser's San Francisco Hospital (on Geary) at about 1:30. I decided to bring along one of Annie's ukeleles, hoping she'd be up to playing.

The view from the hospital is pretty spectacular, when it isn't foggy or overcast, which isn't all that often.

Sure enough, her eyes lit up when she saw her ukelele. She grabbed it and commenced playing it. She was happy.

Somebody called with good wishes.



She was a regular Chatty Kathy today. It was amazing. It was a mighty wind.


I think she wanted you all to see her "booboos," but I can't show you the real ones, so I'm showin' her left arm, which looks like crap, owing to IVs and such. But her right arm looks pretty great. This stuff heals pretty quickly.

(I managed to see her incision when her surgeons visited, and it looks pretty good to me, but waddoo I know. They thought it looked great.)

This bit of tacit communication was entirely for my benefit. Annie went from being Ms. Grumpy to being Ms. Cheerful in the course of about a day (maybe a day and a half ago). She's been joking with the doctors and nurses. She's mighty cheerful.

Her room, 6321, is at the end of the hall, right up against the stairs. This was the view today just outside that window, at the end of the hallway.

The east end of the hospital, at about 6:00 p.m.

All is well!

UPDATERY: ANNIE IN THE HOSPITAL, 8/8/07

Leroy and I visited Annie today from about 2 until 6 p.m. It's a long haul, but somebody's gotta do it. This is how we found her:

She was all tuckered out from having showered earlier and from having some gizmos pulled from her body, a painful experience. If Annie has a painful experience, everybody hears about it, and they hear about it good.

But, in fact, she was in great spirits, and she seems to have made friends with all the hospital staff, from the Renal Twins (kidney doctors) all the way down to the candystripers--except for a couple of "hospitality workers" (i.e., janitors) that she squealed on for having spoken Vietnamese nastily and for having slopped water onto her from a mop.

I think she carped about that three or four times just when I was there. It turned into this big story with several chapters.

"I guarantee you," she pontificated, "you get one drop of water from one of those mops into your mouth, and you're dead!" she said. "I'm serious!" she shouted.

I smiled at her. I could see Leroy, in the background, smiling too.

She hates it when we do that. --Yes, yes, we mustn't be hard on the poor woman, she's been through a lot. But, my God, she's full of shit.

Above, you can see the view from her window. It's not too bad. The other shot is the view from the window at the end of the hall, just outside her door.

I often go there to get away from her incessant prattling.

I think she wanted you to appreciate her POV. So here are two shots from her bed. Note the cry for help on the whiteboard. (Click on the image to make it larger.)

The woman is obsessed with herself these days. She's quite insufferable.

I took a shot or two from above her. She seemed to like that. She smiled.

And that's when she got the idea of this next shot, which she insisted upon:

"That's inappropriate," we said. But it mattered not. She cackled hideously. Nurses came running.

She's got some blisters on her legs, about the size of a marble, a pretty small marble. Nothin' to sneeze at.

But when she's on the phone talkin' to one of her friends, that marble becomes an "egg."

The woman is shameless.

She kept telling everybody about her "kidney failure" and how she had a couple of dicey moments but came through, owing to her mindboggling bravery and resourcefulness.

That's our Annie.

Later, when we were about to leave, I nurse came in. I reminded Annie to remind the nurse to empty her pee bag, which was nearly full. "Wow, that's a lot," said the nice nurse.

"Yeah, she produces urine on one end, and Bullshit on the other," said I.

The nurse ignored my little joke.

We skulked outa there.

Once again, all is well, although I do believe that the woman would have us sit there like morons all day long, listening to her bullshit, auditing her phone conversations, watching her bowel movements.

But after four hours or so, I just say, "I go now" and leave. That seems to work OK.

P.S.:

Here's a shot I took of Annie on Tuesday--the day after her 8-hour surgery (yes, the doctor told me that it lasted that long). As I recall, she wasn't in the mood to smile, but she did manage one for the camera. I have no doubt that she was utterly miserable for a few days. She really did have to meet a challenge, and she met it very well. We should be proud of her. I didn't want to emphasize all the pain she was feeling, but I also knew that she was on top of it. She really was feeling terribly. I think we did a good job getting her focused on being patient for improvement, just around the corner. It took some doing.

I should explain, too, that Annie has been given loads of water (and blood), and that has bloated her like a watermellon.

She claims--and I believe her--that she's got many pounds of extra weight from all that water. (Naturally, it will all be eliminated in time.)

She says it's 60 pounds of extra weight. Could be, I guess. She had to do some figurin' to get that figure, so it's possibly, um, high. But she's definitely bloated from water. They gave it to her (via IV) to promote the creation of blood--part of the scramblage that occurred Monday night and Tuesday morning (last week) to raise her blood pressure when it tanked. (Blood loss during surgery caused that.)

Today, I saw that her BP was perfect. Better than mine. And she's in no significant pain. She's quite happy, and rightly proud of herself for getting through some very difficult days.

-R

From the window at the end of the hallway, 8/9/07

UPDATE: AUGUST 13


Leroy and I visited Annie today from about 2:00 until about 7:00.


She was in good spirits. The chief renal doctor was very positive about Annie's prospects, and that was good news.

We went for a walk (around the 6th floor), and that went well. I took a shot of Annie against the backdrop of the City (looking north). I said, "What don't you make yourself useful," and handed her my camera. So she took a couple of shots, too.


As per usual, we had fun.

We watched "The Closer" on TV, and then it was time for us to leave.


All is well. We hope that the kidney experts will allow Annie to go home soon.




UPDATE: August 15

Photos: following a Cadillac in the fog on Skyline late last night:


I spoke with Annie over the phone this morning, and so here's the latest:

* The holdup in releasing Annie isn't the cautiousness of her renal (kidney) team (as was supposed), but, apparently, the cautiousness of her surgical team (Littel/Savage).

* Annie's white blood cell count is "down," and that's very good. She's making good progress, kidneywise. So, according to the head kidney person (she's very good, it seems), as far as she's concerned, Annie can be sent home.

(Yesterday, I asked her exactly what the hold up is. We made clear to her that she needs to make sure that the surgical team isn't confused about her view re Annie's readiness for release.)

* Annie's incision has some minor problems (at one extreme of the incision), and that has the surgeons (primarily, Dr. Littel) concerned, but the problems are not serious, though they incline the surgeons to want to keep Annie around. We're hoping that Littel will judge that things are good enough today to send Annie home soon. One complication might be that she's being given a course of drugs, and it may be necessary for Annie to remain a few more days to complete that (unless there is an alternative to the IV).


In general, ANNIE is doing very well--she's been very brave, very patient--but I do believe that her emotional resources are nearly tapped out. The photos above may leave the impression that Annie's simply in great spirits, and, generally, she is, but they do not tell the full story. The first few days after the surgery were brutal, painwise, and various procedures along the way have been difficult for her to undergo.

Annie and I share a fair degree of claustrophobia, and Annie expects to be stuck in the MRI machine again today, which is nightmarish for a claustrophobic. (It takes all that I have to get through it. Large people have no room in there whatsoever.)

So, Annie is dealing with anxiety issues, and these are not insubstantial. They are very difficult to control. We stayed late yesterday just to get her through some tense moments brought on by more poking and prodding and the realization that she would have to enter the MRI again.

But BE NOT CONCERNED: we're on top of it. We'll be leaving for the hospital momentarily. Angela will be visiting today, too. Earlier, Kathie called Annie and was as chirpy as possible. All of that is helpful.

Later! --Roy

P.S.:

In case I have not already made this clear: Annie's radical hysterectomy has gone very nicely. No significant problems have emerged.

It now appears that she entered surgery with an unrecognized "minor chronic renal insufficiency." That is, her kidney had been slowly damaged (by something), reducing its effectiveness, but not to a serious degree.

That condition helped cause the "acute renal failure" that occurred during surgery or because of the surgery (specifically, the blood loss). "Renal failure" simply means that the kidney ceased to do its job. "Acute" cases are typically temporary--full function is often restored--though recovery of renal function can take weeks, even years. Annie's renal recovery has been stubbornly slow, though it now seems much better.

Two or three days ago, I asked the doctor (Littel) specifically what Annie's ailment is. He said that she experienced "acute renal failure" during, or owing to, the surgery. He did not use the word "chronic." I said, "not chronic, then?"

He said, no. But: because she had/has "chronic renal insufficiency," recovery from her kidney failure will not bring back complete kidney function. That's OK, for the amount she had prior to surgery is quite enough.

There are indications that Annie's doctor (who treated her until two months ago or so), failed to appreciate Annie's "renal insufficiency." There has been talk, too, of a failure to place the BP cuff properly on Annie during surgery (hence the failure to appreciate her low BP). But I can see no point in pursuing these matters right now (if ever).

In general, her treatment at the hospital has been outstanding. The nurses seem universally terrific, as do the doctors. Very impressive. -Roy

UPDATE, August 15:

Just got back from the hospital, and it's late.


Dr. Littel did come by, and I pressed him on releasing Annie. Sure enough, he was under the impression that the kidney specialist (the chief Renal Twin) had not yet given the go-ahead for release. He was waiting on her (the kidney specialist), he explained.

"No," I said, "she made herself very clear to us yesterday and the day before that, as far as she was concerned, Annie can go home now." I looked right at him.

Littel stared at me for a bit. Then he said: "That's not what she told us." I held my tongue. He's a nice guy and a good doctor, and I made my point. I also informed Littel that Annie is now experiencing severe anxiety--and that's serious--and it is liable to get worse for as long as she stays in the hospital. "Obviously," I said, "she should stay here as long as she needs to." But, I added, if she stays any longer, she'll have to be treated for her anxiety, which, I informed him, was pretty bad last night.

It was.

Again, Littel seemed a bit perplexed or surprised. After a while, he declared that Annie would be going home tomorrow, as long as the Renal Twin said it was OK. Well, we know she thinks it's OK, so there it is.


Not long after, Littel's junior partner, Dr. Savage, returned to remove all of Annie's stitches (plus two or three staples).

That was bad. Obviously, Annie was in lots of pain as some of the stitches were yanked on, then pulled out. She was in tears, holding her breath, bracing for each stitch, covering her face with a pillow. She didn't make a sound.

Maybe a fifth of the way into it, Savage stopped to give Annie morphine via IV. That took about twenty minutes. Then she continued. It was still pretty bad at times--it looked pretty bad too, watching especially the bigger stitches get pulled out. Some of 'em were about four inches long. You could follow them under her skin as they made their way out. It was odd.

Well, after about twenty minutes, the stitches were removed, and boy were we all relieved, Savage included. We quickly got Annie's mind on other things: her beloved Tiger-Ann, the crispy slice of pizza she will eat tomorrow night, the silliness of the Mythbusters episode that was on the TV.

Pretty soon, she was OK, and, when we left her, maybe two hours later, she was in good spirits. Sheesh.


Naturally, I got a good look at her incision (re the belly surgery). It is three feet long, circling three-fours of the way around her body. Some of the stitches were very large, but most involved thin nylon thread. There were staples, too. They looked like--staples. It was odd watching them removed. Each was bent into shape, then pulled out, as though Annie were a cardboard box.

The incision looks very good, except for a small zone in the middle, which reveals some drainage. There is a tube running into her belly (at about midpoint, maybe two inches below the incision) that continually drains "fluid" from the general incision area into a plastic container attached to her side. She'll be going home with that. No doubt it will be removed within a week or two. All of this is routine.

I've made no effort to inspect the "other" incision, of course. All indications are positive regarding the "radical hysterectomy." It's funny: the renal failure and its complications have utterly eclipsed the hysterectomy in the last two weeks, though the latter was the reason for the surgery.

They're still giving her drugs through the IV, but it looks like they'll be switching to oral drugs tomorrow. One hopes that they're done with the IV now, for the "entry" she has on her right wrist is barely working. I don't think Annie would be very happy getting another hole of that size poked into her.

Boy will it be great to get her back home. With any luck, that's just hours away! I'll be driving her in my big dumb American car. And loving it!

-R


UPDATE: August 16:

I got a call from Annie late in the morning. "They're letting me go home!" she said.


An hour later, we got there, and it was the usual "hurry up and wait" scenario. We waited for some mysterious paperwork to be completed. We knew that we had to visit the pharmacy down on the 1st floor before leaving too.


Annie spent some time with Pipa, a very nice head nurse, who explained to Annie what she must now do, I guess. I took a picture. I do believe that Annie and Pipa became pals. Pipa's name is pronounced, well, "pippa," but Annie has always referred to the woman as "peepa."


"I like dat," says Pipa.

There was some sort of SNAFU concerning the availability of the "renal shake" Annie is supposed to consume once a day. We waited around a bit for that to be sorted out. Eventually, Pipa got to the bottom of it. Finally, she said, "You should go to Walgreens, not here, to get dat," she said. "It's cheaper there."


OK. So we said our goodbyes and then headed down to the 1st floor. The pharmacy stop wasn't too bad.

Soon, we were outa there. The first stop: Tony's "Cable Car" Drive-in, across the street. We saw it during Annie's many "walks" on the 6th floor. "French fries," Annie would moan.


So we stopped to get an order, and we gobbled it up plenty quick. Annie was in heaven.

It's a beautiful day, and we drove along the coast. Took a few pics. Stopped at Ross for two King Size pillows. Then we headed home.



Tiger-Ann was weirded out, of course, by her mamma's arrival. But Annie was happy. She sat in the sun for a bit, then headed to bed.

She's back!

Leroy and I arrived at Kaiser's San Francisco Hospital (on Geary) at about 1:30. I decided to bring along one of Annie's ukeleles, hoping she'd be up to playing.

The view from the hospital is pretty spectacular, when it isn't foggy or overcast, which isn't all that often.

Sure enough, her eyes lit up when she saw her ukelele. She grabbed it and commenced playing it. She was happy.

Somebody called with good wishes.



She was a regular Chatty Kathy today. It was amazing. It was a mighty wind.


I think she wanted you all to see her "booboos," but I can't show you the real ones, so I'm showin' her left arm, which looks like crap, owing to IVs and such. But her right arm looks pretty great. This stuff heals pretty quickly.

(I managed to see her incision when her surgeons visited, and it looks pretty good to me, but waddoo I know. They thought it looked great.)

This bit of tacit communication was entirely for my benefit. Annie went from being Ms. Grumpy to being Ms. Cheerful in the course of about a day (maybe a day and a half ago). She's been joking with the doctors and nurses. She's mighty cheerful.

Her room, 6321, is at the end of the hall, right up against the stairs. This was the view today just outside that window, at the end of the hallway.

The east end of the hospital, at about 6:00 p.m.

All is well!

UPDATERY: ANNIE IN THE HOSPITAL, 8/8/07

Leroy and I visited Annie today from about 2 until 6 p.m. It's a long haul, but somebody's gotta do it. This is how we found her:

She was all tuckered out from having showered earlier and from having some gizmos pulled from her body, a painful experience. If Annie has a painful experience, everybody hears about it, and they hear about it good.

But, in fact, she was in great spirits, and she seems to have made friends with all the hospital staff, from the Renal Twins (kidney doctors) all the way down to the candystripers--except for a couple of "hospitality workers" (i.e., janitors) that she squealed on for having spoken Vietnamese nastily and for having slopped water onto her from a mop.

I think she carped about that three or four times just when I was there. It turned into this big story with several chapters.

"I guarantee you," she pontificated, "you get one drop of water from one of those mops into your mouth, and you're dead!" she said. "I'm serious!" she shouted.

I smiled at her. I could see Leroy, in the background, smiling too.

She hates it when we do that. --Yes, yes, we mustn't be hard on the poor woman, she's been through a lot. But, my God, she's full of shit.

Above, you can see the view from her window. It's not too bad. The other shot is the view from the window at the end of the hall, just outside her door.

I often go there to get away from her incessant prattling.

I think she wanted you to appreciate her POV. So here are two shots from her bed. Note the cry for help on the whiteboard. (Click on the image to make it larger.)

The woman is obsessed with herself these days. She's quite insufferable.

I took a shot or two from above her. She seemed to like that. She smiled.

And that's when she got the idea of this next shot, which she insisted upon:

"That's inappropriate," we said. But it mattered not. She cackled hideously. Nurses came running.

She's got some blisters on her legs, about the size of a marble, a pretty small marble. Nothin' to sneeze at.

But when she's on the phone talkin' to one of her friends, that marble becomes an "egg."

The woman is shameless.

She kept telling everybody about her "kidney failure" and how she had a couple of dicey moments but came through, owing to her mindboggling bravery and resourcefulness.

That's our Annie.

Later, when we were about to leave, I nurse came in. I reminded Annie to remind the nurse to empty her pee bag, which was nearly full. "Wow, that's a lot," said the nice nurse.

"Yeah, she produces urine on one end, and Bullshit on the other," said I.

The nurse ignored my little joke.

We skulked outa there.

Once again, all is well, although I do believe that the woman would have us sit there like morons all day long, listening to her bullshit, auditing her phone conversations, watching her bowel movements.

But after four hours or so, I just say, "I go now" and leave. That seems to work OK.

P.S.:

Here's a shot I took of Annie on Tuesday--the day after her 8-hour surgery (yes, the doctor told me that it lasted that long). As I recall, she wasn't in the mood to smile, but she did manage one for the camera. I have no doubt that she was utterly miserable for a few days. She really did have to meet a challenge, and she met it very well. We should be proud of her. I didn't want to emphasize all the pain she was feeling, but I also knew that she was on top of it. She really was feeling terribly. I think we did a good job getting her focused on being patient for improvement, just around the corner. It took some doing.

I should explain, too, that Annie has been given loads of water (and blood), and that has bloated her like a watermellon.

She claims--and I believe her--that she's got many pounds of extra weight from all that water. (Naturally, it will all be eliminated in time.)

She says it's 60 pounds of extra weight. Could be, I guess. She had to do some figurin' to get that figure, so it's possibly, um, high. But she's definitely bloated from water. They gave it to her (via IV) to promote the creation of blood--part of the scramblage that occurred Monday night and Tuesday morning (last week) to raise her blood pressure when it tanked. (Blood loss during surgery caused that.)

Today, I saw that her BP was perfect. Better than mine. And she's in no significant pain. She's quite happy, and rightly proud of herself for getting through some very difficult days.

-R

From the window at the end of the hallway, 8/9/07

UPDATE: AUGUST 13


Leroy and I visited Annie today from about 2:00 until about 7:00.


She was in good spirits. The chief renal doctor was very positive about Annie's prospects, and that was good news.

We went for a walk (around the 6th floor), and that went well. I took a shot of Annie against the backdrop of the City (looking north). I said, "What don't you make yourself useful," and handed her my camera. So she took a couple of shots, too.


As per usual, we had fun.

We watched "The Closer" on TV, and then it was time for us to leave.


All is well. We hope that the kidney experts will allow Annie to go home soon.




UPDATE: August 15

Photos: following a Cadillac in the fog on Skyline late last night:


I spoke with Annie over the phone this morning, and so here's the latest:

* The holdup in releasing Annie isn't the cautiousness of her renal (kidney) team (as was supposed), but, apparently, the cautiousness of her surgical team (Littel/Savage).

* Annie's white blood cell count is "down," and that's very good. She's making good progress, kidneywise. So, according to the head kidney person (she's very good, it seems), as far as she's concerned, Annie can be sent home.

(Yesterday, I asked her exactly what the hold up is. We made clear to her that she needs to make sure that the surgical team isn't confused about her view re Annie's readiness for release.)

* Annie's incision has some minor problems (at one extreme of the incision), and that has the surgeons (primarily, Dr. Littel) concerned, but the problems are not serious, though they incline the surgeons to want to keep Annie around. We're hoping that Littel will judge that things are good enough today to send Annie home soon. One complication might be that she's being given a course of drugs, and it may be necessary for Annie to remain a few more days to complete that (unless there is an alternative to the IV).


In general, ANNIE is doing very well--she's been very brave, very patient--but I do believe that her emotional resources are nearly tapped out. The photos above may leave the impression that Annie's simply in great spirits, and, generally, she is, but they do not tell the full story. The first few days after the surgery were brutal, painwise, and various procedures along the way have been difficult for her to undergo.

Annie and I share a fair degree of claustrophobia, and Annie expects to be stuck in the MRI machine again today, which is nightmarish for a claustrophobic. (It takes all that I have to get through it. Large people have no room in there whatsoever.)

So, Annie is dealing with anxiety issues, and these are not insubstantial. They are very difficult to control. We stayed late yesterday just to get her through some tense moments brought on by more poking and prodding and the realization that she would have to enter the MRI again.

But BE NOT CONCERNED: we're on top of it. We'll be leaving for the hospital momentarily. Angela will be visiting today, too. Earlier, Kathie called Annie and was as chirpy as possible. All of that is helpful.

Later! --Roy

P.S.:

In case I have not already made this clear: Annie's radical hysterectomy has gone very nicely. No significant problems have emerged.

It now appears that she entered surgery with an unrecognized "minor chronic renal insufficiency." That is, her kidney had been slowly damaged (by something), reducing its effectiveness, but not to a serious degree.

That condition helped cause the "acute renal failure" that occurred during surgery or because of the surgery (specifically, the blood loss). "Renal failure" simply means that the kidney ceased to do its job. "Acute" cases are typically temporary--full function is often restored--though recovery of renal function can take weeks, even years. Annie's renal recovery has been stubbornly slow, though it now seems much better.

Two or three days ago, I asked the doctor (Littel) specifically what Annie's ailment is. He said that she experienced "acute renal failure" during, or owing to, the surgery. He did not use the word "chronic." I said, "not chronic, then?"

He said, no. But: because she had/has "chronic renal insufficiency," recovery from her kidney failure will not bring back complete kidney function. That's OK, for the amount she had prior to surgery is quite enough.

There are indications that Annie's doctor (who treated her until two months ago or so), failed to appreciate Annie's "renal insufficiency." There has been talk, too, of a failure to place the BP cuff properly on Annie during surgery (hence the failure to appreciate her low BP). But I can see no point in pursuing these matters right now (if ever).

In general, her treatment at the hospital has been outstanding. The nurses seem universally terrific, as do the doctors. Very impressive. -Roy

UPDATE, August 15:

Just got back from the hospital, and it's late.


Dr. Littel did come by, and I pressed him on releasing Annie. Sure enough, he was under the impression that the kidney specialist (the chief Renal Twin) had not yet given the go-ahead for release. He was waiting on her (the kidney specialist), he explained.

"No," I said, "she made herself very clear to us yesterday and the day before that, as far as she was concerned, Annie can go home now." I looked right at him.

Littel stared at me for a bit. Then he said: "That's not what she told us." I held my tongue. He's a nice guy and a good doctor, and I made my point. I also informed Littel that Annie is now experiencing severe anxiety--and that's serious--and it is liable to get worse for as long as she stays in the hospital. "Obviously," I said, "she should stay here as long as she needs to." But, I added, if she stays any longer, she'll have to be treated for her anxiety, which, I informed him, was pretty bad last night.

It was.

Again, Littel seemed a bit perplexed or surprised. After a while, he declared that Annie would be going home tomorrow, as long as the Renal Twin said it was OK. Well, we know she thinks it's OK, so there it is.


Not long after, Littel's junior partner, Dr. Savage, returned to remove all of Annie's stitches (plus two or three staples).

That was bad. Obviously, Annie was in lots of pain as some of the stitches were yanked on, then pulled out. She was in tears, holding her breath, bracing for each stitch, covering her face with a pillow. She didn't make a sound.

Maybe a fifth of the way into it, Savage stopped to give Annie morphine via IV. That took about twenty minutes. Then she continued. It was still pretty bad at times--it looked pretty bad too, watching especially the bigger stitches get pulled out. Some of 'em were about four inches long. You could follow them under her skin as they made their way out. It was odd.

Well, after about twenty minutes, the stitches were removed, and boy were we all relieved, Savage included. We quickly got Annie's mind on other things: her beloved Tiger-Ann, the crispy slice of pizza she will eat tomorrow night, the silliness of the Mythbusters episode that was on the TV.

Pretty soon, she was OK, and, when we left her, maybe two hours later, she was in good spirits. Sheesh.


Naturally, I got a good look at her incision (re the belly surgery). It is three feet long, circling three-fours of the way around her body. Some of the stitches were very large, but most involved thin nylon thread. There were staples, too. They looked like--staples. It was odd watching them removed. Each was bent into shape, then pulled out, as though Annie were a cardboard box.

The incision looks very good, except for a small zone in the middle, which reveals some drainage. There is a tube running into her belly (at about midpoint, maybe two inches below the incision) that continually drains "fluid" from the general incision area into a plastic container attached to her side. She'll be going home with that. No doubt it will be removed within a week or two. All of this is routine.

I've made no effort to inspect the "other" incision, of course. All indications are positive regarding the "radical hysterectomy." It's funny: the renal failure and its complications have utterly eclipsed the hysterectomy in the last two weeks, though the latter was the reason for the surgery.

They're still giving her drugs through the IV, but it looks like they'll be switching to oral drugs tomorrow. One hopes that they're done with the IV now, for the "entry" she has on her right wrist is barely working. I don't think Annie would be very happy getting another hole of that size poked into her.

Boy will it be great to get her back home. With any luck, that's just hours away! I'll be driving her in my big dumb American car. And loving it!

-R


UPDATE: August 16:

I got a call from Annie late in the morning. "They're letting me go home!" she said.


An hour later, we got there, and it was the usual "hurry up and wait" scenario. We waited for some mysterious paperwork to be completed. We knew that we had to visit the pharmacy down on the 1st floor before leaving too.


Annie spent some time with Pipa, a very nice head nurse, who explained to Annie what she must now do, I guess. I took a picture. I do believe that Annie and Pipa became pals. Pipa's name is pronounced, well, "pippa," but Annie has always referred to the woman as "peepa."


"I like dat," says Pipa.

There was some sort of SNAFU concerning the availability of the "renal shake" Annie is supposed to consume once a day. We waited around a bit for that to be sorted out. Eventually, Pipa got to the bottom of it. Finally, she said, "You should go to Walgreens, not here, to get dat," she said. "It's cheaper there."


OK. So we said our goodbyes and then headed down to the 1st floor. The pharmacy stop wasn't too bad.

Soon, we were outa there. The first stop: Tony's "Cable Car" Drive-in, across the street. We saw it during Annie's many "walks" on the 6th floor. "French fries," Annie would moan.


So we stopped to get an order, and we gobbled it up plenty quick. Annie was in heaven.

It's a beautiful day, and we drove along the coast. Took a few pics. Stopped at Ross for two King Size pillows. Then we headed home.



Tiger-Ann was weirded out, of course, by her mamma's arrival. But Annie was happy. She sat in the sun for a bit, then headed to bed.

She's back!

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Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix