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11.08.2004

Timeline

In the interest of fairness and accuracy, I've gone through all my records to build a timeline of the events I discribed in the post below.

  • Monday, December 2nd, 2002 -- Professor Downs asks in an e-mail when I am returning to campus and says she'll "need some type of summary from (my) supervisor" before she can turn in a grade.
  • Monday, December 2nd, 2002 -- (around 6:30 pm, which was probably the minute I got home since I couldn't access my personal accounts at work) I responded saying "I'll let my supervisor know about what you need...when are grades due?"
  • Thursday, December 5th, 2002 -- my last day in the White House. We spent the week handling press conferences for the smart border initiative and I was training a staffer to replace me. They were left completely understaffed in the middle of a critical juncture with my leaving, as the DHS bill had just been signed. They were in the middle of the transition before the new department came into effect.
  • sometime between December 12th - 20th, I talked with my supervisor who said the evaluation had been written and was awaiting clearance to be relased to the school. I can't remember the exact date.
  • Friday, December 20th, 2002 -- an e-mail was sent from Professor Downs that said "I need immediate feedback from your supervisor in order to give you a grade."
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- 1:35 a.m., Professor Downs e-mails Legatha Adkison telling her that she emailed me about hearing from my supervisor. The subject of the e-mail is "justin again." She says I asked "for a deadline" -- which is not true as far as I can tell. The e-mails I still have show I asked when grades where due. I remember asking that specifically because I understood that nature of where I was and knew that the chances of getting such a document even by the time grades were due were arlready slim -- let alone a Professor Downs imposed deadline. She tells Legatha that she set the deadline at "Monday of last week" which would've been the 16th, I believe. I don't believe she communicated that to me or the answer to my question as to when grades are due. That deadline would've been near impossible to meet, anyway. She may have told me, but I don't have e-mails to that effect and don't remember it.
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- Visiting family for the Christmas season, I received her Friday e-mail Monday mid-day. Mind you, Professor Downs had my cell phone number as well as contact numbers for my supervisors in the White House -- including direct lines which were never given out to the public.
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- around 1 p.m., I called my supervisor. In her business of helping to run the federal governement, she forgot to fax the form. There was some scheduling thing with either Governor Ridge, or the Ad Council (I can't remember which) that day and she said she would send it as soon as possible.
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- 2:32 p.m., Professor Downs sends another e-mail. It says,"since I have had no reports from you and I have not heard from your supervisors and grades are due in two and a half hours, I am forced to turn in an F for your grade."
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- 4:16 p.m., my supervisor faxes the form to the school 45 minutes before grades are due.
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- 4:56 p.m., I receive Professor Down's e-mail from earlier that day and immediately respond, telling her the evaluation had been set. I reminded her that she had other contact information for me and the White House that she didn't bother to use, seeing that the situation was that critical.
  • Monday, December 23rd, 2002 -- 7:51 p.m, Professor Downs responds, copying her e-mail to Legatha Adkison. She says, in part, "please do not put the blame on me for this. You are a responsible young man who knew the rules (what rules?) when you went for your practicum. ... I did remind you that I needed the infromation, that should have been enough. ... I'm sure that the people in DC are busy, as are those at Taylor (is she kidding? That confirmed me that she had no idea the level of government she was dealing with). You need to step up to the plate and quit blaming others. ... I am not at Taylor tonight, nor do I plan to go over there tomorrow..."
  • Saturday, December 28th, 2002 -- 6:05 p.m., Jan Pletcher sends an e-mail, copied to Donna Downs, and Legatha Adkison. She informs me that she's the new department chair (the fourth in three years). She said many things, but these are the highlights for now: "It is not the repsonsibility of the faculty supervisor to contact the on-site supervisor for feedback ..." Reasonable, I guess -- but they're still telling me after the fact and this was hardly a routine internship or a routine situation. It makes me wonder, though, what is the responsibility of the faculty supervisor? She continued "I am fully aware that Professor Downs, Mrs. Adkison and myself as your advisor, had difficulty contacting you in the stages of your practicum (I had moved alone to a new city with no phone and an e-mail address in the White House that I couldn't give out). We were not informed as to the nature of your practicum until well after what is considered to be a reasonable amount of time (I informed them as soon as I knew, August 23rd, before that they knew of my prior plans to intern with Senator Brownback). It is inappropriate for you to place blame on Professor Downs... (innappropriate is contacting someone's counselor for information about them, but I digress)." Later she said, "I do know that Professor Downs spoke to you in person at mideterm and asked you for information. She has also e-mailed you on several occassions." Not true. When I was on campus at mid-terms, after telling her that I had been robbed at gun point in DC and beaten by my attackers, her response was, "I hope they're taking care of you." Then she walked away. Fortunately, the White House did bother to take care of me, because Taylor didn't.
The unreasonable amount of time comment probably comes from this exchange earlier in the semester.
  • Early after starting work, in September 2002, Professor Downs e-mailed me (I believe, I can't find the copy of the e-mail) asking for my job description. I told my direct supervisor at that time. In fact, I remember telling her several times that I needed it, copying my office supervisor on the e-mails. Eventually, my office supervisor interrupted, saying she would do it, as my direct supervisor just didn't have the time to do things like that. And she meant that literally.
  • As soon as it was in my hands, I sent it off. Several days later, I received an e-mail from Professor Downs (and this if from memory) that didn't acknowledge that I'd sent her anything and asked to hear from my supervisor.
  • I told my supervisor, and she sent an e-mail on Friday September 20th, 2002 essentially introducing herself to Professor Downs and providing direct contact information. Those e-mails are Presidential record and I can't quote from them here, though my personal account was cc'ed.
  • Professor Downs responded Monday, September 23th, 2002 at 2:44 p.m. She asks for the very job description I'd sent her and the contact information already sent in the previous e-mail -- plus an address (I guess not everyone knows what 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is).
  • My supervisor sends the same job description back to Professor Downs on Monday, October 7th, 2002 at 5:48 p.m. (and that's a testament to how incredibly overworked they are -- they're not careless, they just can't get to little things like that in a normal day). There was no response and my supervisor says that's the last she ever heard from Professor Downs.
But according to Jan Pletcher, that's all my fault. Really, it's the Secret Service's fault. If they'd just let me bring my mind-control gun to work -- I could've made my supervisors jump at my beck and call. I mean, they're just White House staffers. They don't have better things to do, I'm sure.

PS - Jan Pletcher told Donna Downs to change the grade to passing and informed me December 28th, 2003.