Episode 4, with Psychology Professor, Dr. Milan Jelenic

If I am to be completely honest one of my favourite aspects of Cemented Ink are the various dialogues, well honestly rabbit holes that I am afforded by my eclectic guests.  This conversation with Dr. Milan Jelenic, will take you once again down another abyss of various subjects from: post-secondary education, the brilliance and critical thought of your children, and his disdain for Shakespeare and poetry, let’s just say this interview houses many layers and is like a roller coaster for the brain. I had this idea that I would have this cute little roulette wheel sound before each question to decide the order of questions.  However, tech was not on my side, I was going to slice the track but decided against it because of how this conversation organically flowed absent of my original vision. And, let’s face it I am a writer that likes things a little raw and wriggling.

Cemented Ink, Episode 4, Dr. Milan Jelenic

Dr. Milan Jelenic came to Canada from the former Yugoslavia in 1971. His family settled in Niagara Falls where they opened up a cake and pastry shop. Another one followed in St.Catharines. Milan grew up in business. After a quick stint at Brock University studying languages, he took over a decade off working in the service industry, landscaping, construction, painting, until he went back to complete his Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. That degree led to a trip over the border to the State University of New York at Fredonia where he completed an Interdisciplinary Masters (MSc) combining his love of teaching and psychology. He worked full time the entire program and found learning and getting degrees rather easy, and addicting. This led to an application to the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology; looking at how people learn. Presently he teaches Introduction to Psychology courses at Centennial College and Durham College, while working on research looking at first responders, stress, early assessment, and intervention, with a very eager student and friend.

*Photocredit Dr. Milan Jelenic

Recited selection from Across A Jagged Landscape

The Origin Story of Me 

I was destined to a life 
of loneliness, a bull in a China shop 
forever bonded to a piece of ceramic 
to be marked for all time. 

You know, I said, I’m awkward 
in this instance I am the literal 
bull in a China shop; I’m stacked 
on top of the reject mismatch bowls 
that no one wanted 

What could cause more pain?
 
I am seated on top of the stack 
a bull, I shouldn’t be captured
I should be free and wild 
not in a position conducive 
to shame humiliation 
or obedience. 

I wish, someone 
would just buy me already 
I hold soups very nicely 
my bright black and white floral 
design with a shiny face 

I am the bull l in the middle 
of that cameo surface 
embarrassed as to how I think. 

I know, constant repetition 
occurs throughout this monologue 
it holds a heavy weighted presence 
to my spirit. 

What’s happening to me right now? 
Why do I feel someone’s sticky fingers 
touching my pristine porcelain
body… 

***CRASH***

The most historical 
and traumatic tragedy I have ever experienced 
I fell on the floor, now fractured, for all time 
I am dead, I am in pieces, 
I will never be tethered 

Why do I feel warm? A substance 
merges with me, something 
to make me whole 

these beautiful cracks 
illuminate the expression 
which shines from the inside 
to the extent that I don’t care
if I am in a seated position 
On the owner’s desk 
as I am forever fused  
the truest form of myself.

Thank you Tony for allowing me to play Tunnel Vision and for the music you created for Cemented Ink!

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