Looking for a rainbow, despite the rain

They say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

Being the overachiever I tend to be, I can't because I don't have the right pitcher, enough ice, or the tequila.

Not that drinking is the answer, mind you.

It seems that there is a perpetual cloud hanging over my head; my personal demons will not get quiet.

Last weekend, I was supposed to go to the Regional Convention for Phi Theta Kappa. Two hours before I was to leave, I got a call and due to some personal family issues, I had to stay home. I was finally starting to feel better, was actually EXCITED to be doing something quite outside my relative norm, and have an adventure. In that call, my balloon was burst and it took quite a toll on me emotionally.

On Monday, I found out that I had received a literary award-- first place in the short story category. I got a medal, inscribed with my name and everything, and a copy of the anthology that was printed.

I didn't get really excited about it until Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I woke up and just felt good. That was the first time in weeks.

And then, I went to school.

My first class is History. Now, I feel as I should preface this with some background information.

I took this specific professor for a couple of (perhaps selfish) reasons:

1) He is an adviser for Phi Theta Kappa, and
2) He fit my schedule so I could take Astronomy this semester.

He really knows his history. It is apparent in his lecture. His methods may be different than other instructors, but I thought his set-up was cool. The syllabus lays out what needs to be read by when, he emails us study guide questions that go with each chapter, he emails us the power point that goes with the lecture, and THEN another set of study questions that relates to the lecture. The potential essay questions are even italicized. It's a pretty sweet deal considering it's a 200 level class. Of course, at the beginning of the semester, he blatantly spelled out that since he is practically giving us ALL the information we need for the test, don't bother asking him for help--it's already been given.

Alrighty then.

We had a test scheduled for this past Monday. Last Thursday at a PTK meeting, he takes me aside and tells me that he didn't know that I was going to the Regional Conference and, ("don't tell any one I said this") I was welcome to take the test on Tuesday.


I thanked him profusely and left thinking maybe I had made an acceptable impression on him afterall.

(Not an easy task, mind you.)

(I am not talking about kissing-up, either.)

Monday rolls around and I am not near enough prepared to take the test. Being I didn't go to the convention, I don't want to take advantage of his generousity and chose to take the test and take the grade as it comes.

On Wednesday, he passed out the graded tests. I got :::cries::: a C.

He lectures us for, oh, about an hour about how we shouldn't have missed this question or that, blah blah blah, there are no excuses, yada yada yada, so on and so forth.

Ashamed at my grade, but determined to do better in the class, I approach him after class and ask if there was a concept I was having trouble with, could I come by his office to go over it?

He looked at me with a look of disdain and said, "Well, you could come by, but I am not giving you the answer."

"Ok. I am not asking for answers, just help with a concept."

"I give you all the stuff you need. There shouldn't be any problem."

I am getting upset, so I turn away to leave and I just say, "Ok. Fine. Thanks."

He then continues to say, "Just so many times I have students email me basically the whole study guide and say, ' Can you tell me the answer?'"

Something inside me ignited, I swung around and somehow calmly but firmly said, "You know, I would have thought by now you would realize I am NOT one of "those" students. All I want to do is to have the opportunity to discuss something that I have studied ON MY OWN and need a bit more help."

He proceed to assure me that he knew I wasn't one of those students but other students....

I just turned around said, "Whatever," and walked out.

Then I cried. Grrr...

I have thought a lot about it (obviously) over the last couple of days. For a while I was going to let it go, but last night I had a realization that I am NOT going to let it go. I will be going to his office on Monday, have a private converstation, and see where that gets me.

I am sure he is going to tell me the same thing he has already said and that is fine. But not before I have my say.

To be continued....


Bridgett said...

You should, Heather. I've never heard of a professor refusing to talk over the subject matter with his students. I don't care how much information he gives you, that's what being a teacher/professor is all about, as you most assuredly know.

And you know what? A 'c' isn't so bad.

Keep us updated.


SarahHub said...

He sure sounds like he cares about his students... Good thing YOU care about learning! Good luck Monday!

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