Archive for November 4th, 2010

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Thought for the day

November 4, 2010

Some people think holding on makes them strong, sometimes its letting go.

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The Reason Why

November 4, 2010

I know some of you are wondering about my decision to leave grad school. Initially I was just going to say I had left and leave it at that, but I changed my mind because I didn’t want anyone to think badly of me for leaving, so here goes.
First let me explain a few things about myself. In past experiences with being hurt, both physically and emotionally, I developed a defense mechanism. I would harden myself and let the pain be scarred over, so that area of my life would be protected. As the years went by the scarred areas became a sort of armor against the world. A real dragon of sorts. The sad part about this is that other than a few people, I never allowed myself to get close to anyone, although I did play the part very well.
When I got married and moved here it was like a new lease on life, and I slowly began coming out of my shell and began developing relationships with people, other than just the few. When I started school the process went a lot faster. I really started opening up and I began to blossom as a whole person. I’m not saying I’m totally comfortable in social situations, but they are a lot more bearable, and I’m more talkative instead of sitting there terrified to say something. Anyway, when I chose Criminal Justice as a major it was a perfect fit. I soaked in as much as I could, and nearly drove my husband and family crazy with the stuff I learned. I loved it, and I was good at it. I graduated with honors. I was even proud of myself, something I never gave myself the luxury of being.
Now fast forward to me being in grad school and taking a mid-term for one of my classes. It was going to be a one question essay, the one question was to be chosen from a list of four. The question I got was on due process, a subject I had just written a paper on and so what I wrote was basically my paper, although I could only remember 2-3 court cases that went with it and I forgot a bit about one of the court justices we were to profile. It was all from memory and hand written, all 5 and ½ pages of it.
I was sick and missed the class after the mid-term, but turned in my homework, and a couple of days later I checked in before another class and got “the lecture”…to put it nicely. I was told that my essay was awful and that everyone (including me) had failed (actually, we were given 0s but then he decided to give us all a blanket 25 points) but two people. I was told that my essay would have gotten an A if it had been an undergrad paper. He brought up that I was a writer and was surprised I couldn’t have given more. He then began talking about how he suspected that people had been cheating on case briefs because the briefs were very good and then they didn’t know what they were talking about in the essay. He said he knew I had done my own briefs because they were “terrible”, despite the fact I had gotten 4/5 and 5/5 out of all the ones graded. So I just sat there in total shock, and felt like I was being ambushed. All the pride I had felt in the subject, my degree with honors and the drive that I felt to learn as much as I could just left me, right then and there.
The rest of the week I thought about what was said and came to a few conclusions….such as… I don’t for a minute feel that I should have gotten an A , or even a B on my essay, BUT in no way do I feel that I deserved a zero and then a blanket 25 points, that grouped me in with the cheaters and people that didn’t understand due process (he said I understood it). Hell, I could have gotten a zero if I hadn’t shown up at all. I mean, an essay that would have, in his words, been an A as an undergrad paper isn’t worth anything?? Also, I may be a writer, but I write FICTION. Writing about zombies is a whole lot different than writing an essay from memory, by hand. For one thing, I get to make up things when I’m writing fiction, secondly the process goes something like…1. Smoke a couple of cigarettes, decide what to write. 2. Write and then have a cigarette. 3. Edit what I’ve written, correct mistakes. It’s not like I could make up stuff for my essay, or take a break and have a smoke or even get out the eraser and edit, since we were to write in ink. And the sad thing is this. At the beginning of class, if I were asked to write what I knew about due process, I’d have maybe been able to fluff it up to a couple of paragraphs. By the mid-term I was able to write 5 and ½ friggin’ pages of what I’d learned about it. Isn’t that what the whole college thing is supposed to be about? Expanding your knowledge on a subject? Anyway, I decided to leave for the simple fact that I would not only have to take this professor for a few other classes BUT he would be one of the professors that grades the comprehensive exams that you have to pass to get your masters degree. And there is no way I was going to waste my time taking all of those classes just to fail the comps, no way. I also feel that, for whatever reason, he was in a bad mood and was taking it out on me. I feel this way because of his choice of words, which were apparently used to “get to me”. He’s an intelligent man, who had the verbal capacity to be tactful in what he was saying to me but chose not to. Later, after I had signed the papers to withdraw, the professor called me and tried to talk me out of it. I said I would think about it, but I’m not going back for the reasons stated above, plus a sense of betrayal that I feel. I’m not going back and it friggin’ breaks my heart.