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Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4th: The thankful Project.

November 4th: An experience. 

Teaching a college class. 

I was always insanely paranoid that I was not going to graduate college.  I went to see my advisor way more than I should have, saw a second advisor, went to the registrar's office, and did everything else I could to make sure I was on the page I was supposed to be when it came to understanding graduation requirements, because for some reason I just had this gut feeling that something was going to come up.

Turns out, my gut was right.

My very last semester, I had been to see my advisor, who had told me I was on track to graduate in May.  I took the form to the registrars office.  They approved it.  I received a letter saying I was graduating, I ordered my cap and gown, I filled out the way I wanted my name to appear on my degree, and then I took a breath.  It was happening.

And then. 

Two days after registration for any new classes had closed, I received another letter.  Informing me that a mistake had been made, and I was one credit short of graduation requirements, therefore would have to graduate in December.  Not one class, one freaking credit.

I panicked.  I'm talking full on crazy here.  I was so angry that I had been so careful and gone to see so many different people and not one of them had noticed the mistake.  I had been approved, for goodness sake.  I blamed the school, they said no. I blamed my advisor, they said no.  I asked to be let into a class, they said no.  I asked to be given a credit, they said no.

So I did the next logical thing.  I called my dad.

Sobbing, yelling, ranting, I told him I was not going to graduate and would probably end up homeless in the woods with no degree.

He, in the calmest possible manner, replied with something that I will not write here just in case his character is ever questioned.  You can use your imagination, but the moral of the conversation was "Oh, you are graduating that college even if we have to sneak you into graduation." except he didn't say sneak you into graduation and he said something else.   

Days of begging, crying, threatening, blackmailing (just kidding) (kind of) later, I had my solution.  A teacher I had at one point took pity on my situation and offered me help--I could be a teacher's assistant for an adult class he was teaching.  My best friend was also his TA for the class, so while I was not thrilled, I was relieved.  Work for free and get a credit.  Cool.

Fast forward to the first day of said class.  When this teacher says, "hey, I know you're only supposed to be TA's, but I'm going to need you to actually teach this class.  Actually, I'm not even going to be in there."  Surprise!

So that's how me and one of my best friends taught an adult Com I class at the age of 19.

I'm thankful for it because it taught me a few things.  The seven adult students made it clear right away that they were not going to respect anything that we said, nor did they feel like they needed to do their homework since we were so young that we couldn't possibly know anything they didn't know.

It taught me to stand up for myself.  That when someone starts walking all over you, you say no thank you and move on with what you were doing.  It taught me to always act like I know what I'm talking about, even if I don't.  It taught me that sometimes the answer is going to be, "I don't know, let me look that up for you."  And it taught me that sometimes, no matter how hard you work or what you do, people just aren't going to respect you because you're young.  The first night of class a woman came in, took her shoes off, and put her feet up on the table.  I asked her if she would mind taking them down, and her response was, "Do you think you're old enough to tell me what to do with my feet?"  Every single week, she would come into class ten minutes late, take her shoes off, and put her feet up on the table.  Making eye contact with me the entire time she did it.   I learned I could let stuff like that eat at me, or I could ignore it and keep on doing what I needed to do.  I helped that woman every week, and the last week of class, she said thank you.  And she even kept her shoes on.

Linking up with The Thankful Project!


  1. WOW! What a story! I had something similar happen with me with credits....was told I had met all the requirements and then a few weeks into this last semester, they claimed I still needed a particular gen they had previously told me another class counted for. I was so upset but thankfully I was able to get into the class!

    It's crazy how disrespectful people can be, just because of age. Age is a literally just a number. I know many younger people who are more mature than older adults. I think everyone deserves respect, regardless of age :) I'm glad you learned to stick up for yourself--and glad the woman thanked you at the end! That's awesome.

  2. holy moly!! I would have freaked! But actually, a similar situation happened to me. On my last semester, days before I was supposed to walk...a teacher accused me of plagiarism on my final paper. I was pissed, upset, everything. I had everything but not correct citation, and there was nothing I could do. So I walked and had to take another class in the fall. I am glad everything worked out for you!

  3. Wow, that is a crazy/unfair situation- but I think that just shows everything happens for a reason :)

  4. This is crazy! The school system is really nuts sometimes! Kudos to you for dealing with this. And when I read the last paragraph I found myself in it. It felt good=) Because it's nice to see that I'm not the only one dealing with this kind of situations.

  5. What an interesting story... but totally awesome!


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