The Bean Blog (currently on hiatus)

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

School Daze

Since Dan took time off from looking for his hat to ask about my school woes, I feel compelled to give him what he desires. It could be a case of "be careful what you wish for," but only Dan can answer that.

While writing my last post in which I mentioned some of my school issues, I thought briefly that I probably hadn't hit upon that topic before in this blog. The reasons for that are twofold. First, I've been doing my best to live in a state of denial about school, and secondly, part of that deal is that I don't think, talk, or blog about it. But no matter how much I would like to continue on that path, I also feel like I must complete this degree. I'm tens of thousands of dollars in debt for school loans, and it turns my stomach to think that I could end up with the debt but no degree. As the mean boss guy in the Bourne movie franchaise would say, "This is not acceptable, soldier."

Some of you may or may not know that I am about to turn 30 (depends on whether or not you commit all these posts to memory like good little readers). So you're probably thinking, "Wow, she must be going for some sort of doctoral degree, like philosophy or something. That Oz is so wise, it must be that!" Thank you, thank you, but no. I'm still trying to finish a bachelor's degree. I've got four classes left.

Four classes?! I hear you exclaim. Just do it then! Not quite so easy. I've managed to get myself into something of a difficult situation. Somehow (this news will be shocking to you, so sit down and prepare) I managed to piss off one of my professors in the Spring of 2003. We had this big fight during class, towards the end of that semenster, and I was so shaken by it that I didn't complete the final paper for that class.

I was in a really weird space that semester, and the class was called "Women and Literature." I thought, This class sounds perfect! I like women; I like literature; what could be better? For whatever reason, I didn't think deeper than that. Now that I have taken the class, I understand that I didn't think about this quite hard enough. Women and literature. At the college level, this generally means a bunch of really, really depressing books where women either are abused by their husbands, boyfriends, father, or society in general. By the end of the book, they invariably end up dead or maybe just with their spirits crushed. If death is the option, at least 50% of the time, it comes at their own hand, but sometimes someone else (usually one of the male figures mentioned previously) does the deed. I particularly remember reading this book called The Story of Zahra and hoping, almost praying, that at the end of the book, the pregnant Zahra would please, please, please not be gunned down by her sniper boyfriend. Of course she was. I don't mind ruining the end of the novel for you because it was so horribly depressing that I would never recommend it.

So anyway, I was depressed already, and the books I was reading were not helping, and then I got into this argument with my teacher which, to this day, I don't really understand what happened. She just seemed really mad at me, but I wasn't acting any differently than I had before, so I don't know what was going on with her. Anyway, it was sort of the last straw, and I kind of had a mini-breakdown and didn't finish the last paper. She gave me an incomplete.

This situation might not be such a big deal if that professor did not also happen to be the undergraduate chair of my major department and my major advisor. It might also not be so bad if she wasn't also the professor on record for overseeing my honor's thesis (feel free to laugh), which I also did not complete. So I have three incompletes hanging over me (the honor's thesis counts for 2 classes), all with the same woman, and she and I have not spoken since the Day of the Argument in Spring 2003.

To complicate matters a little bit further, my university has a policy that you cannot continue to take more classes if you have two or more incompletes on your record for more than six months. Obviously, I have three. That means that I have been barred from taking the remaining four classes until I either A) finish my incompletes or B) get permission from the teacher who gave me the incompletes, allowing me to take other classes.

Oz, why don't you just talk to her? Yes, I should. However, I feel that it would be better if I could at least approach her with that one, little 10 page paper in hand and say, "Hey there, I finished this paper. Thanks for being so patient. Will you let me take other classes?" As opposed to, "I haven't done jack shit in the past year and a half--not even written a stupid 10 page paper. How about letting me take other classes anyway?" So I've got it in my head that I should finish the one paper first. Hence the list, hence the schedule, hence it all.

(I've omitted the French language part of this because, like I said in the previous post, it's an entire saga of its own.)

There you have it, in a nutshell. A nutshell that once housed a very big nut.


  • I feel compelled to add: what the hell is up with blogger? I've been trying to post this since 8am!

    By Blogger Oz, at 3:57 PM, September 08, 2004  

  • Yes, I've noticed that blogger has been constipated today and last night too... So, Oz...I am the last person on earth to give advice on this because I had some woes of my own regarding teachers. But so saying, I'm going to give you a peptalk because I have grown fond of you. It will be much more difficult to finish these classes when you're expecting and finally have 'little Bean.' You just won't have the time. And of course, you want to set a good example for 'little Bean' so she/he can feel secure when receiving your words of wisdom down the ages...

    Here is where you tell me to mind my own damn business. But you, especially, know that I have been my own worst enemy and nightmare too all these years. Please don't let yourself down. I'm here to tell you that when you fall behind you have to double-step just to maintain equilibrium. I know that you're better than that. So, Oz, please do yourself and 'little Bean' a favor ( too) and see what you can do to put these damn papers and classes behind you. You're gonna be busy and have a good life...I just know it. Puh-leeze, pretty please?

    By Blogger foxymama, at 7:28 PM, September 08, 2004  

  • Maybe I'm just being thick, but what is your degree in? You didn't say what it is explicity and I need things spelled out for me. Based on the fact that you have so many papers to write and that you were taking a literature class, I'm GUESSING that it's an English degree. I could be wrong though, so please do tell me.

    I feel your pain, at least on the debt end of things. I have to start paying for my student loans in November. It's not an ungodly sum, but it does seem pretty daunting since I'm "just starting out" and don't even have work yet. *sigh* We all just need to win the lottery and move to tropical islands somewhere where we can lie about in hammocks tied between two palm trees all day while sucking milk out of a coconut through a crazy straw.

    By Blogger Newell, at 9:05 PM, September 08, 2004  

  • I, too, had blogger posting issues and emailed their tech support. I received this response:
    Hi there,

    We apologize for the problems you have been experiencing with Blogger. We
    had a simultaneous failure across multiple machines responsible for the
    publishing of Blog*Spot blogs, but this issue has now been fixed. To
    prevent this type of outage in the future, we are performing a full system
    audit to ensure that proper redundancies are in place.

    Blogger Support

    I am sorry about your school issues. Things like that just take time to work themselves out.

    By Blogger Diva, at 9:11 PM, September 08, 2004  

  • Ok, I'm writing this comment at 9:25 AM. I had to hit "Leave a comment" 28 times to get here.

    Oz, I am careful what I wish for. Thank you for asking.

    First, as an English degree holder, I can relate to all of you problems, except for the main one about having a teacher hate you. You see, I was an exceptional student, and had more than one female professor fall madly in love me. I'm not kidding. I also slept with a gymnast. But I see where you're coming from.

    My suggestion to you is to go directly to the Dean of the English Department and request a new honors thesis advisor. Explain the situation and hopefully they'll grant your wish. Don't forget to remind the Dean that YOU'RE paying good money to attend this college. As for the evil bitch of a professor who started hating you... well, we can always hope that she strips off her clothes and long walk into a short ocean... just like that endearing character in Kate Chopin's "The Awakening"! Wee ha!

    Seriously, professors have loved me and I slept with a gymnast. I was also a licensed real estate agent.

    By Blogger Dan, at 10:31 AM, September 09, 2004  

  • After reading over my last comment, I find it down right HILARIOUS that I have a typo a few words away from " an English degree holder..." They were all intentional, of course. I'm not one to proof my comments before posting, but I do like to read them aloud and then leave subsequent comments ridiculing my previous comments.

    By Blogger Dan, at 10:35 AM, September 09, 2004  

  • It was the gymnast...the gymnast made him do it! ~;^)

    By Blogger foxymama, at 11:20 AM, September 09, 2004  

  • Foxy, You're not telling me anything I don't know... but you can tell me anyway. :) One thing I will do is assure you that I would like to finish this degree more than you would like me to finish this degree.

    Newell, Not English, but a first cousin--Comparative LIterature. As for your student loans, if you don't have a job, you can get the payments deferred. Just call 'em up and say, "I ain't got no money, man," and they'll defer without a quibble. I know PLENTY of people who are deferring thier student loans.

    Diva Drip, I figured it must be more than just my blog. I noticed that none of the other blogs I read was updated either, so I guessed it had to be a problem on a fairly large scale. Thanks for sending the official word though!

    Dan, I wish it was that easy. If I was, in fact, an English major, it might be. But whereas there are hundreds of English majors, therefore plenty of staff in the English department, etc., there are less than 20 Comp Lit majors, and basically one official staff person--the undergraduate chair, i.e. the woman who hates me. There's really no way to get around working with her. I could go to the dean, but what could he say? "Tough break," maybe, or "Change your major." Changing my major at this point is simply not an option. I only have 4 classes to go. Changing my major would require at least twice that number. No thanks. And besides that, a lot of time has passed. She was nice enough to give me all those incompletes. She's also been nice enough to let them ride (she has the power to recall them at any time). I'm hoping that when I come with my peace offering--the short paper--we'll just have a nice chat about my plans for my thesis and that will be it--without mention of That Day. That's how I dream it will happen. Only time will tell.

    By the way, the evil professor might not walk off into the ocean, but I did kill her off in a short story I wrote once... very satisfying....

    By Blogger Oz, at 2:01 PM, September 09, 2004  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Oz, at 2:01 PM, September 09, 2004  

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