I'm hoping I can find some hope as I type this blog and give voice to my disappointment, but I apologize in advance if this entry is more depressing than inspirational/encouraging. I shared in an earlier blog message that I was working on some graduate classes with the intentions to complete a master's degree in educational leadership and then move into a career as a school administrator (principal). Unfortunately, I got an A in one class and a C in the other when grades finally posted from Professor X. In order to be admitted to the graduate program, I need As and Bs on the first two classes I take. Therefore, I was blocked from moving forward.
I decided to focus on the obstacles much like other things Satan throws at us (lustful thoughts, pride, anger, etc.) and address the issue head-on. Well, after much communication back and forth, I finally met with the professor and explained that because I received a "D" on my final project, my B in the class dropped to a C and I would no longer be able to move forward in the program. We reviewed the paper together. I pointed out that he took off 28 points because I made the same citation mistake every time I used in-text citations (28 times). He pointed out that I was a few pages short and seemed to be confused on some of the content (independent variables and data analysis in particular). I confessed that I was confused and asked what I could do to get the paper grade changed so my course grade was adequate for admission.
He threw me a lifeline and said that I could redo the research proposal and submit for an updated grade. He explained that in order to receive a different grade, I would need to do more than fix the citation mistakes - I would have to address the content issues and really impress him with my revised paper submission. I spent hours making those corrections, changes, additions, etc. and got the final paper back today. The comments on the rubric say that when the rewrite was allowed, it was with the understanding that nothing less than perfect would be accepted and that although I've made significant changes and improvements, it's not perfect and therefore, he would not be changing my grade (at all...not even a little bit). I am a teacher myself and have always encouraged students to do their best and provided the supports to get them there. Nobody is perfect though so revisions are allowed and improvements are recognized and rewarded. Not so in this situation. Because I am not perfect, I am a "failure" with this situation. Since a C precludes admission, it is just as damaging as an "F."
To add insult to injury, the deadline to appeal to the department chair and Dean has now passed me by and since I believed my changes were going to get a B because they were so significant and I did not know my grade outcome, I did not file one. Do I ask for an exception to the deadline when I preach to my own student teacher candidates that deadlines are there for a reason and exceptions should not be made unless you're dying on the side of the road and can't get here?! I work with these individuals too so I do not want them thinking less of me as a professional because of these education issues. Do I ask the department chair for permission to re-take the course (WITH SOMEONE ELSE, since two other professors now teach it for their students) and hope that graduate classes can be replaced with new course grades like allowed at the undergraduate level? I can't complete the program elsewhere since the transcript still follows me. If an appeal is granted, I would never be successful in this professor's other classes. It's a small program - I will have him again. Do I ask the professor if he's willing to budge a little bit since I did make progress and not be such a stickler for the impossible standard of perfection on take two (knowing that if I at least get a C on the paper, I will get a B in the course based on my previous test grades, which were As and Bs)? Do I risk further disappointment when he says NO because he can?
BLAH - SCREAM - SIGH - TEARS - REPEAT
I know God has plans, but I really felt like continuing my own education in a field that I am currently working with plans to do the principal thing and benefit my community someday and come back to higher education as a professor once I have that experience was right. Now what?
"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life." Right now I'm struggling to find the goodness and mercy in this situation. I see it clearly in my salvation and relationships with others (thank you family and friends for telling me I am not a failure myself as a person). I will not fall into a pit of despair and depression over this because I'm not giving him that kind of power over my emotions, but I am really disappointed that my best is not good enough and that I would be considered a "failure" in any circumstances. It goes against my very nature. I've always said if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right. I'm all in or nothing at all (right or wrong even).
Where do I go? back to my knees again!! Lord, give me Your wisdom for handling this situation or accepting that my plans are not Your plans. I've seen that in my romantic life already (at least, thus far) and fight those disappointments as it is. You will not give me more than I can handle, but please understand I am struggling with imperfection, disappointment, and failure. Help me not to fail You, Lord. That's what really matters anyways.
Thanks for your prayers,
P.S. A glimmer of hope maybe, but still kinda depressing after a re-read. I'm not going to bother with a re-write though....they don't seem to be paying off for me lately! ;-)