Tag Archives: paper

Professor.

The sky is turning black and the page is blank.

My eyes locked on the darkening window as soft voices drifted in from the open door.

Can you accept something and still be sad?

Ah, yes. Wow, that just connected to far too many parts of my life.

You see, professor, I can’t finish my paper. I can barely lift my hands, let alone a pencil. You see, professor, my head leans against the back of the couch and it’s hard to lift it again. You see, professor, I’m finding it hard to concentrate.

No, professor, I am not tired. Yes, I’ve been getting enough sleep. Yes, I’ve been paying attention (when I can) in class. Yes, you will get your paper on time. No, professor, it will not be my best work. And you see, professor, I can’t care.

You see, professor, this classroom becomes too small. I feel suffocated by the lack of…I don’t know– life? in this classroom. You see, professor, my classmates keep talking about how challenge needs to be paired with support. But you see, professor, they’ve forgotten to pair support with challenge. Professor, their challenges weigh down on me and I fight to not grow bitter against them. Because, you see, professor, they don’t see into my life. They don’t see my loneliness or these days (and days) when I’m unbearably sad. You see, professor, I’m not really close to them. They forget about me. They don’t ask me how I am. And you see, professor, that makes the loneliness so much stronger.

But professor, you don’t see.

And I’ve accepted that this is the way it is for a while. For a while, I will struggle to breathe. I will passively drown. But I wonder if I’ll ever swim again.

I used to be so good at swimming.

Don’t worry, professor. I’ll finish your paper. I’ll make something up. You’ll get it in time.

-Melissa

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Excuses.

I was trying to think of how to explain why I was 24 minutes late in turning in my paper. The prof I was trying to turn it in to is one of the most gracious people I know so he probably would have accepted any excuse. But I literally couldn’t write one.

Not that I didn’t have one.

But her words were in my head. Her words. “Results, not excuses.” Pounded into my brain a dozen times, directed at me when I wasn’t the only student in the room. When she called me out by name to say those words.

As if I did something wrong. As if I did something bad. Her unwillingness to hear me explain. Her unwillingness to believe that there could be anything valid for me not doing something perfectly. For me not understanding something.

As if I needed more guilt.

And tears filled my eyes and all I could think was: Shit. She got in my head.

So I said I was sorry for turning in the paper 24 minutes late. I said I would explain, but I’d been taught not to. And then I gave him the paper.

I have no idea why this hurts.

-Melissa

Bitter.

I’m in the middle of writing a five page paper that I really don’t want to  write. And not just because I don’t want to write it and homework is stupid and all of that. I don’t want to write it because it’s been causing tears to swell in my eyes for the past two hours.

Maybe that sounds ridiculous. It probably is. But I’m having to write about an experience I’ve had for the past semester. It’s not that it’s bad. Not really.

It just makes me sad. I’m so disappointed. And I’m frustrated. I’m just so frustrated. Because this paper wants me to write about what I’ve learned and I’m sitting here typing up all of the things I’ve learned that aren’t important to me. That aren’t hard. That don’t make a bit of difference. That I could have learned on my own without this experience.

And maybe it’s good for me. Maybe it’s good to have my patience tested like this. Maybe it’s good to do work that is so boring I feel like my brain will fall out. Maybe it’s good. It will strengthen my endurance. It will give me more experience to know where other people are coming from. It will open my eyes to all the behind the scenes work that no one ever sees.

But maybe… maybe it will make me bitter. Maybe it will make me hate where I am and cause me to hate what I’m learning. Maybe it will keep me from learning things that would be of so much more value to me. Things that I would find relevant to life and to the work I hope to accomplish someday. And that’s what really scares me.

So what have I learned from this experience? Nothing I couldn’t have learned, and would have learned elsewhere. What did I gain? A longing for what I don’t have, yet a forced self-imposed, forced acceptance for what I do. What are the positives of my experience? I’m made to exercise patience I don’t have.  The negatives? This isn’t what I want. And I’m so bored. And I’m missing out consistently on all of the opportunities my peers are given.

Also, clearly I can answer his questions in a paragraph. I have no idea why he’s requiring a five page length.

-Melissa