Monday I'm going to withdraw from my class. I alternate between being relieved and disappointed about this, but here is what it boils down to: If I am going to haul my aging ass up to the school and pay for my classes my own self then by gum, I am also going to drop them if I am not satisfied with my performance in them. And I'm not satisfied at all right now, which is just a sugarcoated way of saying I did not get my assignment done and therefore I would be unlikely to do well at getting any future assignments done, since the whole deal with the class is that each assignment builds off the prior one.
Everyone out there with massive student loan debt is going to stone me for mentioning this, and I don't blame them, but my parents used to pay for my classes. I KNOW, I AM A SPOILED BRAT. You don't have to tell me. But the downside to that is that my parents did not and do not understand that nowadays it's quite common for the really motivated students to play the "drop it if I can't get an A" game in order to keep their GPAs up, and so any classes they paid for I had to stick out, even if I was failing them, even if I knew three weeks into the semester that I was bound to fail them. Thus it is that I have two grades for an engineering course in statics and dynamics: An F for the first time I took it and a C for the second time. A career in bridge-building or flood control systems management is officially right the fuck out for me. I cannot solve so much as a basic pulley problem. "The forces must all sum to zero!" Oh, it seems so simple put like that, but you would be amazed at the chaos I can wreak on freshman-level engineering problems.
Anyway, this class-taking strategy did horrible things to my GPA at UT-Arlington, but now that I'm in charge, and especially now that NMSU has graciously wiped the GPA slate clean for me, it isn't going to happen ever again. If I can't handle a course load one particular semester I'm going to admit that I can't handle it and try again next semester. And if I don't graduate before 50, SO BE IT. So say I.
My project from now until spring is to work out a way that I can work fewer hours per week yet make the same amount of money. I am going to put all my special engineering problem-solving skills to work on this and . . . okay, I guess I can rule out a career in finance, too.
One funny thing: This is apparently a weed-out course--which is weird, because normally you're done with that by the time you get to upper division--and I am apparently not the only student who failed to turn in this week's assignment, because at 10:15 last night I received an email from the instructor with the subject header, and I am giving this to you very nearly verbatim, "Homework Extension."
I had at that point already thrown up my hands and decided to drop the damn course but when I saw that I let out a whoop of joy and called the boyfriend over to witness this last-minute miracle: An extension! An extension on the homework!
Then I opened it and read the instructor's not-very-sincere-at-all apology for . . . NOT granting a homework extension. Now, I like my professor very much but good gravy, TALK ABOUT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE, or at least socially backward. Think how poor a communicator you'd have to be to write an email whose contents deliver nearly the opposite of what your subject line suggests. I have a hard time believing anyone, even a computer science professor, is that clueless. I think it was a sadistic little maneuver on his part and I bet you he laughed fit to kill typing it, too. Having spent hours myself laughing fit to kill at some of the bullshit excuses offered in pursuit of the almighty extension/retest/do-over at Tall, Dark, and Mysterious, I can't wholly blame him, either. Still: Sadistic, dude.
For the record, I was not one of the students who requested an extension. I never request extensions; that way I never have to hear "No." I can't understand how students like the one MS describes in the link above work up the nerve to ask.
UPDATE: On the other hand, if I needed reminding that I need to get some sort of actual career going for myself, well, the helpful nurse practitioner who just explained to me in a dictation that, and I quote, "'PA'--transcriptionist, that stands for physician's assistant," hath provided. Next she'll be telling me that "MD" stands for "medical doctor!" CRAZY.
By the way, unnamed nurse practitioner, if you ever spell "foci" at me again I'm going to stab you in the eye with my protractor. It's four fucking letters. Honestly, I think they believe my job is performed by unusually literate monkeys.
I know I am standing right up on that ledge of bashing all women for the sins of a few, but if someone could explain to me why it is nearly always the female providers who do this sort of condescending thing that would be grand.