December, 2013


12/29/13 - Title: "Feeling Behind in my Coursework"

I am alone in a university. Some of the campus buildings are under construction, making it more difficult to locate and get to one's classes. In addition, I have been otherwise occupied for several months and so have missed most all the classes and courses for which I had registered earlier. I still have an interest, though, in some of these classes/courses and hope I can still attend them and read the books associated with them, especially certain junior, senior, or graduate level courses in aspects of American history.

I do go, intending to attend one of the classes. However, the construction intervenes. In addition, a heavy downpour begins. When I get to the right building, I am wet, though my books are pretty much OK because I protected them, holding them against my chest. All the seats are evidently taken.

After the class has let out, a young man asks me how I would proceed with the assignment, to write an essay on the topic. I suggest he write it off the cuff right away, a first draft, then research the matter better and a few days later write a second draft, then combine the best of the two into a final version. He seems to like this idea.

I am leaving the campus area with one of the books, one in which I was particularly interested. It is on a specialty aspect of American history, like a decade of southern states' cultural history in early 20th Century U.S. (Perhaps I am interested in my folks' childhoods or in my heritage from each of them.)

A woman who has some authority here is a sort of security checker at the place to buy the books. I show her the receipt, indicating I had purchased the book several months earlier, like around July. It is now about December. She is surprised but agrees I do not need to pay for it again. She takes note of something about my official status as a student, a recognition that I am legitimately there and, though behind, do not need to register or pay again.

I'm feeling sad and anxious, wishing I had just taken the classes in the normal way from the outset, instead of trying now, later, to get back what I had missed. In any case, try as I might, there is no way to now be just another normal student in the courses for which I had registered. I'll need to start over or move on in another way. I fret that perhaps once again I have failed to get my degree, then realize I had finished the requirements for a history degree. This is a relief.

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