15 December 2011

One way NOT to talk to veteran students

An email came in yesterday from one of my professors, busting my chops for having so much trouble in the class. I won't name names, but here's part of the email:

"Given you haven't been in class for awhile, you have either withdrawn (I haven't gone to check) or intend to get the grade you will attain. You need ___ points to make a __. It would not look good for you to get a low grade in this class."

Later on she adds:

"I'm not sure what happened given you were adamant that you were going to complete the course. Please remember to return the textbook to ___. All the best to you."

Well, professor ___, here is what was going on while I wasn't in class:

I went without sleep for 1-2 days at a time the past few weeks, either because I was wired from anxiety or because when I did sleep, I had fucked up dreams about things that happened to me in the past. When I woke up from those dreams, I looked around my apartment and didn't know quite where I was. It took me a couple of hours to clear the cobwebs, and by that time it was time for class. It didn't make sense to drive for half an hour when there's only twenty minutes of class left, so I stayed home and felt like shit for missing class.

Do you have any idea how happy I would be if I could get to all of my classes on time, then go to the library as part of my daily routine and study for hours at a time? To be in a study group or even have a study partner? To have all of my assignments and reading completely caught up? To be a normal student that doesn't have images of SCUD missiles and horny relatives in my head when I really just want to do my homework?

You don't know me, and you don't know what I've had to do just to get this far. You don't know how much strength my life requires. I don't need your opinion about how well I didn't do this semester. I'm not stupid, and I'm not a slacker.

Thanks so much for your concern about my academic career.

All the best? Fuck you.



Yes, that's kinda harsh. I'm tired of dealing with this stuff. I just wanna be normal, and having people talk to me like I'm in grade school doesn't help. A simple "Hey, how are you doing? Need to sit down and talk about things?" at some point during the semester would have helped.


  1. Impersonal tone. What about contacting you for an appointment at her office to discuss in person? Face to face with a splash of interst perhaps. Guess that's old school, hey. Hope there's currenlty regrouping taking place as well as future planning in the works.

  2. I'm really really glad I've found your blog. No one ever talks about what it's like to have PTSD and be in college, two of the greatest stressors known to man. Dealing with one is hard, dealing with both at the same time is hell. I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time and I hope everything works out in your favor. Also (and this is going to sound completely crazy so please forgive me) have you ever tried watching horror movies before bed to deal with nightmares? That's what I do, and as long as I watch them often enough I don't get bad dreams. And they've done studies that show people with PTSD who expose themselves to violent media have fewer re-experiencing symptoms. Again, it's a really weird suggestion, but you never know.


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