Thursday, February 14, 2008

To drop, or not to drop: That is the question

I began this semester registered for more classes than I could realistically handle while working part-time and taking care of my family. Still, I decided to plow ahead, pretending that I could juggle everything. The first couple of weeks went deceivingly well, but once actual essays and exams came due, I began to feel the pressure. I got a “B” on an exam (shudder!) and turned a paper in a day late. More importantly, behind the scenes there have been many late night panic attacks as I ponder my inadequacy as a human being.

I keep telling myself not to stress out, that I had planned on dropping a class all along if I felt the need. Unfortunately, now that I’ve started, I’m finding it unbearable to actually drop. I feel like a failure for even considering it. At the same time, something has got to give. When I was diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this week, I was almost relieved because I thought I might be able to use the medically mandated down time to catch up on some reading. Not so. I still haven’t learned how to sleep and read at the same time, so instead of catching up, I have fallen even further behind. After three days at home, I finally went back to class and work today, but I was left so exhausted afterward that I had no choice but to sleep some more. I don’t know how I will ever dig out of the academic hole I am in.

The most frustrating part of all is that the class I will probably end up dropping is one that I have been looking forward to taking ever since I started back to school: Creative Nonfiction. This is the genre I feel most comfortable with, and I desperately need the writing practice, but there are several issues that make this the class the best one for me to drop. First of all, Creative Nonfiction has the highest workload of all my classes right now, which also means that it would provide the most relief if I dropped it. Also, the class only counts as an elective while the other classes I could drop are required for one of my majors. Finally, no one is really participating in the online class, so I’m not even getting the feedback I need to grow as a writer. Still, I’m afraid to drop because I don’t want to be a quitter. So, I end up the same place I always do when I debate this decision: I am simply deciding not to decide – yet. But the final drop date is getting closer, and I’ll have to choose.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

Taking care of yourself and doing what you need to do to be your best in areas that are important to you, is not "being a quitter." Whichever course(s) you drop, you can take again, and devote the proper time to, and be brilliant in, later.

That being said, it's ok not to get "A"s all the time, :) especially if you feel like you're learning what you wanted to learn in those classes. If you don't feel like you're learning what you wanted to, that's different.

FYI: Whichever you choose in this situation, will be the right thing. There is no wrong choice (If only all of life were like that! :) )

I hope you feel better soon.

momof3gr8kids said...

Melissa - I'm closer to making a decision. I picked up a drop slip this morning, but I still haven't filled it out and turned it in.