My University started a cohort administrative class that would last a year and would be nine hours towards my Administrative Certification. I wanted to be a principal, so I quickly applied for a spot even though I was nine months pregnant.
I was thrilled to be accepted! After the course outline arrived, I realized it began the month I was due to give birth to my second son. I chose to wait it out and decide after his birth.
My sons were three years old and 11 days old on the first day of class. As my then-husband worked nights, he was unavailable to watch them. Joan, the sitter I’d used for years, agreed to watch them so I could go back to school.
Dr. D passed out the syllabus as he spoke to us in his southern drawl. His manner was calm and exuberant at the same time. This course was the first of its kind, and he was pioneering the structure. He gave the assignments and due dates, and we would only meet once a month after the two-week day-long classes finished. He peppered his first lecture with real-life examples and mentioned mentors, teachers, and students who had shaped his philosophy.
It killed me to be away from my babies for class. I was tough enough, I figured, and Joan was trustworthy. It was only for two weeks. Then once a month. I could do this.
On the last full day, Dr. D gave us our first assignments. I thought, “This man is out of his freaking mind! When on earth am I going to find the time to get ALL of this finished?”
I would sit outside on my porch swing, laptop on my lap, as my baby lay in a bouncy chair, and my other son played in the yard. I read the required articles and books and typed out the written work. As I worked, I bounced my baby and kept an eye on my other son.
I quickly became exhausted due to the never-ending responsibilities of being a single mom and grad student.
August came, and I went to my first evening class. I handed in the completed course work. I was relieved just to have finished it, and with everything going on in my life, I didn’t care if I made an A or a D. I just wanted to pass.
Dr. D assigned more papers and readings for September. I completed those as best I could.
During the September class, Dr. D returned our assignments from August. I’d gotten a C. Temporarily relieved; I scanned the many comments he’d written.
Then I saw it. “Please come see me. We need to talk about your work.”
“Gawd!” I thought as I rolled my eyes and hung my head. I was doing my level best, and now I had to take even more time from my sons to visit Dr. D during office hours. Sighing, I tucked the papers into my bag.
Begrudgingly, I made an appointment and went to talk to Dr. D. His message to me was blunt and to the point. “Kim, you have much potential, and I KNOW you can do better than this.”
I exhaled and explained my home situation as I’d just gone back to teaching full-time, which added to my responsibilities as a mom and student.
Dr. D would have none of that. He replied that I’d chosen to take this class and need to step it up if I wanted to be successful—if I wanted to be an administrator.
My mind took in the information. What an ASSHOLE! He was a man, and I figured he had never been in my position. I left his office, holding back tears. When I reached the safety of my car, I completely lost it! A river flowed from my eyes. I cussed Dr. D 17 ways from Sunday. How DARE HE? I was trying.
Why couldn’t he see that? My heart was jumping out of my chest and I rubbed my throbbing temples. I was unable to calm the ire during the drive home.
After I paid Jean, I sat down. I needed to consider whether I should continue this joke of a class with an insensitive professor.
Should I suck it up and continue? Or just quit?