Wednesday, October 10, 2007

yeah, well, this sucks out loud...

Cause I'm gonna be emo about it for a minute...

Tears, idle tears
I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair,
rise in the heart and gather in the eyes,
in looking on the happy autumn fields,
and thinking of the days that are no more.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Yeah, totally emo... I've been having panic attacks for the last few weeks. They haven't been bad, but still panic attacks. I've been trying to avoid things that trigger them, but that's difficult when that something is a class... a class I have to take and pass with a C or better in order to graduate... For the last 48 hours or so, the panic attacks have been getting worse. Really bad, in fact. I wasn't able to go to my Latin classes yesterday because I was panicking all day. I didn't realize that I was panicking but that's what I was doing. It came to a head in the middle of my Theory class last night. I thought I was getting sick. I felt light-headed and very dizzy and like I might throw up. I was shaking and my breath was shallow.

I told my professor at the 7:30 break that I thought I was sick and that I needed to leave. He said that I should and that I should take care of myself, but before I left he took me to his office and gave me my paper from last week back, saying he had checked to see if I plagiarized... I did not. I have never been accused of such a thing in my life. I would rather not turn something in at all than plagiarize it. I told him that. Still, while I was standing there in his office, growing sicker by the minute, swaying on my feet, praying I wouldn't have to lean on the wall to stay upright, he quizzed me on the meanings of different words, things like "betrothed" and "Vexin" and asked where I had gotten phrases like "dysfunctional family" (the paper was a reaction and detailed list of "historical issues" in the movie "The Lion In Winter") to see if I really knew them or if I had copied and pasted from somewhere he hadn't been able to find on the internet. (WTF?!?!) *And* he gave me a B on it, despite the fact that other than suspecting I plagiarized it, he had no other problems with it. No, seriously, wtf?!?!

Well, after I left, I nearly threw up in the parking lot. I don't know how I got home (other than, obviously, I drove myself home, but I was flipping out, so I don't know how I was able to make it). It was when I got home and sat down next to my mother in the den that I realized it was a panic attack. Probably the worst one I've ever had.

It hasn't gotten any better today. My feet and hands have been numb for most of the day and when I sit down, I can't really feel what I'm sitting on because my back and butt muscles are so tense. (TMI? Sorry...) I wasn't able to sit in my classes today (Latin 1 that I TA for and Latin 3 that I am currently taking). I had a panic attack on the way to class and went straight to Prof. M's office. She took me to the TA office, that I could have to myself for the day and told me she'd be back after Latin 3 and not to worry about anything. She couldn't stay to talk just then obviously, she had two classes to teach. So I sat there, in that small closet of a room with one entire wall of window looking out on one of the courtyard/park areas. I sat on the broke down couch and stared at the clouds. Watched them change over time. I watched birds. And I watched people walking around down below. I studied the map of the ancient Mediterranean on one of the walls. Traced the trade routes from the Pillars of Heracles to the Black Sea and back. Found all the cities I know stories about. It took almost an hour for the tears and shaking to stop enough that I could work. And when it did, I did my Latin homework that I wasn't able to do yesterday. At least Latin still makes sense...

At 3 o'clock, Prof. M came back and talked to me. She doesn't know how to help me get over or around this thing, but she's willing to help however she can, for which I am so grateful there are no words. Even now, I can't think about it without getting faklempt. She said not to worry about anything as far as Latin goes, that no matter what, we'll get through it. So that is a *huge* load off my mind.

After, I left to go see if I could find Stacey or Mia or Katie or Chelsea... knowing that Laura and Lauren were no longer on campus. But Katie was already gone, Stacey I couldn't find and Mia and Chelsea were in class. So I sat out in the quad under a tree between Cooper and the CIS building and tried to breath and figure out wtf I'm doing. Didn't come up with too much in the way of answers but the time passed and then Mia called at 4 and said she was just getting out of class in the BSN building and I went over there. Mia and Chelsea along with Stacey are going to a punk rock concert of some sort in St. Pete tonight, so they were waiting for Stacey to come get them. The person who was going to give them a ride got into a car accident today, so couldn't. (I'm assured that she's fine, but I don't know her, so...) So they had to wait for Stacey to get there. I told them about everything. Mia's conclusion was that this is not the end of the world, that the professor was obviously "being a bitch" about my paper and wtf?! about that, and that I should for all the world be allowed to not do this oral presentation next week (which is the root of all that ails me) and skip it, take a zero, whatever, as long as I can still get a C or better in the class.

So what I have to do now is finish the work that I still have to turn in from Tuesday night's class and when I e-mail him about that, I have to e-mail him that I'm having issues, that I will not be doing the oral presentation (because I'm an adult, damnit, and if I want a zero instead of doing it, I'm getting that damn zero!), and that I need him to let me know right away if I will still be able to get a C or better in the class, assuming I do well on the papers we have left to do. Because if not, I need to know so I can withdraw from the class and try to take it again next semester... at which time I will have to explain to the prof at the outset (and it will probably just be him again) that I can't do any oral presentation. Just can't. Absolutely not gonna happen. Because this has been fucking me up all semester long now. I know it's already effected my grade because I really have been having a hard time thinking of anything else. The worst thing is that if that's the case, if I will not get a C is that I won't graduate this semester and have to enroll again next semester... That's the worst thing... and that's not really tragic... is it?

8 comments:

La Duchesse said...

Is there anything I can do? O.O Call me if you need to.

Rachael said...

I wish there was, Ilana, but no, I don't think there is anything you can do. But thank you so much just for being there... ::hugs::

La Duchesse said...

Okay. Gaylord's obit is up. Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.

I really do hope things get better. Your professor sounds like he's on some sort of PhD power trip... did he just recently get his doctorate? That piece of paper really goes to people's heads sometimes.

Rachael said...

Cool! I'm looking forward to reading it...

Oddly enough, he's not. He's been teaching there for over 40 years... Maybe it's that he's at the opposite end of the spectrum and is starting to get old and cynical? I think things will get better one way or another... I'm almost to the point where I'm angry about this, and then I become as unmovable as a mountain about things...

La Duchesse said...

There's a prof here at Shepherd who's extremely anal about papers. He does things like deduct one point per instance of passive voice; he also once threatened to give someone a zero for plagerism because the guy left out one set of quotation marks. "blanlablablablabl. and no closing quotes. He'd just gotten his PhD and it went to his head, and since I thought it was unfair, I got together with a bunch of other kids and asked for a meeting with the head of the department. He was so pissed he refused to speak to me for the remainder of the semester and for the following one. And now I've graduated so I don't have to put up with his idiocy anymore. So I sympathize.
O.o You guys use footnotes? I always preferred endnotes for some reason. Hoo! Hah! Turabian Notation!

Rachael said...

Goodness gracious! What an ass! I would think the administration would hate a teacher like that as much as the students do, having to deal with all the complaints and possible lawsuits... We have a prof similar to that, who I avoid as if he had the plague. He likes to make students cry with his exam questions, so that even if you read everything and are there for every lecture, you just about piss yourself when you see them. He doesn't consider it a good exam unless at least one student leaves crying. He's also likes really obscure, difficult, dense, boring as hell reading. He says he finds it on purpose... I think he's had his PhD for less than 5 years and he's really young, so I think it's the same problem as the guy at Shepherd.

8 weeks til I graduate... just *8* *weeks*!

We use footnotes or endnotes in the history department with the Chicago method. Some profs have a preference that they make all their students follow, but most of them say it's up to us, we just have to be consistent within each paper. I prefer endnotes for papers that are less than 5 pages and footnotes for anything longer.

La Duchesse said...

I remember feeling that way when it got to be time for me to graduate, too. And then I discovered how much I missed college. Le sigh!

I'm pretty sure they're the same thing. Dr. Hanak always called it Turabian, after Kate Turabian, but I'm not sure why it's also called Chicago. :P Anyway.. yeah. I just preferred endnotes because they seemed neater. And I liked the Ibid. thingie. Which you can still do with footnotes, of course.

Rachael said...

Yeah, I'm sure I'll feel the same way once it's done. I just want to be done so bad right now. So *8* *weeks*! LOL!

Yeah, I think they are the same thing. I think Kate Turabian came up with the style and she worked at the University of Chicago... I think that's what my English teacher told me many years ago anyway...

Ibid is awesome!