Ever since the day I arrived on my short get away, I’ve been coughing, achy, and unable to sleep. Essentially, a kill-joy. Add that to my friend who invited me, her two friends (Cackle Laugh and Bragger-Face), and me, moaning about wanting a Great White shark to jump on the beach and swallow me whole. Although, I’d opt for a German sub to torpedo me. Or a Russian jet to zoom the tower that’s my head.
Day 1: I had just finished my semester, and fled out of town before the grade bitching emails began in full. (I also sent out a, “Don’t bother me about your grade because I’m not changing it,” email first) I turned on the stereo, opening the windows and headed out onto the wide-open road feeling good. REALLY, REALLY good. Happy and screaming at the top of my lungs (“I’m outta here, suckas!”), in fact. I get there before lunch and Cackle Laugh is drinking already. (My guess is that she is always 3/4-s in the bag.) Bragger-Face was out, doing her thing, and my friend was still in bed. We ate in that night (later than I usually eat), and about 10pm, the coughing started in full… and that’s when I threw up in my mouth, moved to the bathroom, and spit it in the sink. (If I bent down for the toilet, I’d have puked more.) I was in bed by 11pm without cough medicine. I slept perhaps 22 seconds. I started to grow quiet before I hit the hay because I was trying to not die and I was watching the competition between the two friends unfold. “I’m better friends with [my friend]” vs. “No, I’M a better friend” competition which, honestly, wasn’t worth getting involved in. Also, if I heard how great Bragger-Face was one more time or wished I had put in ear plugs because Cackle Laugh was so fucking loud and obnoxious that I contemplated stabbing her with a plastic spork…I was going to remove my nice-and-polite exterior and start telling people off. (Note, my tolerance for bullshit is a lot LESS when I’m sick. In fact, there is barely a thread holding my mouth shut.)
Day 2: I didn’t sleep well and woke up at the crack of dawn. I moved to the deck to hear the ocean (we weren’t close enough to see it) and I fell asleep in the chair for over an hour. (Note: This was in the midst of trying to drown out Cackle-Laugh who was on the 4th version of the same news reel. At one point, she asked, “Am I keeping you awake??” Now, a lesser woman would’ve grabbed her by her hair and whispered in a deadly manner, “You need to shut the fuck up now.”) The rest of the day, my legs were badly sunburned and I wore jeans (yes, jeans) and hacking a lung. I tried to be a good sport and not a downer by participating in the late day events. Earlier in the day I did manage to get myself to the only food store in this town and buy some meds. I didn’t care if I was a zombie and slept the day away, I wanted that damn coughing to stop. We wandered around, me dragging my sorry ass in a state of fog, and trying to focus on the conversations going on around me. (Yeah, no such luck, actually). Later that night, they started drinking and getting rowdy (after we went out to eat) and I excused myself to go to bed. Then, four times I felt sick to my stomach (that’s dinner visiting again to make sure I knew it was there and a fatal mistake) and by the time I actually passed out (w/ over-the-counter meds in my system), it was after 2am. Meanwhile, the ladies were doing shots, smoking weed (ugh, don’t get me started!), and cackling and competing for air time. I only had one weak pillow or I’d have smothered myself. Eventually, they passed out.
Day 3: I got up, took a shower, packed my stuff, and just before I head out (because not sleeping, being sunburned on my legs and a head filled with rocks wasn’t enough), Bragger-Face says, “We’re gonna clean up the house.” Okay, I’ll TRY TO help. Not sure how good I’ll do. I just wanted to muster enough strength to drive the 3+ hours home and make it there alive, drop onto my bed and stay there. After “cleaning” a bedroom and bathrooms, I started wiping down tables when my friend came slumbering into the room. “What the FUCK are you doing??” Sheepishly, I said, “Helping clean?” She chastised me for over-exerting myself knowing how sick I had been. “Go home. Drive carefully.” (She did tell me that I could stay an additional day to sleep off the ickies, but I told her I didn’t need to stay, or rather, couldn’t. And, was feeling semi-okay, which I was, at the time.) By the time I got home, I walked the dog, climbed on the couch and tried to fall asleep BUT the coughing started up in earnest. Hours upon hours of coughing. My throat, head and ribs are killing me. I’m so g-damn lucky…
Today: I called the doctor as soon as he opened (because again, I barely slept), begging for an appointment, which luckily I did get. “Well, your lungs are clear,” he says. He eye-balled me for a second. I haven’t been to his office in a while, because why go if I don’t need to, right? “I’m giving you a prescription for an antibiotic just to make sure,” because the pain in my ribs from coughing isn’t the most pressing issue. Or the never-ending headache. Or my back pain. Or every muscle in my body aching.
Fine. I drove to the pharmacy, coughing my way to the “drop off” desk.
Pharmacist: “Man, you sound sick.”
(Ever want to kill a pharmacist??)
Me: “No, really? *coughcough* I’ll wait until you *coughcough* fill it *coughcough* out.”
25 minutes later… seriously, I have NO benefits and it is in a prepacked package. I coughed just because he wanted to make sure I was dying or punishing me for being sick. I wanted to share the wealth with the rest of the patrons in his store because he was being a dick.
By the time I get home, with the cough medicine he suggested (b/c my doctor didn’t prescribe the good stuff that’ll knock me out for a week), I pop the pills and take a swig of the “one time every 12 hours” cough medicine that cost more than filling my tank w/ gas.
That goddamn medicine (the cough stuff) didn’t freaking work. I’ve been coughing nearly nonstop for HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS. Bad news is? I can’t take anyfuckingthingelse because it’ll probably kill me, cause my kidneys to erupt in flames, or will go blind and lose all my hair.
Now I’m waiting to take the sleep night-night meds that the pharmacist told me not to take. Guess what? I’M TAKING IT, SUCKER. And, let the chips fall where they may.
In the meantime, I want to know from nothing…
The gradebitchingemails I did get, before I left include:
- “I don’t like the grade you gave me,” which was an F,” because I know I didn’t deserve it. I want you to give me extra work,” mind you, the grades were already submitted to the school, “so I can get my grade up to a B.” My response: There’s no way you could get a D at this rate. And, why are you so concerned after 16 weeks when you knew all along that you were failing and refused my help?” (Mic drop!)
- “I missed an A by 3 points,” (yawns), “and I need an A to get that scholarship.” My response: “Then you shouldn’t have skipped class and not turn in the one assignment, right?”
- “Can you pass me so I don’t have to take your shitty class again?” (Yeah, that’s the motivation for me to keep your failing grade right…where…it…belongs.) My response: “Sorry, I will not partake in the ethical and illegal practices of grade changing just to appease you. Perhaps if you came to class more often and tried just a little bit, you would’ve passed and therefore wouldn’t need to repeat it.” (Mic drop!)
- “Are you sure you cannot move my grade up to give me an A?” My response: “I’m as sure as the sky is blue and the sun rises and sets.” That same student emailed me FOUR TIMES, asking me if I was “sure” I couldn’t move her grade up to the next one. (Me thinks she didn’t get the analogy.) That’s what pushed that final button before I fled the area.
I have been asked one too many times to change individual students’ grades. This is ethically wrong and academically illegal. I don’t appreciate being put in this position when some of you had the ENTIRE semester to improve your grades…”
And signed off with, “I truly wish you the best in your future endeavors.”
…and the shaming went on for a few paragraphs in total, read aloud to my husband and a co-worker, before I sent it to EVERY one of my classes..
I didn’t receive an admin email requesting my presence to their offices, so perhaps it either isn’t coming yet, or the email answered the plethora of question marks floating above the heads of confused and beleaguered college freshmen… therefore, getting its point across.
“Dear Professor,” I receive less than 30 seconds later, “I wasn’t begging for a better grade.” But, weren’t you? Weren’t you asking for me to move your grade up to the next letter grade? That’s what your email said. So, now you didn’t ask for a higher grade?
Five seconds later-er, I get this one, “Prof., you fucking rock! I love your ‘take no shit’ attitude and that’s why I didn’t drop the class.” (Or was it that you had little choice as I’m the only one who teaches that particular class at night?)
Needless to say, it has been relatively quiet for 2 days (*knocks on wood*) and I’m not going to jinx it (even though I probably already did). I will not be responding to any emails from here on out, at least until August, unless my admin calls me to tell me to answer it. (And, even then I will do so kicking and screaming.)
For those who want to become a teacher: Don’t unless you have no problem dealing w/ whining grade-whores, their helicopter parents, weak administrators, and lazy co-workers that make you look like the villain because they gave a take-home final a month before it was due and graded it to EVERY student got an A or B. If you get persuaded easily and are generally a weak person who gives in to the bosses’ whims, then don’t do it. There will be a time when you have to stand up for what you believe it right, even if it results in the loss of your position. You might be able to get a new job, but you can never get back your lost integrity.
Because I am sick, and feeling sicker, I missed seeing a good friend who was visiting from out of state and my #tween’s bday (which means, in a few days, my baby will be 13).
For those of you who have been following off-and-on for years, you remember the day I went into labor with him? Yeah, me too. And, the labor pains haven’t stopped… except now they moved from my hoo-hah to my ass.
Time to drag my cranky ass to bed… dose up on the sleepy night-night meds… and hope for the best.