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Flashback to a Breakdown

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So, I’m sitting in the middle of a boring presentation at work and something triggered a memory of me having a small breakdown. I don’t know what the trigger was. Perhaps the presenter alluding to an over-worked staff on an assembly line that wasn’t allowed to run to the bathroom without someone to relieve them that triggered the memory.

Oh how I love my job! There is not one smidgen of sarcasm in that statement. I really do HEART it. I am so thankful to work in a place that is so thankful. They constantly do little things to improve morale. Even when the economony is reeling, they offer little gifts to make us feel valued. Aside from that, I get paid to write and I can’t ask for more!

So, maybe I was reliving those scary moments in my life when I was beyond overworked and looking for a small pocket of air. One of those moments where I was pushed beyond my normal outward composure was during an Education class in college. The professor broke the class into groups of 4-6 people for a final project and paper. We were all supposed to meet outside of class *gasp* and collectively put together a presentation, a lesson plan, a handout and a final paper (did I mention that I dropped the Secondary Education portion of my major?) Trying to find a time when all 6 people could meet for the amount of hours required to put together that type of project was Impossible, with an upper-case I.

I was working full-time and going to school full-time with little time in between for sleep. I barely knew who my parents were though I lived only a mile from them. Let’s just say, we ended up with a D on the project *gasp again for this Magna Cum Laude* mostly because one person forgot to hand in his handout. With that, we would’ve been bumped up to a B.

As normal behavior for me, I immediately made an appointment to talk this project over with my professor. Now I’m not the type to whine. I’m the type to take a situation like this with a proactive approach and see what could be done to make it better. And every single time, without fail, I made the effort to talk alone with a professor, my grade got a boost. So, there I was, asking this professor what I could do.

I explained to her that, according to the criteria created by her, the entire group should not have been penalized for the shortcomings of one person. One measly handout. One slacker in the group. She said she wouldn’t change the grade. Then I asked her if she’d be willing to offer some sort of Extra Credit opportunities to keep the old GPA in prime shape. She recoiled.

That’s when I lost it.

Right there, in that foreboding professor’s office, I let loose a cascade of tears and barely coherent words, complete with heaving and blubbering. The whole works. I had absolutly no control over it.

It wasn’t just the D, it was what it stood for. I had diligently researched my portion of the project (she basically downgraded me for the depth of my research as well, which, in my opinion, is bad sportsmanship since they teach to delve the depths, but anyway…), completed countless other projects for five other classes in the same period of time, studied, put in 8 hour shifts at a thankless job where I nearly froze to death one day, basically ate crumbs on my way out the door, slept an average of 5 hours a night for early classes, paid my own tuition and other bills, had no free time for socializing with dear friends and this lady was going to tell me I wasn’t doing enough? The weight-bearing activity finally crushed its host. To add insult to injury, she suggested I make an appointment for counseling in the Psychology department. (Truth be told, she did take me up on the Extra Credit suggestion and I think I ended up with a B in the class).

I know I know. Don’t be the victim here. That’s not my intention. I am just thankful to have come as far as I have. Life is a little less degrading and a lot more fulfilling these days. It’s sometimes nice to look back and see how far I’ve come and to see how many bloody knuckles it took me to get here. Ahhhhhh!

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