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Archive for October, 2011

The Agreement

In April of 2008 I decided to return to school.

Because I’d gone on disability 18 years earlier and had student loans discharged based on health issues that were still in existence, I had to get doctor approval to go back (well, to get financial aid I did).

So, some of my docs were not for it at all “but you’re on strong immunosuppressants! you’ll be sick all the time”  “what will you do if you go into crisis and have to spend 2 weeks in the hospital?” (happened a few times)

My primary care doc (thankfully) said

“I’m not sure it’s a healthy choice but I understand, how about if we set up some parameters” and she, having  known me for not very long, signed the papers.

So, I go in a few weeks ago (lost track of when, this semester some time) and I’m tired, worn out and overloading .. and she asks what classes I’m taking and what else is going on.

I tell her I’m in over my head with 15 hours , PTK/AA; SGA and independent study. She looks at me (having done one herself in school) and says “What happened to our agreement of no more than 12 hours and no extra curricular activities?”

“um, you didn’t know me well when I agreed to it?”

I feel like I’m falling under and avalanche … something somewhere has to be cut  .. either out or back and I’m not sure which would be the best thing to do …

I do know my body is reacting to the stress … the headaches, kidney function, fatigue and pain increasing …

I also know that the following list comes now where NEAR my original agreement with the doctor:

Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Association OK/ARK region – Web Services Officer

Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow

Student Government Association

Student Services Chair

Psych Club SGA Rep

Movie Night Chair

Committee Positions

Fall Festival

Letter to Servicemen

Music Festival

                                                                Movie Night

Student Advisory Board

Psych Club

SGA Rep (already listed under SGA responsibilities)

CLASSES

Independent Research                                            3 hours (supervised by Dr. Steven Byers)

Math for Critical Thinking                                       3 hours

History and Systems                                                3 hours

Behavior Analysis and Management                    3 hours

Psychology of the Minority Experience                3 hours

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Identification

I’ve thought a lot about this. For a long time, but it has been growing inside me to the point that I feel it’s time I went public. It is a post that just may upset a lot of people who either don’t feel like I do as well as those who do identify themselves as a such. But as for me:

I am not a #spoonie.

The roles in life I play are
Woman
Wife
Mother
Student
Friend
Daughter
Sister
Patient

My behavior is 
Friendly
Strong
Strong Willed
Flexible
Always early & never late

Protective

My inner thoughts are often

Goal oriented

Insecure

I am not
Myasthenia Gravis
Lupus
Asthma
Allergies
Migraine

Eating Disorder

this last list effects my life all too often and I do get the concept of ‘counting spoons’ and paying for what you do when you over do it … I do, I really do. But the reality is

I am more than the sum of my diseases.

 I am more than the sum of the roles I play.

I am more than the good

and the bad.

I am me.

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Disconcerting Trend

Recently I have gotten a fair number of new followers on Twitter. They all had one thing in common.

They were advertising a service that is available to college students. My problem with this is the service they are offering.

They all boil down to 1 thing: we sell essays. Essays for scholarships, essays for class, essays for tests .. you need a research paper? got it. Need APA format? got it (an extra $10 please). Need an essay for just about anything? Got it.

These services infuriate me. I had a classmate that I respected, a lot, until one fateful dinner when plagiarism came up. While he agreed that copy/paste of another’s work was reprehensible, he found no problem with paying for someone to write an original essay. As he argued his point, my respect for him plummeted. I also regretted recruiting him for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Having no idea if he wrote his own essays or not I have no idea if his GPA is HIS or a paid for GPA.
(he never DID say he bought them,but I doubt anyone would defend so aggressively a practice of dubious reputation if they had not availed themselves of what was offered.)

What bothers me is that it is innately dishonest. Not only that, but I work very hard for my grades. There are those who’ve implied that I have straight A’s because school comes easy for me. No, not really, I work very hard for those A’s. I’m not a natural straight A student. A’s and B’s .. yes, but not straight A’s and certainly not HIGH A’s that I’ve gotten in several classes. Those, I have to work for.

I work hard, I think through my papers and I write them from inside of me. I recognize that writing, for me, comes a bit easier than for most but much of the technological writing is new to me and does not come natural. I work for it.

The justification is that it is a new essay, written for the subject matter at hand, it is not copied from someone else.
But this logic fails. Essays are not written to teach the professor. Essays are not written to inform the professor. Essays are not written for the BENEFIT of the professor. But rather it is to give the professor an idea of how well you have grasped the subject matter that is covered in the paper. It is to solidify the subject matter in your own mind and help you to figure out the ins and outs of the subject matter. To BUY an essay, means it is someone else’s understanding of the paper.

While few of my professors grade on a curve, so your grade does not effect my grade one way or another, it is still unfair for me to have to earn my grade and you to buy your grade and that, IS, what you’re doing! This, may give you a better GPA than me and wind up with you getting into grad school at my expense … and THAT .. THAT would be completely unfair.

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