That Time My Heart Broke. Literally. – Part 25 (The “Fail/Pass School, School, School” Chapter)

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

It’s Wednesday night, so the heart story continues.

Last week, I said I’d talk about what the school did for me.

I was actually planning on just taking the failures with the A’s. (I didn’t realize I had another choice.) One of my professors started prodding, and getting involved. He made me meet with one of the school counselors. I was extremely resistant.

I was really stubborn, and assumed the school wasn’t going to do anything to help. (What could they do? They already said they couldn’t overrule the teachers or force them not to take attendance into account.)

I also didn’t want to meet with a guidance counselor because I didn’t like the word “counselor.” I didn’t want anyone coming at me with “sweet face,” and “sweet voice,” saying, “How are you handling all this? This is so much for someone your age, etc.” I had really heard enough of that and sort of constantly wanted to scream at people.

I will talk more about that in the next post, but for now I’m taking a break from doing constant tangents.

I don’t remember how I was finally convinced to take the meeting with the counselor, but I did.

No, I would not like to talk about my “problems.” Thanks, kindly.

Apparently, one of the various fees we paid with tuition was for some kind of student insurance in case some big life event happened. The insurance made it possible to withdraw from the entire semester at any time (including the very end).

My choice was to take the A’s and F’s I had (and take it all, the failures with the successes), or withdraw from everything. There was no in between.

Part of me wanted to just take the failures. I’d worked so unbelievably hard in the classes I was getting A’s in. I’d put in so very, very many hours on all of my projects. It was hard to imagine to that all over again.

It’s the general consensus from everything I’ve heard that 3rd semester is the hardest, so I did not want to repeat it. It’s the semester where we get our biggest project – the soundalike.

Repeating those hard classes was not something I enjoyed thinking about. But in the end, failing half of my classes was something that sounded even worse. So, I withdrew from the entire semester.

At least it’d be easier the second time around, right? In some ways it was, in some ways it wasn’t We’ll talk about that later.

Going into my next semester at Berklee, I knew that I was going to be out for open-heart surgery for several weeks. I planned accordingly and talked to teachers ahead of time. I didn’t want to waste yet another semester of school, and I knew some people professors be willing to work with me.

I found a schedule of classes I could take that would let me work remotely when necessary, and would let me try to work ahead as much as possible so that by the time I went in for open-heart surgery in March, I’d be as close to done with all my work as was possible.

As I was figuring out my schedule, I talked to the MP&E department asking if I could smush two semesters together (since I’d already done the work leading to the next one).

They actually gave me permission to do that! However, Stephen, my incredibly awesome professor got wind of this and called me from Hawaii. He spent probably an hour with me on the phone talking about the pros and cons (mainly cons) of doing that.

So, so very stubborn. (That’s my deal.)

I knew that by spending all that time (in Hawaii) trying to convince me not to take on too much, he must really think it was important that I stuck to just repeating the semester I’d done. I trust him a ton.

A main idea behind that was that while some work could be reused, some couldn’t. I’d still have word to do, and taking on something like seven Music Production and Engineering classes in the same semester really would have been a lot.

Plus, it would be very possible to get through classes I’d pretty much done before. But he thought that missing 1/2 the semester in new classes would take a toll on me. They very well might’ve. So, I did a very un-Aurora thing.

I definitely wasn’t known for backing down (or compromising). Sometimes that results in brilliance. Sometimes not. It is possible that not being too terribly stubborn is a good quality. So, I decided to be human and do what a “normal” person would do.

This is where I’ll pick up next week.

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