When You Take More Than A Few Medical Absences

December 19, 2011
If I know for sure I’m going to fail a final, would it not be beneficial to just save the money for summer school now and get on with it? One would think, given the circumstances, that it would be positively moronic to embarrass the student by subjecting him/her to taking this test where most of the things on it are equivalent, in their eyes, to the ancient language of Oc. (A language spoken primarily on the border of Spain and France near Andorra.) I listen to my teachers asking me to “maximize my potential” but I don’t think they realize how difficult that is to do when you’re lying in a hospital bed for the 7th time in a little over a year, and your leg feels as if it may literally fall off.
I understand that I need to do my work, and I need to keep up. However, it is more than difficult to do when you are constantly being driven from hospital to hospital, appointment to appointment, fighting off infect, disease, and lack of motion, and you are still healing from the second surgery, and you’ve had four since. My doctors tell me that sleep is essential for the healing process. If I do not sleep, I do not get better. Yet I still have that 800 word essay due for the Theology course, and the three Algebra assignments, not to mention Chemistry and English. And on top of that French and History, and then yet another two Theology projects. So I take it stride, I do these when I tell this teacher, and put these off for a bit until I know I can get to them.
Then all I hear is “Where are those assignments?” “When will you make up that quiz?” “Where is the paper that was due a week ago?” So on and so forth, these question eat away at me. I try so incredibly hard to attempt a completion grade at best, not-minding if I learned the material or not. Then the test comes, and I fail. Test corrections are helpful, but it doesn’t do much. If I fail a test with a 65%, I can get half credit back. Which raises my grade to an astounding 82.5%. Nice deal, right? The issue is that the test corrections only get about a quarter credit back because I still have not had time to learn the material. So my grade only becomes a lowly 73.75%. Better than an F, indeed, and most likely worth it in the end, but the problem still remains: I have not learned this material.
So what with time constraints and the forces of the universe ensuring that I never actually do become 100% better, how do I come to be expected to take these finals which account for 15-20% of my overall grade for the semester? I am a teenager, and teenagers are always expected to be better than they are. It is a cycle that repeats over the ages, time and time again. I wish I could tell you that I have not let my injury bother me and drag me down, but I have. I want to be able to tell you that I have been able to keep up with my schoolwork and have become an overall more studious person than before, because of it, but I cannot. I long to tell you that I am the same person I was before and that nothing has changed other than a few menial scars, but that would be a lie.
Why have I failed so miserably with these three things? I am a human being, and I am exceedingly flawed. I am not afraid to admit that I have indeed failed my family and myself in my inability to turn this around, but I am reluctant to admit to how much pain I have gone through and how much anger I have felt towards everyone: myself, my family, my teachers, the human race as a whole. I can cope with the pain I myself feel, but I have not yet figured out a way to completely ignore it and leave it behind me. I carry it around every day, and those who knew me before, and see me now, see the toll it has taken on me.
I don’t like being able to say I cannot. I realize that now. Before my injury, I would say it all of the time. “Don’t make me try to run the mile, I can’t.” “I can’t do that dance move, my fat gets in the way.” “I can’t do math, it’s too hard.” Then, I was saying it because I did not want to, not because I could not. Now I say it because I absolutely cannot. That is the most frustrating thing. I want, so badly, to be able to keep up in my work, and not be seen as a failure, but I cannot change that right now. I have done what I can, and left what I cannot. I have to accept that perhaps, I cannot stay at the school I want to, and I have to accept that I am not better. That is my cross to bear, and I can share it with Jesus if I so choose to. For once since my accident, I get to decide for myself, and not have someone do it for me. And I chose to share this essay, and I chose to give this to God and let God sort it out, because I’m sick and tired of trying to. I am tired, and I do not want to be tired anymore.





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