Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The College Story: Part Five

Good Evening!
I absolutely LOVED the break from the hot weather today!
I hope you enjoyed it as well!
Lol...I think this is how I looked when I stepped outside from work today :)

To continue my College Story...
Again, I apologize for the length of this story.
It really was NOT my intent to drag it out this long.
But a lot happened...
And I need to stop hiding and process all the details.

I had failed my X-Ray Physics class by a sixth of a point.
I had failed by a sixth of a point????
I couldn't believe it.
That just didn't seem right!
I would've much rather failed by 50 points!
At least then I would know that X-Ray was NOT for me 
and could justify pursuing something else.
But 1/6 of a point is SSSSOOOO close to passing,
I knew I HAD to try again!
But at the same time,
the last thing I wanted to do was try again.
I was completely DEVASTATED by this curve of the Roller Coaster.
I DEFINITELY did not see this one coming!
Yes, I knew my grades were low, 
but I had done really well on the last few tests 
and brought my grade up significantly.
I had studied my brains out for the final 
and I honestly thought everything would work out fine.
(That could be a little bit of my naivety showing through again...)

I had discovered my final grade on my own.
My instructor didn't call or email me to inform me.
I found it posted online on Blackboard, part of the ICC website.
I was at work when I discovered it.
Thank God I was in the privacy of my own office 
so I could have a cry fest.

I had taken my final
and seen my final grade on a Monday.
I was scheduled to do three more clinical rotations
before the end of the summer semester,
one being the following day.
I didn't know if this failure of my final would affect that.
So, I picked up the phone and called my instructor.
When she answered, I simply said, "Hi, it's Sarah."
I will never forget her response, "Hi, Sarah" 
accompanied by one of the saddest sighs I've ever heard.
I had to take a moment to collect myself.
Then I asked, "So what does this mean?"
(Not sure if that was a naive moment or if I was simply hoping for a miracle)

My instructor responded, "As the letter says,
you are no longer a student in the Radiography Program at ICC."
The directness of the last part of her statement
hit me so hard I didn't quite catch on to the first part.
"So, am I going to clinicals tomorrow?"
"Again, as the letter says, 
you've already completed enough clinical hours for the summer semester
to receive a passing grade as far as clinicals are concerned.
Therefore, you do not need to attend your final three clinical rotations."
"What if I WANTED to attend?"
(You might think I'm crazy for having this desire, 
but the truth is, I wanted to be able to say goodbye to X-Ray
I wanted to take one last chest film and KNOW it was my last. 
I wanted to savor the moment...
just in case this really was goodbye for FOREVER.)

My instructor responded, "Sarah, you are no longer an X-Ray Student.
Therefore, you cannot represent ICC at Methodist Hospital.
You need to remove your personal articles from your locker at the hospital 
as soon as possible."
None of this was spoken in a harsh or degrading tone.
We were both very polite throughout the entire conversation.
But the words still cut deeply...
At this point in the conversation, I finally picked up on the 
"as the letter says" part.
I asked, "You talked about a letter? What letter?"
She patiently replied, "The letter I emailed to you stating your final grade
and what your next steps are to exit the program."
"I haven't received an email from you."
"Then how did you know what your final grade was?"
I said, "I kept checking Blackboard."
My instructor answered, "Oh, Sarah, I'm sorry you found out that way.
I will try emailing you the official letter again."

When I still had not received her email a few moments later,
we "discovered" that she had an incorrect email address for me.
I had been her student for almost a year
and we had corresponded through email many times.
How could she have had an incorrect address for me?
(Again, am I the only one dumb stuff like this happens to?)
She corrected the issue and resent the email.
When I confirmed to her that I had received it,
she suggested I read over it and then call her if I had further questions.
We hung up and I began to read the email.

Just like our talk, the tone of the letter was not harsh or degrading in any way.
But once again, the directness took my breath away.
(I won't bore you by repeating the whole thing here.)
It consisted mostly of everything my instructor and I had discussed on the phone.
I think the part that startled me the most was where I was instructed
to go to Methodist Hospital THAT DAY and clean out my belongings.
In a way, it sort of felt like they couldn't wait to remove all memory of me from the place.
I did as instructed and went to the hospital as soon as I got off work.
I seriously considered "sneaking" in and avoiding my clinical instructors at all cost.
But in the end, I couldn't justify that action.
It wasn't their fault I had failed my class.
And I needed to thank them.
They had POURED SO MUCH into me.
And not just X-Ray knowledge.

I actually went looking for my clinical instructors
BEFORE I cleaned out my locker.
I wandered into each subsection of the Medical Imaging Department
but couldn't find them.
They ended up finding me.
In the hall, outside the locker room.
One of them saw me and called my name while they were still a distance away.
I turned and attempted a smile.
It didn't last very long.
By the time they reached me, I was in tears.
And our conversation began with me saying, 
"I'm going need a moment."

One of them compassionately reached out to touch my arm,
while the other one began speaking.
She encouraged me that she had no doubts I belonged in the Medical Imaging profession.
That my growth during clinicals proved that.
She said this failure was just a bump in the road
and that both of them would be willing to tutor me
should I ever try to get back into Radiography.
They both wished me luck
and reminded me they were both just a phone call away.
We said goodbye and I cleaned out my locker
and I walked away from X-Ray.

To be continued...