Breath


Well, I’ve had a chance to catch my breath. Last week after meeting with my advisor, the assistant dean of student affairs, the class professor, and my therapist, we all decided it was best for me to drop the class down to audit status. This puts me at less than full-time, but the dean checked and assured me that since it’s so late in the semester, I won’t lose my very important health insurance. This was somewhat finalized on Thursday evening, and I was able to relax a little bit after that. I went out with a good friend on Thursday night, and then slept in til 11 on Friday (not babysitting because I had a bad cold).

On Saturday I ran a lab for 6th to 8th grade girls in an event the women in science club on my campus held. The labs were short and it was challenging to make anything in my discipline very accessible to 6th graders, but I had a lot of fun and I think I got the basic idea across. I wasn’t really able to get feedback from the students, but I hope they had a good time. There were no major messes or accidents or misbehaving girls, so I think that went well enough.

I took the rest of the weekend to just relax and catch a breather, and now I can say my cold is nearly gone, and I feel a lot better. But then this evening I heard from my other professor, whom I had emailed to check in on about the class I am still in, and he wrote back that at this stage I am passing but probably in the D range. Great. So when all you wonderful readers reiterate that grades don’t matter, do you mean even D’s? Will no one see my transcript and ask me “how did that happen?” I think my semester GPA will be ok, because my other 6 credits are research and I should get two A’s for that. Should I really not be concerned about getting a D, or should I ask for extra work to bring my grade up to the C range? I don’t think I turned in all of the homeworks, so I could perhaps just do the one(s) I missed. What do you think, oh ye blogosphere science brains?

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5 thoughts on “Breath

  1. I’m glad to hear about the resolution of that other class. Good for you, talking about it with your adviser and getting something done about it!

    As for the other class: I think I would try to get it up to the C range if I could, simply because a C won’t be quite as detrimental to the ol’ GPA. That being said, assuming that your prospective employer even requests a transcript, they are probably only doing it for degree verification purposes. IIRC, for my postdoc position, all they wanted was a statement from the University saying that I had completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. I don’t think they ever got a transcript at all. So, I think that as long as getting a D won’t stop you from getting your degree, you should be okay.

    The only place it might hurt you is if you’re applying for a summer internship or a prestigious fellowship where they require a transcript and/or a certain GPA. But even then, most people are going to look at a transcript that reads (for example) “A, A-, A, B, A, A-, B+, A, D” and say, “What was wrong with that last class?” rather than “What is wrong with Flicka Mawa?”

    Also, just an observation from my experience in the “real world.” I have been amazed by how non-judgmental people are. All the judging of me that’s going on in my head? It’s not going on in theirs. At least not in the heads of the type of people I should be working with. If one bad grade prevents you from getting a tenure-track position in a super-dysfunctional, highly-competitive department, I’d say that bad grade was a blessing. 🙂

  2. I’m glad you were able to drop the class. It sounds like a great relief.

    Unless you need the GPA for something- as Rebecca says, an internship- or a fellowship application for grad or postdoc- even a D won’t matter. Or if you need a higher grade to stay in good standing, which it doesn’t sound like. But actually in many states employers are legally prohibited from asking for your transcript or GPA- some of them do anyways, of course, but it’s illegal.

    I’d say if you have free time (ha ha ha) to do that last homework or whatever, go ahead, but otherwise, don’t worry about it. Or if you’re really concerned, maybe they’d let you have an incomplete, which would give you an extra X months to finish the work.

  3. Hey girls, thanks for the comments! First and foremost I am so relieved about the one I was failing. Regarding the remaining class, things look a little better. I decided to write back to the professor to ask a little more about the situation. I explained that I have really been struggling and that I had been putting most of my coursework time into the class that I just dropped, but that now this one is my only class and I would be willing to work harder on the remaining work. I told him that I wasn’t looking to go from a D to an A, but I’d be willing to do a little work to pull it up to the C range, and he wrote back that if I just work harder for the remaining weeks (all 3 of them, haha) and do well on the final I should be able to pull up to a C or even a low B.

    This prof openly admitted that he has 10% participation in the grade breakdown for his own fudge factor, and he is the one that I had told early on I struggled with depression, so I think that having explained the situation better probably helped. After class today I felt a little amazed at how much he just covered in this one class session, but I feel like I can manage to do well enough to pull it up to a C, which I’m totally fine with.

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