A letter I submitted last week to my graduate school petitions committee:
Ms. Administrative Person
The Graduate School
Smalltown, Midwest 12345
Dear Ms. Person:
Thank you for helping me facilitate and expedite my request for an extension of the completion dates for the Incompletes I received in the Fall 2007 semester. The classes for which I received the Incompletes are listed below:
((two doctoral level seminars I have no brains for at the moment))
These courses represent 6 of 10 hours I took last fall, in addition to my TA responsibilities for teaching a section of (EDCore Course) I was not able to complete these courses because I was ill to varying degrees for virtually the entire semester with hyperemesis (nausea & vomiting) due to a twin pregnancy. Over the course of the semester, I was hospitalized 6 times overnight for re-hydration, and IV anti-emetics and vitamins.
I expected to be able to complete the work for these courses over the winter break and early in the Spring semester, but my water broke (pre-term premature rupture of membranes) at almost 20 weeks gestation on December 25, 2007. We found that one twin had died and I was forced to deliver my second twin 10 days later at almost 21 weeks, before he was developed enough to survive.
Following the delivery I developed an infection due to retained placenta, and had to have a D&C two weeks later, which required weeks’ physical recovery, in addition to the emotional recovery my husband and I were challenged with. Further, I broke my arm on the ice on the way to teach my class this February. Thankfully, this required little physical intervention to heal.
I am currently teaching a section of (Same Core Course) in addition to 10 hours of coursework (1 course, 2 independent studies and a teaching practicum). My Chair and the (Dept) faculty have been extremely supportive, but due to all of these circumstances I feel it is not possible for me to complete the work for those two classes in the allotted timeframe.
If given this extension, I plan to work closely with my professors in these classes to ensure that my work gets completed in a timely fashion once this semester has ended. I expect that I would be able to have this work completed by July 1, 2008. I am currently under the care of 2 medical doctors, a therapist and a grief counselor who are working with me to support my physical, mental and emotional recovery from the events of the last several months.
Thank you for your time and consideration of my request. Please contact me with questions or concerns at the email or phone number listed below, or by mail at the above address.
Who is this person? I read this letter, and I think, what a freaking nightmare. Even as I hem and haw about withdrawing this semester, I think, What the hell is this? Who is this person and why is she even attempting school? And why do so few people at school seem to recognize the impact of the last six months?
Why doesn't she recognize it? All she can say is, this isn't me. I don't like this, I don't want this. No, not me. Please, give me back my old life, please. Please.
The Nile is nice this time of year. Have you met the queen? She is me.
Who are you now?