It seems to me that most of my instructors since high school have been grappling with what it means to be a student journalist, so I thought I’d try to explain it. This will also be a learn-through-writing exercise for me.

In high school, my newspaper adviser often had high expectations for my staff members and me. She always assigned us stories as if we didn’t have any other classwork to do. What she didn’t realize was she couldn’t call us out of every class period to do stories, because the attendance office was already ticked off at our skipping class routines. It was often a struggle to make her realize that we cannot camp out in the cafeteria all day waiting for janitors to collect recycling, and then destroy it; we had to go to class.

I thought to myself, if I didn’t have school, I could do so much more. That obviously was unrealistic and still hasn’t happened. What has continued to happen is having instructors who think that my GPA has wiggle room, which is does not have. Being that I am at Mizzou on scholarship, none of my grades have any wiggle room. I find that journalism instructors are often the most adamant about skipping class to give tours, putting 10 page papers off to the last minute to write a story, and calling in late to work to do some other task. This semester, my reduction in pay, sleep, and grade points has taken a pretty big hit. So I wonder, do any instructors realize they are not the only ones in each student’s life?

It’s probably a good thing I’m not going into teaching because I’d probably expect a lot out of my students, but I would hope I could be more understanding than many of my professors. I know I could learn more from them than I could by writing a 10 page paper on terrorism, but my GPA doesn’t care about that. So, for GPAs and health sleep patterns, I hope there can be some wiggle room in professor expectations from here on out. A girl can dream, right?

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