This quarter is my second to last. If all goes well next quarter, I will be graduating in March of 2011. I almost blew it this week. One of the major classes I have to pass to graduate is my foreign language. I have taken up American Sign Language. I have had fun, excelled, and enjoyed every minute of it. Classes such as Philosphy, which I am also taking this quarter, I know I can squeak by with a B with little effort. I know, why would I accept a "B" when I could easily get an "A"? Well, my lack of motivation and major case of "senioritis" has caused my brain to go with the philosophy that "C's get degrees". I have been a fairly good student, minus a few choice classes, and I am pretty self reliant. If I keep up with the readings, do the homework, and keep up with the online slide shows, I can pull off a B in classes like Philosophy without regularly attending classes. ASL is a totally different story. A language needs to be practiced, finessed, and ASL is no exception. If anything, class attendance is more pertinent than other foreign languages because it is visual language, and in order to "speak" the language, you must be able to understand what it looks like. So, I attend. I am on time with every homework assignment, and put effort into it. However, this past Thursday, Veteran's Day, we had an assignment due. It was a paper that was worth 10% of our final grade. It was based off of a Deaf Event that we were required to attend. I chose a very inspiring lecture by one Dr. Joseph Valente. He wrote a book entitled “d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero”, and was on campus to speak about it, and promote it's release in a few months. I was entranced in his words. He read sections from his book, and spoke on what it was like being deaf in a hearing world. The astounding part of it was that he spoke with such eloquence and clarity that one would never know he was deaf from meeting him. The traditional "deaf accent" was not present. He was so skilled at reading lips, he could read people's lips from the back of the classroom.
I was sitting next to Foster on Friday as he donated blood at the Red Cross when I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to submit the assignment. I had attended the event weeks ago, should have done the assignment and submitted it right after attending, but for some reason procrastinated. I was instantly mad at myself. I have been holding a High B in this class. I have worked hard, put all effort into it, and now my grade would automatically drop to a C. 10% of my grade would be a BIG FAT ZERO!! I was devastated. I was beating myself up for the next hour and a half. It had been blatantly expressed multiple times that there would be NO late submissions accepted.
Foster suggested that I submit the paper regardless of whether it would be accepted, and explain to my professor the circumstances. He figured I would at least receive partial credit. I explained to him that I didn't see the point in this, because it wasn't like I was sick, in an accident, had a funeral, or any other acceptable excuse. I did however feel it was necessary for me to at least submit my paper so that she was aware that I didn't just refuse to do the assignment all together, and that I actually got something out of the lecture. I emailed her and told her what happened, and understood if she gave me no credit, but wanted her to know I had been inspired by the experience and took it seriously. This was the response I received about 8 hours later:
"Glad you attended the event. You are correct no late submissions are accepted but since your paper was good, I will give you a grade but it will be one lower grade." 90/100
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!! She has complimented my writing in the past, mentioning that I have a way with words and express my feelings well, incorporating emotional and personal experiences into my papers, but I never thought this would benefit me any further than receiving an A on a paper. I am sooooooo thankful and could not hold back my excitement and gratitude from her. I thanked her profusely, and preceded to call Foster, "I told you so," he replied. He was right. I had actually thought for a moment to accept defeat, accept my fate, and not even submit the paper. Thank God I listened to him, even if it was not for the reason he suggested. And God Bless my ASL teacher!