Today I was in the car with my mother, drinking coffee, when she turned to me and asked:
“What did you get in your summer classes in Italy?”
Now I’m sure this is a normal question for most parents to ask their children. But since my second year at college my mother made it a point to stop asking. She also forbade my father from doing so.
I responded honestly.
“I got an A in one course and Incomplete in the other which I’m now taking care of.”
She was very happy and was planning on telling my father as soon as she got home. But she then took a small inhale and was silent. That usually means she has more to say.
“What is it?”
“Have you gotten a lot of D’s, Jane? I’m worried, I have to ask.”
I turned to face her and realized I had to tell the truth.
“I’ll be honest with you, Mom. I haven’t gotten any D’s…but I have been racking up the Incompletes.”
She seemed relieved. And I began to feel guilty immediately. I’d allowed her to worry without reassuring her, knowing full well everything she else she has to deal with.
“How long do you have to complete them?”
I tried to sound confident when the truth is I have no idea.
“Well, you know, they can change a grade at any point while you’re at school”.
I try not to focus too much on this point but the fact is that I don’t know my deadlines. And I’m too scared to ask. Maybe its just a matter of when a professor loses patience with me? I don’t know. I’m planning on finishing at least one course during winter break and the rest during summer. But as always, we’ll see.