I was in some sort of hazy shock yesterday. As I stumbled downstairs in the morning I noticed a letter addressed to me with a tell-tale university stamp on it.
‘God, it can’t be my exam results already, can it?’ I thought, as a sickly feeling of dread overwhelmed me.
Ripping the envelope open I realised that it was not my results, it was simply a confirmation, albeit 3 months late, that the extension for my dissertation had been accepted.
“I regret to inform you that the decision of the Board was that your claim was invalid.”
I sat down slowly. What the hell was going on? 'My claim is invalid? The claim that I have been battling an illness is invalid? It’s not a claim. It’s a fact! It’s true. How dare they?! How can they turn me down? It’s 3 months too late!'
I burst into tears of panic and sat back in the armchair, trying to figure out what this meant.
If the board of advisors had refused me the extension then I’ve failed university. Failed! Four years wasted! Four years of studying, of exams, of classes, of projects, of debts and loans for nothing.
I could not believe it. I stuttered. My mouth opened and closed like a fish. I stood up in rage. I sat back down in helplessness. I stood up again and gave a roar.
What I couldn’t understand was why I was refused an extension when my ‘claim’ was that I was in poor health, which was backed up by several doctors, teachers and referees. It wasn’t a bloody claim it was a fact. A Bloody FACT.
And then I remembered a few friends who had been granted their extensions. ‘Family problems’, they had stated.
I was outraged. Absolutely outraged!
“This is outrageous!” I roared to the room in general.
I had to take action. I was not going to simply stand by and allow myself to be discriminated like that. Hell, they were being…being…sickist!! I was a minority and they were discriminating against me. Disgraceful!
“Well I shan’t stand for this,” I screamed at the lampshade. “I shall turn the tables. I’m suing. I’ll set the newspapers on them.” I turned to the window and watched an old man saunter past the garden. “I’ll see you in court!” I howled.
The old man seemed rather shocked and speeded up his pace, dragging his walking stick behind him as he tried to get away from this nut in the window, screaming at him.
I sat down again, with a pen and paper. By midday I had planned everything out. Expenses for lawyers, what I’d say to the papers, how the entire nation would be up in arms about this hideous decision, about how poor, helpless me was discriminated against. I’d made up several scenarios where the whole country turned against my university, so they would be forced to pay me lots of money and to give me my degree after all, or where the story went global and I was known as a heroine, a superwoman, a champion. Global warming? Pah! This was more important.
The world would be livid!
At 3pm I decided I should phone my faculty manager to find out her reasons for turning me down. Picking up the phone, my rage had renewed itself, and I prepared myself to let rip.
“Oh,” she exclaimed, “no [Princesse], you were granted your extension. There must be some mistake in the letter.”
“Not to worry!” her disembodied voice said cheerfully, “no harm done! Bye-bye now.” And she hung up.
I stood there in shock, cradling the receiver in my hands. Some mistake in the letter? I have my extension after all?
Part of me was relieved. But the other part was more than a little disappointed.
The cheek! The bloody cheek! I had spent a whole day raging and ranting, shouting at four walls, scaring old men, suffering from the poor-me's and preparing speeches for press conferences.
So I’m back to being a normal student again. Well, at least I can take comfort in being able to send off a strongly worded letter of complaint about the mix up.