As in previous posts mentioned I am currently attending a Community College in Massachusetts. I have a little over a month left until I graduate and then I am off to a four-year institution. In my second semester due to my exceptional grades I was invited to become a member in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which is an international honor society for Community College students whose academic achievements are outstanding. The society encourages and supports students in the completion of their degrees and assists in transfers. Every year they organize national conventions for people to meet, greet and take care of business.
Cut to a couple of months ago when the chapter coordinator for my school announced that my College had approved funding for a fully funded trip to this year’s PTK convention in Orlando, FL, for one lucky student and the chapter coordinator. While it was obvious the coordinator would go, the PTK chapter of my school decided to organize an essay contest to determine the lucky student candidate. The essay was supposed to outline how my academic achievements will help me in my future. I handed in an essay and felt pretty confident about it. I did in fact win the trip – so to say. My glorious victory was announced one and a half weeks ago, and next week I was supposed to pack my sun screen and my flipflops and head down south .
As you might anticipate given the title of this little story, my coordinator sadly told me today that the administration had decided to pull the funding due to some arbitrary insurance rule. Duh-dum. What do I say to that? What the hell? I am obviously disappointed, mad and frustrated. This contest and its prize were sanctioned last fall by the administration. My coordinator did not come up with this in her head and decided to screw her students over. This was legitimate. And I won fair and square.
I received the news a few hours ago, so my fury has settled just a bit. And it is not so much about the cancelled trip. For me this is more about the fact that my own school administration has decided to diminish my effort and the work I put in. Granted my essay is not the Iliad or Odyssey. But I did make an effort and used my spare time to pursue my education. I don’t write essays in between classes. I take time and thought to create a product that I and my audience can (hopefully) be satisfied with. Community Colleges and the Phi Theta Kappa stand for academic achievements and pursuing one’s personal dreams and goals. They stand for touching the students and inspiring them to seek more, reach for more.
Taking this away from me now is like flipping me off, laughing in my face and telling me to shove my dreams up my butt because no one does really care what I do or don’t do. And that is just despicable. Obviously I am not going to allow this to become part of me but the message, my College is sending, is flat out wrong.
PS: To make this disappointed up to me and my professor, the provost of my College suggested he could take us out to lunch instead. Lunch or Orlando? Hm, hm, hm.