Let’s Reflect, Shall We?
2016 rolled in like thunder with me dancing 'til dawn at a massive rave and making out with strangers snug on my couch binge watching One Tree Hill ‘til three am and downing twelve Rice Krispy treats. Yeah, I said twelve. Wanna make something of it? No one can ever say I don’t know how to party. I think one of the real high points of the year was my begrudgingly declined invitation to join the honor society for my ONLINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE. First of all, let us all reflect quietly on the fact that this actually exists. It’s like the grown-up(ish) version of giving trophies for participation! Since, unfortunately, I was unable to attend the banquet and unable to stomach the idea of actually joining, I thought here would be a most appropriate place to post my letter of decline.
Dear Unnamed Online Community College,
I received the invitation to join your illustrious honor society. I must say, it was a real heart stopper. As in, I wanted to die. I frequently like to be reminded that I, like so many sad, repressed suburban mommy bloggers, am continuing to not live up to my potential. I researched your society and found that among the current and former members are listed several of my own personal heroes; that character from South Park who lives in his mom’s basement, the bus driver from Billy Madison, anyone who wears a trench coat in Phoenix in summer, Lennie Small, creeps everywhere, just to name a few. My first reaction was of course to immediately accept. Happily, I took a few moments to reflect on a couple of experiences with your school that left me to hesitate.
Being so proud of my enrollment it may come as a surprise to you that actually the reason I enrolled at Unnamed Online Community College was because it would be very difficult for me to actually go to a class. As a working, single mother of three preschool-aged children the child care cost of going to school would be significantly more than tuition would ever be. While enrolled in a particularly poor class I found it necessary to attempt to see a tutor at your library. I drove the 45 minutes to the library, my three children in tow. Upon arriving I was informed that no children were allowed in the library. I had been on the library website several times to find out tutoring schedules etc and nowhere did it mention this. Now, I understand that you don’t want loud obnoxious kids running all over the place but I had brought the ipad and figured I could set them up in a corner near me and they wouldn’t bother anyone. Pinkie swear. The man working the check-in was kind enough, after several disgusted comments and looks of disdain, to let me know that he would let it go this time but the kids would not be allowed back again. Imagine my surprise when I found that the tutoring was done in single glass rooms (one person per room) with closing doors where, even if my kids were those pretentious terrors from Real Housewives of New York, no one would hear them.
After being humiliated by the desk clerk for not psychically knowing that kids were not allowed, aggravated that there was no trust that parents would know whether their children would be able to behave in a library for an hour, and generally frustrated by the course, I presented the two problems I came with to the tutor. His response? “I hoped you weren’t going to ask about that one.” That’s right, he didn’t even know how to do them. I suffered through all that humiliation for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And wasted an afternoon too! This is just one of those heartwarming experiences you should really feature in your marketing brochures!
Before attending and throughout my time taking courses through your prestigious institution I have been oft reminded by staff, emails and marketing materials of the tremendous amount I am saving by choosing this particular school. And in many instances it was quite true. I have taken several courses at your school were perfectly good. Heck, I got 100% on my calculus final and felt like I had learned a tremendous amount. But the more courses I took both at Unnamed Online Community College and at other colleges the more I realized that there were some costs that perhaps you were forgetting to feature in your cost breakdowns when comparing to other colleges. The first is books and course materials. You have come up with an ingenious partnership with a large textbook publisher to “save” me money. They publish special, institution-specific versions of common textbooks that are “less expensive” than the full version. Retailers such as Amazon, where I can find most of my textbooks for other college courses used and at great discount, don’t generally have any to offer. So, I get to buy all brand new books, including online codes that seem to only be actually used in about half the courses, and then keep them because it’s impossible to resell them. This has been fantastic for building my useless book collection. And, given that your bookstore will not buy them back or sell used versions I also get to feel that special warmth of giving back to giant multinational corporations in need. God bless you and the beautiful work you.
I’d like to thank you for the offer to join your society of great honor but I feel I have to decline at this time. Perhaps next year, fingers crossed that I am once again invited, I will be able to pay for a babysitter in order to attend the initiation banquet, especially since there will be free food (as mentioned multiple times in the eVite).
Pathetic Student On Her Couch
Pathetic Student On Her Couch
PS: Please don’t read this because I still need a couple pre-requisites before I can apply to a different program and heaven knows I am just hypocritical enough to continue to go through you for all courses that I deem unimportant to my future.