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When Should a Student Bail?

She came to see me during my office hours. She is so different from me. She has blue striped hair. She wears fake eyelashes that are about an inch long. She wears shoes with 6 inch heals. She is an artist. She has tattoos and piercings. She is so different from me.

I have enjoyed getting to know her for the last 7 weeks. She is worried today. She tells me that she made some bad decisions a couple of weeks ago and now she is behind in all of her classes. She doesn’t know if she can make it. She really hates math, says she isn’t good at it. I point out that she passed the first test with a 70. She says that must be a mistake, I’m no good at math.

Can I pass this class she asks. We look at the points left to earn. Yes, you can pass the class, but it will take a lot of work. I can help you. I have 4 other classes, I am behind in all of them. My art class takes 3 hours every night, I am behind. I can’t fail it. I don’t have time.

I ask, if you dropped a class could you get caught up and pass the rest of them? I think I could, she says. I tell her it is probably best to drop one then. That is why she came to see me.

I say, you hate math the most, you should probably drop this class. I don’t want you to hate me she says back. I won’t, I assure her. I think this is the best choice. I want you to have a successful semester. If you drop this class and pass the rest, you will be successful.

I wasn’t ready to do this. I messed up. No, you didn’t mess up. This is a learning experience.

Will you get in some kind of trouble if I drop your class? I like your class, I just don’t like math, I’m not good at it. I won’t get in trouble if you drop. I want you to do what is best for you, I think you should drop so you can pass your other classes. Can you show me how to drop?

She is so different from me. I will miss her.

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