I pre-apologize for any foolishness that may come out of my mouth in the following post. This would probably not be categorized in the “encouragement bracket,” but it would definitely fall under the “sharing my life with you all bracket.” Anyway, here goes.

I have just gotten in from one of the hardest, most wearying days I’ve had in awhile. Honestly, I just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep, but I can’t. I’ve got too much to do.

The day started out normal enough. Went to class, then the caf. Once I saw the caf line out the door, I thought Heck no and went to Hampstead’s. I looked in the window but that line didn’t look any more promising. And, I didn’t have just an enormous amount of time to eat, because at 2:30 I had an interview with a guy at The Vicksburg Post for an assignment, and I had a picture to print off for another assignment. The plan was to go to Wal-Mart, get the picture done (and some shopping), then go on to the interview.

Anyway, upon seeing all these lines I thought I’d stall a little and see if the line went down. I’d check my mail. I had one letter, in a plain white MC envelope. It was my degree audit. Attached was a sticky note: “Please contact our office about how the 19 hour JOU minor will be completed. Thank you, D. Mummert.”

What??? I thought. Surely they’ve got it wrong. At one point before signing up for class (maybe it was this fall), I had thought I maybe needed one more hour, but my advisors looked, and said I had everything; I should be good to go. And I believed them; I figured they knew more than I did. I know I must have sat there gaping at the audit for at least 10 minutes. I went to the Business Office to see if there was some mistake. Apparently the Mummert lady works there, and they said she was out to lunch and would be back soon. I went to the English Dept. Office to see if my advisor was in. The secretary’s a friend of mine, and I also saw my old friend Becky in there. She checked and said no. I told them what was going on and they tried to help. Mrs. Janet looked at it and said I had all my required classes, so there shouldn’t be a problem. We talked about the possibility of changing my minor, something I really don’t want to do. Finally she told me, “Go talk to Mrs. Mummert. She’s real nice and is in charge of graduating seniors. Don’t panic until you talk to her.” I put on a brave face, smiled, and said “ok.” Of course, once I got to the top of the stairwell, I had to choke back tears. I took a few breaths, composed myself, and went to Mrs. Mummert.

She pulled my file, and did the math in front of me, and despite my weak hopes, she was not wrong: I was lacking by 1 hour. I don’t know that I’ve ever had such a moment of reality hitting home regarding how it really feels to “fall short” of something important; here was Romans 3:23 being played out before my eyes. She suggested I talk to the Communication Dept. I agreed, blinking back tears as she spoke.

I had to compose myself yet again outside Aven. Once I swallowed the lump in my throat, I went in and talked with Dr. Fortenberry. His immediate reaction was to suggest I “just” add another Collegian lab. That would be 3, meaning that for every paper (which comes out every other week, I think), I would have to write 3 500-word articles. Currently I’m doing 2/paper. This was definitely not an appealing option to me, and I knew it wouldn’t be to Dr. Nicholas. He draws the line at 3 labs at once. I told Dr. Fortenberry this, and he said, “Well he may have to make an exception if you want to graduate.” We proceeded to try to find Dr. Nicholas, but he’d already left. So this won’t be resolved until at least Monday. Dr. Fortenberry said, “It’ll be alright.”

I left in a complete daze. And by that time, I was running close on time. I went to Wal-Mart, and dropped off my picture. Then I went to Vicksburg (and of course got off on the wrong side of the frontage road and had to get directions), blaring Switchfoot all the way. I would have preferred something angrier, but it was the best I could do with what I had. And it suits pretty well for life-is-crappy-right-now-and-I’m-not-happy-with-it music. It was odd, I felt like I was on “public persona autopilot” as I did my interview. When I walked in the door, I was fairly normal. As I walked out to my car, I went into daze mode again. And it was in daze mode that I got my stuff from Wal-Mart, spent all my Dairy Queen birthday cake money (yeah, I didn’t get a birthday cake for my birthday, and I wanted to get an ice cream cake later this semester) on gas, and spent all but $1 of my actual money on lunch/dinner. I would say my emotions today have run from an upset daze to an angry daze to a hollow daze.

Right now I’m in hollow daze. I kinda feel like I’m “just here.” All day I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces from that transcript…it just completely blindsided me. And I don’t know what to do. I could try to do 3 Collegian labs, but could I? I already feel like I’m doing so much. I don’t know if I could handle doing much more. But then there’s the alternative, not graduating due to 1 hour lacking, and in my mind, that’s just not an option. Right now I’d feel like just throwing in the towel on it all, but in my mind I can’t not graduate in May. I trust that God will work somehow, but it doesn’t make dealing with it any easier.

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I haven’t told my mom yet; I’m not ready to hear her upset reaction.

I’m gonna eat. And work. And try to forget that I have fallen short and will not know until Monday if it can be resolved.