Baby Steps

On the first night of class our teacher encouraged us to talk to her if we ever needed different arrangements for a due date. She said she understood we had lives outside of school and would work with us and be flexible. I thought of this yesterday when I was looking over the upcoming assignments and realized our first paper, due the 22nd, wasn’t due a few weeks from now but rather at the end of this week. When I first looked at the syllabus I saw the 22nd and thought, “Oh that’s still a while away. I’ve got time.”

Later this week I’m scheduled to be staying with my grandma up at my parents’ house. They’re taking my sister on a college visit to Michigan. I would be gone from Thursday morning to Saturday afternoon, with the paper (4-5 pages) due on Saturday night. The math was not adding up in my head when I considered that the paper is on a book that I still need to finish reading so I can write the paper on it. I didn’t want to count on working on it or stressing about it during the 2 1/2 days I’m with my grandma. I also didn’t want to arrive home Saturday afternoon to be lost for hours rushing to write a paper due at midnight. Long story short, I asked last night about altering the due date.

“How much time do you need?”, she asked. All I’d gotten out was something like, “Um, you know how you mentioned asking about if we needed to work something out for a different due date? So, with the paper we have due on the 22nd–.” I didn’t even tell her my reason for asking. I started to then thought, “Wait, that’s not what she asked. Stick to the question.” I said if I could have until the end of the weekend that would be better.

She said to have it before class on Monday, almost a whole other day than what I had asked for. I walked away feeling extremely relieved, and grateful this teacher’s arrangement had been possible. I’ve decided now that I need to get my calendar back out, write stuff down on it, and look at it, the looking at it being the major next step. I’ve gotten better about writing stuff down, but I’m learning that writing stuff down on your calendar so you don’t forget things still doesn’t help unless you look at your calendar.

Even with the adjustments taking place with getting used to this new ball I am juggling, I’m loving my classes. Last night we had to pair up with a classmate and practice once being the counselor and once being the client. Emotionally Focused Therapy based on the currently popular Attachment Theory was the one we were supposed to practice. I was so moved by the life-story shared with me by my “client”, as he told me a little about the past two years of his life and what had led him there. I kept wanting to ask him even more questions, fueled not by the process of EFT, but solely by my own curiosity. I didn’t. I asked if there was anything he was looking forward to, even in his uncertainty.

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