This past year was my first time back to school after my cancer diagnosis. Thanks to suggestions from many of you, I contacted the services for students with disabilities office (sswd) and got accommodations that made my transition back to school much easier. All my professors have been wonderfully understanding and helped me to do the best I could. All but one. My organic chem professor.
I was taking his class two years ago when I was admitted in the hospital for two months and diagnosed with cancer. During my hospitalization I missed exams for several of my classes. After telling my professors the story, they allowed me to make up the work at a later date. This guy, though, replies to messages telling me "as the syllabus states, there are no make-ups". At that time, I was too sick to fight over it so I dropped the class and started chemotherapy.
Now, I decided to retake the class this summer. I gave him my letter from the SSWD Everything was going fine, until I started getting sick again with a whole mess of problems (including severely burning my hand two days before the final). Again, I messaged him explaining my situation (yes, I was stupid enough to think he'd be more understanding now). His reply (again) "As the syllabus states, there are no make-ups". According to his syllabus, if you miss the final you get a zero unless you have a "Valid and verifiable reason such as serious illness and hospitalization". I messaged him again asking him what counted as a serious illness because apparently cancer doesn't count.
This was his reply (copy pasted from my email):
"Thank you for your e-mail. Seemingly you have the strength, effort and time to write several paragraphs. Students frequently encounter a wide range of situations or problems, including flat tires to lost books to headaches and other medical conditions and I understand their situation. Faculty are always sympathetic but it is impossible to evaluate which situation is more serious than another. I have had a student claiming to have a traumatic event by having a flat tire 3 days before and exam and sought a posteponement. It is impossible to evaluate every situation with respect to which situation being worse, flat tire versus lost books, and therefore deserves special consideration. Students who encounter serious illness requiring hospitilization can seek a medical withdrawal from classes."
1. Did he seriously just compare cancer to a flat tire?? 2. Writing an email does not require the same amount of strength and energy as taking an organic chemistry exam does. 2. No way I am dropping this class, I refuse to take it a THIRD time. 3. Why did he accept my letter from the SSWD, which clearly states that I may require alternate exam dates due to the nature of my disability, saying "I've dealt with students coming from the SSWD and know how to handle this situation", if he thinks " it is impossible to evaluate which situation is more serious than another". And last time I checked, cancer trumps flat tire. Always.
I have no other choice but to take the final tomorrow, but I am not done with this clown just yet. There is no way I am letting him get away with this. I don't want future students to go through what I did. Any advice on how to take this battle on? I'm going to speak with the SSWD office and my advisor as well to see if they can help me. He needs to change his ways, because students who require special assitance should get and should never be compared to someone getting a flat tire! :mad: