Erica Boyd: Not bendingBy ERICA BOYD COLUMNIST,
My freshman year at Delta State University, I took Dr. Elizabeth Sarcone for English. I hated that class.
For three reasons- One, the obvious, it was not an easy class and she graded extremely hard.
She would catch every single tingle wingle mistake. Lol....reason number two, she was obnoxiously sarcastic.
THE QUEEN OF SHADE!!! I mean, she could embarrass you and you would not realize it until two days later.
You would be sitting in your dorm room and it’d hit you. “Did Dr. Sarcone suggest without suggesting that I need to return to high school 9th grade English?”
Lol...and the last reason, in high school I was always an “A” student in English, but Dr. Sarcone had a way of reminding me that I was barely a “C- student.”
Talk about college hurt... I cried after every class that she gave us graded papers...I mean ugly cries too. See, leaving high school, I wanted to be an English professor....so yeah, she crushed those dreams. QUICK!!!! “Yeah, maybe I do not want to be an English professor after all.”
...but you know what? As much as I hated the class, I loved her. I could not quite figure that one out. She was like the boyfriend who hurt my feelings by constantly cheating on me but I kept taking him back. I took her twice for English- 101 & 102, both times I got a C, BARELY.
It wasn’t until I went to see my advisor for the preregistration of my sophomore year that I realized how much I loved this toxic relationship Dr. Sarcone and I had.
You would think I would be happy to get away from Dr. Sarcone right? INSTEAD, I asked my advisor to place me back in her English 102 class for a second dose. I was determined to get more than a C out of that l class! I was determined to conqueror this beast. Nooo, not her ...but the class...
The first day of my sophomore year of me retaking her class, she called the roll, called my name, looked at me and said, “You’re back huh?” and moved to the next name. Everyone looked at me with a smirk. Talk about getting off to a bad start already...YEAH...but I was determined to stay the course. It was something that this lady possessed that I needed. At the time, I did not know what it was.
Stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this...
As the semester progressed, same results “C-C- C.” I cried to my advisor, but she reminded me that I chose that fight and I would have to stick with it.
I finally built up the nerve to go see Dr. Sarcone in her office one day. She was leaving which forced us to walk and talk. I voiced my concern...with tears in my eyes... and asked her, “What do I need to do to get more than a C- on your papers?” Her response, “Do more than C- papers I would think ”...and sarcastically laughed...and gave me the location to the Writing Center in the Keithly Hall on campus.
I went to the writing center a couple of times...still C- papers, LEGITIMATELY. She always provided explanations with every mistake along with the rubric sooooo she was not just “giving” me a C-. I was earning it....and that’s the part that hurt.
Fast forward to the end of the semester, I received a C again.
I know you probably were expecting I worked hard and eventually got an A ending right? Nah...
I tried though...at least that’s what I had “fooled” myself into believing.
Later in life, I realized what I loved about Dr. Sarcone. She was teaching me lessons that had nothing to do with English...and I have carried those lessons with me throughout life. She taught me that, for one, past success will not transcend future endeavors without effort, and most importantly, she taught me that you should have standards...and those standards should never change because of someone’s inability to meet those standards or in my case, because of someone not putting forth the effort to meet those standards. See, what I failed to mention about getting a “C-“ on every paper is the fact that I was waiting until the night before the paper was due to start...the fact that I was not using the suggestions from previous papers...the fact that I was riding on my high school “A’s” and felt that I did not have to work as hard. See I thought just by retaking her class would show her that I was determined enough.
Negative!! #CatchThat (There are some people in your life who believe that just because they are “around” that’s enough. News Flash!!!! It takes more than your mere presence alone.)
Do not apologize for having standards.
It’s okay to have standards!
Those who are going to meet those standards, WILL. Those who are not, WILL NOT. To You (who this may be for) you often wonder why no one seems to stick around.... or why you do not buy into the fake effort or....why you can walk away from things and people easily, you’re a Dr. Sarcone.
You know your worth. You inspect what you expect. You are who you expect and you have a level of expectation that does not bend.