The day I have been dreading is fast approaching. I’ve been studying, outlining, practice testing, and talking it out with my study group. I’ve been telling myself everyday that I am going to pass if I put the right amount of time in. I’ve kinda been remembering to take some days off.
And now that the day is almost upon me, I am doubting my ability to succeed.
Two weeks ago I took a practice test. I answered a question about promoting diversity on campus. I outlined a plan that looked at diversity as more than just the color of your skin, and made a plan that would help students of any color, gender, age, socioeconomic status and the like succeed. I left the practice exam feeling good about myself.
I got the comments back from the grader, and all that changed. She all but called me a racist, and all but said that because I am white, I am in power and therefore do not notice that people of color suffer in higher education. She didn’t tell me I would pass the test if I had turned it in as a real response.
It was then that I was painfully reminded of the glaring (yet unmentioned) problem with the program I am in. They do not value diversity. I am one of the few white people in the program, and I might as well sit in the back silently with a sign around my neck that says “white devil”. The idea of diversity and equitable education in this program means that white people are bad and do not need to be included in the help that is provided for students struggling in college.
In this program, I am a racist. I don’t understand struggle because I am white and never had to work hard for anything.
This completely discounts the fact that I grew up in a single parent household with a mom that worked her fucking ass off so I had a roof over my head. Sure, I didn’t struggle, but it is only because she slaved away so we wouldn’t have to.
This does not take into account that I worked hard to get good grades so that I could qualify for scholarships because there was no way that my mom could afford to pay for three kids to go to college.
This does not take into account the countless scholarships I have been turned down for because I am white.
This also doesn’t take into account the three jobs that I consistently have so I can pay my tuition.
I feel like all of that makes me sound whiny. I hate sounding whiny.
What’s worse, is it makes me think that no matter what I do or what kind of educational leader I want to be, for the next two years I will constantly told I am wrong.
This program is killing my spirit.
All of this self doubt makes me regret the choice I made to come home. To get through this program I have to just give the professors they want to hear, and keep my thoughts and opinions to myself. The only thing I am learning from this program is that it is shaping leaders who do not truly value diversity, and will only ever help a certain population of students. The only thing I am learning from this program is that I do not want to be a part of it.
If I did not have so much money invested already, and didn’t need the fancy letter after my name to get a good teaching job overseas, I would have already quit.
The self doubt is starting to affect my studying for the test. I am excited that the test is almost over and that one of my favorite people is about to land on my doorstep for a few days of pure California tourist fun.
Studying sucks, but it sucks a little less the closer I get to the test.
Qualifying exam is in three days…that means three days until FREEEEEEEDDDDDDDOOOMMMMM!