At the University where Pappa Starbucks and I are winding down our last semester, there have been some members of the faculty department who genuinely treat us well. And there have been others who treat us, honestly, like crap. I don’t know if it’s insecurity, or they just really don’t like young parents, or they think that we’re loaded and we have it made (We’re not! we don’t, we’re on full need-based scholarships, and I’m the first person in my family to make it through college).
Case in point, we’ve been trying to acquire transfer credit for my physical education course which is required to graduate. I might as well be blunt here and say that I have not recovered from childbirth and, well, things tend to hurt a good bit. We thought the way to go would be to arrange for credit from my first college, where I took the course my first year, to transfer to this college. However, the director of the phys ed program has refused, every time we’ve turned in the forms. Even with all of the proper paperwork and justifications for the course equivalencies, she’s denied it. Mostly, this appears to be for one reason- she’s pregnant with her third child right now, and she’s about 3 weeks from delivery. And she said (to Pappa Starbucks) that she thought I should just go ahead and take the course so I could get my pre-pregnancy body back, as well as the fact that "It didn't take me that long to heal. I think your wife is fine."
Well, as much as I would like my pre-pregnancy body to come back, I would also like to NOT be walking around in constant pain. So I applied for a PE waiver from student health services, where I was required to meet with a particular physician, who didn’t plan on ever giving me the waiver, because:
HER:‘ I've been told you were coming in to see me for a PE waiver. I don't think you have a medical issue but just a time issue. I don't give out PE waivers to students without a real reason, and I can put you in an adaptive PE course.”
Mind you, she never asked a single question about my condition or did an exam. She noted that I was holding the baby and so I could “lift some light weights.”
I thought this would be a good thing, at first. Adaptive PE sounds like it could work. I can get a little exercise but not strain myself. I sent an email to the adaptive PE instructor asking her when the course met and what I needed to do, as well as asking if I could bring my daughter in a sling while I took the course so that when she needed to nurse, I could nurse (because it was supposed to be walking mostly, and since I wear her in a sling when I walk already, why not then?).
Now, I understand that this was me being an optimist. And I didn’t insist on bringing her, I merely asked whether it might be an option, because, well Cuppycake just will not take a bottle. So far we’ve done pretty well balancing my feeding her before going to class, and if she needs to nurse and I am in class my professors have been understanding and on several occasions have allowed me to go meet Pappa Starbucks and take care of her.
But she is anything but an early bird, and this class was at 8am, so I knew trying to get her to nurse before I went would not work. I know some of you are thinking I am lucky here, because for most kids, 8am is late, right? Well, she has never gone to bed at night before 10:30. Most nights, it’s closer to 12:00. And yes, I have tried a million different things but they haven’t worked.
Anyway, this professor evidently hates email, because she sent a reply saying I needed to CALL HER IMMEDIATELY. And I did, but wow. She told me that babies were not allowed in the class, and that if I thought I was going to come into her class and cause trouble I was wrong.
I signed up for the class anyway, and showed up that Monday for it. Pappa Starbucks and Cuppycake were in tow, and he had agreed to wait at the entrance to the building while I took the class, that way if she needed to nurse, I could leave and take care of that.
The professor told me that I needed to ask Pappa Starbucks to leave, because this was my class time and he had his class time and they needed to be separate.
I replied that:
Me: he wasn’t going to bother anyone. He was waiting by the building exit on a different floor than the actual gym.
Her: Excuse me? If you are going to have this kind of attitude, you can just forget about being in my class. I am not a Teaching assistant or a part time employee, I have been teaching this class for 20 years and it is MY BABY.
Me: He is-
Her: OK. PROBLEM. I don’t even think you need to be in this class, it’s for students with REAL health problems and I have already been told by the director that you are trying to cause trouble and that I don’t have to let you in if I don’t want to. Now you need to tell them to leave because there are no babies allowed in this building and breastfeeding is not allowed in here either. I had kids, too, you know. And I breastfed for 3 months. How old is she?
Me: five months old
Her: She needs to be on solids. She doesn’t even need to nurse if she’s that old. Now you can’t be in my class like this. I will fail you and you will not graduate in May. You need to tell him to leave.
Me: If she-
Her: She will be fine for an hour and a half. It’s not that long. She can cry for an hour and a half and be fine.
Me: That’s not your decision to make??!
Her: If you leave my class to nurse I will fail you. I have too many students to be making sure they're all safe and dealing with you, and you don't need this class.
I dropped it. And I got a medical waiver from a physician, so I won't be penalized. what's more is I also dropped a 5 hour course and another 3 hour course I was in. So now I'm only taking 2 classes, YAY!