Monday, November 4, 2013

Tics and Anxiety Interfering with A Participation Assignment

Today in my poetry class it was my turn to lead class discussion. Everyone in my class had to lead discussion one day and then we would receive a grade for our discussion that we lead. I was already nervous about this because I had overheard two people in the class saying that the professor had given them really bad grades on this assignment. So today I went into the discussion feeling very nervous. I was extra nervous knowing I have already had some issues with this professor and my Tourette's/accommodations.

Participation in class is definitively a weak point for me because of my anxiety and tics. I am good at everything else, just not class discussion/participation. I tried my best to hide my anxiety, but my ability to lead the discussion was highly affected by my anxiety. The first half was already shaky seeing that my anxiety was so high, but then about half way through my body reacted to the anxiety with one of my least favorite tics. I've had this tic since I was in 6th grade and it cases all the muscles in my chest and throat and around my lungs to contract so forcefully that it makes it very difficult to breathe. So in the middle of when it was supposed to be my turn to lead discussion, my chest locked up and I ended up gasping for air and having to leave the classroom. The tic calmed down once I left the classroom and started walking around and letting myself relax, but by the time I could breathe normally again and came back to the classroom, class discussions time was over and we had moved on to the writing activity part of class.

After class I sent the professor an e-mail explaining why I had to leave class (even though I already have permission to leave class at any time) so that hopefully he will understand and not take points off for my grade.

I really hope he doesn't take points off from this grade because of my anxiety and tics and the fact I had to leave the classroom during my turn in leading discussion.....but I have to say if he does take off points or give me a really bad grade, I will be taking up this issue with disability services at my school who always supports me and backs me up with anything I need really. I don't want to have to make this into an ordeal though, but because the professor is just so young and new (this is his first semester teaching), I am not too hopeful that he will know what to do with the situation/ how to grade me fairly by not taking off points for something I can't control. So we'll see about this one. All I know for now is that he has not responded to my e-mail, which is not a great sign. We'll see though. Maybe he will respond to my e-mail tomorrow.

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