Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Graduation (08/30/04)
TITLE: Graduation Nightmare
By Teresa Lee Rainey
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Shock is my initial reaction as a million thoughts run through my mind. What does this woman mean by telling me I “cannot” enroll? I filled out their mountains of paperwork. I took all of their “so you think you’re a smarty-britches - ha, ha, ha - we’ll put you in your place” tests. I sent off all the requests for birth records, immunization records, and school records. I even took the time to apply for financial aid, grants, scholarships, and whatever else they said I needed to make this dream of continuing my education come true. Doesn’t she realize I’m too old to be tormented by her teasing! After all of my efforts, WHO does this woman think she is?! I open my mouth to let her have it and all that comes out is “Why?”.
“There is a problem with your high school record, Mrs. Rain. It appears you did not have sufficient credits for graduation.”
“Surely there is some mistake.” I plead, “Could you please look again?”.
“No Mrs. Rain, I am sure about this. I have the proper documentation right here.”
“But. . . wait . . . Don’t close your window on me!. . . Ms. . . Come back!!!” Although I know it is useless, I continue to pound on the closed windows in front of me and scream and cry out to an empty room.
“Teri, wake up! You’re beating me to death!”
“What.” I sit up dazed and confused. “Don’t leave.”
“What in the world are you talking about, Teri? I‘m not going anywhere. Are you even awake?”
Finally, I realize I am sitting up in my own bed beside my bewildered and bruised husband. “That was the scariest dream I’ve had in a long time. I went down to the college to pay for my classes and the woman at the front desk told me I hadn’t graduated high school. Oh, I was SO angry! I did graduate, didn’t I?”
“You mean you don’t remember?”
“Hang on. Let me think a minute. That dream seemed so real, but I do remember something. I worked so hard to be sure I took all the classes I needed to graduate. I remember singing “Lean On Me” at our ceremony. Yeah, I have the certificate in our office to prove it! I did graduate!”
“So glad we got that strait. Now maybe we can get some sleep. But Teri. . .”
“Do you mind if I put a few pillows between us?”
As I sit down beside my husband to enjoy a cup of coffee and the morning news, my mind is racing. “Honey, I can’t get my mind off that dream I had last night.”
“Yeah, me either. I’m still sore.”
“Oh, did the big, muscular baby-man meet his match?” I tease as I pretend to punch him once more.
“You bet I did when I met you!” He grabs my hand and holds it. “Now tell me what’s going on in that mind of yours.”
“Well, I worked really hard in high school to be sure I had all the credits I needed to graduate. I followed my counselor’s directions and even made sure those were the right classes for college. Now, I have worked hard to get all my paperwork submitted and start living my college dream. It would be devastating to have someone tell me I couldn’t get in after all that work. Could you imagine what it would be like if you finally made it to Heaven’s gate and someone told you that your records showed there weren’t enough credits to graduate? What if they just shut the gate in your face and walked away while you stood screaming for them to come back and explain?”
“There’s a bible verse that covers this, you know.” He lets go of my hand long enough to grab our family bible and turn to the verse in question. “Here it is. Ephesians 2:8-9 says ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, least any man should boast‘.”
“So, the dream was just a nightmare I need to forget? I’ve got nothing to worry about?” I look up to him playfully.
“No Rocky, I think you’re covered.”