A Hollow Victory

Today I did something I’ve always wanted to do since becoming an academic coordinator at my department.

I told a student that he/she could no longer continue as a student at the Department because of unacceptable behaviour. I’ve been imagining this moment for a long time, and I thought I would feel satisfied after I did it.

That feeling didn’t come.

Instead, there was a sick feeling in my stomach. How would you feel after you killed someone’s dream of becoming a university graduate? How would you feel after you say, ‘you’re fired’? (How does Donald Trump do it?)

Was it justified?

The kid has never showed goodwill for attending school, just barely passing his/her courses, chronically late for class, added and dropped courses with several hundred excuses, practically forced his/her supervisors to supervise his project and then did not put in enough effort to work on the project. Oh yeah, definitely justified.

Then why don’t I feel good? Where’s that feeling of satisfaction that should be running through me right now?

I know I’ve done the right thing. I just know it. What he/she did was inexcusable. It’s not fair to all the other students who have worked their butts off for 1,2 semesters doing their final projects.

So why don’t I feel I did something good?

Note: Gender is ambiguous to protect parties involved.

Author: sitaresmi

Indonesian woman, teacher, lives in Depok

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