Pleasing Professor Petersen

Candace Mumford

Part 1 Excerpt
Part 1
Tianna sat at her desk dumbfounded. What the hell is going on here? Tianna thought to herself. I've had enough of this bullshit. Tianna sat at her desk fuming. This is the third damn paper I've turned in this semester Professor Petersen has given me a failing grade on? Well, what I consider to be failing. This muthafucka has lost his damn mind if he thinks he's going to screw with my grades. My scholarship? When I know for a fact I'm turning in quality papers.
I've had enough of this bullshit! I'm getting to the bottom of all this as soon as class is over
I want answers. I work my ass off in every class and I've earned every grade it takes to be in this 300 level English class, Tianna thought as fleeting doubts clouded her mind about if it was in fact, a bad idea to have ever signed up for English 382 Romantic Literature taught by Professor Petersen. Tianna recalled meeting Professor Petersen once at a mixer and after talking with him one on one for awhile that night, Tianna knew she had to enroll in one of his classes. They were hard to get into though but when she finally was able to enroll she did. Which I now see was a huge mistake, Tianna thought crossing her arms in disgust and making a futile attempt to concentrate on the remainder of today's class.
Tianna watched the students file out of the lecture hall and then rose from her seat to speak with  Professor Petersen.
Tianna grabbed her books, threw her hobo bag over her shoulder and made her way to the front of the lecture hall.
"Excuse me, Professor Petersen, do you have a few minutes? I'd really like to speak to you about the latest grades I've received."
" What exactly would you like to discuss Ms. Williams? "
" Professor Petersen, the last few papers I've turned in I've worked very hard on. I did extensive research on each paper and put in a considerable amount of time with each and every assignment. Two C  papers and one D? I have to be honest and say I really don't think I deserved those grades."
" Well Ms. Williams, I take great pains to carefully read each paper my students submit. I'm sure with a little more research on your part you can get the grades you think you deserve."
"Well, that's just it Professor Petersen. All you do is mark through my papers in red. Which is why I'm standing here now to see what's going on with my grades. I can tell you without a doubt, two of the students in this very class with me are my study partners. So how can all three of us be turning in papers to the same professor... yet I'm getting failing grades and they're passing with flying colors? I'm stating beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know my papers are just as good if not better than theirs because they come to me for help. Yet they are receiving A and B marks and I'm getting C and D?  What are you wanting that I'm not providing within the content of my papers?" Tianna said not even trying to conceal her anger at that point.
" Well now Ms. Williams, let's not jump the gun. You didn't receive F's on your papers."
"Professor Petersen with all due respect, you may as well have given me F's as grades because they're affecting my GPA in the same manner. Lowering it. I need to know what I can do to get this grade up. Point blank. This could jeopardize my entire scholarship not to mention the way I'd like my transcripts to read when I'm applying to grad schools. Especially if I continue to get the type of grades I'm getting now." Tianna said hoping he could understand where she was coming from. A lot of the students attending this university had parents to fall back on to help pay for classes. That wasn't the case for her. Tianna worked damn hard to earn the scholarship that enabled her to attend the University of California Los Angeles, one of the top ten universities in the country. In fact delaying entrance in order to earn more money prior to leaving New Jersey and heading to California. The last thing she needed was some asshole professor targeting her with unfair grades.
" Well, Ms. Williams why don't you let me give this entire situation some thought. I haven't tallied grades yet but if you're worried about your scholarship, I'm more than happy to see where you're at right now in regards to my class. Please stop by my office on Wednesday so we can discuss what you can do to raise your grades. If in fact you actually need to."
" Thanks, Professor Petersen. I really appreciate this more than you realize." Tianna said barely able to contain her disgust at the whole situation. What the fuck is wrong with his reading comprehension that he can't see those papers are great?
Tianna pulled her cell phone out of her purse after she left the lecture hall. Tianna saw she'd missed a call from her boyfriend of the last three months Derek Taylor, a forward on the UCLA basketball team. Tianna pressed his name to call him back.
" Hey Derek."
"What's going on ? I thought we were meeting for lunch."
" I know Derek, I'm sorry. I had to meet with that asshole Professor Petersen. Derek, he gave me  D on my
last paper."
" Damn."
" Yes. So I went to ask his ponytail wearing ass about it! I don't know what to do about it either. I'm supposed to meet with him on Wednesday in his office to see what I can do to improve my grade. I mean, don't get me wrong. I appreciate him offering but honestly, I don't feel like I should have to do anything extra. I put a lot of effort into my work you already know that Derek." Tianna said sighing.
" I feel you. Anyways, are we getting together later? I wanna see you and kiss on you a little bit for the day. Since that's all you're letting me get right now."
" Derek, please. That is the absolute last thing on my mind right now. Don't you understand this isn't a small issue for me? This grade could affect my scholarship. You know what, I'll just talk to you later okay." Tianna said disconnecting the call.
Why am I even being bothered with this shallow son of a bitch? I already know the answer, I was bored. Derek is a dumb muthafucka. Fine but dumb none the less. Tianna thought to herself walking towards the open quad area. It was a beautiful California day. Damn. Tianna thought looking towards the sky. This beats "Dirty Jersey" all day every day!

Tianna found an empty bench and sat down to mull over her talk with Professor Petersen. I have to do anything I can to bring this grade up before the end of the semester, Tianna thought to herself placing her headphones on and pulling out her textbook to go over some of her required class reading. There were only a few weeks left before the semester ended and summer break started. I need all my grades to be on point. This is not a game. Professor Petersen has got me fucked up!

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