Last Word



Not this. 

Now that I have your attention…

So I still don’t have a grade for that week 4 paper that got me accused of plagiarism.

It’s now nearing the end of week 8.

I have tried to be patient. I emailed the instructor and my advisor, seeking guidance. Dr. P, the teacher, sent out an email to the class over the weekend: “I’m catching up on grading everything from weeks 1-6 and should be done by end of day Sunday, August 25. As a reminder, the last day to drop a class is Monday, August 26. Please message me if you have questions or concerns over your grades.”

I tried not to make it feel too pointed. Because ever since week 4, my class percentage for PUAD 7025, Ethics in the Public Sector, has hovered at a whopping 49%. Oh, sometimes it goes up and down a few hundredths of a decimal point, depending on the week’s discussion grades, but still, any way you slice it it’s an F.

I have checked in on the week 4 assignment now and then, to visit, and see if it got graded in stealth mode and maybe I didn’t receive one of Capella’s funky emails. But those emails always come, saying “an attempt has been graded in blah blah class”. An attempt, meaning a submitted assignment of some sort. Great vote of confidence, that.

Every time I check it, I see the 0. But it’s not just a 0, folks. It’s a -0. As if to say, “Well, you got a zero, but in case you were blasé or ambivalent about what that score means, now it has a minus attached to it. So there!” The great 0 paper of week 4 sucked my grade down into an enormous, swirling black hole of failure.

“Sue, you need to stop picking at that scab,” Jonathon admonished me. “You can’t do anything more.”

He is right, of course. I have to surrender and be patient; it’s the only place of peace. Capella doesn’t get to decide I’m a failure. And all I can think of are the words that came to mind last Sunday during worship: last word. Jesus has the last word over my life and circumstances. Not some prestigious online university. Not my employers past or present. Not friends and not family. Only Jesus. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. It ain’t over yet. He gets the last word.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” Revelation 1:8-10