The Three D’s

report card

Wow, did the shit ever hit the fan yesterday.

Some of you will remember the story of Danny, my youngest child. Danny was the one who came back from a year of pot smoking and working at McDonald’s to attend college.

Danny has had a 3.2 GPA. That’s not bad for a kid who had a LOT of trouble in school. Danny struggled all the way and wound up going to a “special” high school, designed just to get the kids to graduate. Believe me, it was a proud day when Danny got his high school diploma.

So back to current times. Danny decided (after some encouragement from us) to try college.

College for Danny consists of two parts: the community college and the state university. The community college costs $1000 a semester and the university is $7000 a semester. Danny is lucky enough to be able to live at home and go to either of these. He’ll have no loans when he gets out.

Now my husband is pretty tight with money. His first response to anything is “how much does it cost?” In the end, he is generous with the kids and me, but it’s usually a process. So you better believe he chose to send Danny to community college and not the university for his basic lower level courses.

I agreed the community college was a good idea. Around here the community colleges are lower key and are sort of a step between high school and the university.

So we have Danny with a 3.2 GPA and it’s the end of this semester. He’s just had his finals.

He’s starts acting a little funny and I had a feeling he had a bad grade. He finally admitted to me he had a D in math. This was a surprise to me as he had an excellent tutor for this class. The tutor was a mature woman who had taught 16 years of high school math. She had tutored Danny for his previous math class and he earned a B. On top of this, I JUST called her to say thank you a few days prior. She was bragging on Danny and how hard he had worked, etc. So the D surprised me.

I asked Danny about the rest of his grades and he told me they had not been posted yet.

Danny’s dad had a bit of a meltdown. He didn’t yell but he was really mad about the D. He couldn’t understand how you could earn a D with a tutor in a community college math class. I reminded him that our daughter had dropped out of the state university for a whole semester and yet went on to get her Masters. I tried to calm him down.

Danny went off to spend some time with friends. I thought the crisis had passed. But I received a text from Danny (he was such a chicken) informing me that the other grades had been posted and he had THREE D’s and 2 A’s.

I was worried my husband’s head would explode.

Danny’s second D was in a class called Food and Nutrition 205. It was the second course of this subject and Danny said it was hard. But going into the final he had a 78. He must have absolutely bombed the final.

His third D was in some type of computer class called Java. Now here is where I got mad. Danny told me from day one this class was really hard. I called around and found a FREE tutor who could have met with him two hours a week. He dismissed this idea. He went on to the middle of the semester before he finally agreed to the tutor. Once he got going with the guy, it was much better. But so far into the semester, I’m afraid it was a lost cause.

My husband just kept repeating how he was glad this was not a semester at the university. He said he saw $7000 floating out the window.

So where does this leave us now? Danny has lost ten credit hours because D’s do not count as class credits. He is either going to have to go another semester to community college or go to the university and pick up those hours there. We all decided another semester at the community college was the best idea. He has the option of repeating the courses to raise his GPA, or to take different courses. Fortunately, none of these classes were required by the university.

This is all sort of a shame. Danny was already admitted to the university. I don’t know if he has to apply again or if they’ll hold his admission for a semester. His GPA, even with the D’s is still good enough to get in. But I am really worried now. He was doing so well and now this. I wonder if this was just a blip, or he will be over his head at the university.

So we’re going to the advisor at the university to see what all the policies are. My husband attends all the advising appointments to make sure Danny is on the right track. My husband is particular that his money is spent correctly. And Danny is very shy to ask questions. Plus, you can see three different advisors and get three different answers. Then we’ll head to the community college to see what he should do. Should he retake those courses or try something new and easier? I hate to see three D’s on his record.

Danny still wants to go to school and graduate. I think he is serious about that. He says these classes were just way too hard. Obviously, he needs to be aware of how tough the classes are before he takes them as these were electives. But if you’ve been to college, you know that even an innocent sounding class can be a nightmare.

So this is where we are. I was glad I was calmly able to run interference between Danny and his dad. My bipolar did not get in the way. And Danny is still determined to go to school. And dad is still willing to pay so far.

Let’s all pray this was a little blip on the radar. Sigh.


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