It's deadline day today. One of my students from my first class two years ago has till today to submit outstanding assignments and receive her diploma. (I am using she as gender neutral rather than as a statement of which gender this person is.) I have a feeling this isn't going to happen despite my emails of encouragement and a final extension.
Whether the student does or does not hand them in, the situation that got her here in the first place is most unfortunate. She is capable, has great attention to detail and always produces professional-grade work. She was top of the class or top three until the month before the end of first semester when she became ill. Although I do not know the exact nature of her illness, she was hospitalized. The work that wasn't finished that semester was never completed and deadlines continued to be missed throughout second term.
As time progressed, I began to believe my student was suffering from anxiety and/or depression and I had a few discussions with her about her tremendous abilities and the need to let things go. To do the work to the best of your ability up to deadline and release it onto the world. Eighty per cent right and on time is better than 100 per cent if the 100 per cent misses the deadline and the client walks away or the crisis boils over.
After more than a year of trying to get the assignments, this student was told that the 13th was the last deadline. She asked for and received an extension to the 20th and was supposed to contact me last week to discuss the outstanding work. By Wednesday I hadn't heard from her so sent and email again encouraging her to contact me.
She responded and outlined her many work deadlines that were swamping her. I asked for and obtained another extension to today. I also reminded her that, at this point, she could do no better marks-wise than a pass so not to agonize over doing work that would garner a top grade.
I have still not received that phone call.
It's really a sad situation though I am still holding onto hope that she might come through.