Published 9:51 am Thursday, June 30, 2016

To the Editor:

It was the final semester of my senior year and I was all prepared to graduate (or so I thought).

I had called friends and relations and sent out all those invitations; my parents were very proud. As a part of the final clearance, I was going around to all those offices on campus that have to approve you. I started with the Business Office; they cleared me – didn’t owe any money. Went to the Library, they cleared me – didn’t have any books I didn’t return. On the way over to the last office, I stopped in at the Alumni Center and got my cap and gown, and signed up to get alumni mailings.

Finally, to the last office, with graduation regalia in hand I get to the Registrar’s Office, where they do the review of your transcript that is the final step in graduation clearance. I meet with Mrs. McNair and she reviews all areas of my transcript to match my courses against University requirements. Biology major courses, all completed – check. The 18 hour minor in Sociology – check. Eight hours of physical education – check. General Education requirements – no check!! She says I’m short a math course, that I didn’t have geometry listed on my transcript. This can’t be, I took geometry sophomore year form Mrs. Dabney. Well, the grade is not showing on your transcript she says, you need to check with Mrs. Dabney.

I carry this cap and gown up the hill to the Math Building. I arrive at Mrs. Dabney’s office and there she sits, same speckled gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses as when I took her class. I tell her my problem and state that I know I took geometry from her my sophomore year. She pulls open a big drawer behind her desk and finds the grade book from spring semester of my sophomore year, and sure enough finds me on her class roll.

As she looks over the grade book, she says I have a notation here that I didn’t submit a grade for you because you missed too many days of class. But, I passed with a B+. She says yes, but you were absent a lot so you don’t get a grade. Why would you do this? Because I don’t like you! As I’m looking at her, she starts to turn red, really red, blood red. She sprouts horns, grabs a pitchfork and flames start shooting up around her and the desk.

At this point, I wake up; I’m sweating, breathing heavy and my heart is racing. Now I’m awake, so I get out of bed. I’ve had the dream again. My mind become conscience once more and I orient myself. Okay, I’ve got all my degrees; I’ve worked a whole career; and I’m retired now.

I have this same dream every so often – for some reason I didn’t complete my degree.

They say dreams are often about your insecurities; well, this fits that analysis.

The two most common dreams that people have are falling from a tall building and being naked in public. I’ve talked with other friends and colleagues, and they say they’ve had this dream about the degree also. I take comfort in the fact that I’m no more insecure than anybody else.


W. Eric Thomas
Elizabeth City
Interim RCCC President