The Germans have a special way of expressing a quiet talk between two people, one which is usually not pleasant or has a great deal that could be termed private, uncomfortable, future changing. Where we would say either let’s have a quiet talk together, or let’s step into my office their face-to-face counts the number of eyes in the room, presupposing no one is blind or wears glasses. The English, I am told, call this sort of intimate chat a talk with no coffee and no cakes. For some reason I was expecting The Talk today, but it didn’t come about.
In college The Talk is that moment when one of the lecturers, or someone in administration, takes you to one side to discuss your future. It can come at various stages and is hardly ever welcome. Or, to be honest, it is probably never welcome simply because it brings the truth of a situation to light and makes some students realize that they are either no good at hiding things or that they’re not quite as good in college as they would have everyone else believe.
The Talk also comes when there is another cause for concern, when it is felt that someone might be under-estimating their abilities or letting the stress and strain of college life, the work expected, the hours we put in away from our usual life of leisure, get on top of them. I’ve seen a couple students taken to one side, some because they shouldn’t have been on the course in the first place and one because family problems were impeding his progress.
Why was I almost expecting The Talk? Simply because, for some, the first sign that the course work is getting to be too much for them is that they call in sick. The sick day becomes sick days and, eventually, they are simply not there any more. Because of my disability, many have kept a close watch on what I do, how I react, whether I can keep up with the work. I saw it on the faces of some fellow students this morning, they hadn’t expected me to be there, some had already written me off as one of the sick and then disappear candidates.
And why didn’t I have The Talk? All my work is handed in on time; I have no problems keeping up with everyone else no matter which language the course work is in; I can take part in all the discussions – providing others are patient – and I don’t give up that easily. I am not one of those in the gray area, the Twilight Zone, and that is just the way I intend keeping it.
Love & Kisses, Viki.