“If you don’t show up, that’s unprofessional. If you are late, that’s unprofessional,” my professor lectures. She doesn’t care about us being late for the lecture, or not showing up, she is talking about being late or not showing up to the school’s we’re being assigned, for observation.
I swallow, hard. She left an attendance policy out on the syllabus. I try to rationale the situation, what she just said. Migraines don’t count, I can miss if I have a migraine, I think, desperately.
For knowing this particular professor for three years I never talked to her about my migraines. On the first day of class, two days ago, she asked us to write a little something about ourselves. I wrote ‘has migraines, blogs about it.’ I’m not sure if she looked at them, maybe she did.
What I just thought slammed into another long held rule I have for myself. I never miss class for headaches or migraines, it’s not allowed. I do not allow myself to miss class for this. If it’s up to me, I go. It’s usually my mom who has to bully me back into bed either at the door or on the phone. I am so hell bent on doing this that I completely disregard self care and mental health to do this. That’s the cost.
Does having migraines make me unprofessional? By my professors definition, without the little asterisks indicating that I’m an exception, if I have a migraine and can’t get through it I’m unprofessional. If I’m late or a no-show my disposition as a future educator is reevaluated. I can be as professional as I want, as I need to be but if the migraines and headaches get in the way, happen at the right time then what? Is it unprofessional to be trapped in bed, eyes squeezed shut, hands clapped over the ear plugs? It is if it happens on a Thursday between 6 and 11 am.
It’s slowly dawning on me that I might not be able to be an educator and a migrainuer at the same time.