Before you decide you don’t want to read on; let me explain the title. It has everything to do with my Marketing class and nothing to do with the incredibly overused and crass American expletive exclaimed when we love something fiercely or hate it emphatically.
I actually really had to hear the title words from my Marketing professor…except it went like this:
“that’s an “F” for You”
I shared with you that this Spring I would be taking an online course instead of going into the classroom. I’m in Week 5 now of my Principles of Marketing class and I have to admit to you the reason I haven’t blogged much about it, is because, frankly, it’s been too easy, or so I thought. The professor did a wonderful job laying out all the details of the class on the web-site, “Blackboard Learn”, which is an online classroom of sorts. It contains the syllabus for the semester, a profile of the professor, important information and a week by week guide of what you must do. For this class among other things, there will be a total of 4 quizzes worth 30% of our grade. I read through everything, TWICE, printed out the items I felt I wanted to keep close by and began the tedious task of reading outrageously long and dry chapters of the required textbook according to the posted schedule.
Somewhere along the way, however, I guess the correct phrase would be “I got too big for my britches”. I felt like I had it all figured out and it was a breeze. After all, in the first two weeks there was only one assignment to complete which took me all of 30 minutes. Sure there were 4 chapters to read but I had three weeks before the first quiz was due. Plenty of time! Each day that went by I figured I had another day to do it and while I would love to say that my social calendar was so busy that it was hard to juggle it all, sadly that was not the case. I simply put off doing that which I didn’t enjoy. I’m sure I’m not that different from many people out there. I take the class very seriously, but reading the textbook was mind numbing and I kept finding excuses to delay it. Friends would call and offer to do anything and I would jump at the chance. I even got ahead of my work schedule and started scanning photos for my family in my free time – – anything to avoid reading.
In an online class, there are typically start and end dates for everything that is required. The last day the quiz was available for me to take was Valentine’s Day, February 14th. (PS…the worst day of the entire year for a newly single woman who would be prefer to be anything but single. This is what we call a foreshadowing!) So after pushing through the reading and doing last minute studying, I typed in my username and password and prepared to log on to take my first online quiz of the course. Imagine my surprise when the first thing I saw on my computer screen was “QUIZ #1 HAS ENDED”.
You might think I burst into tears but instead my heart started racing and I felt a little lightheaded. You see, I’ve never failed anything. Well, let me correct that, relationships, YES; marriage, YES; a few checking accounts, YES, YES, and YES, but academically, NO. I even managed to get a D in the Calculus class that I struggled through at 18 when I couldn’t understand a word that the Teaching Assistant was saying. But a zero in school, an absolute “F” on an assignment — this was a first.
- Suffice it say, I licked my wounds, I humbled myself, and I straightened up those too big britches. Through the experience I learned a few things that I will share with you;
- Putting off today what you can do tomorrow is the stupidest strategy I have ever employed. I realize I do it more often that I should and I need to realize it as a correctable character flaw. Some days I will win and other days I will lose, but at least it’s on my radar screen.
- Failing in Marketing is like failing with anything else, including Men. You pick yourself up; like the late, great R&B songstress Aliyah (God rest her soul), sang and you “dust yourself off and try again”.
If something is important to you, you have to make it a priority; and not just when it’s convenient, every day. It’s as simple as that. Ironically, that’s the reason why many of my relationships haven’t worked; I eventually get tired of accepting that I’m not a priority. Now I check the website daily, I put tasks on my Outlook calendar and I complete the assignments early – the result, a 100 on Quiz #2 that I took this week.
One of my three all-time favorite movies is Batman Begins. The line that stayed with me the first time I heard it and became a recurring theme through the two subsequent films, is from the scene when a young Bruce Wayne has been playing and falls to the bottom of an underground hole filled with bats. He is down there for hours. I imagine he feels lost, lonely, and scared. I guess he is wondering if he will ever make his way out of what feels like the worse situation that could have happened to him. Suddenly he blinks his eyes and sees his father coming down the hole with an outstretched hand to rescue him. As his father carries him to the house, he says to his still shaken son, “…And why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”