After two weeks of classes, I am back to Blacksburg!
My classmate was telling me “Don’t worry, you can catch up with what you LOST in the class.”
To describe few missed classes as a “loss” stayed in my mind for a while. I was back home in Egypt for a real loss, the loss of my mother. Not only is it a real loss that the only heart who really and always cared about you and backed you leaves, the loss is that you were away when she needed you beside her. She was fighting it for few years when we started to leave her one son after another.
It is very easy to convince yourself that you have classes to attend, a degree to complete, research results to achieve and publish: you are not to be execused! But this will not change the truth, you did lost something, and you really lost it because you have no way to go back and follow what an honest heart should have followed.
You cannot stop someone you love from passing away, but you can be beside them, caring for them in their state of weakness. For a parent, this is a responsibility. If you are a student with a parent in a critical suffering, the loss is not failing a class or delaying a date of graduation, the real loss is your staying with your class assignments and ignoring the call of the human inside you.
Every university has policies that allow you to leave for some time when you have reason for that like caring of your sick parent.
And when you become a professor, remember that your students may and should have other responsibilities with higher priorities than understanding whatever concept you want them to understand or acquiring whatever skills you think they need to acquire.
And When I become a professor, I will teach my students that their parents comes before their degrees and their jobs. The only thing that may cause me to fail to teach that is the fact that I lost something real, few weeks ago!!!