How I Almost Failed My Assignment

Learn From Failure

Procrastination has always been my weakness. Still is. So this assignment was due on a Friday. On that week, I had been so busy with work. I also had 2 assignments to hand in, for both my majors, Media and Management. This particular assignment was the least of my priorities because that module was not my major.

When on Thursday night I had completed editing the two important assignments around 3 am, I decided that I will do a late submission on the other ‘not so important’ assignment.  Which meant that they will deduct 15% for submitting passed the due date. Being a confident ‘smartie’ that I often think I am, I didn’t mind the -15% percent deduction.

On Friday, I got on campus, submitted my majors’ assignments and started doing the other assignment. I wasn’t in a hurry. I had the weekend to make sure that I score the highest marks on this, considering the -15% deduction I’ll get.

When Monday came, I went to print my assignment out. I went to the Module department. I never expected what transpired.

When I got there, I found about a 10 of other students who had come to make late submissions, just like I. So I ask, “Who are we supposed to submit to?”.

The students said, “We don’t know, the Tutors and the Lecturers are not here as yet.”

So I joined the wait, however, I heard Tutors speaking in the next room. I went there. I ask the tutors if we can submit to them instead of waiting for our Lecturer, considering the Lecturer hardly comes to campus, let alone to class. We’d get to class, sit and wait, he’d never show up. We had to literally Lecture ourselves. Rumor has that he has another job and often hid behind sick notes.

Anyways, the Tutors said, “No, go look for Nelson* at the Tutors’ LAN.”

So I got there, there’s no sign of a Nelson. At this point, I was going back and forth between these two Tutors and looking for other Tutors to submit to. Knocking on a thousand doors. I’m sure during that unnecessary process, I lost a few kilos.

My frustration levels just kept rising.

After a while, one of the Tutors decided to accept our Assignments.

He confirms that he’ll deduct 15% for a Late Submission. I annoyingly said, “Deduct whatever you must deduct, I’m very confident in my work, I just want to submit.”

One of the 10 students who was still waiting to also hand in said, “Wow Moghel, you don’t even beg…”

I was irked. Exasperated, I replied to her, “No, why should I beg?! I have a right to do a late submission. I just want to submit and leave.”

The tutor took my assignment, I left.

Two days later, on Wednesday, I received an email from the Tutor: “Please come see me ASAP…regards”

Luckily, I was still on campus so I rushed to the Module department.

He asked me, “Did you understand the assignment question?”

I said, “Uhm…yes?”

He says “No, you did not”

I look at my script on the table next to him. I saw a huge fat 40%, red-inked next to my name on the assignment cover page, “and that’s not even deducted as yet”, he said as he gave me back the assignment filled with red-inked notes.

I had never gotten a 40% on an assignment! I was shocked and disappointed in myself.

He then explained to me what was asked and expected in the assignment. Basically, the question was about the Efficacy of the African Union in resolving conflicts and wars in Africa and make reference to case studies.

Let’s just say, I went overboard ranting on how ‘not’ efficient and uneffective the African Union is, without mentioning the reasons. I was not objective nor critical at all.

So, the Tutor gave me a second chance to redo my assignment and hand in on Friday and he said to me, “Next time, don’t show a bad attitude and ask if you don’t understand.

Of course with a tail in between my fat behind, I apologized to him for coming out as if I’m rude. I didn’t even want to try and justify with that I was annoyed about what happened on Monday.

I submitted again on Friday. A perfected, concise, well-referenced and straight to the point assignment. I got 80%.

—The End—

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*Nelson is not a real name.

Blogger, Media and Marketing student at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

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