Re: Are they incomplete assignments or just boundaries?

A girl biting her pencil, staring at her laptop
“The stress from your class is not it.” / PHOTO: Pixabay

By: Maya Beninteso, Peak Associate

Dearest Professor,

Thank you for your email. While your message says I haven’t completed the assignment, I counter that I’m merely asserting an emotional boundary. I don’t claim the assignment’s due date. I didn’t consent to that due date, and I should’ve been directly consulted since it affects me. 

Further to that point, stop gaslighting me by saying that I was “informed of all due dates at the beginning of the semester” and “would’ve known this information had [I] attended a single lecture.” You should learn to communicate better. I have a life, too, you know. It mostly consists of chugging iced coffee and contemplating the meaning of life, but it’s still a life. I would like to communicate to you that I haven’t felt validated by you at all throughout this process. I just thought you would like some feedback, too. Consider this my course evaluation. You, and your class, deserve a failing grade. 

First of all, my therapist, Richard, expressed that asserting boundaries is essential to my mental health. Accordingly, I refuse to do the assignment. I hope you can come to appreciate my boundary-setting as this is what I need to heal my inner child. Could you just forget me like how I forgot the assignment, or how my mother forgot me at the mall when I was a child? 

Moreover, I noticed the angry tone in your email and I don’t claim that negative energy. Your reactivity is giving unhealed trauma and maybe you should get that checked out. If you’re a fan of strong reactions, might I suggest an occupation in the field of chemistry, instead? Perhaps the abysmal paragraph at the bottom of your syllabus entitled “Health and Counselling Resources” should be consulted . . . by you. You have incited much reflection in me over the past few days since your email. 

In the wise words of Britney Spears, “Don’t you know that you’re toxic?” Although I try to convince myself that obstacles are “good for the plot,” I’m not currently in the right headspace to tackle your toxicity. I hope you can respect my decision to cut you, and this ridiculous assignment, out of my life as it’s causing undue distress. I need to reclaim my #girlboss energy and, frankly, you’re inhibiting my ability to do so. 

Most importantly, what would possess you to make an assignment due a measly 13 days after This Love (Taylor’s Version) was dropped? I need time to recover. I’m, in fact, still recovering from the 10-minute version of All Too Well,” so you should have some consideration for my emotional needs. This burden doesn’t belong with me

If you have a problem with me asserting my boundaries like a healthy and well adjusted adult, take it up with Richard.

In the meantime, since I’m such a generous human being, I thought I would share some resources since you clearly need help. I sincerely hope you can become as self-aware as I am one day.

Peace and love on planet Earth, 

Maya Beninteso (she/her)
B.A. in Humour Mechanics without Distinction