One thing about a two-year degree in a (relatively) small community college is that by the end of the second year, you’ve pretty much gotten to know everyone else in your curriculum. Most of the more specialized classes are only offered once or twice a semester, so you’re in all the same classes. At this point there’s a group of six or eight of us who take over a table in the cafeteria around lunchtime to do homework together, compare notes, and generally socialize. Other classmates form smaller groups around the cafeteria (we’re in all the same classes, so we’re all having lunch at the same time) and the groups shift and wander as we go back and forth touching base with each other.
So we pretty much all know what’s going on with our classmates. And I was distressed to hear today that Sweet Studious Boy is considering dropping out of our Practices class. We’re two-thirds of the way through the semester, and all I can think of is all the work he’s put in already. I don’t know if he’s trying to lighten his course load because of problems in his personal life—he’s been very tired and withdrawn the last couple of weeks—or if it’s a conflict with a member of his group.
I also don’t know if I should try and talk him into hanging in there—the group project only has one more week and then it’s done—or if my solicitude would only make things harder for him. He’s very shy; the instructor has been calling him the wrong name all semester and SSB hasn’t protested once (I asked him about it the first week: “It doesn’t bother me.” It may not bother SSB, but it’s driving me nuts).
He may already have done it; the withdrawal deadline is tomorrow.