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Lyme Death in a Young Woman:
Professors Really Understand?

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so. Mark Twain

You might have known her. She was a student at USC, as fun a girl as any who've ever been at USC. She fought to complete high school through illness, and fought to come to USC, and kept on fighting until Lyme disease finally took her life ...

When I lost my cousin, I was in the middle of that last hectic week of papers and projects… I showed up at my professor's office that day on the way to the funeral, to tell him I would be missing class and that I had neither the time nor the will to write a paper.

My professor told me my paper would be counted late...

Another professor responded to my e-mail with words of kindness and sympathy, telling me not to worry about my paper. When I went in to see him Dr. Rhu walked out into the hall with me, put his hands on my shoulders, and told me that I had nothing to worry about with the paper...

I had been crying a lot and I almost burst into tears but I managed not to.

I think everyone who suffers a death in the family (Or a friend. It's not my job or anyone else's to distinguish between a cousin and a parent) should be guaranteed by the university, that their professors must behave like a Larry Rhu.

If nothing else, I hope that professors who read this will at least stop and think before dealing with a student who has suffered a loss.

Excerpts from: By Graham Culbertson

Published: Monday, April 12, 2004

The Full story which centers of university sensitivity is at: www.canlyme.com/teachusc042004.html



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