I wrote to Mira Mayer, the dean of the MA program at the New Bulgarian University explaining my “situation”. I wasn’t sure she’ll respond and what the consequences might be so my first e-mail was anonymous. She responded that she can’t do anything about my complaint if I don’t use my “real identity” probably to make sure that I was indeed a student at the university. I responded with a second e-mail fully explaining what my deal was and she answered that I can meet with her at her office.
I went to the university and scheduled a meeting with her in two weeks after that day. The whole scheduling part was awkward because the male secretary asked me what was the purpose of my meeting and I replied “Abuse of a student by a teacher from the university”. My answer was not thought over and yet it conveyed perfectly what I’ve experienced. “And this student, is it you?”, he asked. “Yes”, I replied.
The meeting seemed like a long time from that day so I thought a lot about what I was going to say. Should I include every unprofessionalism that my teachers have made during my 5 years at the university or should I settle for the most appalling ones? Some of them were so absurd in their making I doubted she would even believe me. I think I settled for the middle – I skipped most of the horrid ones but kept enough to let her know (or so I thought) that the situation was serious. She had a small ledger to take notes as I explained my complaint in more detail. I mentioned names of students and teachers but she didn’t seem to be writing any of the teacher’s names. Yet, she seemed to believe and be truly disturbed by at least some of my stories. She kept asking me these questions about my current engagement with the university, “whether I was a regular student at the university, have I paid my last tax for the semester”, and so forth. I’m not sure if she wasn’t checking to see if I was her concern at all. “And now you don’t have a supervisor or your theme written?”, she asked like everything that I’ve told her about my negativity filled experience at the university was not a big deal. “I don’t want to graduate”, I said. “So, what do you want me to do?!”, and I said “I haven’t yet given up on the university but I want to be done with my current MA, also I want my money back so I can start a new MA that’s not so horrible”. She replied that it wasn’t in the university’s policy to give money back but she’ll “do something” and she’ll call me, “you did leave your number right?”. She already had my e-mail and we’ve been keeping a correspondence, so I thought it very weird.
At the end, I didn’t ask for my money because I really believed that I was going to get them back, I just wanted her to understand how serious these things were for me.
It’s been three months and she still hasn’t called.
P.S. It would be ironic for a person who has written about racism, The Holocaust and the like, let her students be oppressed.
Maybe it’s just me.