Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thoughts as I recover

The exam is over. I am guardedly optimistic.

The paper is back again. Very little work to do before I turn in my final copy.

My brain is fried.

Some things that have flitted across my mind during the day:
  • I'm finally at a state where I can admit in this space that the exam was a retake. I did not pass it last year due to two very large and uncharacteristic (of me) mistakes. I have been kicking myself for several months now over any number of things: not getting enough studying done, agreeing to a long winter vacation to the States, searching for a new place to live days before the exam, not choosing one question that I would have definitely gotten the core of even if I hadn't remembered all the details. I have never messed up on a big exam before, so that was a blow to the confidence. And then there's the added pressure that, technically speaking, if I don't pass this exam, I'm out of the program--which would mean we wouldn't be able to stay in Canada. No pressure.
  • I have been so focused on getting through today that I'd forgotten new students were coming to campus. Or rather, I'd forgotten what having new students on campus means. And apparently I blocked out events from last year. Because I was very surprised to come across the numerous groups wearing the same T-shirts (brightly colored with 'witty' sayings and some variation of 'Frosh Week' on them) and name tags. When did college students get so young?
  • As I took my walk around campus during the break between the two sections, I found myself across from a playground that my son's preschool class frequents. Sure enough, there they were. "Don't notice me," I silently willed, knowing that my son would get worked up if he saw me; at the same time, I stole glances at him as he climbed the slide.
  • I kept a picture of my son on the desk where I took the exam. A reminder of why I'm doing this and also that there's at least one person who will love me regardless of how I do on the exam.
  • Also on my desk: two fountain pens, my traveling inkwell (I'm a fountain pen geek and use ink instead of cartridges), a mechanical pencil, correction tape, coffee, and mints.
  • I started the exam in the morning with both pens nearly full. I used up both and had to refill one during the second section.
  • The traveling inkwell was a good purchase after all.
I refuse to look back at my materials tonight. I don't want to know what I did wrong. I will be off to bed soon.


Her Bad Mother said...

I know well the hell of the exam - my comprehensive exams went on for hours and hours and I went through a trillion pens and my hand cramped up and at the end of it I couldn't remember a word of what I'd said.

And I certainly did not go back over my study materials. I had a martini.

COngrats on getting through it.

Mouse said...

I already have an odd writing bump--I hold my pen funny, press hard, and write often. Now, it looks even more bizarre as I have developed a blister on it!

I was actually too tired for a celebratory drink afterwards, so I still owe myself that.