Wherein I take a break from the ugliness of our world.
I’m wrapping up 5th week of Winter Term and things are going okay. But I’m scared things will be less okay soon. The work is getting harder, my mind is growing weary, and that mid-semester slump is here in full force.
Tests are my enemy. I don’t test well. I don’t test horribly, but there are few times where I’ve been pleasantly surprised by better-than-expected results. Nearly every test score disappoints me. Take this week for example…and 2 weeks before that and the week before that…
I’m doing far better this term of computer science. In the Fall, I ran into assignments I literally could not finish by the deadlines. I turned in one half completed assignment and another almost 2 weeks late. That cost me a painful amount of points. This term, my assignments are coming along easier despite being technically more difficult than ever.
It seems like I finally have a good grasp at programming – not a master – but leaps and bounds ahead of 6 months ago. New ideas aren’t overwhelming anymore either. I can watch a few videos and apply new concepts fairly easily. That’s not to say I don’t get stuck…that will always happen…but nothing stops me in my tracks entirely. I’ve received a perfect score on my last 3 assignments, something I managed to do only twice in the Fall. I feel so confident until test day rolls around…oh those tests…
There’s just something about timed tests, especially when that time is an hour or less, that zaps my brain. My face gets warm, my hands sweat, my mind wanders. I got a high B on the first test – fine – I’ll take it. A much lower C on the second test – okay – it happens. My midterm, which I put a fair amount of time in studying, barely crossed that B mark. I know that’s not horrible in the grand scheme of things, but let me tell you…it stings when my grade is 7 points lower with test scores than it would be without. It also stings when I know the average score and mine isn’t in the same ballpark. Ouch. I could live without that information.
I’ll try harder, if that’s possible. I don’t think anyone will ever refer to me as the Test Slayer though.
But my assignments are solid. I’ll live.
I’m trying my hardest to keep up in Calculus. Things have taken a huge turn this past week. I’m still mentally there but the material is getting harder to grasp. How many different ways can we differentiate functions? Apparently, LOTS. LIKE TOO MANY IF YOU ASK ME. It’s taking me quite sometime to work through problems and I’ve never made more stops at the tutoring center. When I went today, this nice guy showed me how to do a problem and I just wanted to scream, “Where did that 6 come from!?”
I texted a girl I met in Discrete Math class. I asked how to approach differentiating a particular velocity function to which she replied, “It’s Valentine’s Day, shouldn’t you be on a date!?”
Is it Valentine’s Day? Sure, I’ll take some chocolate but this Calculus isn’t going to finish itself.
There are a few bright spots in all this education madness…
I’m getting more projects at my work study gig that relate to my studies. I’ve met nice people in my classes. Makes the third hour of lectures less miserable. Someone complimented my dress yesterday. I landed an interview with a company I applied to a few weeks ago. Not popping open the champagne yet, but just the fact that my resume would grab their attention is good for the soul. I’m also not completely awful at Geology. Although, on my last TEST – the bane of my existence – I was doing simple labelling of the Earth when my brain decided to stop working. The answer was Mesosphere. I knew that. I knew it was right.
Then my brain was like, “Are you sure that’s even a word? Look at it! So weird, don’t you think? There should be t’s and lots of h’s. That just feels right, huh? Do it, add more letters.”
So apologies to my instructor. I meant Mesosphere, but I wrote the Elvish language from Lord of the Rings.