December 17, 2008

Joyous, Bummer Days

Today starts a joyous Christmas break from school. Yesterday was a real bummer at school. That darn Anatomy & Physiology class! On the last two tests, I made an A. For yesterday's test, I had studied at least 16 hours for it and learned the answers to over 200 questions. I queried Wikipedia for additional information and felt confident that I knew the subject very well.
Please bear with me here as I explain that under some circumstances, I do get "test anxiety", so when I looked at the test and didn't recognize any questions from all those I had studied including the lecture notes and textbook material, I began to panic.

I knew the material, but felt my mind slipping into neutral. To make it worse, the numbers on the answer sheet didn't match the numbers on the test. I suppose college students are expected to adjust to that, but when I skipped a couple questions as I tried to pull my thoughts together, I felt another panic sweeping over me when I was on question five and had to count down five numbers from 151 on the answer sheet to find my place - and had to repeat that for every question I skipped!

After doing the multiple-choice, I labeled the bones of the skeletal system, filled in the fill-in-the-blanks (counting and recounting as the fill-ins had to be put on another portion of the answer paper), then came back to the original part of the fill-in sheet for the true and false answers. That process was very discerning for me.

Lastly, during the test another professor came in and started talking to our professor. I was only two seats from the front, and it sounded like they were talking about the possibility of our professor not coming back next year. (I was trying NOT to listen!). They got rather animated and loud. At that point, I gave up and turned my test in.

I complained that the teacher-to-teacher discussion was disturbing and 'unprofessional' and that I didn't feel the test questions matched what I had studied. My professor agreed with the disturbance, but disagreed that the test didn't follow the lecture material as he had taught it in class. Who's to say? I heard the class thought this test was much easier than other tests.

We won't have our scores back until after break, so I really don't know how I did. Part of test anxiety as that I can't remember any of the specific test questions. I have a bad feeling about it though.

After turning in the test, I didn't return to class until the next break an hour later. I went to the school library where I sent an email to Jim. "I need to talk. Are you there?" I got an immediate response!

He encouraged me to be confident and be easy on myself. "I know much you studied. You couldn't have done anything else," he reminded me.

Later, some of my friends from class encouraged me while handing me tissues. I was soooo disappointed AND frustrated, but isn't it nice to have friends all around you when you need them? They've been in that boat too!

So, I send this to remind everyone that every day is not perfect, and life isn't always fair. Take courage from your friends when they offer it, and let go of the frustration. "Let go" means "quit thinking about your frustrations and move on to happier thoughts".

Like, happy gift wrapping, Christmas card addressing, chocolate chip cookie making, holiday house cleaning, sweet apple pie baking and wishing everyone a blessed holiday season. Safe trips for those who travel. Keep warm, and stay off the ice if you live in the Midwest!

Take Care on the Journey,

1 comment:

Katy said...

I totally know what you mean about your brain slipping into neutral!
What a great way to phrase it.

It sounds like that was a complicated test, and when I was in massage school (briefly), everyone was afraid of the A&P classes. They're hard!

I hope you can relax and enjoy your break! It seems unfair that you have to wait until the break is over to get the test back. Don't worry the whole time, if you can. :) If Billy had all that extra time to grade papers and tests he'd be soooo happy!

Take care and stay warm!