Three down. Two to go.
It’s been an interesting day. Let’s start at the very beginning – a very fine place to start.
So my alarm didn’t go off. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Windows Updates install themselves without you telling them they could. They’d downloaded themselves after I uninstalled them a few days ago, but I wasn’t going to try to install them again until I was through exams and my need for a computer was less life-and-death. But, apparently they got sick of waiting around for me to install them, and just did it themselves. Then rebooted. And man, the thing was, I even set an *extra* real alarm (in addition to the two on my laptop) just in case. But…I turned it off in my sleep. Really effective, I know. That’s why I don’t use a regular alarm. The only thing that gets me up consistently is Chad’s evil music. Back in first year he sent me this Soulfly song as a real, good song that he wanted me to hear. It’s really really hard and involves some RAAAAAAAARRR screaming (which I’m not a big fan of), so at first I thought it was okay, but the more I listened to it, the more I realized it was just evil music. Because it’s so bad, I started using it as my wake-up song. I turn the volume up really really loud and there’s no way you can sleep through it. It’s that bad. First it just scares the seaweed out of you, and then you have to LEAP out of bed to turn it off. It’s cruel, but it works.
(Sidenote: given enough time, I can learn to sleep through any regular alarm. I slept through my alarm nearly every day of high school. Every day my mom would have to come downstairs and scream at me. I’d open one eyelid, mumble, and roll over. A few minutes later the cycle would repeat. It still happens to some extent when I go home to visit, but I usually don’t have as pressing engagements when I’m on break. I’ve gotten quite a reputation for myself, which I’m not exactly proud of. Reference. Ken B gave this to me back in like…98. Ken B’s such a cool kid. Anyway, this is something I’m learning to overcome, and hence, the evil music.)
I’d set my alarms for 5AM so I could have time to study before the exam at 9. There is no logical reason to explain why I woke up. I’d gone to bed at 2:30, so when I woke up at 6:45 I’d still only gotten just over 4 hours of sleep. I don’t doubt that I could have slept until 10, or 12, and completely missed my exam. Miracle #1. I think I actually woke up because I was losing circulation in my hand. I…don’t ask, it happens a lot 🙂 So I wake up, realize it’s 6:45, and of course freak out. I’d planned on working through the old exam, but at this point I realized there was no way I was going to get it finished. I did about half of the multiple choice, scribbled some ideas down for the long answer, and it was time to go. Have you guys heard about the storm that pummelled the northeast yesterday? We got hit pretty hard. I think we got somewhere around 35cm (14 inches) of snow within a couple of hours. Whe I left the house at 8:30, they hadn’t plowed the path through the park at all. Every winter I’m reminded of how impossible it is to walk through snow. There was a path of about two sets of footprints which I tried desperately to follow, but…it’s snow. And it’s almost up to your knees. By the time I got to the other side of the park, I was completely out of breath, and thankful to be able to finally walk on the snow-covered streets. The sidewalk over there hadn’t even been touched yet, so all of us kids were left to make like cars and wander all over the roads. The university usually does a pretty good job of keeping the paths through campus clear. You could definitely tell that they’d been working throughout the evening and morning, but there was still quite a bit of coverage on the paths. At one point, to get from one path to another I had to leap across 15 feet of snow banks that were definitely up to my knees. But I made it.
I’d brought the old exam with me to theoretically study along the way, but the arduous trek just to get to Grant Hall made that a futile exercise. Then I was left holding this 25–page exam. I didn’t want to bring it in with me to the real exam, because that would just look bad. I looked for the usual pile of backpacks that people leave outside the exam hall, but when I didn’t see any, I decided to just toss the exam into a snowbank. Hey, they’re good for something 🙂 And yes, I did pick it up afterwards, even though by that point it was nearly buried in snow 🙂 So we go inside.
I walk in, find a seat, unbundle myself, and get to work on filling out the attendance card. I start to feel sick. I start to feel really, really sick. I’m struggling to fill out my name on the Scantron. I can’t think. Exercise-induced uterine cramps. It happens to me sometimes, just out of nowhere. The exam is about to start. I don’t know what to do. The Voice comes on. “You may begin your exam.” I put my hand up. I ask the proctor if she has any medication, because I’m feeling really sick. She says she’s sorry, but that she can’t give me anything. I didn’t expect that she would be able to, but I felt like I had to tell someone. I put my head on my desk. I can’t think, can’t function. I don’t know what to do. Everyone’s starting the mad flipping of their exam pages, and I’m incapacitated. A proctor walks up to me and asks if I’d like to step outside for some air. I’m grateful for the invitation, so we go out. Cold air always helps. I sit down, in the snow, and curl into a ball. The shocked women proctors offer me a chair. I say it’s okay, I’ll be fine. They ignore my dismissal and get me a chair to sit on, telling me I’m going to have a “wet bottom.” They remind me that if I’m really sick, they can call the prof and I won’t have to take the exam now. I know that’s an option, but don’t want to have this exam hanging over my head for the next month. I sit there, doubled over, praying that it will go away. I can’t write an exam like this. I pray as hard as I’m able. The same thing happened last year after I ran to make it on time to a Spanish quiz. I ended up getting there and then not being able to sit in class. I curled up outside on the ice (and got several “what is this crazy woman doing” stares), prayed, and it went away. I prayed that the same thing would happen now. I knew that God could do it, had seen Him do it before. I prayed. Boom. It was gone. Miracle #2.
I get up and tell the constible that I’m fine now. “Are you sure??” “Yep. I’m fine. Whoo, there’s an answered prayer.” She’s like, UHH. By the time I went back inside, I’d only missed 5 minutes. That’s awesome. The multiple choice questions were almost exactly the same as the ones from last year, the ones I’d worked through this morning, so that was awesome. I was really scared about the long answer. I didn’t feel prepared. But, they ended up not being nearly as awful as they certainly could have been. I BSed my way through a couple of them, but overall had a pretty good idea of what I was talking about. I think I did fine. A 70% final, though, is enough to shake anyone’s confidence.
After the exam, I came home and relaxed for a few minutes, then got started on studying for anatomy. It’s sad to not be able to celebrate an exam being over, but instead to have to immediately start studying for the next one. Anatomy doesn’t give me as much concern as toxicology did, but I definitely have a lot lot to cover before Monday morning. I’m less than halfway through the material. The exam is completely short answer/long answer, so not having any multiple choice means that you actually really do have to know what you’re talking about. A blank page is a scary, scary sight. I also have Spanish the evening after anatomy, but I’ve already studied for it and will just need to do some crazy review after anatomy is over. Also, I need to pack some time between now and when I leave for my flight on Tuesday afternoon. I’m probably going to be babysitting Zachary on Tuesday morning, too. So much for relaxing after I finish exams 🙂
As soon as sunset hit at 4:27PM, I was in bed. Hallelujah for the day of REST. Seriously, I think I’d probably work myself into systemic necrosis if I didn’t have the Sabbath to say, “HEY! Stop working!” I slept until after 10PM. Aww yeah. 6 hour nap, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Although, now it’s 1AM and I’m completely wide awake. Yaaay for having a seriously messed up sleep cycle 🙂
So that’s my story. This has been the worst exam schedule I’ve ever had, but surprisingly the least stressful. I know it’s hard to tell based on the way I’ve been complaining, but it’s been way, way worse 🙂
I need to shower. And brush my teeth. And change out of the clothes I’ve been wearing for two (three?) days. Yay exam time 🙂