Yeah, this week I failed a midterm.
There’s more to the story than that, though. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t be publicly proclaiming my stupidity to all of the internet. Probably.
I sat down on Tuesday morning to take that test after having studied for three days straight. I mean, I’d slept, but pretty much every waking moment was spent reviewing definitions and distributions and rules of integration. My brain was full of information. I thought that was enough.
Unfortunately, I opened the exam to find that it very well might have been written in Aramaic for how little I understood what was going on. The words themselves weren’t that hard (“What is the distribution of the random variable X, where X is the number of tries it takes to put the right key in your apartment door?”) but the meaning behind them was essentially gibberish. I hadn’t the foggiest clue what I was supposed to do.
During those awful 55 minutes, I wrote down some equations (but didn’t use them), set up integrals (but didn’t solve them), and took some pretty wild guesses (is the integral of -2exp(-y+4)/arctan(y) just y? Well, I’m going to say it is). I left that testing room with a shattered ego and the sense that my brain had just been repeatedly run over by an eighteen-wheeler. Oof.
And then grades went up. And I got a 55. Which, to be honest, is pretty impressive considering I wouldn’t have been shocked by a 25. Or a 0. (Thank God for partial credit, amirite?)
My world kind of ended for a second when I refreshed the website and saw the number plastered in huge font on my screen. 55/100. Yikes. That’s not a good number. Not a good number at all. I’ve never failed anything this big before. Ego still shattered. Brain still sore. I felt a sudden urge to yell lots of really fun, loud expletives, but decided my napping roommate might not appreciate it too much.
And then I saw the tiny (SERIOUSLY, WHO DECIDED ON THIS SCALE) number to the right of my big bad one. Mean score: 51.25. Slowly, my world started again.
- I’m not stupid. I’m good at math. Hence, it’s my major. I should have predicted that my struggle with this exam probably meant a lot of other people struggled too.
- It was silly for me to be so upset about a number that was just floating around in midair without an anchor. I’m always jumping to conclusions and making mountains out of molehills, and I usually turn out to be dead wrong.
- I should probably start studying for the final, like, right now, because I’m f!@ked.
How soon do I graduate again?