I totally botched my syntax exam today. I’d be damn lucky to get 50% on it. I’ve never botched an exam this bad. No, in fact, I’ve never botched an exam, period. B+ was the worst grade I’ve received and even then I had been very sick for nearly three weeks before I had the midterm. Usually it’s As and A+s I see on my report card. I had four A+s and one A last semester, scoring 9.8 in average out of 10. I’m no genius – I just take my studies seriously and put my (almost) best effort. It was no different this time.
The 3rd year syntax course was especially difficult so I worked extra heard, paying close attention to the lecture, reading the textbook with sharpened concentration and really trying to understand the concepts behind. Before I botched my exam today, I had been doing well throughout the course, scoring 90% average on assignments and midterms – all those combined are worth 60 points, so 90% of that would be 54. If I scored 75% on today’s final, which in itself is a pretty bad grade, I still would’ve ended up with 84 points, an A-.
The fact is that I’ll probably see either a B or C+ for the first time since I entered university. I don’t know how it came down to this. The professor wasn’t particularly good at explaining stuff, but he knew a LOT, tried his best and was available for questions, so I really can’t blame him for this. I’ve tried hard. I thought I understood pretty much everything the course had to teach. When I saw the exam, however, I knew I was in trouble. I spent too much time on the first two questions, and I grew more and more anxious as the time ran out. By the time I only had 30 minutes left and couldn’t finish half the exam (the exam was 3 hours), my mind started fading away and I couldn’t understand the sentences written on the exam. I was zoning out. Feeling cornered, I scribbled some BS that didn’t make any sense. A feeble attempt to salvage some points. But in the end, I knew I screwed up like I never did before.
Reality sinks in. Feeling all drawn out. Empty-headedness. Sense of failure. Fear of losing part of my scholarship. My pride as a straight-A student goes down to the drain. This is the first real failure I’ve tasted. It doesn’t taste good.
I’m back home now. I’m still zoned out. I called dad and delivered this disappointing news. He gave me a good mixture of lectures and encouragements. I’m sure he’s disappointed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say his life’s purpose is to see me do well, but it’s certainly one of the major forces that drive his old body to work crazy hours and go on. I can’t disappoint him again.
If it’s of any consolation for myself, I did some math and it turned out that I won’t lose any of my scholarship here at OttawaU no matter how low I sink in this class, because the grades from the last semester provide a good buffer and I did well on the other two exams. The remaining exams, Japanese and Philosophy, aren’t much of a problem, although they have become more of high-stakes now that I botched my syntax exam. I may or may not lose part of the scholarship for my summer school in Korea, though, as I need a GPA of 3.8 or higher and I’ll sink below 3.8 if I end up with a C+.
I was going to eat something nice, play Star Ocean: The Second Story and go to bed early, but I’m going to dig the philosophy textbook instead. $500 is a lot of money to lose. That’s about 45 Shawarma dishes. Get a load of that.