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Bomb’s Away.

So I just took the last part of my written Surveying I final exam. Given a set of readings, we had to do various computations to come up with a reasonable explanation of a piece of property, including it’s area, coordinates etc.

The way it works is like building a house, your readings are your foundation and you go crazy from there, building equation upon equation. But the foundation is key. The bearings have to dead on or your formulas go all cockeyed.

I completely froze. My mind went into this haze that was literally blinding me from accomplishing what I needed to accomplish. As I came to the realization that my mind was freezing and that the clock was ticking by, I began to panic. I made myself so nervous that I actually began to tremble, right there at my desk. In this panic I began confusing myself. And something that I could usually whip out in 30 minutes became a task that I could never accomplish given an entire day. It was like my entire mind short circuited.

So I struggled with some numbers and desperately tried to make them come out to something close to what they should have been. But without that solid foundation, I was doing nothing but grasping at futility.

Long story short, I completely bombed this exam to the point that I’d be happy with 10 out of 100 points. You can’t fill in the blanks and even guess at what you’re trying to do when you don’t have the right numbers to start with. The only bright side to this is that it counts the same weight as my other exams, leaving me with an 83, 85, 97, 110 and 10 to make up the exam portion of my grade, which is 1/2 of the total grade (homework and labs weigh in equally for the rest). I’ll be lucky with a B now.

I remember only buckling under pressure like that once before, and that was during a Regents* exam my junior year in high school. I bombed that as well.

I’m not usually one to buckle under pressure like that. I don’t know if I was expecting too much of myself, if I was getting some weird nervous psychic vibe from those struggling around me or what, but I disappointed myself and I feel like I let the professor down. I think I even wrote “my apologies” on the answer sheet.

Good thing I see this all as a learning experience. And the realistic part is, I’ll continue to live.

* New York State high school students take standardized Regents exam at the end of the school year to prove their competency in a given course. During my time in high school, you had to pass three math OR science Regents exams, and a Social Studies, English and Foreign Language Regents exam to get a “Regents” diploma. Those that didn’t pass the sequence received a “local” diploma. Traditionally, college bound students opted for the Regents route, blue collar and business students opted for the local diploma. New York has made the requirements considerably tougher for today’s students.

3 Comments

  1. It is very difficult to “recover” from one of those “brain freezes”. The good news is that you know you are better than that. Just pull up your pants and keep going. 😉

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