Feb 05 2014

My brain hates me.

Published by at 7:27 pm under Education,The Man

I had to take a test tonight. It was a test for which I felt ill-prepared. I had woken up this morning with the knowledge that I had forgotten to do an entire section of homework, so instead of reviewing two chapters during The Boy’s nap, I would have to somehow do a section’s worth of homework (an hour) and then try to review the whole chapter (an hour) and then if I had time (not bloody likely) re-review the other chapter. And, since I’d gotten up late, I’d also have to cram a shower and hair/makeup time in there. It wasn’t looking good.

Fortunately, my husband is a wonderful man who has a plethora of sick time, so he came home way early and watched The Boy while I feverishly mathed it up. I was not feeling good about the section I hadn’t done. I did all the homework and it was only somewhat clicking. My 4-cylinder brain was missing every other stroke, and that’s not what you want when one mistake throws off your entire solution.

Eventually, I clawed my way into something like a groove, and started feeling…OK. Not like “I’m gonna ace this!” but more like “I will probably score a B or B-” which for some people is probably a great grade, but I have complexes, and for me, if it’s not an A I might as well just drop the class and give up because I am too dumb to go to college and should give my spot to someone else. Go mental health! (As a side note, this is the exact mindset for which I give my husband no end of grief, when he is in the throes of his own “I’m a miserable failure and don’t deserve higher education” angst-fits. Go hypocrisy!)

So, I went to class and took the test. And everything went pretty well. There were a few places where I had to erase all of my work and start over – and the amount of eraser dust that removing two equations full of the wrong work from your page produces is quite embarrassing – but overall, I felt good. I double-checked everything, running my solutions against the original questions and making sure they fit, and handed the test in.

As soon as I stepped into the hall, I froze. I leaned against the wall, just outside the door. My brain was hammering at me: “You forgot to do something. You forgot to do something.” I thought back over the test, and the things I had reviewed today. It seemed like there were some things that I’d reviewed that weren’t on the test. And not little things – whole sections. Were they there? Did I do them. I couldn’t remember. I literally could not remember what was on a test that I had just finished and had spent 45 minutes working.

I became convinced that I had skipped a page. I had no idea what the policy was on this, but even if my instructor wouldn’t let me work the skipped problems, I at least needed to know if I had skipped problems. I went back into the classroom and walked up to her and said “Hey, was there a back page? I’m pretty sure I skipped it.” She picked up a test – not mine – and turned it over to reveal a whole page of problems. I was like “oh no”. She smiled and said “Well, you weren’t going anywhere, anyway, right? Which one would you like to work on?” and she fanned the completed tests out. I kind of chuckled and said “I’ll work mine, if that’s OK,” and picked it up from the stack. I turned it over to see…

…a full page of completed work. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I kind of dumbly handed the test back to her and she said “Did you do everything else?” She paged through it…all the work was done. She looked at me, and I said “I guess my brain is playing tricks on me”. She kind of laughed and said good night and I left again. And as soon as I left the classroom, my brain began insisting that something wasn’t right. That test was too easy! I had struggled all afternoon, and none of those problems had seemed very difficult. This was just plain failure waiting to happen.

However, there was nothing to do. I had turned in the test, I had double-checked my work, I had just seen the completed test with my very own eyes. And, what’s more, at the beginning of class I had gotten back a quiz that I knew I had totally screwed up, and lo and behold, my score was 9/10.

All I can do is wait for Monday and see my grade. And also try to figure out what the hell is wrong with my brain.

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