So I had this physics exam. And I was super worried about it. It was your basic nightmare of a test. Fifty-five minutes, eight questions, show your work for partial credit. The kind of test that sounds easy unless you've had them before and you know that those eight questions will reduce your brain to a pile of quivering mush by the end of the test taking period.
I've never been a person who had test-taking anxiety. Probably because I never really thought anything was riding on one grade of one test that I took in school. Even with the SATs, I just figured that whatever happened, happened. And everything seemed to work out okay.
But now? Now it's my future. So every test apparently freaks me the hell out. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you that my physics professor said "Begin," and I opened the test and stared at the first question for ten full minutes. Ten. Minutes. Then, when the TA wrote "45 minutes remaining" on the board, something snapped and I was suddenly able to do physics calculations. Still. Ten minutes of a fifty-five minute period is a lot. I did not have high hopes for this test.
We were promised our tests back last night. I've been waiting. Trying to put the crazy out of my head and moving forward with my homework. I had varying degrees of success. Then last night my professor picked up the tests and began the longest speech I've ever sat through. (At least, that's what it felt like.) It contained sentences like, "Class average of 62%" and "Grading these tests breaks my heart because I want to give everyone a 100% and I just can't" and "The other sections had averages of 55% and 51%." He went on to say things like, "The first test always has a lower average. Now you know what to expect and how to study and I expect to see an increase in the class average as we move forward."
My palms were sweating, my heart was pounding, and it took every ounce of self control not to shout, "Stop talking and RETURN THE DAMN TESTS!!" FINALLY he started handing them back to us. In alphabetical order, of course. I sat through the first three-quarters of the alphabet (and all the dejected students who came back to their seats and would say nothing at all except for "It's bad") and then went up to get my test back. (Knocking at least there textbooks off of desks onto the floor in my haste. I wish I were joking.)
All that for an 81%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, normally I would be SUPER bummed that it's not an A, but after all this forewarning that the grades would be low, I'm just happy to have scored 19 percentage points above the class average. I could not have been more happy, more thankful to my physics study buddy, or more tired after keeping all that happiness inside until I got back to my car and my cell phone and I could squeal to my heart's delight. Ohmigod I am so relieved.
And now I will go and write the Chemistry Formal Report that I put off in favor of physics.