Reality check

Posted by Karen in Day to Day, School.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2005 at 1:34 pm

So I took too many classes this semester, then my classes turned out to be really hard, then I ended up HATING one of my classes on so very many levels, then I found out last week that I’m doing all of this for no reason because it turns out I don’t actually need these credits, but it’s way past the deadline to drop a class or even change the grade basis. So instead I just get bad grades. I’ve never gotten bad grades before. It’s a humbling experience. In addition to all of this, my research project has seriously picked up, and I was already behind with it so now I’m waaaaay behind, and getting behinder by the day.

So I had an exam this morning. I knew I wasn’t prepared well enough going in to it, but it was like my brain just sort of decided it had reached capacity and wasn’t interested in letting any more in, so my efforts at studying hadn’t been very helpful. Let’s just say that the exam didn’t go well and leave it at that. To ward off the impending tears I immediately took off after it was over to go run some errands. And of course the coldest rain imaginable was coming down. And just as I started to let myself get all oh poor me, I got my much needed reality check.

As I was waiting at a stoplight, I saw a blind woman get off a bus and make her way to the corner. She was having a hard time pushing a little cart of her things with one hand while using her cane to find her way with the other, all the while getting soaked by the coldest rain imaginable. She stood at the busy corner, trying to figure out if it was safe to cross the street. She decided to go and stepped off the curb right into a deep puddle of the coldest water imaginable. It startled her and she paused, and then kept going. And there were my tears again, but this time not the poor me kind. I imagined how terrified I would be if I were her, just trying to cross the street, even on a less busy corner or without the rain or the puddle. The courage it must take.

I have another exam on Thursday, this time in the class that I hate. I feel pretty certain that it too will not go well. But I also feel pretty certain that there are more important things in life than grad school. Sometimes you need to just buck up and quit your whining, and sometimes you need a little help seeing that.

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One Response to “Reality check”

  1. M&R Says:

    N&K – Yowza, a guy leaves town for a few days and doesn’t read the blog and look what is posted – tons of cool stuff! N – great project, wish I was there to plot and plan, but good for you to take this on. I remember the fear when I cut a hole in our roof… K – I liked your story of the old woman, it does help to put things in perspective, but I do hope things ease up for you.