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Thursday, May 22, 2003

School's Out  
I took my final in Health Education last Saturday and turned in my notebook the Saturday prior. The notebook consisted of 10 written assignments (review questions, short papers, personal assessments, etc.), 5 turned in at each half. I'm so proud of myself for completing my homework and studying. I'm getting really good at this school thing. It's so silly; I could've been doing this well all along if only I'd listened. Everyone (parents, teachers, etc.) says do your homework and study and you'll do fine. But do I listen? Of course not; I have a problem with authority and have to learn things all by myself. I just refuse to be told, to swallow wholesale what anybody says. I'm so irretrievably stubborn, which earned me a C average in high school. My little sister accepted the advice given her and used it to get a more respectable GPA, which got her a scholarship for CSUSB, where she earned a Bachelor's in French.

So, anyway, I did very well on the final. There were only 2 questions (of 50) that I had to think about - the rest I knew right off - and I'm fairly certain I got at least 1 of those correct. Before we started the test, the teacher said that when she was finished grading our notebooks she would leave them in a bin in the department office for us to pick up. When I turned in my test, she asked if she could keep my notebook. (I'd turned it in the week before so she had already graded it.) I didn't have any plans for it so I said sure. I suppose she thought it was so good (I got 100%) that she wants it as an example. Wow, I'd forgotten what that felt like. I remember in fourth grade, my teacher used my tests as keys for everyone else's, because mine were always perfect. You really shouldn't let a child of that age know you're doing that. It makes everything seem so futile, and that's a difficult emotion for a fourth-grader.

As for my Astronomy class, we had three tests of which the two highest scores are counted. So, since I got an A on the first and (I think) an A on the second, I didn't need to take the third. Which means, essentially, that I finished that class last month. I never officially got my score on the second test, so let me explain why I think I got an A. The teacher owns a scantron machine, which he uses to grade the tests almost immediately after they're finished. After I turned in my test I paid close attention to where my test was in the stack. When he put the one-I-thought-was-mine through the machine, I listened closely and am pretty sure I heard two clicks, meaning I missed two which would be an A. Also, I did two extra credit assignments before the second test so I had a cushion.

Tomorrow is commencement at which I would be parading forward to receive my long-awaited Associate's degree; would be if I had signed up for it on time. Heh. I got the letter about qualifying for the degree and registering for the ceremony (deadline, cost, appropriate dress), which I set aside. I felt a strange mix of pride and shame; pride about finally finishing and shame about finally finishing. I was too embarrassed to make a big deal about it, like I didn't deserve it since it had taken so long. I felt like I was the last person to finish a marathon and shouldn't get a medal. So I focussed on just finishing the semester. When I told my husband how I felt, he encouraged me to attend, insisted it was a big deal (he doesn't have any degree). So I decided to go, checked the letter, and the deadline for registering passed weeks ago. So I told my husband we'd have to do something special just for me this weekend. Maybe a fancy dinner. Haven't had one of those in a while.