Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 344

It’s Thursday morning, just less than two days from my micro final tomorrow night. I have spent the last week grinding myself over and over this work. Quizzes, the additional problems, notes, I even reread some of the chapters. And regardless of how well I feel here, there’s that sinking suspicion that whatever I do, however much I study, it won’t be enough. I’ll fail again and then my life will take another turn. I don’t know what that turn will be, whether it will be good or not, and that’s scary as fuck.

Because this course, my first exam, is a prerequisite to a course I need next term. A course required for my new faculty. And I don’t know why but something in me hates the idea, loathes the notion, of taking a third year of 2nd year. One in business, one in econ, one in the next.

It’s not just that I suppose. It’s the other little voice saying, you didn’t get it the first time round? This place isn’t for you.

One of my biggest pet peeves with university is the lack of adequate work payoff ratio. This is interesting as I’ve talked to a number of people on the subject and I’ve found that everyone has a mixed reaction, which is that they fall into one of three categories.

The first was high school optimal. In high school, the mark you received was directly relative to the amount of work you put in. You studied for a week, you got a good mark. This isn’t me. This isn’t everyone who rolled out of bed and naturally aced things either.

Second is university optimal. You study for a week on a subject, you get a good mark. This isn’t me, which explains several things. Primarily how I can not study much expect minimum and get between 40 and a 70. If i do study, my range moves 10points in both directions. You know, the typical, saved by the bell curve. One would then expect the payoff I’d get to be higher if I put more time in. Like this term. I went to class, I have a complete set of notes, I studied, I did questions, and I read the k’vesi textbook, something most people only if they need the extra work. This is also second time through so I should have that extra level of knowing what to do. But that’s not how it works, because I’m not in this tier.

This leads me to life optimal. You may be quick on your feet. You may be smart or intelligent or street savvy. You may be a genius. But you do not fit on the scale. This group is made up of the two extremes and I’m unlucky enough to be on the left side of the bell curve. The high end is made up of the people who walk through school. They are lucky on mc when they don’t know, they don’t study and get good or great marks. They are the people we hate, because they effortlessly make us feel like idiots for spending three weeks studying for a test only to be outshone by someone who sleeps in class and skimmed the text the hour before the test. That’s the top.

The bottoms where I’m at. I always reasoned that it makes no sense to work hard for long periods of time if there’s no additional payoff. Work smarter right? I also thought that if I did work harder, then I should get a higher mark.

Then I came to university and found that isn’t the case. There’s no direct ratio for us. Hell there isn’t even a learning curve to adhere to. Some people are brilliant. Some people are smart. Some people are fairly intelligent. Some people are not meant for education. They learn fine, but education ruins them.

So here I am. Another term, another try. It could be I’ll master my exam tomorrow. But university is a learning experience, where you learn more about yourself then any subject you study. And I’ve learnt that there is no ratio of work to payoff that I can trust. Because while I like this place, it’s not a place that likes me.

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