Friday, December 17, 2010

What a feeling!

Why did nobody tell me how it was going to feel when the exams finished?

It's as good as when I gave birth to my children! Here I am, 31 years after leaving school and finishing my first semester in university - with (I hope) all my exams passed. Came out of philosophy exam this evening to a Christmas snowfall and it was sheer heaven. I wanted to burst with pride. Made do with waiting for my mates with a bottle of Cava and, outside the exam hall, we mature students toasted each other and gloried in our achievements.

It is so hard to take it all in. A year ago I was hoping that I'd get into college and now I feel that I am a 'real' student. The exams weren't easy but I did realise that the work I'd put in over the term had actually paid off. Of course I'll do things differently next semester, but for the first term I'm dead proud of myself :-)

Resting on my laurels is not going to be an option. I will have a different strategy next semester but we have also been given a ton of homework by the Spanish department to do over the Christmas holidays. Feliz Navidad my ass!!! We get examined on our holiday work the second week after we go back to college. Think I may take Christmas day off LOL.

It will take a day or so to wind down and tidy up all the notes and books lying around the house after the frantic cramming of the last few days. The next few hours are going to be spent relaxing with the lads and having a few drinks.

Student life really is great :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Exams - even with the opportunity of a deferral!

I'll be in my first exam in less than 12 hours. Nerves only started to kick in after dinner this evening. Now I'm chatting online with other students who are in the same boat. It's very strange to be preparing for an exam again. Thankfully, the Latin American history exam a couple of weeks ago was a gentle reminder of what it's like to sit an exam but I saw the set-up in the big halls today and it is a bit intimidating.

While I've been revising it's been reassuring how much I actually took in during lectures and tutorials. Writing essays helped to get the brain in the right mode too. Handed in my last assignment today before going to the clinic to have my knee looked at. Yes, had a stupid accident on the stairs early on Sunday evening and am now strapped up and crutched - not to mention doped. The X-ray can wait until after the exams.

The college is certainly helpful to students with medical problems. Today I was offered the chance to defer my exams until the next chance (May) or sit them in sick-bay. Declined both offers but did get a temporary disability parking permit as I can't walk easily and will have to drive to my exams. Can't imagine deferring unless it was absolutely necessary - would mean studying all this semester's work again until just before the end of year exams!

It is a strange set-up. What I'm studying now will never be needed again. The notes and books I used for my essays are already defunct and the rest from this semester will be assigned to the archives on Friday. As half of my subjects will be dropped next year, it is sad that everything from the modules I've been studying the past 12 weeks will not be part of my life from now on. I know I haven't enjoyed everything - that would be a bit much to expect - but all the work will be examined over the next three days and then ignored. Okay, some of it was groundwork for future study, but at least half of it will never be used again in an academic sense. I will miss History of Philosophy and the Celts.

Oh well, time to get some refreshing sleep before exam number one. If we've been lied to about what is coming up on the paper I'm screwed!