Biophysics Midterm: Check!
March 11, 2013 § 6 Comments
I can feel myself evolving as we progress further into the semester. My expectations of myself have become more realistic (though not completely realistic just yet) and I am learning to accept the amount and quality of work I am able to produce. I still get frustrated when I don’t finish my over-enthusiastic to-do lists, but the frustration is less consuming.
This morning we had our midterm in biophysics. Before heading in, I jokingly asked the professor, “Are you looking forward to torturing our brains?” to which he replied, “Yes, yes I am.” We have a new professor this semester and he is amazing. He explains the theory well, is willing to help us if we need anything, and is quite funny (though, as Charlotte pointed out, his humor is often lost on people because he always jokes with a straight face). Last week, he was nice enough to hold a consultation for our group. I was the only one unable to attend, as it was the same time as Chemotaxis (an elective I am taking this semester). I had given my questions to Charlotte so that she could ask them in my sted and rather than relay the answers through her, the professor offered to meet me on Friday to discuss them.
The exam itself was difficult but fair. As always, I went into the exam thinking that I was going to fail it. The difference this time was that I wasn’t afraid of failing. No, failing is not a good thing, but you wouldn’t believe how common it is here. So much so, that there are 3 chances to pass each exam – even midterms (in all courses except anatomy). One group-mate was joking that our standards have completely changed over the months, from “I really hope I get a 5” to “I really hope I pass”. It may very well be possible to get 5’s on everything, but I have yet to meet someone who has accomplished such a feat. Passing is what’s in right now…
With a little under 2 hours of sleep, I was quite the delirious little nugget this morning. I found a playlist with songs that I could sing along to and sat in the guest room, singing and redoing calculations over and over again. The calculations we get on the exam are similar to, if not the same as, the ones we are assigned as homework, so it is a huge benefit to do each calculation several times. About half an hour before we were supposed to leave, I began my pre-midterm ritual of listening to my favorite motivational video. I’ve listened to it so many times that I almost have all the words down. Nothing gets me as pumped up and motivated as this. (I’ve probably shared it already, but it’s awesome, so here it is again).
So after listening to this a couple times, I came to a conclusion, which I immediately shared with Skjalg:
“The test is simply an evaluation of how I have been studying so far. If I pass, that’s great. I can keep on doing what I am doing and possibly make some further improvements. If I fail, yes, it will suck. However, I will be forced then to review the material more thoroughly, to learn it better and really understand it. In all honestly, I benefit either way. One way is just a little more challenging.”
It’s amazing how much mental power you have over your perception of a situation. Accepting that failure was an option and thinking of the good that could come out of it, rather than focusing on the bad, put me in control. Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” applies, not only to other people, but to yourself as well.
Mindfulness: 1 ; Defeatism: 0.