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So My Semester - AS IT HAPPENS

Sun, Dec. 20th, 2009

12:07 am - So My Semester

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Is threatening to topple in on itself. All the results aren't in yet, but what has come has been a mixed bag.

The good first: I do know I passed one of my courses with a solid P, which is equivalent to a B+ or so in grad school terms. I actually got an A on that final project, a rarity it seems so far.

And now for the rest. The woman who is sponsoring one of the scholarships e-mailed me her cell and told me to call her as she wanted to hang out with me and see how my semester had gone. This led to the teeth-gnashing task of logging onto Blackboard to see what my grades were in the courses that had been posted. I knew that only one other would be completed; the one in which I had to create a treatment manual for a diagnosed disorder and in which I discovered that I hadn't completed a needed assignment and had to put that one out in three hours on Thursday.

So anyway, I'd done fine on the case study: 16/20. But the manual, which counted for 50% of our grade, kind of went by the boards for me. I only managed 25/50, and had 70/100 for the entire course. As far as I could tell, I would have been required to obtain a 75/100 to even get a low passing grade.

Feeling totally wiped out by this result, I climbed back into bed for an hour or so and turned my head into the pillow as I mulled over my options. I've so often experienced failure when I've tried to make changes in my life, and especially post undergraduate study. See this entry for furter details on that. God knows I didn't want to go through that again, and yet I was fairly certain that it would not be avoidable.

Sulking done, I hopped back out of bed and went to call that woman, I refer to her now as my mentor. We spoke some, and she told me to just touch base with the professor and determine exactly what had happened, as the conclusions to which I had jumped may have in fact been incorrect. She also offered to let me come over to her place for dinner, so I took it up. I needed to have some real human contact.

When we arrived, her husband was there also. They had a nice fireplace, and so I sat on the couch next to it as I usually do at my Aunt's old house. She also helped me fill out some forms that will hopefully get my financial issues in order, as they have been a very large part of the distress that has probably led to my subpar work. For dinner, they had a delicious soup of beef, rice, mixed veggies and green beans. I also ate some ritz crackers and warm pumpkin pie served with whipped cream. Finally, I drank a nice, cool glass of sweet tea. She wanted me to stay longer but was afraid of waiting till the roads became icy, so she went ahead and took me back. I told her I appreciated her just being there. If anything, this makes me glad to have applied for that particular scholarship.

When I re-entered the apartment, I found a response from the professor waiting in my in-box. She said that she had actually given me a low pass anyway, so that I wouldn't be booted from the program. Also, the manual itself was fine, however it only composed one half of the project. The other half was that we were to create a powerpoint. I don't know how I missed this in the syllabus, but she snapped at me for not adequately paying attention. I reckon that was my fault indeed. So that means one small detail probably cost me a high grade in that course. Insanity. And I'm still not out of the woods yet; I have another final project that I may have done wrong but whose grades have yet to show up. Just please let me get through to next semester. Things are lining up so that it should go a lot better for me than this one has. I just don't know if I can make it, though.

Some good things have happened also. I participated in another board meeting with the Norrie Disease Association, and this time I actually managed to say a little more than I did the first. I'm just learning how to properly interject with my points, which I think will be beneficial when I get to making career decisions for myself. I also got the A on the project I did about my having attended the conference in Boston.

I guess the task now is to just try and keep my head up and see if there's any way I can ride through all this. I shall keep you all posted.

Current Music: - Track 07

Comments:

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From:theafaye
Date:December 20th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
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Fingers crossed for you that it'll work out. It sounds like you've got a lot of support around you wanting you to succeed.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
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Thanks. Yes my support network has saved my neck on many occasions already. I am beyond greatful for every one of them.
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From:tigerfaerie
Date:December 20th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
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I don't think I need to repeat myself from what I said on your Facebook, but I don't think all is lost at all. Statiscally speaking the worst quarter/semester/term in grad school is the first one - especially for students not going directly from undergrad to grad. You gotta get your bearing in the academic world. I think you're doing just fine and I don't think you're going to be booted from the program. Besides I'm pretty sure all schools have an appeal process for things like that.

Don't you dare give up. Or I'll come there and kick your butt.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
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lol Thanks. My mentor threatened to "get" me if I gave up too. So now I'm kinda stuck.
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From:rnb_capricorn
Date:December 20th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
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So glad the prof at least gave you a pass so you wouldn't get booted from the program. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to learn things the hard way, but I'm confident that you'll take what happened this semester and make sure something similar doesn't happen in the next one. Good luck, and just keep on trying your best! That's all you can do and hopefully it'll pay off! For now, try to enjoy the holidays!
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
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Thanks. Yeah I'm not getting in as much enjoyment as I should be. Seems if I'm not stressed by one thing, it's something else. *sigh*
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From:tigerfaerie
Date:December 20th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC)
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Ha ha ha. Who said grad school was about enjoyment? Didn't you read all my LJ entries that said it wasn't?
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
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lol Yes I did.
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From:hopefulspirit
Date:December 20th, 2009 08:46 am (UTC)
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I would say for your first semester back you have done amazing! It takes a bit to get back into the swing of things, after all you haven't been in school for awhile. I'm sure it won't be easy but you're a smart guy and you're finally doing what you've been wanting to do. Keep at it, I'm so excited for you.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. I'm mostly hoping they allow me to stay in here. We shall see, though.
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From:creature_girl08
Date:December 20th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
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I continue to wish the very best for you in school. I remember how hard my mom struggled in her first semester back at school aftr not having been in school for twenty-fine years. So hang in there. Sounds like you will do ok as long as you persavere.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Thanks much. It was a struggle in many ways.
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From:agirlnamedluna
Date:December 20th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC)
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I hope it will work out for you!

One thing that always helped me with figuring out what I needed to do for courses was to make a list as soon as I had the syllabi and regularly check those. Can you perhaps have someone do this for you? If it's online, I'm more than willing to look through it for you and make you that list, that would definitely save time :)

*hugs*
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From:marjory
Date:December 20th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
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What she said! If you were gettung As on the projects, it's harsh to potentially lose that on technicalities.

Best of luck!
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, that was pretty harsh. Ah well, live and learn.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
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I think I will definitely have to do that next semester. Thanks.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. I think I'll be ok if I can just roll over to the next semester.
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 20th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, I certainly hope so!
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From:unsilenceddream
Date:December 21st, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
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*hugs*
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 21st, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Thanks.
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From:shadowwolf13
Date:December 22nd, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Hi! I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that people were saying nice things about you.

http://shadowwolf13.livejournal.com/788144.html?thread=2928560

Please feel free to stop by and read the comments, add your love to others, or spread the word to your friends.

Blessings,
Shadow
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From:johnmill79
Date:December 22nd, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Me? That's odd, but thanks, I appreciate it.
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