Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Down, One To Go...

Well, I've taken my first comps exam. It was yesterday, at 9am and thanks to my obnoxious brain I only managed to get an hour and a half sleep. I went to bed at 10pm the night before and watched every single hour tick by until 4:30am, then, I got up at 6am. Not good, I was so, so tired. I managed to write 11 pages, in all, over the course of three hours.  Let me tell you, unless you've tried to write everything you know about a subject under serious time constraints, you don't quite realize how little time three hours really is. But when I was done, I was so amped up.

Unfortunately, now I'm feeling about like I might want to crawl under a rock and die. When I left the test, I actually felt pretty good about it. I got a lot of really good information into that 11 pages, and still didn't manage to have time to get everything I could have in. Every time I thought I was done and went to editing, I remembered more things I needed to add. In the end, I only have about 20 minutes to proofread 11 pages and that is seriously not enough time.  I only got it half edited, and looking back on it, let me tell you the second half could have seriously benefited by editing.

You see, I managed to leave out commas where there really should have been commas, I used the entirely wrong word on two occasions, I realized, too late, that one of my paragraph lead-in sentences is misleading, and the last sentence of the essay has two extraneous words that cause the sentence to make no sense, oh and because of the default settings on the computer I was using, my margins were .25 too wide on the right and left sides. Now, I'm so nervous that these grammatical errors are going to cause me to fail, even though I have what I feel is really good information. I am freaking out and even if I pass, the three professors I respect the most are going to think I'm a complete idiot!

Anyway, I was relating my worry to a friend tonight and he said they're more interested in content than they are in grammar, but still... this is more than one or two errors. Now, I have to study for my second comps exam and I can't stop worrying over the first one. My thesis committee chair said that I'd hear back from her early next week, but I'm afraid I'm going to worry myself into an early grave over this whole thing long before next week comes. Have I mentioned I am seriously freaking out? Have I mentioned that I want to crawl under a rock and die from embarrassment over my less than stellar performance? Yeah, thought so.

So, I figure that what I need to do for the second test is streamline down the amount of information I put into the essay to leave more time to edit. When it comes editing time, just work on proofreading and ignore my brain's impulse to add more information when my essay is good without it. I really need to show them a good essay, well proofed, to make up for the complete fail on proofing the first essay. I also need to get more sleep so my brain will function in proper working order... rather than at 20% like it was on Monday morning.

Y'all cross your fingers for me, I really need to pass this thing--if I don't, my humiliation might just multiply beyond what's bearable and I won't be able to show my face at school again. I'm so nervous... sooooooooooo nervous.  Hopefully good information will get me there, but I think I'm always going to be just a touch ashamed of myself for letting time run so short and for allowing myself to turn in such a poorly proofread comps essay, no matter how good the information might have been.