Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

As ready as I’ll ever be for this exam.

In a couple of hours I’ll be taking the mother of all finals. I can’t afford to get anything less than a B in order to maintain my GPA and remain in this advanced program. For the past two weeks I have sacrificed everything including sleep for this exam.

My fellow students and I have no clue as to what the exam will cover because my professor threw a temper tantrum in class when contradicted on her claim that she had handed out review sheets. She insisted that she had given them to us the week before and when the students insisted she hadn’t she went ballistic. It’s understandable to argue when a couple of students claim they never got the review packet but it’s time to think back when an entire class is telling you they never received the material. Because she was angry she refused to tell us what areas the exam was going to cover. All she told us was that the 3 hour exam would consist of 100 questions none of them multiple choice and no vocabulary bank and just to make sure the party was extra funky we had to write two essays as part of the exam and no she would not clue us in as to the topics.

Unlike the rest of the class I was ready for her. I’ve had teachers like her before. She starts out with one lesson and then goes totally off topic. That’s where my laptop comes in; whenever she’d go off topic I’d google whatever she was talking about in class and add it to my notes. Let’s put it this way if during a lesson on Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development she discussed Freud's love of vanilla ice cream on his apple strudel I included it in my notes complete with recipe for said strudel.

After an incident centering on the first paper I wrote for her class I knew I had to be on high alert with this woman. The paper was on Cerebral Palsy something I have extensive experience with so for me at least it was a pretty simple paper. Several days after handing it in she handed the paper back to me ungraded and accused me of plagiarizing the paper. She even suggested that I rewrite it. I was livid;I dared her to prove that my paper was plagiarized. I told her that from the time I handed in the paper to the time she returned the paper to me she'd had enough time to prove her claim. She backed down and took the paper back. Later on it was brought to my attention by a staff member that the professor was biased towards inner school students. I hate to use the biased excuse but you start to get the hint when you're treated way different than the rest of the class. Her assumption that as an inner city high school grad I'd lack the skills to write a paper really irked me. Even as a kid fresh out of my ghetto high school working on my associate’s degree I was still turning out A+ papers on a consistent basis.

She returned my paper giving me a “B” trust me people I am my own harshest critic and that paper was not "B" material. Several of the other students some of them already working in the field read the paper and were outraged. They felt that my paper had been graded spitefully and that it deserved at least an "A". The professor again requested that I re-write the paper and I refused as a matter of principal.Days later she gave us an exam meant to test our writing skills anything less than a six indicated the need for tutoring. She gave us our results the following week and seemed to choke on her words when she told me I had scored 11 out of 12, needed no tutoring and was an excellent writer. I looked at her and said, “Eleven? I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry to catch the last bus out of here otherwise I’d gotten a twelve.” The look on her face said it all she wasn't too fond of me. My next paper was a “B” as well but I’m not going to argue that grade. The fact was that I bullshitted through it. Honestly I didn’t know the material I'd missed several days of class due to illness and had gotten the notes from a classmate the night before the paper was due. I was happy with the “B”.

I’m sitting here writing as a release, taking a break from studying feeling anxious but resigned, trying to hold onto my cool and not let the pressure get to me. I've always thrived under pressure. All through my academic career I have had to prove myself over and over again to teachers filled with ignorance, still clinging to their stereotypical beliefs when it comes to my people. I’m getting to be a pro at it. Freak it I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for this exam. When I called my aunt Nora earlier and jokingly asked that she whip out her prayer rug and pray for me her mom Leila pointed out that today is the first day of Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice ) "Only good things can happen to you today Mia" she said. She reminded me that the prayers of an entire family containing Muslims, Christians,and Buddhists are following me, so my ass should have ample coverage.

I figure God, Allah , Yahweh, Jehovah, Bob, whatever name the head cheese prefers is looking out for me otherwise I wouldn’t have made it this far in my life. I’m not doing too bad when you consider I came into this world on Christmas day 3 months premature weighing 2 lbs and was never expected to live. Like I said I have always thrived under pressure.

Heaven by Derek Miller:: CD Title: Music Is The Medicine (2002)

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