Math Exam // life

Hello again,

I had my oral math examination the day before yesterday morning at 10:30. A morning that felt like eternity and given some thought it was actually a pretty traumatic experience. And yes, I am dramatizing this. But I have never felt so stupid, lost or alone in my life – despite from when I had my depression, but that is a whole other story. 

I went into the room with my teacher and the external teacher. I picked a question and I turned the paper around. "QUESTION 24 – EXPONENTIAL FUNCTIONS" it said. Not the worst topic, I thought. It could have been math of finances or statistics, which would have been a nightmare.  I had spend about 60 hours over the last 9 days to prepare all of the 25 questions and their sub-questions, so I was calm, confident and prepared. The external teacher seemed nice as well, and I though I was going to nail this. He looked a bit like a bear. 

One thing I have learned about myself is that when I say people look like bears – I most likely been they look nice and calming (even though if I saw a bear in real life I would probably not be as calm...). Sometimes I question if my head actually functions.

I went into the room to prepare myself for 30 minutes and read the questions, and I notice the second question is: "Relate exponential development with math of finances" and I thought that would be easy. I would draw a number line and visualise how savings with interest rate compounded annually would have an exponential growth. I had all I needed to get an A. 

The oral exam in math in Denmark is that you get about 11 - 16 questions with sub questions to prepare at home. You have around 2 weeks maybe. I got 25 questions with 5 subquestions in each and 9 days to do 100 hours work. On the day of the examination you pick a question out one of those 11 - 16 (or 25) and have 30 minutes to prepare at 15 minute presentation. Then there will be 15 minutes dialogue with you, your teacher and the external teacher. They can basically ask you anything of what you have learned the last 12 years of math.  

To understand my situation correctly: You have simply been living in a cage for the last 9 days trying to understand 12 years of math and you are on the edge of a mental break down.

I went in there, confidently and did my questions. My teacher interrupted me and kept telling me I missed something, and I don't know what she meant, so I just kept going. They asked me if I could draw the point of the intersection of two exponential graphs on IT, so I did that, and then the external teacher asked me, if I could use this specific CAS system. 'Defiantly not, I am not even sure, where I do that' I thought, but what I said was 'sure'. I went to the CAS system, typed in my functions and set them equal to each other and BAM correct answer.

Lesson of the day: Sometimes luck actually exists. 

Then my teacher asked me about doubling time. A topic I have only heard about once in my first year. I forgot all about time, when I was in there, but there must have been about 10 minutes left or so. She could have tried to help me out. She could have asked me another question. She could see that I was struggling, but she kept going.

Lesson of the day: Sometimes luck screws you over.

And I simply couldn't. I tried and I kept trying. This were not one of those moments where you like the character more for trying than actually succeeding, because my teacher looked so disappointed in me. At the end I just couldn't and my teacher had to stand up and write the equation I had to solve on the board in order to get the doubling time of my original exponential function. I was almost crying. It was so embarrassing. I was pathetic. I could just feel how all of my heard work just flushed out to the toilet, and my teacher actually tried to raise my performance to get a better grade. My external teacher saved and looked at me, as he told me 'I think you're done now'. Never have I felt more relieved in my life, honestly.

I went out there. A classmate of mine stood outside waiting for his turn. He asked me how it went. I said 'fine, I was just nervous'. I was almost crying at the time and just tried to breath. I went to get some water, when my teacher called for me. I went inside again and they told me I got a 10, which is equivalent to a B. I can't remember how I reacted or what I said. I can't really remember the 30 seconds after they told me. 

As criticism my teacher said I seemed confused – And of course I was confused! Confused is basically a character trait of mine, I can't just stop being confused. I have always been the person who doesn't know where she's going and just miraculously end up where she is supposed to be. And especially at an anti-climatic exam situation you have spend days and nights preparing for for 9 days with great anticipation and anxiety. They also told me I looked very affected by the situation. Ha. WHAT DID YOU THINK MATE? Should I just have gone in there be like: "This is easy peasy, my entire life just depends on this, but whatever you know." ...

As I got my things together on the table I actually cried, but my back was turned to the teachers, though I could feel my math teacher through two years staring at me. I managed to keep myself quiet enough for me to hear the teachers turning their papers and drinking their coffee. As I had all of my things in my hands, I turned my head in a swift and said 'have a good day', and my teacher just looked at me, sad and disappointed and I don't even know. 

I just hurried out there and walked down the hall, without looking at anyone until I got myself together. I did that and met some of my other classmates on the way. I sat down and talked to them, just to get myself sorted out. They comforted me and was taught how to breath again, which was nice a convenient. 

~ · ~

Looking back at the experience I am actually more angry at myself for letting it affect me so much. Yesterday I also found out I was the student with the second highest score in my class of 16 students. Everyone passed, meaning they got at lest 02, but some got 4 and a few got 7. One of my friends got 12 and we had been studying together for the last week, which was nice, since it was like all of out hard work was not wasted.  

No comments:

Post a Comment