Nov 27, 2007

I've got sambuca on my C3R

And now, thanks to the immuno final, I know what one of those is!

So you may be wondering how the immuno exam went. Me too! No answers or grades yet.

Before the exam, I felt pretty good and pretty prepared. I did a bunch of questions, was fairly confident in the answers, and the rest of it.

Exam did NOT feel good though, and apparently didn't to a whole lot of the class since the vast majority were there at the end of it. It was really difficult and took a lot of stuff I did know, and turned it on its head. There were also a LOT of questions where I could only narrow it down to 2, and then it's a 50/50 crapshoot.

On the other hand, the instructor did completely bail me out during the exam, and not only helped my concentration markedly, but kept me from being hauled off to jail for the brutal murder of two proctors.

You see... I'm easily distracted/irritated (really? Naw), and a little OCD anyway, which tends to be increased at exam time. An example is that I was bummed because I got "Exam D", which I hate, since I far prefer "Exam A" or even "Exam B". Yeah, I'm weird that way.

So I sit down in the exam in the far right corner of Bell, near the door... exam starts and I jam earplugs in, which by the way, is a fantastic thing to do. Highly recommend it.

The proctor for our area, at first, seemed content to pretty much stand directly behind my right shoulder, occasionally moving part of himself in our out of my peripheral vision.

FREAKING GROWL. Do NOT stand over my shoulder for long periods of time. It activates my punching reflex. I don't like it on a subway and I certainly don't like it when I'm trying to concentrate. There was an empty desk next to me, and I'm not cheating or I'd get better grades. Go away.

But this is also a somewhat (though hardly unusual) personal tic. So I resigned to ignore it and tried to focus my attention away from my right temporal visual field (thank you, neuro), wish for hemianopia, and try to focus.

At which point Proctor1 is joined by Proctor2, since 2 apparently decided 1 wasn't being annoying enough by himself. More wandering in and out of my peripheral vision... and I don't mean walking back and forth... I mean hovering right at the outskirts of my vision and moving just often enough to constantly divert my eyes in that direction.

And then they started whispering/chatting. Like two feet from me.

Really? I mean... really? We can't have a watch on our desks, but two people presumably getting paid for the sole purpose of shutting up for two hours and babysitting adults just can't swing it? Plus, if two of the proctors are tying themselves up with each other, doesn't that mean any of the students in their monitoring zones can then pull out "The Idiot's Guide to Cheating on Immunology Exams" with impunity?

But at this point, the prof rushes up, leans in, and I couldn't overhear it, but I suspect it wasn't nice, and they separated the gab session and Proctor1 had to resign himself to merely perching on my right shoulder again.

I was honestly already grateful at this stage. But then... student bathroom time, which meant more whispering, and the opening and the closing of the door outside next to me, and I'm just trying to focus on the exam without a killing spree and the prof comes up, genuinely sympathetic and says "Would you like to move seats?"

To which my answer was something like "Oh my god, YES." So she took me to the front row toward the middle, which, with earplugs in, was dead silent, and no one could stand over my shoulder, plus the proctors up front only walked purposefully back and forth occasionally through my central vision, which for some reason, doesn't distract me at all.

Then at the end of the exam after scantrons were in, she asked me if it was all right where I moved, and said that she felt so bad for me where I was. All quite genuine.

But this is an immuno exam. I'm so conflicted.

It is nice to have an instructor acknowledge that this is stressful and it is hard, and a distraction-free environment should be preserved. Things like a foot bouncing, people whispering and giggling in the AV booth (anatomy) or whatever, can kill when you're stressed, so having an instructor sympathize and change the situation is pretty good.

But I also may have completely tanked the exam simply due to the "holy crap"ocity of the questions themselves. Gah.

So what to do with your grade hanging in the air and a grim feeling that appears to be shared by a good percentage of your class? Remember the pathways:

Taking immunology exams activates depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety activate the urge to say "screw all of this" and go out with your equally depressed anxious friends. Groups of depressed anxious friends activate the urge to drink, activating Shiraz (which was great) and sambuca, the latter of which I'd never had before, but think viscous Italian uzo. Good stuff. Hey, tonight's liquor brought to you by the letter "Z". ShiraZ and uZo. I do love the wine bar, particularly since the sambuca was free. Due to a simple error on our bill which was reversed anyway, we got to do a sambuca shot with the owner. Salud!

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