Epic Tale of My Cohort Experience: Finals week

Monday: 12/09/13
Today I finish up working on my portfolio for my final tomorrow.  When I get it finished it is easy to decide what I will talk about.  I am very excited for tomorrow to come so I can cross 3 finals from my list.  I will hand in two and then go to my favorite class for the last time.

Tuesday: 12/10/13
Thankfully I slept with my phone on the nightstand because we got a call at 5:30AM that my children’s school was on a 2 hour delay.  An hour later, this turned into their schools being closed. Another snow day.  When it is time to leave for my final exam, the roads aren’t bad.  I leave extremely early though so I can hand in two of my finals in the appropriate offices and mailboxes.  I felt such relief letting those go!

When I make it to my final my professor places numbers on the board so we can sign-up for our presentations.  I choose #1.  I want to get it over with.  It goes well.  I make my classmates cry, which is always a good thing.  In fact, during the presentations we learn that most of us thought about quitting the cohort.  One student even printed out the papers and had them ready to turn in!  I wish we had been closer in those first days.  We were all in the same boat and we all had the same thoughts.

During our presentations, I also found out that the girl who saw me cry made herself so busy because her father is very ill and only has a few months left to live.  After class I talked to her about this and told her I wish she had told me this sooner.  I know what she is going through. God makes no mistakes. She saw me cry.  Then the next day, the first day of our other classes, when she walked into our last class, the only empty seat in the room was next to me.  Little did she know before she walked in, I was sitting there praying she wouldn’t be in this class because I was uncomfortable that she saw me cry, but she walked in the door anyway.  She also told me some other things about her family and I can 100% relate to her worries.

I had begun to think maybe I should have waited another year before joining the cohort because had I waited I would have never met the hostile professor, but if I had waited I would not have met the girl who saw me cry or all of the other wonderful people I have met.

Wednesday: 12/11/13
Today is the day.  The last time I will ever have to see Professor Hostile in my life.  I am nervous about this final.  I did not study for this nearly as much as I did for the midterm.  I chose not to because I was not happy with my midterm grade, but I was also not happy with our midterm in general.  The actual test was nothing like the preparation.  All I can do is pray.  Of course I am praying for an “A”. I can only miss two points on the final to get an “A”.  I realize only God can pull this off for me.  Only God can guide his grading.  I mean that is what it boils down to – how he grades.  I know all the stuff, but Professor Hostile is not very objective.  It is in God’s hands and I will make peace with whatever happens.

When I walk into our exam room it is LOUD.  Everyone is giddy.  I think everyone is ready to put this class behind them.  Professor Hostile walks in.  He makes an attempt at small talk, but everyone is ready to get this thing going.  He passes out not 1, but 2 Blue Books to each of us, followed by the exam.  I read it over.  I try not to panic.  It is awful.  It is horrible.  The poem we are supposed to use to answer all 4 questions is stupid.  It means nothing to me.  I stare blankly ahead.  I mutter a prayer.  I take a deep breath and then I start writing.  I write for the next two hours.  I answer all of his questions. I pretend I am a teacher in a classroom and explain what I would do.  I got this.  Even if he doesn’t like what I say, I am confident I will be a good teacher.  Somewhere in one of my answers I let him know the poem is stupid.  Of course I say this more eloquently than I just stated.

Finally, I write my last sentence.  I am trying to replace my fear of walking to the front of the room solo to hand it in with the relief I will feel when I close the door behind me.  These emotions teeter totter with each step I take.  I hand him my test, while trying to not make eye-contact.  “It’s been a great semester Becky,” Professor Hostile says.  Relief washes over my face as I can no longer hold it down like I had hoped so I could experience it in its fulness apart from this man.  “Thanks” I mutter, like the girl who has just been told “I love you” and does not respond in the expected manner. I bolt to the door. I am free.

I practically skip to my car.  I feel lighter.  The weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders.  I decide to stop at Chipotle on my way home for a celebration lunch.

Thursday: 12/12/13
The semester is over for me.  However, I can’t help but laugh at all the messages on our cohort Facebook page about the wretched take home final.  My fellow students have just started to complete it. Their thoughts are very entertaining.  No one understands it. I am thankful mine has been turned in, never to be thought of EVER again!


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