I just received my midterm grade for Rhetorical Theory. It has me pleased. This is the first exam I’ve taken where I wasn’t nervous or worried. I went into the exam with several thoughts: I’ve been going to class, I’ve done all the reading, I’ve been making charts and taking notes to try to understand the essence of each philosopher, rhetorician, scholar and to understand how they might connect to one another, and I charted out the shifts that occurred in 2,500 years’ worth of rhetorical activity. If I did all of that, surely I should feel pretty confident going into the exam. I will admit that being awfully tired did play a role in my confidence. When you’re tired, you don’t have the energy or thought to worry. This is a scientific fact.
I went into the exam with a few thoughts:
And I did exactly those things. I did the second part of #8 so well that I was surprised when an e-mail arrived today with the midterm results. I thought, “Oh yeah. I did do that this week.”
I won’t get all specific on grades, but I did very well–actually as I thought I would. The last two questions I rocked and rocked hard. The first, not so much, and I expected that. I was just trying to be done at that point. In looking at the comments from the professor and rereading what I wrote (I never reread/revised while taking the exam–just wrote and moved on), I couldn’t help but smile. Something big hit me tonight and it’s something I’ve been feeling for a while, but it’s been accumulating to this moment.
Spread the news because this is fact. And because I know stuff and I am able to articulate it, others can know that I know stuff and might even pay attention, listen. As I work on my reading list and draft out my dissertation idea and read for my classes and try to conjure up topics for papers and try not to be nervous over a 4Cs presentation in April (yes, 5 months away–I plan my anxiety in advance) and prepare to add to that anxiety by putting together another panel proposal for another conference and hustle to get through another 10 to 100 things I add to my list of things to do, it’s easy for me to begin to worry, to begin to feel overwhelmed, to begin to think, Do I know enough to make it through this.
And my midterm results–and I actually think it’s more about being in the middle of a semester that marks my last semester of coursework before heading into dissertation work–informed me that I do, in fact, know stuff and can make it through this and do it very well.
Now, if I could only get topics for my classes’ papers.
Finished with all the words–well, kind of. Here’s a pretty WORDle of my exam responses.
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