Friday, June 27, 2008

An end to the sleepless nights.

Finally my placement at a secondary school has ended. The weight that has been making me shorter is no longer on my shoulders.

However there is another reason as to why my sleep should hopefully return. We got out exam results yesterday. How I did will obviously be dragged out in this post (what more can you expect from me?!) but they could be the reason as to why I have the cold/flu again. (I'm not really quite sure because it's early days, but my voice is going to go again...)

We were meant to get our results yesterday and we did. During the day I had sneaked a look on the self-service thing when the teacher had stepped out of the class, and they hadn't been online. After that due to the hectic nature of Thursday (which may be mentioned later), I forgot about results for a while as I gathered resources for my lesson. It was hard-ish for me to use the internet because I don't have a username on the system. Teachers sometimes leave their system running, which is how I checked my webmail during the first week. (When the teacher popped back in, I said "is it OK if I check my university email", to which I was told yes!)

Anyway, at 3:30pm, the end of the school day, I dragged my feet to the other maths teachers room and asked her if I could check my results. She said yes and I got to work. There were a few students in her class and I didn't realise that whatever I was doing on the computer was showing up on the whiteboard! I went on the portal and there were my results. Online. Murderous. Another teacher had walked in as soon as my results appeared, and distraught I had quickly clicked on the cross having seen something horrible. Grabbing my back pack, I had logged off and thanked the teacher before walking absently to some other department. The English one.

No one had been around and I found myself alone, sat at a computer. Without thinking twice and shaking slightly, I had gone to check my results again only to find the same depressing numbers staring back. There were a few positive delights, but the one that was killing me was the one I had been sure of passing. I had passed everything, but not in quite the way I would have liked. My predictions of logic, discrete and algebra being my worst three had been correct. They were my worst three.

Detecting movement outside I had logged off and sat in the dark, only to find a teacher looking into the room. "Is everything OK?" "No, I just got my results." And then began the discussion to make me feel better. It didn't work though, as the clouds outside roared and shed my tears for me.

Eventually I picked myself from the chair, and I decided to walk home in the pouring rain. (It was actually chucking it down yesterday!) Other people had different ideas, and I didn't have to walk far before I was home. My first steps towards the computer were prevented as I was dragged out of the house to accompany Nuno to an opticians appointment... and erm I've yet to arrange mine! Silence surrounded me. I can't have got that much in that exam. Surely there must be a mistake. Who can I speak to about this? Yes I was damn upset because I had never expected myself to be staring at such a result. "But you've passed everything" they all shouted, "Be thankful for that!" Oh, I was thankful, but without sounding like a git, I had been confident of passing my exams anyway, and this had caused a U-turn on that feeling.

The receptionist tried to talk to me but even she sensed the clouds wailing above my head, and went quiet.

I got home at 5pm, semi-soaked and lifeless. I no longer wanted to do a maths degree, and forget the fourth year, if I was struggling to get onto my third year what was that telling me? Serious thoughts about just getting my degree and running, coursed through my veins as I retreated to the computer again. I was down in the dumps--deadly depressed.Words of sympathy bounced of me and I wondered about how this could have happened and the what ifs.

Logging onto the portal for the umpteen time, praying for a miracle, one happened. My previous "failings" had disappeared, and a reasonable (but could be better) mark stood smiling sheepishly at me. My thoughts were thrown into a disarray, and people around me started laughing calling me blind for not having read it properly. I hadn't been blind before. I had checked it more than once and stared at it for ages, until I had the image forever embedded in my mind. The euphoria came but then so did the questions. Was this someone's idea of a joke, or was it a glitch in the system. I could not rest and be happy until I knew, and I sent an email out (with my sad and heartbreaking story!) asking for confirmation. Today at 6:30pm I received the reply to my email. I received the confirmation!

There had been a glitch in the system so the first result was to be ignored. I am honestly overwhelmed to hear that, and A happy to have passed my second year without the badly dodgy marks that I was banking on. I am shocked at one result indeed, but unsurprised at the three I mentioned above. Discrete was my worst, but forget being disappointed, I'm taking it!

This post doesn't make sense because believe it or not, I have now been awake for 24 hours (ish). For the past few days, as soon as I've been coming home I have been sleeping till 11pm-ish and then waking up for a while to a quiet house. Eventually I tend to fall asleep again at 2am and wake up again at 7am. Today though I didn't sleep after waking up at 11pm because I had them damn resource sheets to do for my project. My mum also forbade me from sleeping as soon as I got home because I had to get out of that horrible habit. Consequently I had a rubbish driving lesson, where I stalled occasionally and nearly drove into oncoming traffic. I need to GEAR DOWN when I slow down. I keep on forgetting so have moved off in third gear, only to stall the car.

I won't write about the SAS and my lessons in this post because my head is crawling onto my desk, with my eyes shut. Today I sleep, but tomorrow I rejoice (albeit slightly under the weather but what the heck!) I hope that everyone else received the results they were after. :) I am more relived that anything else, because considering the circumstances that I struggled through this year, I expected much worse! All that matters is that I passed, not as well as I should have, but I still want to do four years. (Which is most important at this moment in time!) I didn't meet my expectations (and missed a lower expectation too), but my panicky and despondent tales of woe have now been shunned aside, as relief of not having done too badly kicks in. I look forward to the next year now, hopefully not my final one.


steve said...

Computers can cause such heartache when things like that happen. But then I doubt that you would have liked the old days when Universities put the results on notice boards, everyone crowded round them, and it was all public.

Anyway, congratulations on your results and here's looking to two more successful years.

Beans said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks. :) I'm looking to two more years, but the successful bit needs working on! (I hope to have learnt my lesson from this year though.)

I am glad that the glitch was fixed in two hours and not a week! I probably would have been feeling very very depressed had it not been corrected when it was. (My friend had a similar incident in her first year, but it was a week before she realised that she hadn't failed, and she had been pretty suicidal!)

I'm glad they don't put the results on notice boards--that would just be embarrassing. However I think some universities still put the exam results on a board for everyone to see. (I'm sure Cambridge do this). Most universities put the final year classification on boards, for its revealed on graduation day anyway.

Jake said...

My old university put the results up on a board but rather than put the students name by the result, they identified them by library card numbers so that the individual results were still fairly anonymous. It wasn't so bad really but I guess the online system is better.

Beans said...

Hi Jake,

I think VUM used to do the same and used the students ID numbers. (I recall one of my supervisors mentioning this last year).

I would say that the online system is better if there are no glitches!