Thursday, March 5, 2009


It's officially "mid-term" and while for most people that means TONS of work, I'm looking at a fairly light load. I have a chapter or two to read and a lab report to start on. And I have to prepare a presentation on my choice of journal article (I'm doing Maiacetus because it's cool and will allow me to talk about paleo AND sexual selection).

I took my mineralogy midterm yesterday and it was really awful. I didn't answer a good chunk of the questions and didn't do very well, despite all of my hard work. I know that working really hard doesn't guarantee success in college - but I feel like I knew the answers to the test questions and just didn't have time to answer them, not because I had to think for a really long time before writing down my answers - but because the test itself was REALLY long. There were about 30, multi-part questions, half of which were essay-type questions that asked really really broad things - like what happens to light as it goes through a petrographic microscope and thin section?. Um...lots of things...

We had 50 minutes to complete the exam. I did as much as I could in the 50-minute allotted time and then handed in my unfinished exam because I had to run to my next class. People who didn't have a class right after got to stay a little late and finish up - something I'm pretty upset about.

I don't know how the grading will go. Perhaps the test was designed to be unfinishable and there will be a considerable curve. Or, I'll get a D on something worth 20% of my grade.


Sarah Spears said...

Ugh, I remember mineralogy exams.....I like the lab exams better but even those got miserable when our professor gave us the "green mineral test" or the "white mineral test," and would give us many minerals that were all the same color and we had to identify each correctly. Egads!

Jerry D. Harris said...

Try to keep in mind -- it's really difficult when the pressures of grades are so preeminent, I know -- that what really is important here is what you are learning, even if you aren't able to regurgitate it on an exam, especially on in such a short time period! I know that your most immediate concern is getting a passing grade in the class so you can advance, but I know that in at least my case, there were classes I did poorly in yet still learned a helluva lot that have helped me greatly in my career!