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28 April 2011 @ 05:12 am
 
A video roles on in the realms of YouTube and someone else's mind. Kiwi is in Lindsay D's video--the girl who was once a best friend yet stole from her--and she can tell because of the emo music. Kiwi is ill and blows her nose, walks to Lindsay's desk for a conversation, and walks back to her own. She sighs. Is Mrs. Brodeur ever going to give them the new list of plants they have to study and do a paper-project on, or is she just going to keep staring out the window? If it were any other teacher...but it isn't, so she stays put. Ms. Watson waltzes in, looking displeased, and sidles up next to Mrs. Brodeur.

"You can't come in when you're like this," Ms. Watson says, brow furrowed above eyes sparked with the merest hint of compassion. "It isn't fair to the students. We're bringing in a substitute."

Kiwi hurries to the window and stares out, hopeful. But it's Mr. McGrath, the only teacher to ever give her a C (she fails at Heterosexuality and Contraceptives classes), strutting down the path. She groans, picks up her jacket and walks out of the room, out of the building, out of the Plant Area, all the while grinning up at the sun.

A red-head hurries up to her. "What are you doing?"

It's Christine D., or something - which is strange because she was from elementary school, but this is a dream and it doesn't matter. Kiwi shrugs a shoulder and laughs. "Brodeur is on the frits. Watson has a class. McGrath is our substitute; he knows less about plants than he does about lesbians. I said forget it, peace out!"

Christine's eyes widen. They're walking into Kemp Hall now, past Mrs. Cavanagh's room and Kiwi's freshman/sophomore locker. "You're skipping school?"

"I'm skipping school," Kiwi confirms as she reaches her locker by Mrs. Cooper's Biology classroom. She shoves her books under a pair of beaver slippers--the ones she wears during maths class, which is equally ridiculous these days. "I have a greenhouse to create for Brodeur's class by next week. If class-time isn't going to be useful, why not get home and get it done?"

She smiles as she drives away from the school in her old red Volvo, which occasionally transforms into a less-old green Subaru Outback, but either way she didn't mind. She's learning about plants and lesbians, and she doesn't have to be in school to do either.


Not a dream in which I am at my most compassionate. *Chuckles.* I woke up confused - why was I dreaming about high school? Today was my last day of university break! (And that dream is close enough to true, though it's a mix of junior year, senior year and fiction. I did skip school one day when classes were ridiculous, and I did go home to finish a project, but I doubt it was the greenhouse one since I think I procrastinated on that one.)

Throughout today I've had this feeling of guilt that I'm not trying my hardest, not shoving my nose down against the grindstone 'til the stone is a cheese grater and my nose is cheese, which is what I've been known to do. And it's not as though I can't now, which is what's causing the guilt. I am physically, mentally, emotionally and whatever-else-ally capable of pushing myself that hard. Pushing myself to greatness. Being something...more.

Except that I'd be breaking as I did it.

I finished copying down one of the longest lectures in one of my hardest classes today, then another just now. That's all the lectures for the class, so now I've just got the extra reading/note-taking and then the pre-exam revision time. It's reasonable, but it's not a lot of work for a day, not when I compare it against what I have been capable of before (as my mind automatically does). I bit my lip a lot.

Then I remembered the dream and that beautiful nonchalant feeling that school was just another thing. And I thought that was what the dream was for, to remind me of that. I unfortunately don't have a midway line on my dial between 'over-invested panic' and 'nonchalant chill'. I've been in the prior so long that I forgot I even had the latter.

This is my feeling of senioritis: acknowledgement that there's something after, something more. It's a little distracting, but it keeps me saner. I have a list of 'Things to Learn After Uni' next to me and it's getting longer every day - and some of it is academic, some even related to my course! So that endless curiosity and unquenchable thirst for knowledge/experience/wisdom/anything-you-can-give-me isn't going anywhere.

Unfortunately Nonchalant Chill Mode means my work dial won't go quite as high. And after second-year coursework --> dissertation lit review --> 40hr-and-more work weeks teaching children --> saying goodbye to everyone --> third-year workload --> dissertation --> exam revision, I'm pooped. Really and truly. Senior year of high school I was just frustrated and ready to go - now I'm that and exhausted. I either can't/won't give it my all, I haven't got my all to give or my 'all' is significantly less at this point - whichever it is of the three, I want to stop beating myself up for it.

(Before reading next paragraph, this guide to grade classification may be useful.)

In my Over-Invested Panic Mode, I figured out how well I have to do in most of my exams ([insert rant here about professors who can't get work back in time/won't upload grades online/don't have a Blackboard at all]). In the 5 (/7) I could calculate, I have to get 16-31% to get an ordinary pass - so I'll pass, if nothing drastically disastrous occurs. I've never failed anything in uni before; I don't think I've had below a 50 (third/C). To get a 2:1 (upper second/B) I have to get at least 50-57%, which seems doable since I usually score at least 60 (B-) even at my worst. Some classes I may even be able to get a first (A): 63% for Research Topics; 67/68% for Mammalian Reproduction; 69% for Conservation & Biodiversity. For others it's impossible: 76% Community & Landscape; 77% Environmental Management. (Mind, the example of an 'exemplary essay' Duncan put up for Environmental Management scored a 72%. No one expects to do that well on a scientific essay exam [which is annoying, since people in maths can theoretically get up to 100 and I've never seen anyone in science touch close to an 80]). For the mystery classes, I think they'll fall on the lower end of the scale for difficulty: Wildlife in the Farming Environment is a 50/50 coursework/exam like Environmental Management and I'm nearly positive I did much better on my coursework in Wildlife; Conservation Biology is 30/70 coursework/exam and I think I did very well on the presentation (with Jojobird & Claire) and end-of-term data analysis test (I went perfectionist and was the fifth-to-last person to leave).

*Points up.* That's my Hermione Over-Invested Panic Mode, as you can probably see. It's a little exhausting. But it does mean that I have a reasonably trustworthy chance of getting a 2:1/B for my exams (which are worth 2/3rd of this year, my dissertation the rest). This year is worth 2/3rd of my cumulative mark, my second year the other third - and I scraped a first/A for that, barely. I also have a 100% coursework module in which I think I scored close to an 80 (A+). So I could come out of this all with a solid 2:1/B. Which is good. I keep trying to remind myself of that. I don't need to be an A student to have self-worth and self-love. In fact, nothing out of this revision or these exams or these results or this degree will give me those if I don't already feel them.

It's also why I want this Nonchalant Chill Mode to stick around, even if it means not working quite as hard toward my exams. When I'm in it, I remember that these days I'm not my Hermione self; save what I've just given above, I don't usually indicate to anyone how well I'm doing - people either assume or my mother tells them. (I love you, Mum, and I don't mind you doing it since it's you and you're aloud to be, uhm, proud - I suppose - and it's you and Da paying [thank you!] so you can blab. You know, when I can't hear you.) I don't put results on Facebook or speak with my friends about it any more, unless I have concerns. In high school I spoke about my results all the time - which made sense as I was constantly studying. Results aren't my deal these days, even if some parts of me think they're stitched onto my forehead whenever I receive them.

In high school I felt like a strange inverse Scarlet Letter woman, with an A stitched to my forehead and everyone expecting it to stay there...so that when it fell away, there was scandal and disappointment. This end of university I have said 'sod that', scrubbed my forehead clean and painted a unicorn surfing a rainbow over a forest. I think Nonchalant Chill Mode is what I need, especially if it keeps me dancing in the kitchen like I have been since a few hours ago. (:

Miranda sent me a twitter link saying "KIWI YOU NEED TO GET ON THIS" with a link, and when people tell me to get on things I try to, so I opened it. And then I made this face:
MY LIFE IS CHANGING!!!!
because it was the Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows (Part 2) trailer. (That is really me, watching the trailer.) Please ignore my icky stressed-student face. But I thought it needed proof. That is the face of someone watching her childhood end. I also had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE FILM (terrible fan, bad bad Kiwi) because of all this exam stress. I have started marching under the tag #NOTMYBRAINYOUFINALS and Miranda has joined me. alsdjflaksjdf. My brain is gone.

I leave you with some humour: "The fates have informed me that your examination in June will concern the Orb, and I am anxious to give you sufficient practice..."

Hermione snorted. "Well honestly... 'the fates have informed her'... Who sets the exam? She does!"

That is how I am presently feeling. That and this:

"P-P-Professor McGonagall! Sh-she said I'd failed everything!" (Hermione referencing her boggart in her third-year Defence Against the Dark Arts exam.) Now I just have to get to the point of sitting my exams (which are more like NEWTs than anything else) and say first "NOT MY BRAIN YOU FINALS" and then concentrate hard, think of something funny, move my wand about and say "RIDDIKULUS!" Hopefully there will be McGonagall, giving me an award (degree) instead.

And hopefully it will keep me laughing until graduation, because that is going to be one long, boring ceremony...


Kiwi

"It was the rainbow gave thee birth, and left thee all her lovely hues."
[W. H. Davies]
 
 
Current Mood: indescribableIndescribable.
Current Music: Amanda Palmerness In General
 
 
 
albalark: All Sorts of Lovelyalbalark on April 28th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that you are beginning to chill a little about the end. Yes, you'll get your reward and you can cast your own 'riddikulus' at the specter of failure, because it's not going to happen. :-)

(I love you, Mum, and I don't mind you doing it since it's you and you're aloud to be, uhm, proud - I suppose - and it's you and Da paying [thank you!] so you can blab. You know, when I can't hear you.) This made me LOL . . . do we *ever* grow out of the 'embarrassment at parental bragging' stuff? I still don't want to be around when my own parents engage in it (and they don't stop just because you are 41 ::g::), and I can see my own girl nearly die of embarrassment should I just happen to mention what a fab kid she is within her earshot. Well, ya know what? I say *\o/* to braggy moms, since I am one now. We rock (and so do our girls). :-D
Vee: black metalvenomebat on April 29th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
I hate finals! I am in overdrive mode.... Hang on to your feeling to happiness as long as you possibly can!
P.S. are you on twitter? =O?
101mutts: hermione101mutts on May 1st, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
I had a comment for this post written and then the internet failed and it disappeared. Pouts.

I quite liked your Aggie dream (and that it was told as a story). Smiles. Watson sounds like the way you write McGonagall.

I can't believe someone hasn't started a Hogwarts. An alternative high school perhaps. It'd have to be mugglized but still...