Sunday, 7 December 2008

Last Day in Halifax

I literally did not turn on my computer for five days last week. Not only did I not turn it on, I didn't even think about turning it on. For five days. I didn't think about the emails piling up in my inbox, the blogs I could be reading, the posts I ought to write, or even Facebook. My mind was completely stuffed full of one semester of FYP. So, instead of writing about my life, I was contemplating Iamblichus's theurgy, Dionysius's hierarchies, Plato's 3 waves in his Republic, and Dante's Paradiso, among a million other things. Ask me anything about the heaven of the Sun. Go ahead, I dare you.

All this was for my one and only exam. This is a mixed blessing. I have one exam, yes, which means less time doing exams, but this one exam counts for 4 of my credits, since it's the FYP exam and FYP is 4 credits. So if you screw that up, you've screwed up 4/5 of the exams for the semester. Now, to add to this stress, the exam is a fifteen minute oral exam.

For a week, the King's campus rings with the sound of studying. The oral requires a special kind of studying. Solo re-reading of texts and notes will only get you so far. If you want to really study for orals, you need to find some other fyppers and talk. Ask questions. Teach one another. Really get the texts and the philosophers enough to be able to compare them and relate them to one another or... anything really. In orals, questions like "What would Plato think of lunch?" and "Relate this watch to Aristotle" come up. Now, if this doesn't sound fun enough for you, I add that the oral exams are conducted by the tutors and lecturers of the Foundation Year Programme, ones that you haven't spent time talking to and getting to know in tutorial, no, you get someone you don't know. Someone whose voice you have only heard at the front of the lecture hall.

I was shaking when I arrived outside my exam room. I wasn't sure if I would be able to speak at all, let alone speak intelligently. After ten minutes of deep breathing exercises, I was invited into the exam by Dr Curran, who informed me that he was "the bad cop". Great.

They seemed fairly receptive, nodding and agreeing with me, but things got a little iffy with the Greek Tragedies we read this year. I scraped by on that one though, and I think it was ok. Maybe I killed it and I'll get a fabulous grade. I can dream right?

I'm supposed to be working on my 2000 word position paper right now, but my brain is sadly turned to "off". I worked on it a lot yesterday and woke up this morning for breakfast at 9 but still felt pretty sleepy, so I went back to bed. I woke up 4 hours later. My poor body is telling me something about the state of my mono. So I've decided to take advantage of my paper extension and chill out today. I have a 1300 word outline and 300 words of actual essay, so I guess I'm doing ok.

I will be in Ottawa TOMORROW! I'm excited for the snow (the crunch, crunch, crunch) and my family and my cats. I'm so excited for Christmas. I'm so excited to just relax and not cram reading into my brain 24/7. I'm excited for my mother's Christmas cookies. So, so excited. And brocoli with the tops on...

2 comments:

ironic_nonsense said...

Oh, you want to know about the fucking heaven of the sun? I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THE HEAVEN OF THE SUN. Oh wait. I can't. Because Wayne Hankey is a DOUCHEBAG.

Etarran said...

Guess what? Curran sounds tough, but gives easy marks on orals. You'll do great, really.