Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Week of the Semester

Finals week scares me. Yes, everyone has to take the big, mean, ugly tests that are usually a comprehensive summary of the semester, but they strike a different kind of fear in me. I can't shove studying aside any longer to work on cleaning my room, grocery shopping, cook, plan Christmas presents, or do any of the other productive excuses I've used for my time so far this semester. I'm being called to account for the effort I put into school - what my parents pay for, teachers prepare for, and other students sweat over - and it's not pleasant. This fear brings a paralysis, a wrought-over feeling in my gut, unconsciously clenching my jaw, and lines of worry that knit themselves in furrows across my forehead.

It's not that I don't like learning. I do. And I could come up with a million excuses for not doing the work during the semester: initially it's things like that I didn't pay enough attention to the syllabus to realize something was due. Then it becomes fear and shame of going to class when I'm not prepared and the teacher expects better of me. Laziness and boredom in class also play roles; I just don't feel like doing the work or it's uninteresting and I lose motivation to do it. These excuses are all true, but they are also fairly pathetic. When the semester draws to a close, I remember my responsibility to get good grades (not that I ever really forgot it - I just ran out of room to hide from it), and because that's in serious jeopardy, I get scared.

And so this is where I find myself, on the second-to-last day of finals week. One scheduled final tomorrow morning, and a second to frantically study for before the testing center closes tomorrow night. The foot of my bed is covered in clothes I wore over the last few days, and my desk has been littered with letters, books, notes, and various things (mostly papers) that ought to be cleaned up. I'm not worried about dinner, fortunately - I've got plenty of options, and most shouldn't take long to make. Hopefully I know what to study now, I just need to do it.

As I resolved earlier this week after a disappointing test score (not bad, but not as good as I wanted or expected), whether I succeed or fail, my God is and will remain to be the God of Israel. I will not make my faith contingent upon test results.

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