Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Classroom

I sit in Professor Glycemia's classroom everyday. It is my most dreaded class- by far the hardest of any classes I take. Everyone in the college is required to take it, but few people seem to struggle with it. While a small group of us shows up for class everyday, study, and discuss topics, most people just show up on the day of exams- just once a year. While most people take the exams once a year, this small group of students take them 4 times a year.

Today is an exam day. Slowly the people other than the usuals show up. This test is going to be it! I know I know the material. I studied the equations. I know the vocab. I discussed. I quizzed myself. I learned everything. I am going to pass.

I took the exam.

I did everything I could.

I passed. But barely. Surprisingly, there were questions I knew the answer to, that I got wrong. "1 + 1 = ?" the question read. 2 I put down confidently. But it was wrong. Professor Glycemia stated the answer was 3. After class, furious, I run up to professor and demand an explanation. "There isn't one. I simply changed my mind. 1 plus 1 now equals 3."

"How can that be?" I demand.

"It just is."

My paper has a 6.9% written on it. On this test lower is better. My exam paper has a big fat "See me after class." label on it.

Slowly the students that just show up once a year leave. Big gold star stickers grace their exam papers, along with grades like 5.0%. How is this so easy for them?

Slowly is strikes me. Their exams had no questions. All they had to do was show up to get a perfect grade.

The injustice overwhelms me. "Why?" I beg to know.

"It just is. Deal with it." Comes the answer from Professor Glycemia.

Slowly I realize that after each test, more join the ranks of those of us who must work hard at passing Professor Glycemia's class. And we bond. And we share experiences. Professor Glycemia gives us and only us pop quizzes. And while Professor Glycemia's class is never on most student's mind, it is always on ours. And we learn to work. And we learn to appreciate when we pass. And we learn to laugh when we fail. And we bond.


Johnboy said...

Megan, I love this metaphor. How creative...and how unfair it is that we have to work so hard at something that others take for granted.

This class is going to last a while, I think...

Kerri. said...

Oh Megan, you've had such a string of terrific posts. This one in particular.

I agree with John - great metaphor. This class is a chaotic one sometimes. But I'm grateful for the guest speakers. :)

Penny said...

I loved this post. Good writing.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Bravo Bravo!! This is so creative! I LOVE IT!!!

Kelsey said...

Great writing Megan. I'm usually not this slow, but I didn't realize the metaphor the first read through... maybe my blood sugar is low :)

When I re-read it, I understood the full impact of the metaphor and loved it!

Thanks for writing this!

Jamie said...

Great read Megan! A wonderful post :) Thanks for writing it!

Shannon said...

I am completely stupid. I was wondering what the hell kind of tests this prof was giving. I figured "Glycemia" was a knickname you gave your professor.

Like Kelsey, I'll have to read it again to get the full impact (I'm so glad I wasn't the only one, LOL).

type1emt said...

Awesome post, Megan. You put it very well.

Sarah said...

Amazing post! How true.

Rebecca said...

Great post Megan, you're an excellent writer!

Also love the picture that went with it. Not sure if you picked it out on purpose but I think it fits, huge room with only a few seats different than the rest.

I get to take the exam Monday...thanks for the hint that 1+1=3...though, it'll probably be 2.472 or something by Monday.

Megan said...

Yes, I picked that picture on purpose for that very reason. Good luck with the A1c.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful compliments.

Jen said...

Wow. I am so glad other people posted that they didn't get it the first time. I completely missed it too. Now that I've read it again, it is a wonderful metaphor. I'm glad I looked at the comments, so I wasn't stuck thinking you were taking some weird class with a messed up prof!