Friday, December 31, 2010

Going... going... gone! First semester is DONE.

Well, it's here. The end of the year and with that, reflections. I wish I had time to type out all my thoughts, but alas, tis the eve of my departure from home in Cayucos to home at MIT. But, as my mother pointed out, I've done a post for every month, so here's December's.

As the school year came to an end I was stressed and didn't know if I was going to pass the three classes I had. My self-confidence lowered (still working on that battle, but that's another blog for when I have time), I wasn't sure of anything. One semester at MIT can put you through many emotions, more than all my four years of high school. I see some people say "yeah, that was fine." and I think to myself, "heh, and where were you going to school?" In all honesty, I shouldn't have gotten behind in the beginning, but now I know to stay up on the reading and to sign up for those amazing seminar XL study groups. I finally was understanding chemistry, 3.091, and I finally was getting good grades in math (though I was convinced that I didn't know anything, still am not sure about that...). I came to finals week with this mindset: well, I got behind, got sick, dropped a class, and struggled to get caught up. I think I've done as good as anyone could ask of me to get back on track, so whatever happens, I'm prepared.

After studying and studying for math (my first final) I went to bed the night before the final at about 1am. I thought, "okay, I can get 7 solid hours of sleep, and then rock this exam!" Only, I started freaking out and had a stomach, shakes, and couldn't sleep the WHOLE night. Literally, NO SLEEP whatsoever. It was horrible. All throughout the night I was thinking, "it's just a test, it's not the end of the world. just relax, get some sleep," but no, it wouldn't work. I got out of bed when my alarm told me, and I got ready for an exam I had no idea how I was going to do well on. I am the type that needs sleep to function, but for some reason, my body does this right before big exams that I'm stressed about. It's like getting food poisoning, the shakes, nausea, no sleep... It happened right before my SATs, I think before some AP tests, and before my math final for the class I was taking at Cuesta last year. I think I need to get some professional help to work through that bad habit. Anyways, I got to the arena where there was a huge sea of desks, and I sat down. I prepared myself for those dredded parametric equations and cycloid problems (still baffle me). We got the exam. I calmed myself, hah, yeah right, to the best of my abilities at least. And we heard it, that famous word:

"Begin."

I swear you could hear the brains churning in the room. It's like holding a car just above the ground with its wheels spinning and then placing it on the ground to take off! Zoom! I flipped through the whole test to see what I had before me. Where is it? Where is that dredded parametric equation problem about a cycloid and some God awful piece of bubble gum we have to map it's path ....blah blah blah...where is it?! What? It's not here. It's...not...here?! AWESOME. I LOVE YOU PROFESSOR BUSH. So with that, I was stoked. I flipped through and the double integrals didn't look too bad, okay, two problems down, the matrices, hah, old stuff, got that...man, this test isn't too bad. Let's do this!

I was really pleased with the test. I left feeling like I had put down something for every problem, except one, problem 11...I'll remember you...*stares off into the distance* It was about the volume shaved off, I think, of an spherical orange cored with cylindrical tool. Anyways,  at the end of the exam, with about 7 minutes left, I started writing down some geometry stuff, and then handed it in. I felt like I hadn't just "put stuff down" but had understood like 80% of the test and put down ACCURATE stuff. :)

That was Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon I found out I got AN 84.5%!!!! :D I was TOTALLY STOKED (to be a Californian, since apparently people assume I"m from California when I use that phrase...). I had actually raised my grade from like an 85% to an 89.5%! :) I still don't know how I did it...hmm. Cool!

And then 3.091, chemistry, happened. I wasn't sure what to do. I studied a lot and was comforted, slightly, that all I needed was a 60 to pass. I took the final and was able to, again, put things down, but there was definitely things I didn't know. I wasn't sure if I was going to get that 60 that I needed. I emailed my TA asking him to let me know my grade if he could, and he said that he wasn't supposed to, but he'd see what he could do. A couple days later I got an email saying I got a 67 and had passed the class!! WOO HOO!! :) I'm totally stoked! :) As a Christmas present, I gave my review sheet to my mom, saying that (at the time I hadn't gotten the email) she could keep it but there is a chance that I may need it back for next semester...she laughed. However, now, its hers for the keeping! DONE!

After that, I was on cloud nine, I had gotten an A in math and passed my other two classes! I still have to finish math, but I feel much better knowing that I'm going into part 2 with a good grade. More importantly, that means that I know how to apply what I learned! (Hopefully I still remember!)

Well, it's getting late and I've got to finish packing. Gonna spend the last few hours with mom and the kitties. I hope everyone has a splendid New Year filled with much love, confidence, and excitement! Cheers!

--Chacha