Tuesday, May 02, 2006

For the Love Of...

I don't know which part of today's exam was my favorite:
  • The part where the professor wrote in the instructions of the exam "There are two questions, each weighted equally", but then when you turned to question #2, it turned out to consist of six different parts, each addressing a distinct issue and requiring its own separate answer. I don't know where this professor took math, but in my book, that's a total of seven questions, not two.
  • THe part where, one hour and twenty-odd minutes into the three hour exam, my computer suddenly and with no warning whatsoever died. The screen went blank. I checked the plug and lo and behold, the outlet at my seat had just stopped working at some point after I started the exam. Luckily, no one was sitting in the seat directly behind me, so I plugged in there and pushed the power button, which is how you come out of hibernate mode. If the battery runs out, the laptop is supposed to go into hibernate mode until you get some juice to run it on and turn it back on. However, instead of simply restarting, it started to reboot.
I nearly puked.

Was my exam lost? Would I be able to reopen it? What the heck just happened, anyway? Then I found that the exam software wouldn't let my computer complete the rebooting process. I felt the jaws of panic closing in on me. I looked wildly around for the proctor, in hopes that they had some magic cure, but there was no proctor in the room.* I didn't really know what to do at that point, but there was no time to dither about, so I tore upstairs to the Registrar's Office, waited impatiently behind two other students turning in take home exams, then dumped my tale of woe on the Nice Registrar Lady, who in turn called one of the lazy tech guys from upstairs. She sent me back to the room with some Kleenex and a quick pat on the arm, and the assurance that the tech guy would be right down.

I waited in the hallway just outside the door to the room, not wanting to unnecessarily disturb the other students taking the exam. It seemed most considerate to tell the tech guy my story outside the room. And I waited and waited, and started to wonder if he was coming at all, or if he had decided to step outside for a smoke (since, as far as the students can tell, that's how they spend at least four hours every day)-- in fact, I decided to step over to the windows to see if they were, in fact, smoking (for once, they weren't). Finally, finally he showed up and did some sort of mumbo jumbo that I couldn't see because I was busy trying to find my train of thought again, and then he turned my laptop back around and my exam was there OH JOYOUS DAY. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of relief I felt at the sight of my work, still there! still intact!

I lost about fifteen minutes to this crap, plus the time that it took me to calm back down and get my train of thought-- thouroughly derailed by panic-- back on the right track, and I could have really used the time to answer the seven questions posed, but what can you do?

Really though, I'm not too worried; to be perfectly honest, I didn't spend much time studying for this exam at all. My motivation isn't as high as it used to be. As several of us 3Ls have grown fond of chanting: D stands for Diploma!

*Damn, I guess I missed my chance to cheat my way to an A. Oh, wait: it was open book. Guess cheating wasn't really an option anyway.

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