April 26, 2014

It is OVER!

It is done, I am finished -- my semester is over.

I spent the better part of yesterday working with my colleagues on the final exam for our Quantitative Research methods course. The word on the street (from former students) was that the final exam (worth 200 points) was a killer, likened to the GRE test, but more difficult because you were answering statistics questions in an online and timed format. The most frequent comment shared, when asking about the exam, was "I bombed it." In today's slang that might be a good thing, but for those of us who have been around a while, well it is assumed to be "tanked or flunked." Yes, this was the information I had going into yesterday's exam and truthfully I had an ominous feeling that the result, my result, would be the same as everyone else.

I spent four hours yesterday afternoon in conference with three other students. Two took the exam earlier in the day because they were on the East coast. I was waiting to take it with my friend who lives in CA. The two who took it early passed with a 68% and 70% (137/140 out 200) respectively. Mind you, these are students with 4.0 GPAs coming into the program, and 4.0 GPAs IN the program. To say this class was difficult would be an understatement.

I was devastated by their news. I had heard from several other students who took it on Thursday that they also were disappointed with their scores (they didn't reveal what they actually scored, but from the tenor of their post, it was clear that they were not happy with the result). I stewed all afternoon and into the evening, worried about how I would do. I know, I know, I am such a [insert word for a control freak] over my grades.

Last evening, we were supposed to begin the test at 7 pm. Instead, my friend and I decided to review one more time, just to go over topics we thought we were unsure of and to focus on language (how the questions were phrased in the study guide). I am so glad we did. We finally sat the exam at 9, and we completed the 67 questions with about 10 minutes to spare (2 hours max). Our scores were equal (hooray!). We both got 161/200 or 80% (a B!)

Normally, I would not be happy with a B. But in this case, I am relieved and overjoyed. I completed the extra credit lab worth 30 points so that should bump my grade into a solid A range. The only item left to be graded is my research paper. My prayer is that I get a solid grade on it as well, but I know this Professor and he is ruthless with formatting and methods.

As I sit here this morning, I am humbled by the fact that I worry incessantly over minor details. I know I could justify my worry -- after all -- my scholarship requires a minimum GPA of 3.9. I am still waiting to hear if I was selected for the Dean's Scholarship, which provides up to 100% tuition coverage. The GPA requirement is 4.0. When it comes to money for school, let's just say that I am justified to worry over my grades. It is a matter of where the money comes from -- out of my pocket -- or from a scholarship at Regent University. I am praying it is the latter, and God knows how much it matters to me.

Yet, as I think about my life, and the plans the Lord has for me, the only thing I can do is fall on my face before Him and give Him praise today. He did this through me. I can tell you that I went into that exam with an empty head. Truly, there was nothing in there (empty, empty, empty!) I am notorious for not remembering details after I no longer need them. I have a mind like a steel trap, yet often I forget minor details. In the case of this class, I couldn't remember the difference between Multiple Regression and ANOVA. The Lord provided clearness of mind, and calmness of spirit, and He got me through this exam. All the praise, the honor, and the glory belong to Him, and to Him alone!

I have this weird feeling today. I have nothing to do, and it is freaking me out! WAAAH! I so desperately need a real life. Lord, I need a life outside of school. I know this is your will (school), and I know that I am working towards the plan you have for my life, but truthfully all this school work is draining me. I need some fun times, some silly times, and some good laughs!  I know you know my needs and I am trusting you to provide for me. I thank you for my sweet soul-sisters who support me in this program. I thank you that we laugh together (A LOT) and that we cry together (A LOT). I am so thankful for your provision of friendship. I couldn't survive this doctoral program without my good friends!

God is good, He is so very good. He loves me unconditionally, and He knows me well. I rest in His sufficiency, and in the fact that He is sovereign. He is good. He is good. He is good.

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