You know how there’s always a first for everything? Well, this semester was definitely a semester of firsts.
My first legitimately failed test. We aren’t talking Asian-fail here.
My first all-nighter. I have debated whether or not they are actually all-nighters, since I take short naps. However, I started timing how much these little intermediate naps added up to, and the hour or two they add up to are small enough to be assumed to be negligible. (Oh dear, I feel like I’m justifying the cancellation of kinetic and potential energy in a process unit.)
My first feelings of complacency upon receiving back failing quiz after failing quiz.
Needless to say, it’s been a rough semester for me. It’s been a messy fall from the old comforts of the breezy A’s of high school and 4.0 of first semester.
Throughout this all, I have to admit that my faith also grew pretty complacent. This is not something to be included in this collection of firsts, sadly, but it is still an issue, nonetheless.
I found myself justifying my poor academic performance by saying, “Oh, well, at least I’m not idolizing school.” Well, I definitely wasn’t glorifying God with my alternate usage of time, either. My ever proliferating laziness and procrastination was becoming an idol in and of itself.
Last semester, I started to really embrace the mindset that no matter my academic performance, God will use the result to glorify Him. This would be all peachy, except I started twisting this truth to fit my purposes, thinking that even a failing grade will be able to be used for His glory. While this is true, I was using this to justify my lack of hard work. It is one thing if you give it your all and fail. Though I did put forth effort and hard work into the tests that I did not do well on, I definitely was not giving it my best.
However, through my faithlessness, God is faithful. He was there when I realized that I really needed to get my act together. The mindset stayed with me, but it was returning to its original intent. I worked harder, put more hours into studying, prayed more. God willing, please allow me to turn around my grades. And if this was possible, please keep me humble, and remember to first give God the glory. And if it does not work, still give God the glory.
Well, the end of the semester is now rapidly approaching.
God bless my ChE317 professor. She definitely graded fairly, but still with a lot of grace. She dropped two homework grades and accounted for a small range of human error in quiz and test grading. I think it is fairly safe to assume that I was probably one of the people to benefit the most from the homework drops, due to my terrible homework track record in that class. And then, if our grade fell between two grade clusters, we were curved up. All of these gracious grading practices are the reason I fell into the grade cluster that I did, because the grade I had calculated the night before was very borderline. I think I still earned my grade fair and square, though my professor would have been perfectly justified if she had placed me in the lower grading cluster. (This class is graded plus/minus. I, for one, am thankful for plus/minus.)
Oh, and differential equations. God bless my diff eq professor, too. He is definitely the “kind and generous math professor” he always alludes to when we go over a particularly tricky problem in class. Thanks to his extremely reasonable tests (not necessarily easy- that was the mistake I made coming into the first test), I was able to pull myself up by studying hard for the following tests. No, I did not get an A, but I do not deserve an A. I could play the “what if” game, as in, what if I had studied hard for the first test? Yes, I probably would have been able to get an A if I had studied harder for that first test. But, while I am not justifying my lack of preparation, I have to say, nothing has humbled me and put me in my place academically as much as that failing test grade.
Grace is such a crazy thing. Whether straight from God, or manifested through the actions of people, it is always so beautiful.
I still have one more midterm and two finals to go. May I be a good steward of my time as I prepare and study for these tests. As always, praise be to God, no matter what the outcomes may be.