Sunday, April 14, 2013

150 questions

It's been a long time since I've been sitting studying for many days. Honestly, I usually didn't study at night after working 8 hours+ but details details...

What's been very interesting today is that I am vividly remembering this frantic scramming that I'm currently doing. The panicky feeling in my tummy if I fail and don't pass the exam. The "what if I don't pass?"* The ego sadness, the embarrassing feelings, and the panic that I might not make it. After all, it's 150 questions, 7 areas and 62 different topics. All topics will get at least one question.

How to know if you pass or not? Well, that will have to wait another three months. And then I will only find out, pass or fail. No correct answers, no "these are your correct answers". Only a pass/fail and if fail an option to repay money and retake the exam. Rinse and repeat one more time this year and then there will be reapplying (more money and more waiting time).

I don't think I will retake the exam more than three times though. Money and shame. I seriously doubt I'll try three times even.... But I shouldn't think about that right now. Only positive thoughts now! And of course, focusing on those areas and topics and "everything I've ever learned about microbiology and GMP regulations". Off to the books (eh, websites and collected pieces of information)!

*extra fascinating to me since I had pretty good record through uni (and school before that). I know that this "panic mode" always appear when it is enough time to study quite a bit, but too close to study ALL... once I'm even closer to the exam, the calm and the persistent hard core studying and reviewing will take place. The "there is no messing about now, only reviewing everything and make sure some stuff stay in the brain. Let's not waste energy on panicking". Still though, it's been more than 7 years since my last exam (not counting thesis defense since that was in a different league). Now I feel old ;)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

the shadow in the side of the eye

Some people talk about the black dog that follows them around, some talk about the elephant in the corner (or the gorilla, I may get the metaphors mixed up). I talk about the shadow in the corner of the eye. The one that you think you see, but when you turn your head towards it, it's not there. But if you focus straight ahead you can see it ever so slightly and you know that there is indeed something there. Flickering on the side and wanting you to pay attention to it, trying to lure it out to really see it.

And I had hoped it had gone away forever.

Needless to say, I know by now that it will probably never go away completely. It's like one of those things you learn about yourself, you have to live with it and just learn to deal with it. It's those days I decide to "not think about things too much", "not pay attention to what my brain tells me" and most definitely "not pay attention to the screaming emotion inside that's telling me it's a panic and I need to take action right now or it will all go to bad".

No. Nowadays I try and do what I should do. Quietly acknowledge that my body is playing tricks on me and that if I ignore it for just a while it will go away and the world will continue to rotate on its axle. The sun will shine, the wind will blow, the happiness will come back and the fear of being loveless and a failure will dissipate just like the trolls in sunlight in those fairy tales I read so much when I was a child. I wake up the next day and feel OK without the world having come to an end. No everlasting winter in darkness a la north pole.

But it's not easy and sometimes I get tricked into playing the "what if" game a little too long. Especially when a friend is going through some hard times that trigger those memories of "me in a dingy with one oar" (blog post a few years back) and worse times. Gosh, sometimes those moments really sneak up on you and catch you with your guard down.

Good thing I have had some great practice with the best of them to counter act. So today will be cleaning house (maybe even the brain) and being outdoors in the garden popping those trolls in the wonderful spring sun! Life is good and sometimes the best way to feel better is enjoying the nature around you and do some physical labour. Happy spring time!