Friday, December 06, 2002


Yep. Breaking down already on the no-blogging. But it's Friday AND I am stressed, stressed, and I need someplace to vent.

I just got my second exam back from the Quantitative Methods in Communication course I'm taking. I got a 90%. NOT good. Why? Well, because I did the math for my GPA for this semester. Basically, I have determined that I must get an A in this class. I HAVE TO. The prof does not do +/- grading, so basically, even if I get As in both of my other classes, if I get a B in the COMM class (80-89) I would end up with a 3.667 GPA. Not bad, right? Ok, maybe not in the overall scheme of things, but if I get less than a 3.75 I lose my fellowship, and then I have what amounts to no funding for next semester, and THEN we have serious issues (in addition to not being able to pay bills/rent, I'd lose 50% of my health insurance and tuition benefits. Peachy-keen, right?). On the flip side (and this just makes me ill to think about), if I happen to get an A- in each of the two classes I am taking within my own department, but I get an A in the COMM class, I get a 3.778 - *squeak* - which sets up the bad, bad incentive for me to crack hard on the quantitative methods and let the other two classes sliiide just a bit - which I really don't want to do, and don't really feel that I can afford to do, given that the instructors are people within my own department and field for whom I have great respect and with whom I want to continue good relationships. Yeek.

My grades on the two tests, each worth 30% (30 points) of the final, are 27 and 28.5. There's a cummulative final exam left to go - and the lowest grade of the three will be dropped - and a final project/paper. Question: Should I focus my efforts on the paper, and keep fingers crossed that I get a good grade on that, or should I divide my focus between getting the paper done solidly and studying for the cummulative final, in hopes of getting somewhere in the 28-30 range?

My knee-jerk reaction is to concentrate on the paper. IF I get the full 10 hw/participation points (which according to the syllabus is an all-or-nothing thing) - plus I have some amount of extra credit for participating in research (I did a survey for a study), which is "up to two points on the final average" - then, according to my trusty calculator, I need a C or better (somewhere in the 22ish out of 30 range, depending on the value of the x-credit) on the paper to get a 90, hence an A. But what if I fudge up my statistical analysis on the paper, or write up my findings in some unacceptable way, and end up bombing the paper?

Put this together with the wonderful fact that I have two other major projects due in the near future - 12-15 page (single-spaced, so, 24-30, really) literature review with associated presentation all due on Tuesday, plus a research proposal with associated presentation (presentation for this one also Tuesday, through my own poor planning and lack of foresight) - though the proposal itself in hard-copy format is not due until the 16th. THEN the COMM final, should I choose to take it, on the 18th, and the COMM paper due the next day. Oh, yeah, and I start physical therapy on Monday. Like I've got time for THAT crap.

Shit. By the way, if you're in grad school/considering grad school: if your friends, colleagues, advisors, etc. tell you NOT to take four classes in one semester, um, listen to them. Your life will be easier and a hell of a lot less stressful.

Other than laying off the caffeine and deep-breathing (and not wasting time blogging), anyone have ideas, recommendations, suggestions? I'm open! Please help! Oh, and any good thoughts/good vibes/friendly, supportive hugs you want to send my way will be much appreciated.

I think I am going to go deep-breathe for a while - exercise (good stress-reliever and mood-booster) - drink some tea - head to the library.

I am SO GOOD at making my life as stressful as humanly possible. Gotta quit. Not healthy!

- posted by laurie @ 12/06/2002 01:51:00 PM
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