Tag Archives: Midterms

Procrastination? Again?

I have a midterm tomorrow, and a paper the day after. I just drank some coffee, Mad Men is on, and all I seem to do is browsing with StumbleUpon. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I am at my peak of procrastination. I work before my midterm tomorrow so I either study tonight, or I study tonight- yet I can’t seem to do either.

What do you do to keep from procrastinating? I don’t even have a Facebook anymore, so I’m in trouble here.

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Dear Professor

I find your class extremely interesting and I feel I’m learning a great deal. I love the readings, and though I dread coming to your lectures because I am currently overworked, I still enjoy participating and getting to learn from you.

Which is why I was so disappointed when I failed my midterm. You specifically said that we could not go over 4 sentences on our short answers, but then I didn’t get enough points because I didn’t say enough in 4 sentences. Though, arrogantly, you declared that EVERYONE in the class needs to start doing the readings and paying attention to class because we, overall, didn’t do well in the midterm, I would have hoped you could see the stark contrast of my grade in the multiple choice part of the exam. If I didn’t read or pay attention, I would not have been able to perform so well in multiple choice questions- unless you truly believe that I can get lucky 21 times in a row, guessing the right answer.

I’m not a professor, but it seems clear to me that your test was testing my ability to compress information into a restricted amount of space, rather than testing my knowledge of the material. I know that this is the summer and all, but I don’t see why I (and other students) should suffer because you don’t want to spend more time reading everyone’s actual answer, regardless of length. It saddens me, that even though you provide the right tools to learn, you fail at providing the right tools to test the knowledge learned. These two things go together- one cannot work well without the other. It is unfortunate that you are giving us the knowledge, yet you don’t let us proof such knowledge on paper.

Sincerely,

-MTO


Misery Loves Me: A Valentine’s Day Story

Someone told me once that posting once a day was an ambitious task. At first I claimed that I could do it if I put the effort to it- which means I forgot we don’t live in a perfect world. As much as I’d love to come here everyday and tell you some crazy adventure that these two college kids went through during the day, sh*t happens.

Yesterday during Valentine’s Day, we worked and studied for most of the day. Hence why when my wife asked me if I wanted to go to a 9:55pm showing of Barney’s Version, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Never mind that we had a midterm the following morning, that we were tired, or that I needed to read for a different class- I just needed a break from everything.

Halfway through the movie, my wife asked me if I still had the car keys. I looked at her in disbelief as I answered negatively. She gave a not-a-good-time-to-be-joking-honey look and I could feel the panic taking over my blood flow. I ran out of the theater headed to the concierge. I asked if someone had turned in any set of keys… no luck. The first time we ever go out without me carrying my set of keys. This had disaster written all over.

It was time to make a phone call. The strategy was to get a ride home, get my keys, go back to get the car, come home and call about the keys the following day. So who was I supposed to call? Keep in mind is almost midnight at this point, on a weeknight.

First friend, didn’t answer. Second friend, couldn’t find his keys or get a hold of girlfriend who had the keys. We decided it was better to call a cab- wait, we don’t know how to do that. Third friend: would arrive in about 15 minutes.┬áThen we had to worry about the landlord. Paying the 20 dollar fee for calling after hours.

At around 1am we made it home.

Note to self: Do not leave the house on Valentine’s Day ever again.


Conversations

After midterm 1:

Me: How did it go?

Classmate: That midterm sucked. I totally flunked that. There goes my 4.0.

Me: (Thinking) Really? I thought it was easy. (Saying) Oh I know, it was hard.

After midterm 2:

Professor: Are you sure you’re done?

Me: (Saying) Oh I’m more than sure. (Thinking) Am I?

—————————————————————————

Maybe studying does payoff. I wish I could brag about it instead of listening to classmate after classmate complaining about a test which I thought clearly covered what we should know by now. Sure we all make mistakes but if that 4.0 kid flunked that test, he didn’t deserve a 4.0 to begin with.

Professor, I know you may be used to some students who don’t do anything, but I actually pay attention to you in class and do the readings because I find this thing interesting.

Readers, time to sleep for reals for the first time in five days…

Love,

-Mrs. This One


Late Night

It’s 11:30pm. We’re about to call for delivery and I’m about ready to get a refill on my coffee. If this sounds like a bit of hell to you, make no mistake, it is a bit like hell.

This is what midterms week is like for me. Specially when the two professors for my hardest classes this quarter decided to plot against me and scheduled their respective exams on the same day. Am I prepared? Who knows, I’m still working on it. Will I be okay? Sure, I’ll make it through the day alive (knocking on wood).

Wish me luck.

-Mrs. This One


Whoever Said Having a Pet was Perfect Practice Before Having a Baby…

Has never had a dog.

The in-laws are in town- and in case you’re wondering, we’ve told them the good news already. We’re supposed to celebrate tonight. In the mean time, my wife is with her family having breakfast somewhere in downtown L.A. I didn’t join them because I have two midterms on Tuesday, so I’m studying. But because I didn’t join them, I was asked to look over JJ, my sister-in-law’s chihuahua.

If you’ve been reading us for a while, you’d know that we live in an apartment where we can’t have pets. Having an animal in the building could be a reason for lease termination. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled about JJ coming to hang with me, but I can’t say no to the in-laws; specially not now that I’m “officially” part of the family.

So I go to my study chair (comfy enough that you can sit in it for hours and study) while JJ sits on the couch. After the door closes behind my wife and her family, I look over to JJ and I flinch hoping he would just stay put. Two seconds later he rushes to the door and starts whining- this means I rush right behind him and bring him back to the couch. I pet him for a bit and he stops whining. I go back to my chair.

Ten minutes later I get hungry and make some lunch. I eat in my study chair while the UCLA vs. St. John’s game is on (we’re winning by the way- Go Bruins!). JJ starts whining again. I text my wife. My sister-in-law calls. I ask if she’s fed him and she said he ate right before they got here. He also did his business right before that. We get off the phone. He stops whining.

Five minutes later he begins to whine again. So here I am sitting with him, with a blanket over him, petting him. This is the only way to keep him quiet. Trying to avoid a lease termination. No more studying for midterms, but at least the game is still on.

If JJ were a baby, I could just give him a bottle, change his diaper and he would go to sleep. This way, I could be studying for my midterms quietly. In short, babies are nothing like dogs and vice versa.

-Mrs. This One


The Times

I woke up with a sense of urgency to pee. I stumbled on my way to the bathroom with half-opened eyes. While sitting on the toilet, I remembered that I needed to go downstairs to pick up the L.A. Times before someone else did. Someone stole my Sunday edition last week, and the replacement edition that was sent to me the following Monday. It’s still hard to believe that someone in this college-student-populated building had woken up before 10am last Sunday and stole a newspaper. I glanced at my wife’s cellphone to check the time after I got dressed. It was a little after 8am. I wondered for a moment if it was already too late to find the Times still there and I hesitated before heading towards the door as I admired my wife’s nakedness on our bed.

The paper was still there, right outside the building’s front door. As I held it in my hands, I smiled to myself with a sense of accomplishment. Clearly not over the fact that in a country like the United States, people still dare to steal someone else’s property. Twice.

I headed upstairs resenting the delivery person who for three weeks now has ignored my delivery instructions. “Please deliver outside apartment door #203.” He/she even has the code to enter the building. I almost regret given out that information but not as much as I regret that his/her actions helped someone else steal from me.

I opened my apartment door as quiet as possible trying not to wake my wife a second time. As I placed the paper on the floor, she looked at me and gave me a smile. She too had been an accomplice in this; she knew how much I wanted to beat whoever had stolen my paper before.

The paper is still sitting on the floor unread. And will remain that way until I finish reading the novel “Butterfly Boy” by Rigoberto Gonzalez, which is a memoir of a Chicano gay kid about growing up and coming out. I’m supposed to compare this book to literary works written by Chicana lesbians that we have read throughout the quarter for my Chicana Lesbian Literature midterm. The works are not all that different from each other. They all have some sort of struggle in common. Struggle because of background, race, class, sexuality, etc.

I haven’t been able to relate to the work of Chicana lesbians because my story is too different from theirs. But “Butterfly Boy” somehow was able to hit closer to home. Gonzalez is the only one who actually talks about being little and sexually confused; you cannot be gay and not relate to this. Reading this book has made me resent my family more than I already do. I just wish I would have had someone to talk to while growing up, instead of hating myself for loving women.

My father finally confirmed with my brother on Friday that I was a Lesbian. “He sounded disappointed,” my brother told me. I laughed in disbelief. A man who was unfaithful to my mother, hurt her, left me and my brother, did the same to another woman and her kids, and is now alone and old working for his brother is disappointed in me. If he weren’t in another country, I would love to knock at his door and tell him that I understand his ignorance, and that I’m sorry he’ll never know what is like to be happy but I do. I am so grateful that I was able to take my wife’s last name and erase his for good.

I’ll never understand why my mother married such a man but she’s not too different from his ignorance. She struggled with the idea that I am gay. And she now struggles with the idea that my brother is dating a black woman. I told her over the phone last night that this was his decision to make after she told me that she didn’t agree with his relationship. “He’s happy and I’m happy, isn’t that what matters?” I asked. Big mistake. She made a point of making me feel guilty for being happy. I resent her for not being a mom. “What have I done to deserve this?” she’d say. I’m not sure what she wants from us but it certainly isn’t for us to be happy.

I’m consciously glad that I’m far from those times. I’m happy I grew up enough to be on my own. Getting the paper delivered to me is a sign of independence. Even if I have yet to read it because of my midterm, I’m still old enough to get the Sunday paper. Sometimes is good to grow up just to have a clean slate. I may not have a past I’d be proud to look back to, but I have hopes I’ll find that pride in my future. By then there might not be such a thing as a newspaper delivery.


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